Why the DA in an SA/DA pistol without a decocker?

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Mike P Wagner

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I have an Armalite 24, which a very nice CZ 75 interpretation. I use it almost exclusive for target shooting.

I enjoy the pistol, but the fact that it has DA mode at all is a bit of a head scratcher to me.

When I shoot, I load magazine, and rack the slide to load a round into the chamber. Since I have racked the slide, the pistol in in SA mode.

I guess I don’t understand the motivation for DA mode in a pistol like this - it has no decocker, so the only way to transition from SA mode to DA mode would be to pull the trigger and control the hammer so that it drops down gently to half cock, or all of the way down.

That seems like an inherently dangerous operation. I have done that one or twice at the range with the gun safely pointed down range, but the reality is that for me, the weapon is SA only.

I am not disparaging the pistol - I really like shooting it. If I ever decided to carry it, it would be in condition one (hammer back, safety on).

But I don’t quite get the point of an SA/DA pistol without a decocker. It seems to me that there is no safe way to get this pistol into DA mode. The only way to get a round into the chamber is to rack the slide, and if the slide is racked, it’s in SA mode.

It seem odd to me to have engineered a DA trigger into a weapon when there is in essence no reasonable way to get into DA mode.

I think that I must be missing something, because the CZ 75 is one of the most popular designs of all time (perhaps 2nd only to the 1911), and the traditional model is SA/DA with a safety.

For the 1000s, perhaps millions of people who use or used this as a service weapon, is the standard practice to rack the slide and control the hammer drop to get to DA mode? If that was never the standard practice - if it’s mainly carried in condition one, then why was the DA mechanism added?

Please understand that I am not trying to start a debate over carry method, SA/DA vs DAO, or anything else. I want assume - at least for the purposes of this thread - that SA/DA with a safety is a well thought out mechanism for millions of people. If it were a fudnamentally flawed design, it’s hard to believe that 75 million people (many of them law enforcement or military) would have bought one. What is the rationale?
 
The DA mode gives you the ability to strike the primer again if it fails to ignite. That’s a good reason in itself.

But I agree it should have a decocker, to take full advantage of its use, but others would be fine without a decocker.
 
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The DA mode gives you the ability to strike the primer again if it fails to ignite. That’s a good reason in itself.

But I agree it should have a decocker, to take full advantage of its use.

I hadn’t thought of that, and it makes sense.

Thanks
 
Many people are comfortable with dropping the hammer without a decocker. If done properly not a problem

I guess that if people were used to a SA mode weapon, the idea of dropping the hammer on a round in the chamber would not be all that unusual. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I guess on 1911 or an SA revolver like my Blackhawk, it was pretty normal to lower the hammer on a live round. If the hammer was cocked for any reason and needed to be decocked, you’d lower the hammer on a live round.

I guess that lowering the hammer on a live round only looks dangerous in retrospect. I started thinking about this when someone posted to another thread that they had gotten a new CZ 75B and had negligent discharge when when trying to lower the hammer in their bedroom. The claimed that their finger slipped.

I was paranoid enough with my Blackhawk that when I needed to decock, I would stick the index finder of my left hand between the hammer and the firing pin and let the hammer fall on my finger, then release the trigger. As soon as I released the trigger, the transfer bar would lower down (while my index finger was still blocking the hammer, and then I could pull my left index finger out.
 
While I purchased a 75BSA, I'd feel perfectly comfortable dropping the hammer manually on a regular 75B. I prefer the versatility of having the safety instead of a decocker on a DA.

They do make a decocker, safelyless version if you're so inclined.
 
I guess I don’t understand the motivation for DA mode in a pistol like this - it has no decocker, so the only way to transition from SA mode to DA mode would be to pull the trigger and control the hammer so that it drops down gently to half cock, or all of the way down. ... That seems like an inherently dangerous operation. ...
Dropping the hammer has inherent risk, as you point out. However, it's not that great a risk. I have 2 guns like this: a Browning BLR and Beretta 84. Both are rather old, from 1980s. 30 years ago people weren't as risk-averse as they are today, and an accidental discharge wasn't as big a deal as it is now -- as long as you didn't hit something or someone.

BTW, this sort of arrangement back then was always accompaned by a half-cock position (unless a frame safety was used to decock). Nowadays, in a gun with a decocker, the drop safety is accomplished by an inertia firing pin or other such device.
 
The claimed that their finger slipped.
Thumb slipped, surely. Personally, I don't have any guns where I need to follow the hammer with my thumb (like Tokarev or Makarov). Instead, I jam it in as much as I can, then drop the hammer on it, immediately release the trigger, and put the trigger finger onto the trigger guard. Then, I can extract the thumb, knowing that the hammer will rest on the half-cock.
 
The hammer would be down, already, in DA mode, would it not? Are you talking about decocking it from SA mode? As in,
you've cocked it, and it's now in SA mode, and now there is no de-cocker?
 
The design makes it possible to have a round chambered with hammer down. DA, like a revolver, which can not be done on a 1911. Some folks don't like "cocked and locked." To each his own.
 
I prefer a de-cocker just because it's quicker and easier and more safe to keep the hammer from slipping off your thumb and by taking your fingers outa harms way from the rear of the slide.

I really like the design like FNX uses that gives you a safety and a de-cocker and gives you more options on how you carry the gun and also allows you to leave the safety on as you load the weapon.

With that said, it's not at all a deal breaker to not have a de-cocker as most of my guns don't have it. In the case of those guns and the gun the OP speaks of, the user has the option of being the de-cocker if that's their preferred carry method. Plus as mentioned, the ability to drop the hammer multiple times if a misfire occurs.
 
The real reason for a ring hammer was manual decocking - the same idea behind the 1911 wide spur hammer, BTW. You pinch the hammer between your index finger and thumb, press the trigger and lower the hammer. As already explained, the CZ 75 was built in a different time and it gives you two options of carry. But back then it was expected for one to be fully responsible for his actions and not blame the manufacturer when he screws up on some simple task.

BTW, this sort of arrangement back then was always accompaned by a half-cock position (unless a frame safety was used to decock). Nowadays, in a gun with a decocker, the drop safety is accomplished by an inertia firing pin or other such device.
Inertial firing pins in pistols exist for more than a century. Modern pistols with decockers still have hammers with half-cock position and the decocker drops them there. It doesn't matter if frame mounted, or slide mounted decocker - they do not drop the hammer directly on the half-cock notch. Either a firing pin block is used, or an interceptor in the decocking mechanism.
 
While I purchased a 75BSA, I'd feel perfectly comfortable dropping the hammer manually on a regular 75B. I prefer the versatility of having the safety instead of a decocker on a DA.

They do make a decocker, safelyless version if you're so inclined.

Except for the ability to strike the primer again if it doesn’t ignite, I think BSA makes the most sense to to me.

I assume the trigger is excellent one the BSA? Better than the single action mode on the CZ 75B, beause there are fewer moving parts?
 
I would stick the index finder of my left hand between the hammer and the firing pin and let the hammer fall on my finger, then release the trigger. As soon as I released the trigger, the transfer bar would lower down (while my index finger was still blocking the hammer, and then I could pull my left index finger out.

That's exactly how I decock my 75b, except I use my thumb instead of index finger. I prefer using DA because this is a nightstand gun, and I'd rather not have a safety to worry about, and I like having the long DA pull since I'll likely be barely awake if I ever needed to get it out at night.

Personally, after having guns both with and without a decocker, I find decokers a bit gimmicky.
 
Only thing that I dislike about a decocker - and why none of my 75'a have one - is that they add a lot more small parts/complexity.
 
For people who are comfortable manually lowering the hammer - something I get to see done hundreds or thousands of times a year by USPSA shooters using CZ or Tanfoglio guns in Production class, and have never witnesses turn into an AD/ND - the safety is superior to the decocker. The decocker on most guns - including CZ's - is down-to-decock. Well, downward force is easy to apply to a frame-mounted decocker during recoil... it's easy to accidentally decock the gun in the middle of shooting, depending on your type of grip. OTOH, safety-equipped CZ's have down-to-fire safeties. That same downward force will only make sure the safety stays disengaged during shooting.
 
Back before striker guns were the rule of the day, weren't decockers invented for cops/military using DA/SA hammer fired guns? People that might shoot a few shots from a magazine and then need to lower the hammer (in a high stress environment) with one hand before re-holstering?

Then you have some gun owners that don't want a manual safety on a DA/SA pistol. Which leaves obvious blank space that a decocker can fit into.

Out of my limited experience with decocker equipped guns, I think the CZ75 version is very good for the user. It lowers the hammer in a controlled 2-part motion, and due to its location at the rear of the gun and above the beaver tail, you'd have to put your thumb in slide-bite territory to accidentally push it down while firing the gun.

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@chicharrones I like your taste! You should check out TruGLO TFX Pro Tritium+Fiber Optic sights for your PCR, they are awesome.

Like @chicharrones said above, the decocker on my CZ PCR would be very hard to decock the hammer accidently. I realize so much of handguns is a personal taste, but I would've looked past the PCR without the decocker and its a sweet gun. The decocker makes it that much easier and foolproof to place the firearm on DA mode. To me it is far from a "gimmick", but that's me. I didn't want a safety on my CCW but like the benefits of a heavier DA pull, which isn't bad in the decocked position (vs hammer completely up) as the trigger travel is reduced which is nice.
 
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I assume the trigger is excellent one the BSA? Better than the single action mode on the CZ 75B, beause there are fewer moving parts?

The SAO and DA/SA have almost identical single action triggers. You get over travel adjustment though on the factory SAO trigger. The 75B SA gets the bigger beaver tail and a slightly heavier slide to help keep the muzzle down as well as extended safety and slide stop.
 
I picked a CZ PCR solely on reviews, size, and carry weight. Knowing nothing about decockers at the time of ordering I wasn't going to let the decocker make or break my decision.

Turns out I really do like the decocker vs. a safety. And I am a true blue 1911 guy. Certainly I don't need a decocker on my range guns but after trying one for a carry gun I don't think I would buy another carry gun without one.

All I can say is you just have to try a decocker and decide for yourself.
 
I personally only own ONE DA/SA pistol that does not have a decocker, a Canik S-120(CZ75 clone). I personally will not buy a DA/SA firearm unless it has a de-cocker anymore.
 
The SAO and DA/SA have almost identical single action triggers. You get over travel adjustment though on the factory SAO trigger. The 75B SA gets the bigger beaver tail and a slightly heavier slide to help keep the muzzle down as well as extended safety and slide stop.

Thanks. I thinking the Armalite AR 24 also has a bigger beaver tail and a heavier slide than the 75B, but I am not sure.
 
Options. It's all about options. Without a decocker, you can do SA or DA/SA.
It seems to me that there is no safe way to get this pistol into DA mode.
I would disagree, as would many others. As mentioned above, use a finger or the thumb of your weak hand to physically block the hammer until the transfer bar is in place. (You'll learn to feel it through the trigger.) Then the hammer can be safely lowered the rest of the way.

I've done classes with a CZ-82. I always chose to manually decock rather than to go cocked-and-locked when reholstering. The range officers never said a word, which I take to mean that it was considered a safe practice.
 
zaitcev said:
Nowadays, in a gun with a decocker, the drop safety is accomplished by an inertia firing pin or other such device.

Not really. The firing pin spring, which is an integral part of the original "inertial" firing pin design is needed and used to reposition the firing pin for the next hammer strike, but is no longer really considered a "safety" feature. In fact, in a number of cases, this approach just doesn't work as a drop safety.

In almost every new (modern) hammer-fired gun -- whether it has a safety lever or a decocker (or both!) -- the drop safety mechanism is some form of a firing pin safety or firing pin block.

These mechanisms only allow the firing pin to go forward WHEN the trigger is pulled some distance to the rear. If the firing pin can't move, the gun can't fire. And barring some sort of metal failure, that's true no matter how far the gun falls or how hard it hits an unyielding surface. These designs are truly drop safe.

Firing pin safety/block mechanisms also reduce (but don't remove) the risk of a negligent discharge when manually lowering the hammer. People with non-decocker models who aren't comfortable with "cocked & locked" carry often choose to carry with the hammer down. And, in some of the gun games, depending on class or division, you are required to start from hammer down (or otherwise decocked.)

I would argue that manually decocking a hammer is a basic gun handling skill that every shooter should master -- but too many seem afraid of the technique. That said, I've seen many more negligent discharges (rounds going where they weren't supposed to go) from people drawing and firing from a holster than from people decocking a weapon.
 
I think it comes down to if you really like a gun and shoot it well that is DA/SA and it doesn't have a decocker, there is a safe means to place it in DA. However, it takes two hands to do so safely, whereas a decocker is a one-handed operation that doesn't require a person to break one's grip; on the decocker's I've used anyways.

I would argue that manually decocking a hammer is a basic gun handling skill that every shooter should master -- but too many seem afraid of the technique. That said, I've seen many more negligent discharges (rounds going where they weren't supposed to go) from people drawing and firing from a holster than from people decocking a weapon.

Couldn't agree more, being around lever guns when I was young and learning about firearm use and safety, lowering a hammer safely was an early lesson.
 
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