Slide Catch or Release?


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model4006
July 23, 2008, 02:09 AM
That little arm on the side of a semi-auto is that a slide catch or release. The guy who owns a local gun store tried to tell me today that by locking the slide open, either by hand or on an empty mag, and then pushing the slide catch/release and letting the slide slam forward that I will ruin the gun. Any gun. He made that clear, any gun at all. Said it ruins the trigger, slide, and slide catch arm.

He said its not a slide release its a slide catch. Why do so many companys call it a release then?

Is this guy full of crap? (I think he is)

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GRB
July 23, 2008, 02:11 AM
He knows because he is the gun store guru.

Ron James
July 23, 2008, 02:17 AM
Many moons ago, I was taught, that unless I was cambering a round, not to use the slide release. In other words , not to slam it on an empty chamber. That over a period of time it will do bad things to the internals of a pistol. Works for me.:)

General Geoff
July 23, 2008, 02:17 AM
Any gun that's ruined by releasing the slide via the catch/release is a gun I don't want, empty chamber or not.

Claude Clay
July 23, 2008, 02:26 AM
+1 Ron

also stress the slide cut out just at the release area.
ease the slide, snap the trigger when its mt.

its called a 'slide stop' for a reason

Ragnar Danneskjold
July 23, 2008, 02:27 AM
I don't do it on an empty chamber. I was told that the spring is designed to be cushioned by the resistance of chambering a round. No round means that all of the force of the spring is being forced onto the slide or spring, which can cause undue wear and tear over time(like years of time).

As far as with a round in the chamber though? Let me ask you this. How is releasing the slide by hand to chamber a round any different than the slide going back and chambering a round by itself while firing the weapon? Is that gun shop owner saying that simply firing the weapon(which moves the slide back and forth by itself) is going to ruin the weapon?

GRB
July 23, 2008, 02:28 AM
I ahve been told a lot of things that I have proven wrong in many years of shooting. I have never ruined a gun by using the slide release or slingshotting the slide onto an empty chamber. I must just have those very special guns that out last such abuse.

bogie
July 23, 2008, 03:07 AM
I'd much rather have things "cushioned" with a chunka brass than to have everything just slam into each other.

I'm old, and slow, but everything still works.

eflatminor
July 23, 2008, 11:27 AM
Don't know the right term for it (release or catch) but you really shouldn't slam home the slide on an empty chamber, especially if you have a light trigger job.

230RN
July 23, 2008, 11:34 AM
I can't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

I won't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

What does the Army manual say? Anything?

Anyone?

Mr. Buehller?

arthurcw
July 23, 2008, 11:42 AM
Just to add. On some guns it's a true RELEASE and can be used as such. On other guns, it's really just a Catch. I know the Kel-tec's only have Catches and you can't actually depress them to release the slide without WECSOGing the mechanism.

As to his point about never doing it... *sniff sniff* Yep. Field patties.

jason10mm
July 23, 2008, 11:43 AM
I heard that delicate trigger jobs on 1911 pistols could get messed up by letting the slide drop on an empty chamber. So it was a specific reference to a specific pistol type after a specifc bit of gunsmithing.

That said, I don't do it on any pistol because I don't use the slide catch to release the slide. About the only weapon I let a slide drop on an empty chamber is an AR-15 or CETME/G3, as gently lowering the slide is kind of a PITA.

BTW, dropping the slide with a bullet IN THE CHAMBER can supposedly increase stress on the extractor as it has to pop over the rim of the case rather than have it slip under. Can't really think of many reasons to do this, so I filed it under "things I'd never do anyway".

arthurcw
July 23, 2008, 11:48 AM
BTW, dropping the slide with a bullet IN THE CHAMBER can supposedly increase stress on the extractor as it has to pop over the rim of the case rather than have it slip under. Can't really think of many reasons to do this, so I filed it under "things I'd never do anyway".

Not to hijack but...

Agreed. But it's always kinda odd to me that Shotgunners seems to do it all the time. I wonder if they get a special dispensation from the gun gods for being more manly or if the extractors on a SG are that much stronger.

Bullseye57
July 23, 2008, 12:48 PM
Another failure attributed to repeated releasing of a 1911 slide on an empty chamber is barrel lug battering/separation.

Feeding a cartridge in 1911 from the magazine slows down the slide's inertia by friction with the magazine lips, barrel ramp, and chambering of the cartridge.

Damage to a "tuned" face of a competition hammer and sear can occur by sear bouncing from the intertia force on the slide from slamming a slide closed on an empty chamber.

Viewing this reminds me of an old saying my father used to say to me, "Just because you haven't seen it, doesn't mean it aint so!"

R,
Bullseye


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Eric F
July 23, 2008, 12:54 PM
Bullseye57 how did that happen? I have only seen that from folks using too light a spring with many too hot a load.

Walkalong
July 23, 2008, 01:18 PM
It is a slide catch. Sometimes we use it to release the slide. ;)

But like Bullseye57 said, release it to chamber a round, not on an open chamber.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
July 23, 2008, 01:42 PM
Call me crazy but I would imagine the stress of firing a single round (tens of thousands of PSI of pressure on the chamber, rapid acceleration of slide and then near instant deceleration as slide crashes into mechanical limit before being thrown forward by spring pressure) is more than a lifetime of releasing slide on empty chamber.

Then think pistols function properly after 10K, 20K, even 50K rounds. I just think a quality pistol is designed to higher spec. If I ever did break a pistol in gunshop by dropping the slide I would thank god I did it there instead of it failing when I needed it.

Has anyone personally had their unmodified weapon be damaged by releasing slide on empty chamber? Ever? If it was a large problem you would assume people would be posting left and right how they destroyed their pistol.

Does anyone have a manual that indicates it is an issue? I checked the field manual for M9 and there is nothing to indicate it would cause undue wear.

Disaster
July 23, 2008, 02:14 PM
I doubt there would be any immediate failure but I could see how many cycles of slamming the slide home without a round to cushion it could be bad for a gun, since it wouldn't necessarily be designed for this. I avoid it with my guns and, out of respect for others, don't do it with their guns either.

I have seen shops that say not to do this...just like some have a problem with dry firing. One shop even had a sign that said "You dry fire it. You bought it." Good idea to ask before doing either.

AndyC
July 23, 2008, 02:26 PM
http://www.wdisneyw.com/forums/images/smilies05/popcorn.gif

fineredmist
July 23, 2008, 02:41 PM
Useing the slide stop/release or the slingshot method can set up the slide for failure. The uncushioned stop of the slide to the barrel can bring about stress cracks in the lower front area of the ejection port. This can occur because this area of the slide has minimal metal and is a weak spot in the design of all semiauto slides. It may take a long time or it can happen quickly or not at all. You deside.

Ske1etor
July 23, 2008, 02:59 PM
Not to hijack but...

Agreed. But it's always kinda odd to me that Shotgunners seems to do it all the time. I wonder if they get a special dispensation from the gun gods for being more manly or if the extractors on a SG are that much stronger.

I don't know about all shotguns but in the Mossberg 500 series, the extractor doesn't grab the shell until the round is in the chamber anyway. Racking the slide back releases the shell onto the elevator, and the bottom of the bolt assembly pushes the shell forward while the elevator lifts the shell up. Once the shell is straight in the chamber the bolt assembly finishes pushing it forward and the spring extractor pops over the lip of the cartridge (Unless I am totally missing something). I believe the extractor is spring loaded on most shotguns therefore nullifying this "Rule".

Hoppy590
July 23, 2008, 03:00 PM
the issue with having a round already fully seated in the chamber and then dropping the slide/bolt

a gun with an internal extractor may suffer damage, where as firearms with external extractor will fair better. that is my understanding of this

FlyinBryan
July 23, 2008, 03:20 PM
i dont like to release it empty, it just feels bad to me. i say dont do it.

medium sized potholes in the road dont hurt my truck, but i still try to miss them.

KelVarnson
July 23, 2008, 03:54 PM
The question in my mind would be, how much does the act of pulling a round out of the mag and chambering it slow down the forward movement of the slide? It doesn't seem like it would slow it down all that much.

brickeyee
July 23, 2008, 03:59 PM
I can't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

I won't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

You can go find the patent at the US patent & trademark office.
Try #984,519 for the initial 1911 patent and #1070582 for the 1911 with the grip safety added.
The description is both a slide release and a slide catch.

The patent even speaks of the ease of reloading the weapon by inserting a magazine and releasing the slide with the catch.

M203Sniper
July 23, 2008, 04:00 PM
Is this guy full of crap? (I think he is)

Does opening and closing the doors of your car ruin the windows? Maybe if you had an old car you wouldn't let someone Slam the doors....

Thunder496
July 23, 2008, 04:04 PM
From the SA 1911 A1 owners manual:

“Notice: The slide of a 1911-A1 pistol should never be released on an empty chamber; especially one which has had an action job. Releasing the slide on an empty chamber causes damage the breech face on the barrel and undue stress on all action parts, including the hammer and the sear. This will ruin the action job performed on your pistol.”

I believe the manual also gives the same warning for dropping the slide on a loaded chamber.

KelVarnson
July 23, 2008, 04:21 PM
In the owner's manual for my Sig P226:

http://www.sigsauer.com/CustomerService/documents/CLASSICPISTOLOM.pdf

There at least two places where they are apparently telling you to drop the slide on an empty chamber.

Page 9 (Unloading): "Release the slide on an empty chamber.

Page 13 (Re-assembly after field stripping): "Depress the slide catch lever (18) to release slide."

jim147
July 23, 2008, 04:26 PM
If your brass is cushioning the slide when you drop it on a loaded chamber I would check your head spacing or your brass lengh. Most auto rounds headspace on the mouth of the case not the rim.

Bullseye57
July 23, 2008, 04:45 PM
Bullseye57 how did that happen? I have only seen that from folks using too light a spring with many too hot a load.

Those barrel lugs had evidence of hard wear near the bottom of the feet. The crack showed evidence of shearing from the front end of the barrel. The barrel's swinging link did not break, as shown (attached to the lugs) in the photo. From this wear, was consistent as evidence that the lower (feet) were striking the slide stop crosspin repeatedly, thereby stressing the lower lugs until they sheared off from the barrel. This failure could have been due an improperly fitted barrel but lower lug battering can also be accelerated by the stresses of repeatedly slamming the slide home on an empty chamber. This type of failure will not ordinarily occur from a few slide slams but can happen if releasing the slide fully home on an empty chamber is a routine habit.

Don't just take my word on this - here's an excerpt quote from a THR article 1911Tuner wrote in 2003: 1911 Clinic, The barrel link, Post #18, December 28th, 2003, 03:50 AM

The pin hits the lug feet toward the tips instead of in the radius. The tips of the feet get damaged by the slide going to battery. The pin that holds the link in the lug begins to wallow out the hole that it's pressed into, and the interference fit is lost. The bent feet and sloppy action in the link delays linkdown timing. Incidentally, this is why letting a slide slam into battery on an empty chamber is a bad thing to do to an autopistol.


Hope this help.

R,
Bullseye


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32winspl
July 23, 2008, 05:47 PM
The following is from an April 23 posting;
Dry firing a good quality 1911 will not hurt it. I have done it literally hundreds of thousands of times with zero damage to the firing pin (either end), or the pin hole. HOWEVER, if you have a lightened trigger pull (pretty much anything under 3 1/2 lbs), DON'T drop the slide on an empty magazine with the trigger forward. I got this warning from John Shaw in person. (He was 3time 3-gun champion, and winner of Bianchi Cup, Steele Challenge, and all the other big shoots in the late 70's and early 80's; and a contemporary with Bill Wilson, John Pride, Brian Enos, Chip McCormick, Jim Clark, and others.)
When I asked what the difference between "dropping the slide" empty vs just shooting the pistol, he explained that when you're shooting the pistol and the slide is cycling, the trigger is to the rear, and all the trigger parts (sear, hammer-engagement hook, etc) are all out of battery. When you drop the slide on an empty magazine (or no mag) and the trigger is in the ready position, the hammer, sear, and related parts can bounce around against each other. On a finely adjusted trigger group, there are only a few ten-thousanths of mating surfaces in touch, and that "bouncing around" can eat that up, ruining a good and consistant pull, or allowing the hammer to follow the slide forward. Dropping the slide (trigger forward) on a loaded mag or one with a snapcap in it, the forward velocity of the slide is slowed by the force required to strip the round from the mag, plus the force required to accelerate the stationary round.
So unless you're going to use the heavy, spring loaded snap caps; or drop the slide with the trigger pulled, I'd reccomend thumbing back the hammer for dryfire practice. Other people here may have other suggestions, but I have and will continue sticking to the advice of Mr. Shaw.

Disaster
July 23, 2008, 06:11 PM
If your brass is cushioning the slide when you drop it on a loaded chamber I would check your head spacing or your brass lengh. Most auto rounds headspace on the mouth of the case not the rim.

Hitting the brass at the end of slide travel is only a very small part of reducing the impact. More of the momentum is stripped from the slide as it strips the round from the magazine.

Flintlock Tom
July 23, 2008, 06:36 PM
Call me a sissy, but I would like my stuff to last as long as possible. So if there's a slam-bang stressful way of doing something and a low-stress, gentle way, I'll usually pick the latter.
With my Springfield Armory 1911 I even push in the mag release button as I'm inserting the magazine so it doesn't wear on the magazine finish.

Zach S
July 23, 2008, 09:16 PM
I dont slam the action home on anything if I'm not chambering it. It does happen occasionally (like when I don't seat the mag properly), and I can hear a difference, more with my 1911 than my AR15.

I did a quick search and found an experiment performed by Tuner.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1395530#post1395530
Some years back, I had an old pistol that was ready for a rebuild, so I decided to conduct an experiment with it.

I began by using cold rolled stock to make a substitute for the slidestop pin, and fire the gun in 50-round test lots to determine how much impact was absorbed during a live-feed return to battery vs an empty slam.
Two pins were made for each test.

50 rounds revealed no deforming of the soft steel...but the pins were peened badly by dropping the slide on empty in as little as 12 cycles.
By 20 cycles, the pin was all but useless.

Going further, I drilled out the center on the pins in increments of .0156 inch...1/64th...and retesting. These holes were drilled undersized and reamed to exact dimension. By the time I had drilled a full 3/16ths
hole in each of the pins, the empty slam was destroying them in 2 or 3 cycles. The same pins continued to function during live-fire for up to 200 rounds..with minimal deformation. Understand that removing 3/16ths inch from the center of a .200 diameter pin would leave about .025 inch of wall thickness...a shell about 6 times the thickness of a sheet of 20-bond paper.

Assuming that your trigger group/fire control group hasn't been dinked with...the damage incurred is most severe at the lower lug feet. The slidestop crosspin is fairly well over-engineered and well-supported.
The lower lug feet aren't designed to absorb the repeated impact stress of a 16-ounce slide propelled by a 16-pound coil spring.

There's also the matter of the slidestop pin holes in the frame. Ever seen a pistol with the holes elongated toward the front? I have...and in guns that weren't all that old. Guess what causes that. Yep...Impact.

wally
July 23, 2008, 09:55 PM
Letting the slide slam closed in an empty chamber will eventually cause excessive wear, but IMHO ain't much of a gun if it breaks after only a few hundred executions -- its going to happen eventually when shooting as you will at some point encounter a defective mag that doesn't lock back.

--wally.

The Lone Haranguer
July 23, 2008, 10:14 PM
A slide stop's (catch, if you prefer) primary function is to stop the slide in the rearward position when the magazine empties. It is your option to use it as a release. (I usually do.) For simplicity of nomenclature I always call them slide stops.

9mmepiphany
July 23, 2008, 11:02 PM
The question in my mind would be, how much does the act of pulling a round out of the mag and chambering it slow down the forward movement of the slide? It doesn't seem like it would slow it down all that much.

actually it makes quite a difference, here are all the addition forces encountered when a slide chambers a rounds from a mag:
1. slide contacts rear of shell in mag
2. pushes against friction of case being pushed against lips by mag spring
3. bullet impacts feed ramp and changes direction
4. bullet contacts chamber mouth as it again changes direction to enter chamber

I can't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

I won't believe JMB didn't take this method of closure into account.

why not, he didn't take into account that closing the slide on a chambered round would overstress his extractor and cause it to break. as a side note: the Beretta M9/92 family have an extractor designed to close over a chambered round without damage

model4006
July 23, 2008, 11:14 PM
I guess kimber must be strange...


Kimber pistols have factory tuned match grade trigger groups that break crisp and clean. Slide and magazine releases are slightly extended for quick location and easy operation. Frame has a high kidney cut for best grip position.


Model: Custom Target II™ .45 ACP
Caliber: .45 ACP
Features: Full 5-inch barrel and steel frame.
Match grade frame, slide, barrel, bushing and chamber.
Custom features standard; extended thumb safety, high ride beavertail grip safety, beveled magazine well and slightly extended magazine release and slide release.
Match grade barrel is machined from a single piece of solid steel for accuracy and long life.



Maybe they should change the name to "slide release only when chambering a round"

GunDoctor
July 24, 2008, 12:39 AM
after a while you can damage a semi-auto by doing that on an emply chamber. You will actually ruin a 1911 trigger job by slamming it shut on an empty chamber.

GRB
July 24, 2008, 12:59 AM
The guy who owns a local gun store tried to tell me today that by locking the slide open, either by hand or on an empty mag, and then pushing the slide catch/release and letting the slide slam forward that I will ruin the gun. Any gun. He made that clear, any gun at all. Said it ruins the trigger, slide, and slide catch arm.


I just have to comment one more time on this. Let's use logic in thinking about this. There are plenty of pistols, semi-automatic pistols, that are designed without a slide stop. In other words there slides do not remain in an open position after the last round is fired. Instead of the slide remaining locked back and open what happens is this: the final round is fired, the round is extracted, the round is ejected, the slide slams closed on an empty chamber. It happens every time you fire the last round in one of these pistols. These guns are in essence the same design as a gun with a slide stop/release, they are semi-automatic pistols, except for the fact that they do not have a slide lock/release device. That is the only basic difference. Yet, they do not malfunction, or become weakened, in any manner of which I have ever heard because the slide is slamming closed over an empty chamber - and I should point out the slide slams home harder than if released by the slide relase lever because it is all the way back just before it slams home. Remember that a slide locked back by the slide stop is not all the way back, and can indeed be pulled back to be slingshot closed. So why are these not damaged by closing on an empty chamber if what many of you are saying is actually correct? The truth is they are not made any stronger than a pistol with a slide catch/release, and the truth also is they are not damaged by the slide slamming forward on an empty chamber. So it seeems logical that allowing the slide to slingshot onto an empty chamber will not damage a semi-auto pistol.

All of the arguments about what bad things will happen apparently do not hold water when you take this into consideration with a normal pistol. That is with the possible exception of firearms manufactured to standards not allowing for such stress, which is doubtful considering all the other stress they undergo, and with the possible exception of altered firearms such as ones with delicate special action jobs, where the gun was so weakened by whatever work was done as to make it less than desirable as a weapon of choice for self defense.

So I hope you go back to the gun store to ask that gun store clerk exactly why semi-auto pistols without slide stops are not ruined by the slide slamming home on an empty chamber. I would sure be interested to hear his all knowing explanation.

All the best,
Glenn B

Zach S
July 24, 2008, 11:50 AM
why not, he didn't take into account that closing the slide on a chambered round would overstress his extractor and cause it to break. as a side note: the Beretta M9/92 family have an extractor designed to close over a chambered round without damage
Comparing JMB's extractor with one from a modern pistol is an apple to oranges comparison. I dont think spring steel extractors are prone to break like the "improved" modern extractors are.

32winspl
July 24, 2008, 12:27 PM
Glenn, I'm only knowledgable (or not) in regard to the trigger group "bashing" that occurs when dropping the slide on an empty mag or chamber.
Bear with me here.
Even on a pistol without a slide-stop, where the slide returns forward after the last round is fired, the trigger is STILL pulled to the rear, and all the trigger-group parts are not in contact with each other. The trigger-parts are out of battery when the slide slams forward and are not taking any beating at all.
Now, contrast that with the slide banging forward with the trigger fully forward (your finger off the trigger)... with the sear engaged with the hammer.
There's a world of difference in forces acting on the trigger-group parts when the slide slams forward when A) the trigger is pulled to the rear, and B) the trigger is fully forward. ...or so I've been told by someone I respect as being FAAAR more knowledgable than I.

GunDoctor
July 24, 2008, 12:41 PM
Very good explanation 32WinSpl. Very welll done.

RNB65
July 24, 2008, 12:56 PM
It makes no difference one way or the other. None, zip, nada. Whatever works best for you. I always used the slide stop to close the slide and load a round on every semi-auto I've ever owned and never had a problem.

I generally don't drop the slide on an empty chamber. I ease it closed using both hands. Does it make a difference with an empty chamber? I have no idea.

To each his own.

9mmepiphany
July 24, 2008, 01:02 PM
Comparing JMB's extractor with one from a modern pistol is an apple to oranges comparison.

i wasn't comparing the two.

i was putting forth an example to refute the assertion that JMB had taken all possibilities of failure into consideration in his original design

wingman
July 24, 2008, 01:57 PM
My opinion the slide stop should not be used as a slide release as standard
procedure, while it may look cool and sound good it will wear parts.

brickeyee
July 24, 2008, 04:33 PM
From Patent #984,519 issued Feb. 14, 1911 to John M. Browning, of Ogden Utah.

Page 2, line 103-104,
“Figs. 21, 22 and 23, are respectively side, top and rear views of the combined link-pin and breech-slide-stop…”

Page 4, line 98-111,
“For easier handling the pivot-pin I is provided with a handle j which projects at right angles from the end of the pin, and extending rearward rests against the left side of the frame a when the pin is in its place, (see Figs. 1,3,21,22 and 23.)
In order to adapt the handle to be readily moved upward and downward by the thumb of the hand grasping the grip, the rear end of the handle j carries a projecting thumb piece j1. A lug j2 projects from the handle inward through an opening in the side of the frame into the top of the magazine-seat …”

Page 5, line 7-16,
“…the follower will raise the lug j2 and the handle j and cause the projection l to enter the recess m in the breech-slide, thereby locking the same in the open rear position, and serving as an indicator to show that the empty magazine must be replaced by a charged one before the firing can be continued. After placing the magazine in the grip the breech-slide is released by depressing the handle j.”
[emphasis added]


While Browning refers to the "slide-stop" repeatedly in the patent, he also clearly intends for it to be used to release the "breech-slide" to chamber ammunition.

Repeated slide closures without chambering a round can damage target sear and hammer hook work.
Not adjusting a trigger stop screw can also allow the sear to be struck by the hammer during firing.

After performing trigger work a limited number of slide release slams are needed to verify the hammer will not be jarred loose, but you only need a few to verify the work.

BlindJustice
July 24, 2008, 05:55 PM
I use the term, SLide Release/Lock (R/L) then if I refer to
it again in the same post it will be Slide R/L

One person referred to the Hammer Strut spring in a 1911, I asked
her to clarify, they don't call it the Hammer Strut Spring
Housing, it's a friggin Main Spring, Main SPring Cup etc.

Randall
.

230RN
July 25, 2008, 07:15 PM
....

usp9
July 26, 2008, 10:34 AM
When the slide is going backwards, it's a slide catch.
When the slide is moving forward, it's a slide release.
Simple, no more to it.;)

Scratchshooter40
July 26, 2008, 10:53 AM
Other than to verify that the mechanism works, why would anyone sit there and lock open and release a slide on an empty chamber repeatedly anyway? Just don't make sense. During my nightly practice with Snap Caps, I chamber and snap on the cap at least 50 times nightly with a Beretta 96 or the 92 if I happen to grab it, same gun basically anyway, habits are the same with each. I don't think the modulus of energy that is used to strip the cap (or round) from the mag slows the slide's action and forcing measurably and if it does it would slow down the cycle time considerably. I know it does make a slight difference but not a considerable difference. I can't imagine a reason to repeatedly rack a slide on an empty chamber, either to practice or just to pass the time, doesn't make a lot of sense. The only way I know to perfect mag drop/insertions is to practice, that's why I use the Snap Caps. Just my .02 worth.
Scratch

230RN
July 26, 2008, 12:17 PM
OK, here's what I'm getting on this:

1. It is possible for the barrel lug to separate from the barrel if overstressed by hitting the slide stop pin in an unrestricted closure of the slide.

This will probably not occur if the barrel lug and barrel are machined from one solid bar of steel, such as on the original military 1911. It might occur if the barrel lug is welded, soldered, epoxied :) on to the barrel, as perhaps with later, modern manufacturing practice.

2. There will be a greater impact on going into battery without a magazine or round in the chamber.

3. On finely tuned triggers/sears/hammers the greater impact may cause these triggers/sears/hammers to jump out of engagement if the trigger is fully forward when this slide closure occurs, but not if the trigger is back, as when actually firing a shot.

4. The former case above is the case originally under question, that is, allowing the slide to drop freely on an empty chamber and no magazine.

5. With respect to the case where the slide drops freely on a chambered round, the extractor must pop over the rim of the case to engage the extractor groove on the case.

a. This apparently stresses the internal extractor on an "original" 1911 to the point where it may break.

b. It apparently does not stress sprung-hook extractors as badly.

6. With some firearms, the instructions allow for dropping the slide on an empty chamber, with others, it is not recommended

7. Dry-firing is an ancillary question not germaine to the original question.

My Conclusions:

1. I stand corrected.

2. I shall no longer allow the slide to drop on an empty chamber on any semiauto handgun, contrary to my long-standing practice, notwithstanding that I have never had a problem with this practice. This, based on the "unknowables" of latter-day manufacturing processes, as compared to the original specifications of the military 1911 pistol.

--Terry

jetrecbn
July 26, 2008, 10:33 PM
I think that the part in question is a release. If it was not meant to be used as such, why is there a shelf to assist in depressing the latch? If the part in question was just a stop, would there not be a latch or maybe designed as an internal part? Just my observations. One more thing, I rarely pull back the chargin handle on my M4 when a mag runs dry. I use the bolt release.

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