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Curious about the LDA trigger

3056 Views 22 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  SMMAssociates
I have never fired one, and was wondering if it was like a light DA revolver trigger, where you have to stroke the trigger full length, or if it were like a Glock where it will fire after a half stoke forward from the prior round.
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Full stroke. If you're a revolver shooter the long reset will be natural. The trigger is curved and very smooth, just like a top end double action revolver.

First 1/2" is light pull to an easy to feel sear trip point. The hammer comes back during this part of the pull and stops moving aft at that point. Another 1/16" and the pistol fires. A bit of "over travel" but not much.

I wish the pistol didn't have a false trigger reset point just forward of the rear position. If you've been shooting standard M1911s you'll find that click is right where reset would be on a single action but you need to let the trigger reset another 1/2' forward.

-- Chuck
 

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I think that my two Para's, a Carry 12 and a C6.45, compare to a smooth double action trigger on a revolver. The trigger does have to go through a long re-set after each shot but it's never been a problem for me,

John
 

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JCM298 said:
I think that my two Para's, a Carry 12 and a C6.45, compare to a smooth double action trigger on a revolver. The trigger does have to go through a long re-set after each shot but it's never been a problem for me,

John
You guys are leaving something very important out! :)

It's light all right! It might be a long stroke but it feels (to me) less than five pounds. I've never fired a DA revolver with a trigger that light and smooth so I would never compare it with one. Just me tho. :D
 

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JCM298 said:
Find an old Python, Smith 27 or 28, and compare them to a Para LDA. You'll see what I'm referring to. Just be careful.......a smooth DA revolver will make you want to buy one,

John
So you HAD to get specific. Man, oh man. I remember my friend's old 27. Best DA revolver pull EVER. I expected his Python to be smoother. It was smooooth but not like the 27. Made me say, "d-a-a-a-amn!" :cool:

I still think the LDA is lighter tho!!!:p
 

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More Like A Two Stage Trigger To Me!

I have only owned one LDA, a P16-40 Limited that I have been shoting in IDPA SSP this season so my experience with them is somewhat Limited (Pun Intended), I have probably put only about 3,500 or so rounds through it. Having shot 1911s for many years it felt quite natural as far as controls and pointability.
In MY personal opinion it is not like a finely tuned revolver at all. Mine has a definite 'two stage' feel. A very light take up then a more pronounced effort for the final let off.
I really enjoy the gun even though I feel that it is not as quality as it should be for the price.
I also shoot a 'finely tuned revolver' in IDPA so I do have some comparison.
http://www2.tnweb.com/justicentyme/S&W/646.htm
The LDA for ME is superior to any of the other TDA / DAO pistols that I have shot.
JNT
 

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Two stage is a good description. And like any good two stage trigger it feels lighter than it is.

Mine measures 5.0 pounds total pull. First stage, the long pull runs up to and peaks at just over 3 pounds and less than two more pounds pull trips the sear. Essentially "feels" like a two pound pull once the slack is taken out.

I'll glady yield to skilled revolver shooters that this isn't "double action revolver" feel.

-- Chuck
 

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98_1LE:

I'll agree with Chuck. I've got a Para Tac-Four (LDA version of the P1345). Sort of a double-stack Commander.

The initial trigger pull, as the hammer is drawn back, really just to have it back so it'll have some "swing" when the mainspring's energy is dumped into it, is very low. Two pounds would be a good guess. For an adult, it's going to feel like zero.

After about a half-inch, as the hammer comes all the way back, if you're trying to treat it as a two-stage trigger (like a DA revolver), you'll feel it crank up to about 5#. A bit later it'll trip the sear.... (Somebody else said about a sixteenth of an inch. I think its shorter.... :) )

As Chuck said, a straight through pull will feel like 2# all the way, just a little grabby at the end. IMHO most shooters can do 5# about as easily as 2# anyway - you don't tend to notice the extra force....

I do wish mine had a stop - I tend to "help" the trigger sometimes, and it'd help me, although I'm still hitting the proverbial pie plate at combat ranges.

(I'm seeing the long reset, too, but as an old wheelgunner, I seem to automatically adjust. When I shoot an ordinary SA - either a 1911 or a DA/SA in it's SA mode - I seem to adjust to that, too. I don't do the "rapid fire" stuff, so the long reset is a non-issue for me.)

What's really going on, of course, is that the mainspring is cocked like any other 1911, but the hammer is allowed to follow the slide down. Later, when you release the safety (and actuate the grip safety), the hammer comes back and at some point the sear trips and the mainspring energy is unloaded into the hammer. Everything else is fairly ordinary Browning.

Within the constraints of "breaking in" and "initial failures" that seem to plague some of us, once you get one going it's quite reliable. The naughty bits are exotic in shape and function, but fairly ordinary in construction and materials. The rather frighteningly lightweight-appearing widgets just don't take enough load to need a lot of strength.

Buy two, send me one....

Regards,
 

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I'm thinking about buying a Para LDA in a CCW. I have a Para P14-45 Limited right now. But I want a concealed carry 4" barrel model. If I get the LDA do you carry in in Condition #3? Round in the chamber, hammer down "not cocked"? In this condition can the thumb safety be up "on postion" My single action Para the thumb safety can only be engaged if the gun is "cocked" with round in the chamber. My P14-45 single action I carry in Condition #1. If I buy a LDA does this mean I won't carry it in Condition #1?:scratch:
 

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SSMITH said:
I'm thinking about buying a Para LDA in a CCW. I have a Para P14-45 Limited right now. But I want a concealed carry 4" barrel model. If I get the LDA do you carry in in Condition #3? Round in the chamber, hammer down "not cocked"? In this condition can the thumb safety be up "on postion" My single action Para the thumb safety can only be engaged if the gun is "cocked" with round in the chamber. My P14-45 single action I carry in Condition #1. If I buy a LDA does this mean I won't carry it in Condition #1?:scratch:
The LDA's are always cocked when the chamber is loaded. There's no way to decock the thing without firing it, and there's no way to avoid cocking the internals when chambering a round or just moving the slide (like to check if a round is present). (In the latter case, you do have to move the slide a half inch or so.)

So, chamber a round and flip the thumb safety on, and you're in Condition One. Ignore the position of the hammer - it'll move back when you squeeze the trigger, and while that motion is necessary, it's almost irrelevant to the gun's status.

(If you carry an SA 1911 in Condition One, you never thumb cock it. The slide does all the work. The LDA really is the same, except that the hammer falls when the slide moves forward. The trigger brings it back when needed, but for all practical purposes, everything else is an SA.)

I routinely carry and shoot both, and in practice (besides being able to use Condition One leather for the LDA), I don't find much difference unless I really want to use the longer trigger pull to "stage" like a DA revolver.

"LDA" - "Light Double Action" is as much marketing as anything else, except that the initial trigger pull does move the hammer back, and it's very light....

Regards,
 

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The LDA can be "decocked" with a cartridge in the chamber like any M1911, and with the same dangers of letting the hammer down on a live cartridge. The spurless hammer will be next to impossible to do safely and the spur hammer hasn't been on these pistols for a couple of years although still available as a spare part.

Manually cocking the LDA is also possible although you must be careful to keep the grip safety depressed while doing this to avoid damage to the mechanism inside the pistol. For obvious reasons the manual says to not manually cock the pistol.

For these two reasons carrying with a round in the chamber and the pistol not cocked isn't practical, safe, nor recommended on the LDA (nor on any M1911).

The LDA is designed to be carried "cocked and locked". The hammer will be down, but the pistol is still cocked. All the trigger does is bring the hammer back to the point it'll have enough momentum or energy to strike a hard enough blow to the firing pin to detonate the primer.

The "double action" LDA, Glock, Kahr, and probably others work on the same general idea although the mechanical parts are very different. The last two are striker fired and mostly cocked by forward slide motion. The trigger brings the striker back to where it has enough energy to detonate the primer and then releases it. The LDA is fully cocked by forward slide motion and the trigger brings the hammer back to where it has enough energy and then releases it. All three require cycling the slide every time, there is no second strike capability like "true" double action.

I suspect Para Ordnance dropped the full external hammer to avoid folks trying to manually cock the pistol. I suspect it was originally on the pistol merely to maintain the M1911-look and once the design was accepted by the marketplace they dropped it. I had a several month search to find an old-stock Para Companion with the external hammer.

If you buy a Para CCW pistol obtain a replacement beavertail grip safety for it for use in practice sessions. (Same for any Para with the nub of a grip safety.) While the tiny grip safety is very suitable for carry, it's not going to allow you more than a few magazines in practice without slicing the web of your hand on the sharp lower corner of the slide. Fit the beavertail for range firing; fit the nub for carry. The grip safety literally falls out when you remove the thumb safety and the parts can be exchanged in seconds.

As long as you don't remove the mainspring housing nothing else falls out with the grip safety so you can remove it after every range session to clean the internal LDA parts without fear of getting it back together.

-- Chuck
 

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Chuck:

Yup - decocking an LDA with the vestigal hammer is asking for it....

While you've got the grip safety out, though, if you're going to swap 'em, do note the way the sear spring (and that little bitty coil spring) are attached. You'll thank me if you ever have reason to swap a mainspring housing.

(A big rubber band around the grip safety will generally hold the sear spring in place if the MSH is removed, but my dog wasn't supposed to bark either....)

The double stackers, IMHO, don't really need the big beavertail, although I'd like one. Definitely a good idea to add one to a single stacker. I don't see any serious concealment issues, but some people prefer the smaller grip safety for carry. It is extremely easy to swap one once they're fitted. Brownells has a tool for about $10 that makes it easier to depress the plunger, but a little care with a knife blade or small screwdriver works OK too, and you can use the $10 for more ammo. (I managed to order one accidentally; it's handy....)

If you have to pay somebody to set up a grip safety, figure under $50, plus about $40 for the part. Near as I can tell the LDA grip safety doesn't actually do anything :) - at least I haven't figured out how to adjust one. Be really slow about removing metal when fitting any of these.

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The LDA grip safety prevents the hammer from moving to the rear unless it's depressed. Consequently the slide can't be retracted unless the grip safety is depressed.

The two arrows highlight the top and bottom ends of what Para Ordnance calls the Grip Safety Lever (Part 21 on the diagram). The bottom end makes contact with the Grip Safety and the top end fits in a notch in the hammer until the grip safety is drepressed raising the safety lever out of the hammer notch. The hammer can then move to the rear, either with the action of the trigger, slide, or manually cocking the hammer.

Field strip your LDA pistol and remove the thumb safety. The grip safety will fall out. You should be able to view the parts in the photograph and note how the grip saftey lever blocks the hammer movement until you press the lower tip which then moves the upper tip out of the notch in the hammer.

You can also see there's no need to detail disassemble the LDA pistol to clean these parts. (Do not remove the mainspring housing unless you've taped or rubber banded the grip safety so the sear springs don't fly out.)

(CFS Photo)

(Courtesy Para Ordnance.)

-- Chuck
 

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Chuck:

Thanks!

"So that's what that does...." :)

I don't think most people realize you can pop the grip safety to clean the naughty bits.

Replacing the sear spring is NBD as long as you know where it's supposed to go, but there's a chance to lose the little coil spring. Probably best to pop the safety off, and then carefully remove the MSH if that's necessary. You can keep track of the spring that way. Pulling the MSH usually pops the sear spring loose (for me, at least) if I've not secured the grip safety, but the little spring has stayed on one end or the other. Tricky part was figuring how it went together - especially the strangely shaped end that goes on the grip safety lever you just pointed out. The pointy stuff is pretty obvious....

I'm not about to tell anybody to take out the hammer and sear pins & other stuff of that nature. "Wiggle it until it fits" isn't confidence-inspiring....

(I have problems with 3D "visualization". Although I can read an engineering drawing, and don't have any real issues with "exploded" ones like you posted, I have problems figuring out the relationship between parts unless I can see 'em in situ.)

(I also think Ted was in the oozou or however you spell it, but the things work.)

Regards,

(and Happy Holidays!)
 

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..

Chuck:

I think I'd buy the bottle, too....

I wouldn't mind it in SS, though. The weight doesn't bother me. (The worst part about carrying the Tac-Four is the weight of the spare magazine.) 'Course, I used to carry a 4" S&W M10HB concealed. ($65! Times really have changed....)

Of late I'm more interested in concealability than weight. When I first started carrying, there was no such thing as a CPZ....

Regards,

Stu.
 

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98_1LE said:
I have never fired one, and was wondering if it was like a light DA revolver trigger, where you have to stroke the trigger full length, or if it were like a Glock where it will fire after a half stoke forward from the prior round.
You have to release all the way, like a revolver. Guys who are used to SA only or DA/SA guns don't seem to like it. It doesn't cause any problems for me.

I just got a Para TX1640S Limited. I started out shooting a tuned DA revolver, switched to a S&W DA/SA 9mm, then to a tuned up Glock 22 because I could never get the hang of the DA/SA trigger (first shot incredibly heavy - tons of creep on the SA follow ups) on the S&W. I was shooting a lot of steel plates (club level) at the time and even after owning the S&W for a few months I shot much better scores with the revolver than the 9mm (it didn't help that sometimes the 9mm wouldn't put the plates down unless I hit them in the top third of the plate). After shooting a friend's unmodified Glock I went right out and got one because the trigger was closer to what I was used to on the revolver.

Presently I have a (different) Glock 22 with a 3lb trigger that I did myself (one of the beauties of the Glock is that anybody with a little patience can do a great trigger job on one for under twenty bucks).

Okay, I said all that to say this. :) The Para LDA in my Limited is nice, and is probably more like a (tuned) revolver than even the Glock. Both of my tuned up Glocks had triggers that were smooth and light, but the release point is just a bit "spongy." In contrast, on the LDA the point where the hammer stops moving and the trigger readies to drop the hammer is very crisp and predictable - unfortunately it is also very heavy.

Some here have described the additional pull at this point on an LDA trigger as "feeling like" two pounds after the long DA pull. No way on mine. Mine feels kind of like hitting a brick wall - and this is on the limited edition. It's a crisp, predictable brick wall, but a brick wall nonetheless. :)

I'm not complaining, mind you, I never expect a really good trigger from the factory on a production gun, there are just too many liability issues for the manufacturer. The trigger on my limited is very smooth and consistent, it's just that "wall" you hit before the sear releases the trigger that's annoying. I need to find a good LDA smith to reduce the wall to a slight bump. Anybody know of anyone in the DFW, Texas area who does good work on LDA triggers?

I bought the Para because I wanted a heavy, all steel, full size gun for shooting Production division in USPSA (the Para weighs almost twice what my Glock weighs). If I had realized what a pain it would be to find information on detail work on the gun I might not have purchased it (I like to do my own work whenever possible).

John
 

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Thanks Chuck. I found the detailed instructions and they're a help - but not as helpful as the AGI "Armorer's Course" and "Making Glocks Rock" videos for the Glock! :)

I spent more time dry-firing the Para yesterday and the trigger seems to have improved a little - still heavy but not quite as bad - or maybe I'm just getting used to it. Anyway, I think maybe changing to a lighter main spring will be all that's required to bring this thing up to par. I don't want the "wall" to go away entirely - I like having that crisp "squeeze any harder and it's going to go bang" spot in the travel - I just don't like it so heavy.

I ordered some springs from Brownells yesterday. 17# and 15# mainsprings and several flavors of recoil spring. I can't believe how heavy the recoil spring is. I actually prefer a heavier spring as it seems to spread recoil into more of a push and sights don't go so far off target - at least for me - I'm running a 23# (vs. 17#) in my Glock shooting major. I'd leave the Para recoil spring alone except I intend to shoot minor (production class) and I'm not sure the gun will even function with mousephart loads as heavily as it's sprung. If it does, great, if not, at least I'll have springs handy so as not to waste a trip to the range.

John
 
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