The Real Secret Service Scandal: Agency Switching to P229 DAK SIGs


U.S. Secret Service agents carry SIG SAUER handguns. Specifically, the P229 chambered in .357 SIG. It’s an accurate and dependable gun that fires a fearsome round. Up to this point, all the agents’ SIGs were equipped with a DA/SA trigger. The first shot is double action (ten pound trigger pull, the hammer cocks and drops). The second shot and any shots thereafter are sent downrange via single action (pre-cocked hammer, 4.4 pound trigger pull). We hear that the Secret Service are switching to P229s equipped with the gunmaker’s DAK trigger, which provides a “safe, reliable and consistent 6.5 pound double-action only trigger pull.” Uh, well, not exactly . . .

DAK stands for “Double Action Kellerman.” SIG’s double-action-only system offers shooters not one but two trigger reset points (the point at which the returning trigger can fire the gun again). The first reset—created so that the shooter can fire the P229 rapidly—requires an eight-pound trigger pull. Firing the handgun at the second trigger reset point requires the SIG-advertised 6.5 pound trigger pull, which aids accuracy.

The problem being? Sherman, set the way-back machine to 2009, . . .

Sig recommends and trains so that the system is to be used as DAO (Double Action Only). You will see that they only list the 6.5 lbs. trigger pull in DA on their DAK models specifications sheets. They recommend that users should be trained to fire the pistol by utilizing the full double action trigger stroke so that the trigger is a consistent 6.5 lbs.

They have heard of some departments who do not understand what the system is suppose to be for and have been training their officers to use the short stroke after the initial full trigger pull. This is incorrect.

Let’s be clear here: the Secret Service are damn good at doing shots. I mean, shooting. SIGs are awesome guns. Even if you blindfolded Secret Service agents (or something bondage oriented) they would still shoot a SIG P229 DAK better than your humble correspondent. And I get it: reset one for hail o’ lead, reset two for two in the head. Either way, the target’s dead.

The SIG P229 DAK also offers a benefit unavailable in many standard combat guns: second strike capability. If the cartridge has a dud primer (i.e. the bit that ignites the gunpowder), you can pull the trigger against for a second attempt. In most other guns you’d have to clear the round by racking the slide. One doesn’t expect the Secret Service to have crap ammo or take too long to clear a bad round. But there it is.

And there’s the “standard” DA/SA SIG SAUER P229. Which, to my mind, is the better gun. While the SA/DA trigger has two different trigger pulls, there’s only one reset point. In a stressful situation, who wants to choose whether to pull the trigger at reset one or two? Who can? Even a Secret Service agent would be hard pressed to make that “decision” (i.e. instinctive reaction) in the heat of battle.

Which is why SIG SAUER sells tens of thousands of P229s with an SA/DA trigger and not so many P229s with a DAK trigger. INSERT FINAL TOPICAL PROSTITUTE SCANDAL JOKE HERE.