Your experience/take on action types?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by BeyondTheBox, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    I wonder if others are like me and have determined their firearms desires by action type first, then caliber/manufacturer/etc.

    How important is it to you, and why?
  2. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    there is gas operated, delayed blowback, break open, blowback, bolt action, revolving cylinder, muzzle loader, and i think one really odd lever action pistol.

    blowback works well with lower powered rounds like 22lr to 380acp.

    delayed blowback works great in medium range rounds 9mm to 460 rowland

    revolving cylinder and gas operated are superb for the bigger rimmed magnum cartridges

    bolt action and break open is great for using rifle cartridges in a pistol format

    cartridge choice has more to do with the type of action than any preference of action in and of itself in pistol selection

  3. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    Okay, so perhaps more specification is required. Hahahaahha

    Striker Fire

    Those are the ones I know in semi-auto handguns. Although I looked up bolt and lever because I was really curious. Hahahaha

    What you listed was a bunch a foreign gobbldyguck to me. If they are semi-auto handgun actions that I've failed to recognize then I appreciate the education and would like to know more!

    I thought most of those were operation types, not action types, except for bolt and lever, and not semi-auto eligible.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  4. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Oh your talking about trigger types. The action is how a firearm is loaded and functions when fired.

    My preference is for sao then da then dao. I like the same short predictible trigger pull each time. Best sao is the 1911 followed by the springfield xdm in my opinion. I shoot the xdm more accurate and faster than a 1911. But the 1911 trigger is better.

    I dont like long trigger pulls like on a revolver or dao semiauto. Glocks are a horrid abortion of trying to combine a sa trigger and a dao trigger and it just simply fails. It does neither well. I like to use glock as an example of how a gun made by taking all the worst ideas in gun design and somehow coming up with a thing worse than the sum of its parts.

    A good trigger regardless of type should be predictable when as to when the hammer falls.
  5. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    Aren't all semi-auto handguns blowback?
  6. OldManMontgomery

    OldManMontgomery Active Member

    Answering your question and your other question.

    For semi-automatic pistols, I prefer a single action trigger with manual, thump operated safety. (I'm a Government Model dinosaur.) I have used and carried Glocks, double action only mechanisms and the DA/SA type of pistols. They all work to some extent or other. I very much prefer DA revolvers (old S&Ws, thank you very much) but find the DAO autopistol to be slow in function and follow up shots. I find the DA/SA types to be the most treacherous of all - it's far too easy to forget to de-cock prior to holstering.

    I distrust striker fired handguns. The amount of force needed to ignite the primer is hard to generate with a short compressed spring. With all that said, Glocks seem to do it. However Glocks have the personality of a cut-off end of a 2x4.

    No. All semi-autos are not blowback. It's a technical term. "Blowback" means the breach block (or bolt or slide) is held shut only be the power of the recoil spring. When fired, it is a combination of the inertia of the breach block (or whatever) and the recoil spring which holds the breach shut long enough for the pressure to drop to a manageable level prior to opening (and extracting the case and ejecting it and all.) Notable characteristic is the barrel does not move - it is fixed into the frame in some manner.

    The next level is 'delayed' blowback, such as the H&K P7. There's a gas bleed off into a chamber under the barrel and a pistol attached to the slide cannot move into the chamber until the pressure releases. The old Savage pistols used a rotating barrel to keep the slide closed. Again, the barrel does not move in relation to the slide. (Okay, in the rotating barrel type, the barrel rotates, but it doesn't move along the axis of the frame.)

    Most heavy caliber (higher pressure) pistols are 'locked breach'. The barrel and slide at mechanically linked at the moment of firing. In the Government Model, the barrel has 'lugs' that fit into recesses in the slide and when the pistol is fired, the barrel moves an eighth of an inch (or so) with the slide - giving time for the bullet to exit and pressure to drop, then the slide moves away from the barrel, case is extracted and ejected and so forth.

    Yes, pretty much all modern pistols use the recoil of the cartridge to operate the pistol, and I see your confusion. But it is the internal workings that determine 'blow back' or not.
  7. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    I like single action autos for target shooting. A 1911 is a shining example of an excellent short travel, light weight, predictable trigger.

    The striker fired pistols also offer a repeatable trigger for every shot but include extra travel for safety. Unlike the other folks who already replied, I really like these for carry and practical shooting competition. In higher stress it simplifies weapon manipulation. As long as you have trained to get your trigger finger off the trigger when you aren't shooting they are possibly safer than some other actions because you can't forget to engage the safety when bolstering. Seen one guy shoot himself with a 1911 when reholstering and another have a near miss with a Sig. I really like both of those pistols as well but people have to remember the safety which seems like it may be hard for some folks under the stress of a timer let alone in a real life or death situation.

    DA/SA triggers are fine but take more training and concentration to master. Not super difficult but just another training consideration.
  8. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    I'm with you guys, I'm all about single action and striker fire, but only the latter for target practice, don't trust them as carry pieces for same reasons as others.

    Thanks for the information on operation types. Whenever I think of a handgun I only think in modern terms so I need to stop assuming everyone else does. Hahaha

    However I carry uncocked. Figure it safer, because it takes the same amount of energy to cock as is required to flip off a safety in cocked and locked mode. I'll do some practicing at the range and see how the two different modes compare, but I always hang to the side of caution, the left, but don't worry, I'm strongly right winged. Hahahahaha
  9. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    I like both SA and SA/DA pistols.

    IMO, and in my selection paradigm,

    it has to do with redundant safeties.

    The 1911 has famous backups.

    The SA/DA with decocker, such as the Beretta

    92 or 96, also have a nice safety advantage

    for CC.

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    First choice, 1911. Light touch on the trigger, helps maintain a good sight picture. Safe enough if you know how to handle it.
    Second choice DA/SA "hybrid", with exposed hammer so it can be carried cocked and locked if desired.
    Third choice, DA/SA with decocker. First shot is heavy trigger, but fires SA thereafter. Helps avoid liability from accidentally touching it off.
    Last choice DAO, due to heavy, time consuming trigger pull. Tends to pull muzzle off target. Partly responsible for the pitiful performance of some LEO's under stress.
    Never will use Glock. The little gizmo in the trigger could hardly be called a safety, and mediocre trigger pull.
    My most accurate semiauto is a Stoeger 8040 "Cougar" in '40 S&W. DA first shot, SA for the rest. Uses rotating barrel lockup, so the barrel doesn't tilt relative to the slide. I still prefer 1911 due to light trigger.
  11. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    Agreed about the DA/SA. If actual hammer is available I'm down with, but those hidden hammers, like my pops' 3913, just don't suffice.