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Thread: I wish I could design the perfect (for me) .380 sub compact

  1. #1
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    I wish I could design the perfect (for me) .380 sub compact

    For my own preferences I want to carry a super small semi-auto, super reliable, SA/DA .380

    My choices seem to limited to Walther PPK, Sig 232 (walther clone) , bersa .380 CC (Walther clone)

    I don't like the Walther because it doesn't have a slide release.
    I don't like the Sig because it has that silly mag release on the bottom of the hand grip.
    I don't like the bersa because had the decocker/safety on on the slide and most important doesn't have "super reliability".

    I would be in HEAVEN if the Sig 238 or Colt Mustang was SA/DA, OR if some manufacturers would take there CCW models (like Beretta PX4) and shrink it down to a single stack .380

    Sub compacts seem to be completely dominated by DOA pistols.
    Does anyone else feel my pain or am I just an odd-ball for not liking the DOA pistols?

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    What's stopping you from designing and building one for yourself? It is legal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    What's stopping you from designing and building one for yourself? It is legal.
    If I was a guessing man: Machining tools, firearm design skills.

    Also, I read websites that say that it is legal but is there any government website that says that it is? Or is it like most other laws that you have to know the WHOLE federal laws, ATF regulations and state/local laws to know it is legal?
    No man alive can beat me in a fair fight: It's not fair to chase a man down and beat him.

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    Have you had any practical handgun training? It is common (if not best) practice to not use the slide LOCK as a release. The Walther ppk and ppk/s pistols do have a slide lock. You should be releasing the slide by slapping a new mag in and racking the slide. Again, slide LOCK should not be used to release anything, so the presence or absence of a slide lock shouldn't be a determining factor.

    With that being said, I originally carried a stainless ppk/s but eventually sold it. The manual safety was not intuitive for me. I now primarily carry either a Walther PPS or a 1911.

    One last thing. There's a reason you can't find many .380 da/sa's. They're simply not popular because there are much better options out there in caliber and actioon. I would strongly recommend looking at the Walther PPS. If you're afraid of a full power round, shoot the 9mm. If you can handle a real bullet, try the .40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    Have you had any practical handgun training? It is common (if not best) practice to not use the slide LOCK as a release. The Walther ppk and ppk/s pistols do have a slide lock. You should be releasing the slide by slapping a new mag in and racking the slide. Again, slide LOCK should not be used to release anything, so the presence or absence of a slide lock shouldn't be a determining factor.

    With that being said, I originally carried a stainless ppk/s but eventually sold it. The manual safety was not intuitive for me. I now primarily carry either a Walther PPS or a 1911.

    One last thing. There's a reason you can't find many .380 da/sa's. They're simply not popular because there are much better options out there in caliber and actioon. I would strongly recommend looking at the Walther PPS. If you're afraid of a full power round, shoot the 9mm. If you can handle a real bullet, try the .40.
    I think he means he wants the slide to lock after the mag is empty. A feature missing on all but a few .380s.
    There's also the CZ options, as well as the 9mm Mak options- with which you will almost NEVER have "reliability" issues. The various Mak types are built like tanks- your Great-Grandkids will be able to use them. The P-64 doesnt have all those items you ask for- but doesnt need most of em.
    Great little piece of u can find one- and usually only run about $200 when you do.

    http://www.p64resource.com/index.php

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    I would strongly recommend looking at the Walther PPS.
    Ah, thank you for getting the quintessential "forum-firearm-master-retard" comments out of the way earlier on.
    SOMEONE had to "strongly recommend" a DAO pistol after reading I required SA/DA.

    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    Have you had any practical handgun training? It is common (if not best) practice to not use the slide LOCK as a release. The Walther ppk and ppk/s pistols do have a slide lock. You should be releasing the slide by slapping a new mag in and racking the slide. Again, slide LOCK should not be used to release anything, so the presence or absence of a slide lock shouldn't be a determining factor.
    Ah yes add a side of implication that "if I had awesome training like YOU, I would CERTAINLY agree with YOUR take on loading a gun, after all the way YOU like to do it is the ONLY way it should be done

    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    If you're afraid of a full power round, shoot the 9mm. If you can handle a real bullet, try the .40.
    Ah and of course top it off with some OH-SO-CLEVER innuendo that if I was "man enough" I should use the caliber you use or approve.

    Your are truly a good person for quickly portraying yourself as such a worthless jack@ss by getting the obligatory idiocies out of the way.
    Thank you.

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    I think he means he wants the slide to lock after the mag is empty. A feature missing on all but a few .380s.
    There's also the CZ options, as well as the 9mm Mak options- with which you will almost NEVER have "reliability" issues. The various Mak types are built like tanks- your Great-Grandkids will be able to use them. The P-64 doesnt have all those items you ask for- but doesnt need most of em.
    Great little piece of u can find one- and usually only run about $200 when you do.

    http://www.p64resource.com/index.php
    I've heard nothing but great things about the CZ as far as function and reliability (not so much form but that's not too important)
    How ever like the P-64 I don't think I could ever buy what I consider to be an odd-ball caliber gun. I've never seen the 9x18 locally and can't buy it online at any of my usual places...certainly not in bulk.

    I now see the .380 model. In fact thanks for reminding me about CZ, I'm taking a real real good look at those 83s
    Last edited by twoskinsonemanns; 05-30-2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: to add I now DO see CZ has a .380 ACP

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    my .380 bersa has never had a "jam" or any feed problems. i think when people say they were not reliable they are talking about the old models. i shoot fmj and jhp threw it without a problem. and i love this little gun. it has had over 1000 rounds threw it with out problems. unless you count the cheap promag i had not feeding right. problem solved by getting a spare bersa mag.

  9. #9
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    my .380 bersa has never had a "jam" or any feed problems. i think when people say they were not reliable they are talking about the old models. i shoot fmj and jhp threw it without a problem. and i love this little gun. it has had over 1000 rounds threw it with out problems. unless you count the cheap promag i had not feeding right. problem solved by getting a spare bersa mag.
    I have the .380 CC model bought around 1 year ago brand new, and I have a rather extreme love hate relationship with it. When I talk about reliability problems I speak from experience as well as word of mouth from others. I had an estimated 30-40% FTF rate (or higher it's been a while) during the first 50 rounds. ALL FTF. It has been getting better. It the last 300 rounds I may have had 3-4 FTFs. All types of ammo. Jams even expensive stuff you wouldn't expect.

    I LOVE the accuracy of this small gun. I LOVE the way it feels in my hand. I LOVE the way it unobtrusively rides in my IWB like it grew there. I HATE HATE HATE that I carry a gun I don't feel 100% about. Also I don't like that I have to drop the mag to clear a failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I have the .380 CC model bought around 1 year ago brand new, and I have a rather extreme love hate relationship with it. When I talk about reliability problems I speak from experience as well as word of mouth from others. I had an estimated 30-40% FTF rate (or higher it's been a while) during the first 50 rounds. ALL FTF. It has been getting better. It the last 300 rounds I may have had 3-4 FTFs. All types of ammo. Jams even expensive stuff you wouldn't expect.

    I LOVE the accuracy of this small gun. I LOVE the way it feels in my hand. I LOVE the way it unobtrusively rides in my IWB like it grew there. I HATE HATE HATE that I carry a gun I don't feel 100% about. Also I don't like that I have to drop the mag to clear a failure.
    have you polished the feed ramp? that was the vary FIRST thing i did before i even went out to shoot it. im able to shoot the cheap ammo threw it and even buffalo bore +P round threw it without any FTF problems. also did you consider that it could be your mag? i kept mine fully loaded for about a month before shooting it. i also dry cycled it ALOT of times

    if you have not already done this get a dremal (? not sure on spelling) and polish the feed ramp. i have to duo tone .380 and when i polished the feed ramp i did the whole gun, besides the slide and im in love with it. there isnt a day that goes by that i dont put it iwb holster on me. even at work i cc with it. i wake up shower put on my gun. i dont take it out until bedtime



    i will post pictures in a little bit of the gun before/ after and how i polished the feed ramp. also i took the mag safty out of the gun witch is another easy thing to do that should be done to the bersa.

    my next firearm will be the bersa cc i love the looks of it

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    here is before/after i polished the gun not the best pictures but i used mothers mag aluminum polish which worked perfect. alot used that on the feed ramp of the gun. after i did that there was no more problems with it. the next thing i will be doing to this gun is shortening the beaver tail on it since it overlaps the hammer of the gun. and i see no need for it to be that long, i just need to work up the courage to do it.
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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    I have begun a recent polishing campaign on the feed ramp. Started about a month ago after I discovered a little 'rolling burr' developing on the bottom right of the feed ramp. I am going very slow and taking my time.



    Your bersa is beautiful. I hope I one day have the same confidence in my as you do in yours.

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    here is mine, if your doing it by hand it will take longer and you will not be able to get it full polished and take the mettle down to where it should be. from my understanding bersa made the feed ramp just a tiny bit to large for a longer lasting gun, witch the failed on doing so

    here is a link to what i used to do mine it takes just a min or two to get it perfect. i recommend you get this

    http://www.toolup.com/dremel_422_38-...LAID=631495436

    while you do it be careful do not push down use the mothers mag and aluminum polish. it will cost you around 8$ to do all of this and it makes your gun work perfect. i have no jams no FTF no issues. i would bet my life on my bersa saving me.

    sorry my picture is not the best, and if you still choose to do it by hand make sure you get all of it. your not going to hurt the gun in anyway by simply polishing it. your not finished until the whole ramp is to a mirror finish. once that is done your gun should be 100% reliable

    iv also done some torture testing to my bersa where i have dropped it in mud, it still fired i have also quick fired 2 factory bersa mags 15 rounds since i had one chambered, then 2 pro mag 8 rounds each with no problems all so i fired in all 31 shots in rapid fire with no problems. even with the few small mods done to mine i still highly recommend this gun to anyone.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    While a DA/SA is harder to get good with than a DAO or SAO, I in fact entirely agree with you. I wish such a gun existed too. The closest available is the cracked frame prone Beretta Tomcat. And that's a .32. Not to mention the fact that PPK's and copies are blow back operated and fairly unpleasant to shoot.

    Something worth considering is the Taurus .709. About the same size as the PPK's, but in the significantly better 9mm caliber. The first pull has a long take up, then there is a short reset if my memory serves me correctly. Similar in use to a DA/SA, but easier to get good with.

    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I don't like the Sig because it has that silly mag release on the bottom of the hand grip.
    For a pocket carried gun, this can be to your advantage. Typical thumb releases are good at dropping magazines unintentionally. For a deep concealment gun, and deep concealment is the only reason to consider a .380, I'd prefer a heel release. I'd also prefer either a better caliber than .380, or a smaller gun than a PPK. The PPK's weight to power ratio is terrible by modern standards. The closest thing to decent power the PPK has going for it is the P-64 with max power 115 grain ammo, which is both painful to shoot and not a good idea to shoot often through a P64.
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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    While a DA/SA is harder to get good with than a DAO or SAO

    Well that's just it. For me I am much quicker, more accurate and comfortable with the SA/DA. The long pull of the the DAO leaves me much less accurate. I have owned them in the past but got rid of them.

    Ultimately I think the best pistol for me would be SAO, but I'm just not as comfortable with the cocked and locked. I've never carried a gun with the safety on and think in a situation where I had to use it my actions would revert to my long-time standing "un-holster gun, pull trigger" conditioning over the years. This would be bad with the safety on.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    The 2 shot transition between DA and SA, no ifs ands or buts, is harder to do accurately than 2 fast shots with a DAO or SAO. I don't care who you are, it'll take more time to get good at.

    You are in the same predicament, to the T, that I was in 2010. My suggestion is that you do what I did. Take a small DAO handgun, such as a Kel Tec, or a revolver to the range. Grip it with one hand, so hard that your arm starts shaking. Back off by 10 percent so your arm stables. Point it at your target, disregard the sights, instead pointing it at your target. Now, at a distance of 6-12 feet, blast away as fast as you can. This is the basis for up close Applegate Fairbairn Sykes shooting, and in my experience the easiest way to shoot micro mouse guns. It may take you 100 or 200 rounds, but you'll get good at it.

    DAO mouse guns are simply not well suited for sight picture use. They're too small, and too snappy with too long of trigger pulls to be shot at ranges beyond that which point shooting is capable. Yes, you can take your time, stage the trigger, and shoot more accurate long range shots. Good luck shooting a micro .380 DAO with that much precision at any distance at a combat speed. That's why I agree, I'd rather have a DA/SA and have the long range capability of a gun like a P238. But it doesn't exist just yet.

    The good news is that once/if you come to terms with these current facts of life, the Seecamp and copycat models are much smaller than the guns you're talking about, in fact being the smallest on the market without going down to .22 or .25, have okay DAO triggers, and with practice and ball ammo are capable weapons out to 15 feet or so. And that's further than the majority of concealed carriers could ever expect to have to have to shoot from in a defensive situation.

    If you go larger, such as up to a 380 Kel Tec or better yet the Kahr, you'll have much more accuracy potential. Go for the PPK sized Taurus, and you'll be formidably armed with a shootable platform with a good deal of power.

    It's all a trade off going up and down. You just have to decide what fits your needs. The bottom line is this, trust me, you can get good with whatever you need to. It just takes a desire to do it.
    Last edited by Michigander; 05-30-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I've heard nothing but great things about the CZ as far as function and reliability (not so much form but that's not too important)
    How ever like the P-64 I don't think I could ever buy what I consider to be an odd-ball caliber gun. I've never seen the 9x18 locally and can't buy it online at any of my usual places...certainly not in bulk.

    I now see the .380 model. In fact thanks for reminding me about CZ, I'm taking a real real good look at those 83s
    mm.. saw significant quantities of Mak ammo on the shelves at Dick's, Gander, and Academy this past weekend.. but.. for bulk :

    http://www.targetsportsusa.com/c-58-...arov-ammo.aspx

    14 possible choices + bulk purchase rates.

    http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/chea...911_14762.html
    Last edited by j4l; 05-30-2012 at 08:49 PM.

  18. #18
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    here is before/after i polished the gun not the best pictures but i used mothers mag aluminum polish which worked perfect. alot used that on the feed ramp of the gun. after i did that there was no more problems with it. the next thing i will be doing to this gun is shortening the beaver tail on it since it overlaps the hammer of the gun. and i see no need for it to be that long, i just need to work up the courage to do it.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to post these pics. It's a nice firearm.
    I had not meant to say I was polishing by hand only that I was going slowly. I dremel a little bit then firing a few rounds.
    Maybe tonight I'll do some more agressive polishing and take a pic.
    OR......Maybe I'll just buy bersa after bersa until I get one that comes 100% from the factory

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Thank you very much for taking the time to post these pics. It's a nice firearm.
    I had not meant to say I was polishing by hand only that I was going slowly. I dremel a little bit then firing a few rounds.
    Maybe tonight I'll do some more agressive polishing and take a pic.
    OR......Maybe I'll just buy bersa after bersa until I get one that comes 100% from the factory
    Which can happen with any and all manufacturers of any product. see- the S&W post, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Thank you very much for taking the time to post these pics. It's a nice firearm.
    I had not meant to say I was polishing by hand only that I was going slowly. I dremel a little bit then firing a few rounds.
    Maybe tonight I'll do some more agressive polishing and take a pic.
    OR......Maybe I'll just buy bersa after bersa until I get one that comes 100% from the factory
    i wish they came perfect but vary little mods they are great guns. just polish the feed rail all the way down until mirrored, then you should have no problems. if you think that your taking to much off you can always dry cycle it until the bullet goes in with 0 effort.

    and no problem with the pics i always try to help out bersa owner because i love them so much.

    and if all of that doesnt work ill gladly take your cc off your hands for you

  21. #21
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    mm.. saw significant quantities of Mak ammo on the shelves at Dick's, Gander, and Academy this past weekend.. but.. for bulk :

    http://www.targetsportsusa.com/c-58-...arov-ammo.aspx

    14 possible choices + bulk purchase rates.

    http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/chea...911_14762.html
    mmmmm.... I definitely stand corrected. Although I still can't recall seeing any locally I certainly agree it is available online.
    I guess I've gotten so used to buying 1000 rd boxes of 5.56 and 7.62 from ammoman.com I must have gotten it into my head that if they didn't have it it was odd-ball.

    Thanks!

  22. #22
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    i wish they came perfect but vary little mods they are great guns. just polish the feed rail all the way down until mirrored, then you should have no problems. if you think that your taking to much off you can always dry cycle it until the bullet goes in with 0 effort.

    and no problem with the pics i always try to help out bersa owner because i love them so much.

    and if all of that doesnt work ill gladly take your cc off your hands for you
    Don't be too quick to want it. Go on Bersachat sometime and search all the people who have had problems. There are a unfortunate large amount.

    Anyway I'll keep working at it. I do love so much of what the gun does offer.

  23. #23
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    The 2 shot transition between DA and SA, no ifs ands or buts, is harder to do accurately than 2 fast shots with a DAO or SAO. I don't care who you are, it'll take more time to get good at.

    You are in the same predicament, to the T, that I was in 2010. My suggestion is that you do what I did. Take a small DAO handgun, such as a Kel Tec, or a revolver to the range. Grip it with one hand, so hard that your arm starts shaking. Back off by 10 percent so your arm stables. Point it at your target, disregard the sights, instead pointing it at your target. Now, at a distance of 6-12 feet, blast away as fast as you can. This is the basis for up close Applegate Fairbairn Sykes shooting, and in my experience the easiest way to shoot micro mouse guns. It may take you 100 or 200 rounds, but you'll get good at it.

    DAO mouse guns are simply not well suited for sight picture use. They're too small, and too snappy with too long of trigger pulls to be shot at ranges beyond that which point shooting is capable. Yes, you can take your time, stage the trigger, and shoot more accurate long range shots. Good luck shooting a micro .380 DAO with that much precision at any distance at a combat speed. That's why I agree, I'd rather have a DA/SA and have the long range capability of a gun like a P238. But it doesn't exist just yet.

    The good news is that once/if you come to terms with these current facts of life, the Seecamp and copycat models are much smaller than the guns you're talking about, in fact being the smallest on the market without going down to .22 or .25, have okay DAO triggers, and with practice and ball ammo are capable weapons out to 15 feet or so. And that's further than the majority of concealed carriers could ever expect to have to have to shoot from in a defensive situation.

    If you go larger, such as up to a 380 Kel Tec or better yet the Kahr, you'll have much more accuracy potential. Go for the PPK sized Taurus, and you'll be formidably armed with a shootable platform with a good deal of power.

    It's all a trade off going up and down. You just have to decide what fits your needs. The bottom line is this, trust me, you can get good with whatever you need to. It just takes a desire to do it.
    I appreciate your DAO enthusiasm and your "no if's and's or but's" opinion but at this point I hold to my beliefs for the reason why I prefer the SA/DA. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be on board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Ah, thank you for getting the quintessential "forum-firearm-master-retard" comments out of the way earlier on.
    SOMEONE had to "strongly recommend" a DAO pistol after reading I required SA/DA.



    Ah yes add a side of implication that "if I had awesome training like YOU, I would CERTAINLY agree with YOUR take on loading a gun, after all the way YOU like to do it is the ONLY way it should be done



    Ah and of course top it off with some OH-SO-CLEVER innuendo that if I was "man enough" I should use the caliber you use or approve.

    Your are truly a good person for quickly portraying yourself as such a worthless jack@ss by getting the obligatory idiocies out of the way.
    Thank you.
    Try making your point without putting words in my mouth. And while you're at it, grow up and try to have a conversation without name calling.

    So far you've shown that you are set in your ways by refusing to consider practicing with a superior firearm action, that you're hot-headed and easily pushed into escalating a confrontation, and that you're generally unskilled with anything but one certain type of handgun. You also admit to carrying guns designed with manual safeties in an unsafe manner. You ignore any recommendations that don't fit your preconceived mold of the perfect gun that for some reason you can't fathom doesn't exist.

    I offered my experience and knowledge to you so that you may not have to learn all of your lessons the hard way. I can see that you prefer the path of ignorance. I hope your poor choices don't get you, or worse, someone else killed.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I appreciate your DAO enthusiasm and your "no if's and's or but's" opinion but at this point I hold to my beliefs for the reason why I prefer the SA/DA. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be on board.
    The difficulty with the transition is proven fact. It is an added skill. Many PPK's also have very heavy DA pulls, making the difference considerably worse than usual. Nevermind that I believe most also need to have the safety on to keep the firing pin blocked for carrying. A horrible DA pull and a safety to shut off are not ideal traits for a carry gun.

    You can cheat your way through at the range by cocking the hammer manually as many do, but doing double or triple taps starting with the hammer down is the only honest way to assess your skill level. And if you're well practiced at it, great! I'm as dedicated to it as you are, and thus my primary is a good old fashion P220. And if you prefer PPK's, great! It will however make you among a tiny minority that likes a snappy blowback with a not too great grip profile over a more modern comfortable grip recoil operated gun which carries more easily. I say this not to be argumentative, but rather because I'd hope that I can spare you the trouble of buying a PPK type gun you'll end up not using that often.

    Good luck with however you proceed.
    Last edited by Michigander; 05-31-2012 at 12:20 AM.
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