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single vs double action

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Wonky, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Wonky


    Aug 8, 2011
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    Dear Mr. Ayoob,
    For many years I have shot and carried a cock and locked 1911. Several weeks ago my wife and I were visiting Indianapolis and decided to go down a well light and clean looking alley. We could see our car from the end of the alley in which we were standing. Half way through we were set upon by a steet person who asked for money. When we said NO he began to spit on us and another person came out of a corner with a baseball bat and started to swing it at us. I drew my light weight commander and they quickly ran away. As soon as they left I noticed I had pushed off the thumb saftey and taken up the slack on the trigger. In the heat of the moment I had no idea I had done this. It Really shock me that I had been that close to firing the pistol. I have since purchased a Beretta 92fs compact and a Sig 239. I've tried to practice with them 2 or 3 times a week but still have trouble with the DA/SA transition. Do you know of any books or shooting schools I could attend to learn how to better use a DA/SA system?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
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    DA/SA transition can be mastered. First, I find it works better if the shooter gets the trigger finger onto the trigger at the distal joint, instead of the pad. It gives more leverage. This will obviously be easier on your P239, with its shorter trigger reach, than on your 92 variant.

    Instead of trying to "catch the link," maintain contact between finger and trigger ("trigger weld") but let the trigger come forward until it stops for each shot. This guarantees that you won't have a failure to re-set.

    One very helpful exercise is a long range session of fire, decock, fire, decock, etc. This makes every shot double action, of course, and habituates the finger to managing that critical first shot. Soon it's as if your trigger finger has come to know two trigger pulls, double and single action, equally well and can more easily transition between the two.

    This is one thing we teach at my school (, but I would also recommend SIG Academy and Smith & Wesson Academy, both of which have enormous experience teaching this particular skill on this type of pistol. Ernest Langdon -- who won multiple national championships with the Beretta 92 and the SIG, always firing the first shot double action -- is now teaching again, through Langdon Tactical (, and I can strongly recommend him as well.

    Glad you got through your situation safely!

    Best of luck,