Do We Like Double Action or Single Action for Defense


March 7, 2009, 09:52 PM
First off this post is not about single action revolvers so they are thrown out. Sorry.

I am a fan of this: It has to be either SAO or DAO.

I like having the same trigger pull every time. I like my revolvers with DAO configuration. I do not want any way to be able to cock the hammer for single action. I always hear the fanciful ramblings of some who would like the SA capability on their revolver and find this somewhat unfounded. I understand that high accuracy long shot might need to be taken with a snubby but dang a snubby is a snubby. Why dont we put target sights on an LCP?

On that note though I love the 1911 and BHP for their single action capabilities. I would prefer a Glock or XD or DAK Sig to any pistol with a decocker. What are the rest of everyones opinions.

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March 8, 2009, 11:14 AM
Not sure I understand the point other than with DA/SA semiautos - which I like and sometimes carry. With a revolver, you always have the option of firing every shot double action. If you don't want to utilize the single action feature, use your discipline to operate it double action only.

Not every conceivable situation is a quick reaction scenario and not every handgun use is exclusively for defensive purposes. If your sidearm is a backup for your long gun and it goes down while you're still in a fight, are you going to let the attacker(s) close the distance on you so you can effectively use your point shooting skills? If you are at the store and some monster walks in with body armor and starts killing folks at random you have the opportunity for a planned shot to end it. You might take the opportunity to run (and I wouldn't blame you), or you can shoot him in the head from a distance and save some folks, or you can wait for him, or charge, to close the distance so you can use your reactionary skills.

Claude Clay
March 8, 2009, 11:24 AM
to each their own

whatever works for you.......
a 642 is accurate out to apples at 50 feet.
sig 239 da/sa 75 feet sub 3" either way.

practice what you have or keep trying other guns till you have what you want/are good with. not exactly a lack of different things to try being sold.

what 420 says is spot-on and goes a long way to why i do carry the sig239/40. very versital SD gun and a fun range shooter also. drop a 9mm bbl in it and it is a real soft shooter.

March 8, 2009, 11:28 AM
While I don't necessarily like the way the term DAO is applied in some cases it is all that I use on defensive guns. I prefer triggers of S&W M&Ps and Glocks. I'll carry a Kahr on occaision but don't like the heavier trigger pull with no early reset on subsequent shots. The only defensive revolver I have is a DAO SP101 which like the Kahr is not my number 1 choice due to the long heavy trigger pull.

So bottom line I like all my guns to have the same/similar manual of arms. Same trigger pull every time, no cocking/decocking and no manual safety.

Choose what suits you best and practice that way.

March 8, 2009, 11:33 AM
So bottom line I like all my guns to have the same/similar manual of arms. Same trigger pull every time, no cocking/decocking and no manual safety.

Perfect statement, I agree.

March 8, 2009, 11:38 AM
I prefer both options (SA and DA), but I carry a gun with a shrouded hammer. It can be cocked (for SA), but that's not the quickest way to go.
A shrouded hammer gun draws from a pocket holster easier. DA is probably a bit safer in a self defense situation outside one's home.

Inside my home, it's a standard spurred hammer gun.

March 8, 2009, 12:05 PM
So bottom line I like all my guns to have the same/similar manual of arms. Same trigger pull every time, no cocking/decocking and no manual safety.

That is certainly a sound approach for defensive purposes and I think anyone thus prepared is way ahead of most of us. My intent was not to criticize the OP so I hope it didn't come across that way.

I just personally prefer the single action option. My accuracy seems to be about the same when practicing reactionary shots no matter what platform I use with (DA, SA, DA/SA, or striker fired), but my accuracy is noticeably better with SA when I have just a little time to align the sights. When I have a lot of time, I'm about as good staging the trigger with double action. But there seems to be a middle area where I am more accurate SA that DA

March 8, 2009, 12:08 PM
Depends on the situation. I have a 4inch model 10 that I carry sometimes and nothing says ive got a gun on you like cocking the hammer back. But again I can shoot just about as good with DA so id be much more likely to use that if I ever needed to shoot in a hurry.

Ed Ames
March 8, 2009, 12:18 PM
What does "we" mean in this context? I'm pretty sure there is no "we". If there is a "we" it's probably rather divided on the subject.

I like the option of SA on DA guns. I have fired snub revolvers, single action, at 100 yard targets and hit. Of course we're talking 40" gongs and 4 shots out of 5 but there are plenty of times I'd take that shot. If you have a specific issue (clothing snags) then go for the hidden hammer... but, as a general rule, flexibility=good.

The inconsistent trigger isn't an issue I really care about. Practice more.

Far more important is whether a firearm can be loaded/unloaded without going through a "loaded, safety off, hammer back, single-action-trigger" stage.

There are quite a few guns, including 1911 pistols, most DA/SA pistols I've seen, quite a few bolt rifles, and even a few semi-auto rifles, that you must prepare for firing (disengage safety) or manipulate trigger (manually lower the hammer by pulling the trigger) in order to check for a chambered round. Given that some of those guns are prone to mechanical failures that allow the gun to fire if the safety is disengaged, that's capital-B Bad. Next to that, whether the first pull or every pull is long really don't bother me none.

March 8, 2009, 01:19 PM
My carry guns are either DAO or DA/SA, no single actions. TDA pistols are carried hammer down, safety off. I practice this way, and the change in trigger pull from first to subsequent shots is a non issue. For me (and many others, some who won't admit it), disengaging the safety is something not easily remembered. More times than I can count, guys forget to flip the safety-and this is in training or competition settings. I can only imagine how much higher the adrenaline level is in a real life or death scenario. By carrying safety off, but with the long trigger pull of a DA, I don't have to remember the safety, yet the 3/4" travel at 10+ pounds means that a slight finger twitch is not going to send a round down range unintentionally.

March 8, 2009, 01:57 PM
I prefer the DA system. There have been many instances when cops were holding suspects at gunpoint and accidentally pressed the trigger too hard in the adrenalin filled moments after the suspects had surrendered and a few have resulted in injuries and death. Of course, we all say "I would never do that!" but it would be wishful thinking. Anyone can make a mistake under stress. This is why some departments choose DA only.

Also, I am constantly taking my gun off and putting it back on as well as going from loaded to unloaded and it's just easier with a DA auto.

I love my 1911s and have carried them in the past but not for a long time. I now pack a DA auto.

March 8, 2009, 08:08 PM
Today seems to favor the double action as it might be safer for people who aren't firearms experts.

I personally like the consistent trigger pull of the single action not to mention it seems to work better for people (especially small females) with short fingers. I also think first shot accuracy is better with the single action.

I for one feel totally safe with a cocked-and-locked single action autoloader.

March 8, 2009, 08:43 PM
I like my guns so I never have any idea what the trigger pull will be like from shot to shot. Don't you?;)

March 8, 2009, 08:57 PM
Bill Jordan probably thought he was expert enough to be "totally safe."

Right up to the point where he accidentally shot and killed another Border Patrol officer.

I repeat, humans make mistakes and we are all human.

James T Thomas
March 8, 2009, 09:06 PM
If you first have to cock the hammer, and then pull the trigger, why isn't that called -double action?

And then with what is called "double action;" all that is required is to pull the trigger to fire. Single action.

I prefer the longer stroke of the double action. It seems to compliment keeping the front sight aligned.

March 8, 2009, 11:02 PM
If you first have to cock the hammer, and then pull the trigger, why isn't that called -double action?
The action refers to the trigger, not what you have to do to fire the gun. You have to cock the hammer for a single action because the trigger performs only one action: releasing the hammer. The double action trigger both cocks and releases the hammer.

I like the double action only, whether wheel or auto.

March 9, 2009, 05:36 PM
Why dont we put target sights on an LCP?

While we are at it we can toss an ACOG on my sling shot. ;)

March 9, 2009, 10:22 PM
If it improves accuracy I'm for it. thats why I prefer SA for self defense. I just wish my 1911 held 16 rounds like my Glock does. I wish I didn't have to trade comfort and style for capacity and reliability.

Wesson Smith
March 9, 2009, 11:45 PM
I'm just a better SA shooter. Always have been, although I practice quite a bit in double action mode with my guns that feature it. My goal is to get to the point where the difference is negligible. In my mind, a lot of it involves hand strength with regards to DA. I keep a Gripmaster at my desk, and pick it up whenever the spirit moves me. Having said that, there's no substitute for trigger control. To me, the incremental process of working to become the best shot I can be is a labor of love. ;)

March 10, 2009, 12:03 AM
SA all the way.

March 10, 2009, 09:35 AM
SAo here too. If overcoming the DA first shot was a little of a problem as some believe it to be, there would be a heck of alot more DA/SA guns in USPSA.
I would use a DAO of safe action instead of SAO long before DA/SA.

Muscle memory is a powerful thing.

March 10, 2009, 08:57 PM
I've had both SAO and DAO, and if I had to choose, I would probably take SAO, but in reality, I prefer DA/SA, and don't even own any SA guns anymore, except for my little Beretta 950.

March 11, 2009, 02:26 AM
SA. I have two DA/SA pistols and no DAO's. Both my DA/SA pistols have horrible DA triggers.

March 11, 2009, 01:25 PM
DA/Sa no other way because I just like a gun with a hammer ; not a fan of striker fired pistols.

March 11, 2009, 01:50 PM

Striker, grip safety. No fiddling, no fumbling, no extra controls, every shot feels the same. Long but light trigger pull to make it easy to control in a defensive situation.

This is not what I want for a toy, but it's a hell of a gun for a self-defense tool, IMO.

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