SA, DA, DAO, DAK, SAO, Safe-Action, Ultra-Safe, LEM, SRT, mag safeties – huh?

This is a discussion on SA, DA, DAO, DAK, SAO, Safe-Action, Ultra-Safe, LEM, SRT, mag safeties – huh? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The shooting community is blessed (or would that be cursed?) with acronyms. Unfortunately, these acronyms bandied about have great implication about the nature of the ...

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Thread: SA, DA, DAO, DAK, SAO, Safe-Action, Ultra-Safe, LEM, SRT, mag safeties – huh?

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    SA, DA, DAO, DAK, SAO, Safe-Action, Ultra-Safe, LEM, SRT, mag safeties – huh?

    The shooting community is blessed (or would that be cursed?) with acronyms. Unfortunately, these acronyms bandied about have great implication about the nature of the trigger in a gun. The trigger ‘train’ is commonly referred to as the ‘action’. Some are the same thing with a different name, some seem to work just alike and are considered a different action.

    If it were just terminology, there wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, the acronymic descriptors loosely define what we can expect from the ‘action’. You’ll see why I say loosely pretty quickly.

    Like my thread about trigger characteristics, this addresses SD (self-defense) guns, not gaming guns, although in the case of action types it doesn’t matter if it’s a SD gun or a competition gun. Let’s start where it starts, with the SA (Single Action).

    SA – Single Action and SAO – Single Action Only:
    In the beginning,……….well, let’s at least jump ahead to the SA revolver. A SA revolver was an early ‘repeater’, i.e. could fire a number of shots, before needing to be reloaded. The SA revolver has a trigger and a hammer. I realize some of this may seem trivial but it is nonetheless essential in understanding more ‘complicated’ SA guns.

    First let’s clear this up: SA and SAO mean the same thing. SAO may better emphasize that this is the only way a gun can be shot, but that is also at least implied by SA.

    To shoot the SA revolver, one would cock the hammer manually, which would rotate a fresh round under the hammer, and then when the person was ready to shoot, he would pull the trigger to ‘drop’ the hammer. The trigger only did one thing, release the hammer, hence the term Single Action. So the defining feature of the SA is - the trigger does one thing, drop the hammer. The gun fires and remains inert unless the hammer is manually cocked again.

    Sticking with SA, let’s move to semi-autos. The trigger in a semi-auto can and only does one thing - guess what? Drop the hammer. In the revolver, the hammer had to be cocked by hand prior to each shot. In the semi-auto, the recoiling slide cocks the hammer after every shot, and unlike the revolver, the semi-auto leaves the hammer always cocked and ready to fire. Since SA triggers tend to have relatively short trigger pulls, something would have to be done to make the gun secure. This can be accomplished two ways. One, the hammer can be lowered carefully by hand, which some consider dangerous since if the hammer slips, it fires the gun and two a safety can be engaged which blocks the trigger from firing the gun.

    So how does one carry a SA semi? Well, most commonly in what’s known as ‘cocked and locked’. For the semi-auto handgun, this means there is a round in the chamber, the hammer is cocked, likely from ‘charging’ the chamber, and the safety is engaged. It would be assumed that a full magazine is in the gun.

    BTW, it is a magazine not a clip. A clip is, as the name implies, a clip that holds bullets together for insertion into the magazine of a gun. A magazine holds the rounds and feeds them into the action. Probably the most well known clip is that of the Garand rifle. The Garand rifle has a non-removable magazine that is ‘charged’ or loaded via a clip.

    Anyway, we got to a cocked and locked SA handgun so how does one fire the cocked and locked SA. Generally, the thumb of the gun hand swipes off the safety which enables the trigger to fire the gun.

    Some examples of SA guns are the 1911, Browning High Power, and a much more modern design the Hk USP. The latter isn’t limited to SA and the cocked and locked mode, and can be carried and fired as a DA/SA with a decocker, more about this unique gun later.

    The addition of the safety on the SA adds a complication to the user. He must manually apply the safety when he no longer intends to shoot the gun. Under stress he may not remember to engage the safety. Worse, a casual user, may not remember to disengage the safety in a life and death situation.

    With training/practice (they are not the same) the safety disengagement and re-engagement can become second nature. Although, even with seasoned shooters, I have seen them miss the safety on a draw and fire and seen them holster with the gun cocked with the safety off. Ok, some examples of SA guns:

    First and foremost the most popular gun in the world, the 1911 is a SA only gun with a thumb safety to make it safe while loaded and cocked. It has a very short, light trigger with a pull weight of anything from 4 lbs to probably 6 lbs.

    Then a couple of not-so-obvious SAO guns – the Springfield Armory XD and the S&W M&P, and there are others, they all are unique in some way, yet alike in function of the action. You’ll see later on that a Glock is a bit different than the XD and M&P. The XD action is called the Ultra-Safe; the M&P action doesn’t have a trade name.

    BTW, I couldn’t get the S&W website, but Bud’s list the M&P as a DAO. I know this is gonna sound awfully bold, but it is not DAO, it is SAO. When the slide is racked and released on an M&P, as the slide returns forward, the tab (or sear) on the striker which is housed in the slide, is stopped by the sear in the housing. The sear in the housing is mounted on a pivot and cannot move other than pivot very slightly. Sooooo, the striker spring is fully cocked when the slide goes forward. When the trigger is pulled the sear is rotated downward which releases the striker under the force of the striker spring. How many things does the trigger do? Just one, release the striker, hence it is SAO.

    The XD works the same way but with a bit different implementation.

    So if the 1911 is a SA and it has a thumb safety, what about the M&P and XD? Well, they are SAO, but they have two things different, much, much longer trigger pull and a bit heavier too. Also the XD has a grip safety similar to a 1911. The M&P can be purchased with a thumb safety, it seems most people prefer the M&P without the thumb safety.

    DA – Double Action
    The DA revolver was the next development in revolvers. Guess why it’s called Double Action? The trigger does two things. It does everything the hammer did on the SA revolver, plus it drops the hammer. So, on a DA, the trigger actually rotates the cylinder, cocks the hammer, and releases the hammer in one stroke of the trigger! That sounds like a triple action doesn’t it? But, there’s more!

    The DA revolver can be fired in a SA mode as well, just by manually cocking the hammer! SA mode always has a relatively light, short trigger stroke that many prefer over the long, heavy DA trigger. In the DA mode, the trigger has to rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer against a pretty strong hammer spring – all that makes the trigger heavy. But if you manually cock the hammer, all the trigger has to do is release the hammer. The trigger pull weight in DA mode is typically around 10 - 12 lbs, that’s pretty heavy but manageable. It helps a lot if the trigger is smooth. A buttery smooth trigger can make a heavy trigger feel lighter. In SA mode a revolver trigger has a pull weight of something like 4.5 lbs, which is pretty light. Clear to see why people would shoot better with the SA than the DA. Once the DA trigger is mastered however, one can do some impressive things with it.

    Really, it would probably be more accurate to refer to this type of action as a DA/SA or a SA/DA, clearly indicating that the gun can be fired in two modes. But as far as I know the DA revolver has never been referred to as a DA/SA or a SA/DA. That brings us to the DAO.

    DAO – Double Action Only
    A DAO gun, be it semi or revolver is a gun that can only be fired in double action mode. For example, if you were to machine the hammer spur off of a DA revolver, you wouldn’t be able to manually cock it and you’d have a double action only mode.

    If the DAO retains the long, heavy trigger pull, why would anyone want a DAO. Well it may not be as bad as I’ve made it sound. In the early days of Bullseye shooting, revolvers were used and they were fired in the DA mode. The idea here was that the DA mode releases the hammer and hence it has a shorter distance to fall to strike the primer. In SA mode, the hammer cocks in the SA sear and is considerably further back than the release point of the DA mode. Purportedly, there was less time and hammer motion to disturb the sight picture with the DA mode – at least that’s the way it was explained to me.

    Further there were a lot of lawmen that were very fast with a DA revolver firing it in the DA mode. Perhaps the most spectacular was an FBI agent named Jelly Bryce. He could draw and fire his DA revolver in two-fifths of a second! And there were many others as well.

    But again, if a DA will fire both ways, why not just fire it in DA if you like the DA mode? Well, there are a couple of problems. One, if a DA can be cocked, it’s gonna wind up cocked some how. One example of the problem was reported by Massod Ayoob. An officer was holding a suspect at gunpoint with a DA revolver in the SA mode. IOW, the hammer was cocked. Unfortunately, we humans suffer from sympathetic limb reflex or whatever it’s called. What it means is that if you do something with one hand, the other hand is affected. The officer clamped down on the cuffs, had a sympathetic reaction that fired his gun. Not good! As a result, a lot of PDs had all revolvers converted to DAO which is much, much more resistant to that type of thing.

    Then, if you cock a DA revolver and don’t shoot it, how do you ‘uncock’ it? Well, you have no choice but to hold the hammer and pull the trigger, and carefully lower the hammer on a live round. The DAO avoids all the complications of safeties, decockers, cocked revolvers, and is very resistant to sympathetic reaction.

    Lastly, if you were in a SD shooting, DAO eliminates any possibility of holding a gun on someone with a cocked hammer. Just think about that! In SA all it might take is a good startle and BANG! Second, let’s say you get through holding the cocked gun, now what are you going to do with it? It’s cocked. How do you uncock this thing in public? Wait till you get home? How you gonna carry it home? In the glove box? Cocked and holstered with the barrel pointed at your leg?

    The DAO, be it revolver or semi-auto avoids these potential problems completely. There’s another advantage to the DAO too. All trigger pulls are exactly the same unlike some guns that we’ll discuss shortly.

    The truly big asset to DAO guns is shear simplicity. They are the ultimate point and shoot, holster safely – whatever. Next some of DAO guns, some unique DAO mechanisms and the way they’re sometimes disguised.

    DAO revolvers typically have no hammer spur, or the hammer is enclosed and completely inaccessible by the user. A number of manufacturers make DAO semi-autos, sometimes they are cleverly disguised but we’ll try to undisguise them.

    Sig 226, 229, 228, and sigpros can be converted to DAO, I know because I’ve done that. Sigs 226, 229s are almost exclusively configured as DA/SA which I’ll denigrate shortly or as a DAK.

    The Beretta 92FS are most commonly available as DA/SA but a DAO model, the D model is available. The Beretta PX4 is available in a DAO, but again most commonly configured as a DA/SA.

    The Sig 226 and 229 is available in a DAK trigger configuration that is proprietary to Sig. DAK stands for Double Action Kellerman; Kellerman designed the trigger and the DAK trigger deserves a few words.

    First the Sig 229 DAK won a huge government contract after prevailing handily in the ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement – I think that’s the right name) trials. The DAK is more than just a DAO trigger – it is actually two in one. It has two double action modes, a long, light mode and a shorter, heavier mode. Why anyone would want something like that is beyond me – wait I have a 226 and a 229 with DAK triggers – well then I ought to know! One redeeming feature, perhaps, of the two-mode DAK trigger is that if you were to short stroke it, you might still get the shorter, heavier mode. That’d be a whole lot better than a complete short stroke.

    A huge difference in the DAK trigger than say a revolver DAO trigger is two things: one it has just a wee bit shorter pull and a whole lot lighter pull, (can you say 50% lighter) than the typical revolver DAO or DA mode or the DA mode of a DA/SA trigger. The hammer that comes on a DAK version of the Sig 226 or 229 is bobbed, i.e. has no hammer spur and of course cannot be manually cocked.

    The new kid on the block the Sig P250. The P250 is a true DAO semi-automatic, i.e. it was designed to only be a DAO. Obviously the design goal was to essentially put a DAO revolver-like trigger in a semi-automatic gun. There is one huge exception: it is far lighter and smoother out of the box than any DA revolver and the DAK versions although the DAK has a tiny bit shorter pull.

    Now for some cleverly disguised DAOs as promised. First, the earliest and probably most debated is the Glock Safe Action. Safe Action is mostly a trade name, rather than a true action description. The trigger action of the Glock is often debated with the appearance of great authority. And it probably is debatable; I’ll explain how it works and you can decide for yourself. First, I’ll just note that the IDPA allows the Glock in the Stock Service Pistol category where DA/SAs and DAOs compete. OTOH, the XD and M&P are not allowed to compete in this category. The difference? The classification of the Glock trigger based on operation. Here’s how it works:

    A Glock is a striker fired gun. That means it has a firing pin called a striker instead of a hammer. The striker, housed in the slide, has a tab, we could call a sear, that engages a crude sear on the trigger bar which is housed in the frame. The trigger, also housed in the frame, has a spring that pulls the trigger rearward, that’s right rearward – the trigger spring is trying to fire the gun! However recall the striker also has a spring that pushes the striker toward the front of the gun. When the slide is racked and released, the tab on the striker engages the crude sear on the trigger bar. The striker spring and the trigger spring act against each other which pull the trigger to its full forward position and the striker not quite to the end of its travel. And, that’s where the debate comes from. The action of the slide only partially cocks the striker, looks to me like to about 3/4 of its break position. So what gets the striker to move rearward more to the break position? Pulling the trigger! So the trigger first moves the striker rearward and continued rearward motion separates the two sears and the striker is driven forward by the striker spring into the primer of the bullet. What’s the nature of a SA trigger? It does one thing – break the shot. How many things does the Glock trigger do? While you’re thinking about that, I’ll move on to a similar conundrum with the LEM trigger.

    Like the Safe Action is proprietary to Glock, the LEM is proprietary to Hk (Heckler and Koch). The LEM action is available on the Hk USP and the Hk P2000 and I’m not sure about the P30. The action on both the USP and P2000 are hammer fired instead of striker fired – they have an external hammer. I’ll describe the LEM on my P2000 and assume the LEM on a USP works the same but I don’t know that for sure.

    OK, when the slide is racked and released, an internal ‘hammer’ is set. When the trigger is pulled the external hammer is rotated into the release position. The pull is quite light until the external hammer reaches the break point. At the break point, the trigger resistance increases dramatically and abruptly because both hammers are about to be released. When the shot is fired, the cycle repeats.

    The gun is left with the internal hammer cocked and the external hammer down. This kinda seems like the cocked SA semi we discussed earlier, but the difference is the Hk P2000 has a much longer, albeit lighter trigger pull and then an even heavier pull at the break point. But it is a DAO action because the trigger has to move the external hammer just like the DA mode of a revolver and then if breaks the shot – two things. Next up, the DA/SA.

    DA/SA – Double Action/Single Action
    This only applies to semi-automatics even though as we’ve seen, a DA revolver can be fired both DA and SA. But the DA/SA can do something the DA revolver can’t. It automatically changes from a DA first shot, to SA only. So in a nutshell, the first shot out of a DA/SA is in the DA mode, and the next shot(s) is SA. The DA trigger mode is much like the DA of a revolver in that it is relatively long and heavy. Then, without warning, after the first shot, it goes into a light, short SA mode. When you stop shooting, the gun is left cocked in the SA mode. So to make it safe, you have to manually decock the hammer. Fortunately, most DA/SA autos have a decock lever, or decocker. When manually operated, the decocker drops the hammer without and danger of the gun being discharged in the process. But, just like the manual thumb safety on a 1911, the decocker of the DA/SA is an added complication.

    I’ve shot these things for years and I personally feel these are the least desirable types of triggers on the market. They have a relatively long, heavy pull on the first shot and then that light, short pull on the next shot(s). This complicates learning the trigger, or I should say the two-in-one triggers. It complicates the handling of the firearm, and from what I have observed over many, many years, it promotes shallow, if not out right poor training habits.

    Before I go on, let me say, the system works, but to truly deploy the gun as intended, it takes some dedicated, deliberate training. Just to prove the DA/SA system works, Ernst Langdon took a Sig P220 ST DA/SA, did some polishing on the trigger components, and beat Rob Leatham in a national competition and Rob was shooting his high dollar custom 1911 – SA for those of you that don’t know. But we aren’t Ernst Langdon and we don’t shoot 20 – 30 thousand rounds a year, and we don’t do the same level or dedicated training he does.

    So back to the real world and why I say the DA/SA promotes some bad, even deceiving practice sessions. Here’s how I see many shooters train with their DA/SA guns. They get to the range, load up range ammo in a mag (magazine), shove the mag in the gun and rack the slide. Racking the slide cocked the hammer and put them in the SA mode. Most people run the magazine in the SA mode. A few may decock the for the first shot. They leave the range thinking how good they can shoot a DA/SA gun. But what about reality? Let’s say they’re caught in a situation where they have no choice but to draw and fire in a life or death situation. What’s the first shot going to be? DA! What mode do they rarely if ever, fire their gun? DA! When’s the first time they’re going to use DA? In a real life or death situation! Does that sound good?

    Which is mode is more difficult to shoot in? DA. Which mode should be practiced more then? DA.

    one of the most unique handgusn in the world
    That leaves us with one unique gun to discuss, the Hk USP. The USP can be carried as a DA/SA or as a SA with the thumb safety on. This is a particular example of where there would be a distinction between SA and SAO. I cannot say the USP is SAO, because it can be fired and carried as a DA/SA also.

    In the SA mode, i.e. hammer cocked, the Hk has a fine SA trigger, almost rivaling the 1911’s crisp break. OTOH, the USP has the worst DA trigger I’ve ever seen in a modern gun. It is not only long and heavy, it’s creepy and spongy.

    Anyway the USP can be carried in essentially three modes – ‘cocked and locked’ SA, hammer down in DA/SA and hammer down and safety on in DA/SA mode.

    The SRT
    The SRT refers to Sig's proprietary trigger reset modification. It shortens the trigger reset on the P220, 226, and 229 DA/SA guns. Note that the SRT is only for DA/SA guns. It has no application on DAK triggers or the P250 DAO trigger. I haven't tried one, but I hear good things about it. I am quite skeptical though, because I have also heard of premature discharges because the trigger is too easy to operate. Plus it applies to one of the worst trigger configurations on the market - the DA/SA and it does nothing for the DA mode that needs more help than the SA mode.

    Magazine disconnects.
    This is quite a controversial device. I’ve known police officers with years and years of service that will attest that the magazine safety or disconnect saved a number of lives in his department alone and further that they have never had a bad outcome due to them. Others, at best, have given one or two isolated cases where a magazine safety changed the outcome for the worst, or could have had the event actually occurred.

    The Chattanooga PD has use S&W semi-autos for years and years and years and I have yet to hear of one negative outcome due to the magazine disconnect or safety. So what is this controversial thing?

    It means, that if you remove the magazine from the gun, the gun cannot be fired even if the trigger is pulled and you have a round in the chamber.

    One of the most common accidents with semis occurs when a person has forgotten how his gun works because he’s not a gun guy, but he removes the magazine thinking that unloads the gun, yet it still has a round chambered. He pulls the trigger to decock it or for whatever reason, or he hands it to a buddy that’s not a gun guy or not familiar with semis and rules and he pulls the trigger and BANG, the one in the chamber fires. That couldn’t happen with a mag disconnect aka mag safety.

    The benefit of this feature may be a moot point since you can only get it on S&W pistols and the only S&W available at your gun store at the time may or may not have the magazine safety so you may have to take what’s there or wait a long time. Personally I like them and have them on both my M&Ps.
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    Another good post and another vote for sticky.

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    Thanks, it's already stuck this time though.
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    Could you expand a bit on the two mode function of the DAK? Are all Sig DAK's two mode, and how do you toggle between the modes - is it user defined somehow or one before the other or what? I have a 239 DAK and this is news to me.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    Could you expand a bit on the two mode function of the DAK? Are all Sig DAK's two mode, and how do you toggle between the modes - is it user defined somehow or one before the other or what? I have a 239 DAK and this is news to me.

    Thanks.
    The two mode is inherent in the trigger system and depends on a couple of things. We can simulate a firing cycle via a 'slow motion' firing cycle. Unload your 239 and rack and release the slide. The trigger will be set to the long/light mode. Pull the trigger until the hammer drops and hold the trigger in its rear-most position. Now while still holding the trigger in it's rear most position, to simulate the slide cycle, rack the slide and release it. Now start releasing the trigger until you hear the first click. That's the short heavier position. If you continue releasing the trigger, you'll get a second click almost at full trigger release. That's the long/light posiiton.

    Ok let's do it again, but this time pull the trigger for the second 'shot' as soon as you reach the first click. Again hold the trigger rearward and rack the slide. Next, release the trigger all the way to the second click and then pull it again. You should notice some difference in the trigger pull weight.

    Another way to feel this is to just pull the trigger. Rack the slide to get started. That should put the gun in the long/light pull. After the hammer falls, release the trigger. It won't click until it gets all the way forward. Now pull the trigger again and it should be heavier. Release the trigger again and it again will go all the way forward. Now pull the trigger rearward noticing the pull weight, but stop when the trigger clicks. When it clicks, let the trigger go forward all the way and pull it again - it should be lighter.

    The two examples illustrate the same thing. The first simulates an actual firing cycle and the second is just a way to feel the difference without all the trouble.

    Bedtime for me. I'll check back early in the morning.
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    Good morning. Here I am in my jammies and Uggs testing the trigger. You are absolutely right (not that I thought you were not, I was just uninformed and uneducated on this).

    It has not been discernable to me when shooting, but I will certainly be on this next time at the range.

    I originally thought that this trigger and my Glock would be very comparable. They are from the 20,000 ft level, but every time I shoot them both I am really taken by how different they feel. Up until now I have viewed actions as much more broad brush but now I see all the interconnection down to the detail of the trigger characteristics. I was feeling the differences in the two triggers but it was never explained in this detail before. Again, thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    Good morning. Here I am in my jammies and Uggs testing the trigger. You are absolutely right (not that I thought you were not, I was just uninformed and uneducated on this).

    It has not been discernable to me when shooting, but I will certainly be on this next time at the range.

    I originally thought that this trigger and my Glock would be very comparable. They are from the 20,000 ft level, but every time I shoot them both I am really taken by how different they feel. Up until now I have viewed actions as much more broad brush but now I see all the interconnection down to the detail of the trigger characteristics. I was feeling the differences in the two triggers but it was never explained in this detail before. Again, thank you.
    And good morning to you! I have eagerly been awaiting to hear what you discovered.

    You're not alone about the DAK trigger, a lot of people, I'd venture a guess that most DAK owners, are not aware of the dual trigger. In spite of my nit-picking of the DAK trigger in my openning post, it's really quite a good trigger and some would say quite innovative.

    Four things were accomplished with the DAK trigger: one, a good viable alternative to the DA/SA trigger. FWIW, my personal opinion of the DA/SA is not good, and i should stop there. Second, the DAK trigger demonstrated we could have a DAO trigger with a much lighter pull weight, about 6 lbs vs 11 or so lbs on most DA and DA/SA triggers. Third, it significantly simplified 'manual of arms' over DA/SA and SAs with thumb safeties. Fourth, it essentially put a revolver-like trigger in semi-auto, but without the long heavy pull. As far as the latter is concerned, the DA revolver trigger (in DA mode) is considered one of the most accident resistant triggers available. Hmmm, it ought to cost more, seeing that you're getting all that!

    While I don't necessarily like the dual action, others find it a definite asset. The shorter reset position significantly reduces the chance of short stroking.

    The differences in the trigger mode aren't huge, but noticible. And you can use them to your advantage once you know they exist and how to get into each mode.

    You are very, very wise to expose yourself to different trigger systems. It's funny they are kind of all a like, but they're kind of all different. The idea here is to be able to shoot any gun. The DAK and the Glock would go a long way in meeting this goal. A 1911 would pretty well round out the trigger realm.

    Also, one other thing that might interest you. You can order a short trigger for the P239. This is not a short reset, it's a thinner trigger from front to back and is a bit easier to reach if you have smaller hands.
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    Once I got it in my head that the frame of the 239 was very carryable for me, I looked at the DA/SA and found the DA pull just too difficult - then add to it the ease of the second pull and it seemed like an unsafe combination for me. I researched the DAK quite a bit prior to ordering but did not have the chance to try one before buying.

    I also looked at and reasearched the H&K LEM on a P2000 and 2000SK (the da/sa was REALLY a bearcat on that one so it was completely out of the question). As much as I loved that firearm I could just not get my head around the LEM. The more I read about it the less I got it. Just like I don't go for investments that I don't understand, I don't want a gun that I don't understand (as it turns out the DAK was full of mystery too). Add to that the mag release on the H&K and I just couldn't do it. (not to say it's not on my wish list still, that gun is a dream in the hand).

    Blah blah, I am probably talking too much. Really, thanks a bunch. Looks like I need to get friendly with a gunsmith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    Once I got it in my head that the frame of the 239 was very carryable for me, I looked at the DA/SA and found the DA pull just too difficult - then add to it the ease of the second pull and it seemed like an unsafe combination for me.
    You just correctly summarized the truth about DA/SA! the DA is way too hard and long, and then transitioning to that 4.5 lb SA mode is just not good. The required decocker is an added complication to the manual of arms, one more thing to remember under stress. I just don't like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    ...I also looked at and reasearched the H&K LEM on a P2000 and 2000SK (the da/sa was REALLY a bearcat on that one so it was completely out of the question).
    You are exactly right about the Hk DA/SA - the DA is really pretty awful. The SA isn't so bad, but then there's the DA/SA issues again.

    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    ...As much as I loved that firearm I could just not get my head around the LEM. The more I read about it the less I got it.
    Truely the LEM is a unique configuration. In essence though, once the take up is out, it's almost like a SA trigger break. It has a heavy, abrupt break point that I find distracting, but I put another trigger return spring in my P2000 LEM and got that down a bit. That's a common mod, BTW. I told Hk what I wanted to do and they sent me the lighter spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    ...Add to that the mag release on the H&K and I just couldn't do it. (not to say it's not on my wish list still, that gun is a dream in the hand).
    Hmmm, I like the HK mag release better than anything on the market. Very easy to operate with the trigger finger and it doesn't require shifting the gun in the hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by cammo girl View Post
    ....thanks a bunch. Looks like I need to get friendly with a gunsmith.
    You're welcome and good luck with the gunsmith.
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  11. #10
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    I understand your thoughts on the DA/SA trigger system, and I too have seen plenty of "shooters" who almost exclusively fire them in SA. I carry a Sig P220R both on duty and off, and absolutely LOVE this gun (and the trigger). If you train properly with it, it is a wonderful trigger system and has several advantages to the SAO guns IMO. I don't like handguns with a manual safety, I understand that if you train enough and properly, it can be manipulated without thought. I just don't like them. I do however appreciate the longer, heavier DA first pull of my Sig P220. It offers plenty of slack and weight to give ample time to make the shoot-no shoot decision (if needed), and gives less chance of a ND.

    To each, their own.

    Sigmanluke
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    ...I do however appreciate the longer, heavier DA first pull of my Sig P220. It offers plenty of slack and weight to give ample time to make the shoot-no shoot decision (if needed), and gives less chance of a ND.

    To each, their own.

    Sigmanluke
    Why heck, yes, I love my P220 DA/SA, but there are better trigger systems. That same resistance to an AD in the DA mode, becomes much less resistant to an AD in SA. And I would agree that training can make up for a lot of things, but how much and what kind of training does it take to prepare a person to manage two triggers in a gunfight, especially if he fires a shot, and is now standing there with adreneline flowing, with a short, light SA trigger and the gun pointed somewhere? There's that startle discharge risk again, and the risk of holstering a cocked SA trigger in the stress of the situation.

    A good DAO trigger, I'm talking DAK or P250 type DAO, has just as much resistance to an unintentional discharge as a DA/SA on every shot. Every shot is the same trigger action.

    There's no danger that the person will wind up pointing a cocked gun at someone or holstering a cocked weapon. Plus the DAK or the P250 DAO has a better, lighter, smoother trigger than the DA trigger of the DA/SA which would help get better shot placement especially for that all important first shot.

    If we need a DA trigger for the first shot, we need a DA for the very same reason for the following shots. We have to decide before every shot whether we need to fire or not, but in the SA mode we no longer have that same "...ample time to make the shoot/no-shoot decision."

    Couple that with the fact that most people don't have a range where they draw and fire their DA/SA in DA, and that most don't train with the DA anyway, and we have to concede we have pretty poor training going on.
    snakyjake likes this.
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    Well Tangle, like I said, to each their own.

    Plus the DAK or the P250 DAO has a better, lighter, smoother trigger than the DA trigger of the DA/SA
    I have not tired the DAK trigger, and I very much dislike the P250's very long DAO pull. I very much prefer the DA/SA in my P220 and disagree that the P250's DAO "has a better" or "smoother trigger pull than the DA of the DA/SA", just lighter.
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    Well Tangle, like I said, to each their own.



    I have not tired the DAK trigger, and I very much dislike the P250's very long DAO pull. I very much prefer the DA/SA in my P220 and disagree that the P250's DAO "has a better" or "smoother trigger pull than the DA of the DA/SA", just lighter.
    I have a P226 DAK, a P229 DAK, a P226 DA/SA, a P229 DA/SA, a P220 Carry DA/SA and two P250s. The DA trigger pull length on the DA/SA is a bit shorter than the revolver-like trigger on the P250, but then DA in the DA/SA is a good 67% heavier. But with the slightly longer DAO trigger of the P250 comes slightly more of that "...ample time to make the shoot/no-shoot decision." advantage - for every shot. Even if the trigger on the P250 wasn't smoother, it's almost half as light. That in itself smooths a trigger because there is less pressure on the trigger components so they don't press against each other as hard so there is less roughness felt.
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    sigman,

    I'm not critisizing you for carrying a P220 with a DA/SA trigger, not at all. I'm not saying you are at any disadvantage at all with this system. But you have trained and apparently continue to train with this system and hence it will serve you well.

    I see people 'train' with DA/SAs and it consists of 100% SA. Others do some DA. But the DA is the most difficult to master and they spend the least time with it - such is not the case for you. But for people who prefer the DA/SA because they shoot it so well in SA are probably not well suited to the DA/SA at all.

    OTOH, if those same people trained with the P250 or some other DAO, say a revolver, they would be practicing one trigger pull and become proficient with it, more so than the DA/SA that they are woefully lacking in practice with.
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  16. #15
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    Like Sigman, I am quite happy with DA/SA such as my Berettas, but from a little different perspective and method of operation.

    I know when I draw the gun if I am going to immediately shoot or not and if it is a close range shot or longer range. I use a scoop draw where the full grip is acquired during the draw. If I a going to immediately shoot, close range, it also becomes a trigger squeeze draw, in which the trigger depression is partially accomplished during the draw. The shot breaking as soon as the muzzle comes on line. Additional shots are, obviously all fired SA, but with the trigger squeeze draw there is no perception of a difference in trigger action.

    If I am not going to fire immediately on drawing, the hammer is manually cocked as the gun comes to center and all shots are fired SA, again, no perceptible trigger variation. The gun at this point is no different than carrying a 1911, keep your finger off the trigger until firing.

    Upon reholstering it is necessary to decock, no different than engaging the safety when reholstering a 1911. The difference is ingraining a double movement on the dicocker/safety, on to decock and back off all in one motion, should further action be required.

    Yes, this is how I train.

    The benefits, as I see them are, no action required on a safety to fire the gun. Virtually all shots are fired SA, with the exception of the draw shot, which I previously explained. This provides the benefit of a SA trigger on almost all shots, without the need to deal with a manual safety to do so.
    snakyjake likes this.
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