DA/SA vs. Striker

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Loaded question, I know. My reason for asking isn't to pour gasoline on the debate. Rather, I'm asking to better understand the trade-offs and how they apply to me and how I carry.

I'm a big guy. I'm down to about 330 now, but still too big to carry around my waist. Because of my size, I don't wear anything with a belt to hang a holster on. I tried off-body carry but quickly found I had no chance of getting to my gun when I needed it. Therefore, the only way I've been able to carry is in a horizontal shoulder harness. This allows me to carry my gun high in my armpit, but without the straps connecting to my pants. Yes, it's a less than ideal compromise, but one that seems to be working for me right now.

My EDC used to be my EC9s mainly due to its size. The thumb safety gave me some comfort that I wouldn't shoot myself or the person behind me. However, I've come to dislike the thumb safety as it's one more thing I have to remember should I have to draw under stress. More recently I started carrying my SD9VE which has no safety. The long heavy trigger IS the safety. Reholstering seems to be the biggest risk.

One of the guns I've been considering in another thread is the H&K P30. As I learn more about the differences between DA/SA and striker-fired guns the DA/SA seems to be more appealing to me. I know they're preferred by many, though a striker is the most popular.

If there's a better carry method for a fat man than horizontal shoulder I'm all ears. Either way, I'd like your thoughts (no gasoline please) DA/SA vs. striker for an armpit carry position.
 

awshoot

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I'm in the minority but I prefer DA/SA because it adds one more layer to eff up before a ND happens. I personally believe that nobody can avoid being negligent 100% of the time.

For my carry I have use DA/SA with a decocking safety and practice hard at working the safety. That FBI dude who shot a dancer would not be fired today if he had one extra layer of protection between being a bonehead and pulling the trigger. And while we can also say that it wouldn't have happened if he had not been a bonehead in the first place, I don't think there is anybody anywhere in the world, who hasn't been a bonehead from time to time. We mostly just get away with it and so tend to not think of ourselves as idiots.
 
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I know a man that is about your weight and is about 6'8" He drives for a wrecking/towing company. He is the guy that when there are plane crashes or big rigs or buses that go sideways, they call him to come out. He wears coveralls, all the time, with a Glock 21, floating around loosely in his front pocket.

I have known him for 22 years and he has told me he has never had an ND and he still has his G21, his piece and the beans below.

I keep telling him to get a holster whenever I run into him, but he is totally confident that his G21 will never go off, unless his finger is in the trigger guard.

For me, I am 6'2", 260lbs and I love shoulder carry holsters and small of back belt holsters. I would suggest getting into a full size framed DA/SA handgun like a HK P30 or a CZ75 B or BD. One you can handle the weight, two it is very safe and you will know if you firearm is locked and loaded. The main gripe I have against striker fired, if knowing if the striker is ready, or if I have to put it in action. This is one of the reasons why I like a springfield XD as a striker firearm, because it has a tactic and visual indicator for the striker being good to go. The con, is that its a dead ugly firearm.
 

The Heretic

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More or less, I started off with Glocks. I have shot/owned other striker fired pistols too - Kahr, Walther, etc.

I have NEVER liked the trigger on any striker fired handgun I have shot. They are "squishy" to me, and it always seems like I could keep pulling the trigger and nothing happens, until it does - I have even had nightmares about pulling and pulling the trigger and nothing.

DA/SA on the other hand:

1) Both DA and SA are triggers I feel like I know when they are going to break and that it will break. To me it is like a DA revolver.

2) DA/SA with decocker with no safety. Safe to carry with a round chambered and the hammer down (at least the SIGs I own are), so that is how I carry them. Lowering the hammer with the decocker makes that safer than doing it with a SA like a 1911 - IMO.

I have no problem with transitioning from the first DA shot to SA - not that I am an expert (or even a decent shot), but I just don't feel I have a problem with it.

Never had an unintentional discharge with a striker fired gun, but obviously it is possible if something gets inside the trigger guard.

3) I have read that 80% of the misfires are due to primers, and that in that case, a restrike on the primer almost always addresses the problem. With DA, you have that capability.

My only complaint about DA/SA, is that nobody seems to make a light/slim/compact hi-cap pistol like the SIG 365 in DA/SA - only striker fired. I have a SIG 224, but it is considerably more bulky and heavier than the 365 - plus SIG no longer makes it. SIG and most other manufacturers are going or have gone completely to striker fired guns instead of DA/SA. The exception being CZ and a few others.
 

FourTeeFive

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I started years ago on DA/SA pistols and now own those and striker fired. I'm not a big fan of striker-fired; as others have said, their triggers tend to suck. The Sig P320 series is one of the best in terms of trigger feel. But I own some Glocks that have had work done to them and the triggers are better but still mediocre.

My carry is a P365 due to size, but I'm in agreement with The Heretic that a P365-like pistol in DA/SA would by my ultimate choice. In fact, I bought an early P365 which didn't have a manual safety, and have upgraded it with the manual safety just as an added level of safety.

The suggestions here have been good. Hard to go wrong with a CZ. Particularly check out the P-01 which is a decocker-style and a nice mid-size gun. It is also an alloy frame so lighter than other all-steel CZ.

The new Springfield Armory XD-E series looks really good. DA/SA with a decocker/safety, and comes in different sizes and calibers.


As far as carry goes, have you checked out chest rigs? Might be another option to consider depending on your clothing style:



 

User 1234

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I also use shoulder holsters when appropriate. DA/SA guns. With the thumb break the hammer cannot be cocked so even if something was pulling the trigger it is very unlikely to fire with the thumb break in place.

A CZ P-01 or PCR sound perfect for you.
 
Try a Versacarry. Works great with any belt for IWB. It does not restrict your range of motion whatsoever. I have never had any problems or ND with my striker fired compact 45. Been using one for at least six years now.
 

asiparks

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Sounds like you shed some weigh, so congrats on that !
I have striker and SA and SA/DA but I generally prefer the non strikers, rotating between BHP and CZ. Thumb safeties have never been an issue, it's part of practice- I tend to ride it too, so if by some brain fart I don't sweep it off when pushing the gun out, my thumb is right on top pushing down anyway.
I've never had an ND with a striker pistol, but there's something I find reassuring being able to see the condition of a hammer - go figure.

If the shoulder holster works for you, then stick with it, as far as reholstering- if my gun is out then it's staying out until LE arrive, then it will go on the ground with my foot on top of it, until instructed otherwise.

If you want a slim SA/DA there is the Browning BDA 9 if you can find one- very slim and light indeed, but no longer made, or, as everybody's already mentioned, CZ's.
The CZ75/75 compact is not light, but it is slim. The alloy framedf P01s are lighter The polymer framed P07 and P09 are fantastic and fairly light, but quite girthy. They are all dependable, accurate enough and enjoyable to shoot.
There are also the High Power-esque SA/DA FEG and Kareen pistols, sort of Browning/S&W mash up... They're similarly sized to regular hi powers...
While the temptation is to go small, I think people tend to underestimate the size of pistol they can comfortably conceal.
 
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oremike

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I'm 6'3" and I'll say 280 but really a bit more. I'm left handed and like to carry at the 8 O' Clock position. Basiclly infront of my back pocket but behind my gut. I carry my large frame guns OWB and my small framed guns IWB in the same position abet not at the same time. ;) Revolvers I carry fully loaded and if I can shoot I them single action. (Semi) automagics I carry with a full clip but no round in the chamber. I draw and slingshot the slide basically making them all single action.
 

WillametteWill

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No fuel on the fire, it's a legit question. (Trust me, I spend time at other places dousing this subject with petrol :rolleyes:)

I've carried all three with the DA/SA as a duty gun. It was a natural and good transition from revolvers. I won't lie, most find learning the DA/SA transition to initially be a challenge but with practice it can be fine as @The Heretic noted. Some DA pulls are nicer that others so try them out if you are headed this way.

For size, Beretta makes the PX4 Storm in compact and I believe even a subcompact. Have two family members with the compact, one new and the other with 2k plus rounds through it. Reinforced the aforementioned learning curve. This is a smaller but double stack gun so lots of rounds.

Some run the DA/SA guns with safety decockers off safe and decoked (DA), that is how my old department trained with 5900 series S&W's (like a Sig 226 is naturally). Safety on provides another option, especially in a horizontal rig. Good luck on your quest and congrats on downsizing!
 
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I am 6'6" and about 360lbs so feel the big boy pain. I carry every day and have tried numerous different options including ankle holsters, IWB, OWB and shoulder holsters. My go to for EDC? Alien Gear shape shift...just the most comfortable for me. I usually will have either my 1911 commander or a Glock 45 (9mm) on and have no issues. I work in a construction trade so bending over, up and down ladders, in and out of harnesses and so on and still find it to be the most comfortable by far. Big fan of the DeSantis Slim tuck also.
 

hatchj

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I see da/sa and striker fired basically identical in usage...minus something with a decocker. My p10c has a, imho, great trigger. I like it over my p229 for the fact that the trigger pull is the same...every single time, no matter what. But i see those methods of operation as basically the same.
 
OP
anonEmouse
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I personally believe that nobody can avoid being negligent 100% of the time.
I tend to agree. I think we all work to be mindful and safe, but we also know of too many who have made mistakes. All it takes is one.

He wears coveralls, all the time, with a Glock 21, floating around loosely in his front pocket.
Yeah, I tried the pocket carry thing briefly and didn't like trying to draw from a seated position.

The main gripe I have against striker fired, if knowing if the striker is ready, or if I have to put it in action. This is one of the reasons why I like a springfield XD as a striker firearm, because it has a tactic and visual indicator for the striker being good to go.
I always carry with one in the chamber, so they're always ready to go. I think that's one of the reasons the SD9VE has a heavy trigger.

I would suggest getting into a full size framed DA/SA handgun like a HK P30 or a CZ75 B or BD.
While I'm familiar with the CZ name, I've not given them a serious look. The P30 is currently at the top of my list because of the modular grips that come with it to fit my hand. Willing to consider a CZ I suppose.

More or less, I started off with Glocks. I have shot/owned other striker fired pistols too - Kahr, Walther, etc.

I have NEVER liked the trigger on any striker fired handgun I have shot. They are "squishy" to me, and it always seems like I could keep pulling the trigger and nothing happens, until it does - I have even had nightmares about pulling and pulling the trigger and nothing.

DA/SA on the other hand:

1) Both DA and SA are triggers I feel like I know when they are going to break and that it will break. To me it is like a DA revolver.

2) DA/SA with decocker with no safety. Safe to carry with a round chambered and the hammer down (at least the SIGs I own are), so that is how I carry them. Lowering the hammer with the decocker makes that safer than doing it with a SA like a 1911 - IMO.

I have no problem with transitioning from the first DA shot to SA - not that I am an expert (or even a decent shot), but I just don't feel I have a problem with it.

Never had an unintentional discharge with a striker fired gun, but obviously it is possible if something gets inside the trigger guard.

3) I have read that 80% of the misfires are due to primers, and that in that case, a restrike on the primer almost always addresses the problem. With DA, you have that capability.

My only complaint about DA/SA, is that nobody seems to make a light/slim/compact hi-cap pistol like the SIG 365 in DA/SA - only striker fired. I have a SIG 224, but it is considerably more bulky and heavier than the 365 - plus SIG no longer makes it. SIG and most other manufacturers are going or have gone completely to striker fired guns instead of DA/SA. The exception being CZ and a few others.
Unfortunately, my only references are my SD9VE and EC9S. I like the EC9S trigger better, but it's too snappy to be fun to shoot. Prior to just a few years ago, it had been 40-years since I had owned a gun. Then, it was a revolver. With the two I have, I've learned enough to know what I don't like about them.

I agree with everything you've said.

My carry is a P365 due to size, but I'm in agreement with The Heretic that a P365-like pistol in DA/SA would by my ultimate choice.
I've already learned that the smaller the gun the less fun to shoot. That also means I'm likely to train less with it as much.

As far as carry goes, have you checked out chest rigs? Might be another option to consider depending on your clothing style:
Only briefly. I typically wear a t-shirt and open overshirt. I've yet to see a chest holster that wasn't visible under the t-shirt.

I've carried all three with the DA/SA as a duty gun. It was a natural and good transition from revolvers. I won't lie, most find learning the DA/SA transition to initially be a challenge but with practice it can be fine as @The Heretic noted. Some DA pulls are nicer that others so try them out if you are headed this way.
As I note above, I'm not deeply entrenched in strikers. I want to enjoy shooting it so I'll spend time training with it, not looking for my next gun. I don't think learning a DA/SA will be a major hurdle. It's looking to me like there are certain advantages to making the change.

Some run the DA/SA guns with safety decockers off safe and decoked (DA), that is how my old department trained with 5900 series S&W's (like a Sig 226 is naturally). Safety on provides another option, especially in a horizontal rig. Good luck on your quest and congrats on downsizing!
I like the idea of a decocker, and I like a safe horizontal carry. I don't think they're mutually exclusive.

Had a heart attack last year and am thankful to still be here. Trying to use this as an incentive to be more active. Spending time at the range isn't (and probably shouldn't) be a cardio workout. But it's something. I also have significant spinal issues that get in the way sometimes. This getting old stuff bites!
 

awshoot

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While I'm familiar with the CZ name, I've not given them a serious look. The P30 is currently at the top of my list because of the modular grips that come with it to fit my hand. Willing to consider a CZ I suppose.
...
CZ makes nice guns. Maybe it is having a generic two letter name or something that keeps them from gaining visibility, but despite the lower level of name recognition, they're highly rated by most people who have them. There will always be a naysayer of course. Youtube has tons of reviews of course.
 
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I'm also a big guy but have good belts that fit just fine (I also wear suspenders and can tighten the right one up a bit for some extra support). I carry either IWB in a sort of generic nylon holster (DeSantis "LA") with either a PX4 compact .40 or PX4 compact 9mm (both are the same size; both "plastic" DA/SA; and holding the hammer down when holstering, prevents a ND in that mode. Plus I have a safety/decocker on both and carry with one up the pipe and shoot in DA on first shot.)

I also carry either a S&W 4513 (compact 45acp) or 4013 (same size only in 40) in DeSantis nylon holsters; or a Smith 642 .38 +P special with shrouded hammer in a "Sticky" pocket holster (easy with big guy jeans) or a Smith M&P Shield in .45 with a safety in another Sticky holster.

I'd say your best bet is a polymer framed, hammer-fired gun ala the PX 4 compact. It's small enough to be comfortable, comes in 9, 40 or 45; I'd get the safety/decocker and if you want to ignore the "safety" part of it that's just fine; sure and safe reholstering if you keep your thumb on the hammer when doing it (so it would work just fine with a shoulder holster); and it's a Beretta. HKs cost a ton and while certainly worth it, the PX4 is just as good a gun. And if you want it "tuned" send it to Langston for a workover or buy their "Trigger job in a bag" if you are handy around smithing.
 
OP
anonEmouse
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I feel going to the range and spending few bucks on some different rentals would really help you see what you like or don't. For whats its worth I have pretty large hands and find the CZ P01 a great shooter and it is in my current carry rotation.
I agree, and plan on shooting before I purchase. Given the current circumstances being patient is in my favor. I don't have huge hands. My 6'8" tall brother-in-law has huge hands!
 

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