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DAO questions....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by natedog, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. natedog

    natedog Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Bakersfield, California
    All right, I'm going to try and analyze the different pistol action types:

    1. Single-Action (SA)
    Single action was the original firing mechanism for a pistol. There's usually a manual safety and/or a grip safety. The pistol is supposed to be carried "cocked and locked" (round chambered, hammer back, safety engaged).

    2. Double-action/ Single action (DA/SA)
    Some were uncomfortable with having a hammer back on a live round, and there were many negligent discharges by poorly trained soldiers, so DA/SA was developed. The pistol is carried with the hammer down on a live round, and the first trigger pull brings the hammer back and drops it on a round. Each subsequent pull is in single action. Usually there is a decocker/manual safety that will drop the hammer and prevent the trigger from being pulled.

    3. Double-action only (DOA)
    Some didn't like the fact that DA/SA have two trigger pulls, so they opted just to have one pull (albeit long and hard) rather than two pulls. Pistol is carried hammer down. The only safety is the long, hard trigger pull.

    Is all this right? Now this brings me to my main point of my post- I simply don't understand DAO pistols with light, short triggers (SIG DAK series or HK LEM). The safety on DAO pistols is the long heavy triggers, so what do you gain in having a super light DAO pull over single action?
  2. cornbread2

    cornbread2 member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Columbia Kentucky
    In some cases you gain 100% drop safety with a DAO design compared with some SA designs.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    There is no comparison between a semicocked DAO like a DAK or LEM and a crisp SA. (Yes, I know you can get Glock triggers so light as to be no different from holstering a SA with the safety off.) With even the lightest DAOs, the safety is in the pull and the loooong trigger travel.
  4. Majic

    Majic Mentor

    May 3, 2003
    Not all SA pistols were hammer models with the hammer cocked. There has also been striker fired pistols utilizing the SA. Not all SA hammered pistols had the hammer visible.

    To answer the question,you gain a long trigger pull. You somewhat get the lightness of a SA with the long pull of the DA. The long pull is more forgiving as it gives you time to change your mind vs the short stroke of the SA.
  5. ARperson

    ARperson Active Member

    Sep 23, 2003
    Indy, Indiana
    The safety is that mass of gray stuff between your ears.

    Also, though early autoloader history is definitely not my strong point, I was under the impression that the "cocked and locked" phenomenon started with the 1911s and not part and parcel of single action mechanism. The broomhandle was not a "cocked and locked" firearm IIRC.

    But to answer your question: I don't think there is anything to gain in safety. But then that probably wasn't the point of making a DAO trigger pull as light as some SA. The DAO trigger came about probably from a simplicity mindset. It eliminated, theoretically anyway, the need for extraneous manual safeties or intricate internal safety devices. The lighter trigger was probably just the result of public desires and had nothing to do with a desire to gain anything in safety.

    I think the only real flaw with your analysis is that it is myopic in the sense of limiting it to military-minded evolution and safety-driven changes. THe arguments are logical and I agree that they played a major role in the changes in firing mechanisms. Also, I'm not sure the evolution was as linear as your analysis suggests. The early days of firearms development were rife with designs and firing mechanisms and safeties and actions, etc and so forth. I think it was more a hodge podge of differences and certain types came to the forefront and survived the competition "wars."

    Oh, you might want to change the title from DOA to DAO.
  6. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I thought this was an inquiry about perps - being dead on arrival! ''DOA'' ..... :D

    Aha . you mean DAO .... gottcha!! :neener:

    I have yet to use a DAO tho when I get my P-3AT I will know!

    So far I am a liker of DA/SA as per my ... P95, P97, Thunder, Makarov . etc ...... the ideal compromize for me (I am whimpy ole phart!) ... no condition one for me ... too old now to learn properly!)
  7. citizen

    citizen Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    ......ya gotta change that thread heading......:scrutiny:
  8. pwrtool45

    pwrtool45 Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    I wouldn't want a carry piece that had a DOA action. :eek:

    Now, DAO is fine by me. :D

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