Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to be one who condemned the DA first shot or DAO feature of some autos as superfluous, but no longer. I've found a role in which they do outshine the single action auto: backup gun.

One of the important jobs of the backup gun, and arguably the most important, due to the immediacy of the involved threat, is to save its owner's life when he is in a close-quarters struggle for his primary. This requires that he, under what is probably the single most severe stress that one can experience in a lethal force encounter, draw his backup, and with what will most likely be a less-than-ideal grip, get it to a spot where he can put a few rounds into his assailant, without hitting himself. In this situation, it is probably best to not have to be worried with fumbling for a safety, especially if that safety is strong side, since he is now using the gun in his off-hand. Sure, he could practice manipulation of the safety in these circumstances, but it's much easier, quicker, and more fool-proof to simply eliminate the need for its operation.

A DA auto does this handily.

As an afterthought, they're also great for holsterless IWB carry, since they make this mode of carry safe with a loaded chamber.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IMHO a DA/SA autopistol has a legitimate purpose for existence in the role of a pocket auto, where the thumb safety of a SA auto can be wiped off during pocket carry. And these little items are largely arm's-length, point-defense arms where the potential accuracy loss of a crunchenticker is probably of no great consequence.

(Yes, I do really like Walther PPK's, Mauser HSc's, Sig 230/232's and such, but only when a handgun in a full fighting-caliber isn't practical or possible.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Hello chubby,

Here's my take on the subject, I would suggest that the SIG 226 DAK is not to be considered a marginal back up gun and it is the handgun of choice for the Texas Rangers Uniformed Division. Also the SIG 220 DAK handgun is offered in a very formidable .45 ACP caliber.

Mr. Camp has written some excellent articles on two that he has recently purchased.

Over the years, I have handled a number of DOA autos and many were equal to or better than some revolvers I owned at the same time. The SIG DAK is one of them and I am comtemplating buying a P229 DAK.

The advantages over a single action automatic are very notable and worth considering.

I also, I would never advocate "holsterless" carry as that is accident waiting to happen with any handgun. Controlling the handgun in carry as is equal in importance to in handling it in action.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Nice write up chubbypigeon, you bring up some interesting points.

Here's my opinion on the issue....

I can understand somewhat condemning DA/SA autos for obvious reasons however, DAO pistols make sense, at least in the consistency area. (BTW, though I personally don't care for DA/SA operation, it isn't THAT big of a problem to overcome).

I can not and do not recommend holster-less carry, especially IWB, again for obvious reasons, safety being primary, that I'm sure we're all well aware of.

Generally considered the accepted or proper way to carry a DA/SA automatic is, once the weapon is loaded and holstered, the safety is in the "off" position. This enables operation similar to that of a revolver and eliminates the "extra step" on catch manipulation. Thus the reason for the DA/SA system.

As far as the secondary handgun is concerned, my preference here is a weapon that is identical to, or nearly so, to the primary firearm i.e. M10:primary and M36:secondary, etc.

"Keep it simple and it will work every time"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Kilogulf has summed it up nicely, IMHO. Every pistol or revolver in my possession as a defense weapon (car, home, on myself) is a "point & pull trigger" device. If ever in a lethal force situation, that determination of whether to use or not should consume all my attention--not the mechanics of the gun's operating features I happen to have in hand at the time.
Back to the 'KISS' principle.
Regards, G>M>F>
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't carry without a holster by choice, either. That doesn't mean I don't still have to, sometimes. If I wake up to a knock at the door, early in the morning, for instance, I don't have time to don a holster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
I have had a Beretta 96 for years. Double action first shot, single action thereafter. I've shot it so much that I do not even think about it any more. It takes no attention at all. When I hold that gun in my hand, my body knows what to do. Muscle memory, I guess they call it.

I used to shoot IPSC with it and did no worse than when using a revolver or a 1911.

The Beretta is one of my favorite carry pieces. Very concealable, no sharp or rough corners anywhere, completely reliable, and ballistically, it is pretty much the .41 special I wish they made.

I'm not ragging on anyone else's opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I like my Beretta too but it is a "G" model--that really does "take no attention at all" as you put it. There still is that question--is the safety on or off--with other than the 'G' or DAO models when you really need to fire in a hurry. For carry I like the P239DAK. Just like a revolver to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
One of my main "gripes" with typical DA/SA autos is the extra bore height as compared to a single action. This causes more barrel flip for me, requiring more time to get back on target. I've been shown this on several occasions during timed IDPA matches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
While I don't mind DA only, I simply have no use for DA/SA. I have seen a lot of shooters make beautiful music with them ("The operator and not the equipment"), I simply do not like them well enough to own one. And, the only two ADs I have ever had (knock on wood) were with the DA/SA transition. But, I have seen them sing! I dislike things that interfere with my view of the world...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Hi guys,

first post.

the first firearm I learned to shoot was the M16, so cocked and locked is natural for me, but has its disadvantages.

DAO is the fastest shooting since there is nothing to disengage.
DAO is arguably the easiest in the event that you need to pass off one of your guns to a friend/partner who is not very familiar with firearms.
without a safety to disengage, it will fire when he/she pulls the trigger.
since the trigger cocks the action, there is no fear of carrying a cocked gun that the person either doesnt know how to decock or doesn't know how to place on safe.

DA/SA is nice because it can be as fast as DAO on the first shot.
I used to think that this was the worst option of the bunch, but in close quarters, you might not be able to disable the safety on time, so when speed is of the essence, and the target is in spitting distance, the heavy trigger is not a disadvantage.

In premob training we did house clearing drills. everytime we finished clearing the room, we put the firearm on safe and moved to our next position. we only took it off as we prepared to enter another room.

One time in training I was about to clear a doorway, expecting to see a "guard." i saw him but as i was disengaging the safety, my gloved thumb slipped. it cost me a second but i still got it off an let loose two rounds. the instructor grading us thought it was a long enough delay that i would have gotten shot in a real firefight, so they called "man down" and proceeded to perform buddy aid on me to stop the bleeding. anyway, i guess the point is, even with training, safeties can fail or can cost you your life.

technically, i could have disengaged the safety prior to entering the door way but we had been taught to always move with safety on. besides that, i also didnt want the noise of disengaging the safety to alert anyone around the corner. I ended up cutting out the thumb of my glove to give me better feel and control of the trigger but it definitely made me less keen on manual safeties.

When I first bought my glock I was a little concerned about it not having a manual safety but then i bought a kydex holster that completely covered the trigger and triggerguard, so without unholstering it, there was no way to negligently discharge the firearm. it would probably be safe enough to hide under the pillow but the thought of it makes me too nervous so I just keep it by the bedside at night. i practiced a lot in front of the mirror, with no mag and an empty chamber, doing unholstering drills. the ultimate safety is between your ears but a good holster also helps.

my favorite is still DAO revolver. even with one hand, you can still cock it and chamber another round. a revolver is the ultimate back up gun. you dont need to worry about racking the slide, disengaging the safety or wondering about whether the magazine is seated right. a misfire drill for a revolver consists of one step; squeeze the trigger.

doing training with the m16, i got a lot of practice doing clearing drills and slapping the magazine. its not brain surgery, but if you dont practice it and learn to do it fast, it could cost you your life.

my glock hasnt failed to fire or eject yet, but there is just something comforting about a revolver knowing that in a worst case scenario, the most you ever need to do to make it fire is pull the trigger.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
Welcome to the board, Nelson.

All, personally I prefer a full-size duty style pistol that can be carried either way. Best of both worlds IMO. I've even been known to carry cocked'n'UNlocked if I have a strap between the hammer and firing pin - no that it would make much difference if the hammer were knocked off without the trigger being pulled, as it has an intercept notch to catch it before contact with the firing pin and a firing pin safety - the thing just isn't going to fire unless the trigger is pulled. The manual safety is redundant.

Josh <><
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
While I am not the most experienced with concealed carry, I would not recommend that anyone carry a SA auto cocked and unlocked. There are alot of things other than ones trigger finger that can enter that trigger guard. Just my opinion.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually, nelson, on DAO being the fastest, if you do like many experienced shooters do on a SA, and let your thumb ride the safety, it disengages automatically when you take your firing grip, and is no slower than a DAO. In fact, the shorter trigger pull makes it marginally quicker.

As for moving with the safety on... That's one of those things that will go by the wayside in a real fight. In my case, at least, the safety goes on only when the gun is about to leave my hand, either to enter a holster, in which case it prevents something from getting between the holster and trigger, and causing a discharge, or when I'm about to lay it on my nightstand, to provide an extra level of safety, in case some weird course of events causes me to roll over and hit the gun with my hand, while asleep.

If the gun is in my hand, I am the safety.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anybody else just unholster their weapon and check the safety? :)

I'm with Josh, in that I like a DA/SA that gives me the option of carrying cocked and locked. When I was younger I had a S&W 22A that would misfire about every fifth or sixth round and it kinda made me parnoid about getting misfires in my other handguns. I like the idea of just being able to pull the trigger again if my primer doesn't go. At the same time, I've never experienced a misfire in a centerfire weapon, so my preference might be a little unfounded. Right now my primary carry is single action, though. I'm getting more comfortable with it. ~Pistolero

P.S. I think a lot of people, including myself, have had to stick a handgun in their wasteband at one time or another. Doesn't mean it's a good idea, but it happens. Just be sure not to blow anything off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Re: DA/SA and the like...

I first learned to shoot handguns with a series of Model 19 revolvers. When I bought my first semi-auto, I bought a Glock 17, because it was the most "revolver-like;" consistent trigger pull, no active safety, built like a tank.

However, when I first got turned on to Browning Hi Powers about two years ago, I really really liked them because they fit my hand so well, yet held lots of bullets, and were sleek and trim (i.e. very concealable for a full-size pistol). The downside was that I had to learn to operate a safety for the first time.

So nearly everynight for month, I executed 20-30 repetitions of drawing and operating the safety, getting my sights on target, and (dry) firing the first shot. That added up to well over a thousand presentations. Operating the safety became a non-issue. I have a callous on my right thumb where it presses on the safety lever. It is certainly no slower than drawing the revolver or the Glock.

With a DA semiauto, when one gets a click instead of a bang, it is handy to be able to hammer the primer a second time -- IF the problem is a slightly balky primer. On the other hand, if the problem is a dud primer (and I have had a few of these, that never fired no matter how many times I hammered it) or no cartridge is in the chamber, then that second pull just delayed executing an immediate action drill. That is why I have learned only two immediate action drills, to be executed in the same order, if the gun doesn't go bang. One is the tap-rack-resume, which covers reluctant primers, dud primers, failure to feed, failure to eject, slide out of battery, what have you - I don't have to diagnose the problem beyond "it didn't fire." If the first drill does not result in a bang when I want it to, then I rip the magazine out, vigorously cycle the slide a few times, slap a new mag in, rack, resume. This covers jams of various types, magazines gone bad, what have you. (If that doesn't work, its back up gun/knife time!) So the point of this is that the second-strike feature of DA and DAO guns is not a big player for me.

I think a DAO gun is useful (as I noted, I learned on them), as CP noted as a backup gun for reasons I described in another thread on BUGS - if I need to arm someone else, it is pretty simple for him to figure out the manual of arms. DAO/striker-fired guns like baby Glocks and Keltecs and Kahrs are in the same category here.

I have tried DA/SA guns, and am not enamored of the heavier first trigger pull followed by the light pulls -- but there is this Astra A-75 at the pawn shop that is a pretty nice little pistol. Hmmm....If I can just get Richard to come down a bit more on the price.....:)

elb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
My proceedure with autos has been that any time it is in a correctly fitted holster and on my person it it loaded.

If its sitting on a nightstand or car seat, stuffed into a waistband, or next to me at the puter or any other case where its not under my complete control with the trigger covered, it has a full mag -1 and an empty chamber.

Doesn't matter if its DAO, DA/SA, SA. striker fired, or what.


This works for me; not trying to push it on anyone else.


Regards,

Pat
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But notice that both of the DAOs you have fit precisely the role I describe: Pocket-carryable backup gun.

See, they have a place!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top