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Double Action First Shot Technique


Z-man

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I'm working hard to adapt to the double action first shot on my CZ SP-01. I've gotten much better with it, but have been trying several techniques on the draw.

The first is just getting the gun on target and then pulling the trigger smoothly until the shot breaks (like a regular SA). This seems the most consistent for me and also the safest. The second is one that has been recommended to me by other shooters and consists of taking up the slack on the trigger while bringing the gun onto the target (while the gun is pointed safely down range of course) and then breaking the shot with a much lighter pull.

It seems to me that the second method could be faster and perhaps more accurate but also more inconsistent as match stress could easily throw off the first shot (or put it in the dirt). If my trigger had a stagey DA it might be easier but with a smooth 6-7lb DA I have a hard time trying to move the gun on target quickly from the draw AND smoothly taking up the slack on the trigger. Perhaps I just haven't worked on this technique enough to really see its benefit, but I wanted to see what others are doing. Also, if this has already been discussed elsewhere, I'd appreciate the link!

Thanks

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ZMan,

I began competing with a P226 and continued to do so for a couple of years.

My advice? (Take it for what it's worth, please.) Keep doing what you're doing, method 1. It is the most reliable. Match stress made me do method 2 on occasion. It was never good. Afterwards, keep the concentration going. After awhile, I missed the SECOND shot, but never the first. Go figure.

Liota

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I started with a SIG P-226 also (many, many years ago) and used method 2 to good effect. I wasn't prepping the trigger until the gun was in front of me and pointed downrange though. You want the shot to break as soon as the sights are aligned on the target. If you are waiting to pull through until your sights are aligned, you are wasting time. You should be gaining sight alignment AS you are prepping the trigger, not before.

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I think practicing DA trigger control is best done with a revolver. The more used you get to the trigger of a DA revolver the easier it is to shoot that first DA shot with your CZ.

I shoot mainly revolver today but dabble in Production with a CZ and the first shot is no problem for me either, but for me the following shots hit too... :lol:

The only "down side" of this is of course that you will discover how fun IPSC revolver is and never get back to shoot the "bottom feeder" seriously :D:D

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In my opinion you need to know how to do both. I am far from a world class shooter, but I've gotten to the point where I don't really care about the first DA shot unless I'm looking at a hard shot, lets say a head shot at 10 yards or more. For most draws I prep the trigger about half way as I bring up the gun. If the first shot is harder one, I'll do the whole trigger pull while I'm on target. I think they both have a place.

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I'm not sure how this fits with the rules, but a friend of mine did something interesting with his combat revolver. He cut the erase off an ordinary number 2 pencil and super glued it to the trigger guard directly behind the trigger. He then used an emory board to trim it until the trigger contacted the eraser just before breaking the shot. He effectively turned a double action pistol into a single action shooter. He can pull straight through the double action or pull to the erase stop and then break the shot with only a little additional pressure.

He gets away with it in our club PPC shoots. Perhaps it's legal in other organizations . . . or not. Frankly, I have not yet studied the old rules enough to fully understand them and haven't even starting thinking about changes already being considered.

In my former, double action life, I favored getting the gun very nearly on target before my finger was even in the trigger guard. By the time I was shooting it for qualification, it was so automatic that I can't honestly tell you when I started the squeeze except that it was after the gun was pointed at the target and, if before the sights were aligned on the target, not much before.

Lee

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Kepa, when I started shooting the CZ's I realized my DA first shot was hindering me. I eventually started training just the DA shot. There were several practice sessions that I only shot the DA shot. Lots and lots of group shooting at various distances really made me get better at it. Plus you will learn a lot about shooting in general, or at least I did.

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Thanks everyone. Matt, I've been putting a lot of work into the DA shot (shooting a lot at 25 and 50 yards) but was wondering what method you use? The difference seems most evident in medium range shots around 15 yards, since close stuff you can hammer and long stuff you need a smooth pull regardless. I've been trying to shave time off my draw in dry fire and it seems that the second technique would be a bit faster if I could get it down.

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This is one area where a lighter DA trigger can really help. Fighting a heavy stock DA trigger pull while also keeping the sights aligned - well, thats easy until you have to do it really fast.

Technique is 90% of it - no doubt.

For the other 10%, improve the trigger. First, switch to the most reliable brand of primer: Federal. Then, buy a pair of Wolf 15 lb hammer springs and cut 1 full coil off of one, test, and possibly take a little more until it will not off. Then modify the 2nd for reliability. Or just send it to Matt.

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I generally do option 1. Angus has told me before he does option 2. I think which is better depends on the individual. For me, I get a much more accurate shot by placing the sight on target then pulling all the way thru the DA shot. I really don't think I give up anything either on long tight shots.

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Kepa,

I pretty much do what Matt does. When I draw, I put my trigger finger on the trigger when it hits downrange and as the gun is coming up, I then start putting more pressure on the trigger, but pull thru bout 80% of it after it is on target. Practice just DA or DA/SA shot for numerous practice sessions, you'll get it.

It took me shooting DA or DA/SA with two shots to finally get it, but now, I dont mind shooting anything I have to w/ the DA.

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I do number 1, keep the sights on target and pull thru DA.

I also dry fire my production gun DA for every shot, I find it helped me gain confidence in shooting DA and my single action pull feels lighter than it really is.

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