LDA stands for “Light Double Action”. Before I tried one of Para-Ordnance’s LDA’s for myself, I have to say that I wasn’t very interested in the concept of a double-action-only .45. The truth is, I felt that it was a solution to a non-existent problem, since I happen to be a single-action proponent. However, now that I’ve sampled it, I have to admit that it’s a pretty neat system.
I would imagine that the main purpose for the LDA is to put 1911’s in the holsters of people or organizations(i.e. police departments) that have traditionally been fearful of “cocked and locked” carry. With the LDA system, the external hammer remains down, and each pull of the trigger produces a very light and smooth double action shot. This is because the internal hammer, has already been fully cocked by the slide’s action.
That’s right, the LDA design incorporates two hammers, the one you can see, and the one you can’t. Thus, the LDA is not a true double action, but rather a semi-cocked action, where the action of the slide pre-cocks the action most of the way, leaving the internal hammer itself, fully cocked. Actually, it’s the outer hammer that’s actually cocking the inner hammer. Once this happens, the inner hammer then pulls the outer hammer forward, so the outer hammer just follows the slide forward, leaving it’s own internal sear element fully cocked. When the user pulls the trigger, it causes the external hammer move to the rear via its torque return spring and continued pressure trips the sear to release the pre-cocked inner hammer. When the inner hammer rotates, forward, it takes the outer hammer along for the ride, and the pistol fires with about 5 to 5.5 lbs of pressure on the trigger.
The LDA system utilizes a pivoting trigger, as opposed to the traditional 1911 sliding trigger. All this sound ingenious? Well, it is. A semi-cocked action is, of course, nothing new. Glock has made use of this concept for years. It’s the way the LDA accomplishes roughly the same thing in a hammer-fired gun that Glock does in a striker-fired gun, that makes the Para-Ordnances system so unique and ground-braking. By the way, the LDA incorporates the same frame mounted sweep-down safety as a traditional SA 1911, so there is no real difference in the manual of arms. Just one thing—if you forget to depress the grip safety, not only will the LDA not fire, but you will also not be able to retract the slide to either chamber a round or cock the action. For those who don’t feel comfortable with "cocked and locked", a Para-Ordnance LDA in either single-stack or double-stack configuration may just be the best solution.
To visit Para-Ordnance’s LDA page on their website, just click on this link.