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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
something I have been turning over in my head ...
Why do you choose single action?
or, if you choose double action, why?
thanks for your sharing your thoughts.
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Hi there,

Over the years, I have pondered the same question as well.

After competing in the Mid-Nineties, the first reason was "speed". I could and many other competitors could get the single action into action faster. The second was design. Many double action only and TDA autos had very heavy first shot trigger pulls and the first shot was a "throw away" shot for many. Most single action designs also permit a condition one "cocked and locked" carry that is simply faster than many other designs.

The second reason is ergonomics. Most single actions were single magazine designs and the grip/grip frame is more "pointable" and comfortable in the hand. Of course the exception is the HP, but I still find it the most suitable for accurate shooting.

I have tried many other double action and TDA designs, but always come back to the single action for fast and accurate shooting.

Chris
 

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I'll echo some of Chris's thoughts about the ergonomics and speed, as well as that all important first shot accuracy. With a couple of DA autos I've had, I felt that the first shot was so bad I might not even survive to a second shot should I get into a gunfight.

With time and *lots* of practice I've gotten proficient with two DA autos, the Beretta and the CZ75, though on the few occasions I've carried the CZ, it's been in Condition One (the ability to carry cocked and locked is a big reason I like the CZ so much).

When it comes to first shot accuracy, give me a Browning designed SA auto with a thumb safety. It's a setup I've used for a very long time, and I'm extremely comfortable with the way things work. While I might sometimes carry a DA auto, I usually fall back on what's comfortable and effective for me. YMMV, of course.
 

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Simplicity.

I haven't been to a ton of classes, but in most of the ones I have been to, someone with a DA auto will try to holster without decocking at least once if not more. And/Or, at some point, a DA shooter will start to press off a shot and be surprised to find the pistol decocked when they expected it to be cocked, or vice versa.
If it happens there, it will happen in real life.

With a SA, it's either cocked or it isn't.
The safety is either "on" or it isn't.
Being at my thumb, I should know where that safety is positioned at all times.
If the hammer is cocked and the safety "off", it goes bang by the same trigger pull as always.

It's hard to be simpler.

I suppose it could be said that a Glock is simpler in that respect, but they have enough negatives to offset that positive- in my opinion.
 

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I've never like cocked and locked. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I never cared for Colt 1911s.

I realize for SA autos it offers some speed as opposed to cocking. But with DAs?

I have several DA autos and carry one in the chamber, hammer down.

To me, C&L is a hold over from pre-DA autos.

Don't get me wrong. If it works for you that's fine though I suspect it's because it's a habit from practice.

Here's the question I ask those who espouse C&L.

If a DA or SA revolver had a safety, would you also carry it C&L? If your answer is no, what's different about the revolver?

If your answer is yes, please explain it to me.

Not looking for a fight, just trying to understand the logic behind the answers.

Regards,

Steve
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You do not say D/A vs S/A revolvers or pistols. I will deal with revolvers first. I prefer S/A revolvers for hunting and long range sessions with heavy magnum calibers. Why? The S/A revolver rolls in your hand when fired and therefore handles recoil better. D/A revolvers are easier to load and unload.

S/A pistols have a uniform trigger pull, you do not have to switch between long and heavy and a short light trigger. In general, my shooting is better with the S/A pistol. Shooting a S/A 1911 safely requires rote skills and once memorized the S/A pistol just plain feels right in your hand. My two favorite semiautomatic handguns are the 1911 and the Browning High Power.

Regards,

Richard
 

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Perhaps I misunderstood the question.

I was assuming that Peter was referring to a handgun used for defensive purposes as opposed to other forms of shooting like hunting, target, etc.

If given my druthers, I would shoot either revolvers or semiautos by SA for the reasons Richard gave.

But for defensive work where time is of the essence and it's necessary to draw, DA if it's available, not cocked and locked.

Steve
 

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Hello,

To me nothing comes close to the Elegant, Classy High Power & 1911. There slimness makes them carry & shoot better than anything I'm aware of, plus, the Single Action Manual of Arms is just Iceing on The Cake.

The FN High Power & 1911 has World Class that will Never be out-done by anyone, not even FN's modern day designers.

Take Care,
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"But for defensive work where time is of the essence and it's necessary to draw, DA if it's available, not cocked and locked."

Steve - could I get you to elaborate on that?

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Hello. I personally find it easier to get hits quickly with SA than DA in automatics. In the real world and at close arm's length range, I truly don't think that the DA suffers much for the first shot and the transition from DA to SA with some pistols has not been very troublesome for me; that does not mean that I prefer them to the consistent SA shot from first to last. Had I been required to carry a DA/SA auto while in police work, I would have practiced cocking the hammer on the way up, right after the off-hand grasp the pistol for support so that I could cock with my off-hand thumb while maintaining a solid grip on the pistol. We did some this in some firearms classes for tactical officers required to use DA/SA pistols in some cases and it worked out pretty well.

(With a smooth DA revolver, I'd probably go DA for all the shots, particularly if the action let me stage them. I might go SA if required to make a very difficult shot, say a headshot @ 35 yards or farther, if using a revolver.)

One of the reasons I like the CZ line of pistols is their ability to be carried cocked-and-locked, but given a choice for a holster gun for uniform wear, I'll cast my lot with the single-action auto, namely a Hi Power or 1911.

As has been mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the simplicity of design and the ability to completely strip the pistol if necessary. Time and again, my duty gun would wind up drenched in the rain, but no problem; it was easy to detail-strip and clean. I'd have been a bit hesitant to try this with some of the more complicated DA/SA designs.

I guess in the final analysis I prefer the SA auto because for X number of hours of practice, I've seen folks advance a bit farther skill-wise than the same number of hours with the DA/SA auto. That said, some people simply do not have a choice. I differ from some in that I do not subscribe to the idea that the first shot must always be fired DA. I believe that there are instances when the SA first-shot from a DA auto is the way to go, such as was mentioned toward the first of the post.

Best.
 

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Peter,

I'm not a fan of cocked and locked carry for semi autos regardless of whether or not they may have DA capabilities. IMO it's not safe (for me).

Every carry that is short of having the gun in your hand is some type of compromise. That's where cops have the advantage over non-LEO. It's OK for them to have their guns in their hands while often doing their duties. For the rest of us, that's rarely possible so it
 

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I'm going to try to address some of your points one at a time over a few posts.


I realize that there are those who do carry C&L (in a SA only pistol) and may gain a slight (very slight) gain in speed provided they can remove the safety (which requires fine motor skills during a stressful encounter) while drawing.
As I posted above, I like SA autos for their simplicity of operation. I suppose some may do it for speed, but I don't know of any, so cannot respond to that part of the above quote.
But, you have mentioned operating the thumb safety a couple of times like it was a complicated task. I don't see it that way at all. It seems natural to place the thumb at the safety as part of grasping the gun while still in the holster. While it should not be moved until the gun is on target (my opinion), it can be done at any point after obtaining a grip on the gun.

I sure do not consider it to be a fine motor skill, any more than obtaining a firing grip is.

I consider it much harder to operate the DA trigger skillfully than to operate the SA's thumb safety. And I don't find the DA trigger the insurmountable task some make it out to be.
I do, however, find it to be an additional skill, or task, that has to be learned and practiced... that can be avoided by chosing a SA pistol.
 

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[quote:cft5dqo4]
Since most gunfights occur well-within 7 yards, the DA trigger pull only requires gross motor skills and no fussing with a safety. And if you can
 

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I still believe that carrying C&L offers little gain if any, at the price of safety and unless well-practiced can be slower than DA.
I think it offers the gain of simplicity, which can result in being "safer" by reducing the risk of operator error.

In my first post in this thread, I mentioned seeing DA shooters in classes forget to decock, or expect a DA trigger pull when the gun was in fact cocked (or the opposite). Any of those instances may have been caused by the simple fact that there is more "going on" with a DA auto. This was in training, which is relatively low stress compared to a gunfight.
In a "situation" there is enough going on without having to keep track of whether I thumb-cocked my DA for a better trigger pull or not, or if I decocked after thumb cocking or shooting.

And, the decocker/safety is usually located somewhere like the slide where the thumb has to move to it. If one has to move to it, it may not get done. I've also seen DA shooters try to fire their gun with the safety "on" because they forgot they had it on, or it got knocked there when operating the slide. With the thumb safety being right at the thumb as with a 1911/HiPower, odds are greater of it being where you want it.

In addition, safety is the shooter's responsibilty. If one is going to have an accident, they will probably find a way with any gun or system.

As far as speed goes, I find that I slow down with a DA first shot. This can certainly be trained out, but it's just another complication added that the simplicity of the SA forgoes.
 

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And if those who shoot extremely fast with SA revolvers have to pull their hammer back, why can those with SA autos not do the same?
Well, we're comparing a game (fast draw SA revolvers shooting blanks from purpose-built holsters) with practical defensive handgun use (SA autos loaded with live ammo from what is often a concealment holster), but...

The reason is the shape of the gun, or, ergonomics. The SA revolver was designed to be thumb-cocked before firing, has no provision for cocked carry, and it's design is shaped accordingly.

When fast drawing the SA revolver, the fingers curl around the front of the grip, while the thumb "waits" before closing around the gun. As the thumb closes, it naturally passes into the hammer, pulling it down and back, cocking the gun. The gun can be drawn before fully closing the thumb.
In fact, if you look at really fast SA revolver shooters, you'll see that they start cocking the gun while STILL IN THE HOLSTER. The holsters are steel lined in the cylinder area, if not the entire holster, to ensure clearance for the cylinder to rotate.

The shape of a SA auto is a lot less facilitating for fast thumb-cocking. Sure, it can be done, but never as fast as an equal amount of practice with a SA revolver will give- time better spent practicing other skills.
 

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Hello. As expected when I first saw the thread, there would be divergent points of view.

That is fine. Nothing says that we all have to agree.

I appreciate the way that no one has stepped over the line in defending their beliefs on this issue.

I'm just posting this to make sure that no one does.

Thank you all in advance.


I have not experienced the loss of enough fine motor skill in a fight-or-flight, life-or-death situation to fail disengaging the thumb safety nor to remove my focus from the threat the the front sight when preparing the shoot. That does not mean that it cannot and does not happen. Likewise, several men I've been acquainted with over the years I was in LE suffered no such problems with their SA autos.

In my opinion, the key is practice, such that disengaging the thumb safety is hard-wired into the subconscious.

Now, when I draw and try to shoot a revolver, Glock, etc at speed, I find myself wiping off an imaginary thumb safety! Doesn't hurt a thing, but the reverse is probably not true.

Best.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I started shooting hand guns five years ago. I was fortunate at the time that my "coach" owned a range and a store carrying just about every brand of pistol. As I Possessed little experience and very limited ability, he allowed me to rent anything in his shop in search of the best first gun for me. Long story short, the 1911 was hands-down the easiest gun for me to shoot accurately.

As to releasing the thumb safety, if one uses a high grip so that your thumb ends up resting on top of it, it becomes second nature.

Nowadays I don't own a 1911. I'm more interested in revolvers. And for various reasons, my self-defense guns are Glocks. Again, though, they feature a single-type of short pull with a fast reset and low bore axis.

Max
 
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