that we are not limited to ten shot pistols,
the moribund 9mm
high capacity pistol may enjoy more popularity. The fact is,
after a hiatus from the top of the heap in sales the 9mm may be
more able to carry out its primary mission that ever before. We
now have good, safe, and reliable 9mm ammunition that is more
powerful, reliable, and
effective than ever. This
ammunition nips on the heels of Magnum defense loads and even
makes a .38 Super fan rise up and pay attention.
The projectile has seen improvement, but letís look at
the projectile launcher. Among
the most interesting and friendly to operate handguns to come my
way in some time is the Daewoo DH51.
The Daewoo has been imported before, but the newer
version seems to have been tightened up in both quality and
accuracy. A compact
version is also available, and this piece should make a big
splash on the new market.
is a giant manufacture based in South Korea.
Immensely popular in the Pacific basin,
Daewoo products are also widely distributed in America.
You may watch the nightly news on a Daewoo or drive one to work.
Now you can shoot a Daewoo! Daewoo firearms are manufactured in
the Pusan Arsenal, now privatized for firearms
production. I have
used early model 9mm guns and the .223 rifle with generally good
friend swears by his early version of the pistol.
While he wished it were more accurate, it is more
accurate than comparable Smith and Wesson pistols of the
era and accurate enough for personal defense.
It is an even bet the Daewoo was adopted to put South
Korea in line with ammunition supply from the United States, as
the US had adopted a 9mm pistol prior to South Koreaís
changing from the 1911 to the Daewoo.
They made a reasonable choice, and the DH51 should serve
as well as any 9mm and better than quite a few.
The DH51 bears a superficial resemblance to the Smith and
Wesson third generation pistols and will accept Smith and Wesson
magazines. But the pistol differs significantly from the Smith
and Wesson product. The
Browning locked breech system is the same, and the Daewoo
locks up via locking lugs and angled camming surfaces.
But the Daewoo uses an external drawbar, located on the
right side of the frame, while the Smith and Wesson features an
internal drawbar. The
Daewoo features an improved safety over the Smith and Wesson, SIG,
Beretta and many other double action first shot pistols.
The Daewoo features a frame mounted safety. The others use slide
mounted safeties. A
slide mounted safety is often difficult to manipulate quickly
and in no case as easily mastered as the frame mounted safety.
Even if you prefer a double action first shot pistol, the
Daewoo offers the option of quickly placing the pistol on safe
without decocking during tactical maneuver.
The Daewoo can be decocked, but the system is by no means
the pistol is at full cock, the safety can be placed on,
allowing cocked and locked carry. However, if you wish you may
press upon the hammer and the hammer will come to rest, fully
down. An internal
hammer ring allows the outer hammer to be prepped against the
sear. When the
trigger is pressed when the Daewoo is in the fast action mode,
the result is a very smooth and quick trigger release.
RCBS trigger pull gauge would not measure the double
action press of the DH51, like many it is off the scale.
I estimate this press at about 16 pounds, about in the
Beretta class. But
I was able to measure the conventional single action press and
the Fast Action press. The
single action press is about 5.5 pounds but the double action
Fast Action is 4.0 pounds and very, very smooth.
An adept with the system may press the trigger and bring
the hammer to full cock before firing, but I see little point in
this trick. The
fast action mode is quite safe and may be used even without the
safety applied. (the
pistol also features a firing pin block or drop safety.)
I do not have information on the original purpose of the
system. In Europe,
the Safety Fast Shooting System was developed in order to offer
an alternative to cocked and locked carry.
The Daewoo system may have been developed as an
alternative to a conventional slide mounted decocker or in order
to give a better first shot hit potential, or perhaps both. In
any case the Fast Action succeeds brilliantly in either
would not choose the pistol solely on the action system; it
should have other good features.
The ambidextrous safety is an asset. The polymer grips
fit my hand well and the subdued grip serrations give good
purchase. The high
visibility sights are good examples of the type, with three dot
white outline. A
nice touch is the serrated top strap. This may serve to break up
heat mirage but also gives the pistol a world class look that is
much appreciated. Overall,
the pistol gives the impression of care in manufacture.
proof is in the firing. I
have fired my personal Daewoo considerably with good results.
The pistol is reliable with hollowpoint loads, even those with a
wide nose. The pistol has a good natural point, coming onto the
target quickly. I
familiarized myself with the pistol again after breaking it out
of the safe by firing a few magazines of MagTech
and inexpensive, this load is a fine training resource. I first
used MagTech ammunition over ten years ago in one of my first
articles, and the brand has been a mainstay.
The fast action option is even more impressive on a
second and third pass, offering excellent speed.
The MagTech ammunition gave good results, with a clean
burn and more than acceptable accuracy.
enjoy firing this handgun very much.
Muzzle flip is slight and recoil light, even for a 9mm.
The slide is relatively short and the pistol quick into action.
For many shooters who wish a versatile handgun with good
safety features, this is the first choice. I should stress that
the pistolís user can use the handgun as a conventional double
action pistol if they chose, or even consider the pistol a
single action design, using the cocked and locked action.
The special shooting system offers another option.
have mentioned I am not impressed much by the 9mm and have been
taken to task. Some ask why I used the loads I did, and my only
reply must be that nearly thirty years ago this was what we had.
Today, there are a number of quality loads that get the 9mm off
its feet. Among these is the 115 grain JHP in the MagTech
Guardian line. This load averages about 1175 fps and offers good
upset in my wet newsprint testing. This is a reasonable choice
for personal defense. There are hotter loads, but wear and slide
velocity must be considered. Recoil is also more pronounced with
the heavier loads. With the MagTech offerings, accuracy was good
and control excellent. For
a bit more zip for occasional use, the Georgia Arms 124
grain +P breaks nearly 1200 fps. Quality control is good and
bullet performance excellent. This is a good choice for police
duty or defense use. Overall,
if you agree the 9mm is a good defense pistol, this is as good
an example as can be found. It is lighter and more compact than
most and seems to have military type reliability.
||Group Size (inches)
9mm Ball 115 grain
Guardian 115 grain JHP
Arms 124 grain +P
Polymer case 124 grain FMJ
122 gr. Magnus Cast bullet over Zip Powder (980 fps)
122 gr. Magnus over Zip (1150 fps)
122 gr. Magnus 4.5
Unique (900 fps)
length: 4.1 inches
length: 7.6 inches
capacity: 10 +1
or 15 + 1
Raton Florida 33487
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