Does the transition from SA to DA shooting on hammer fired guns bother you?

DA/SA Autoloaders, ok with you?

  • I don’t mind guns that switch from DA to SA, and the first DA shot doesn’t bother me.

    Votes: 73 44.5%
  • I don’t mind guns that switch from DA to SA, but the first DA shot screws up my shooting.

    Votes: 7 4.3%
  • I dislike guns that switch from DA to SA, but the first DA shot doesn’t bother me.

    Votes: 6 3.7%
  • I dislike guns that switch from DA to SA, and the first DA shot screws up my shooting.

    Votes: 14 8.5%
  • I really like DA to SA guns, and don’t really care about any other kind of autoloader.

    Votes: 9 5.5%
  • I really dislike DA to SA guns, and don’t really care about any guns that operate this way.

    Votes: 14 8.5%
  • I enjoy all autoloaders, regardless of operation and design, as long as it’s comfortable to shoot.

    Votes: 26 15.9%
  • I don’t care about this question, so I’m clicking this option.

    Votes: 6 3.7%
  • You missed an option you stupid dummy, and now I have to post my answer.

    Votes: 9 5.5%

  • Total voters
    164
  • Poll closed .
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Zaydok Allen

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Feb 12, 2011
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The merits of striker fired guns vs. hammer fired guns have been debated and argued over many times in the past. This is not one of those threads. Both designs have proven their effectiveness and utility for many years now. We know that. Both work. No question.

However, I have always heard "consistent trigger pull" listed as one of the real benefits of striker fired, SA only, and even DA only firearms. I'm not disputing that. It makes sense that a person could become more proficient or become proficient faster with a gun when repetition of practice feel consistent on each trigger pull. It seems logical.

I my self started out on DA/SA revolver shooting. I practiced both modes of shooting as they provide different benefits. When I bought my first semi auto, it was a hammer fired DA/SA gun also, with a decocker. I got really used to this type of gun, and never really felt the need to switch to anything else. Then I bought a 1911, and was impressed with how easy the trigger made shooting that gun. So naturally I started looking at striker fired guns as well for their consistent trigger pull. As it turns out, my primary CCW is now a striker fired gun because it carries well, and I shoot it well. I wouldn't mind if it was a hammer fired gun though either, and I think it's just because I started out with hammer guns that are DA/SA capable.

So I'm just curious about the DA/SA transition that some hammer fired guns put us through. Does it bother you? Does it not bother you? Does it make the first shot significantly harder for you to hit accurately with? Does it not? Do you like all the guns?

I think the way we each start out has a lot to do with it, but I find myself just liking all the guns for different reasons, regardless of design.
 
Every DA/SA gun needs getting used to, so its easy to be inaccurate firing DA/SA with one you pick up or havent practiced with.

That said, I love the DA/SA style. I'm good with it. And I cannot accurately fire a Glock to save my life. The Glock trigger feels like I'm rowing a boat across a river of sand. No tactile feel at all, so I'm all over the place with it. :(
 
Not a big fan of DA but it really depends on the gun. The HK USP and CZ doesn't bother me but any S&W I have never been able to shoot well. I have an Astra that I have a fondness for but the DA trigger is horrible. I can still hit with it...sorta...but am screwed if an assailant is wearing body armor over his groin. Jeff Cooper had a funny take on the DA/SA trigger system. I don't know if he was trying to be funny as he otherwise seemed humorless but said something to the effect of the utility of a DA trigger was to use the first shot as a technique to cock the piece for SA firing.
 
I don't know if he was trying to be funny as he otherwise seemed humorless but said something to the effect of the utility of a DA trigger was to use the first shot as a technique to cock the piece for SA firing.

I know a guy who actually does this with his Beretta 92fs. He shakes his hands around trying to loosen up first. It's like watching Ed Norton (Art Carney) from the Honeymooners read a newspaper. He tries to draw really quick then and squeeze off the first shot, just to get it into SA mode. The problem being, he is never even close to the target. I mean I watched where he was hitting and it was like 1-3 feet off of the target at 7 yards. I don't shoot with him much anymore since his gun handling practices are not particularly safe.
 

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I think it comes down to what you prefer and weighing the pros and cons.

I like striker fired guns. There is no question that you generally get a constant trigger pull with them. Now, that trigger pull may be spongy or mushy or quite crisp with a short audible reset. That largely depends on the gun.

For law enforcement or people who shoot competitively or people who feel the need that they MUST have that level of point and click interface with consistent pull, a striker fired gun is great.

I generally prefer a hammer on my guns. I don't mind DA/SA designs like the 92fs or my FNX-9. Great pistols that I shoot well. Having the safety of a firm trigger pull followed by a crisp SA makes me feel a lot better. It mostly has to do with the fact that my job requires me to take my gun off multiple times a day and that I have a 4 year old daughter.

That said, I often shoot a DA revolver and do very well with it.

I recently fell into a good deal on a SIG P250 compact 9, and I know I'm several years late to the party, but I really like it. It gives me a consistent smooth DA pull with 15+1 capacity. I know it's always been cool to hate on the gun because it's a polymer pistol that behaves like a revolver, but I love the pull on it. People claim that it's a crappy trigger, but for me it feels better than a broken in S&W. I'm happy to see the striker-fired 320 continued the same modularity concept with frames that interchange with the 250. I might have to pick one of those up down the road.

In short, trigger pull doesn't bother me all that much. I much prefer a "safer" longer pull over one that is touched off too easily, though.
 
When I take new shooters out to try a variety of my pistols pretty much to a man they all like my SIG P226 the "best" until I have them de-cock it and fire the first shot from the way it'd be carried. They generally end up with a Glock or M&P as their first purchase.
 
When I take new shooters out to try a variety of my pistols pretty much to a man they all like my SIG P226 the "best" until I have them de-cock it and fire the first shot from the way it'd be carried. They generally end up with a Glock or M&P as their first purchase.
My P226 has the best DA pull of all the DA/SA guns I've tried. BY FAR.
 
My P226 has the best DA pull of all the DA/SA guns I've tried. BY FAR.

I wouldn't argue with that, but it still makes the first, and likely most important shot more difficult than necessary.

I started with DA/SA guns for the perceived extra safety for carry, but never could get the first shot to be as good as the rest and quit buying them after the SIG P226.
 
it still makes the first, and likely most important shot more difficult than necessary.
Not if one practices shooting the pistol in DA mode and incorporates the DA first shot in training applications. I've gone through a ritual while warming up at the range where I de-cock a SIG between every shot and work strictly DA (or, alternatively, work on my revolver shooting before getting down to business with semiautos. I've also noticed that most of my SIGs have a much better DA trigger pull than my Berettas, CZs and 3rd gen Smiths.

It was suggested for many years that the reason law enforcement originally preferred DA/SA autoloaders was the concept of "threat management" -- one desired a long DA first trigger pull if holding a suspect at gunpoint.

Frankly, when that first adrenaline rush hits in a bad situation, most shooters handicapped by carrying their de-cocked DA/SA probably aren't going to notice that the first trigger pull is "more difficult than necessary." At the range, sure ...
 
Not if one practices shooting the pistol in DA mode and incorporates the DA first shot in training applications. I've gone through a ritual while warming up at the range where I de-cock a SIG between every shot and work strictly DA (or, alternatively, work on my revolver shooting before getting down to business with semiautos.

For a number of years, I was pretty active in IDPA, working as a safety officer and designing courses of fire for our club. I think there's more difference to be seen than is generally acknowledged. But in actual matches, those who practiced shooting DA/SA transitions certainly did better than those who didn't practice that skill, but not all of these well-practiced shooters did as well on the first target in a string (if a group was possible) as they did with later targets in the same string but where the subsequent shots were all SA. The difference wasn't always great, but it was there to be seen. For those who weren't concerned about (or even conscious of) DA/SA transition issues, the differences were much more pronounced. The next time you compete, see if you notice this difference...

That said -- the really best shooters I've known seem to do well with whatever gun they shoot, so for them the DA/SA transition is probably a non-event. (They, so to speak, march to the beat of a different drummer... I often can't hear ANY drummer!!) I used to get one shooting buddy to shoot any new guns I picked up before I spent much time with it. His results with the first magazine would typically give me good idea of the gun's potential very quickly; it always take me a while to get "in step" with a new gun, and if he could make it work well, I knew it was worth the effort.

Increasingly, the Service or Production Pistol Divisions of the gun games now seems to be highly populated by striker-fired guns. In the recent IDPA Nationals, there were 78 Glocks (64 Model 34s and 14 Model 17s) and 57 S&W M&Ps (35 M&P Pros and 22 M&Ps, all in 9mm). Those two striker-fired guns made up 38% of the total!! I don't think there were enough SIG shooters competing for them to warrant a separate listing -- they must've been lumped in with the 210 "other models"!)

There were a lots SA guns in the IDPA National's Enhanced Service Pistol and Custom Defensive Pistol Divisions, which included a wide range of 1911-style guns, and some 12 CZ SP-01 Shadows. Hammer-fired guns aren't dead, yet!!
 
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I prefer to carry a DA/SA gun, because I "trust" that long heavy pull more than a half cooked striker mechanism. I feel that the SA follow up shots are worth the price of a DA first shot.

However, this may all change when I compete in my first USPSA match in a couple weeks. I'm going to bring both my P226 and FN FNS and see which one I score better with. Maybe my first shot out of the holster with the Sig will be terrible, and the consistent trigger pull of the FNS will reign supreme. Who knows?
 
Wife's vehicle has an automatic transmission; my truck has a manual five speed. It's never been a problem to switch from one to the other. Same's true for our motorcycles with their "1 down; 4 up" transmissions. Switching all around is just not a problem; you just learn to use your equipment. Same for us with first shot DA guns vs true SA vs the Glocks.
 
I started shooting handguns with a DA/SA trigger. My old West German Sig P-226 and Italian Beretta 92FS INOX have very smooth triggers. Of course, they both have a lot of years and a lot of rounds through them. After installing an 18 lb. hammer spring in the P-226 and a factory "D" hammer spring in the 92FS, they are very good triggers. I will also say that my Sig SP2022 has probably one of the best out of the box DA/SA triggers I have had to date. I very much like that pistol.
 
I've owned and used DA/SA SIG pistols since '92 and have no intention of changing now. In fact, I'm about to order a SIG Mosquito TB to use with an AAC Element 2 suppressor so that I don't have to learn another trigger system. I shoot either 1911s, SIGs or revolvers and have no issues changing between the different triggers.
 
I hate DA/SA pistols. I can't shoot them nearly as well as a Glock or 1911.

And many have a poor 1st pull. And the 1st shot is the most important IMO. It means a slower draw and 1st shot for me, or I go full speed and risk a flyer.

If I can solve the above problems with a different platform, I do. DA/SA is an obsolete platform to me. Designed to seem safe for general issue to cops and grunts by department bean counters and lawyers. Not designed for pure outright performance IMO.
 
I used to shoot a lot of revolver speed games, DA to SA transition isn't a big deal to me. As long as the DA reach isn't too long so no CZs or Berettas
 
On the rare gun with a both a nice DA and SA trigger, I don't mind the DA-SA transition. It's the SA back to DA transition that bothers me more - the fact you have to decock it to put it back into a drop/carry-safe mode.

But most DA-SA triggers aren't that good, IME.
 
I actually prefer DA/SA as a carry gun for safety reasons.
I also do not mind the DA/SA one bit. I think that mastering the DA will make you a better shooter of all of the different styles (Striker, SA, DAO, etc).

I grew up shooting revolvers so the natural transition for me was to the Sig 226 with decocker and it has stayed with me eversince. I carry a Model 10 or Sig 239 on a day to day basis but compete with a 226.

I am not sure if mastering the "transition" is as important as just having good trigger pull discipline.
 
I carried a 5906 as a duty weapon for nearly 10 years. Decent shooter's didn't usually throw out the first shot. The non-gun shooter's threw it out about half the time.
 
I was conflicted.

I'm either:

I don’t mind guns that switch from DA to SA, and the first DA shot doesn’t bother me.

OR

I don’t care about this question, so I’m clicking this option.

So I clicked the latter to support your decision to include it as an option. One version or other of this should be in nearly every poll as an indicator of the number of people not affected by the parameters of the poll's factors. That way, one can take part without committing. Sort of a "neither" or "none of the above" without ignoring the poll altogether.

Todd.
 
I'm not a fan of DA/SA, and that's after training on the Berretta 92 and owning 4 SIGs at one time.

I can shoot it pretty well when I practice with it, but I've come to the conclusion it's not worth the effort for me. No matter how much I practiced I was still slower getting off that a controlled pair with a DA/SA than either a striker fired pistol or an SA with safety. I can spend the same amount of time and ammo working on other aspects of shooting by using a pistol with a consistent trigger pull. At this point I honestly don't see any advantage a DA/SA pistol offers me.

Chuck
 
There is no reason to buy a DA/SA if you don't like them or master it if you aren't issued one.

I used to dislike them on principle, then got a P226 issued (along with some top notch instruction) for my first trip to the sandbox. I dry-fired the snot of it every chance I got overseas, then bought my own when I got back and have attended multiple shooting schools with it.

The DA/SA shot and transition is no big deal and not hard to master with good training and practice.

I think most shooters who have mastered a DA revolver or the DA/SA auto will tell you it makes you a much better shooter with any platform. I don't like Glock triggers, but I shoot them very well, along with my wife's S&W 386.
 
I never could stand DA to SA guns, and I've owned a few of them.

I now only purchase DAO or single action autoloaders.
 
My first DA shot is normally spot on (SIG has a good DA trigger), but I need to be careful with the first SA shot. From the second SA shot it is beautiful. Practice is what it takes to go from SA to DA, or use the decocker. I assume using the safety with a SAO (1911) is the same issue, practice, practice and some more practice.
 
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