View Full Version : DA/SA 9mm for IDPA

Larry C.
April 2, 2005, 09:42 PM

I'm just getting back "into" recreational shooting after a 4 year lay-off. I'm a "revolver" guy. I've also noted that 9mm ammo can be had for less than HALF the price of my usual .38 Sp. ammo :mad:

While I'll use my S&W 586 in two weeks at my 1st IDPA meet (I'm SO excited!), I'm looking to acquire a quality Semi-Auto for future use in IDPA. I'm not too good with my Springfield 1911, I'm considerably more accurate and comfy with my revolvers. However, my question is: roughly what % of good IDPA shooters use DA/SA Semi-Autos? The reason I ask is that I've noticed that the Beretta 92 feels good in my hands. I think that the DA/SA system would be a hindrance initially, at least.
Do you know any good IDPA shooters who succeed with this type of trigger system?
Larry C.

Jim Watson
April 3, 2005, 05:38 AM
Dang, I can't find the Nationals line count.
However, DA/SA autos are a minority vs Glocks and 1911s, but they are there. I have shot IDPA SSP with a CZ-75 and will be working up a P226 but I am definitely swimming upstream.

Some guy name of Ernest Langdon has shown that both Beretta and Sig-Sauer can win. The DA to SA "crunch-tick" can be mastered. And after all, you only have to do it about a half-dozen times a day at the typical club match.

The guns can be improved by judicious gunsmithing... which Langdon also provides.

Cheap ammo and a new field to explore. What a wonderful excuse to buy a new gun.

Old Shooter
April 3, 2005, 06:29 AM

One of the advantages of a gun like the CZ 75 is that it can be shot DA/SA for SSP division or cocked and locked for ESP. ESP is the largest division in IDPA. Larry is right about trying to shoot against Glocks or for that matter any pistol that is DA only - it's done but it's a little harder due to that first shot. Some guys have gotten good at thumbing the first shot but ESP might be a better choice for you.

A wheel gun? You should talk to my shooting buddy - Shawn. He can out shoot me any day of the week with one. We once had a contest trying just for speed, loading 6 rounds and then a 6 round mag/moon clip change - I'm using a .45 pistol and he was using a .40 S&W. 12 rounds fired and nearly impossible to hear who finished first. But wheel guns are only scored against other wheel guns in their own division.

W Turner
May 10, 2005, 01:32 PM
Old Shooter- Someone more experienced than me may correct me here, but I would think that thumbing the hammer back on an SSP DA/SA pistol for your first shot would constitute a Failure To Do Right in IDPA. Then again the extra time it takes to do that may negate any speed advantage you would gain.

Any IDPA MD's wanna chime in here?


May 10, 2005, 01:41 PM
Can't comment on any rules

But at the point when you decide you need to hand cock the weapon

Haven't you decided you need a SA...or DAO :confused:

My biggest concern with DA autos is those people I see that never master the transistion...they simply avoid it.

I had it down...(perhaps I still do)....but I realized I didn't prefer it....

Old Shooter
May 10, 2005, 02:58 PM

I just checked the rules. They state that you must begin with the hammer down but do NOT state that the first shot must be double action.

If a competitor can safely thumb the hammer as he is bringing it up to sight, the extra time it MAY take could be negated by the accuracy of that first shot.

(This is really an academic thread. The right tool for the right job.)

Jim Watson
May 10, 2005, 03:07 PM
I can't see where thumb cocking a DA/SA auto would be against IDPA rules.

But it is a grossly inefficient way to get going at the start of a string. An auto is just not laid out for the technique; it isn't a SAA which is made that way. There was a guy at the old Columbia, TN IPSC club who manually cocked his P229 for each string. He was slooow onto that first target. And they seldom had the SHO and WHO strings common in IDPA, which would be even more awkward for him. Maybe dangerous.

I worked with a Condition 2 start many years ago, still have the Commander with spur hammer installed for the purpose. But I quit fooling with it when I realized that the guy here who was so high on the technique was lefthanded and had learned to shoot before ambi safeties were common.

Learn to use the gun as intended, for what Jan Stevenson called the "convulsive response." It can be done.

May 10, 2005, 03:15 PM
Cocking the hammer is fine. When I used a DA/SA HK P9S for competition I'd choose the DA trigger for targets inside 10 yards and use the cocking lever for longer shots. A similar type of decision to what amount of sight picture you're going to acquire depending on the range to target.

My old club saw plenty of DA/SA shooting with Berettas, Sigs, USPs and S&Ws. I'm sure the P99 gets a fair amount of range use.

There are all sorts of skills to master to be good at IDPA. Controlling a DA trigger I think is fairly minor compared to something like consistant sight alignment.

May 10, 2005, 09:51 PM
Choose the DA trigger???

Choose the SA trigger????

Oh yeah....IDPA is a game

I always tend to forget that part :D

May 11, 2005, 04:58 AM
Trigger weight, and distance of travel are directly tied to accuracy, free pistol shooters fire single shot .22 LR pistols at 50m and shoot incredible groups, but they have a loooong time to fire 10 rounds, and trigger weights of under 5 ozs!

However in IDPA you are under the clock re winning, or just doing well in your class, moving quickly from a 12lb first shot (long trigger pull) to a 4lb second shot, with much less length is an exercise not necessary in my estimation, and whilst it can be done well by people who wish to master this system, why would you want to?

Taking that thought a little further; into self defense using the D/S trigger, the most important shot will probably be the first! A three times heavier trigger for the first shot, than the second?

The Glock triggers out of the box are 5.5 lbs, and a very short reset, this system in IMHO would be a better choice for a revolver shooter to move to, if they desired an 11 round capacity right out of the holster.

Old Shooter
May 11, 2005, 08:31 AM
moving quickly from a 12lb first shot (long trigger pull) to a 4lb second shot, with much less length is an exercise not necessary in my estimation, and whilst it can be done well by people who wish to master this system, why would you want to?
That is exactly why ESP is the largest division in IDPA. The advantage of the CZ 75B (as an example) being perfect for IDPA is that without a decocker, it can be shot in either SSP or ESP. AND, the CZ 97B can be shot SSP,ESP,CDP.

May 11, 2005, 09:00 AM
"why would you want to?"

Obviously not because it makes for inherently better speed and accuracy :D

Don't bother pointing to individuals that can shoot faster and better than me with a DA auto.....Jerry Miculek can kick my butt with a revolver but that doesn't make me want one ;)

For some it adds piece of mind....they feel a ND is less likely because of the extra effort required to pull the trigger that first time

For others...it is what they are issued

Jim Watson
May 11, 2005, 09:12 AM
I thought SSP was the largest IDPA Division, so I went back and counted up for my state shoot. It was, just barely; 34 SSP vs 33 ESP. Also 29 CDP, so I doubt the difference in autoloader Division entries is statistically significant.

What we are seeing in ESP is a lot of IPSC obsolete single stack .38 Super 1911s coming out of the backs of gun cases. Scopes and compensators removed where present. Many with 9mm barrels installed for the cheap ammo. There are also a fair number of Glocks with so many modifications as to move them out of SSP.

CZs, in spite of their theoretical versatility, are very thin on the ground. The first year I shot mine full time, there was ONE other CZ at the Nationals, amongst 300 entries. Junior phenom Daniel Horner shot a TZ clone for a good while but I don't know if he still does.

Old Shooter
May 11, 2005, 02:06 PM

At our state shoot the ESP shooters outnumbered the SSP but not by any significant number. It might be interesting to see how that fares up on a national level. I am not sure where I got my info on ESP being the larger number but I will check into it.

You are right about the CZ being in short numbers but I believe that it is just in this country. They have always been associated in Europe as police and military weapons. The eastern bloc guns are really just coming into their own in the states.

I find that I shoot both my CZ's (75B SA and 97B) much better then any of my other guns - including my STI.

W Turner
May 13, 2005, 01:25 PM
I think that there are a few things that hinder CZ's popularity in IDPA.

1-the factory sights are tiny and aftermarket pickin's are slim
2-CZ in general is just now starting to catch on with the general shooting public
3-the SA on a CZ is ok out of the box, and can be improved but a 1911 will generally have a better OTB pull
4-the 75B comes with the mag brake that slows mag changes. Yes, it can be modified to work fine, but many people don't like to modify things they aren't familiar with, hence the popularity of the 1911's in this class

I loved the accuracy of my 75B, it was one of the three most accurate centerfire semi's I have ever owned, but I wasn't happy with my performance in matches with it. I will shoot in ESP again, but it will be with a 1911 in either 10mm or .38 Super.


May 13, 2005, 01:56 PM
I am suprised that ESP is seeing so much activity. I guess there are gamers in IDPA as well as in IPSC? ;)

May 13, 2005, 03:04 PM
ESP isn't for gamers. If your carry gun is a compact FM HiPower, or an XD, or an HK P7, you have to shoot them in ESP.

Hardly "gamers" guns.

Old Shooter
May 13, 2005, 03:23 PM
ESP is in favor also for the shooter who is trying to avoid that DA first shot and not wanting to buy a Glock (which I believe is the predominant weapon in SSP).

the SA on a CZ is ok out of the box, and can be improved but a 1911 will generally have a better OTB pull
That's pretty much true except if you look at the price difference. For less money then the 1911, a shooter can get a 75B SA worked on to produce a better gun and still have money left over.

May 13, 2005, 09:44 PM
I stand corrected. I assumed most guys shot their carry guns rather than switch to a game gun. Therefore, I figured guns of the ESP platform would represent the majority of carry guns and they do not. My bad.

Old Shooter
May 14, 2005, 05:45 AM

Although the concept of IDPA is actual carry weapons, I thing if anyone actually believes that then they are fooling themselves.

On the other hand it is not like IPSC - there are no race guns. The guns used are pretty much stock with a lot of restrictions on modification - grips, stippling, etc.. These guns are not tricked out

People who carry a 5" barrel anything are in a large minority but that is the predominant size gun. IDPA is a game and as such a competitor will look for an edge such as using ESP instead of SSP for a CZ75B, a holster that is on the edge of "legal", things like that.

I carry 24/7 and sometimes it's my full size CZ (the 75 not the 97) but that is rare. My 3 season carry is a Bersa Ultra Compact .45 and my summer gun is a P3AT. Hardly competitive.

Lucky 7
May 15, 2005, 01:26 PM
Try the Baby Eagle.

-All steel to soak up recoil
-Polygonal rifling in the barrel for accuracy
-Big, easy to use sights for IDPA work
-16+1 capacity if you want to use it as a truck/carry gun (though my mags are 19 rounder with the Ext Base Pads from Brownells giving you 20 9x19+p rounds before reloading!)
-Looks very sexy

Food for thought


I forgot that the platform is based on the CZ75 and has a smooth trigger out of the box!

May 19, 2005, 07:58 AM
DA/SA autos are a minority vs Glocks and 1911s, but they are there.
I thought I'd read somewhere that the Beretta 92 Elite (G model?) was also making a good showing in SSP. I thought about trying that gun in SSP myself, but fell back to a CZ 75 SA and shot ESP instead (I'm weak :p ).

I haven't tried this before, but I am planning to take the plunge and try shooting my Kimber [5"] CDP (my favorite carry gun) in IDPA CDP. (If I can find a nearby club that shoots IDPA that is.) I avoided this mostly because 45ACP is a lot more expensive than 9mm, and I don't reload (at least not yet :) ).

Junior phenom Daniel Horner shot a TZ clone for a good while but I don't know if he still does.
Daniel used to shoot a [EAA] Witness, but not anymore. Daniel finally went over to the Dark Side! :p

Daniel is now shooting an STI hi-cap in .38 Super. I got a chance to shoot it a couple weeks ago; that is one really sweet gun! :D