A Tip On Running a Double Action Pistol




I am a proponent of traditional double action pistols for my every day carry.

*please note carefully that I said for MY EDC, no one else’s. I have no interest in trying to convince anyone to follow my lead here, and it in no way validates or invalidates my own choices whichever way someone chooses.  I don’t need outside approval, so rock whatever you wish to rock.

One of the reasons is because I carry AIWB (appendix) I prefer having some extra built in safeties – the longer, heavier trigger pull and the external hammer in particular. Actually, for me, those added safeties are a good idea whether I am carrying AIWB or in any other position. The fact that I was just at a major conference where I saw a number of experienced shooters muzzle themselves when holstering at 3 or 4:00 only serves to reinforce that. Having built in redundancy no matter what that needs no conscious activation is a good thing in my eyes.

Another positive for me is that first double action pull really forces my brain to engage to make sure the pull is smooth and consistent. I used to have a trigger snatching problem when I was running striker fired pistols, and that for practical purposes disappears when I run a TDA pistol.

One criticism I have heard is that people can forget to de-cock the gun before reholstering and that can cause a dangerous situation. That could certainly be something to worry about, except one simple tweak can ensure that never happens, and it requires no extra practice time.

As I said, one of the safety mechanisms I like with the TDA gun is the external hammer. The way to use it is that on reholstering, place the thumb of your primary grasping hand on the back of the hammer. That way, if something in the pathway or lodged in the holster causes the trigger to be pulled, your thumb blocks the movement and instantly feels it. Well, that same action also positively ensures that your hammer is de-cocked because you have tactile attachment every single time. The cool thing is you are doing it anyway, so there is no extra training needed to make sure you have that prevention measure in place.

I was taught from day one of my TDA experience (by numerous instructors such as Ernest Langdon and Mike Pannone, but it was Todd Green who was advocating this at least as far back as 2009) to use my thumb this way, and I have never once had an issue with forgetting to de-cock the gun. If you have any interest in running a similar carry gun, give it a try and I think you will find the same thing.

Best of luck, and welcome to the club!