Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Striker fire vs SA/DA

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by footballplaya98311, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. footballplaya98311

    footballplaya98311 Bremerton Member

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hello fellow gun enthusiasts! I'm going to be in the market for a concealed carry pistol within the next few months and I would like some input on which all of you prefer. Also, feel free to explain the differences too. I have a basic understanding of how they work. Any and all input is appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    1,013
  3. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    318
    1. "Double action" and "single action":
    Pulling a trigger in double action literally causes the hammer or striker to perform two actions: cock and release. In single action, the hammer or striker must already be cocked, and pulling the trigger releases the mechanism. Because it has more work to do, a trigger in double action has a heavier pull weight, and a longer draw. A trigger in single action rests near the break, and has a light and short pull.

    2. Configurations:
    DAO = Double Action Only. DAO hammers will not remain cocked when manually cycled or drawn back. The hammer and trigger will always return to the forward, double action position.

    SAO = Single Action Only. The mechanism must be manually cocked prior to firing, as the trigger will not cock the mechanism. 1911s, Browning Hi Powers, and some revolvers are SAO.

    DA/SA = double action if not previously cocked. Once fired, DA/SA semi autos will set themselves in SA. It is worth mention that DA/SA semis always go into SA when the slide reciprocates, which means that chambering a round puts them in SA. In order to put them in DA, they must be decocked. Some feature a decocker, others must be decocked manually.

    3. Striker fired:
    Striker fired pistols have no external hammer. Instead, the firing pin assembly reciprocates internally. The most common system is a partially cocked striker. When the trigger is pulled, the striker finishes cocking, and then releases. This can be counted as "double action only", as Glocks are described. Occasionally, striker fired pistols may use a fully cocked striker (Walther PPQ, for example) or be DA/SA (Walther P99 AS and some Taurus pistols being examples.

    4. How they relate:
    DA pulls are the longest and heaviest. Common weights are around 9 pounds.

    Striker fired pulls are medium in length, commonly around 5.5-6 pounds, and credited with being "spongy" or "creepy", as the first portion typically completes the cocking of the striker.

    SA pulls are short, light, and often very clean.
     
  4. Oklahomie

    Oklahomie Marysville Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    171
    I'm striker fired guy but man do I love cz and sings. The px4 has a pretty smooth DA trigger albeit heavy.
     
  5. redhippie

    redhippie People's republic of PDX Active Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    35
    On thing I like about any weapon with an external hammer is that you can tell the condition of the fire arms very easily. No tiny load indicator.

    Another thing that is nice with a DA/SA is the ability to return weapon to DA while transitioning between targets or running between stations. I really appreciate that while run-and-gunning out in the woods. Extra margin of safety.

    Speaking of safeties, there are none with the sig DA/SAs
     
  6. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    318
    Advantages / Disadvantages (real or perceived):

    - the longer and heavier a trigger pull is, the more opportunity there is for the sights to move off target before the trigger breaks. In terms of "ease of accuracy", it is generally true that SA > striker > DA. Again, generally true, not universally, and this also assumes similar size frame and sight radius.

    - single action pulls are light and short enough that they almost universally come with a safety or decocker, so that people can put them in a condition that they'll feel safe carrying in. In other words, when you deploy a firearm with an SA trigger, you must either fire in DA first (DA/SA), disengage a safety (SAO), or manually cock a hammer (SAO revolver or decocked SAO) before you're shooting in SA. This may effect the speed or accuracy of the first shot off the draw.

    - finger travel... When you're shooting defensively in close quarters, you want absolute speed and accuracy. SA pulls involve the least finger travel on follow up shots, which makes them extremely easy to operate with speed. In contrast, the finger has a lot of work to do in order to rapidly dump multiple rounds with a DAO trigger. DAOs have also been "short stroked" (pulled again prior to trigger reset, resulting in no shot fired) enough that new configurations have been developed (like Sig's DAK). Short stroking is a non issue with SA or striker fired mechanisms, which have substantially shorter resets.

    - many people are of the belief or opinion that a DA pull makes the user less likely to accidentally discharge a shot under stress while physically shaking. This is true, if the user has their finger in the trigger guard prior to making the decision to shoot. The consideration holds weight with nearly all European police, who almost universally carry DA/SA for this reason.


    My personal preference:

    Striker fired.

    Because of civilian RoE, we are unlikely to start from a low ready position. If we have to shoot to live, odds are good that we will be drawing and engaging very rapidly. Time to first hit is critical. I don't want a safety or a DA first pull. I want to break that first shot ASAP, and I want a short reset for rapid follow up shots.

    In the extremely unlikely event of a longer distance engagement, I would also enjoy the superior ease of accuracy of a striker fired trigger vs DAO, although people carrying SAO or DA/SA can engage with SA in these situations.

    In short, I think striker fired gives us the most generally user friendly configuration.
     
  7. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,609
    Likes Received:
    988
    John Browning gave up on striker fired guns over a hundred years ago, until recently striker fired guns have all been cheaply made knock offs of his original designs.

    If you are really concerned with D/a trigger pull, I suggest you put a roll of quarters in your purse and hit assailants with it instead.
     
    v98034 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    627
    I have found it is all a matter of personal choice. Whatever you pick, practice, practice, practice until you become proficient. Then, it will be the best choice for you.

    Self defense skills are very perishable. After you become proficient, you must continue practicing on a regular basis. Dry firing is a very important part of my training strategy. It is the cheapest and most accessible. Striker firing handguns do not make it easy because most do not have second strike capability. I replaced my S&W360PM with a S&W Shield 9mm about six months ago. My dry fire drills were much more effective and rewarding with my snubby.

    In short, there is no panacea.
     
    Sgt Nambu and (deleted member) like this.
  9. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    318
    Coop,

    I never said I was 'concerned about' DA. It's simply a matter of having multiple options, one of which is preferable to me.
     
  10. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    318
    The whole post that this was pulled from is full of truth. I picked this segment to quote because there is a minor quibble. I am going to use an intentionally extreme example, for the purpose of modeling logic of the same type, albeit on a different scale of variance.

    If I practice making 200 yard shots with a handgun, and really put time into it, I could eventually get to where I could hit a static target somewhat consistently. If I pick a tool that is better suited to that range, I can get considerably more effective, very quickly. Some tools provide a better starting point, and better top end potential.

    As this relates to action types... SA vs striker is pretty much splitting hairs. Neither of them is really going to fight the user. The difference is typically about 1 to 1.5 pounds of pull weight, and a little bit of travel. Between those two, the preference often relates to safety vs no safety, or DA first pull vs consistent pull. They're both great choices. DAO vs either is another story. It is absolutely possible to train to a point where the user can be truly terrifying with DAO (extreme example: Jerry Miculek!), but it does take more work to be as effective with say, a Sig P250 vs a 1911.

    I'd like to add that it would be VERY difficult to find a strong DAO shooter who is not also extremely capable with striker or SA. DAO shooters have to develop superior trigger control to get the same consistency, so the rest will often feel like cheating to them.


    When it comes to defensive shooting, I'm a believer in 1. The right software and 2. The right hardware. I want the best tool (for me), and I want the best possible preparation. As long as a person picks a functional tool, practice will take them a lot farther than hardware selection. Selection goes out the window if you can't draw smoothly and quickly enough to get the weapon in the fight, or if you aren't paying attention to your surroundings well enough to know when bad things are developing.
     
  11. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    324
    "Riding the reset" is a favorite technique of the striker fired set. It is also a ridiculous one way range gimmick that will not hold up in stress fire.

    I'd rather snap off a thumb safety on an SAO and have a real short travel trigger at my disposal than some two piece hinged doohickey with a "tactile and audible" click reset that requires stopping the trigger's return travel just so or you risk short stroking the trigger.

    For that matter, I'd rather train to fire a DA first shot to have the single action trigger on the remaining shots over dealing with the "sproing" staple gun trigger feel of a striker equipped model.
     
    aksu747 likes this.
  12. Netspirit

    Netspirit Bellevue, WA Active Member

    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    177
    I much prefer striker-fired pistols. Consistency of the trigger pull (and muscle memory) and hammer-less design are good features.
    If you need an additional safety for the first shot, you can have an external safety in a striker-fired gun.
     
  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    7,607
    Likes Received:
    10,811
    The above posts are well stated. My only comment is that when I switched my carry pistol from a SA 1911 to a DAO Sig the transition was surprisingly smooth. Several other shooters have noticed that my Sig has an exceptionally light and smooth DA trigger and I used to practice a lot of DA with revolvers. Guess what I'm saying is
    A. You can get used to anything.
    B. Shoot as many different styles of firearms as possible, it's all good knowledge/fun.
    C. As above. Practice with what you prefer.
     
  14. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    318
    Riding the reset absolutely requires more practice and maintenance than most people (read as: probably 99.999%) will be willing to invest. With most striker fired pistols, reality is that the user will be letting out to complete trigger reset. Exceptions include the PPQ and P99 AS (1/10" resets-- no short stroking those!). Thankfully, letting out to complete reset still gives you a pretty short and light pull.

    As for the springy feel... I think that's every bit as overplayed as riding the reset. In live fire, neither is likely to be a real factor. I certainly don't notice any springy feel in rapid fire :)
     
  15. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    3,958
     
  16. footballplaya98311

    footballplaya98311 Bremerton Member

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    12
    Big thanks to everyone on here! I've learned a great deal and will do my best to try and test out different pistols. Much appreciated!
     
  17. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,826
    Hammer fired DA/SA for me. A long heavy trigger pull for the first shot so your really have to mean it with a short reset and shot pull on follow-up shots. Or if you need to make a precision first shot, cock the hammer back.
     
  18. fairlanericky

    fairlanericky Kent Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    20
    Not entirely true. There is/was a SIG SP2022 DA/SA with an external safety on gunbroker not long ago.



    Ric
     
  19. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    369
    The only striker fired pistol I like is the P08 Luger... :)

    102-0240_IMG.jpg
     
    aksu747 likes this.
  20. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    149
    I prefer DA/SA but I did give SF a chance. I bought the Springfield xd and gave it a try. All my other pistols are da/sa. I couldn't hit squat with the xd. I sold it after a few years of shooting it. I was always against DAO, due to the thought of the long trigger pull and thinking it would be impossible to hold it on the target. It's still hard for me to comprehend how I'm better with the super long pull. I picked up a sig p250 several years ago, only because it was a fair deal and the interchangeability intrigued me. It's kinda funny, after buying it I was very reluctant to take it to the range, in fear of disliking. So it sat in the safe for months. I finally took it to the range and compared to my 226 or Berrett I was very accurate with it. More so than I ever thought I would be. Sure it takes me a couple of seconds to empty a mag, but at 50 feet I'm confident to hold a pretty tight group. I still love my dozen or so da/sa, but if I were to have a competition I would have to use my p250.

    Since buying the p250, I've added a couple x - change kits to it. I think it's a underrated firearm, but hey that's not always a bad thing. At least it's cheap to add calibers to it:D