That old phrase “DA/SA guns are too hard to learn to shoot well becasue of the different trigger pulls” gets one pigeonholed as unwilling to train enough. They’re usually the same folks who take 2 seconds to fire a revolver DA because “you can’t shoot it accurately”.
Nevertheless, for people who don’t have time to train “enough”, the consistent trigger pull of a striker-fired or SA gun can make a difference. Plus, I believe there’s something to be said for a gun that behaves the same way every time you squeeze the trigger. As you learn in any shooting sport: consistency is a good thing.
Dav3 — unless you’re letting the trigger completely forward and taking your finger off the trigger between shots, you’re not getting a consistent pull, either. The weight may not change but the length of the pull is definitely different… and then all the following shots have the same trigger pull weight and length and reset. That’s just like a DA/SA gun.
Training someone to be effective with a DA/SA gun isn’t harder. There are just far too many instructors whose experience is all 1911/Glock who don’t have the experience to know how to shoot one well or teach it properly.
Thanks for all the kind words. I have trained with DA/SA guns quite a bit, so I have never seen it as an issue and to some point I think it is an advantage. Also keep in mind that some people don’t have a choice as to what pistol they shoot. I kind of like to think that shooting well with a DA/SA gun maybe gives some of those people a bit more confidence that they can shoot their gun well.
One of these days, I’m going to train with Ernest Langdon. That’s my goal for 2011-2012. I saw him at the IDPA Nationals in Little Rock a few years ago and he was absolutely phenomenal. I still can’t hear enough about his performance with the Sig Sauer P220 several years back, too. His hard work is inspiring.
boat — There’s a huge difference between a good trigger and a bad one. That has nothing to do with the general type of action. I’ve shot some horrendous DA/SA guns, too, but that doesn’t mean the DA/SA concept is bad.
Rob E – I had some large military classes earlier this year where the students were all shooting M9s. I started training with them for the class, and switched over to carrying a Beretta Compact. I have just stuck with them for now.
I really don’t think it is about the gun anymore. And I don’t mean just for me. I have now watched Todd G switch from Glock to Beretta to Sig to M&P to P30 to P45 to Glock. He has continued to get better all the while. Don’t get me wrong, some guns have advantages over other guns, but in the end his hard work and training have been the difference.
I agree 100% with your opinion dude, I think once you guys hit a certain level it really just comes down to the gun you like to shoot, or are stuck with.
So when you going to start kicking ass in USPSA and IPSC???? It would be awesome to see you at some of those matches.
Rob E- Not sure you will see me around at that many matches. The Cup was my first match since the Cup last year. A few things come to mind: One, I have a family and a 15 year old daughter. My first priority is them. I travel for work quite a bit, so I am not going to come home from a trip and then leave for match. Two, I would rather teach a class over a weekend than go shoot a match. The match is really all about ego for me if I am being honest with myself. I get a genuine kick out of the idea that I helped someone get to the next level in there shooting. So I like to think there is more to the classes than just being about me. Three, USPSA is more about the game than the shooting. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but if you really want to be competitive there you have to work as much on the game as you do the shooting. Footwork, setups, stage strategy in many cases are the keys to winning over the shooting part. Again, nothing wrong with that, I am just not willing to use my precious range time do foot work over shooting. Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting matches and wish I could do it more. But life takes over and you have to do what you can do. I am very blessed to have what I have and be able to do what I can do, and I am happy with that for now.
Can you tell more about the Beretta Compact.
I have been looking at one of those. I have a 92A1 and have been shooting handguns for fifty years.The 92A1 is my first beretta…its great don’t know why I waited.
Ernest, very well explained dude and totally understandable.
If you ever do get a chance to shoot USPSA I’m pretty sure without worrying about setups, footwork or anything other than what you do so good now, that you would win or place in the top 3 at pretty much any match.
Hopefully we’ll get to see you again up here for a course too.
Larry B- Beretta stopped making the compact a few years back, but Beretta Italy made some this year for some kind of contract. So there are some out there now from an overrun on that contract. It is a 13 round, 4.3″ barrel version of the 92FS. Kind of Glock 19 size but a little longer barrel.
mark – I shot the match w/ Ernest and watched that issue w/ great interest. I don’t think that whether the first shot was 2/10 or 3/10 of a second slower than the others or the first trigger pull of those shooting other guns is relevant. In the 16 stage Carolina Cup there were 17 first shot draws (the standards stage had two strings and two draws). Assuming, for argument’s sake, that the first shot was a quarter second slower than the rest, (and a quarter of a second is a stretch), that adds 4.25 seconds to Ernest’s match time. But after that first shot he’s shooting the equivalent of a single action ESP gun, w/ presumably the ability to shoot faster and more accurate shots. And I don’t believe for one second that the difference between, for example, Gordon Carrell’s M&P DAO first shot and Ernest’s DA first shot is even a quarter second. So what’s that all mean…even if the first shot was a fraction of a second slower its irrlelevant. That time won’t cost you a match, especially when you take into account the presumably faster (and perhaps more accurate) single action follow up shots. I think its a wash and comes down to what Ernest and Todd G preach about all the time: Its not the gun, its the shooter. Find the gun that works well for you and you like and then train, train, train. There is probably a “best” gun for everyone…meaning a gun that works best w/ however that person is wired…the gun’s timing, recoil impulse, sight set-up, etc….but as Ernest pointed out, if Todd G’s tests have proven anything they’ve proven that the issue is about software (training, practice) and not hardware (the gun).
were the first 3 shots on steel or 1 steel and then one paper? I’m guess the latter. The engagement and transition on T2-T3 is freakin unreal. I’d really like to see some other video (from other angles) from that stage. The timing was just perfect for T3 and to just carry right on over to it. man. smoking.
While I certainly don’t shoot it in the same realm as Mr. Langdon, I spend the majority of my time shooting DA/SA, and don’t have the hang-ups that many seem to attach to them. Every so often I might mash a DA, but I mash my fair share of SA shots too.