Choosing A Carry Pistol – Part V – The Double Action Only (DAO) Pistol
The Double Action Only pistol offers simplicity and reliability to your carry setup
The double action only (DAO) pistol implies that the trigger performs only two tasks: cocking and releasing the hammer. Unlike the traditional double action pistol the DAO pistol can not be fired in single action mode. It can only be fired in double action, meaning every single pull of the trigger is a long (and sometimes heavy) press to the rear.
Benefits of DAO pistols include:
- Every pull of the trigger is the same
- The typically longer and heavier trigger press can help to prevent a negligent discharge under stress
- Less snagging surfaces, as the hammer is usually bobbed or shrouded
There is a reason why these firearms are still popular, and that reason is simplicity. The fact that every pull of the trigger will be exactly the same with a hard double action primer strike instills confidence in many concealed carriers and home defenders. Hammer-fired gun fans also appreciate the bobbed or shrouded hammer as it aids towards snag-free concealment. On a personal note, I own (and frequently carry) a Ruger SP101 chambered in .357 Magnum, and quickly bobbed the hammer myself to convert it into a de-facto DAO firearm for the sake of simplicity and snag-free surfaces.
Because the gun is double action, meaning the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer, some carriers feel more secure in that the longer trigger pull could potentially eliminate a negligent discharge under stress. Of course, there is no substitution for proper trigger finger discipline and training, but some (including myself) view this as an added layer of safety without having to manipulate an external safety.
Make sure to check out our Gun Genie to see their vast offering of DAO firearms (plus thousands of others). If you have any questions about which DAO firearm might be best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.