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Cocking a DA in Defensive Situation

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Drakejake, Apr 2, 2003.

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  1. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    The main defect of a double/single action auto is said to be the fact that the double action trigger pull is longer and different from the subsequent single action pulls. The cocked and locked single action has the same short trigger pull for every shot. But how about cocking the DA for the first shot, either by racking the slide or by thuimb cocking? Would this be an option in some defensive situations? The shooter would have the option of shooting the first shot quickly in double action or taking two extra seconds to cock and fire single action.

    Drakejake
     
  2. hardcorehunter5

    hardcorehunter5 Member

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    If you want to shoot in single action, by a single action. How many shots do you think that you can get off in two seconds. I would thingk that in the heat of the moment you would hardly notice the difference in single or double. A double action is not going to cause a shooter to miss their target in a defensive situation. People that feel uncomfortable with DA seem to be purist. I would not feel comfortable getting in and out of a patrol car with the hammer back of a firearm. With all the equipment on my belt and just the movement of sitting and standing there is too much room for mistakes. Another reason for this opinion is that practice can usually over comer any felt handicap with a DA. Providing slide action to cock the hammer would also defeat the purpose of a defensive weapon. A defensive weapon never knows whene it may be called upon and not having a round in the camber would make the whole process alot slower and more dangerous, creating a possible victim out of the gun holder.
     
  3. Pico

    Pico Member

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    Double action

    I think having a DA trigger is great for that first shot if you are prowling around your house in the dark. Adrenaline will kick in and the trigger pull won't matter. I like the Kel Tec P-11 in that role because it is always a long DA pull and you got to make it fire with a very definite pull on the trigger. Not the best for the range as a good SA trigger but I take it along anyway and have a blast with it. Shooting a P-11 makes you shoot you other guns better.

    Pico
     
  4. Pico

    Pico Member

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    Oops

    Don't think I properly answered the question. Been watching too much combat footage and have my mind on our guys over there.
    God bless them. (Anybody see the shots of those guys firing the Barrett .50 last night on Fox News?!!)

    Anyway, thumb cocking is no problem in any situation and might serve to give a nice non-verbal message to an intruder, kind of like racking a 12 gauge pump gun. I still would prefer to go for the DA shot for my first and ventilate mr. burgular or whoever with 14 more quick SA followups.

    Pico:D
     
  5. ACP

    ACP Member

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    If you have time to thumb cock a DA gun then you likely have time to take cover and, perhaps, get the hell out of the siutation. Have you tried this under stress at the range? Forget it. And under a real assault, double forget it. The lawyers will have a field day, you'll probably slip and drop the hammer, etc. Practice shooting the first shot DA just as the muzzle clears the leather, then emptying the gun into 2-3 BGs, then dropping your empty magazine and reloading. That's what you'll likely do when a small gang decides they like your car, or don't like your face.
     
  6. Kilroy

    Kilroy Member

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    The long time head of a major training vendor is a strong proponent of doing this. He states, "if given time and distance, cock the da*n hammer." Of course his companies products require a very healthy pull of the trigger to get that first DA shot fired.
     
  7. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Member

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    I'm with Hardcorehunter5. If you don't want the DA trigger pull, why buy a DA gun? Buy a Glock (which is essentially a single action, light trigger pull pistol without a manually operated safety-I don't count the blade safety on the trigger, since your finger ain't supposed to be there until you're ready to fire anyway) or a 1911.

    I love the DA trigger pull on my Rugers and the DA pull on the Sig isn't bad either, but if you don't want to pull the trigger all the way through a DA hammer-cocking function, get a SA pistol and learn its manual of arms.

    JMHO

    Bob
    TFL# 8032
     
  8. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    I believe that with a modern pistol, accidentally dropping the hammer while trying to cock it will not fire the pistol because the trigger hasn't been pulled and the hammer safety blocks the firing pin from the hammer. Right? I believe that is true with the Ruger P series. I like the double action because of added safety and the fact that I don't have a hammer sticking out while I am carrying the gun concealed. I do have a nice quasi-1911 (Star PD) which can be carried cocked and locked. I also have two Star pistols which are DA but which can be carried cocked and locked. Freaky, what! (Megastar .45 and model 31P 9mm.)

    One may not be able to find cover in two seconds. And you may be defending someone else who cannot take cover in such a short time.

    Drakejake
     
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    If I had a ''cover-dive'' situation and then, a pause at all ... i would i think cock the hammer .... keeps gun at ready with no extra effort and makes first shot (if needed) that much more accurate.

    Otherwise of course ... yeah ... D/A and continue S/A .. the reason I have the Ruger.:p
     
  10. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I have practiced the transition 1000's of times. Once you get use to the transition, it really is no bg deal ;)
     
  11. Logistar

    Logistar Guest

    I agree! In fact, the last time I worked on this at the range, my shots were more accurate DA than SA! This is from the "ready position". I guess this was just a fluke but the bottom line is that I am plenty accurate (at defensive distances) either DA or SA.

    *IF* I had plenty of time then I would likely pull the hammer back. If I am surprised and need a shot quickly, I will have a DA pull. (Any safety is kept off. - Under pressure, I occasionally don't make a clean swipe so either I don't HAVE a safety or it is off when I carry.)

    Logistar
     
  12. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    If you have to take an accurate shot at range, then it would make sense (but then questions about the "immediate threat to safety" may be asked by the local DA...:scrutiny: )

    It's not a bad skill to have in your repetoire, but I'd still practice close-range DA fire as well.

    (But then, I carry 1911's in Condition 2...:evil: )
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There was a guy in one of my clubs who thumb-cocked a Sig Sauer for the first shot. It looked awkward. Most of these guns have rather small hammer spurs and I think there would be a risk of missing the stroke or just getting to half cock. Better to spend the practice time on the DA-SA "crunch-tick" transition.

    It is also somewhat like a Condition 3 carry. The hammer on an auto is not well placed for cocking with the gun hand, unlike a revolver's. So you need both hands to get going, and you may not have both available at the time.
     
  14. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    If you've got time and distance, why not? If you're right handed, keep the gun in your right hand with finger off the trigger, and cock with your left thumb. Fast and easy.

    But ONLY if you have time and distance. If you want SA for every single shot, then there's no question you're better off with cocked and locked or a Glock system.
     
  15. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Member

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    I shoot a 92FS in IDPA. When I go to the range to practice my DA shot I do HORRIBLY. In competition it doesnt seem to bother me. So I have quit practicing my DA shot.




    Wilhelm
     
  16. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    depends on who you are...

    If you are in a nice big movie gun fight and you need to take out the bag guy 50 yards away on the catwalk, then by all means.

    Chances are even if you are a police officer a real gun fight is going to happen so fast and unexpectedly that you will have your gun empty before you even know what happend, much less have time to make a nice pretty aimed shot in single action.

    Besides as a CCW carrier or home defense person I just don't see a need for ever having to do this. The ranges will be close and if they are not then you should be going the other way post haste.

    I also don't see a point in cocking a hammer back as a threat or intimidation move. The gun itself should be plenty intimidating and cocking a hammer is just another fine motor skill to go wrong at the wrong moment.

    I am a DA/SA traditional kind of guy. I like my SIGs for this reason.

    I am with those who say if you want to do this, buy a gun that is always in single action.

    Chris
     
  17. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    I would think that it's not much different than moving a safety. If the gun you want is not available in cocked and locked format (Sig, etc), then I think it's fine to practice that.

    The key is practice. The biggest drawback I can see is that you need to use your thumb, thereby weakening your grip on the gun while you do it.
     
  18. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Drake,

    I really see your question as another vote in favor of DA/SA guns WITH hammers. DA triggers offer immediate response and very safe carry, but the SA trigger gives you faster splits and more accurate shooting, when necessary.

    Consider cocking with the off hand. This accomplishes a couple of things:
    1. Helps you make a decision. If there isn't time for a good two handed grip, you won't be able to cock and will make the reactive shot with the DA trigger. If there is time for both hands, then there is likely also time to cock the hammer.

    2. The off hand thumb (on autos) is a more positive way of cocking the hammer.

    3. The primary hand must disturb the grip too much (on autos) when reaching for the hammer. This could lead to dropping the weapon or jamming it if the slide impacts the thumb on firing.


    The only other comment I would make is that cocking the gun in combat is a method that should be used SOULY on guns with an exposed hammer or other specific cocking device. On weapons like the P99 or the bobbed hammer S&W's, the partial slide manipulation necessary to cock the gun is too likely to result in an induced feed jam when rushed. Those weapon's mainsprings should only be engaged with the trigger.
     
  19. treeprof

    treeprof Member

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    No point in adding extra steps to firing any gun; too much to go wrong under stress. A gunfight is likely to already be over in the time it takes to cock a gun after one realizes they need to shoot, and who wants to die with their thumb on the hammer and an "oh crap" look on their face?

    There's a big diff between cocking and snicking off the safety. Try cocking a gun w/out disturbing and obscuring the sight picture; too many opposing forces in the hands, the grip is altered, and the thumb is likely to obscure the sights in the process.
     
  20. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    ACP said it well, and Pico's right in that shooting a P-11 will greatly improve your skill with your DA/SA pistol. :D

    If you're worried about missing on your first DA shot, shoot a box or two through it using DA exclusively. Then shoot a box or two with first shot DA and the follow up SA. You won't have any more problems or concerns about the issue.

    IMO, when adrenaline kicks in during an actual SD or HD situation, I'd much rather have a DA trigger giving me a bunch of extra resistance so the gun doesn't fire the instant I touched the trigger. :what:
     
  21. arizona

    arizona Member

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    I don't see a problem cocking the weapon with time and distance.

    It is similar to a revolver in this respect. In certain situations it would be to your advantage to cock your revolver. Other times it would be best to shoot double action.

    Advantage with the DA/SA is if you cock the weapon and don't need to fire you can then use your de-cocker.
     
  22. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I practice drawing and firing a DA first shot on my S&W 3913LS a LOT, and find that it is just as fast and accurate as firing an SA first shot. (3193LS can't be thumb-cocked since the hammer is machined flush with the back of the slide when it is down.) If the DA trigger on your DA/SA is so bad that it throws your aim off, get a gunsmith to look at it.

    It seems to me that the factor limiting speed and accuracy on the first shot isn't the trigger pull, it's getting the gun out and lined up with the target.

    Shooting from a sandbag, I've hit a 24" metal plate at 100 yards shooting DA.
     
  23. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    I just dont get this issue,folks have been shooting DA revolvers for 150 years and its now a problem if it a selfloader?
     
  24. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Butt,

    It's not a selfloader problem per se. What stance ARE they taking over on the revolver forum?

    An auto is generally a little harder to cock, though.
     
  25. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    I will admit that some autos are harder to cock but some can be had in the DA style that are a cocked and locked style too. I just like the idea of a short range DA shot vs a finger on a 2-3 pound cocked trigger with the adrenelin pumping is all.
     
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