Double action semi-auto pistol?

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Dennis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
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117
Forgive my ignorance on the subject but could someone educate me on double action semi-auto pistols?

I just got into guns last year so I admit I have a lot to learn. One thing I do know is that my wife HATES any handgun that she has to rackout. Hence, we have been only considering getting her a revolver for self defense.

But just today I read that there are some double action semi-autos as well - does this mean that the first DA pull loads a round and fires it then SA after that? I've always been under the impression that semi-auto pistols had to be racked out at least the first time.

Thanks.
Dennis
 

kscott

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
473
With a DA/SA pistol. The first shot is DA (brings the hammer back and releases it therefore firing a round), but a round must first be chambered in the pistol. The subsequent trigger pulls are SA. The "decocker" can then be depressed to allow the hammer to fall without striking the primer. This will reset the trigger to DA mode. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask for more clarification or other questions.
 

bearing01

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
71
In a full DA pistol, every time you shoot the slide racks and ejects the case and reloads. The hammer does not remain cocked as it would in a DA/SA pistol. The next trigger pull will cock the hammer and release it. Every pull is a double action pull. Why would you want a full DA pistol? Maybe because you like each trigger pull to take 7 pounds?
 

Mtn Biker

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
51
Dennis":9j2vwqem said:
But just today I read that there are some double action semi-autos as well - does this mean that the first DA pull loads a round and fires it then SA after that? I've always been under the impression that semi-auto pistols had to be racked out at least the first time.

No, you will still have to rack the slide to chamber the first round but as kscott mentioned you can then park the hammer down and then squeez the trigger to move the hammer back fire similar to a DA revolver for the first shot.
Depending on the design of the pistol you might have to do this every follow up shot (DA only)or only if you again park the hammer. (DA-SA)
VL
 

Dennis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
117
Very interesting. I think I'm understanding this much better now - thanks all!

I'm pretty sure there is still an SP101 in the wife's future - not only does she not want to rack it out, even once, but I'm afraid she'd completely freak out if she has to clear a jam.

This OK because I like the SP101 too and can still get me a semi-auto. :)

Dennis
 

bearing01

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
71
A round could not chamber properly if she doesn't rack the slide properly, causing a malfunction. She could get a stove pipe and and/or have to drop the mag and rack the slide to clear the gun. A bad round may not go off / misfire and she'd have to rack it to chamber another round. Several reasons why I prefer a revolver over pistol for home defense - the next round is only a trigger pull away.
 

blume357

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,580
Get your wife the SP 101 and you get either an SR9 or a P95 then sometime down the road y'all both go shooting at the same time... she gets to fire her 5 rounds and you give it all 15-17. See if she rethinks having to rack the slide one time for that.
 

MountainGator

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
106
Well addressed, but let me ad this...

1) DA sometimes carries the tag DAO (Double Action Only) strictly speaking this is a pistol or revolver with a concealed or spurless hammer, or a striker, or a fire controll mechanism that can not manually be cocked.

2) many billed as "DA" are not strictly DA, in that the slide action "Pre-cocks" the hammer. If you pull the trigger and the round does not fire (i.e. a FTF) you can not "re-pull" the trigger (without racking [or partially racking] the slide). In a true DA every time you pull the triggrer the hammer will drop.
 

Charon

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 26, 2000
Messages
124
If you are willing to settle for a smaller caliber, such as .22, .25 ACP, or .32 ACP, Beretta sells some small pistols with a tip-up barrel system. Taurus also has some, which I suspect are copies of the Beretta. The tip-up barrel allows you to tip up the barrel, insert a cartridge, and press the barrel back down into place.
 

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