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View Full Version : A DISCUSSION ON DOUBLE ACTION PISTOLS



Gabriel Suarez
08-05-2019, 02:34 PM
On Ellifritz's blog. In my opinion, you lose nothing by using a double action blaster of good quality. The DA/SA in comparison to the Striker Fired Weapon is like a manually operated transmission vs an automatic transmission.

DOUBLE ACTION PISTOLS (https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/traditional-double-action-autopistols-for-ccw-carry?fbclid=IwAR1TIV00QBk1bAMSCLBuwhq40gE20ig7ezc jTyoSMrZwWb54T6I3Hnt6E8I)

Faramir2
08-05-2019, 03:22 PM
That's a helpful summary. I have played with DA/SA platforms a bit and find them intriguing, even considering getting one to use for carry.

Striker weapons seem to own the game with regard to ease of repair, maintenance/service, and stupid-simple operation (press the trigger the same way every single time, regardless of distance, timing/reaction scenario, etc.). I do like the nuance they allow for staging longer/more precise shots by either staging the hammer just before the break or cocking the hammer for long-distance and proactive shooting.

Manual vs. automatic transmission comparison is a helpful one; driving a manual because automatics bore me, I like having the ability to control the shifting and thus certain elements of the power output. Some day I'll get a DA/SA, like a Sig P226 Legion. Personally, I tend to think that pistol could compete handily for title of "premier fighting pistol," albeit based on limited experience of my own.

Michael Biggs
08-05-2019, 03:28 PM
I have no issues with my S&W 3913s, Berettas M-9 and the Type M, or my SIG Sauers P-220/6/8/9. All are top notch weapons and very accurate and reliable.

Faramir2
08-05-2019, 03:30 PM
Thinking further on this: An instructor told me once to "slow down around the curves" of gunfighting, like a racecar driver does. Meaning, get to the grip of the pistol really quickly, then slow just enough to ensure you get the right grip, then fast up to workspace, anchor the support hand, then fast forward for presentation. Fast to new mag, slow down just enough to get a proper grip, fast to the magwell, slow enough to slide it in smoothly, then fast to slam it home. Seems the same is allowed by a DA/SA, once one understands enough about how to handle a pistol to begin with.

And, ya know, gunfighting is just karate at 1200 fps. A roundhouse means a lot more as you learn how to get to it, where to apply it, how to apply it in different situations, so on. A DA/SA seems almost to enable other dimensions of the same kick across the board.

Papa
08-05-2019, 03:35 PM
I generally carry striker guns on duty, TDA off, as the need dictates or the mood strikes.

Gabriel Suarez
08-05-2019, 04:20 PM
I will add that when one is a novice, they should stick to one type. But when one is beyond that level, it doesn't really matter.

Papa
08-05-2019, 04:37 PM
I will add that when one is a novice, they should stick to one type. But when one is beyond that level, it doesn't really matter.

With this caveat, for me at least. I no longer carry single action hammer guns for serious purposes.

AFSOCCRNA
08-05-2019, 06:34 PM
My RMRd 226 is a tack driver and I use it as my carry gun while working outside.

Catalina
08-05-2019, 06:50 PM
yea I'm super pro 2A and all that, but I really, really wish I see the folks getting CCW licenses and shopping our local gun stores could only buy DA revolvers or pistols. Way too many sub $500 plastic "striker fired pistols that to activate the safety you pull the trigger" guns being put in the hands of woefully prepared people.

CaptShack
08-05-2019, 06:51 PM
After going to the Suarez SA/DA one day clinic last year, my appreciation of that type of pistol grew exponentially. I was missing that part of my gun fighting skills and need to practice the manual transmission type of shooting and the advantages it gives. I was so impressed I bought a Sig P226 and gave it over to Gabe's magicians, not that it needed much. Shop Monkey worked his magic and did some sweet trigger work, RMR, NP3 and it is a handsome, serious and deadly tool.

Ragsbo
08-05-2019, 07:43 PM
I have shot a few double actions and have not liked them. I could get use to them if I tried hard enough and practice enough. I haven't shot any of the newer ones so there could be a differnce

Gabriel Suarez
08-05-2019, 07:49 PM
yea I'm super pro 2A and all that, but I really, really wish I see the folks getting CCW licenses and shopping our local gun stores could only buy DA revolvers or pistols. Way too many sub $500 plastic "striker fired pistols that to activate the safety you pull the trigger" guns being put in the hands of woefully prepared people.

There is that

Oscar01
08-08-2019, 06:59 AM
I'll admit when I first started getting into guns for practical use, I saw DA/SA autos as a politically correct abomination.


After reading Gabe's discussion on DA/SA's this year I can definitely appreciate what a DA/SA brings to the table and will buy one down the road. But it'd be more of a hobby gun for me right now, especially something like the Sig 226 with it's larger size.


The one DA/SA that I am interested in is the SA XDE but is a bit too specialized for me at the moment.

Brent Yamamoto
08-08-2019, 09:06 AM
The one DA/SA that I am interested in is the SA XDE but is a bit too specialized for me at the moment.

I bought one thinking that it would be a good solution, but I was disappointed.

I have a 4" barrel XDS. As much as I don't like full size XD pistols, I like the XDS a lot. It's easy to carry, comfortable to shoot and very accurate. The stock trigger isn't very good but after a trigger upgrade it's a pleasure to shoot.

I was thinking the XDE might be a great double action shooter. The trigger actually feels pretty good when firing dry, both DA and SA. But actually shooting it is a whole different experience. The slide is heavier than the XDS and the recoil impulse is very clunky. I'd be willing to put up with that if the benefit from the SA trigger was worth it, but so far I don't find this gun to be any more accurate than my XDS.

I haven't gotten rid of it, I still think there's a benefit to a single stack DA/SA, and I can see using it for mexican carry for some circumstances. But I wasn't impressed.

Papa
08-08-2019, 08:44 PM
The XDE was the gun some of us laughed at when it first came out. Would have been nice to have been proven wrong.

At least you had the guts to buy one and test it.

I like the combination safety/decocker.

HeavySmoke
08-10-2019, 08:50 PM
I will admit to hating the transition. That being said I still have a 239, 229, and a P30. For a long time I thought my 239 in .357 was the perfect carry gun, and in ways it is. They all sit in the safe now, and get shot 2 or 3 times a year.

jlwilliams
08-11-2019, 05:58 AM
My takeaway from the article was that too many people don't do enough dry fire practice. Draw, present, press, so on without the gratification of the BANG is too boring for some people. Too much emphasis on target scores, not enough on handling. Shooting yourself in the dick isn't bad aim, it's bad handling.

TDA vs striker is a non issue if you practice. Wait a minute....seems I've read that somewhere. Oh yeah, Gabe wrote about that here.

Jsavik
08-11-2019, 06:30 AM
I had to shoot a DAO Beretta for serval years in .40.
A comfortable gun it was, but very easy to shoot poorly. Iíd never really fired a DA/SA, but read how horrific it was.
After leaving government service I ventured into striker fired and SAO guns.
After some of Gabeís and Earnest Langdonís writings, I bought an HK USP (several actually, including compacts), but the triggers didnít excite me much.
A used Sig MK25 with the SRT changed my opinion on DA/SA
Photo, if it posts is 100 yds from a tall tree stump.58272

Papa
08-11-2019, 07:59 AM
Good shooting! Those look like suppressor sights. You know what belongs in that slide, just in front of the rear sight.

Jsavik
08-11-2019, 08:01 PM
this 226 will stay iron sighted.

The 229 will probably go in this winter for milling.

I DO have red dots on my M&P compact, G29, and XDs.

sloughfoot
09-05-2019, 08:09 AM
When the 5900 series was authorized for carry, I carried my 5943 (DAO Alloy frame) until my PD switched to the Glock in 2003. More than once, the hammer was held back and only a little more pressure would have released it. You cannot do that with a striker fired pistol. I still own that 5943 and carry it more than my non-steel pistols. When my grandson is ready, a 5906 is waiting for him.

P.D.
09-05-2019, 10:06 AM
With this caveat, for me at least. I no longer carry single action hammer guns for serious purposes.

Okay. Why not?

I'll admit that when I started out back in the day we were issued Model 10 Smith & Wesson revolvers, DA/SA has never been an issue for me

Papa
09-05-2019, 12:46 PM
By single action hammer guns I mean the 1911 or BHP (or SA revolvers for that matter). I want to draw and shoot without thumbing off a safety or rolling back a hammer. Add in a grip safety and, for me at least, the odds of getting off a clean shot drop exponentially. I carried a 1911 on duty for what, 5 or 6 years.

My first handgun was a 4" model 10 HB. If I still had it, I'd fit a bobbed DAO hammer.

Jeff22
09-05-2019, 11:19 PM
I carried a Beretta 92F/M9 and a traditional Sig 226 and a DAK Sig earlier in my career.

I have fairly big hands and long fingers and so the width of the grip and the length of the reach from the backstrap to the face of the trigger were not big issues for me. I could shoot those guns pretty well, especially the Beretta. (Shot one Beretta 92F and two Sig 226s to frame failure over the years)

I carry Glocks exclusively on duty and off now. In the winter I like to pull the other guns out of the safe, put about 200 rounds through them shooting a couple of different courses of fire on the indoor range, and then clean and lube them and put them away again.

Many people have struggled with the DA/SA guns because they had guns (with double column magazines) that were just too big for their hand.

P.D.
09-06-2019, 09:12 AM
Okay. Why not?

I'll admit that when I started out back in the day we were issued Model 10 Smith & Wesson revolvers, DA/SA has never been an issue for me

Fair enough. Thanks.

I'm one of those dinosaurs that (still) carries a BHP AWIB.

Papa
09-06-2019, 11:39 AM
I'm one of those dinosaurs that (still) carries a BHP AWIB.

Someday, just for fun, a thumbprint burr hammer BHP shooter with checkered ivory grips.

Brent Yamamoto
09-06-2019, 11:55 AM
I have personally seen as well as heard of too many instances of guys being unable to successfully disable the safety in force on force classes.

I love the 1911 and worked with it a lot at one time. Under speed/pressure I could disable the safety 99.5% of the time. But that .05% was just a little too much for me.

This isn't to say there aren't valid reasons to carry a pistol with a safety. I do as well given particular circumstances. It's just not my first choice these days.

Guns with safeties have their place and we just have to recognize the drawbacks and train accordingly.

P.D.
09-06-2019, 12:50 PM
There are some who are of the opinion that carrying a 1911 or a BHP cocked with the safety off is equivalent to carrying a Glock.

Discuss.

Papa
09-06-2019, 12:52 PM
SAS did it. Not a whole lot except length of travel separates a Glock from a heavy BHP trigger.

Brent Yamamoto
09-06-2019, 01:09 PM
There are some who are of the opinion that carrying a 1911 or a BHP cocked with the safety off is equivalent to carrying a Glock.

Discuss.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with the BHP. Those few I have handled feel great in the hand but also had terrible triggers. My dad has a very nice model...but such an awful trigger. I had Yondering remove the magazine safety, what an incredible difference it made. The trigger still has room for improvement but Dad didn't want anything else done to this gun and we both pronounced it good enough.

I know a lot of people believe in carrying the 1911 cocked and unlocked. I know the grip safety should be enough but I was never fully comfortable with it. Regardless, even if I had the safety off, my thumb would still go through the motions to sweep it off (because Murphy is always there to knock that safety back on), so I don't see so much advantage to leaving it off.

Papa
09-06-2019, 02:07 PM
If this is indeed a Shanghai Municipal 1911, you can see their solution to Murphy:

58368

If you think of the 1911 as an autoloading SAA, it makes sense: Thumb back the wide spurred hammer on the draw.

The same could be done to a BHP.

Now about that grip safety....

Brent Yamamoto
09-06-2019, 02:40 PM
If this is indeed a Shanghai Municipal 1911, you can see their solution to Murphy:

58368

If you think of the 1911 as an autoloading SAA, it makes sense: Thumb back the wide spurred hammer on the draw.

The same could be done to a BHP.

Now about that grip safety....

Nice. I love looking at how the old timers modified their guns...they had none of the hangups so many gun folks have today. They worked with what they had and modified things to work how they wanted. I like that attitude.

I used to think that DA/SA was a silly thing...part of it was my mistaken buy in to the belief that the transition between different triggers pulls was too big an obstacle. And of course nothing beats a finely tuned 1911 trigger (still my favorite gun to SHOOT even if not my choice to carry).

But all the workarounds and different carry methods for SA...cocked & locked/unlocked, safety deactivation or modification, grip safeties...honestly I think all those issues are simply solved with a good DA/SA.

Gabriel Suarez
09-06-2019, 03:35 PM
The DA-SA is actually my preference. Now wait for five or six others to drop dead just like when I was discussing safeties.

choirboy
09-06-2019, 05:08 PM
669 Smith in my pocket as I did not feel like jocking up with a holster today.

Choirboy

Redneck Zen
09-06-2019, 08:19 PM
If this is indeed a Shanghai Municipal 1911, you can see their solution to Murphy:

58368

If you think of the 1911 as an autoloading SAA, it makes sense: Thumb back the wide spurred hammer on the draw.

The same could be done to a BHP.

Now about that grip safety....

Back in the 1970s we went through that whole series of carry options: Condition 1, Condition 2 and Condition 3. When I was a garrison in Okinawa MP Uncle Sam (and my NCOs) dictated this young PFC carried in Condition 3. When I made MP Investigator we'd load the chamber, lower the hammer and stick the 1911 in our waistband before going into a hairy situation -- in complete violation of the regs. Realize we didn't have any cool inside the waistband holsters at the time, though I did manage to get a Yaqui slide ordered from Safariland; you'd have thought I'd been gifted Persian Delight from Narnia from all the looks I got. Anywho, no Condition 1, though, not while in Uncle Sugar's Army.

Later, after I got out and drove truck for a few years, then went to college, I went Condition 3, having gotten my grubby little hands on a decent holster (or five ... or six) to include a Jackass Rig just like I saw Chuck Taylor wear in Soldier of Fortune. Still, on occasion when I just stuck the gun in my waistband sans holster (Mexican-style) it was Condition 2. I'm sure I never broke any speed records thumbing back the hammer, but I did practice it quite a lot -- "You talkin' to me? Huh? You talkin' to me?" Hey, I was in my early twenties, reading too much SOF, Cooper, etc., and watching too many movies (The French Connection, The Seven-Ups, Dirty Harry, Shaft, you know, high class stuff).

My shooting buddy back then had a Detonics which I coveted something awful; that was actually designed for Condition 2 -- the rear sight was mounted about an inch or so forward and the slide was milled out to allow for a smooth, natural thumb-cocking. He carried that little beast Mexican-style. It was an awesome ride.

58371
(photo purloined from the interwebs)

Later I experimented with H&K P7, Sig P220, S&W 39/59 series ... I had a DAO S&W 45 stainless (I forget the number ... there were so many back then) that had a butter smooth trigger. I'd have kept it, but it was ginormous, as the kids say today.

Then came the era of The Glock.

I've lately rediscovered the DA/SA gun. I have a Mk25 that's smooth and a couple of CZ75s, a pre-B and a B. The pre-B is as good as any DA/SA out there, but the mags are limited. I'm working on the 75B and think it will be as good eventually. Between the Mk25 and the CZs, the CZs win out for (me) ergonomics and pointability. But that's a training thing.

They're all good. Like our friend Musashi says, don't favor just one; learn them all.

Papa
09-06-2019, 08:24 PM
My Detonics was D7400. What a brick! I carried it cocked and locked.

Wonder if I'll see it in a gunshop sometime.

Snowman45
09-06-2019, 09:27 PM
After evolving from revolvers to semi-auto pistols for duty use, I carried a long line of DA/SA S&Ws; 645, 4506, 4516, 669, 6906 and 3913. Next came Glocks and it was the G21 and G19. Then, after a department change, it was Sig P226 and then back to Glocks in 9mm; G17/19/26. I was a big fan of the S&Ws, until magazine issues in the 4500 series necessitated a change, which resulted in the Glocks. The sigs were nice guns, but I had carried Glocks for a number of years before changing departments and had become spoiled with the Glock "safe-action" and preferred them to other options by that time. That all took place in the span of 37 years.