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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall



    Monday, September 24, 2018

    Simply out of curiosity, we held a one day Double Action Pistol Training Day here in Prescott. As expected, a one day specialty deal like this didn't yield the usual twenty students with a waiting list. We had seven students with some additional staff and myself for about ten shooters. We spent a few hours tuning up the DA/SA concept. We discussed the nature of the DA and how to use it effectively. Then we worked on accuracy from 5 yards out to 100 yards. Finally we did some shooting drills my SWAT unit used as well as a few drills we learned from USMC SOTG when our unit attended their CQB school way back in the Paleolithic Era. These last were simply to show what was possible with a double action compared to the striker fired pistols most often seen today.

    We had mostly SIG pistols in the 226/229 variety with one Langdon Beretta, one Wilson Beretta and one HK P30L. Incidentally, we may do an article on this later. The HK P30L was a very nice pistol with a nice DA trigger. The sights were off however and you would think HK would have at least given it a mechanical zero. That said, one of my Legion P226s came with the rear sight way off to the right and needed complete rezeroing. On the Berettas...I shot both. I will say without any reservations that the Langdon Beretta is the cleanest and smoothest 92 I have ever fired. It is far smoother and easier to shoot than the Wilson, and it would be my choice if I was carrying a Beretta. (Tell Mr. Langdon I said that if you happen see him - neither of those guys pay me anything to promote their stuff by the way).

    Findings -

    1). The double action trigger doesn't need to be heavy because it is the length of travel that yields the safety of the system 2). That being the case, learning to use the long pull is essential and not difficult at all. 3). You need to hold the weapon steady earlier in the process and finalize aiming while working the long trigger. 4). The double action trigger is the gateway to using the sublime single action trigger. 5). The double action trigger pull is for reactive events - going to single action initially is for proactive events. 6). The double action to single action transition is not an issue and the consensus was a big shrug (as in, what is the big deal with this?). 7). An RMR on a SIG makes it the equal in accuracy to any RMR-equipped Glock 8). One student noted that he was more accurate because the SIG single action was better than the Glock striker fired trigger. And this was with 100 yard shots. 9). Other than the triggers, the pistols are run the exact same way as any other weapon. 10). The guys did as well with their DAs on the drills as they did with their Glocks.
    The drill was not a difficult one. I will post it below. It is what we did in our SWAT Qualifications for pistol and we borrowed it from LAPD SWAT. The drill is intended to be done in armor and from the Low Ready. Being over achievers we ran it from the holster. We ran it a couple of times with the DA systems and then they ran it with their Glocks. Results were about the same across the board. We have no illusions that the DA/SA will make some "big comeback", but there is no reason for those using such weapons to feel outdated or under-gunned. And a SIG P-226 with an RMR is as modern and deadly a weapon as any.
    SWAT Pistol Qualification

    This course is shot from the Low Ready (we shot it from the draw)

    25 Yards: Controlled Pair to the body-4 seconds 3X- 6 rounds
    15 Yards: Controlled Pair to the body-3 seconds 3X-6 rounds
    10 Yards: Failure Drill (2 body, 1 brain)-3.5 seconds 2X- 6 rounds
    7 Yards: Failure Drill-3 seconds 2X- 6 rounds
    5 Yards: Failure Drill-2.5 seconds 2X- 6 rounds
    3 Yards: Failure Drill-2.0 seconds 2X- 6 rounds
    10 Yards to 3 Yards-Shooting on the move-6 rounds body, 1 brain 2X 14 rounds total.

    Course is a total of 50 rounds.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Claremore, OLKA
    Sounds like it was a great class. I haven't shot one of Langdon's 92s but I have a couple of the PX4 Storm Compact Carrys that he was behind.They are some of my favorite guns to shoot. People are clamoring about getting a red dot on them. It would be awesome if you would be the first one to achieve that. Just food for thought.
    In GOD we TRUST!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I totally spaced this off. I would have come up to play.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols


    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Having followed Jeff Cooper’s writings since the early 60s, I was a 1911 guy for 40 years until Gabe pulled me over to the darkside (Glocks) more than a dozen years ago. Consequently, the vast majority of my shooting and training entailed single action or striker fired pistols. Even though I own a number of DA/SA pistols, I’ve never spent time developing the skillset to truly run this type of pistol. Again, maybe it was Cooper’s influence who viewed the DA/SA pistol as unworkable, once writing that it would be easier to double action the first round into the ground in order to get to the single action function of the pistol.

    This past weekend was the first time I’d spent an entire day exclusively working the DA/SA manual of arms. Gabe’s instruction is unfailingly pragmatic and based upon years of martial experience.
    Aside from the mechanical techniques for DA vs. SA and the transition from DA to SA, some takeaways for me:
    1) 1. Clear delineation of DA vs. SA application in proactive vs reactive scenarios.

    2) 2' Gabe’s lightning quick single action hammer cocking technique during the draw gives you the option of electing SA instead of DA virtually instantly during presentation. Obviously, practice is required to develop the technique. However, mastery of this greatly facilitates the process of choosing SA vs DA.

    3) 3. Guidelines for DA vs SA depending upon factors such as distance, threat level, presence of bystanders etc.

    4) 4. When we went to the Glock comparison portion, I shot what I was carrying that day….an early Suarez ECP 26 with Docter optic. It reminded me just how much easier it is to hit what you’re aiming at with a red dot vs iron sights.
    A huge thank you! for the Beretta half-cock hack. As a new Beretta shooter, I don't know how long it would have taken me to discover that nifty feature.
    This was a valuable training experience taught by a gifted instructor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Tucson via Detroit
    Shame I wasn’t able to attend this. I was really looking forward to the opportunity to attend when Gabe first mention the idea. Damn wedding still has me in Michigan.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The biggest hindrance to adaptability is ego.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I was able to attend this double action pistol training day. I really liked the one-day concept for a special training focus. The class was small with a good bunch of shooters that had been to SI classes before. It was more informal and open ended than a normal class. It would be great to see more of these type of one day classes or training days.

    I had never really explored the DA/SA triggers before, as I have shot mostly Glocks and the HK DAO LEM triggers. I used a P226 from Gabe’s collection, the first half of the class I was using irons and the second half I used an RMR. I was very surprised how much I like the DA/SA triggers on the Sigs. I was amazed how accurate I was with the SA and the red dot. I was better with the red dot Sig at long distances than with my red dot Glock. The DA trigger was interesting and not hard to shoot well, but the SA trigger was sublime. I agree with the takeaways that AK Driver wrote about. I was particularly taken with his #2, with Gabe being able to select SA from the draw with no loss of speed for a proactive shot. In fact Gabe said the default is the SA trigger with using only the DA if needed. I am going to get a DA/SA pistol and try to master that technique.
    Don M.
    Scottsdale, AZ

    "Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge"

    Austin 'Dusty' Miller, the quote on the Eagle & Fledgling statue at the U.S. Air Force Academy

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