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Thoughts on strongest and weakest "double action/single action" capable pistols


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While a big fan of the "single action" style airsoft pistols (1911, 2011, Glock, Walther PPQ etc.), I'm always looking at the "double action/single action" pistols and wondering how well they actually stand up to long term use.

I do have several "da/sa" pistols in my collection (TM Sig P226, WE P226 E2 (new purchase), KJW Sig P229, ASG Cz P-09, ASG CZ75, TM PX4 Storm  and WE Walther P-38) and so far I've only had "action failure" on the ASG P-09's and CZ75's . I have to add that these pistols were getting a very large amount of use over a good number of years. The action has totally failed on two CZ75's and two P-09's. I blame myself as I have done large amount of "double action" shooting with these pistols and should have known better.

My TM Sig P226 is well over 15 years old and I've not used that often as well as my KJW P229 (it does appear to be a "tank" though and I really like it). My WE P-38's also have possibly the best "da/sa" action as when the pistol is shot in single action mode, there is an actual trigger "wall" I dont have on any of the others!  I've not had any issues with these any of these pistols. 

My "single action" pistols have not given me many problems and the few that I had have been easily fixed with parts replacement. I have found the 1911 and Glock style pistols relative easy to keep working. Obviously due to a much simpler action design.

Any suggestions for a really durable "da/sa" style pistol?

I've also have several "double action only" NBB pistols and the TM Mk23 (which can be carried "cocked and locked") and I really like them as well. I just wish someone could design a NBB without a 10+ pound trigger pull.

Now that we are in "shelter in place" mode for at least 2 more weeks, I plan on a lot of backyard shooting (and cellar cleaning according to my wife) in the future.

Please stay safe and take care of yourselves.


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Beretta 92s are usually out.  Both RS and airsoft trigger return spring breaks and KSC/KWA models replicate the locking block breakage on the real one :P  However they do take a beating and keep ticking.  Dropped my marui, WEs  and KSC/KWA in sand and dirt and used them for many years.

SIG are ok, KSC SIGs FCG are made of monkey metal and the return rate to factory of those are really high, though the SIG Pros are better.  Maruis are good, WEs depends on age as the magazine catch wears out OR the magazine wears out (I have a 12 year old WE 228).   Some have fractured disassembly latches from constant impact.

WE Makarovs needs constant screw tightening to prevent them falling apart.  But aside from that they are pretty good.  KSCs fall apart after the first magazine.

Beretta 84 seems to be quite solid, though I carry my Makarovs more than my Beretta so not sure.  Heel mag releases on the Maks are really good if you go for classic webbing and chest rigs.

There are the CZ75s, the KWA also suffers from action failure, though I haven't used the KJW enough to see it. 

There are the KWA/KSC USP and HK45/P30.  The KWA USPs has had issues with wearing/deforming sears, but the HK45/P30 seems ok for the moment.  Marui USP and HK45 seems like good contenders also though I don't own one.

There is the old school Walther PPK, not really a modern platform and the maruzen is leaky as hell.

Also the Walther P38, its somewhat reliable with blowback issues and decocker issues from time to time, but not really a modern carry option.  They are ok.


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I've been a big Walther P38 (real steel) fan for many many years. The ones I shot where quite accurate and were very reliable with good ammo.

When the WE version came out, I bought 2 of the standard version in black, the Evike sent me a 3rd in silver due to a error on their end, but I kept it as it has a real nice satin finish and looks pretty good. I bought some real steel wood grips that were really easy to modify to fit on the WE pistol and they look great.

Being a huge fan of the Man From UNCLE (yes, I am that old), I was able to locate a couple of the WE P38k's and turned them both into pseudo "UNCLE Specials". While they are not exact copies, they look cool to me (while you can get the parts on-line and even get exact an exact replica with "all the fixings" using the WE pistol as a basis, the price is just way way out of line). I used Sig 552 style flash hiders with the WE threaded barrel adapters. They are my UNCLE Mk II's (lol).

I've also done the same thing with 2 PPQ's with blue frames and extended magazines. One has suppressor height sights and compensator from Shapeways ( 3D printing service) and small Inforce light while the other has the 552 flash hider and a micro red dot using a "cut down" Walther PPQ rail adapter. I'm strange, what can I say.

I've taken it easy with the P38's in regards to using the "double action" and "hammer drop safety", but they get a lot of shooting use. So far, so good. I was especially surprised with the range and accuracy of the "k's". I also like the fact that when you insert the loaded magazine, you still have to rack the slide to make it fire the first shot. Just like the real steel.

Based on your responses, I guess I'm just going to have take it easy when using the double action and hammer drop safety features.

Good to hear from all of you. I wish you all the best and to please keep safe.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Actually, I'll stick with my H8R Mk2 revolvers with their adjustable hop-up, no shells, quick to load 10 shot "full moon clips", ability to actually be suppressed, and railed for mini-red dot (or scope) and weapon light.

I know they dont really exist in real-steel, but they are very very good.

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