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Old 04-11-2015, 10:18 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,724 posts, read 8,600,976 times
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Need some advice, please!

I've been watching videos and reading articles, and I DO understand the basic principle of SA vs DA: single action means the trigger performs the single act of releasing the hammer. Double action means the trigger also cokcs the hammer, thus two actions.

OK. But in a hammer-fired pistol, it would seem that every shot taken after the first shot MUST be single-action, because the slide moving back cokcs the hammer--right?

In other words: For the first shot with an SA-only gun (assuming it's not already cokced), you have to either rack it or pull the hammer back with your thumb. Thus for that shot, the trigger does a single action. But once you pull the trigger and the gun fires, the slide is pushed back and in turn moves the hammer into the cokced position. And this happens with each shot after that. So even if the gun is SA only (like a 1911 or CZ 75B-SA), it's really only the first shot that's any different from a DA-only semiauto! Do I have that correct?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 04-11-2015 at 10:21 AM.. Reason: C-D software thinks I'm cursing if I spell "cokc" correctly re. firearms!
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,408 posts, read 699,315 times
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Basically Yes, for a semi-auto the movement of the slide performs the same action it resets the hammer to the cocked position, weather this is for a single action type like a 1911, or a double action type like a Sig Sauer. It also performs the same action on a striker fired type like a Glock. But a single action could also be a revolver as well, and in that type the hammer must be pulled back to reset the hammer for each shot. The advantage in the Semi-Auto's is that the slide performs that action after the first shot.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:48 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigby06 View Post
Basically Yes, for a semi-auto the movement of the slide performs the same action it resets the hammer to the cocked position, weather this is for a single action type like a 1911, or a double action type like a Sig Sauer. It also performs the same action on a striker fired type like a Glock. But a single action could also be a revolver as well, and in that type the hammer must be pulled back to reset the hammer for each shot. The advantage in the Semi-Auto's is that the slide performs that action after the first shot.
Thanks for the response.

I'm only looking at semiautos rather than revolvers (although I do like revolvers a lot, just for their design and simplicity). In particular, I'm considering (among others) the CZ-75B (DA/SA) or the SA-only version. From what I can tell--and please correct me if I have this wrong--the only difference is that the SA/DA version doesn't require the shooter to rack the slide or cokc the hammer before firing the first shot--whereas the SA-only version makes you do that first.

If that's the case, then it just amazes me that they bothered making two different version just for this minor difference that only affects the first shot.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:03 AM
 
308 posts, read 209,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
OK. But in a hammer-fired pistol, it would seem that every shot taken after the first shot MUST be single-action, because the slide moving back cokcs the hammer--right?

In other words: For the first shot with an SA-only gun (assuming it's not already cokced), you have to either rack it or pull the hammer back with your thumb. Thus for that shot, the trigger does a single action. But once you pull the trigger and the gun fires, the slide is pushed back and in turn moves the hammer into the cokced position. And this happens with each shot after that. So even if the gun is SA only (like a 1911 or CZ 75B-SA), it's really only the first shot that's any different from a DA-only semiauto! Do I have that correct?

Thanks in advance.
Good question and you're correct! There would be a lot less accidents if people just asked more questions instead of assuming when it comes to firearms. I'm sure many people who have owned SA or DA (non-gun enthusiasts) have no idea what that means. Just so long as it fires when they pull the trigger is all they think they need to know. Again, good question!
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,773 posts, read 3,676,401 times
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CZ-USA CZ 75 B - 9mm - CZ-USA
CZ-USA CZ 75 B SA - 9mm - CZ-USA

You understand it perfectly; the change only affects the first shots. All subsequent shots are SA with either version.

This is a very old yet still very popular pistol design, with many variations. My guess is that people asked for the SA style for a small level of added safety. Theoretically, even with the extra pull force required to fire the first shot from a DA pistol, it is still possible for this to happen on accident simply by snagging the trigger on something. With the firing pin block (the "B" in the designation), it is physically impossible to fire a SA weapon with a single accident. So even if you accidentally snag the hammer on something and draw it back, a second accident would have to happen to pull the trigger. Also, note that proper handling and use with a proper holster makes the arguments moot. They only apply if you are just shoving the naked pistol down in your pants or letting it flop around in your glove box or purse.

The SA only versions generally aren't used for self defense, only for target practice. If you want a defense pistol get the DA/SA version and use with a proper holster.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:45 PM
 
4,755 posts, read 8,380,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Need some advice, please!

I've been watching videos and reading articles, and I DO understand the basic principle of SA vs DA: single action means the trigger performs the single act of releasing the hammer. Double action means the trigger also cokcs the hammer, thus two actions.

OK. But in a hammer-fired pistol, it would seem that every shot taken after the first shot MUST be single-action, because the slide moving back cokcs the hammer--right?

In other words: For the first shot with an SA-only gun (assuming it's not already cokced), you have to either rack it or pull the hammer back with your thumb. Thus for that shot, the trigger does a single action. But once you pull the trigger and the gun fires, the slide is pushed back and in turn moves the hammer into the cokced position. And this happens with each shot after that. So even if the gun is SA only (like a 1911 or CZ 75B-SA), it's really only the first shot that's any different from a DA-only semiauto! Do I have that correct?

Thanks in advance.
You're right in terms of SA vs a DA/SA. But there is another variation called the "Double Action Only" (DAO) design that every follow-up shots will still be "double action" only.

The reason there are many variations is to accommodate shooters coming from different background & preferences. The SAO model are for those who came from shooting the 1911s and who have a strong preference for a butter-smooth crisp trigger. The 1911 guys (or gals) will carry it as "cocked&blocked" mode, that is with the hammer pulled back and safety on. When you draw the weapon to aim at your target, your thumb will lower the safety making the gun ready to fire in the SA mode. This cAn be done with one smooth action with practice so it drills into your muscle memory. It also works great for precision target shootings.

The DAO model started out for those who are used to firing double-action revolvers where every trigger pull rotate the cylinder and pull back the hammer. This also pleases the lawyers as a good defense against negligent discharge since every double-action trigger pull takes more force and longer travel.

The DA/SA is really a compromise in between. It forces a conscious effort to pull the first shot but enables quicker follow-up shots with SA trigger pulls. Some people have trouble get used to the change in action and prefer to stay with a consistent trigger pull whether it be a DAO, SAI, or the current fad of striker-fired "safe actions".

To confuse you further, CZ75 also has a"CZ 75BD" with D for decocker. In most of DA/SA or SAO models, if you want to lower the hammer with bullets still in the magazine and the chamber, you will need to put your thumb on the hammer, pull the trigger then s-l-o-w-l-y lower the hammer. The "decocker" version allow you to depress the safety switch and lower the hammer on to the firing pin block thus render the firearm "safe". Sig Sauer also has a frame-mounted safety.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:58 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,724 posts, read 8,600,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwkilgore View Post
CZ-USA CZ 75 B - 9mm - CZ-USA
CZ-USA CZ 75 B SA - 9mm - CZ-USA

You understand it perfectly; the change only affects the first shots. All subsequent shots are SA with either version.

This is a very old yet still very popular pistol design, with many variations. My guess is that people asked for the SA style for a small level of added safety. Theoretically, even with the extra pull force required to fire the first shot from a DA pistol, it is still possible for this to happen on accident simply by snagging the trigger on something. With the firing pin block (the "B" in the designation), it is physically impossible to fire a SA weapon with a single accident. So even if you accidentally snag the hammer on something and draw it back, a second accident would have to happen to pull the trigger. Also, note that proper handling and use with a proper holster makes the arguments moot. They only apply if you are just shoving the naked pistol down in your pants or letting it flop around in your glove box or purse.

The SA only versions generally aren't used for self defense, only for target practice. If you want a defense pistol get the DA/SA version and use with a proper holster.
Thanks. Re. defense, I would not be doing concealed carry--just keeping it on the nightstand. My worry with SAO is that the wife (if I'm not home for some reason) might not be able to rack the slide or pull the hammer back. OTOH, if it's DAO, she might have trouble with the long trigger pull. (Her hands are small.) DA/SA is a good compromise--but we would still have to decide which condition to keep the gun in--cockedandlocked (SA) or hammer down so that racking is needed for the first shot.

I'm now thinking we might go with the HK VP9--which has the "ears" on the slide that supposedly make racking it easier. (It also has the various interchangeable panels on the grip, for custom sizing.)
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
You're right in terms of SA vs a DA/SA. But there is another variation called the "Double Action Only" (DAO) design that every follow-up shots will still be "double action" only.

The reason there are many variations is to accommodate shooters coming from different background & preferences. The SAO model are for those who came from shooting the 1911s and who have a strong preference for a butter-smooth crisp trigger.
A smooth, short-travel trigger appeals to me as well. I plan to do a decent amount of target shooting, just for fun (not competition). But also, I like the idea of the wife not having to reach on that first shot for a DA pull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
The 1911 guys (or gals) will carry it as "cocked&blocked" mode, that is with the hammer pulled back and safety on. When you draw the weapon to aim at your target, your thumb will lower the safety making the gun ready to fire in the SA mode. This cAn be done with one smooth action with practice so it drills into your muscle memory. It also works great for precision target shootings.
Yeah, I've seen that in videos. Not sure I'd feel safe keeping the gun on the nightstand in that mode--though I admit that worry is not based on any fact, just the idea that the hammer is under tension, held back by one tiny tab (the safety), which could theoretically be bumped out of the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
...The DA/SA is really a compromise in between. It forces a conscious effort to pull the first shot but enables quicker follow-up shots with SA trigger pulls. Some people have trouble get used to the change in action and prefer to stay with a consistent trigger pull whether it be a DAO, SAI, or the current fad of striker-fired "safe actions".
Is there such a thing as a hammer-fired DAO semiautomatic? It's hard to imagine how it could exist; if the hammer is exposed, then one could manually cokc it or rack the slide--making that first shot SA and thus making the gun by definition SA/DA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
To confuse you further, CZ75 also has a"CZ 75BD" with D for decocker. In most of DA/SA or SAO models, if you want to lower the hammer with bullets still in the magazine and the chamber, you will need to put your thumb on the hammer, pull the trigger then s-l-o-w-l-y lower the hammer. The "decocker" version allow you to depress the safety switch and lower the hammer on to the firing pin block thus render the firearm "safe". Sig Sauer also has a frame-mounted safety.
Yes, I've seen those; I like the decocker idea much better than manually lowering the trigger. Could be dangerous if I've just been eating bacon.

Thanks for your insights.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 04-12-2015 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:26 PM
 
4,755 posts, read 8,380,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
A smooth, short-travel trigger appeals to me as well. I plan to do a decent amount of target shooting, just for fun (not competition). But also, I like the idea of the wife not having to reach on that first shot for a DA pull.
Some guns, like the CZ75 and its copies, can fire the first round as DA or you can have it "cocked&locked" with thumb safety on, and fire it as SA like a 1911. This maybe a good solution when you have the wife or someone who has trouble racking the slide. What I would do is after you loaded the gun, rack the slide, make sure your finger is not on the trigger, then lower the hammer carefully (this is where the decocker comes in safely). If she hears the bumps in the night and you're not around, she will first call 911, then have children (if any) gather with her in a safe room, shen then can pull the hammer back with her both thumbs, flip the safety on, and wait for the police to arrive. This way she can fire SA if she has to but it's never wise to confront the intruder(s) by herself unless it's the last resort.

The danger is, of course, that you will have a loaded gun in the house. But this would be the case whether you have a SAO, DA/SA, or a DAO pistol. I find it a good practice that always treat every gun as if it's loaded.

Quote:
Yeah, I've seen that in videos. Not sure I'd feel safe keeping the gun on the nightstand in that mode--though I admit that worry is not based on any fact, just the idea that the hammer is under tension, held back by one tiny tab (the safety), which could theoretically be bumped out of the way.
I think the firing block safety has been around for a long time so it's a proven design. But you raised a good question that is if the firing spring will fatique under long period of being stretched? I think one solution is what I mentioned above, e.g., preload one round in the chamber with safety on and only pull the hammer back when she's ready to use. This way you are not stressing out the hammer spring.

Quote:
Is there such a thing as a hammer-fired DAO semiautomatic? It's hard to imagine how it could exist; if the hammer is exposed, then one could manually cokc it or rack the slide--making that first shot SA and thus making the gun by definition SA/DA.
Yes there are many manufacturers make the DAO version of the same gun in DA/SA, for example, Berretta 92, Sig Sauer P-226, P-229, etc.

Quote:
Yes, I've seen those; I like the decocker idea much better than manually lowering the trigger. Could be dangerous if I've just been eating bacon.
or after your adrenline kicks in with sweaty shaky hands

Quote:
Thanks for your insights.
You're very welcome.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 35,410,165 times
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All of the DA revolvers I have owned, work both ways. You can pull the trigger until she goes bang, each time, OR, you can thumb **** for each shot. DS is what I would buy, and then take it to a good smith and have a trigger job done. Let the smith take a stone to it and get it smoothed out. You will be completely surprised at the difference and how easy and smooth it makes it.
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