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Thread: Are there any accidental discharge statistics for SAO vs. DAO triggers?

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    Are there any accidental discharge statistics for SAO vs. DAO triggers?

    I am curious as to whether there is any statistical data as to the number of accidental/negligent discharges broken down by SAO vs. DAO triggers. I'm looking for hard facts not ancedotal evidence. Is data on this subject available anywhere?

    My theory is that DAO triggers (sans mechanical 'safety') are inherently safer than SAO triggers that have 'safeties' and by a substantial margin. Just curious really...I don't have any axe to grind and think that SAO triggers are fine so long as the shooter is experienced.

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    The accidental discharge, like the lipstick lesbian is a myth. Now, the negligent discharge on the other hand...
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC4me View Post
    I am curious as to whether there is any statistical data as to the number of accidental/negligent discharges broken down by SAO vs. DAO triggers. I'm looking for hard facts not ancedotal evidence. Is data on this subject available anywhere?

    My theory is that DAO triggers (sans mechanical 'safety') are inherently safer than SAO triggers that have 'safeties' and by a substantial margin. Just curious really...I don't have any axe to grind and think that SAO triggers are fine so long as the shooter is experienced.
    Well, thanks for giving the gun-grabbers a new angle of attack. Obama's now got a new bullet-point for his gun safety agenda--phase out or prohibit or redesign all guns with single-action triggers.

    Since the trigger is a mechanical device that does not operate itself, it cannot be inherently safer.

    Its the human using the thing that operates it safely. For example, any time I've adminstratively handled a cocked, single-action, loaded gun--holstering, getting ready for a chamber check, etc., my thumb is in front of the hammer. Even if the grip safety is not depressed and the thumb safety is on.

    The Four Rules are layers of safety. Even if you screw up and violate one rule, you have the others protecting yourself, others, and property. You gotta screw up pretty thoroughly to violate all four at once to have a damaging negligent discharge.
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-15-2011 at 03:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Well, thanks for giving the gun-grabbers a new angle of attack. Obama's now got a new bullet-point for his gun safety agenda--phase out or prohibit or redesign all guns with single-action triggers.

    Since the trigger is a mechanical device that does not operate itself, it cannot be inherently safer.

    Its the human using the thing that operates it safely. For example, any time I've adminstratively handled a cocked, single-action, loaded gun--holstering, getting ready for a chamber check, etc., my thumb is in front of the hammer. Even if the grip safety is not depressed and the thumb safety is on.

    The Four Rules are layers of safety. Even if you screw up and violate one rule, you have the others protecting yourself, others, and property. You gotta screw up pretty thoroughly to violate all four at once to have a damaging negligent discharge.
    I'll be among the first to turn in my 1911s, Blackhawks and Hi-Powers when 'dear leader' says so. Of course, he'll have to stop by my house to pick them up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    I'll be among the first to turn in my 1911s, Blackhawks and Hi-Powers when 'dear leader' says so. Of course, he'll have to stop by my house to pick them up.
    Personally?

    It may turn out that the best way to keep our arms is to keep knowledge of them from the hands of those who might someday exercise governmental power to try to seize them.

    Due to misbehavior by an MPD officer, the government now has a record of my 1911 Dan Wesson Pointman 2. I am thinking about entering into a transaction with another individual whereby we each end up with a firearm that the government does not know we have.

    All these asides are interesting, but on the original topic, whatever terminology one chooses to use, all nit-picking aside, I am curious which kinds of weapons experience more UD (unintended discharges), SA, DAO, or single-and-a-half action (i.e., Glocks)? Apart from anecdotal evidence, I don't know that an answer exists.

    I have experienced one UD. Fortunately, the firearm was pointed downrange. That incident illustrated to me the folly of deliberately putting a 1911 into Condition 2. Don't do it folks! It won't always be pointed downrange. Hopefully, it will still be pointed in a safe direction.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I agree, and of course the best way to keep our business our business is to buy from an non-dealer--perfectly legal in Free States. (BTW, Wesson makes excellent 1911s. I really like their Valor, but I'm a SIG guy in that style.)

    Back OT, I would have to say SA semiautos simply based on design, the fact that newbies love them because they look cool--but don't bother to learn how to use them, and the now vast market for 1911s because of the centennial. I've never had a true ND, but came close once on a Hi-Power I've had for 40 years. Thank heavens for the strong half cock on the Browning...and a lesson I won't forget.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 07-15-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: I live in the Centennial State and can't spell it...duh....
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Well, thanks for giving the gun-grabbers a new angle of attack.
    Well actually that was not my intent. In fact just the opposite...I want to be able to counter a possible misconception that DAO-type triggers without safeties are unsafe (and therefore shouldn't be sold, etc...look at California for example).

    Aside from the DAO vs. SAO safety record, I'm curious as to whether or not simplicity is inherently more safe than complexity. In other words does the addition of mechanical safety mechanisms lead to a false sense of security and hence more unintentional discharges than are prevented.

    I'm still hoping that DAO vs SAO statistics exist...it would be a shame if there was no hard data.
    Last edited by OC4me; 07-16-2011 at 08:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC4me View Post
    Well actually that was not my intent. In fact just the opposite...
    OK. I understand. Thanks for clearing it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC4me View Post
    SNIP I want to be able to counter a possible misconception that DAO-type triggers without safeties are unsafe (and therefore shouldn't be sold, etc...look at California for example).

    Aside from the DAO vs. SAO safety record, I'm curious as to whether or not simplicity is inherently more safe than complexity. In other words does the addition of mechanical safety mechanisms lead to a false sense of security and hence more unintentional discharges than are prevented.

    I'm still hoping that DAO vs SAO statistics exist...it would be a shame if there was no hard data.
    Debate Tactics 101: Attack the false premise upon which the other guy's argument is based.

    Applied here, don't fall into the argument about which is safer. As soon as you do, you've handed your opponent the advantage of defining the playing field.

    Simply attack the false underlying premise--that mechanisms have much to do with safety. Safety is in the attitude (safety consciousness) and gun-handling of the gunner. Even a 1911 with the hammer cocked, the grip safety pinned forward, and the thumb safety off is still safe. It won't go off by itself. It can still be handled, holstered, drawn safely. Same for a cocked revolver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Debate Tactics 101: Attack the false premise upon which the other guy's argument is based.

    Applied here, don't fall into the argument about which is safer. As soon as you do, you've handed your opponent the advantage of defining the playing field.

    Simply attack the false underlying premise--that mechanisms have much to do with safety. Safety is in the attitude (safety consciousness) and gun-handling of the gunner. Even a 1911 with the hammer cocked, the grip safety pinned forward, and the thumb safety off is still safe. It won't go off by itself. It can still be handled, holstered, drawn safely. Same for a cocked revolver.
    Attack the false premis upon which the other guys argument is based? ok

    Mechanisms have much to do with safety. If a hammer that is pulled back is not secured against vibration and creep it could fall without the user pulling the trigger. If a firing pin that is in position against a primer is not mechanically secured against movement from acceleration and inertia, not imparted by the hammer falling from the user given signal of pulling the trigger, then the cartridge can be discharged by a violent movement of the firearm such as a fall. It is true that most if not all modern firearms guard against these possibilities, but to say mechanisms have little to do with safety is not valid. Accidental discharges are possible though improbable with modern firearms.

    However I would agree that any discussion of the differences in safety between DA and SA are more likely to go into the realm of negligent discharges as indicated by the initiate of this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    Attack the false premis upon which the other guys argument is based? ok

    Mechanisms have much to do with safety. If a hammer that is pulled back is not secured against vibration and creep it could fall without the user pulling the trigger. If a firing pin that is in position against a primer is not mechanically secured against movement from acceleration and inertia, not imparted by the hammer falling from the user given signal of pulling the trigger, then the cartridge can be discharged by a violent movement of the firearm such as a fall. It is true that most if not all modern firearms guard against these possibilities, but to say mechanisms have little to do with safety is not valid. Accidental discharges are possible though improbable with modern firearms.

    However I would agree that any discussion of the differences in safety between DA and SA are more likely to go into the realm of negligent discharges as indicated by the initiate of this thread.
    I understand your point. We're getting there.

    Lets use your point for a moment. I would respond that the mechanisms' weak points--slipping sear, etc.--known to the safety conscious--would cause him to store, carry, handle his weapon in ways that minimized or eliminated the likelihood of a discharge caused by one of those weaknesses.

    In one sense, I think it boils down to someone calling a device a "safety". (Oh? A device can really make a loaded gun safe?) So, everybody else proceeds from the premise implied in the name of the mechanism--safety. Just because somebody called the thumb safety on a 1911 a thumb safety doesn't really make it the cause of safe-ness. For illustration, what happens meaning-wise if we rename these mechanisms, omitting the safe-ness connotation. A thumb-safety becomes a hammer-drop preventer. A grip-safety becomes a trigger-bowstop. A Series 80 firing pin block becomes...well...a Series 80 firing pin block.


    Hmmmm. Maybe that's what we should do. Just stop calling these things safeties. Then maybe folks would wake up a bit and realize the actual safety is the gunner.

    Heh, heh, heh. Imagine the conversation:

    Real Man: "What? You don't carry your Peacemaker cocked? Annnnnd, you only load five chambers? What are you? Some Eastern greenhorn wussie?"

    EGW: "Well, uh, um. No. I mean, well, isn't it dangerous to keep it cocked and load all six?"

    Real Man: "You idiot! If its cocked, there is no way the hammer is going to rest on a live primer, is there? And, second, if you are so unattentive in handling your Peacemaker that you just have to leave it hammer-down, maybe you won't last long around here. Or, is it that you are soooo wussyfied that you worry it might go off by itself? Geez, what a wuss. Real men know their iron. Get outa here before I spank you and turn you into a squaw. Git!!"

    Now, that would be a viewpoint that really trusts both the iron and himself.
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-16-2011 at 11:36 PM.

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    Anyone have any information in actual answer to the subject question?

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    Trying to get this kind of data would be difficult because most NDs (and I don't care how you think of it, if your weapon discharges without you engaging the trigger, it's negligence) go unreported. Single actions with modern safeties in place are actually quite safe, as are DAOs. We've come a long way from SA revolvers that you had to leave a cylinder empty to carry it so as not to accidentally strike the hammer and cause it to fire a round or finicky 1911s whose hammers would creep. Glocks are some of the safest pistols on the market and they're SAO. I've only seen Glocks ND because of the negligence of the shooter, like the guy with a worn leather holster who refused to replace it out of comfort and shot himself getting into his car because the leather engaged the trigger when it folded completely through the trigger guard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    the lipstick lesbian is a myth.
    I can't believe this. Jeez, what don't you just tell everyone that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy doesn't exist. You Sir and/or Madam, have blown my mind...
    Minds are like parachutes. Just because you lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine...

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