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  1. #1
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    Default MANAGING THE DA TRIGGER

    MANAGING THE DOUBLE ACTION TRIGGER


    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 possible solutions. 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 for premeditated shooting (which if your mind set was properly organized was always the case...right?). The other was to fire the first shot into the dirt and then go single action from there. This was said with a sort of wit that would be missed by some. The inference was that the only option for one that simply could not operate a DA trigger was to thumb cock the hammer.


    Cooper had a great deal of influence on the thinking of the day. 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."


    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 incredibly began teaching the "shot into the dirt" method. Note that nobody used that in class - shooting into the deck -because I think we all got it as a Cooper attempt at humor.


    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.


    Bill Jordan and Ed McGivern were proponents of cocking a DA revolver for long or premeditated shots. In No Second Place Winner, Jordan even suggested using a cocked hammer and two hands for shots exceeding 25 yards. 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 targets requiring head shots exclusively for me and my anemic 9mm.


    So the premise of operation is simple.


    Double action is the default. Double action is also the way it is done for reactive shooting where the fight has already begun and you must react to the events unfolding before you.


    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 Jordan-McGivern-Cooper...and Suarez suggested method is to thumb cock the weapon and take the shot in single action. 

    At the joining of the hands, the support side thumb hits the hammer spur while the pistol continues moving to the target.

    The pistol arrives on target with the same speed it normally would, but with a cocked hammer.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    8,809
    I just picked up a CZ-P07 (will get a P229 when I can find a “normal” price). My first foray into DA/SA (I have had DAO guns before, but most of my collection are striker fired).

    I am loving the DA/SA trigger with decocker. The analogy that keeps coming into my head is “this is driving with a manual transmission, and striker fired guns are automatic transmissions.”

    I won’t be selling all my striker fired guns, but I may never look at them the same way again.

    Gabe, thanks for this article and the videos on cocking the trigger on the way to presentation. They’re making for great dry fire drills.
    LIVING > FIRED > JAIL > DEAD
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    4,388
    Great thing about a new TDA is that beaucoup DA practice smooths the action and trains you simultaneously.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.

    P:20

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa View Post
    Great thing about a new TDA is that beaucoup DA practice smooths the action and trains you simultaneously.
    And you don’t have to rack the slide for the next dry fire. ;)
    LIVING > FIRED > JAIL > DEAD
    DISCIPLINA EST LIBERTATEM
    KRG, HRO: Team Tactics 1/2, CRG, HRO: CQB/Team Tactics, Defensive Knife, TMCO


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    652
    Quote Originally Posted by WinstonSmith View Post
    The analogy that keeps coming into my head is “this is driving with a manual transmission, and striker fired guns are automatic transmissions.”
    I love that analogy, one that I think Gabe has used before as well. And as a trenchantly devoted manual transmission driver, this makes me think, "Man, I gotta get a DA/SA." Not shot them much, but what little time I have had makes me drool for a P226 Legion or Elite.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    8,809
    Quote Originally Posted by Faramir2 View Post
    I love that analogy, one that I think Gabe has used before as well. And as a trenchantly devoted manual transmission driver, this makes me think, "Man, I gotta get a DA/SA." Not shot them much, but what little time I have had makes me drool for a P226 Legion or Elite.
    Do it.

    It makes me really wonder why mushy striker fired triggers are so popular. I have many of the best after market triggers on my striker fired guns, but none are as clean a break as that SA mode.

    I’ve already noticed a really simple addition to my press checks under DA: thumb cock the hammer, the slide will press check easily (no longer under the heavier DA spring tension), then pull the decocker immediately after. It can be super smooth, almost as smooth as on a Glock, and I feel like I have more control in the process.

    I am quickly building a “must have” list, and they’re all DA/SA guns with decockers.
    LIVING > FIRED > JAIL > DEAD
    DISCIPLINA EST LIBERTATEM
    KRG, HRO: Team Tactics 1/2, CRG, HRO: CQB/Team Tactics, Defensive Knife, TMCO


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    4,388
    Quote Originally Posted by WinstonSmith View Post
    Do it.

    It makes me really wonder why mushy striker fired triggers are so popular. I have many of the best after market triggers on my striker fired guns, but none are as clean a break as that SA mode.

    I’ve already noticed a really simple addition to my press checks under DA: thumb cock the hammer, the slide will press check easily (no longer under the heavier DA spring tension), then pull the decocker immediately after. It can be super smooth, almost as smooth as on a Glock, and I feel like I have more control in the process.

    I am quickly building a “must have” list, and they’re all DA/SA guns with decockers.
    It's got to be the initial cost of the weapons, one of the reasons Glocks and others bumped TDAs out of police and .mil holsters worldwide. But if you check auction listings there is often little or no difference among comparable used SIGs, Berettas and Glocks.
    Build the list. Buy the guns. New or used. Don't be overly concerned about brands and calibers as long as you're buying quality.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.

    P:20

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