View Full Version : DA/SA Trigger drills

March 8, 2006, 11:39 PM
Can anyone recommend some good drills for mastering the DA trigger and the DA/SA transition?

March 9, 2006, 12:21 AM
can't you just de-cock it?
then get used to the transition, first shot da, second shot sa, then decock.

March 9, 2006, 03:04 AM
Practice helps but many have to change hand position between SA and DA which complicates things ! A DAO or SA gun is the better way.Some say the DA/SA is 'miss, hit,hit, hit '!!:rolleyes:

March 9, 2006, 04:40 AM
Some say the DA/SA is 'miss, hit,hit, hit '!!

The guy that sold Glock 22's to our local police service told me that when he was giving his sales pitch, that was one point that he impressed upon the brass. They bought it.

The best advice I can give is to shoot controlled pairs, decock, holster or low ready and repeat. Don't be in a rush to get the next set off. Then work on 3 shots. Don't stage the trigger on the DA shot. Make it one continuous press. Good luck. Hope it helps.

March 9, 2006, 06:26 AM
I use the same pitch on customers when selling a Glock. The da to sa transition is a serious disadvantage. It is aggravated by two things, limited practice and stress. With tons of practice time focusing on first shot da next shot sa you can get very good with it. During a stressful encounter the brain usually reverts back to training. Now when pulling the trigger under stress the brain will accept the weight and lenght of the da pull, then cause you shoot the second shot earlier as it tries to duplicate the da pull. It has happened to me at matches despite a training regiment specifically designed to overcome it. I believe it is one of the factors in the dismal hit ratio for LE. It was a big factor in my switch to Glock pistols so long ago. Good luck.

The British Soldier
March 9, 2006, 09:07 AM
I experienced a similar predicament when I transitioned from the Browning to SIG P226 in military service; that DA trigger pull was unusual but smooth. Tork's post nailed the drill perfectly; we are trained to fire 'double taps' from the first day we pick up a pistol. It's easy with an SA pistol. With the P226 we would fire one DA, one SA and then decock. That repetition is the only way to learn the way to shoot it, so that you expect the light pull second time around.

It is most applicable for the first double tap during an engagement, as you have drawn the pistol and are engaging the first 'target'. Thereafter, of course, you have the remainder of the magazine on SA only.

A skill to be acquired and honed, because I imagine that you would probably hope to only fire one double tap - after that it should be all over and your opponent would be looking at the sky wondering what happened.

March 9, 2006, 09:44 AM
While the Glock sales pitch is appreciated, that's not the topic of this thread. It's about putting more rounds downrange in practice, not buying a new gun.

Some say the DA/SA is 'miss, hit,hit, hit '!!
I gotta call bull feathers on this one. Unless someone can convince me that guys like Ernest Langdon winning all those matches with Berettas and Sigs was a fluke.

Thanks, Brit Soldier. That's more like it. So you guys went straight to double taps? Did you start slow (i.e. fire the DA shot then feel for the reset and fire the second SA shot) or did you go straight to double taps (two quick shots)?

March 9, 2006, 09:47 AM
Great thread!

I have the same issues with my P220. I love the gun but my first DA pull is usually off target, while the remaining SA are dead on. I practice just as British Soldier said, DA and then SA, then decock and start over.

This is why I'm looking to purchase the new Sig 220 SAO, all the benifits of the SA 1911 with the reliability of the Sig 220.:)

March 9, 2006, 12:28 PM
You can practice until blue in the face, when the stress hits and autopilot is engaged, your second shot will be high. Your brain is going to subconsciously give the trigger finger the same pressure it took to fire the previous shot, given the lighter and shorter weight and pull of the SA, your second shot will pop prematurely. Practice will correct the problem up and until your brain goes on autopilot (when you are reacting without thinking). I had it happen to me under match stress when I first started shooting competition.

Of course I could be wrong and the problem was my training. Five days a week dryfire practice to work on da mode( and other drills at work). Weekly range practice with the final 40 rounds being fired as double taps hammer down, reload double tap sa. Thats 10 transitions from da to sa in rapid double tap mode. 20 reloads and 10 sa double taps. Almost every week for a year. It helped but not on auotpilot so I sold my 92. So many people have similar problems that it can't be lack or training.

The British Soldier
March 9, 2006, 12:36 PM
I have never really got along with DAO triggers. I was involved in a trial in Northern Ireland with the Police, who were looking for something to replace their Ruger .357 revolvers. They had a SIG P228 DAO and a Glock 19 with the New York Plus (18lb) trigger; the SIG was 14lb trigger and smooth, the Glock was heavy and I dislike the additional weight having used a normal Glock.

I found it very difficult to double tap quickly with either pistol, but especially the SIG DAO. This was early 90s, so I trust they have improved.

I feel for those NYPD fellas who have to pull those triggers - they must work out to shoot!

March 9, 2006, 12:55 PM
Cosistent is the key. Either harder or lighter. The change from one shot to the next stinks. While I hated the da pull of my beretta, I don't hate da. Give me a good smith and wesson revolver and I'm in da heaven.

March 9, 2006, 02:34 PM
Hi garrettwc,

I love the DA/SA trigger; I think it's the best carry/combat trigger.
Initially I have a hard time w/ the first DA shot, but now I'm fine w/
either DA or SA.

The way I practice is to dry fire lots in DA. I found trigger pull
positions for each pistol such that the DA and SA shots both
put my finger on the same trigger location. E.g. for HK it's somewhere
near the bottom "J" hook part of the trigger.

Also, at the range, I do a few more DA shots where the gun is decocked

March 9, 2006, 05:01 PM
Try practising with an airsoft pistol.

March 12, 2006, 09:19 AM
Because my P220 is my primary carry gun I'm religious about getting used to the DA/SA trigger pull when I'm shooting at the range.

My typical regimen is to load the P220 with 8 +1. That gives me three series of three shots. To keep track of my accuracy I use three 8 1/2 x 11 targets that I print out and tape them in a 'V' pattern of top left, center low, top right over my target (you could probably just as easily use paper plates). I generally take my targets out to 30 feet and fire three series of three shots, decocking after each series and going to low ready. To make it more realistic I focus on speed with my first shot (DA) and accuracy with my next two. I too have to make a minor adjustment in my shooting hand position between DA and SA, but it doesn't really affect me too much. I'm in the process of replacing my P220 stock trigger with the short trigger which should alleviate that problem.

Because my P220 is still relatively new to me I'm still in the process of building muscle memory for the DA/SA trigger pull, but I can say I feel very comfortable after just a few weeks of practicing with my ability to control my shots through this transition. I think it helps that I do have a DA pistol that I occassionally carry as well and have learned to shoot DA pretty accurately. It takes a bit more concentration to hold the sight picture steady during the long pull, but I do a LOT of dry firing as well.

March 12, 2006, 12:17 PM
I dislike the DA/SA/decock drill. When under stress, the brain will run about screaming and whimpering, while the muscles just go on and do as they are trained. I prefer breaking the training into several drills. I'll load a few mags with 2 and some others with more. Then I get the reload practice and the DA/SA intermixed. I have a tip-over target with a fairly heavy spring, so it (usually) takes two quick hits to tip it over. This works well for the doubletap practice and gives me a good signal to stop shooting and safe the weapon. YMMV


March 12, 2006, 02:36 PM
Can anyone recommend some good drills for mastering the DA trigger and the DA/SA transition?Truthfully, I’ve never gotten good at it, let alone mastered it. I’ve been shooting 1911s and DA revolvers all my life; so it’s possible I just don’t see the need for the technique AND I’m an old dog.
The guy that sold Glock 22's to our local police service told me that when he was giving his sales pitch, that was one point that he impressed upon the brass. They bought it.There is a hidden – and false – assumption in this process. The assumption is a cocked and locked pistol is more dangerous than a ‘hammer down’ pistol.
It is most applicable for the first double tap during an engagement, as you have drawn the pistol and are engaging the first 'target'. Thereafter, of course, you have the remainder of the magazine on SA only.This training regimen and theory somewhat ignores the fact the first shot fired is the most important. A handgun is used in self-defense under circumstances of limited foreknowledge. One uses a handgun when other options are not viable for some reason, usually of circumstance – limited mobility, waiting in the chow line, other duties precluding use of a rifle. Secondly, it ignores the possibility of movement after the first shot; is one to move with a cocked and unlocked pistol? Doing the ‘safe thing’ and de-cocking mandates another first DA shot, doesn’t it? I always get a laugh out of those who feel ‘cocked and locked in a holster’ is unsafe, but ‘cocked, unlocked and running’ is acceptable.
I have never really got along with DAO triggers.I can shoot a DA revolver (S&W, that is) with great rapidity and accuracy. I have one (S&W) DAO autopistol. While I can shoot it fairly well, rapid shots are – well – slow. It just does not handle as fast as a decent revolver. I feel for those NYPD fellas who have to pull those triggers - they must work out to shoot!That is the configuration I am mandated to carry. It really isn’t ‘bad’, but it could be much better.
The change from one shot to the next stinks. While I hated the da pull of my beretta, I don't hate da. Give me a good smith and wesson revolver and I'm in da heaven.This is the crux of the problem; dealing with two distinct trigger pulls in rapid order. And I agree, a S&W revolver is delightful in DA mode.
I love the DA/SA trigger; I think it's the best carry/combat trigger.Why do you think DA/SA is superior to SA, Condition One? You’re not the only one who likes the multiple personality trigger; but why do you like it?

When I was permitted, I carried an H&K USP40. I have the variant one; DA/SA and manual safety override in the cocked position. My self-training was to carry hammer down to satisfy the management. In reality I would use the DA function for close shots under extreme stimulation. For all other shots, I would thumb cock the pistol, engage the safety and proceed as a SA only pistol. Obviously, for subsequent to primary shots, the gun would be in SA mode and the safety was available for movement or handcuffing or whatever.

March 13, 2006, 12:57 PM
I carry either a Beretta 92FS or a Taurus .357 CIA revolver. I carry the 92 with one in the pipe, hammer down, no safety. I practice this way. No memory transition depending on which weapon I have.

My practice drills are to draw, acquire target, 2 COM 1 head, move, repeat. Doesn't matter which weapon, muscle memory is the same. I practice at 21 feet in self-defense senarios. Cars, walls, etc. I just started loading a snap cap in the mag of the 92 to simulate a FTF/mag jam. My first rep wasn't all that swift on the reload. But I will try to concentrate on this some more.

March 13, 2006, 02:01 PM
I've been carrying - and shooting only 1911s for several years now. When my main carry pistol had to go in for work, I started carrying my old Ruger P85 (If I miss, I can club them with it). I've never been able to shoot it that well, and after going SAO, I've never tried again.

After a few dozen rounds SA to get used to the feel if the giant grip again, I was appalled at how poorly and inconsistently I was shooting. In frustration I started shooting DA/SA. The DA pull is so hard there's nothing for it but a good solid jerk. I was expecting the miss/hit/hit... syndrome. I was amazed to discover that I could consistently keep DA shots inside a 3" group at 7 yds! Much better than my SA trigger control on that gun.

I'm picking up another 1911 today so I can go back to what I'm used to, but it was all very interesting.


Dave R
March 13, 2006, 02:12 PM
My personal experience with DA/SA reinforces the "miss, hit hit" slogan. In fact, with me, its more like "miss, miss, hit.".

That stiff DA pull tends to make my first shot fly. But then the lighter 2nd shot tends to be off, too, because I'm not fully aligned when the lighter trigger breaks. 3rd shot I get it right.

I fully believe that folks who practice that a lot can get good at it. I have practiced it some, and I can see improvement. But right now, both my carry guns are DAO and I really like the consistency. I get consistent results when I shoot, so what's not to like?

Jeff Cooper calls DA/SA pistols "crunchentickers". Crunch for the first DA shot, and ticks for the rest. He likes 1911's better....

I must admit the fine single-action pull of a good 1911 is about as good as pitsol triggers get. But personally, I like a good DAO trigger better than the inconsisteny of a "crunchenticker."

March 14, 2006, 06:09 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned shot-cocking yet. [Flame Suit=ON]

I don't practice this myself (mainly because I have not DA/SA semi-autos on my CCW) but there is the controvertial method of "throwing" your first (DA) shot at your target as fast as possible, getting you into highly controlled SA shooting faster. For those who don't spend enough time to master that DA shot, or simply can't, shot-cocking can be a way to get your gun from Condition 2 to Condition 1 in a hurry.

March 14, 2006, 09:48 AM
I expierienced first hand what happens with first and second shot when in DA/SA mode, while under some pretty intense stress during a competition many years ago. Despite having trained religiously to become proficient with DA/SA I still had problems in crunch time. Well years ago, I was in a circle of guys at the range and one of the guys says that under higher pressure situations the brain will automatically give your trigger finger the same pressure to fire the second shot that was required for the first. I didn't ask if he was a brain doctor but he was a hellavu shot. One of the few that I couldn't beat with my amount of training. One of those guys on the next level so to speak.

David Armstrong, Having researched over 10,000 shootings could your data provide a clue as to whether DA/SA hit ratio's are better or worst than DAO/SAO hit ratio's?

I worried about this DA/SA thing for a long time before finally saying the heck with it and trying the Glock line of pistols. The Glock has been my defensive handgun since. So I must say thanks to the DA/SA problem for allowing me to give the Glock a chance.

March 14, 2006, 11:13 AM
I am firmly on record as believing the DA/SA trigger to be possibly the best answer ever to a non-existent problem

But that is simply my own opinion arrived at after owning a lot of DA autos

If it works for you then great...real happy for you

You are probably smarter and/or more talented than I:D

What I really hate seeing is all the people that

1. Never practice the DA pull or transistion

2. People who "prep the trigger" on the DA pull

Unfortunately there are far too many that choose the DA auto over some perceived increase in "safety" and then simply "work around" that safety

March 14, 2006, 12:06 PM
If I ever, for some ungodly reason, abandon my Glock's, my next choice would be the 1911. I would rather deal with having to snicker the safety off the cocked and locked pistol than worry about the DA/SA problem. You gotta hit to win.

March 14, 2006, 04:42 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned shot-cocking yet.
Not even a consideration. You are legally and morally responsible for every shot that goes down range. "Throwing" one goes against even the most basic rules of gun safety.

This thread has drifted so far off topic that I'm beginning to think it has surpassed it's useful life.

The question was what drills do you use to help learn trigger control of the DA/SA?

If you want to debate whether DA/SA is good or bad, please start another thread. Thanks.

Dave R
March 14, 2006, 05:07 PM
The question was what drills do you use to help learn trigger control of the DA/SA? Thanks for getting us back on topic. Back when a PPK was my primary gun, My practice drill at the range was real simple.

1. De-cock the hammer.
2. Shoot 2 (or 3). The first one was the crunchy PPK DA shot. The 2nd (and third) were the delightful SA pull.

That's where I got my "miss, miss, hit" slogan! After some practice, I got better. But I'm still better with my DAO, now. I'm sure I would be even better with a 1911 or a Hi-Power with the mag safety removed.

March 14, 2006, 05:34 PM

The question was what drills do you use to help learn trigger control of the DA/SA?

I don't believe it can be truely mastered under the stress of a gunfight for the reasons listed above.

If you want to make yourself feel trained, dryfire practice alot and everyday working on the DA pull as it is the bad one. Then move to the range and shoot multiple two shot strings at the end of your session every trip. Raise and fire DA then SA as fast as possible while still hitting. Thats pretty much all you can do. Good luck.

March 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
I don't like going from DA to SA either but I practice the transition every range visit. Although it can be awkward, I don't see why both shots can't be right where you want them.

March 14, 2006, 06:11 PM
Try it under match pressure never mind life and death pressure. I thought I was proficeint also. Woke me up fast.

Capt. Charlie
March 14, 2006, 11:03 PM
And, yes, proper training will eventually mitigate the problem.
I carried a Smith 645 as a duty weapon for years, and the DA/SA is somewhat of a handicap, but not an unsurmountable one.

As Erick says, training and practice.

I started off with slow, well-sighted double taps to the target at 15 yds, decock, and do the drill again, and again, and again, until I could pick up a little speed, but still maintaining accuracy. Once I started getting comfortable with it, I increased the number of rounds per drill up to 5. First one DA, next 4 SA. All of this time, I'm not only decreasing the time between shots, I'm developing that muscle memory for varying situations. It works; try it.

I takes time, ammo, & practice, but it can be done.

March 15, 2006, 04:17 AM
For those that don't believe training overcomes stress, you obviously haven't been in the military. That's exactly why the military trains the way they do and as much as they do. They, more than anyone, understand what stress does to you. And they understand that extensive and repetitive training is the only way to overcome it. Under stress you will revert to what you are comfortable with...and constant training, and a LOT of it, makes you comfortable.

If you only go to the range once or twice a month and fire 100 or 200 rounds or so, you can't expect to develop the muscle memory necessary to handle the DA/SA transition especially under stress. You overcome it by training constantly. Train until you're sick of training, then train some more. Both dry fire and range fire.

I'm still in the process of developing this muscle memory, but my regimen is to dry fire while watching TV every night and I go to the range once, if not twice, a week. Yesterday I went through 250 rounds. I can't say I'm completely happy with my results as I kept about 40% of my shots within the 10 ring and 90% of my shots within the 5 ring at 30 feet, but I can measure my progress week to week, so I know I'm improving.

The answer to the question posed by this thread is simple: Train, train constantly and consistently, train until your sick of training, then train some more.

March 15, 2006, 06:56 AM
And, yes, proper training will eventually mitigate the problem.

DoubleD,Under stress you will revert to what you are comfortable with...and constant training, and a LOT of it, makes you comfortable.

I agree that practice and lots of it allows you to react even under stress in what some call autopilot. The condition of doing as trained without thinking. What I'm trying to tell you guys is that in my expeirience and the expierience of a few others, the autopilot mode doesn't apply to how the trigger finger and brain work while under pressure. Why could myself and others overcome the DA/SA transition after much practice both dryfire and live fire in training, yet when the stress of mere competition was added ,the same first shot to second shot deviation was back? This problem was disgussed by several shooters one of which is so good that he would make most of us envious. He had the same problem and concluded that in autopilot the brain must send the same pressure needed for the finger to fire the first round to the second. I agreed because it happened to both of us and his training was obviously more often than mine (just from his abilities). He changed to the 1911 as a result and I the Glock.

Once you guys become proficient with the da/sa transition shoot the most stressful match you can find, then report if you had the same success as your training. We could be wrong but some awefully good shooters had the same problems. Enough problems to change guns.

March 15, 2006, 08:15 AM
Why could myself and others overcome the DA/SA transition after much practice both dryfire and live fire in training, yet when the stress of mere competition was added ,the same first shot to second shot deviation was back?

Don't get me wrong here. I don't for one moment think that I'll EVER be as consistent with my Sig DA/SA as I am with my Glock, regardless of the amount of practice I have. I only want to be "proficient enough" to have it as a carry weapon...and that's for other personal considerations.

It's not about ND's or AD's, but I truly feel more comfortable with the idea that in an emergency situation I will have the DA pull as a "final check" on the action I'm about to take. It will undoubtedly take more effort, and possibly time, to make a good shot in DA than in SA, but I want it that way. Once I've committed to that first shot, the decision's been made and SA follow-up shots makes sense. Admittedly, most of this is personal pschology and everyone isn't likely to agree. But it makes me comfortable and that's all that really matters.

All I hope to achieve out of my training is a reasonably accurate first shot in a short period of time, followed by much more precise follow-on shots.

March 15, 2006, 10:48 AM
DoubleD, Fair enough. Remember I am only giving you guys a heads up. If you feel confident thats wonderful. I personally want every advantage in my favor which is why I chose to get rid of the DA/SA problem all together. It was the only problem that training couldn't fix for me (while under stress that is). When I found out others (including better shooters) had similar problems, problems that training couldn't fix under stress for them either, it was time to get rid of the problem.

Most on this board think that the problem I listed is BS and thats fine. One day, hopefully only at a competition, they will discover what I was talking about. Heck maybe the problem only afflicts a handful of shooters in the State of Florida, who knows.

March 15, 2006, 11:03 AM
Actually, I saw a quote by Pat Rogers that said of the armed proffesionals he trains he only sees a few DA autos and only in the hands of those that are required to use them by their employers.

Everyone else has SA or DAO

As to the original topic....practice....practice...practice

Nothing special...practice just like you would with SA or DAO...just make the transition part of every string

Decock and holster often

March 15, 2006, 11:12 AM
Threegun, I hope you don't take my, or anyone else's objection to your point of view as personal criticism. It's not meant to be.

What we are trying to point out to you is that you can't make the statement you made as an absolute. While it may be true in your case, there are plenty of examples to the contrary.

Ernest Langdon - multi time national shooting champion using Berettas or Sigs. Beat some of the best, all of whom were using 1911s or Glocks. That's just the most obvious example re: competition.

Someone mentioned the military - The British SAS, The US Navy Seals, two examples of units using Sig P226s. I would venture to say that these folks are pretty competent with the DA trigger.

March 15, 2006, 02:06 PM
Garrett, I don't take 99.9 percent of our debate personal. We are here to learn and debate. If you go back and read my post, my problem was the DA/SA transition under stress only. I had my beretta 92 licked in practice only to crap out under the stress of competition. It was only the stinking DA/SA that plagued me. The reason I posted my problem was because it was an unknown problem that only surfaced while under intense pressure. Had it not been for talking to other shooters with the same problem, I would have thought my training was insufficient.

Ernest Langdon probably doesn't expierience the same level of stress he did while early in his career. That is only speculation but might explain his ability to perform as in practice under tournament conditions. My problems came early in my competition shooting. I changed guns rather quickly once we pinpointed the possible problem. Only an unlucky few of us have been in actual gun battles. Hereing their stories indicates the highest stress levels they ever had. Some get auditory or visual changes. Others get slowed motion. Do yourselves a favor and try your firearm DA/SA mode while under pressure. If you still shoot like in practice with the da/sa you are way better than me and better than some very good aquantances of mine.

March 15, 2006, 02:43 PM
Garret, Also failure doesn't happen simply by missing your first shot, You can be successful and still pull that first shot low and push that second shot high. So the success of those elite units you descibed could have come despite the Da/Sa problem. All my target weren't misses in da/sa mode.

You are correct I shouldn't have made it sound absolute. As you can see my communication skills are lacking to say the least.

March 15, 2006, 04:59 PM
3gun, fair enough. I see where you are coming from now. You make a good point on the success vs. failure.

For me I define success as 5 shots at 5 yrds on a 5 inch circle in under 2.5 seconds. If I can get there I would consider it a success. I have a ways to go. ;)

March 17, 2006, 06:36 AM
Garrett, Five shots in a fire inch circle in 2.5 seconds is a good goal. Remember the badguy will be moving, possibly shooting back so that 5 inch circle will grow rapidly under pressure and with movement.

March 17, 2006, 10:24 AM
Remember the badguy will be moving,
Me too. He who stands still attracts incoming fire.;)

that 5 inch circle will grow rapidly under pressure and with movement.
Agreed. They will open up vertically and even more so horizontally. Thus the importance of mastering the trigger. Less likelihood of a total miss, and more likely to at least keep the shots in the upper chest area.

March 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
Garrett, I'm sorry, I take for granted that everyone will be moving to cover, (while engaging the badguy of course). In my practice and at some competitive events I am moving/shooting while the target is still. Once in a while a match will have a swinger activated by knocking down the target before it. When the swinger is used I only remember standing still while shooting it. So very rarely, have I been able to shoot moving targets while moving myself. I believe that I will be reasonably proficient at it but I expect the groups to open up. Thats why when people say that they are going to hit the head, I laugh sarcastically.

March 18, 2006, 01:29 AM
To master the DA/SA transition on a handgun:

(1.) Have a gun that fits your hand. Place the pad of your trigger finger in contact with the face of the trigger. Leaving your finger in position, wrap the rest of your hand around the frame in a firing grip. The axis of the bore should be aligned with the bone in your forearm. Look from above and make sure that your finger is not in contact with the frame (finger drag).

If the gun doesn't fit your hand, it's hard to shoot it well. Lots of people buy guns with double column magazines because they thing they "need" all that magazine capacity, but they end up getting a gun that's too big for the size of your hand.

(2.) When shooting, fire the first shot double action. HOLD THE TRIGGER TO THE REAR AS THE SLIDE RECIPROCATES AND THE GUN CYCLES. Let the trigger out only far enough to reset the sear (you can hear and feel the click as the sear resets). Then fire the second shot single action. Repeat as necessary.

You want to keep your finger in contact with the trigger WHILE ACTUALLY IN THE ACT OF FIRING. If you fire the first shot DA, the gun clocks itself. The rest of the rounds will be fired in single action mode unless you decock, with a shorter trigger stroke and less pressure required to release the sear. If, after that first shot, you let your finger fly off the face of the trigger and then bash the trigger on the way back, your shots will dip low. You want to avoid having your finger bounce off the trigger.

This is a fine motor skill that takes some practice. And it's hard to do unless you practice on a regular basis. It will work on any DA/SA handgun, a Glock, an AR-15, just about any self-loading firearm that DOES NOT have a DAO trigger system of some sort (like a revolver, or a Kahr pistol). Some respected authorities say that you can NEVER accomplish this under stress (I disagree) and that's one of the reasons that handguns with consistent trigger function shot to shot are becoming popular for use by the police, because most cops don't practice enough to be any good (I are one, and I know . . . )

March 18, 2006, 07:58 AM
Jeff22,Some respected authorities say that you can NEVER accomplish this under stress (I disagree)

Have you been able to overcome this phenomenon under stress?

March 18, 2006, 09:11 AM
I guess I'll need to reserve my judgement on this for a bit as, based on this thread I decided to go out and have my first try at defensive pistol shooting. Since I'm just starting with it I went ahead and used my Glock 19 so I can get familiar with moving and shooting at the same time. I figure after a few weeks of getting some consistency there, I'll switch to my Sig P220 and see what happens.

My gut feeling based on what I learned from the first stage and going into the other stages was it's more about aiming discipline than it is trigger action when stress comes into play. But I guess I'll see if that continues to be the case once I get some consistency with the Glock and move to the Sig.

March 18, 2006, 10:01 AM
Get rid of that boat anchor Sig220 and get a Glock21 LOL. Once you get used to the G-19 you will be hooked anyway.

March 18, 2006, 10:19 AM
Get rid of that boat anchor Sig220 and get a Glock21 LOL. Once you get used to the G-19 you will be hooked anyway.

What do you think I traded IN to get my Sig220? Yep, G21!!! MUCH happier with the fit in my hand as well the overall feel and shooting.

As far as the G19, I've had it for a while and it shot really well the other night, but I prefer carrying a .45 every day. I'm not really looking to compete as much as I am trying to develop some better street skills, so I really don't care that much about my score...I just care about misses.

March 18, 2006, 11:27 AM
Ah yes...the "elite units" card has been played

Truly elite units that get to pick their weapons and actually plan on fighting with a handgun would , in all likelyhood pick a different op system

The reality is that handguns don't get all that much attention in the military

March 18, 2006, 03:46 PM
If it don't fit you must..........get a different gun LOL.

If the g-19 fits you might want to try the Glock 36 slim 45. Same grip angles.

Mas Ayoob
March 20, 2006, 03:39 PM
A lot of our students come with DA/SA guns. We've had good luck with one drill that has already been mentioned.

This is an hour or so of fire, decock, fire, decock. You will quickly get to where your hand is comfortable with its double action SIG or whatever, AND with its single action SIG or whatever, and can switch between the two almost automatically.

You just don't want to do this drill so much that on the street you fall into fire, decock, fire, decock...:eek:

One suggestion: historically, auto pistol shooters have actuated their triggers with the tip or the pad of their index finger. It's a technique that goes back to long before the DA auto came on the scene. We found it very useful to learn from the ultimate double action practitioners, the revolver shooters. DA sixgunners most typically find that they get more leverage by contacting the trigger at the distal joint, a spot the old time PPC shooters sometimes called the "power crease."

This gives the finger a great deal more leverage, and in most cases allows a better straight back pull. After the first DA shot breaks, it is not necessary to change finger positions: just leave the finger there at the "power crease" and continue firing.

It works for me, and has worked for a great many of our students.

Another factor (also previously addressed on this useful and thoughtful thread) is trigger reach. A shorter trigger also allows "more finger" and more leverage for, in my experience, a majority of shooters. Ernest Langdon has been mentioned here. I can't help but notice that both the Beretta and the SIG he did for me were equipped with short reach triggers, which tells me that he is on top of this factor, too.

Best wishes. If you try the different finger placement, please let us know how you did with it.

March 20, 2006, 03:49 PM
I kind of like how the first trigger pull is a little harder than the ones to follow. It is almost like a safety feature. Single action hair triggers are a little scary.

March 21, 2006, 07:02 AM
Both Mas Ayoob and John Farnam suggested experimenting with using the crease of the distal joint (aka "the power crease") to work the trigger when my PD converted to DAK Sigs.

I have big hands and long fingers, and put a short trigger on the gun. I found I had to be careful with working the trigger exactly like a revolver, because sometimes (and not others) I had finger drag on the frame doing it that way, which would push my shots to the left. And then sometimes I'd hook them to the right. I suspect that was happening because I wasn't mashing the trigger straight to the rear. And then other times it worked great . . .

I get the most consistant results with keeping the first pad of my trigger finger in contact with the face of the trigger, but I suspect I can get away with this because I have long fingers.

March 21, 2006, 12:54 PM
Good points on trigger finger reach and placement. I'll have to experiment a bit.