The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 17, 2018, 08:51 PM   #1
Join Date: May 28, 2018
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 17
First DA/SA Pistol

Hello all,

Lately I’ve been really interested in a DA/SA type pistol. I have striker fired and revolvers but no DA/SA semiautos. I’ve handled Sigs, CZs, and berettas. My favorite was a Sig with a short reset trigger but that was pretty spendy.

I like the idea of a DA/SA trigger with a decocker but have never shot one so I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll want to keep. So....any thoughts on pistol would make a great first DA/SA gun? I would use it mainly as a range toy at first, but then I could easily see myself carrying it or using it for home defense.

VW3 is offline  
Old December 17, 2018, 09:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,796
most of my experience is with sigs, berettas and springfields. I personally hated the M9, but loved the PX4. I loved the M11 and P226, but found the SP2022 to be somewhat Meh (if that makes any sense). the springfield XDe is also a decent model, but fits into an odd niche with its odd size, low ammo capacity, and somewhat heavy DA trigger weight.
my favorite has always been the P226, but we're talking about a gun that regularly reaches $1000, compared to a lot of other models that average $450 and below. I personally sold off all my DA/SAs and am pretty much SAO or DAO exclusively these days, so I might not be the best info source, but when I was shooting, those were my opinions.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
tahunua001 is offline  
Old December 17, 2018, 09:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 22, 2017
Posts: 246
CZs are my preference. The P-01/PCR are light enough to carry, but still have the weight that makes a range gun more enjoyable .
Areoflyer09 is offline  
Old December 17, 2018, 09:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: October 17, 2014
Posts: 2,340
I own a Sig, a Beretta, a Beretta clone (Taurus), and some CZ clones (Tanfoglios).

The Sig 229 has a great trigger and is great to shoot. It's a 40 caliber police trade-in that I got for a low price.

The Beretta (40) and Taurus (9mm) both shoot fine. The trigger isn't as good as the Sig and they don't balance as well, but they go bang every time and are as accurate as most service pistols. I've had the Taurus since 1990 or so. The Beretta 96 was another police trade-in.

The CZ's (clones) are probably my favorites. They have great triggers and I shoot them well. They fit my XXL hands very well. My favorite is my Israeli surplus 9mm. It is built on a slightly larger frame than the current CZ75.

IMHO you can't go wrong with any of the three. Whichever one feels best in your hand (and that you shoot the best) is the right one for you.
tallball is offline  
Old December 17, 2018, 10:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Northeastern US
Posts: 1,607
... loved the PX4 ...
This really is an underappreciated gem. The ergonomics are great. The trigger is decent right out of the box. It might be the softest shooting polymer-framed handgun I know. It comes with a decocking safety but that is easily changed to "decocker only" with a kit from Beretta. I strongly recommend that for anyone who plans to carry one since it replaces those big bat-wing safety levers with a more flush-fitting decocker. As far as carry guns go, I prefer DA/SA with decocker only.

If you want something more compact to carry, there is a special Compact Carry edition of the PX4 that comes with a bunch of upgrades, including those low-profile levers. If I was looking for a compact double-stack, that's the one I'd buy.

I like the P-01 and PCR from CZ. They are good guns but I prefer the PX4. It just feels better in my hands and I naturally shoot it better. I forget which of those models from CZ came with a decocker but I remember preferring the decocking action on either the PX4 or the classic Sigs.
Cosmodragoon is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 06:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: August 11, 2016
Posts: 866
I picked the CZ P-07 as an all around gun, including carry, over the PX4. This was mainly because the gun fit my hand better, and also because I just couldn't get used to the location of the safety/decocker on the Beretta, or to the pointy/sharp "bat wing" design of the levers. I found the P-07 to be fantastic and I've had precisely zero failures in probably 3K rounds.

The Springfield XD-E is actually a pretty good and underappreciated DA/SA gun and the only single stack of that kind. If EDC is a consideration it's worth looking at because it's slim and conceals very well.

But ultimately I think anything from CZ, Beretta, H&K will be a good investment. They're all reliable and will serve you well.
OhioGuy is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 09:09 AM   #7
Tactical Jackalope
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 6,245
Heckler and Koch followed by older SIG Sauer P Series pistols.
Tactical Jackalope is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 09:32 AM   #8
Join Date: December 13, 2018
Posts: 44
I think you'd be really happy with the PX4 compact if you thought that you might wanna carry it. For a range toy I think you'd be happy with a Beretta 92.
AmmunitionDepot is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 10:07 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 3,717
There are a lot of Police trade-in guns being sold by gun shops, so that might be a place to start. These guns may have some cosmetic wear, but are generally in good mechanical shape.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 10:14 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: October 29, 2011
Posts: 1,592
You really need to go to a rental range and try out as many as you can to find out what works best for you. My favorites are SIGs and HKs but Beretta and CZ are terrific too.

As fas as SIGs, their are plenty of nice used SIG P226s and P229s around if you don't want to pay for a new one. I have seen nice German P226s for $600 and under and they are fantastic pistols.

I bought this 9MM P226 for $500 a while back as a CPO Certified Pre Owned and recently put the short reset trigger kit on it from SIG and it cost me less than $50 to do. I also changed the grips on it.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
― Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by sigarms228; December 18, 2018 at 10:21 AM.
sigarms228 is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 01:08 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: March 23, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 645
I have two SIG P229s and several DA/SA Berettas, including a Beretta 92FS and a couple of Beretta Cougars.

The Beretta Cougar is in a sense, a precursor to the polymer-framed Beretta PX4 in that the metal-framed Cougar uses the same rotary barrel lock-up short recoil system. I have not owned a PX4 but concur that it is a very worthy choice if you are looking for a polymer-frame pistol. Note that the subcompact version of the PX4 utilizes a completely different tilt-barrel lock-up mechanism.

In my opinion, the "big four" manufacturers of DA/SA hammer-fired pistols would be Beretta, SIG Sauer, Heckler and Koch, and CZ, or clones of the above such as the Taurus Beretta 92 clones and the Tanfoglio CZ clones. I do feel that the trigger action of the SIG Sauer classic P series pistols is a bit better than that of the DA/SA Beretta pistols I have shot. The HK pistols are going to be pricier still than SIGs and from my limited experience their trigger action leaves a bit to be desired. CZs feel great in the hand and their SA triggers are nice, but IMO the DA trigger actions of the CZ pistols I have shot has not been as good as that of SIGs and Berettas. But CZs and HKs have a very wide and devoted following.

I would second the notion of shopping around for a nice, used SIG P226 or P229 CPO (certified pre-owned) pistol or a police trade in. There have been great deals on these in the past few years, especially if you are willing to consider one chambered in .40 S&W, a cartridge which the P226 and P229 shoot exceedingly well. I bought a CPO P229 last year with a legacy short-extractor slide and a German-made frame chambered in .40 S&W for $500 last year in like-new condition.

You could make various modifications to a CPO SIG P-series pistol along the line such as a Grayguns P-SAIT trigger, an SRT (short reset trigger) kit, which is actually a modified sear and safety lever, different sights and grips, and perhaps a reduced force mainspring to lighten the DA trigger pull weight. All of these modifications can easily be accomplished by the home gunsmith.
pblanc is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 03:25 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,223
In a factory/new package, I recommend a CZ with their Kadet unit. Fire 22s to your heart's content, when you fire CF the feel of the gun is the same.
IMHO a decocker does not take the place of safe gunhandling. When i decock my S&W M639 and M659 and Walter P-38 I keep my thumb on the hammer and lower it gently.
The value of the DA/SA is somewhat exaggerated, it is SA only after the first shot.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 05:05 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 4,558
I won't be much help in narrowing down your options. I own and enjoy a few modern 9mm DA/SA pistols, including a SIG Sauer P226 & P228 (both West German production), CZ-75 & CZ P-07, and Walther P99AS. They are all great pistols, and you would be served very well by any of them. Just pick the one you like best, and you won't be disappointed (or just get them all eventually). If you are on a budget, the CZ P-07 & P-09 are simply superb pistols that can be occasionally found for under $400.

I own a few other DA/SA pistols that fit more of a "collector" role for me, including a Walther P38 and a few 9x18mm pistols (Makarov PM, Radom P64, and a few CZ-82s). They are all well-made and fun pistols, but there are better defensive choices IMHO.


Last edited by Fishbed77; December 18, 2018 at 05:11 PM.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 05:23 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 8,362
Consider looking at a Bersa,,,

Consider looking at a Bersa,,,
Specifically the Thunder Pro UC (Ultra Compact) 9MM.

In DA/SA I own Beretta 9mm, CZ 9mm, Bersa 380, and the aforementioned Pro UC 9mm.

The Beretta and CZ are simply too large for convenient carry,,,
The Bersa UC in 9mm is somewhat fat like the Beretta,,,
But also has the best ergonomic grip of them all.

I carry smaller pistols on a daily basis,,,
But when I'm riding my motorcycle,,,
I shoulder holster the Bersa UC.

One other thing is that it has big controls,,,
And it is 100% ambidextrous.

Bersa's get an automatic bad rap because of their South American origins,,,
But of the three I own they are as reliable as any of my other pistols.

I'm not saying they are the best pistol out there,,,
I'm just saying they are worth a serious look.


Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 05:55 PM   #15
Join Date: July 8, 2018
Posts: 25
You owe it to yourself to check out the Bersa line of pistols, My personal favorite is the Bersa Thunder 380.
tarhealcracker is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 06:16 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 957
Had a CZ-P07 for a while. Shot great, loved the decocker only set up on it. I definitely regret selling it, but sometimes you just need the money...
Some people are like Slinkies - not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

A gun should be a tool in the hands of a deadly weapon, not a deadly weapon in the hands of a tool.
BigMikey76 is online now  
Old December 18, 2018, 06:35 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 378
Personally I'm not a big fan of recommending DA/SA semi-autos for carry as most folks don't bother to put in the effort, time, and cost of mastering the trigger. That said, most quality/modern DA/SA aemi-autos are nice so buy what you like and see what happens over time.

I'm a big fan of Beretta 92's as they shoot like a fine watch ticks, great DA/SA trigger right out of the box and they can be easily tweaked if you like. (all of mine eventually end up being converted to DAO as I'm a revolver geek and simply shoot its DA trigger better)

Someone above mentioned the PX4 being under appreciated and I couldn't agree more, they are quality, outstanding pistols and pleasure to use. One benefit of them is that you can convert them to a number of modes, so if you end up not liking DA/SA you can switch it to any one you like (another under appreciated aspect of them).

If you dig it long term you can also add a CX4 Storm, use the same magazines, and have a great self-defense package.
TBM900 is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 07:38 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: January 4, 2016
Posts: 758
I am always happy to brag about and recommend my FNH FNX40. Certainly doesn't have to be a .40 if that's not your preferred flavor but mine has been fantastic and problem free for years.

I was between the FNX and PX4 storm for a while but when I finally got my hands on one the ergonomics of the FNX won me over instantly.
Kvon2 is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 08:24 PM   #19
Join Date: March 24, 2011
Location: Bella Vista, AR
Posts: 49
Another often overlooked DA/SA option is the Beretta/Stoeger Cougar 8000. It is the alloy framed predecessor to the polymer framed PX4 Storm. It uses the same rotating barrel action and is only slightly heavier than the Storm. It is a cheaper but equally good alternative to the Strorm. I have one and it is my favorite DA/SA pistol. Well now that I think about it, its actually my favorite of all the handguns I own or have previously owned.

Last edited by bjw741; December 19, 2018 at 08:36 AM.
bjw741 is offline  
Old December 18, 2018, 10:05 PM   #20
Join Date: June 25, 2016
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 30
+1 for the Bersa Thunder 380. I've had mine for better than 10 years, I liked it so much I ordered a Thunder .22 about 9 years ago. I ordered the T-.22 because it is the exact same size, and feel as the T-380. It made for cheap range time, until I decided to add .380acp to my reloading rotation.

I am sitting here trying to think if I've EVER had a "true" malfunction with either of these guns that was an actual gun problem. I really do not believe I have. I've let the little T-.22 get a bit dirtier than normal, and it started to "choke" and had some fte's. Once cleaned up, it was right back in business. As for the T-380, it has been stellar. I haven't had either out in quite some time. I'm going to have to get them out of the safe, and let 'em stretch out next time I go to my club.

I also have a CZ 75 SP-01, Shadow, that came out of the CZ Custom Shop, then was worked over by CGW!! That gun is my "race gun"! It is a pleasure to shoot, and gets to the range quite often. I also have others that fit into your catagories.

Member: NRA/Kentucky Regulators Gun Club/LaSalle Sportsmen's Club
MoMan is offline  
Old December 19, 2018, 07:28 AM   #21
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,218
I've had several over the years... a Beretta 92, which I later sold, my deceased Father's East German Makarov, my Smith & Wesson 410, and my S&W 4506.

I'm OK with the action, but I'm at heart a revolver shooter, so I actually wouldn't mind getting a DAO semi-auto.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old December 19, 2018, 08:08 AM   #22
Junior Member
Join Date: August 7, 2016
Posts: 12
Sig p226 and Beretta 92 all the way!
Cowboyfromhell is offline  
Old December 19, 2018, 10:43 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 7,012
I'm a big advocate for the use of DA/SA pistols for self-defense-but a caveat is that's how I was trained. Many fine pistols have been recommended and I have a few that were cited, including an H&K USP40, a Beretta 92, a CZ 85B, a couple of SIGs (models 226 and 227) and a couple of Smith&Wesson "Third Generation" autos (models 6906 and 4006). I like them all but if I had to pick only one to have, after much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, it would be the Smith Model 4006.
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old December 19, 2018, 04:43 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Northeastern US
Posts: 1,607
Personally I'm not a big fan of recommending DA/SA semi-autos for carry as most folks don't bother to put in the effort, time, and cost of mastering the trigger.
While the Glock-style trigger on many striker-fired guns is very simple, I think concerns about mastering different trigger pulls for DA/SA is largely overblown. Considering the time it takes for anyone to become proficient with whatever they carry, I think that's enough time to master the two trigger pulls. I actually think hammer-fired DA/SA are ideal for carry. The initial DA pull is more resistant to accidental pressure and the hammer offers direct feedback for trigger position when holstering.

That said, I think either the simple striker trigger or the DA/SA without a manual safety is simpler, easier, and more reliable than any gun with a manual safety. Forgetting or fumbling with a manual safety isn't a theoretical concern. It can and does happen in stressful situations.
Cosmodragoon is offline  
Old December 19, 2018, 05:01 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 9,356
As someone that has shot both extensively, to me DA/SA takes both more time to build proficiency and more practice to maintain proficiency than a Glock style "safe-action" trigger. Now a lot of that practice can be through dry fire.

I'd suggest a used SIG or HK. In my experience most people that own them tend to take good care of them and what you get is often very lightly used. Given you're not sure what you do or don't want buying used also saves you money lost on resale.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
TunnelRat is online now  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09396 seconds with 9 queries