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Decocker Pros/Cons

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Bunny, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    What are the advantages or disadvantages of a decocker? What's your experience with them? Do you prefer them or not? And Why?
     
  2. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I like them. I have one on my Sig, and I had a Beretta that decocked when the safety was engaged.
    Person I like it. If your shooting or just loading a weapon anywhere and rather than manually decocking that could result in accidental discharge you can decock your weapon in a safer manner. Of course still using basic safety measures.

    If your out shooting in the summer and your sweaty thumb decocking the hammer can slip.

    I would rather just not take the chance.
     
  3. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I like decockers on exposed hammer DA automatic pistols.
    What I hate is when there is a decocker and a safety.
    Why would you need a safety on DA anyway?

    I don't carry cocked and locked, so almost all my pistols have decockers.

    The original S&W/Walther 99 striker pistol had one, not sure why.
     
  4. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    Advantage: If you have to lower the hammer, you aren't at the mercy of your thumb pressure. (Safe handling rules still apply.) I'm sure there has been a few AD's when people pull the trigger to lower the hammer. (Never been one on a single action revolver that I know of, though.)

    Disadvantage: Another control, possible complexity.

    If you want to see a "neat" one, look at the H&K P2000. The decocker is at the rear next to the hammer, rather than on the side of the gun. Very unobtrusive.

    I like them if they are there, I don't miss them if they are not.
     
  5. Glock32

    Glock32 Marion county, or Active Member

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    I have numerous pistols with decockers and like them all, to date I like the sig set up the best.
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Battle Ground Well-Known Member

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    there are no accidental discharges only negligent discharges
     
  7. k9kaboom

    k9kaboom Discovery Bay, WA New Member

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    Train as you fight/ Fight as you train. Personally I dont like decockers, its an extra step to do in a gunfight. That being said , your average buyer sometimes needs the added safety BUT, there have been problem....the S&W versions of the PPK, a few years ago, they were recalled because some of the firearms were firing when decocked due to a failure in the weapon. Where I agree with Scott on the ND comment this would be the only example I can think of thats and actual AD, because its not user induced. My company was training Navy EOD guys in advanced tactics before deploying to Iraq a few years ago, having to de-decock/ safety the weapon everytime prior to movement gave the guys/gals fits because it was an extra movement under stress. As an experiment we took some back out on the range with 1911's and there performance increased 2 fold without any safety issues. Its like anything else though, IF YOU TRAIN USING THE DE-COCKER/SAFETY it becomes muscle memory and not a big issue. So its kind of personal preference.
     
  8. lesscubes

    lesscubes Burien Member

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    I have a Sig now, I've had a 1911. I haven't trained heavily with either but I like cocked and locked better than the Decocker. Both are very nice guns and I plan to own more SIG's and more 1911's. I don't really care for striker guns generally.
     
  9. buick455

    buick455 se portland Member

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    Seems to me that it was so you could dis-assemble the gun without pulling the trigger unlike the glock.


    Maybe I'm dumb, but at what point during a gun fight would one use a de-cocker?

    If I don't have a round chambered I'll rack the slide and commence with the firing and if I do have a round chambered I probably decocked it before I left home. It's not like a saftey that has to be moved in order to fire the gun.
     
  10. k9kaboom

    k9kaboom Discovery Bay, WA New Member

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    Maybe I'm dumb, but at what point during a gun fight would one use a de-cocker?

    Its the training requirement the Navy put on us for training their people. The concern is, with out getting into to much detail, when u are moving from place to place in a gunfight (cover or concealment) if u trip or something to that extent u might squeeze the trigger. For an example its like watching a fight on TV or playing a video game, u will see people jerk their legs or twist their arms. etc... Its mostly involuntary muscle movement. Same thing can happen if u trip or fall with a firearm in ur hand, u grip the weapon as u fall and possibly squeeze the trigger.
     
  11. buick455

    buick455 se portland Member

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    Seems to me that a gun in DA would be harder to accidentally fire than SA but one on safe would be better.

    Since you have trained our military...... do you find that under REAL stress that they will actually decock or put a weapons saftey on. Or do they just go thru the motions in training?
     
  12. k9kaboom

    k9kaboom Discovery Bay, WA New Member

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    I think its about 50/50. Some actually would practice alot so that it became muscle memory for them, others went through the motion so they could finish the course. I was Army for 9 years and saw the same thing, for me its about adopting what works for you as long as its safe and smooth. My personal pref is to make sure ur trigger finger is indexed along the side instead of the trigger guard, that way if ur finger "curls" it doesn't squeeze the trigger. From personal experience, when the bubblegum hits the fan ur training does take over, luckily for me...my primary weapon never went dry and I didnt have to switch to my M9. Guys that work with me have said they NEVER decocked in the "sandbox" or placed a rifle on safe while on patrol, they just kept finger indexed.
     
  13. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    So, you have two options. :thumbup:

    Well, my HK has only decocker too. DA/SA

    Like you said, I didn't care for it. Down side would be, pulling sucky DA trigger pull.:bluelaugh:

    I would not mind carry condition.1 cocked and locked like 1911.
     
  14. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    My favorite full size pistol is a da/sa decocker only, no safety. That's the way I prefer it.
    When I ready it for carry, I chamber a round, decock, and then I half-cock the trigger which shortens and lightens the DA trigger pull slightly. It's a good middle ground between a full da/sa first squeeze.
    If I ever need to use it, I dont want to be fumbling with anything. Just point and pull the trigger.
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  15. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've currently got one with and one without. The Sig P239 has the decocker to put it in a "safe" condition for carry (hammer down for DA first pull). No other safety on it. That makes the manual of arms very easy to remember - draw, acquire target, pull trigger. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed. That setup just makes sense to me - similar to a DA revolver, but with the followup shots a little less hard to pull. And not having to pull the trigger to lower the hammer for any reason (holstering, storage, etc) is MUCH better than holding a hammer back with one hand or thumb while triggering it to lower. I've had them slip - always on an empty chamber and following other safety precautions, but still enough to realize the inherent risk is there.

    My other is a Sig P238, modelled on the 1911 platform (with a few slight changes to the safety function). No decocker, but only a manual safety (no additional beavertail like full-size 1911's, though it does have a firing pin lock to prevent a hammer-fall discharge if the trigger has not been pulled). The manual of arms here changes, assuming you are carring in condition 1 "cocked and locked" (which I do) - draw, acquire target, release safety, pull trigger. That's one more step...which has to be practiced with to become memory to not be forgotten in a stress situation. Not a problem if you have trained for it...just different.

    I have seen decocker/safety combinations that make sense as well - partial "on" for safety to allow carrying in condition 1 with a lighter SA trigger pull, or trip the lever fully down to decock for DA pull (assuming the safety then returns to OFF). But if it decocks and then stays on "SAFE" it defeats the purpose in my eyes of having the DA.

    I guess in some ways it boils down to what you are looking for and what you are comfortable with. I grew up always taught that the hammer was down and the safety was on unless you were shouldered (rifle/shotgun) or in position (handgun) and taking aim. At all other times, especially storage, the firearm was in as safe a position as it could possibly be while still being ready for it's intended use (so if locked in a safe, it was unloaded, decocked, action open, etc). That upbringing leads me to find a decocked DA/SA to be the most logical way to carry feeling safe about having a loaded firearm tucked into my pants around other people in busy places under varying circumstances while still being able to quickly put it to use if needed. Of course, that said, I have been carrying the P238 now for almost 3 weeks steady in condition 1 and I HAVE been able to get comfortable with the idea that it is just as safe and just as efficient as a DA/SA. Part of that is because it has a VERY positive safety switch (no accidentally slipping it on or off) and partly because I've got it in a quality fitted holster that covers the safety from being touched until drawn AND postively covers the trigger from being caught/pulled. No way I'd carry without some kind of holster - versus many DAO that people simply toss in their pants pocket and off they go...

    Don't know if that offers you any help or not. Sorry for being longwinded...sometimes I fly off on a tangent. Just the way I am.
    ~Casey
     
  16. mattg521

    mattg521 portland.,or Member

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    Wouldn't that officer need to "safety" the weapon before holstering? Seems like the same # of steps to me.
    If then attacked and involved in a struggle the decocker model could be pulled and fired without having to manipulate any controls. In this instance there is one less step.
    I understand some shooters preference for SA trigger on all shots but can't see how decocking vs safety on/off represents an extra step ever.
     
  17. k9kaboom

    k9kaboom Discovery Bay, WA New Member

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    Actually there is a study out there using inmates and weapons manipulation. If I can find it and the vids I will post. The study showed that the average inmate, convisted of violent crimes with a weapon, had a harder time with 1911 style weapons versus the Beretta style with a decocker. The vids (undercover) actually show inmates practicing on how to remove the slide off the 92 series because its so simple and they also pointed out to the CO's (corrections officers) that a standard 92F CANNOT do a contact shot because the pressure puts the weapon out of battery. I'll stick to 1911's, XD's and Glocks, it was actually funny watching the guys try to find the "external" safety/ decocker on the glocks and XD's:peace:
     
  18. mattg521

    mattg521 portland.,or Member

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    Ah, understood. I thought you were speaking as decocker vs safety not "safe action".
     
  19. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    All good points. Is the only other way of safely decocking, unloading completely, and letting the hammer drop?


    How would a decocker and a safety work exactly? Is it a combined action or two separate actions and levers? I saw a pistol on youtube or something that when the decocker was flipped, you couldn't physically pull the trigger again, not even for DA. Is that an example of decocker and safety? My understanding is that with most decockers you can still fire immediately after it's been decocked, just in DA. So then I ask myself, what is the point of a decocker/safety. Extra security or peace of mind? Or is it for people who prefer a manual safety, but still don't feel comfortable decocking the hammer with their thumb? A best of both worlds thing? I don't really understand.... Can anyone explain this to me better?


    What makes decockers complex? Are they more likely to be fumbled and hit? Forgotten or misused under stress? Why do you like them if they're there?


    Why do you like it the best?


    See, I still don't understand how having a decocker becomes an extra step. Assuming your particular pistol is designed this way, you should be able to draw and fire without ever touching the decocker lever. Granted you may not get SA on the first pull, but I'm not understanding how it hinders your ability to fire quickly.

    Are you talking about people forgetting what it is and treating it as a manual safety? If so I can see how they can get hung up. Or are you talking about decockers acting as a safety also and not firing?



    Here's where I get confused.... Someone said you can't carry a pistol that has a decocker, "cocked and locked". Ok obviously you can't put a safety on and "lock it" if it doesn't have one, but you still physically could cock the hammer all the way and carry it that way couldn't you? If you were brave enough to do so? Does anyone ever do this?

    And what about these pistols that supposedly get put in safe mode after being decocked? Can you carry those half cocked or is there some kind of "cocked and locked" equivalent with those?


    partial "on"?

    Someone mentioned this up above and I think because I can't see it in action, it's confusing me a little. But I think I get it for the most part. Instead of carrying cocked and locked with a safety on, decocker people sometimes opt to carry half (partially) cocked to lighten the trigger, while still feeling safer... realizing that they have no manual safety to prevent a discharge. Correct?

    And don't feel bad, long-windedness is a big help :). I like the clarification.

    And I agree... It really comes down to what a person feels comfortable with and how confident and competent they feel opperating their weapon properly under any circumstance. And readiness and safety can be a bit of a trade off sometimes. Each person chooses what works best for them. I just have to figure out my options before I can decide that. Thanks for the help. :)



    I was thinking the same.


    If you remove Glocks from the equation, then what? Should we all carry Glocks to avoid this? Better yet, don't answer that last part. :p






    So I'm still kinda confused on all the different decocker variations....

    How many different types of decockers are there?
    How many combination safety/decocker mechanisms are there?
    What type of action/s do they perform and in what order?
    And how are they useful or not?


    Can someone link me to this specific info or list it here?

    And sorry if this is a dumb or redundant question, but at what point would you need to decock? If you've racked the slide, or pulled the hammer back and then decided not to fire? Are those the only cases in which you would do that?

    Is there any extra wear and tear on the mechanics of the gun due to decockers? Do they cause any mechanical problems or malfunctions? Do they lessen these issues in any way?
     
  20. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    By "partial on" I was referring to decocker/safety combinations that are part of the same control lever, where the lever offers both functions depending on how far you move it. Partial "on" would actually be safety-ON versus fully de-cocked. The issue is that with some weapons offering both in the same control, often after you have decocked the pistol it defaults to safety ON - which is what I think nubus was referring to disliking (and I'm not a fan of either). The location of the sig decocker is forward of the slide release and is quickly/easily manipulated with the thumb immediately after releasing the slide when chambering a round - sort of a one-two thumb movement and you are ready to go.

    As for how many types of decockers there are, or safety/decocker combos (and the order) - just about each manufacturer seems to have their own setup. Sigs are the same across all that use the decocker from what I've seen. Beretta has different styles depending on the specific setup you get (the 92 is available with several different options for example). Not sure on the others out there. Might be worthwhile to stop in at a gun shop where they don't treat you like an idiot (I've found a few so far) and ask them to go over the controls of different pistols.

    As for when to use it - I use it on my P239 any time the hammer is back and I am not going to pull the trigger. After I've unloaded and am putting it away in the safe. After I've racked the slide and am getting ready to holster. If I were in a situation where I had pulled back the hammer, but decided not to fire, then at that time as well (although, with the DA first shot, I'd rarely consciously pull back the hammer for the first shot...unless bench firing for accuracy maybe).