View Full Version : THUMB COCK THAT HAMMER!!

Gabriel Suarez
10-27-2019, 09:08 PM
THUMB COCK THAT HAMMER!! https://warriortalknews.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c8bb639d970b-500wi (http://warriortalknews.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c8bb639d970b-pi)
Back in the 1980s the triggers on SIGs and Berettas and S&Ws were heavier than today...or maybe we are stronger today. I don't know. I came to the DA Semi Auto from the DA Revolver so the first shot was not a big deal to me. One rolled through the trigger in one continual and constant motion on the way out and the shot broke just as the last sight verification was made.

But we did work on those DA triggers quite a bit both in dry work and in the gunsmith shop. I tracked down a relatively unknown 'smith named Steve Deladio who ran the Armory at Long Beach Uniforms. He tuned my S&W 686 to ridiculous smoothness and when I used the S&W 5906 I did the same. Steve gave it a fantastic double action pull that could be rolled through like the best revolvers.

I never knew that the first shot was so "difficult", or that the transition from double action to single action was such a "problem" until I attended Gunsite and was told as much.

My "crunchenticker" I was told, would slow me down and hold me back and I would be lucky to be alive when bullets began flying. Cooper was a clever wordsmith and had a way of using dry humor that was often taken as gospel by the holster sniffers of the day. It was clear that he didn't care for the double action having been focused on the 1911 for so many years. He suggested two possibles. He was serious only about one. We spoke about this some time later in depth, but the serious option was to thumb cock the hammer on the way out. The other was to fire the first shot into the dirt and then go single action from there. The inference was that the only option for one that simply could not operate a DA was to thumb cock the hammer.

His words - "The drawback of the crunchenticker is that if the trigger finger is correctly placed for the crunch it is wrong for the tick, and vice versa." Actually I disagree with that premise as we do not run DA Pistols like SA pistols and vise-versa. But like the joke whose punchline is not understood, many of his devotees actually began teaching the "shot into the dirt" method. Note that nobody used that in class because I think we all got it.

Cooper actually favored the method I discussed earlier which was to roll through the trigger like a revolver, but he mentioned that the large girth of most of these double stack pistols, combined with the nature of the triggers prevented many shooters from being able to do so unless they spent a great deal of time developing the hand strength and skill.

Both Carlos Askins and Elmer Keith were proponents of cocking a DA revolver for long or premeditated shots. I had read of this and was incorporating it into my skill set when Cooper validated it. The inclusion of that was what allowed me to defeat all comers at the shoot off in 1990....the first target being a head shot on a Pepper Popper at some 15 yards as I recall.

So the premise of operation is simple. Double action is the default. But when there is time, such as for a long shot, a shot requiring extreme precision, or a premeditated shot (different from an emergency shot at close range), the Keith-Askins-Cooper...and Suarez suggested method is to thumb cock the weapon and take it in single action.

Hardly was a career-driven academy instructor will ever teach a gaggle of marginally dedicated recruits, nor what a sales-rep-shooting-instructor will teach at an industry sponsored class, but like it or not that is the most efficient way to operate these triggers.

And I did just that with my SIG P-226 and my S&W 5906 from those days until the advent of the Glock at my agency in 1996. When I drew the pistol, if there was time, my hammer was ALWAYS back. If clearing a building, pointing in on a suspect, or anything preemptive or planned, I was in fact on single action. And contrary to the fear-motivated, liability-mongers of then and now...nothing bad ever happened and only the bad guys were shot.

10-28-2019, 02:44 AM
So of you were clearing a T intersection, transitioning back and forth between left hand and right hand, would you be SA with finger indexed on slide or DA with finger resting lightly on trigger? Our Beretta’s were heavy DAO so we didn’t have a choice.

If one is train to cock a DA, assuming a choice of weapons, why not carry a Sig SAO?

thank you for your time.

10-28-2019, 06:22 AM
Interestingly, in 2011, the Navy was teaching thumb-cocking as the primary option for shooting the M9, at least at the pre-deployment training I completed at Ft. Jackson.

Gabriel Suarez
10-28-2019, 08:05 AM
So of you were clearing a T intersection, transitioning back and forth between left hand and right hand, would you be SA with finger indexed on slide or DA with finger resting lightly on trigger? Our Beretta’s were heavy DAO so we didn’t have a choice.

If one is train to cock a DA, assuming a choice of weapons, why not carry a Sig SAO?

thank you for your time.

Well....let's analyze this. There is reactive response and proactive response. Reactive means you are taken suddenly under attack. You didn't get to prepare and your overriding thought is to shoot back as you move to avoid the enemy's gun muzzle and subsequent shot. Is better accuracy more important than speed of action and a shot somewhere on the torso? Nope. So for this you begin in DA and pull through lke a revolver.

Proactive means you know what you are getting into and the only reason you didn't get a 12 ga is that you had time...but not that much time. You are going to the fight on purpose. That is the same situation you describe. If I am clearing, I am fully cocked and on single action. A single action weapon is no less safe that a striker fired weapon in the hand. I used to clear with my S&W 5906 and my SIG P226 on single action all the time and do not recall ever clearing a building on DA.

The DAO I find of less utility than DA/SA. It offers no benefit of the subsequent SA.

The SAO I find of less utility as well due to the requirement to disengage a safety before firing. I wrote about the advantages of the DA aspect of DA/SA in one of the series on the weapon. Going SAO gives up all the advantages of the first DA shot and if doing that you may as well simply stay with a striker fired weapon.

10-28-2019, 12:23 PM
With the DA/SA trigger it is essential to practice that first DA shot intentionally. It's too easy to just fire it DA once every mag, if that, in a typical range session. My only DA/SA currently is my CZ-75B. I'd say 90% of my dry fire with it is DA. At the range shooting a mag or two DA is a pain as it has no decocker, but dry it's super easy. I DA dry fire enough that at the range I expect it to work that way. The excellent SA trigger is just gravy. "Pull through like a revolver" Exactly, lots and lots of times until it becomes natural and expected. IMO the transition from DA to SA is like transitioning from a long bow to a compound, all the same skills translate over, and things just got way easier.

10-28-2019, 01:00 PM
Single-action works better on a revolver, though. The hammer falls much more naturally under the thumb. And with practice, you can get pretty fast shooting a double-action revolver single-action only.

Gabriel Suarez
10-28-2019, 01:08 PM



chad newton
10-28-2019, 01:31 PM
Those were bitchen.... Should have answered all questions anyone would have.

02-25-2020, 10:28 AM
I believed at one point that DA/SA guns were pure evil. Now I'm really starting to rethink that. I like the ability to thumb the hammer back for precision fire. 239 came back out of the safe and went in to the belt.

Gabriel Suarez
02-25-2020, 11:04 AM
I agree with you

Greg Nichols
02-25-2020, 11:15 AM
When we were running M9s I always carried with the safety off, if it came out of the holster the hammer got pulled back unless under stress. There was one incident where the long trigger pull of the un-cocked pistol saved a guys life as I was able to disengage before I snapped off a round.

Gabriel Suarez
02-25-2020, 11:20 AM
At the class we did for DA pistols, we ran a series of drills with the DA and with striker fired weapons. Once guys were shown HOW TO PROPERLY RUN A DA/SA, their times and scores were virtually the same with both platforms.

Mark my words - the Bubba-Glock-Armorer-Garage-DIY Crowd will totally sink the Glock market and community within five years.

02-25-2020, 11:41 AM
Apropos of nothing at all, this is Old Rack Grade, an M9 with NOS M9A3 slide assembly and NOS GI barrel, shot one hand unsupported two days ago at 10 yards, 5 rounds.


6:00 hold. If I was driving the dot, it might well have been on the drawn black target. I did not call the flyer.

I hated DAs for years, but the f***ers will shoot.

Brent Yamamoto
02-25-2020, 01:02 PM
I believed at one point that DA/SA guns were pure evil.

For a long, long time I saw no point to them but the last 8 years or so I've completely changed my mind.