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Old July 20, 2018, 08:17 PM   #1
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Full Size 9mm and Thoughts on DA/SA to Improve Shooting?

Hey TFL,

I'm planning my next purchase and am only certain on the fact I want a full size 9mm for HD/range use. I'm having a hard time deciding which one I want most, however.

I really like my buddy's 5 inch M&P 2.0. The thing is a tack driver and I'm fond of S&W due to my history with my Shield.

Glocks are fine, but I don't really want a G17 so please don't recommend one.

I'd consider the Sig P320 if it's reputation improves, but my current understanding is that they're having issues (please feel free to elaborate if you know of the situation and/or have experience with them).

XDM is also an option because I like the 19 round mags, ambi mag release, and I've shot quite a few xd series guns and liked them.

Aside from these striker fired options, I've always had a slight desire for a CZ, particularly the p09. It looks great, has a solid reputation, and has a 19 round mag like the XDM. I just have no history with them and don't know anyone who does, so I'd be buying one blind aside from what I've researched about them.

Another reason I'm considering the CZ is for the DA/SA aspect. I've heard mention that shooting that type of pistol can help improve your overall trigger pull. My biggest issue shooting is that I tend to anticipate the recoil and dip my gun downward just before pulling the trigger all the way through. Would the CZ help with this issue or is this something I can remedy with any striker-fired gun as well?

I know I've got a couple of questions wrapped up in this post, but that's just what I've got on my mind.

To simplify: What are your full size 9mm recommendations, and would a da/sa pistol be a good option to improve my shooting?

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 20, 2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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My full size 9mm is a M&P 9mm, I like it. The best 9mm I ever shot was a CZ 75.
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Old July 20, 2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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92 berretta fan here. the single action trigger after the first shot is very manageable. as a revolver guy I like the double action trigger when in the holster.
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Old July 20, 2018, 09:00 PM   #4
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There is CZ.

1911, Beretta, and BHP are also pretty good. I like Glocks okay.

Then there is everything else.
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:19 PM   #5
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I like my Beretta PX4. The grip just feels right to me. Soft shooter and a tack driver.
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:32 PM   #6
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My biggest issue shooting is that I tend to anticipate the recoil and dip my gun downward just before pulling the trigger all the way through
It's called shot anticipation.
A DA/SA won't automatically help your problem. It's a form problem, and the DA/SA could actually make it worse. You can correct it shooting any type of pistol or revolver. Go back to the basics of sight picture and trigger squeeze.

A DA type rolling trigger only makes you HAVE to concentrate more on follow through without recoil anticipation. It doesn't correct your problem, it makes it so that you have to be better.

Are your shot groups going low left?
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:35 PM   #7
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Can’t comment if DA/SA will improve your shooting or not.

But I can say I’ve come to really enjoy my P-09 (though mine is a 40). I did have to do a bit of work to get the trigger up to par but less than half and hour of polishing, $40 in parts from Cajun Gun Works and I have a smooth DA just under 8lb and a single action in the 3.5-3.76lb range.

I’m enjoying the P-09 enough that I will be picking up a P-07 in the near future.
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Old July 21, 2018, 08:12 AM   #8
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I believe DA/SA has indeed improved my shooting, through much dry fire. It takes a lot of concentration to maintain a smooth, consistent press through the full travel of a heavier trigger. I can't say it will work for anyone else.

Of all your options, I would recommend the P-09 from experience. The trigger is quite good and the gun is a great value. It's great for range use or some competetitive stuff because it's very large and has a high capacity out of the box. It's also affordable, down near $450 if you can find it. Not many options aftermarket but you can get holsters, night sights and the like if you wish.

Beretta PX4 is pretty good too -- I just hate the location of those safety/decocker levers!

I've noticed H&K prices dropping somewhat -- P30 is very ergonomic.

But the P-09 would be my choice. Learning to shoot DA and making the DA/SA transition will certainly not make you any worse!
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Old July 21, 2018, 08:25 AM   #9
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The DA/SA pistols provide an instant, unfettered deployment, just like a revolver, and also provide the finer control of a SA auto. It is a good system, IMO.

CZ was an awesome system. the quality is good. It would be a choice for me.
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Old July 21, 2018, 08:34 AM   #10
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Two questions: shot anticipation and DA/SA triggers.

Shot anticipation is a bad habit that usually arises from dealing with more recoil than you like. Good ways to start addressing shot anticipation include lots of dry-firing and shooting a .22 with practically no recoil. Also, heavier guns have less felt recoil than lighter guns in a particular caliber.

DA/SA triggers can potentially help improve your shooting in two ways. A short, light SA trigger is simply easier to shoot well than a heavier, longer striker-fired trigger. A long, heavy DA trigger is harder to shoot well, but it provides more of a challenge to test your skills and can promote improvement.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:56 AM   #11
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If you haven't already, you need to shoot some DA/SA pistols before deciding what to buy.

Many people are of the opinion that practicing shooting with a double action trigger will improve your grip and trigger control. For most people, it is harder to maintain sight alignment and sight picture during the longer and heavier DA trigger pull than it is with the shorter, lighter SA trigger pull.

At the range, you can fire all of your shots SA if you wish. In my opinion, the SA trigger pull on most high quality DA/SA pistols is much better than the stock trigger pull of any of the striker-fired pistols I have shot. But if you want to use a DA/SA pistol for home defense, or any self-defense scenario, you are going to need to master that DA trigger pull, as well as the DA to SA transition that occurs after the first shot. For some people it seems that is simply a matter of some training and occasional practice. For others, it seems to be an insurmountable challenge, or perhaps one which they do not wish to spend time mastering.

As for as self-defense use, there are strong advocates of hammer-fired DA/SA pistols and strong advocates of striker-fired pistols. Striker-fired pistols allow for a consistent, if sometimes rather mediocre, trigger pull on every shot, including the first. With a DA/SA hammer-fired pistol, the first shot will require a longer, heavier trigger pull but subsequent shots will be with a better trigger pull than most stock striker-fired pistols can offer.

Many individuals just don't feel comfortable having a round in the chamber of a striker-fired pistol without an external, manual safety, but are more comfortable keeping a round chambered in a DA/SA pistol that requires a longer and much more deliberate trigger pull. Hammer-fired pistols, whether DA/SA or DAO, can be holstered with a thumb on the hammer. They are very unlikely to result in an accidental discharge if a foreign object enters the holster. There have been many reported discharges occurring with striker-fired pistols during reholstering. One can argue that these events should never happen. One can also argue that wars, or deaths resulting from drunk driving should never happen as well.

Some DA/SA pistols have an external manual safety, and some do not. Some have a manual, external decocker, and some do not. In some, such as the Beretta F models, the safety lever, when engaged, also acts as a decocker. A few have a safety lever that allows the pistol to be carried "cocked and locked", and at least one has a three position lever that acts as a decocker, a hammer down safety, and a cocked and locked safety. So these are other considerations that might enter into one's choice of a DA/SA pistol.

If you decide on a hammer-fired, full size, DA/SA pistol, I think that the big three currently would be the Beretta 92FS (or M9, or M9A3), the SIG Sauer P226 (or 229), and the CZ 75B (or some other CZ variant). The Browning Hi-Power (BHP) was mentioned, but that is a single action only hammer-fired pistol. And it is out of production. The Beretta PX4 is a good choice if you are looking for a somewhat lighter pistol with a polymer frame.

Of those others, the SIG is my favorite as I feel they have a bit better trigger action than the Berettas by a small margin. I prefer the decocker only (no external safety) to the safety/decocker of the Beretta 92FS, although Berettas can now easily be converted to "G" models that have a decocker only. I also prefer the frame-mounted decocker lever of the SIG to the slide-mounted safety/decocker levers on the Berettas. The CZ would be my third choice. Although the stock SA trigger is not bad, the DA trigger of the CZs I have shot have not impressed me that much.

You asked about the SIG P320. I own two. One is a compact 9 mm and the other a full-size .45 ACP. Although there were some reports of extraction/ejection issues with early P320s, the main issue that has existed with the P320 was a drop-fire liability that has now been corrected by modifying elements of the fire control group as well as the trigger and striker. There were very few actual reports of injures resulting from SIG P320s that fired when dropped, and not all of these few were documented, but SIG did issue what they referred to as a "voluntary upgrade" to SIG P320 owners and both of my pistols underwent the modification. But any new P320 you buy now should have the new parts, unless it is new old stock, and it is easy to tell NOS pistols by the thicker triggers.

Both of my P320s function very well and I find them comfortable and accurate to shoot. The full-size P320 .45 ACP now usually wears a Streamlight TLR-2 laser/light combo on its accessory rail and functions as my nightstand pistol. Some people have found the full-size P320 to be "top heavy". I do not. I own two other striker-fired pistols, a Glock 19 Gen 4 and a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield (not the 2.0 version). Of these, the two P320s are far and away my favorites to shoot

Last edited by pblanc; July 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM.
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Old July 21, 2018, 10:40 AM   #12
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I always shot the double action, later bought a number of 9mm striker fired guns and guess what? Found the Beretta Nano and never looked back. I really like the double action for CCW. And the fact that I train often it is not surprising that I can shoot this gun as well or better than my previous Striker fired. One that was down to 4lbs of pull and short break.
Personally I think it all comes down to how much you shoot and how much experience you have.
It is interesting that one of my most "FUN" guns to shoot is the Snubbie LCR9mm. And the fact that these little guns can be quite accurate and fast to target.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:26 AM   #13
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What's your budget? You need to go to your local gun shop and try a bunch on for size. The fit to your hand is essential for good shooting.
" improve my shooting..." The pistol's action type has nothing to do with it.
"...out of production..." Lots used BHP's around. 'Used' is not an ugly word when it comes to firearms either.
"...My biggest issue..." Training, dry fire practice and different ammo can fix that. As mentioned, a SA or DA pistol will not.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:30 AM   #14
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Dry fire practice can help your trigger control regardless of which trigger system you decide on. Some people write strongly about how difficult it is to transition from DA to SA. I have no problem with DA/SA triggers, and own three Berettas with that type. I suspect that many who complain about the transition are really saying that they don't have the hang of the DA. In the respect that the DA is more challenging, it could be said that it has the potential to make you a better shooter. I dry fire a lot with a double action revolver, with the same reasoning - if I can handle that trigger, the others feel easy.
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Old July 21, 2018, 04:37 PM   #15
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I know that a DA/SA trigger won't fix recoil anticipation simply because of it's action. I was referring to the idea of training with it (via dry fire and using the double-action pull a lot at the range) in order to overcome the tendency to anticipate the shot. I almost feel that a big reason I do so is that I hit that 'wall' that all striker-fired pistols have, and then before I complete the trigger pull I dip my hands downwards. Because I'm lefty, my shots go down to the right, which would just be the equivalent of rightys' shots going down to the left.

I figured that having to focus on that first shot with the DA/SA would help me work through this issue. Being that I am a grad student working on a doctorate, my time for the range is limited as well as my funds. I could, however, set some more time aside than I have to do some dry fire practice with my Shield to try and fix my issue as well. If anyone has any particular dry fire drills they know of and like, I'm all ears.

Aside from this, I still would like to know general recommendations for a full size, polymer 9mm. From what I've gathered so far, the p320, p09, and m&p would be my top choices. If I were looking for an all-metal pistol, the beretta 92 would be the winner, but I'd like to stick to polymer frames for now.
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Old July 21, 2018, 05:07 PM   #16
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The typical drill for correcting shot anticipation is ball and dummy. With an auto you can do the same by loading various magazines with random live loads and snap caps. Just throw the magazines into a bag, and reach in and grab one at random. Then when the dummy comes up, it will show you dipping. So concentrate on holding entirely through the shot and letting the gun come back down by the grip force, not arm force.

Shoot each shot slow, not rapid fire until you can achieve perfect hold THROUGH the shot. Think of the trigger break in the MIDDLE of the shot process, not the end. The hold, the trigger break and then the recovery.

In archery, shot anticipation is corrected by what is called blind bale shooting. That is to work only on shot technique at close range to a bale WITHOUT a target so that you can ingrain the shot process without worrying about hitting anything specific.
I've alway encourage new shooters to practice this on the shooting range as well. Working on grip tension, trying various holds to see which keeps the gun stable, working on follow through, focuing on the sights only. Without a target you can focus entire on the shot sequence, and avoid the flaw of trying to see where you hit as you take your eyes off the front sight at the moment of trigger break.

This is no different than dry firing on a blank wall without a target and working entirely on keeping the blade perfectly centered through the trigger break. But the advantage of bringing into the dry firing some live fire with recoil now without the anticipation of hitting the target. That way you will understand if your anticipation is due to recoil or wanting to hit the target. Unfortuantely, very few people do this berm shooting technique thinking that they are wasting ammo if they don't shoot at something, yet continue their bad habits with bad shots anyways without much improvement.

One day shooting at nothing can achieve amazing results!
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Old July 21, 2018, 05:43 PM   #17
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There are some good, full size, polymer-frame, hammer-fired, DA/SA pistols.

Among them are the full-size Beretta PX4, the Heckler and Koch USP and P30L, the FN FNX, and the SIG P2022.
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Old July 22, 2018, 06:18 AM   #18
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Think of the trigger break in the MIDDLE of the shot process, not the end. The hold, the trigger break and then the recovery.
This is damned good advice. I use a continuous trigger pull, never stopping to "adjust the sights better", and allowing the gun to fire anywhere in my wobble area. It works, but concentration is paramount. Rod
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Old July 22, 2018, 07:02 AM   #19
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Im a huge CZ advocate, in fact they should be paying me for how often I mention their name in positivity. Iv got a CZ 75B that I wouldn't trade for any other firearm. In fact the next two handguns on the purchase list are CZs. However their triggers aren't the best out of the box, yet on par with most other manufactures. Iv had a decent amount of experience with the XD series, and SIG pistols and I feel like CZ builds a tighter product.

As for the DA/SA question I don't feel like shooting a handgun with the capabilities of both DA/SA will improve your shooting anymore than using snap caps or doing some in home training. I like the having a couple guns that are DA/SA but 95% of the time I shoot from SA only. An in a HD situation im not concerned about my DA shot being a bit stray because in a full size 9mm I still have 15 more SA shots.
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Old July 22, 2018, 12:23 PM   #20
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There are several terrific 9MM pistols that I really like but what I like may not necessarily be the best for you and how a pistol interfaces with your hands and trigger finger. You really need to go out and try some various pistols via live fire to see what works best for you. IMO pistols to consider from my experiences could include SIG P226, SIG P229, SIG SP2022, HK P30/P30L, HK VP9, Walther PPQ, Beretta 92F, and CZ 75 SP01 but there are certainly plenty of other excellent pistols too.

Good grip technique can go a long ways to help mitigate recoil. Here is a link that was helpful to me on pistol grip for auto loading pistol. Any training that you can do to improve your shoulder/arms/grip strength will help too. I use dumb bells and a MummyFit adjustable grip strength training device

Here is an easy drill to practice at the range to see how bad your flinching is. I use it from time to time. If I find I am flinching I dry fire on the target I was shooting at until I stay on target (usually 5-10 times) through the trigger release, run the drill again, and repeat dry fire as needed until I am shooting on target live fire concentrating on the single shot being very deliberate and going slow. At home I dry fire at least weekly and use a 9MM LaserLyte training cartridge to make it more fun and give me instant feedback.

Flinching is mostly mind over matter and this link below explains tips to help overcome it. IMO it has nothing to do with striker fired versus DA/SA hammer fired pistol.

Also you may want to look at getting some one on one training at a local range if that is possible from a professional trainer that can demonstrate stance, grip, trigger control, and sight acquisition. A good trainer will do that and then observe and coach you for good techniques. My local range offer such for about $100 for a three hour session. Considering the cost of ammo and range fees most consider such to be an excellent investment. Until you get your flinch under control it is going to be difficult for you to figure out what pistols work best for you.
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Last edited by sigarms228; July 22, 2018 at 12:39 PM.
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Old July 22, 2018, 02:21 PM   #21
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I have actually taken a pistol course previously and am currently planning to take an intermediate pistol or ccw class at a nearby range in the near future. I've been doing snap cap drills today during study breaks and I'm definitely seeing some improvement already as far as maintaining sight alignment all the way through the press. I plan to head to the range next week to incorporate live fire with some randomly mixed-in snap caps. I don't flinch every shot, but I do occasionally which is why I brought it up in the first place. Given some more practice with my Shield, I'm confident this issue will be resolved.

Thanks for the links Sig, I will definitely follow-up on those.

If I decide to go DA/SA in the end, I will definitely go with the CZ just because I'd actually love to own one. However, I no longer think it will be necessary to work out my issue and I might opt for the full size M&P 2.0 next. We'll just have to see when the time comes!
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Old July 22, 2018, 04:49 PM   #22
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Most accurate pistol I owned was a da/sa, my Sig P226. Not sure why I shot so much better with that gun than any other. Close second was my S&W CS9. Currently own a S&W SD9, is ok, but much prefer my old Sig, or a CZ75
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Old July 22, 2018, 08:03 PM   #23
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I have no interest in a DA/SA gun. I've been happy with my Glocks, but the M&P is certainly a good gun too. Don't overlook the Ruger SR9. I have examples of both in addition to my Glocks. I had an interest in the Sig 320 and may end up with one someday but the "issues" I keep reading about have kept me away for now.

If your reasoning behind DA/SA is for safety reasons consider one of the striker fired guns with a 1911 style safety. That type of safety has proven to work effectively for over 100 years and is a much better option than having to deal with one DA pull followed by SA trigger pulls. I've used DA/SA designs and with practice can be successful. But it just adds unnecessary complications during an already stressful situation. I have and often shoot 1911's so having a similar safety on a striker fired gun isn't an issue for me at all.

Smith offers a version of the M&P with such a safety and I like it. If you don't want to use it there is no law that says you have to and it can be removed. The Ruger uses a similar design on the SR9 and LC9s.
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Old July 22, 2018, 08:19 PM   #24
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I don't really see how DA/SA adds more complexity than a manual safety.

DA/SA can be used effectively, it just requires more practice than other systems.

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Old July 22, 2018, 08:27 PM   #25
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Jacket, You're looking toward CZ, a fine pistol, but I'll just mention another DA/SA pistol that might be worthy of consideration. The HK USP Expert. Mine had a decent DA trigger, and the absolute best SA trigger of any DA/SA pistol I've ever owned. The SA was crisp 4#, with minimal over travel. A much better SA trigger than my SIG X-5 Allround, various other SIGs, CZs, S&Ws, etc. I've owned. Accurate and reliable as any semi-auto pistol I owned.....ymmv

FWIW, I've found the SA 1911 type trigger easier to master than any of the DA/SA, or striker fire Glock, HD, S&W M&P, etc. triggers I've experienced.
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