Finding the best DA/SA pistols among many on the handgun market can certainly be a tricky task. With hundreds of options, how do you differentiate a quality pistol from those that are cheap in price and shooting performance? If you’re on the search for a high-quality DA/SA pistol that you can trust for home defense or target shooting, then you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get to our list of the best DA/SA pistols, let’s touch briefly on what DA/SA pistols are all about as well as few factors to consider when choosing a DA/SA pistol for your own personal use.
An Overview: What is a DA/SA Pistol?
DA/SA pistols stand for “double-action” and “single-action” with the only difference between them is in regards to the trigger pull. Single action is just pulling the trigger while the double action technology would include pulling back the hammer before pulling the trigger.
WIth DA/SA guns, customers get to choose whether they want to pull the trigger without or without cocking the hammer back before firing off a shot. Either way, these DA/SA pistols will still shoot well in any given situation. Deciding on which action to use will depend on whether the timing is on your side or not.
Some of the popular weapons that utilize the DA/SA action include the Sig22x chain (220, 225, 226, 228, P229, etc), the Beretta 92series, Smith and Wesson 39 and S&w 59, Walther P-38, Walther PPQ, and CZ 75BD, Glock 17 (G17), SIG SP2022, Ruger P95 (or other P-series), Stoeger Cougar, etc.
You don’t have to worry about cocking the hammer back if you do not have the time. The hammer can move even with the pull of a trigger. This will come in handy when you’re target shooting or during an emergency.
Available in Different Sizes
Whether you need it for home protection or take it with you wherever you go, they come in different sizes to meet all kinds of requirements.
Some do not have safeties that may cause accidental firing. This could be a concern for those who store them inside their homes. You’ll need to make sure to keep them out of reach of children when not in use.
Heavy Trigger Pull
The DA form may have a heavy trigger pull weight that requires more effort and could be burdensome for some.
The Buying Considerations for the Best DA/SA Pistol
Picking the best DA/SA pistol that you can trust is important. With that in mind, here are a few characteristics and specs that you can look out for in order to differentiate between a good pistol over one that is inferior in terms of quality and shooting performance:
You need to first consider your intents and purposes of getting the pistol to decide on the right caliber for your pistol. If you just need a pistol for concealed carry applications, you can make do with almost any caliber. However, if you need the pistol to do some serious damage, you may want to go for a .38 Special or .357 Caliber.
Some pistols differ in size and picking which size will also once again depend on your intent and purpose for getting a pistol. If you need a concealed carry pistol for home or self-defense, then obviously you should get a pistol that is small enough to fit into your holster. Whereas, if you’re only planning to leave your DA/SA pistol at home for home defense, then a larger sized pistol may be handy to have around for emergency times.
The price tag is definitely going to be a major factor, especially for people who are shopping with a tight budget. However, you should always remember that the price should not be the only reason you pick your DA/SA pistol. You need to also consider the quality and shooting performance of the pistol. You should always strive to get the best quality pistol that you can afford.
Review of the Best DA/SA Pistols – Explained
We have finally gotten to the exciting part of our article. So let’s dive straight in with the “Best Overall” DA/SA pistol on our list.
1. Beretta 92FS Inox Stainless
Best Overall SA/DA Pistol
One standout feature of the 92 FS is the inclusion of two magazines that provide gun owners with a formidable amount of shooting power at their disposal. This way, you will never have to worry about not having enough rounds to work with.
The 92FS has been used as US military service pistols for nearly 30 years and for good reasons. This Beretta 92 pistol offers a great deal of useful tactical specs without sacrificing its sturdiness and toughness. It even comes with a beveled magwell to ensure lightning-quick tactical mag-changes without the need to take your eye off the target. It even comes with a combat trigger guard to accommodate those who wear gloves.
Built with aluminum alloy with a stainless finish, this semi-auto pistol has been engineered to withstand the hardest use in the most demanding conditions. It even has a delayed locking-block feature to field much faster cycling and to help eliminate stovepiping.
Overall, the DA/SA pistol is also the real deal for those searching for an excellent pistol for casual target shooting or for times when you need to protect yourself from dangers lurking nearby. Either way, you can trust that the 92 FS will be able to send a serious amount of kicks to bring them down.
The 92 FS Inox Stainless is a gun best suited for concealed carry or home defense situations. However, it’s quality and excellent performance is not only limited for that purpose, but it also makes for a great pistol for shooting targets at the range. This insanely lightweight pistol also allows for quick and easy follow up shots in the single-action trigger mode.
The bottom line is that the 92FS 9mm pistol will serve as a beneficial addition to your collection of equipment if you’re looking for something with solid firepower to work with. It is sufficient to say that this pistol is a great option to ensure you are prepared for any danger that may be threatening your life or property.
- Excellent accuracy and performance
- No reported jamming issue
- Perfect for concealed carry and home defense
- Rubber grips allow for excellent holding
2. Beretta PX4 Storm
Best DA/SA Pistol for Concealed Carry
The best concealed carry gun definitely will need to have smaller dimensions to make it concealable. With a 3.2 inch barrel to make a total overall length of 6.8 inches and 1.4 inches wide, the PX4 Storm makes for the perfect choice to hide in your pocket holster.
This DA/SA handgun has been developed in collaboration with Ernest Langdon to offer a lightweight concealed carry pistol with custom features. Well known for their accuracy, durability, and safety, The manufacturer has taken a step further by creating the PX4 with a rotary barrel fashion, full 15+1 round ammo capacity, smooth and lighten trigger pull, stealth levers, and even night optics to make this flat shooting gun an ideal concealed carry choice.
The company’s rotating barrel not only allows for smooth in-line feeding for unparalleled reliability but it also allows radial dissipation of energy to significantly reduce felt kickback and muzzle rise.
Other than that, the PX4 Sub-Compact also offers a full grip to suit almost anyone, an accessory rail, low-profile slide stop, new integral, and retractable lanyard loop on top of a cold hammer-forged barrel for the ultimate precision. You can always trust that this solid and stout pistol is always ready to get the job done no matter the application.
This DA/SA pistol will definitely be a favorite among both new and seasoned concealed carry users. If you want something with the right measurements and can be taken along with you anywhere in your IWB or OWB holsters without bulging out, then this might just be the one for you.
Overall, the Beretta PX4 double-action/single-action pistol has proven itself worthy of being one of the most reliable concealed carry handguns on the market. If time is not on your side, you can quickly pull the trigger on this revolver without having to cock the hammer back.
- Great toughness
- Accurate at various distances
- Perfect for most CCW holsters
- Excellent concealability without bulging
- Easy and quick to pull the trigger
- Non-adjustable optics
- May be difficult to load initially
- Magazine may be difficult to remove
3. Rex Zero 1CP
Best Durable DA/SA pistol
The 1CP is by far one of the most durable and reliable DA/SA pistols that you can find for almost any application. Whether you plan on using it for CCW and self-defense or to keep it around the house for home defense, the 1CP will certainly fit the bill as one with the best durability record.
This pistol can be operated either in cocked and locked or safely decocked with a slidestop for DA/SA pistol operation with external safeties for concealed carry. Made from hard-anodized T7075 aluminium mount with steel locking block insert, the 1CP complies with strict standards and has even passed extreme torture test such as temperature, hostile environment, and drop tests.
Other specs include a cold hammer-forged barrel, loaded chamber indicator, side rails, Picatinny railed dust cover, and a set of high profile white dot steel optics. This single- and double-action, hammer-fired pistol is built to last and performs at its best as long as you take good care of it.
Overall, the Rex Zero 1CP DA/SA pistol is the one shooter you can rely on for just about any given application such as concealed carry purpose and home defense without worrying about the likelihood of jamming, malfunction or accidental discharge issues. This is what we call a “do it all” kind of DA/SA pistol that offers solid shooting performance and quality.
- Superior durability
- Hammer is easy to cock back
- Smooth and easy to pull the trigger
- Adequate night sights
4. Bersa TPR9C
Best Affordable DA/SA Pistol
With a good reputation for its Bersa Thunder, Eagle Imports now also manufactures quality DA/SA 9mm caliber pistols that deliver a good amount of firing power at your disposal to fit any application. Precision-machined from a lightweight alloy mount, the firearm offers reliable shooting in one complete package.
The pistol not only has a Browning Peter lock to feed and eject with absolute dependability, but it even comes with a polygonal rifling barrel for enhanced accuracy and muzzle velocity with much less fouling. It also has a thumb safety that works as a decocker, so that you can carry a few rounds in safely with confidence.
What makes it stand out even better is its ability to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed shooters thanks to its ambidextrous safety, slide release, and magazine release. Regardless of which is your dominant shooting hand, this pistol will be well handled by anyone.
The bottom line is that the TPR9C DA/SA weapons are perhaps the go-to choice if you’re shopping with a tight budget or simply need an affordable spare for self-defense and concealed carry purposes or competitions. Whether you are just starting out as a frequent concealed carry practitioner for your first shot, this pistol is one of the best options that will certainly not disappoint.
- Super durable material
- Excellent shooting ability
- Ambidextrous design
- Manual decocker and firing pin block
- Easy to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance
5. SIG Sauer P226 Legion
SIG Sauer has a solid track record for manufacturing some of the most reliable and accurate pistols in the business. Their weapons are pretty tough and durable in terms of construction to last users for a very long time.
This model especially is perfect for concealed carry method self-defense purposes. Featuring a reduced and contoured Elite beavertail, aggressive front strap checkering plus an X-Five undercut applied, this Sig Sauer DA/SA allows for a higher grip with a reduced profile.
On top of that, the handgun even comes with cocking serrations for better cycling action, clearing the pistol, and press checks. The DA/SA pistol also has a low profile decock and slide catch decocking lever to reduce the risk of snagging onto your clothes.
Delivering powerful knockdown power, the pistol will mostly be used for self-defense purposes. However, if you do plan to carry this DA/SA pistol out, be sure to find a holster that will keep it secure during concealed carry without bulging out.
All in all, the Sig Sauer P22 Legion 45 ACP pistol will definitely be a defense choice you can count your life on. Considering that it is a DA/SA pistol, you can be assured that you can still pull the trigger when the timing is not your friend.
- Aesthetically sharp
- Low profile decock lever/safeties
- Great for concealed carry
- Accurately hits bullseye up to 30 yards away
- Easy to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance
- May be too loud for some
- Magazine loading can be difficult
Although these weapons did not make it into our list, they do deserve an honorable mention for being good performing and quality DA/SA pistols.
Single action/Double action striker-fired guns: Walther P99, Canik TP9DA Gen 2, Magnum Research MR9
EAA single action/double action pistols with safety decocker: Zastava EZ9, EAA Witness, Tangfolio
Other Popular DA/SA Pistol Manufacturers
This manufacturer offers a huge number of alloy and polymer frame pistols, some of which are even NATO-approved. A few instances of their full-sized, all-metal DA/SA pistol includes the CZ-75 SP-01 while the CZ-P07 (2014) Gen 2 is one of their more notable polymer pistols. One great specification of their defense products is the Omega trigger system that lets some of their pistol models be converted between DA/SA trigger to a single action (DA/SA to SA) pistol triggers without the need to hire a professional gunsmith.
The manufacturer’s popular FNXSeries now comes in all major calibers. One worth mentioning is their FNX-45 Tactical (2014) that comes suppressor-ready and even holds an impressive amount of 15 rounds of magazine capacity.
3. Grand Power
This Slovakian manufacturer specializes in producing competition weapons as well as some tactical pistols. A couple of such impressive weapons include the K100 9mm that has a rotating barrel for reduced recoil and their full-sized .22 pistol, the K22.
4. Heckler and Koch
Yet another international brand, this German manufacturer offers plenty of high-end, modern DA/SA pistols that have been designed that are best for policy use. Two such examples include the P30 and HK45 pistols.
5. Israel Weapons Industries
These popular Jericho pistols feature mounted safety and are adopted by the IDF and special forces. However, the manufacturer also offers a variant with slide mounted saftey decockers in both steel or polymer mount variations to suit individual preference.
6. Kiss USA
Kiss USA imports compact 9mm pistols with a mounted decocker called the SPHINX that was modeled after the DA/SA pistol by CZ and developed by the Swiss.
Known for their massive .50 AE Desert Eagle, this manufacturer also produces a smaller version called the Baby Desert Eagle that comes in both alloy and polymer frames. One thing to note is that the Baby Desert Eagle is essentially the same as the IWI choice mentioned above.
Their current popular SR22 (2012) is a mounted decocker .22 caliber DA/SA pistol. The manufacturer offers the firearm in a variety of colors and barrel lengths to suit all kinds of needs and preferences.
9. Springfield Armory
The manufacturer produces a single stack, polymer XDE line that is designed specifically for concealed carry. Less than an inch thick, the shooter has a mounted decocker that can also be carried “cocked & locked”.
Their new Taurus TH series pistols are offered both in full-sized and 9mm versions in the US. Not only that, but they also offer the PT92, which is a Beretta92 clone. Overall, they are known for manufacturing affordable weapons to meet all kinds of budgets.
Walther has a few DA/SA pistols in their line up. The PPK is a classic, all-steel blowback pistol while their P22 Gen 2 is a polymer .22 pistol with slide mounted decocker.
Arex started out as a Slovanian tool company that slowly ventured into the firearms industry. Their very first pistol, the Rex Zero was discussed above.
The best DA/SA pistol is definitely out there for you, all you need to do is find the best one that you like in terms of performance and quality. Be sure to find one that will fit your requirements and preferences as well as offering good trigger control, safety decockers, grip angle, plus other safety features.
Whether you are planning on keeping your gun in the house or to carry it with you as a concealed carry pistol, a good double action or single action weapon is exactly what you’ll need if you’re looking for accuracy, reliability, and top-notch shooting performance.
Hopefully, today’s discussion and review of the best DA/SA pistols have been a good platform for everyone to gain a better understanding of the capability and powers of such powerful weapons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does DA/SA Mean?
DA/SA pistol stands for Double action or single action. The double-action lets you pull the hammer back to pull the trigger while the single action lets you simply pull the trigger immediately.
Q: Is a single action or double action pistol better?
Deciding which is the best for you will depend on the situation and personal preference. SA pistols are better for home or self-defense situations. Double action pull (or DA pull) will give you time to cock the hammer back and make a calculated shot with less trigger pull.
Q: Are DA/SA pistols accurate?
DA/SA pistols’ accuracy depends on the pistol you pick. Some DA/SA pistols are able to travel further than others and hence can be more accurate at various distances to help you take out a target that is as far as 15 to 20 yards away. Some SA/DA revolvers can even go as far as 100 yards out and hit your targets accurately.
Q: Is a DA/SA pistol powerful?
How powerful a DA/SA pistol also depends on the type of pistol that you’re getting as well as the caliber they shoot. For example, a .45 caliber round will provide a lot more shooting power compared to a 9mm round.