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Why the move from SA autos to DA

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by SHusky57, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

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    Why is it that the elite units seem to be switching from single action to double action?

    I heard the British SAS has replaced most of their hi-powers with Sigs... and you just don't see many 1911s or Hi-powers anymore.

    What caused the change?
     
  2. desert gator

    desert gator Member

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    Well im new to guns and not as well taught as allot of other guys on here yet. To me though I think that a da is a form of safety having the longer trigger pull. You still can carry chambered and just pull the trigger to shoot, but I feel the long trigger pull reduces the chance of accidental shots. Just my opinion, I could be way off though
     
  3. TMM

    TMM Member

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    i agree with desert gator. simpler to use - unholster, pull trigger, bang. SA's might require training. i remember someone else here on THR said the same thing.

    TMM
     
  4. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    Yep, you have gotten your answer.
     
  5. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    It's slightly more complicated then that.

    Each unit has their own specific reason. While it is true that P228, P226 do not have manual firing inhibit levers to deal with, it also means the operators have to deal with the longer and heavier DA trigger pull for the first shot.

    With that specific issue, it's a matter of preference. I decided the burden of DA and the risk associated with it was less than the burden and risk of having to manipulate a manual firing inhibit levers, especially when medium pressure DA such as SIG DAK, Glock Safe Action trigger, etc. are available. Number of Europian special forces have gone with DA/SA or Glock. Having to flip lever a lot is not desirable in combat. With the amount to training SAS gets, I'm sure they can manage either way. But, thenagain, why deal with it when you don't have to? But, at the same time, number of US Special forces still uses 1911 with manual firing inhibit lever for its great single action trigger.

    Also note that , in case of SAS, even though Brownig Hi-Power was a good reliable design for it's time, it's an old design. SIG has a good repulation for reliability, and I'm not sure if a Browning can match more modern engineering. Also, the trigger is heavier than the other popular SAO pistol, the 1911, and its manual firing inhibit lever is not so easy to manipulate as 1911, according to user reviews. If the SAS was to replace the Browning with another SAO 9mm, they have a very limited choice. But, there are lot more choices of quality 9mm pistols in the DA category.
     
  6. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    Manually lowering a hammer is dangerous. A decocker is great, but you sort of need double action after that. Manually pulling the hammer back would be an option; but double action pull is better. And contrary to what some may say; "Cocked and Locked" is NOT the best way to carry a pistol. Way too many things to go wrong. However; with a 1911A1 or similar; your choices are 1)Don't have a round in the chamber (My method). 2)Manually lowering the hammer and/or half cock. (Quite Dangerous). 3)Carrying the gun "Cocked and Locked". (Nope; ain't going to happen for this kid).

    Thus, double action; especially with a decocker like a SigSauer is the best of all worlds. And while I love my Springfield Armory 1911A1, which I've had now since 1985 when it was brand new and STILL LOOKS IT; my SigSauer P220 45acp is in a class all it's own. Much better to carry and use than the Springfield 1911A1. And MUCH safer. A better gun all in all.
     
  7. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    No, it really isn't. They feel they will be safer and have fewer accidental discharges. Each "unit" might have their reasons, but it's the same reason.

    christcorp, hey, it is always nice to see others on here from Wyoming.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Is that the military term for a thumb safety?;)
     
  9. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

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    actually Christcorp.... I am pretty sure that cocked and locked is about as safe as it gets. Certainly as safe as if not safer than a Glock or any other DA/SA.

    Think about it.
    1911 with 5.5 pound trigger has grip safety and thumb safety, and most new 1911s have firing pin safety.
    Glock with 5.5 pound trigger has no external safeties.

    Neither will fire without a trigger pull.
    The Glock or DA auto will fire if something gets caught in the trigger guard while holstering or unholstering.


    I don't see how you can reasonably arrive at "the 1911 cocked and locked" is less safe than any DA auto.

    The main reason I am curious is inspite of my Glocks, I find myself wanting a hi-power (or 1911). The polymer pistols are just fine, but I want a steel framed pistol that is capable of super accuracy.
     
  10. fineredmist

    fineredmist Member

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    In my way of thinking a consistent trigger pull is required for safe and accurate shooting of a handgun. DA/SA pistols are not the way to go as your grip has to change to transition to the SA mode and that can cause problems in a combat situation. Once you have gone over to the SA mode the trigger pull is very light and I thought that was the concern about accidential discharge. If you really want the "safety" of the long double action trigger you must have it with every shot to be "safe". A DA only or a striker fired weapon (with a heavy pull) are the only ways you can make the weapon "user foolproof".
     
  11. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    No. :)
    It's what I believe is the correct description of what people call "manual safety", because that is what the thing actually does.

    It does not make the gun safe. It inhibits fire when engaged regardless of whether if the user wants it to or not, and it lets the gun fire when disengaged whether if the user wants it to or not.

    It also gives ignorant people the impression that guns without it are unsafe.
     
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    " inhibits fire "

    Sheesh. Give me a break. What, it makes the gun ashamed and so afraid that it won't fire? It's inhibited?

    It's a safety. Who should I believe, you or Mr. Browning?

    John
     
  13. TheVirginian

    TheVirginian Member

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    The BHP is easy to operate, intuitvely so. It's accurate, reliable, high capacity, and of course, high power. The trigger is very smooth on modestly tuned or broken-in examples.

    The only reason for a change would be due to the age of the current armory and the ability to make new choices. Bids go out in response to requests for new arms by the militaries and they often decide on price if a couple of designs meet their requirements. It may be that the trend is to make DA units for the police and private markets and that these same designs find their way into the hands of the military.

    It might not take quite as many brain cells to pull a trigger as to flip a lever and pull a trigger, but the designs are both workable alternatives. Many of the more recent side arms offer picatinny rails, which would make them more flexible by adding accessories, some of which have not even been introduced. Many models offer SA/DA and manual safties, so as long as they meet the requirements and the cost, there is no reason not to include them.
    -Bill
     
  14. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    What does the US Army's Model 1911 Manual of Arms say about "cocked and locked" being the normal carry condition?
    Has the manual of arms' recommendations in that regard changed between say WW1, WW2 and Vietnam?

    I would be surprised if one in the pipe cocked and locked was ever recommended unless on active patrol in a combat zone.
     
  15. David E

    David E Member

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    Who cares what ignorant people think? They're ignorant because they do not want to learn.

    Saying a gun has a "fire inhibitor lever" is going to accomplish just as much as saying it launches "dissuader pellets" :rolleyes:
     
  16. HammerheadSSN663

    HammerheadSSN663 Member

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    I gotta agree, the 'necessity' of carrying cocked and locked is nonsense.

    If you don't have time to reach and rack its too late anyway - you've let the bad guy inside the 'kill zone'.

    IMO, if you feel the need to be in combat ready mode, you 1) probably shouldn't be in that area in the first place which leads to point 2) you have not made a proper assessment of those surroundings.

    IMO cocked and locked is another term for suburban cowboy.
     
  17. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    I don't particularly care who or what you believe in. I just call it that because that's what I think it is. I only explained in detail because someone asked me why I was calling it. I'm not trying to force you to call it anything, so why would you need a break from me?

    Besies, yes it make a gun not fire because it locks the trigger or firing mechanism. Isn't that what it is designed to do?
    I just call it "manual firing inhibitor" because that's what I think it is. It's my freedom to do so. It's same as John Farnam calling DA trigger "trigger cocking." I'm not forcing anyone to call it anything.

    Besides, it actually does inhibits fire while bullets does not always dissuade. Calling it a "safety" is more like calling bullet a "dissuader pellet" because "on safe" may not actually be safe when you need to fire.
     
  18. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    Then why do U.S. Army and Marine special forces stick to 1911s?
     
  19. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

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    Well, you are entitled to your opinion....Not sure anyone who has carried a 1911 for 30+ years would agree, but you entitled....
     
  20. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    Who said they do? (And movies don't count)
     
  21. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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  22. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Member

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    Everyone who posted here after the 4th post really needs to look at the top of the page. this thread doesn't look like its on the high road to me. Militaries like KISS and thats why the switch just like Gator, TMM, and Wyocarp said. The ensuing argument over what to call a thumb safety is just siilly.
     
  23. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    I've actually seen US SF guys with 1911 in Iraq. Why would I need someone to tell me they do? I don't work with people who can't tell the difference from movies and reality, if that's not your reality that's your problem.
     
  24. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    That's a broad generalization. It may be true that SAS in particular thought the P226, P228 system is more simple to operate, but I believe why many SF units in U.S. military has chosen otherwise, SAO 45 with manual firing inhibit lever, is worth a discussion.

    Besides, if all military chooses based on KISS then can you tell me why U.S. Army issues M9 which has a DA trigger AND a manual firing inhibit levers?
     
  25. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    For the most part, that switch happened some time ago.

    The SAS pretty much shot their High Powers to pieces before replacing them with Sigs, but that was years ago. The SEALs went to the P226 in the 80s, Army SF got the M9 in the same general time frame, etc. The super cool kids in Delta stayed with the 1911 longer, but it's worth noting they mostly traded in their Caspian custom-builds for Glocks more recently.

    I actually think it's more accurate to say that some special operations units have moved back towards single action pistols, rather than moved away from them in favor of double actions. Double actions (and Glocks) have been the industry standard for a long time, primarily since that's mostly what industry was bringing out for years -- a new design pretty much meant DA/SA in the days before Glock really got market share and everyone needed a competing design with a similar trigger set up.

    As for why the switch back towards single action, I'd theorize that it's cross-pollination from IPSC gun gaming with the military. When I was on active duty, the serious 1911 guys in the SF unit I was assigned to (as a support guy, not a team guy) were almost all also serious competition pistol and three gun shooters.

    The vast majority of our guys, including the ODAs, carried boring old M9s. A few ODAs I worked with had USGI 1911s they'd scared up (and refurbished) but they were the exception, not the rule.
     
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