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double or single action ?

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Old 11-05-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
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Default double or single action ?

I own a Bersa 380 acp at the moment, and am considering buying a Keltec P3AT 380 for CCW. Still not really clear on the difference between the double and single action. Only know both guns are dao. Explain please?
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
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I moved this thread to the right area of the website.

DAO stands for Double Action Only. What this means, basically in the laymans terms, is that it has a very long trigger pull each time you want to fire a shot.

SA stands for Single Action. A Single Action can be thought of like a revolver from the old cowboy days. You pull the hammer back, the trigger moves back to a position where it is JUST about ready to drop and you have a very short trigger pull to fire the weapon.

DA/SA - is when you have a pistol that starts with a really long trigger pull in Double Action, but when the first round is fired, the weapon then reverts to a Single Action style and follow up shots are with a much shorter, crisper trigger pull.

Hope that helps -
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by shadow View Post
I own a Bersa 380 acp at the moment, and am considering buying a Keltec P3AT 380 for CCW. Still not really clear on the difference between the double and single action. Only know both guns are dao. Explain please?
Kel Tec P3AT is DAO for safety reasons. I carry a P3AT with a round in the pipe. You can not "accidentally" fire it, as it requires a long, deliberate trigger pull for every shot. An Uncle Mike's pocket holster also won't allow trigger access without lifting the pistol completely out.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:31 PM   #4
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In the early days double action and and single action were the only two options. Single action implied only one way to fire double action implied two ways to fire (trigger cocking and thumb cocking).

Modern parlance has had a difficult time keeping up. IMHO DAO (double action only) is a misnomer. There is only one way to fire a DAO pistol (trigger cocks the hammer).

Striker fired handguns (Glock, XD, Sigma, M&P) confuse the issue even further since there is no hammer to cock. Trying to put hammer fired terms to these guns is confusing to the uninitiated. There are varying degrees of trigger cocking taking place in these weapon systems.

Dillinger gave the simplest explanation and the one that is most commonly accepted.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:12 AM   #5
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Shadow, both guns are NOT DAO or Double Action Only. The Bersa Thunder .380 (of which I own one) has the ability to fire the first round as Double Action where you squeeze back on the trigger and it in turns cocks and releases the hammer. ALL subsequent shots are then single action as the hammer is in the cocked position, unless you "decock" it with the decocking/safety lever.

The Bersa is quite safe to carry with one in the chamber. There is a firing pin block that prevents the forward movement of the firing pin, unless the trigger is in the rearward position. It is also the same on my Taurus 24/7 Pro pistol. There is a plunger that is moved only with the rearward application of the trigger. Then, and only then (barring any mechanical failures) would the firing pin be able to travel forward enough to strike the primer.

You can fire the Bersa .380 entirely single action as well. Simply cock the hammer back even with the first round in the chamber, then squeeze the trigger in single action mode. However, in a combat scenario, it is quicker and safer just to squeeze back on the long trigger pull it takes to cock and release the hammer.
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