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DA/SA action and how to learn it? online articles?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by phantomak47, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Well-Known Member

    I am wanting to learn/ master the DA/SA action and I was wondering if there are any online articles that go into detail with regards to learning it. Any comments are welcome.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    Good luck. My brother bought a smith 9mm da/sa. I shot it da & when the trigger reset in sa mode I thought I had a jam. I looked at the pistol, pointed it downrange and pulled the trigger. It went bang. I put the decocker on and handed it back to him. Never again.
  3. franconialocal

    franconialocal Well-Known Member

    What do you mean by "learn it"? Can you clarify your question a bit??

    Is this what you are looking for?......

    DA/SA basically means that the first pull of the trigger (double action e.g. BACK then FORWARD action of the hammer) will have MORE LBS. OF PULL to cycle the hammer back before it then comes forward again and strikes the firing pin. How many LBS. of pull will depend on the firearm, manufacturer, style, any custom trigger jobs, etc. After that, the action of the slide coming back will reset the hammer into SINGLE ACTION, meaning that the hammer will then already be back and ready to be fired again. Now, the LBS will be much less and the trigger "travel" may be longer to get to the point of release. WORK ON FINDING THE "reset" POINT of the break for better control and consistency. On the last round, typically, the action will then stay open and be ready to fire again in SINGLE ACTION when the new mag is inserted and slide release puts the round into battery. If you don't chose to shoot (for whatever reason) many sidearms have a "decock" mechanism that will cycle the hammer back to "normal"(e.g. double action) but guards it from striking the firing pin. At this point the firearm will be in double action again.

    For example, the popular 1911 style of firearms is SA ONLY, meaning that the hammer MUST be back to start with (if not you can pull on the trigger all day and it won't do a thing). This is usually coupled with a thumb safety, grip safety, or a combination of both (or none??).

    IMHO....a DA/SA firearm should always start in DA mode, but I do hear stories of people intentionally cocking the hammer prior to firing. If you do this, be VERY AWARE of trigger discipline because, again, the LBS. of pull will be much less. I would advise against carrying a DA/SA for CCW in SA mode.

    Hope this helps!!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  4. gwnorth

    gwnorth Well-Known Member

    Get one and get out and shoot it. Seriously, the only way to learn to deal with the DA to SA transition is to shoot it, a lot. That's how I did it (first with a SIG P226R in 9mm) - load, chamber, decock, shoot DA shot, shoot SA shot, decock, repeat.
  5. PPGMD

    PPGMD Well-Known Member

    Shoot it a lot, proper sight alignment, and trigger control is all that is required.
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    If you get really good with a DA/SA action, all other action types will be easy by comparison.
  7. rduckwor

    rduckwor Well-Known Member

    Practice grasshopper, practice. Lots of rounds down the range.

  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Ernest Langdon showed it was possible to take the crunchenticker to the championships (of IDPA) first with Beretta, then Sig-Sauer. (He now works for S&W.) He describes the approach he uses at Fear Not, the Double Action Shot:
  9. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Well-Known Member

    thanks watson, that is what I was looking for, I guess I should have clarified what I was trying to say, I meant that I would like to master the transition from the double action first shot to the single action. In the past I have had a hard time jerking the trigger on the first pull, which threw off not only my first shot, but my second one as well. I am not new to this system.
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    there really is very little to learn about the transition...you simply only let the trigger out to the reset point and than take up the slack again.

    the thing to master is the DA trigger stroke. if you can get a smooth letoff in DA, you'll be ready for any trigger you'll encounter.

    i remember reading Langdon's article, years ago, but it made alot more sense when i finally took a class from him...back when he was still shooting the Beretta. it finally all came home when i took a class from Bruce Gray who was shooting for Sig at the time.

    which pistol are you trying to learn on? the easiest is a medium framed S&W wheelgun
  11. porterdog

    porterdog Well-Known Member

    LOL, cribbing some very useful advice from THR's Shotgun forum:


    Buy Ammo
    Use Up

    Meet the gun; it's not that hard.
  12. Muddflap

    Muddflap Well-Known Member

    Get some snap caps, and practice dry firing.
    Concentrate on the front sight, and keep working until you can pull the DA trigger, without moving the sight.
    Then do what gwnorth said. Before long you will master it. At this time in my life, there are no guns that I would rather have than my DA/SA Sigs. I do not feel disadvantaged at all by the DA first pull.
  13. sophijo

    sophijo Well-Known Member


    shoot the piss out of it. Get some instruction. Shoot it some more....keep it going. Have fun.

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