The DA/SA Pistol, Reconsidered

At LuckyGunner’s blog the LuckyGunner Lounge, Chris Baker has been running a series of really good articles on traditional DA/SA pistols and how he’s recently made the change to DA/SA after going striker fired for a while.

Chris Baker firing-beretta

While we call them “articles,” they’re really informational and instructional videos; but Chris and LuckyGunner present the full transcripts of the videos, which is a beautiful thing.  A video can show you, but if what you want is the words, you can read a lot faster than it takes to watch the vid. The way they set it up, you can pick your preferred learning method. ‘S’all good!

So far, Chris has presented three parts, which may be the whole thing for all we know; the first covers general double-action history.

The double action autos got to be pretty popular in the 20th century and various designs were used by Beretta, Smith and Wesson, Sig, CZ, and a lot of other gun companies.

And you probably know the rest of the story. In the 1980s, the American US military ditched the 1911 and adopted the double action Beretta M9. And then when police departments around the country started switching from revolver to semi-autos in the 80s and 90s, at least at first, most departments adopted double action semi-autos.

And then a few years later, Glock came along and shook things up.

His basic reason for defecting from the striker-fired camp, he tells us in the second part, on why he switched, is safety:

if you mess up and get on the trigger too early — which happens a lot to people under stress — or if you think you need to shoot someone and then realize you don’t, the length of travel of the double action trigger gives you an extra split second to correct your course of action before you put a bullet somewhere it doesn’t belong.

Double action pistols are also safer when it comes to holstering the gun. This is probably the most dangerous thing we do with our handguns, and it’s when a lot of accidents happen. With a double action pistol, you can put your thumb on the hammer after you de-cock, and that way, it’s impossible for the gun to discharge if you accidentally leave your finger on the trigger or you get a strap or a piece of shirt caught in the trigger guard. And if you don’t remember to de-cock the gun or thumb the hammer, then you’re really just a pound or two of pressure away from where you’d be with a striker fired gun anyway.

One reason cop shops went in for DA/SA in a big way in the 1980s is that it let you have a gun ready to fire without any fiddling, but with a long enough first-shot trigger pull that only intentional shots would be fired. Cops being cops, some of them from time to time found a way to outflank the idiot-proofing, but they’d done that with DA revolvers, too, and a DA revolver is about as safe a gun as you’re going to get without molding it out of Play-Doh.

A second reason, one that mattered to the military but not to police who generally use new ammunition, was that a DA pistol gave you a second poke at a dud primer. You will see this often mentioned in early-1980s documents, especially ones written by people with military connections. That’s probably because at the time we were still firing 1944 and 1945 headstamped ammunition from WWII production! After the adoption of the M9, the Army quickly ran through its supply of ammo that had only been feeding SOF secondary demands (like MP5s and foreign weapons training).

In the third part, on learning to use the DA/SA trigger, Chris says:

It’s only been about six months since I started the transition from primarily using striker fired pistols to using double actions for all of my personal self-defense guns, so I am by no means an expert. But I feel like I’ve started to get the hang of it, and I’ve had some good teachers, so I’m going to share a few tips that have helped me out with shooting double actions over the last few months.

The first challenge is the double action trigger itself. In order to master this, you have to actually shoot the gun double action. Some people are so intimidated by the longer and heavier trigger pull that they never actually shoot the gun this way. It’s possible for you to go to the range and just rack in the first round and now your hammer is cocked, and you could fire the whole magazine single action and never actually have to fire double action.

But if you own a double action pistol for self-defense then you have to have the discipline to decock the pistol and shoot both triggers so you can learn to run the gun the way you would if you had to draw it and shoot to defend your life. I decock the pistol after every string of fire and every drill and I never thumb cock the hammer. Whenever the gun comes off target, I decock. This is a good habit to get into anyway just for the sake of safety, but it also forces you to have to shoot that double action trigger.

There are several different variants of decock and safety on DA pistols. The Beretta 92S/92F/92SF/M9, which has a safety loosely based on Walther practice, is a bit awkward, thumbwise, for one-handed decocking. (The 92G has a decocker, which is what Wilson Combat does on their custom Berettas, and it’s nice but still in that out-of-the-way place. There are also DAO-only Berettas 92D and 96D, and all Beretta lockwork from at least the FS on up is interchangeable). We dunno what the polymer Berettas that Chris seems to prefer work like; just never tried one. SIGs have a separate safety and decocking lever, which is very handy, you just have to practice enough to make decocking second nature. CZs have to be different, and have one of two safety arrangements: a non-decocking, 1911-style safety that requires a careful manual hammer drop on a live round to decock, or a very nice decocker in the safety position.

A CZ cocked and locked. This was also possible on the very first Beretta, M92. The M92S with slide-mounted decocking safety soon replaced it.

A compact CZ cocked and locked. This was also possible on the very first DA Beretta service pistol, the Model 92. The M92S with slide-mounted decocking safety soon replaced it.

What works with you depends on the size of your hand, and how diligently you want to train on a complex system. People who are casual about shooting and indifferent towards practice might be better off with a striker-fired gun on which the trigger weight and throw never change. But striker fired guns have their own issues.

Having grown up with both SA (1911, et al.) and DA/SA (P.38) autopistols around, and going through the “wondernine” 1911->DA/SA conversion when that was a thing, we didn’t consider that many young shooters didn’t have hands-on with this system, but Chris sure did, and that’s what makes his articles especially valuable to today’s shooters. Maybe they’ll think better of those of us who still shoot these coelacanths of the range.

85 thoughts on “The DA/SA Pistol, Reconsidered

  1. Law of Self Defense

    So this is what it means to get old–watching the whipper-snappers learning stuff for the first time that we learned 30 years ago. :-)

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  2. Tam

    Chris and LuckyGunner present the full transcripts of the videos, which is a beautiful thing.

    This needs to be in 18pt font, bold and underlined.

    1. Jordan

      Yes, I agree completely. The firearm blog occasionally does the same thing and I’ve yet to watch a video when I could instead read the transcript.

  3. John Distai

    “…People who are casual about shooting and indifferent towards practice might be better off with a striker-fired gun on which the trigger weight and throw never change. But striker fired guns have their own issues.”

    As the person described above, I looked at it a bit differently.

    If you talk to a lot of people out gun shopping, they talk about why they got whatever striker-fired wonder pistol because of the “trigger” and the “reset”, as they fondled it at the shop. I tell them what I lean towards (not striker-fired DAO) and describe how it works. They reply “I don’t think I’d like that.” If I’m lucky, they may ask me, “why that, instead of the striker-fired wonder-pistol? My reply:

    While it’s great to know that I have a “great trigger with a short reset” and all that (maybe good for sport or more open ROE shooting), when it comes time to employ it in a real domestic defensive situation, I don’t think I’ll have the wits, skill, or reps in to focus on the situation and the delicate trigger position at the same time. I’ll most likely be scared, and overwhelmed by emotion. I may lack fine motor control at this point. If I need to make the ultimate decision, I want it to be deliberate. I don’t want it to be on accident with one of the “great triggers” out there that I admired at the shop. I want it to be with the “crappy” trigger that I left box stock (perhaps the Designer or Engineer knows more than I do?), that was designed that way for “some reason”. Because whatever decision I ultimately make, if I live, the aftermath will need to be deliberately defended as well.

    1. Tam

      I think the Sig P250’s DAO trigger would be outstanding for general-issue LE or CCW use. The throw is long enough and the pull heavy enough to provide the safety benefits of DAO, while being light enough (~7#) and short enough to allow the casual end user (which is most cops and CCW carriers) to get acceptable accuracy results out of it.

      It’s resistant to “woobie-checking” and has the added visual indicator of a moving hammer to let the shooter know that “Hey, you’re pulling the trigger!”

    2. bloke_from_ohio

      Just don’t go into NYPD trigger territory. If it is too heavy you are more likely to miss. Missing is always bad because you don’t stop the bad guy and because the bullet will keep going until it hits something else.

      1. Kirk

        Never found that to be an issue, to be quite honest. The so-called New York Trigger assembly just feels better to me, and I’ve developed a fondness for what I perceive as it having more of a two-stage feel to it. I think a lot of the excuses about the trigger having a role in the NYPD shooting issues has been pure bunk, and that the real reason for all the demonstrated problems is more down to poor training and recruitment from a hoplophobic population.

        I’ve known several former NYPD officers over the years. Almost all of them that I got to know were indifferent to firearms skill, and did not care to do more than the bare minimum of training required. The one exception to that rule of thumb told me that he was mocked by his peers on the force when he was there, earning the nickname “Tackleberry”, and that what precipitated his departure from the NYPD was him actually receiving what I remember him calling a “Letter of Admonition” because he’d gone to a professionally run carbine course shortly after 9/11, and his supervisors thought he was “…displaying excessive and unprofessional zeal…” for having done so.

        The problem with the NYPD ain’t the triggers on their Glocks, or even the Glocks themselves: It is the culture and the training. Annual half-ass qualifications that most of my informants described simply don’t cut it. You want better results, you need to expend more money and effort on range time and simulation training, which the NYPD apparently doesn’t care to do.

        1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

          When I was shooting a bunch I ran a 19 with the heavy NY trigger and the minus connector and had a very good trigger. Once I slacked off I found the stock trigger easier to qualify with and I think it was all about reps and perishable skills.

          I’d like to see a side by side of NYPD vs LAPD stats, last I heard LA was still qualing monthly-IIRC, and rewarding top shooters. The stats ought to be interesting as both departments have done similar evolutions from wheel guns to sa/da to Glocks like everyone else but on a large and presumably well documented scale.

          It’s absolutely the mindset of the nut behind the trigger and if you are culturally indifferent to or afraid of your tools you can not be expected to be any good with them.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Both LAPD and NYPD release annual firearms reports, including NDs. I think LA has more per capita (the NYPD has more cops, 35k or so, more than lots of nations’ armies). The reports are on the department websites and along with that stats are a window, if an unintentional one, into departmental gun culture.

            Meanwhile the general public thinks Officer Average was a bad cop for shooting Peter Perp in the boiler room and he should have “shot him in the hand or foot!” The public has no idea. There are some cops who can hit a perp at seven yards and some who can’t, quite, and a few who are doing good to get the round in the same general point of the compass or grid square.

        2. Tam

          Kirk,

          Never found that to be an issue, to be quite honest. The so-called New York Trigger assembly just feels better to me, and I’ve developed a fondness for what I perceive as it having more of a two-stage feel to it.

          I prefer the NY1 trigger spring/”-” connector setup, but I feel ya. If someone can’t make hits with a 7.25# trigger with a steady takeup and rolling break, the problem isn’t in the pistol. ;)

          1. RSR

            FWIW, I really like my Gen3 Glock 19 w/ the NY1 spring and minus connector — I’d put it closer to 6# though once you have 1k or so rounds through the new parts, or post-polish.
            I am currently undecided on a polished firing pin safety plunger and/or reduced power fp safety spring — on one hand they contribute to a smoother trigger pull with both/either in but with neither in it helps to maintain some of the two stage feel (actually, creep/stacking feel) of the standard glock trigger spring…
            W/ the polished/radiused-edge safety plunger and/or reduce power spring, the overall weight feels nearly exactly the same as the standard glock spring and connector in my experience.

            Worth noting — I do prefer DA/SA system , and often find I shoot DA as well if not better than SA on most of my handguns. I don’t have much trigger time at all on revolvers (all of my handguns are autoloaders), so admitted ignorance there…
            I really only purchased a glock (and purchased a used one at that) for familiarity training for myself, intro to pistol range trips w/ friends, and to pair/share mags w/ my gen 1 glock 17 keltec sub2k…

      2. John Distai

        There are some DAO’s that allow you to charge it like a striker-fired weapon, and then give you a long, but relatively light take up. They fire like a single action, but they are double action. Each trigger pull, while charged, is light. If drop the hammer on an empty chamber or have a dud primer, then the second strike is a long heavy pull.

        1. RSR

          There are also some striker fired guns with “second strike capability” that have this same feature as well. Taurus 709s and Millenium Pro G2s come to mind.

          Have one of each, just b/c I like their compactness, low weights, and safeties (generally, I apply when holstering for cc, and then deactivate once securely holstered — but if on belt while working in brush around ranch and brush (even in kydex or fobus holster), etc, I keep the safety on)… I have found them to be reliable, but their trigger length of pull is extremely short — rather than finger tip on trigger (which causes me to contort hand in uncomfortable ways and severely hurt accuracy), I shoot them with the middle section of finger on trigger. I believe hitcock45’s review of one or the other addresses this as well…

  4. LSWCHP

    Well, I’m an old school guy and I avoid all this complexity by sticking with the DA revolver in .357, specifically the S&W Model 586 with a 4 inch barrel. To ensure that things were really simple I bobbed the hammer so that it’s double action only. With a good trigger job and around 30 years of use it has just one long silky sweet trigger pull, all day, every day.

    Admittedly, I’m now shooting a striker fired plastic 9mm, but it’s really for grins. Were I to actually *need* a firearm I’d grab the 586, and my levergun, also chambered in .357.

    1. Boat Guy

      I came onto DA wheelguns somewhat later and have come to highly regard them as tools. I wound up carrying my 4″ 686 most of the weekend.
      I started on the 1911A1 in service, made the transition to the 226 first and then the M9 (screaming and kicking) and finally mastered the DA/SA on the M9 at the challenge of our 1SG. I find myself carrying the SIG and 1911s in place of my striker gun (an XD) on occasion but the light-rail and capacity of the XD (and a decent trigger) have really made it first among equals

    2. S

      Oh drool, the .357 out of a long barrel. What numbers…

      You’re probably also no slouch on the reload of that revolver after a generation and a half of use. Remind me not to face off against you without a mortar and more than a half mile between us.

      1. RSR

        .357 mag out of 16″+ barrels exceeds the ballistic performance of standard 30 carbine cartridges. Ballistics by the inch shows all tested cartridges to be above 1000ft-lbs energy out of 16″+ barrels.
        http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

        I personally find I’m substantially more accurate w/ 38 spl than 357 out of a handgun, especially for regular range time, but there’s obviously tremendous benefit to the additional velocity of 357 magnum.

        Also, 357 vs 30 carbine provides a much increased offering of bullets… But I’m sure you can find add’l info on specific performance in states like OH that allow leverguns for deer hunting…

  5. DSM

    And Hollywood has taught us that you don’t really mean business until you manually cock the hammer.

    It’s an interesting point to be made. Does this give validation to the “NY” triggers in the Glocks?

    1. BillC

      If by validation you mean between an 8 -18% hit rate by the NYPD for heavy, DAO-“like” triggers?

    2. archy

      ***And Hollywood has taught us that you don’t really mean business until you manually cock the hammer.

      It’s an interesting point to be made. Does this give validation to the “NY” triggers in the Glocks?***

      Nah. Means Hollywood should get some old Daewoo K5 DP51 pistols and try out the trick *Double Action Plus+* hammer on those things.

      I’ve got two knowledgeable friends who very much favor the Daewoo K5, and eagerly buy up gun shop/gun show parts queen junkers for spare parts. One is a Ranger who served with the Second Infantry Division in Korea and crosstrained with their Capital Mechanized Infantry Division [AKA the *Tiger Division* in Vietnam days] and 26th Infantry Div. The other one fixes me breakfast most mornings, and there’s usually pretty sound reasoning behind most of her choices and preferences so far as hardware of all sorts from sharp and noisy things, motorcycles and helicopters and computers and cameras goes. I don’t have a K5 meself, but if one ever comes my way at the right price I may grab it, unless one of those two get their meathooks on it first.

      Of course I like S&W M39s, too, and the DP51 is really more of a S&W M39 followon than a CZ75 or Walther-action derivative. What really would have been interesting would what the next generation Daewoo Precision Industries pistol design might have been. One thought along those lines was the Lionheart LH9, about which more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsW-S-8qvwU&feature=youtu.be

  6. Tierlieb

    *shrug* I dunno. I have spent time on DA/SA, DAO and SA (in that order). I think all have benefits. Benefits I usually forget about quite quickly when I leave the system. The lack of any of these benefits has never impeded me. So I like my 1911, my Glock and my former CZ75 all equally well (though a CZ75 without a decocker is a horrid thing to use).

    But the following argument I consider dangerous: “the length of travel of the double action trigger gives you an extra split second to correct your course of action before you put a bullet somewhere it doesn’t belong.”

    Generally, you are supposed to be looking at the target, then shifting your focus to the front sight and then pressing the trigger. I have not met a proper teacher that teaches anything besides front-sight-focus. If you want to look some more, take the time to do so without being distracted by the trigger. A longer trigger pull just prolongs the time the target is out of focus (that still applies to prepping the trigger, because the same technique works for striker-fired guns).

    Hell, come to think of it, that’s Cooper’s rule #3 in action, isn’t it?

    I get that an experienced shooter training themselves on a new system _slowly_ will not notice that. And having trained with serious people that only use DA/SA guns (mostly H&K P8 around here, guess why?), it does not seem to be a big impediment.

    But having trained beginning shooters, I vehemently disagree. The length of the trigger gives you more time to pull the gun of the target while you are trying desperately to hit something. That’s it. And even if they understand correct trigger manipulation in a training setting, they forget it as soon as it gets competitive. A lot of arm-chair coaches will now point that this is “just a training issue”. But if you actually have to get people shooting in a given timeframe, a DA trigger is a liability, not a benefit. People who enjoy shooting are different, they’ll take the time to master a system. But people needing a tool won’t. And that covers police and the few military people using a handgun as well as people concerned about self-defense, as opposed to us, uhm, “gun nuts”.

    “Good shooting is just applying fundamentals at speed” is true, but it is hard. Because keeping track of all fundamentals in that compressed period of time is hard. We have to subtract from the amount of detail, not add to it. As soon as red dots become workable on pistols for ordinary people, I hope to see iron sights go, too. Even less distraction.

    1. DB

      Boy, I’m glad somebody mentioned Rule #3. Second guessing is for before your finger goes on the trigger. Also, can we say that no one ever lost a gunfight holstering their pistol. As I tell people as a competition RSO: I know I’ve checked that your pistol is clear, but take your time and look it all the way back into the holster. Your muscle memory will thank you.
      These replies are a monument both to how shooters tend to get lost in the trees, and can’t stop proselytizing for THEIR gun. Buy a pistol you like, become proficient with it, and for God’s sake try not to be a bore about it.

      1. RSR

        The distance of most self defense encounters is such that aligning the front sights really isn’t critical and oftentimes will not even be possible.

        While I train for both accuracy and speed, I find that for room based distances — 7 yards or so — that if a weapon light, let alone a more accurate laser, is on target center mass that any shots/hits will be on the same.

  7. BillC

    In the end, who cares? I have all three, SAO, DA/SA, and striker. It really comes down to the gun more than the trigger for its intended use. I generally carry a Glock G19 because for me, it’s a good enough blend of weight, capacity, accuracy, and trigger (in terms of pull weight, reset, and how it pulls).

    The only thing I completely disagree with is the argument on how much “safer” it is to shoot someone with the DA. You know, just in case at the last nanosecond to decide not to. What a BS argument, yet it’s always perpetuated by somebody who knew a cop once.

    “…or if you think you need to shoot someone and then realize you don’t, the length of travel of the double action trigger gives you an extra split second to correct your course of action before you put a bullet somewhere it doesn’t belong.” – So by that logic, DA(/SA) is actually potentially dangerous to the the user in that DA is so much quantifiably slower to shoot (everything else held equal).

    1. gavin

      Concur strongly with BillC. I’m guessing Baker is a range shooter, and not someone that carries a weapon for a living.

      On the two-way live fire range, if you get on the trigger, you fire the weapon. The duration of a trigger squeeze is not a good time to try to figure out if you really feel like killing another human being. Any internal debate on the relative merits of firing the weapon are best done before the finger crosses the trigger.

      gavin

  8. Jim

    Spot on article, glad you brought it over here. I hadn’t been to looserounds lately because they were bogged down in half paragraph articles from the NRA show.

    The single greatest benefit of the DA/SA system is the ability to ride the hammer into the holster, bar none. I carry AWIB, and did so professionally for quite a while. Now that I use Austrian Tupperware (only sort of by choice) instead of Swiss Steel (and aluminium alloy), the one thing I find myself wanting is a hammer to ride when reholstering (I actually do it with my Glock, out of habit, even if it doesn’t do anything). Especially since it’s pointed at my important bits the whole time.

    Since I live somewhere with a bear problem, and keep alot of living, flying bear attractant, I made my personal choice based on how many RA45TP rounds I could stuff into a thinner, smaller, lighter package that a P220…as soon as someone makes a G30s sized and weighted gun with a DA/SA, and/or a grip safety, that I can stuff 11 .45s into, I will buy it the same day. Until then, I’ll just be reholstering ever so slowly.

    The “safety” factor of the long initial pull is really a liability in my professional experience. Most shooters I have worked with (including some supposedly VERY high-level professional shooters) admitted to either hating the first pull and knowing they wouldn’t hit properly with it, or just flat out said the first round was a throw away, and they would dump it into the floor or something in a shooting, just to get to the good trigger pull. I tried suggesting that maybe just cocking the hammer manually was a better idea than intentionally negligently firing a round…but people are dense, and most of them don’t bother listening to what I say. Keep in mind I’m referring to a group of people who individually had about 5k rounds of specifically DA training (not counting the SA rounds fired), and still were having issues. I was lucky that I grew up on a DAO Walther and mastered that skill long before. But even with thousands of rounds of DA specific training it still seems to be a problem for even professional shooters. Or perhaps I am being too generous with my description of them.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Hognose’s Other Law: “Everything takes longer and costs more than you plan, even if you’re not the Government.” You’ve tried this thing, haven’t you?

        1. Tam

          Hognose,

          Been using one for a couple years, and on my daily CCW gun since January. I’ll be buying two more as soon as the initial shiopment’s gone out.

      2. Jim

        Yeah, I wanted one of those, and I backed that campaign last year…went to see when it was shipping last month, and somehow I was no longer on the backing list. Guess I’m out the $90 for the two I bought, so I won’t be buying more if they ever become available.

        1. Tam

          Jim,

          There have been delays, mostly with one principal of the company dying of cancer and the other having to tend to family business, what with his wife nearly getting her leg blown off by an AK-wielding cop car thief in the line of duty. I’m sure they’re sorry for any inconvenience. Production Gadgets are in Tom’s hands, and should be shipping any day now.

          1. Jim

            Hmmm…I follow industry news pretty closely, and have specifically been looking for any news about Gadget or their outfit, and this is the first I’ve heard of any of those troubles. Sure is a shame for the team. I wish them the best.

            I’ve never been in the habit of getting worked up about production delays in machined parts, especially ones that have never been made before, and especially not for combat guns. Take your time and get it right. So much can go wrong, and need to be figured out again. And again. And again. I was more put off by mysteriously disappearing off the backer list, which I have a sneaking suspicion is more of a Indiegogo problem that a Tom problem.

            Regardless, I already spent $90 for two of them that I won’t see. So I can’t justify spending another $60 for one. They were defenately worth $45, they’re probably are worth $60, maybe $90…not $150. Oh well, seemed like a good idea.

          2. Tam

            There’s a post of mine above that’s in holding because it has a link in it, but the link goes to Tom Jones’ thread at pistol-forum. He’s the principal, and a principled man. When Hognose makes it live, go there and contact him. He should make things right for you.

          3. Tam

            Jim,

            Tom asks that you contact him via the IndieGoGo page and hopefully this can get worked out?

        2. Tom Jones

          Jim, no one has gone missing. All contributors and contributions are still accounted for. Go to http://igg.me/at/gadget and click on the “Ask a question” link under my name and send me your name and email address, and I’ll forward along all your contibution details. We’ve got 6 guys named James that contributed at the $90 level. I’m fairly certain you are one of them unless you purchased under a different name. :)

          1. Tom Jones

            I didn’t realize that links put comments in a moderation queue,

            JIm, Your comment is awaiting moderation.
            Jim, no one has gone missing. All contributors and contributions are still accounted for. Go to the campaign page and click on the “Ask a question” link under my name and send me your name and email address, and I’ll forward along all your contribution details. We’ve got 6 guys named James that contributed at the $90 level. I’m fairly certain you are one of them unless you purchased under a different name. :)

          2. Hognose Post author

            Now, that’s customer service. Tom comes here to somebody else’s blog and reassures a commenter who thought something had gone wrong with his order. Everybody else in business, watch Tom. This is how Nordstrom does it. (Or used to, anyway).

          3. Jim

            Outstanding. I am shocked at the positive response, doesn’t happen often. We will be in touch.

          4. Tom Jones

            Sorry I screwed up and double posted my comment. Please feel free to delete the second one. Or keep it and point/laugh. :)

            If anyone is concerned about their order or can’t find the details of it on IGG, please contact me through the campaign page and I’ll do everything I can to take care of you. Everyone who paid WILL get what they paid for. It’s taken a lot longer than anyone would have liked, but we’re in the home stretch now.

          5. Jim

            I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Tom Jones’ stand up response to my offhanded griping on the internets about the Indiegogo side of his Gadget campaign…

            I had no expectation of a response and was just responding to someone else’s mention of a product I had been a day-one backer of, that indiegogo had ‘misplaced’ my status on.

            Not only did Tom and his network of supporters notice I had a problem, Tom stepped up personally to address it in short order, and corrected it as soon as I followed up the next morning.

            In fact Tom’s records of my campaign participation were in better order than my own. As I expected, the issue was just a technical error of IGG not displaying my participation to me. At no point did Tom or his team not have me down for my product.

            In the event my comments were unclear, at no point did I believe that Tom had lost my money or that I was getting shorted by him. I was certainly irked by IGG making it look to me like I wasn’t a backer, and was worried I wouldn’t get my Gadgets.

            Even if I had never heard from Tom or gotten a product, I would have considered my money well spent supporting development of a product that I personally cannot wait to use. Anyone who has chided Tom and his team about product development time either doesn’t know what has gone on in his team (I didn’t), doesn’t have the background to understand its use, or doesn’t understand what it takes to bring a mature, machined weapons part to market.

            I am not only eagerly awaiting having a reason to thumb the back of my glock on reholstering (which I do anyway…habits from SIGs die hard), I am even more enthusiastic about having backed an excellent developer and businessman.

            Tom, thank you for your unparalleled and unexpected attention, and your perseverance in completing this project.

      3. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

        I don’t think I’d be interested in the Gadget and really don’t think I want folks introduced to shooting with a gun so equipped. Propper training would include a single grip from the holster to the holster and anything that gets your thumb from behind the grip is apt to put your finger back on the bang switch when you snag the gun on something trying to re holster.

        1. Tam

          Tim, ’80s Mech Guy,

          I don’t think you understand how the Gadget works or what it does. You don’t need to put your thumb anywhere special. You can draw the gun and fire it normally.

          1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

            Maybe I misunderstood, what I see there us a device that allows you to block the striker, momentarily with thumb pressure for theoretically safer reholstering. My problem with it is that you should train to grip the pistol with your firing grip as part of the draw/presentation then when the situation calls for reholstering ,whether things have gone admin or you need to treat a casualty or whatever, you put it back in the holster the same way it came out without ever shifting the grip. I think if you put your thumb on the slide plate during reholstering and the pistol snags on something or you miss the holster and fumble the gun instinct is gonna have you grabbing for the gun with all fingers including the one that ought to be outside the triggerguard at that point and indexed on the frame.
            Someone above mentioned doing the thumb thing and if he’s cool with it no problem but I personally don’t think it should be something that non gun folks, with minimal training, a lot of cops and casual/sometimes toters, ought to be trained to do. It adds a step to the process, and if you muff the reholstering might lead to the proverbial “Boogerpicker on the Bangswitch” The training time could be better spent on reps of reholstering with the trigger finger outside the triggerguard and the thumb on the other side of the grip and better control of the
            gun.

            Basically I disagree with any add on that requires you to shift to a less secure grip on a tool, that you probably won’t have your eyes on, which is unnecessarily perilous, IMHO,in the name of saftey.

          2. Tam

            Maybe I misunderstood, what I see there us a device that allows you to block the striker, momentarily with thumb pressure for theoretically safer reholstering. My problem with it is that you should train to grip the pistol with your firing grip as part of the draw/presentation then when the situation calls for reholstering ,whether things have gone admin or you need to treat a casualty or whatever, you put it back in the holster the same way it came out without ever shifting the grip.

            I misunderstood you; I’m sorry.

            However, in nearly every single class I’ve taken, putting one’s thumb on the back of the slide/hammer has been part of the reholstering process.

            On a hammer-fired DA gun, it lets you control the hammer and know if the trigger is fouled.
            On a 1911 or XD, it removes the web of your hand from the grip safety.
            On a Glock or other striker-fired gun, it ensures the slide does not get pushed out of battery.

            This is nearly universal standard practice these days, and I’ve seen it from Awerbuck, Kathy Jackson out at FAS, TLG, Pat Rogers, and others.

        2. Jim

          Thumb on the hammer reholstering is a training standard everywhere I’ve trained or worked. Except a few morons who would put their thumb on the hammer when at the high ready, I’ve never seen it translate into a safety or function issue. You shift your grip to reload, to decock, why not to reholster? It’s a major safety bonus for a minor change to your process.

  9. Docduracoat

    Is no one going to mention ” Israeli carry” if only to condemn it?
    Full magazine, empty chamber. ( safety, if present, set to fire position)
    You have to rack the slide to bring the gun into action.
    The drawbacks are that it takes 2 hands, is slower, but is the safest method of carry.
    And you are always shooting single action as the hammer is cocked from racking the slide.

    1. Hognose Post author

      That was actually the way that we were instructed to carry our .45s, back in 1979-80 or so. It was one of the most ignored orders ever given. I cannot recall if MPs carried chamber empty or hammer down on a loaded chamber. (On a pre-Series 70 Colt 1911, the second is not drop-safe, and the firearm can discharge if dropped, especially on its muzzle).

      Israel is in a tough spot. Given the relentless and inhumane terrorist threat, they have to have a lot of soldiers and police going about armed all the time (but there are probably more guns in my Dad’s golf club in Florida at any given Sunday brunch than there is in a similar setting in Tel Aviv).

      1. Miles

        Up to the last MP unit I supported that still carried the 1911, it was hammer down on a empty chamber.

    2. archy

      ***Is no one going to mention ” Israeli carry” if only to condemn it?
      Full magazine, empty chamber. ( safety, if present, set to fire position)
      You have to rack the slide to bring the gun into action.
      The drawbacks are that it takes 2 hands, is slower, but is the safest method of carry.***

      Nah. raise the pistol an inch or two in the holster, give it a quarter turn, and press down, then complete the full draw. This was the method used by Army MPs in the 1960s, likely before and after, and probably less safe than just condition one cocked-and-locked, but it’s how I carried and used my Browning GP during a half-dozen stints in Israel of six weeks to just under a year. [As an Army tank crewman, my 1911 was carried cocked and locked, sometimes not locked at all] The Israelis just weren’t terribly into handguns, their theory being that if you needed a weapon, you needed a rifle and at least a couple of magazines for it.

      BTW, a LOT of Israelis carrying Browning GPs/Hi-Powers, Hungarian FEG copies or Kareen Israeli clones used the *condition two-and-a-half* carry, in which the chamber is loaded, the hammer is on half-cock, and the thumb safety is in the up/safe position, in which position it locks the hammer and slide. This prevents the slide from accidentally (or otherwise) catching in the holster and chambering a round, and of course prevents the *quarter turn quick chamber* stroke. It doesn’t work with a M1911, of course.

        1. archy

          I think that photo was of a circa-1960 USAF Security Police NCOI [you can just see the letter *S* of *Security* on the armband/brassard on his left upper arm] during the final days of the USAF Ike jackets. At that time the USAF troopies were sometimes referred to as *Bus Drivers* by those of the other uniformed military services, the resembelence to a Greyhound Bus Company driver’s outfit of the period being fairly close. Of course you can now say that about the Army Class A Army Service Uniform, AKA *Dress Blues*.
          Oh, the glovce on the left side? If you don’t go for racking the slide in the holster via the *quarter twist and push* method, you can still get one off right quickly by slapping the rear sight with the flat- not a knife-edge Karate chop- of a gloved hand. You can even do it without the glove in an ewmergency, but you’ll llikely dsraw blood.

      1. W. Fleetwood

        I’m pretty sure the photo is one from Chic Gaylords book. The Handgunners Something, (Bible, Guide, Tools? Something. I remember it being a pretty good book, for its time. B. E. Lewis? I dunno.

        Sua Sponte

  10. Josey Wales

    I don’t like guns with two different triggers, by which I mean I want it to be the same every time. The one exception I make to that is the CZ75, because 1) It is capable of being carried cocked and locked and 2) it’s just such an awesome handgun. Also 3) I never carry the CZ75 anymore. Glock 17 or 19. Or both.

    Have no use at all for the Beretta 92 or any auto pistol made by S&W.

    1. John Distai

      There are some DAO’s that have it the same every time, except when decocked. And the pull doesn’t have to be heavy.

    2. BillC

      I guess my disdain for DA/SA comes from the Beretta M9. Not because it was a bad gun, I liked it. The M9 was accurate and has good trigger on Single Action. Also, the M9 works, anytime it didn’t it’s because many mags for it were from ’01 or the recoil spring was worn. Army maintenance and all.

      My subsequent “hate” for DA/SA came from the location of the decocker/safety on the M9. Waaaaay out in bum’f@ck Egypt on that slide. Sure, once could run with the it’d decocked and the safety off, but that is a bad play, because the safety WILL get brushed back on. I ran a Safariland Holster where it protected the decocker, but I can’t tell you how many times another individual’s M9 safety was disengaged and the hammer pulled back incidentally while in a Craphawk Serpa.

      I know most DA/SA pistols don’t have the decocker on the slide, but then that’s where the different trigger pulls come into play. Like another commentor said, DAO or SA all the way(even though I prefer a “safety-less” Striker). The DA/SA as a benefit of having one “safe” in the chamber, but decocked is moot, even to striker guns or cocked&locked Single Actions, because pretty much all pistols made in the past many decades all have firing pin blocks, even the herald 1911.

  11. looserounds.com

    Not a fan and never have been of DA’SA guns.

    either give me DAO or SA, and really all I want is SA

    A lot of effort is put into coming up with doctrine on why DA/SA is useful and what its good for. Thats a red flag to me that just says why it really is not good for much really. I just have no desire to have to cope with all that, His experiences are interesting and worth reading and I certainly like his thoughts. t
    The asinine idea that glock has a safety certainly make me take a look at DA/SA guns if I could not carry a 1911

    I will stick to my 1911 like I have for the last 35 years.

    1. W. Fleetwood

      I suppose, just to cause trouble, I should suggest the Rhodesian Carry, which is “It’s your dang pistol, and your dang posterior on the line, carry the dang thing however you think is right..”. (I paraphrase, the original was a bit earthier.)

      Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

      1. Boat Guy

        AKA “GrownUp Rules” unfortunately some large organizations feel the need to enforce lowest-common-denominator rules for purchasing and use. I became adept at the DA/SA guns because I was not offered any other choice (save perhaps being disarmed, a far worse choice and certainly grounds for being assigned “elsewhere”). My use of the SIG on occasion is dictated by magazine capacity, ammo commonality and the fact that my “dress” leather is for the SIG (or 1911)

  12. Aesop

    I’m with Andrew from the original reply: I didn’t realize this was news to anyone, or a thing, hitherto.
    I have all of the above flavors laying about or sitting in the storage area, somewhere.
    Having tried them all, the DA/SA and decocking safety of my original adoption-era 92F was never particular hard to get, or get over, but that being said, my go-to from then until now where needing a sidearm out and about was a high potential was/is still a 1911, cocked and locked, and what sits handy near the nightstand is a Smith Model 13 revolver, for which the decocking lever is still called a thumb.
    Forty years in, I’m still waiting for anyone to explain what difference, at this point, it makes.
    When you’ve gotten to the point that trigger pull is a critical concern when using a firearm, IMHO one has travelled pretty far into the weeds of the discussion.
    There may be someone, somewhere, who wrote a “There I was…” story wherein their trigger-pull choices and firing operation of a handgun was a critical plot-point in their tale of derring-do and personal defense exploits, but I cannot recollect any such offhand at the moment.
    But it fills the pages of a lot of gun magazines with something to wrap the ad-porn in, and unlike some men’s magazines, the gun sort have not seen any reason to eliminate the photographs and multipage shots as if that wasn’t the entire central point of the publication, so what they squeeze in between is seldom critical until it devolves to pure nonsense or unadulterated manufacturer’s marketing copy.
    NTTAWWT. Then it’s just comedy.

    1. Tam

      There may be someone, somewhere, who wrote a “There I was…” story wherein their trigger-pull choices and firing operation of a handgun was a critical plot-point in their tale of derring-do and personal defense exploits, but I cannot recollect any such offhand at the moment.

      I’ve listened in on long internet conversations with Darryl Bolke and Chuck Haggard, and others who’ve taken a few people at gunpoint and dumped some that didn’t want to get taken. I found it educational.

      https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?20652-Why-I-Switched-to-Double-Action-Semi-Autos-Lucky-Gunner&p=448672&viewfull=1#post448672

      1. Hognose Post author

        Thanks again. I read that thread from that point. There seems to be a real dichotomy between the voices of experience and some (younger) guys woofing $#!+. Particularly the brain-dead posting the “this is my safety” clip. (And yes, for the record, guys in that unit do use their GD safeties). The character is a composite, but supposedly the safety thing is based on a real encounter, and my speculation (< different” but in fact there is probably fewer pounds of resistance insulating you from an ND on a G19 or M&P than there is on a factory M4, safety off.

        Ideally your short gun should be holstered when you’re moving or doing anything physical, and that’s absolutely how they teach it in any course worth taking, but sometimes in the field that’s not possible or practical.

        I have actually used a lanyard. I have actually needed it. A guy I know lost his active duty career because he didn’t use one.

        Squawking about weight puzzles me. The weights of pistols are actually rather close, when you factor in the ammo; weight also has a big impact on the shootability of a compact firearm. In fact, the whole gunnie community goes nuts over small, minute really, differences between firearms that are of no practical significance in the real world.

        You’re better armed with a Model 36 with five .38 wadcutters than maybe 80% of criminals, and 100% if you’ve seriously trained with it. The big step is not from the Chief’s Special to the Glock 17, but from unarmed-and-unaware to the Model 36 and some SA.

        1. Tam

          The character is a composite, but supposedly the safety thing is based on a real encounter

          What I heard (friend of a friend) was that the dude in question had a carbine with an empty chamber, bolt forward, mag in the well. Essentially the M4 version of “cruiser ready”. Gets confronted by officer, exchange ensues during which the fact that you can’t have the safety on with the hammer down does not appear to process, and the famous line gets uttered.
          Bowden has tale related to him, interprets it as “Delta guys are so high-speed that they can run around with the safeties off on their long guns” and thus is legend born.

          1. Hognose Post author

            And, this is less true in Delta than in SF, but still, running the gun is only part of your job. Most of the best missions in SF have this dynamic where, if you’re busting caps, you’re teetering on the knife edge of mission failure. In the very best missions, no one ever knows you were there and you gotta go through the pain in the ass of ammo turn-in. Delta, SEAL Team SIX, those kind of guys, their mission is more often direct action, they are widow makers. Most SF missions (and a lot of white-side SEAL missions) are less kinetic unless you get into trouble (a la Murphy, Dietz, Axe and Luttrell).

            A guy can be a great shot and not be special operations material, but not many SOF guys are actually bad shots. They do exist though. One guy in B Co. 1/11th SF was legendary for his inability to zero. But if someone else zeroed his gun he could knock over enough silhouettes to pass, barely. I think we kept him because he had a bus license and didn’t mind driving the Blue Bird, and I’m only half joking about that!

          2. archy

            ***“The character is a composite, but supposedly the safety thing is based on a real encounter”

            What I heard (friend of a friend) was that the dude in question had a carbine with an empty chamber, bolt forward, mag in the well. Essentially the M4 version of “cruiser ready”. Gets confronted by officer, exchange ensues during which the fact that you can’t have the safety on with the hammer down does not appear to process, and the famous line gets uttered.***

            At the twice-annual Knob Creek Machinegun shoots in Kentucky, prior to 2000 or so competers were solemnly ordered to *keep their bolts back and safeties on* when carrying loaded magazines in place prior to letting fly. Unfortunately, with a submachinegun [as well as a couple of fairly uncommon rifle designs] that fire from an open bolt this is not at all the smart and safe way to go; neither are the *safeties* on such WWII era items as the MP40 or Sten especially positive, one reason the Uzi was fielded with a grip safety, AND a three-position safety/selector- AND a ratcheting bolt handle just in case the operator’s hand slips. My M3 greasegun was not much better [no manual safety, just the ejection port dust cover, and with the bolt *safely* back she was ready to rock. But at the time I’d had better than 35 years of experience with the M3/M3A1, and I never had a problem; others may find that their mileage may vary and objects in their mirrors may be closer than they actually are….

            ***Bowden has tale related to him, interprets it as “Delta guys are so high-speed that they can run around with the safeties off on their long guns” and thus is legend born.***

            The New Zealand SAS and other high-speeders have long been known to carry
            the issue L9A1 Browning GP pistol, with its notoriously tiny thumb safety in most issue versions, chamber loaded with the safety in the fire position, hammer back. Given a good holster and thorough and frequent training, there’s little problem, but other units observing the idea and trying the same had some accidents, at least one fatal. I’ve seen SLR rifles and M16A1 rifles and L2A3 and MP5 SMGs carried the same way.

            The *Browning Nines* are old history now though, replaced by H&K USPs for SAS and SIG226s for the Army; the Gen 4 Glock 17 has been announced as the SIG replacement starting this year with 1900 on order, though Kiwis I’m in touch with say they’ve not seen them yet. I just hope that as the new guys get their new handguns, they get really decent holsters to go with them.
            Incidentally, I keep hearing rumbles that the USMC intends to discontinue the issue of handguns to all officers below field grade.

          3. Tam

            archy,

            The New Zealand SAS and other high-speeders have long been known to carry
            the issue L9A1 Browning GP pistol, with its notoriously tiny thumb safety in most issue versions, chamber loaded with the safety in the fire position, hammer back.

            There is a huge, huge, HUGE difference between a holstered handgun and a slung long gun bouncing around against straps and snaps and buckles on one’s gear.

            The unit in question is religious about long guns having safeties on on long guns unless one is actually busting caps.

        2. Boat Guy

          Lanyards were a must in my business and I still find them very comforting – to the point of looking for someone to install some loops on handguns not so equipped.

        3. Aesop

          Point taken, Tam.

          “I have actually used a lanyard. I have actually needed it.”
          Ditto.
          There is no handgun I take or took out in nature that wasn’t lanyarded/dummy-corded in some way. Paracord and deep-sea fishing line are much cheaper than new weapons.
          It only takes moving around and finding a handgun someplace other than where you last left it, once, to drive that point home, if nothing else gets your attention first, like learning from others, say, or doing battalion-on-line across half a dozen grid squares of desert looking for some other idiot’s now-missing weaponry.

        4. archy

          ***I have actually used a lanyard. I have actually needed it. ***

          Me too. THough as a treadhead, we called them *dummycords* and they were overly prone to getting caught on bits and pieces inside the turret and driver’s compartment. Outside, not so much. Same reason for the tanker’s shoulder holster instead of the old M1916 [or modern nylon equivalent] hip rig.

          Dummycords were REALLY needed for compasses and CEOI radio code booklets, but those got stuffed down the shirt or field jacket more readily, and were less likely to snag on the tank’s interior accessories.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Infantry/SF names were “idiot cord” and “Ranger Assist Cord” — both of which, the Rangers also called it, in my day. Fine sense of humor, if coarse, the Rangers.

    2. Kirk

      I don’t think that trigger pull really makes a hell of a lot of difference, when you get down to it, because the stress of finding yourself in an actual honest-to-God life and death situation is going to have the average person’s adrenaline pumping to the point where they could very well be breaking things with their adrenaline-fueled overclocked strength. It’s a rare person that can keep calm and not dump the full contents of their adrenaline glands into their bloodstreams during these situations, and most of those I’ve met were people who didn’t fully appreciate the gravity of the situation they were actually in.

      What does make a difference, at least in my opinion, is the manual of arms for a given weapon. I did a lot of training with people in the military who really had no interest in firearms past what the Army required them to do in order to qualify, and not all of these people are either stupid or really bad soldiers–They’re just not interested in that aspect of things. Having been there, and done that, watching an actual Ph.D-holding field grade struggle with getting their M9 to work for them, I came to the conclusion that the Beretta 92 is not the pistol that the Army ought to be issuing to the majority of its pistol-carrying population. MPs, maybe–People of clue, certainly. The vast, unwashed majority? Give them the simplicity of the very binary Glock striker-fired system, and be done with it. Gaston Glock may not be the saint a lot of folks make him out to be, his pistols probably aren’t quite as perfect as the advertising says they are, but… The man got one damn thing right with the design: It is the gun for the lowest common denominator, when it comes to self-defense in the military setting, and in a lot of civilian ones.

      Why do I say this? Well, it’s simple: The gun is stupid-simple to operate, and nearly impossible to break. Glock started from a very different premise than a lot of designers do, with pistols: He was designing for the utter tyro, the draftee Austrian kid who had about enough training to be able to ID a pistol, and some minimal shooting time on a range. He did not design it for the expert, or even semi-experienced shooter–Everything about that pistol is geared towards providing that lowest common denominator soldier with an effective defensive weapon. Period. End of story–He didn’t design the damn thing for cops to carry and use as threat display, as we do here in the US. The intent with the Glock is very damn simple–It’s carried loaded, in a holster, and left there until the moment of exigency is reached, and then the soldier is supposed to draw the gun and eliminate the threat he’s presented with. As such, there is nothing in the design that comes between those two states. If the soldier needs to kill someone in defense of his mission or life, there are no separate controls to worry about, no difference in trigger pulls, and nothing at all that may prevent him from doing so due to his inability to hit the safety switch on the way to presentation. That’s the underlying philosophy of design: The danger isn’t the loaded gun, the danger is the threat that required drawing it. Thus, no safety. Think of the holstered Glock as being akin to one of those idiot-proof fire extinguishers you thrown into your glove compartment; stupid-simple, and not geared towards an expert operator. You use it when you don’t have time to think, or the likely user won’t be an expert.

      I disagree with the prevalence of the Glock with a lot of police forces here in the US, who tend to use the pistol as a signal that they’re “really getting serious” with people; it’s a threat display, for intimidation. A gun used for that really ought to have a safety on it, I think–Particularly if you’re going to be holding someone at gunpoint for relatively prolonged periods of time, and doing things like handcuffing them. The Glock does not lend itself to these situations; the mentality behind the design is that if it’s out of its holster, you should be using it to kill someone. As such, I’m happy to carry one as a civilian, and if I were arming up the military, I’d certainly lean heavily towards it. The sheer simplicity of it makes it very easy to train with, and the Glock was my go-to pistol for those folks who needed additional training with a pistol to qualify with the M9. Anyone I had who couldn’t qualify with the M9, I offered a private off-duty range session to, and took them out to a civilian indoor range with my Glock 19 and 200 rounds. If they were junior enlisted, I paid for the ammo, mostly because I wanted my qual stats up, and if they were commissioned, I had them buy it. Never once did I have someone who I trained on that Glock fail to subsequently qualify on the M9 on the next range we had–The usual problem was fear of the pistol, and once they got over that and recognized that they could shoot well with the Glock, transitioning them to the M9 was usually a piece of cake. After about the twentieth time I did this routine, I realized something: These people never should have been issued the M9 in the first damn place. The Glock is the lowest common denominator for an automatic pistol, and that’s what the lowest common denominator shooter ought to be carrying. The lack of a safety actually makes the damn thing more safe, counter-intuitively, because they can’t make the mistake of thinking that the safety is on, which factor has played a major role in every single negligent discharge I’ve been around. Give them the Glock, and they know that the gun is dangerous as long as it’s out of its holster. Much safer, that way, I’m afraid.

      1. RSR

        One of the best summaries of the Glock’s ideal use I’ve read.

        And I agree with it. Thank you for sharing.

        I don’t have any familiarity w/ the Gen4 glock grips, but gen 3 and earlier, I have long/large length fingers but medium hands. The Gen3 glocks fit my hand well and trigger length of pull is darn near spot on — feels similar to me to CZ75/variants SA trigger location. Point being, the glock seems to also potentially have issues w/ the ability to fit smaller (female) hands just like the beretta 92…

        One thing I have found is that glock grip angles, while not naturally pointing or ideal for me, do seem to allow the support hand to help reduce muzzle flip a little more with my wrist slightly canted down vs more naturally pointing guns like CZs or Sigs… That’s at the tradeoff of less wrist stability with my firing hand, for me at least, but presumably should result in slightly greater overall stability w/ 2 hands and perhaps slightly greater accuracy as well for new shooters as support hand can exert more control and firing hand can focus more on trigger pull… Personally, I don’t prefer this setup but found it interesting nonetheless.

        1. RSR

          One thing I should have noted earlier — my understanding is that the Austrian Army and Police both taught Israeli carry (empty chamber) with the Glock.

  13. Cap'n Mike

    Starting with the M9, everything I have been issued has been DA/SA, so I am not impartial.

    One thing I like about DA guns is they are easy to dry fire.
    For every 1 round I fire at the range, I have dry fired a thousand at home. Dry firing with a laser really gets you good at smooth trigger squeeze.
    All that dry firing has made me just as good, if not better with the first round Double Action as the second round single action on my P220 I carry at work.

    You can dry fire with a Glock, but the slide has to be racked after every trigger pull.

    Its also my opinion that a double action trigger makes an ND less likely.

    A DA/SA Sig is simple as it gets and perfect for Police work.
    You pull it out of the holster, squeeze the trigger and it goes bang, repeat as necessary. No safety to fumble with.
    After the threat is eliminated, and fine motor skills return, then worry about the decock lever and re-holstering. The 10 pound double action trigger is takes a deliberate trigger finger squeeze to set it off, and the 4.5 pound SA trigger pull is very nice for follow up shots.

    I have a couple of Sigs in different calibers, but I dont jump around to different platforms. If Sig made a P series in pocket carry size and weight, I would buy it in a heartbeat and dump my DAO mouse gun.

  14. Chuck Haggard

    What has been noted in this LG blog is stuff that was brought up by guys like Mas Ayoob in the 1980s, what’s old is new again.

    CONUS LE does a LOT of threat management, and not so much actual gunfighting. DA guns are better for most people, most of the time, for this job. Guys like Ernie Langdon proved that one can gun a DA gun well if they put the work in. Even so, real world CONUS defensive shooting has much, much more to do with staying clam under pressure, and not making bad choices, that being able to shoot 300 on the B8 bullseye, the shooting problems just aren’t that tough typically in real life, but oddly enough people still manage to fuck it up too often.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Yep. It’s actually like flying. It’s better to have (or be) a guy thats 90% judgment and 10% skill, than be THAT guy who’s 10% judgment and 90% skill.

      Judgment can actually be taught, but often isn’t for reasons of culture. (Can’t teach the guy who knows it all). They got around this in aviation by renaming judgment training “Aeronautical Decision Making.” A lot of the principles ought to carry over.

    2. Tierlieb

      Okay, the issue of LE threat management is something that I had not considered. That’s a huge cultural gap. My observation is that in Germany, if the gun comes out of the holster, it is not for threatening someone, but shooting them. If the gun comes unholstered, you already fucked up badly.

      Of course, the German police shoots as many rounds in anger per year as the NYPD misses in a given week, so… different cultures.

      With the Ex-Soviets, it seems similar when it comes to police an handguns. Police seem to be selected for physical characteristics there, and a lot of issues do not come up if the officer looks like they do not need the gun to break you in half.

      Not so much with military doing police work, these guys seem to like to shout at you with their rifles pointed at you. I remember one time in Belarus with Ministry of the Interior people, where I was actually so distracted that I only afterwards realized that I probably had been looking into the barrel (and the distinctive comp) of an AN-94… though geeking out about that would probably not have helped the situation anyway.

  15. Keith

    This had been a very instructive read in and of itself. I work contract security and recently qualified for armed status. My company issues Glock 17’s. I just don’t like a Glock for many of the reasons stated above. I’m carrying a Beretta 92FS I’ve had for 20 years or so.

    It was just a range gun in the past. Now that I’m carrying it and may have to depend on it I’m shooting it a lot more. 250-300 rounds a month so far. Today I went to the range. Humidity was so high due to rain that came in after I was done I had to take my glasses off. Made a vast difference in shooting at 25 yards.

    Due to the requirement to shoot the first round DA I do some shooting entirely DA. I have a larger hand so operating the safety/decocker is not a problem. Still after doing that 30 times I had to set the empty pistol down and shake my hand a little.

    The quickest time to qualify next year is two rounds in two seconds on target with draw from the holster then DA/SA fire. As I’m self training I’m working on thumbing the safety off as I draw the weapon. Our duty standard is to carry with a round chambered.

    Holstering with your thumb on the hammer is a fantastic idea. I had not actually been told that. Finger off the trigger till ready to fire is not an issue. I have been shooting for 40+ years and have always had that training. Of course since there is no such thing as an unloaded firearm you always have to maintain muzzle and trigger finger control.

    1. Hognose Post author

      No need for “safety on” with the Beretta 92, unless it’s a pre-92SF model that does not have a firing pin safety in which case it may not be 100% drop safe if dropped on a hard surface muzzle down. The 92SF, 92F, M9 all incorporate a firing pin safety. The DA trigger is sufficient safety to ensure a deliberate first trigger pull.

      That said, if “safety on” works for you and comforts your managers, there’s nothing really wrong with it. A lot of training these days seems directed at making you ready for the shootout in an old Western, like High Noon or something.

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