Why Saying DA/SA/SAA Makes Sense Sorta’

It all began in the late 1800s when we Americans invented our way into the next century. The pace was fast and furious as scores of new inventions reached the US patent office daily. The patent office needed abbreviations, as did magazine editors and all others in industry. Abbreviations would allow them to squeeze as many words on a page as possible without losing meaning and understanding. Over a hundred years later, we can carry on complete conversations in abbreviated form on our Smart Phones, which is a little disconcerting to this old man. But I nonetheless accept our constantly changing world and adapt as quickly as possible. So should you.

The periodical industry has not gone quite as far as the electronic media, but we writers are acutely aware space costs real money in a magazine, so the use of abbreviations has become the norm for us. Most firearms industry abbreviations seem academic to we experienced old coots, but to the vast numbers of new shooters coming on board — especially recently — many of these common abbreviations might as well be Greek.

LOL (Laugh Out Loud )

Acouple of days ago I tried, without success, to be immune to the great “black gun” buying spree going on as a result of the policies of the worst antigun president and congress by which this great nation has ever been assaulted. Sorry if I mince words. I finally succumbed last year, though, and started buying every lead-injector I could afford. But bear with me while I try to decipher some of the Greek in our pages.
I really lusted after a beautiful Colt SAA (Single Action Army) chambered in .44 WCF (.44/40-caliber Winchester Center Fire) on Gunbroker.com, but directly under the SAA was a magnificent DA/SA (double action/single action) Python in .357 Mag (Magnum) with the much-coveted 2½” bbl. (barrel). I have low will power when it comes to buying guns, so I bought them both, adding a beautiful little Ruger Single-Six in one of my favorite chamberings, the .22 LR (Long Rifle). The Ruger Single six had a 6″ bbl (now you know what bbl means!), which I would later cut to 2½” and use as a backpack gun. I have performed the same conversion to the great little Ruger MK II (Mark Two) and have received many compliments on this unique SA (semi-automatic) pistol. But watch out, since SA might also mean single action!

Okay, now I’m one happy shooter. I got a SAA, a DA/SA revolver, a LR, a WCF and a Mag. Had to pass on a tempting LCR (Light Compact Revolver) and an LCP (Light Compact Pistol), but opted to spend the rest of my discretionary money on ammo (ammunition). Shucks!

All these guns need food, so now I have hundreds of choices of cartridge styles and configurations from which to choose. For the Colt SAA I choose to feed it Black Hills 200-gr. (grain) RNFP (Round Nose Flat Point) as opposed to RN (Round Nose) since I will also be shooting this fine ammunition in a Win (Winchester) Model TD (Take Down) rifle with a tubular magazine.

For the Colt Python I purchased an industry standard, the Federal 130-grain Hydra Shok JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point). The old tried and true Federal 158-grain Hydra Shok, which cooks out at around 1,450 fps (feet per second), is another excellent choice and has passed the test of time.

Let’s see, um … there’s a SAA hiding by a SA semi-auto, next to the DA/SA
auto and of course, the DA/SA revolver. Oh, the ammo? I see a RNL, JHP,RNLFP,
RNFMJ a nice .22 Mag JHP and of course, the LWC. Make sense to you? Alex thinks it does.


Last, but not least, as long as I was buying ammo I might as well stock up on .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridges for my TSMG (Thompson Sub Machine Guns). Those little 1921 beauties gobble up 230-grain FMJRN (Full Metal Jacket Round Nose) as fast as I eat my wife’s seafood gumbo. At 920 RPM (Rounds Per Minute) the cash register bell rings at a cool $460 for 60 seconds of fun, but well worth it. The abbreviation is applied to many other cartridges such as .25 ACP, .32 ACP and scores of others. The designation was historically used to describe a rimless cartridge used in semi-automatic pistols made by Colt. Today the abbreviation ACP is a 100-year-old industry standard.

Whether you work within or belong to NASA (National Aeronautic Space Administration), the AMA (American Medical Association), SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), the APG (American Pistolsmiths Guild), or FMG (Firearms Marketing Group — the owner of this fine magazine) you and I live in a world of abbreviations and acronyms. These sure save time, and even some space on the printed page. But I’m not so sure they always save brain cells as we try to figure out what they all mean ….
By Alex Hamilton

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