Girlfriend can't work slide on semi-auto handgun.


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jakemccoy
February 17, 2010, 03:20 AM
My girlfriend likes shooting the Glock 27 and the Glock 23, but she's having trouble working the slide to chamber a round, clear the chamber, etc. That's obviously not a good thing.

What make and model of handgun would you recommend she consider? I'd have her walk into the gun store and point at what she likes, but there are just too many handguns. I need a few suggestions for her.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that she has nice, manicured nails that she's not going to cut.

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Utah_Jay
February 17, 2010, 03:23 AM
My wife had the same issue with the Glocks, she could not rack them. She carries a Bersa Thunder .380 and has no problem with that slide. She can also rack my Bersa UC 9 without any issues. The Walther P22, Browning Buckmark, and Ruger 22 pistols are all easy as well. The Ruger LCP is very easy for women however it is not much of a range gun.

Bovice
February 17, 2010, 03:27 AM
Those two models are .40 S&W.

The springs are going to be noticeably stiffer compared to the 9mm variant.

Glocks can be found available for rent at almost any gun range that rents guns. Have her try the 19 and 26. Same size, but 9mm.

Irate Iguana
February 17, 2010, 03:38 AM
My girlfriend likes shooting the Glock 27 and the Glock 23, but she's having trouble working the slide to chamber a round, clear the chamber, etc. That's obviously not a good thing.

Has she tried racking the slide via the techniques taught here (http://www.corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx)?

C-grunt
February 17, 2010, 04:36 AM
Definitely have her try the technique that Irate Iguana has posted about. My wife had a hard time racking ths slide of semi autos as well. One of the guys in our favorite gun shop showed her the technique and had her racking any auto in the store in less than a minute.

Al LaVodka
February 17, 2010, 08:07 AM
I would have her practice using her little hands some more.
Al

Taurus 617 CCW
February 17, 2010, 08:32 AM
The Glock 19/23 model recoil spring can be swapped out for a lighter spring. You can get a 15 pound recoil spring (18 is factory) and that should make it a little easier. If you go with a captured stainless steel guide rod it becomes even easier due to less friction. The original guide rod has a metal spring scraping on plastic.

A word of caution about recoil spring weights. If you lighten the recoil spring do not shoot +P loads out of it. You may also want to go with the lighter bullet weight for less recoil as well.

Quadkid
February 17, 2010, 08:36 AM
my father has a very tough time at his age bringing back the slides on any of my guns. I tell him not to try, but make an intentional strong movement backwards and he can usually lock them back. Your girlfriend may be shy about it too.

Cocked & Locked
February 17, 2010, 08:37 AM
revolver time

usp9
February 17, 2010, 08:52 AM
What make and model of handgun would you recommend she consider?

The Daewoo DP51 9mm, or DH40 .40S&W, are pistols I found my wife could handle. A very easy slide to rack, very accurate and a super easy tri-action trigger. They can be found for very reasonable prices too.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/Pistols/Daewoo/daewooDH40002.jpg

Arthur2001
February 17, 2010, 09:18 AM
I experienced the same problem with my wife :) At the end of the day we decided for CZ 92. A pocket gun with 6.35mm. The slide is so easy to rack.

Our other option was a Walther P22..

Vonderek
February 17, 2010, 09:26 AM
Several makers offer models with tip-up barrels, however you are limited to .32ACP. Better solution for her is a revolver, and a steel-framed one at that.

kludge
February 17, 2010, 09:39 AM
Has she been taught the proper technique?

http://corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx

The keys:

1. Get as much surface area of your hand on the slide as possible; the more surface area the lower the pressure required. I recommend the overhand grip, especially when a hand strength issue presents itself.

2. Keep your elbows tucked in. This allows the large muscles of the chest and back to get involved - less need for shoulder and arm strength (where some women are lacking).

3. Push the gun forward with the shooting hand while holding the slide.

4. One motion. Don't try to do it slow. When the slide reaches the end of its travel keep pusing the gun forward and let the non-shooting hand slip off the back of the slide. To teach yourself proper follow through, in the beginning at least, your non-shooting hand should hit your upper arm/shoulder are after it releases the slide. This motion is to teach muscle memory and keeps you from the temptation of "riding the slide".

5. You will not hurt the gun, strike that; you can not hurt the gun by racking the slide. Show it who's boss; do not show fear.

daehawc
February 17, 2010, 09:58 AM
While the best bet is proper training so she can use any gun you available when needed, there are other guns out there that are simply easier. I've had the same issue with my girlfriend who has a hard time with many semi auto slides. The gun she has now is a Sig P238 in .380 auto. It is a copy of the colt mustang (mini .380 1911 style). This gun is extremely simply to operate and very accurate. So far she has put about 4-500 rounds through it using PMC bronze FMJ and has had 0 malfunctions. Also, with her size the small pistol fits her pefectly and makes her much more comfortable.

Vonderek
February 17, 2010, 09:59 AM
I recommend the overhand grip, especially when a hand strength issue presents itself.

I second this. I had a very difficult time when I got back to shooting after rehabbing for a bicep tear repair in my left arm. I used the overhand grip by necessity and it is the way to go if you have limited strength in your weakside arm/hand.

X-Rap
February 17, 2010, 10:05 AM
Only one post in support of a revolver? Get her something she can operate under a stressful condition all the time. If your goal is an auto then get her one of those too but don't arm her with something she can't use with confidence.
From what I have seen it is not unusual to see women or those with arthritis to struggle with an autos slide.

Fiv3r
February 17, 2010, 10:14 AM
My wife too has a little trouble working the slide on my G36, and she's pretty strong for a woman. She had no trouble with my SR9, but that doesn't surprise me. The G36 has been the only handgun in my collection that makes me huff and puff a bit to secure the spring back in place when I field strip it, and I'm a fairly fit guy:neener: I actually like the stoutness of working the slide for safety reasons. I keep my glock in my bedside locker with magazine inserted and slide un-racked. I have a little one on the way, and if one day curious fingers should find the gun locker open and unattended (.00001 chance of happening, but still) the stiffness of the spring should buy some time to correct the situation.

Like the others have said, I would try technique first. If that doesn't do it, think about a different spring or smaller caliber.

Riss
February 17, 2010, 10:15 AM
Use the link above. Or here again www.corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx The overhand method is best as it provides more contact area with the hand, it is easier to do even with limited grip strength, and the Glock slide is beefy enough to use it. Always use the best method available. This method would not work with something like a CZ-75. The slide is not tall enough and there is not enough to grasp. But for the Glock it works well.

c919
February 17, 2010, 11:24 AM
Push more than pull.

Works with every every woman I've seen have this problem.

ultradoc
February 17, 2010, 11:36 AM
A lady friend of mine had trouble with my P3AT,Mak. and XD-9. So I got her a 38 snubby.

jakemccoy
February 17, 2010, 12:46 PM
I'll have her try a different technique. If that doesn't work too well, then I'll try some gun models here. I will probably own and maintain the gun, whatever it is going to be, and then let her possess it whenever she wants. She's just not going to clean and maintain it.

9mmepiphany
February 17, 2010, 01:14 PM
the easiest locked action to operate is that on the Beretta 92/96...it's just the non-tilting barrel...but the gun might be a little wide for her. they used to make a single stack version, but i haven't seen it in awhile. they also used to make the M-85 (i think) which was chambered in .380, but had a tilt up barrel which did not require that the slide be retracted to load or unload.

the next easiest slide to retract is the H&K P-7. it utilizes a lighter recoil spring because it uses propellant gases to keep the slide closed until the bullet has left the barrel

gearhead
February 17, 2010, 01:45 PM
I got rid of a FN Hi-Power in .40 because the slide was just too hard to rack. It had the polished finish and I'm getting some arthritis in my fingers so I just couldn't get enough purchase on the slide to comfortably rack it.

For what it's worth, I gave my wife a revolver for home defense. It's not subject to any issues such as limp-wristing or difficulty in racking the slide. Its only limitation as a home defense weapon is the capacity and it has enough to allow her to get to the shotgun in our bedroom if the .38 Spl. doesn't discourage the Bad Guys.

W.E.G.
February 17, 2010, 02:00 PM
The Ruger P-95 is noticeably easier to "rack" than most semi-auto pistols.

In addition to the relatively light resistance, the protruding decocking lever (on both sides of the pistol) allows extra gripping area.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/DSCN3011.jpg

Leanwolf
February 17, 2010, 03:04 PM
COCKED AND LOCKED - " revolver time "

Yep.

Plenty of good, reliable .38 Spec. revolvers out there and plenty of good, modern expanding .38 Special ammo, too. Couple of HKS speed reloaders and she is Ready-For-Freddy.

Lots of practice and she'll be ready to repel boarders. :cool:

L.W.

Skillet
February 17, 2010, 03:27 PM
(originally posted by Riss) This method would not work with something like a CZ-75. The slide is not tall enough and there is not enough to grasp. But for the Glock it works well.

I grab the slide serrations from the back of the gun with my thumb and my pointer finger at a 90 degree angle or less with my big knuckle as the axis and the end of my pointer finger faced backwards towards me so the side of my finger is on the serrations. this lets my thumb grip the serrations and my pointer finger get the most surface area possible on the serrations to grip it and slide it back. I had troubles at first because I was used to a 1911 slide (BIG difference!)

James T Thomas
February 17, 2010, 04:06 PM
Have her try this; it may help.

Instead of drawing the slide to the rear, have her grip it tight, as usual, only have her grip it with an extended grip arm. Then push the pistol; finger off the trigger! -all the way forward until she reaches full extension of the pistol hand and forcefully pulls the slide out of her other hand. If it works the slide will have been drawn full to the rear, snatched out of her gripping hand, and will spring forward to close. The pushing while gripping is more efficient than the pulling to the rear action.

If your girlfriend has long nails, suggest she maincure, or perhaps wear thin leather (dress) gloves so as not to tear those.

CJCmajor
February 17, 2010, 04:31 PM
Not to step on others toes or to rehash what others have said. But the racking of the slide is a common problem for new shooter men and women. I think it would certainly be beneficial to review the proper procedure of this ( excellent example in post #13) the push and pull motion is key. This small tip and review is worth a shot and could save you some money, in the form of a new gun.

NMGonzo
February 17, 2010, 06:32 PM
Hold slide still, push the frame

The Lone Haranguer
February 17, 2010, 06:44 PM
A Glock should be one of the easier guns to run. They have tall blocky slides with substantial grasping grooves and, being striker fired, have no additional compression of the hammer spring. I think it is more a matter of technique than raw strength. I disagree that switching to a revolver would necessarily be easier. Pulling the trigger on some of them is a matter of strength.


There are various finger exercisers - even squeezing a tennis ball - available that can at least increase finger/hand strength. Even without the consideration of racking a slide - let alone locking the slide back to "show clear" or clearing "double feed" malfunctions - there are long term health benefits.

S&Wfan
February 17, 2010, 07:05 PM
REVOLVER!

That's what my wife chose, after shooting a lot of bottom feeders and wheelguns. Smart girl . . . and a whale of a shot with her 3" barreled Model 37 Airweight.

She didn't want a slide to have to mess with, she wanted it to always go bang under stress, and wanted the operation to be a simple as possible. Smart girl.

Let HER decide what she wants. It will almost surely be different from what you like. If she likes her gun, she will want to go shooting with you more often . . . and be much more confident with it should she ever need to use it in a dangerous situation against some big, bad guy with a lot more swagger than she'll have.

Confidence is everything . . . along with knowing her gun is easy to shoot without anything going wrong.

glockman19
February 17, 2010, 07:58 PM
My wife had the same issue with the Glocks, she could not rack them. She carries a Bersa Thunder .380 and has no problem with that slide

Me too.

Another technique is to hold the slide and push away with the lower frame.

shockwave
February 17, 2010, 08:07 PM
Let HER decide what she wants. It will almost surely be different from what you like. If she likes her gun, she will want to go shooting with you more often . . . and be much more confident with it should she ever need to use it

Agreed. This is very good advice. People have to really love their weapons and trust them and enjoy using them in order for them to have maximum effectiveness.

X-Rap
February 17, 2010, 08:27 PM
I look at this kind of like having your wife/gf use your new table saw or arc welder. If she is into it and committed to learning how to do it well, then more power to her. If she would rather stick with some tools that move slower and are more forgiving then try to see that and don't force her out of her comfort zone. A revolver with a decent action job will serve anyone well as a beginners gun and if you have an auto for her to work with then keep that opportunity in front of her. If she is having problems with the slide, there might be other grip/strength issues also. Don't let your range time with her be the perfect scenario all the time and make sure everything works with some stress induced.

GasX
February 17, 2010, 08:59 PM
My S&W 3913 has bilateral decocker providing great purchase for ror racking and is easy to cock. It's also a single stack so the grip is a good size for women.

jad0110
February 17, 2010, 09:12 PM
5. You will not hurt the gun, strike that; you can not hurt the gun by racking the slide. Show it who's boss; do not show fear.

Believe it or not, I think this is one of the more common reasons why some people have trouble racking the slide. I've had more than one person ask me if they were going to break my 1911 or XD by racking it hard. Same basic deal with some pump shotgun shooters: rack it like you are trying to break it!

OTH, my wife's hands are tiny. Child-like actually. She has a tough time getting any kind of grasp on the slide - I'm serious, her hands aren't much bigger than my 3 year old son's hands. She can barely reach the trigger on a single stack 1911 or S&W J Frame. In fact, the only gun she is able to comfortably reach the trigger on is a Walther P-22.

In the end, as S&Wfan points out, let her pick what feels most natural in her hands. Better yet, rent or borrow some for her to shoot. Revolvers and autos.

jakemccoy
February 17, 2010, 09:45 PM
OTH, my wife's hands are tiny. Child-like actually. She has a tough time getting any kind of grasp on the slide - I'm serious, her hands aren't much bigger than my 3 year old son's hands. She can barely reach the trigger on a single stack 1911 or S&W J Frame. In fact, the only gun she is able to comfortably reach the trigger on is a Walther P-22.

In the end, as S&Wfan points out, let her pick what feels most natural in her hands. Better yet, rent or borrow some for her to shoot. Revolvers and autos.

My girlfriend's hands are tiny as well. I'll show her the techniques discussed here. However, if they don't work for whatever reason, then they don't work.

The standard line is "let her get what she wants." Well, having her pick whatever gun she wants might not happen for one simple reason: I care about her. For example, if she wants a Glock 23 but can't learn to rack the slide, then I'm not going to get that gun for her because I don't have a death wish for her. Again, I've decided that I'll be the official owner of the gun because she's simply not going to clean and maintain it.

General Geoff
February 18, 2010, 01:56 AM
I have never, ever met any adult who is too weak to cycle the action on any of my autoloading pistols, using the "push" technique. In fact, I've had a six year old demonstrate that he could do it. I refuse to accept that any adult woman without a serious medical condition is too weak to do so. Any difficulty in doing so is assuredly due to lack of proper technique and leverage, not lack of strength.

jakemccoy
February 18, 2010, 02:20 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention that she has nice, manicured nails that she's not going to cut.

Jed Carter
February 18, 2010, 04:29 AM
My wife cannot work the slides on my .40S&W, .45ACP pistols but has little if any problem with my Glock G34, G17, both 9mm. However she much prefers to shoot our .22lr target pistols, or my .357 revolvers.
General does the "push" technique involve pointing the muzzle at any body part including the hand? Or do you push the slide against another object? Why would anyone want a small child to operate the action on a semiauto pistol?

NoVAshooter
February 18, 2010, 04:57 AM
The answer is a revolver. Thats what I had to get for my wife. Is it a brand new glock? Newer pistols obviously have a stiffer spring.

hicksdm
February 18, 2010, 07:49 AM
My wife went with the revolver also.

General Geoff
February 18, 2010, 09:12 AM
General does the "push" technique involve pointing the muzzle at any body part including the hand? Or do you push the slide against another object?

Neither. See video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0EAZ_ry9ts). It uses both arms pushing against each other. Even the stiffest stock recoil springs are under 20lbs. I've never met anyone who couldn't provide 20lbs of force through using both arms with optimal leverage.

Why would anyone want a small child to operate the action on a semiauto pistol?
Firearms education is best started at a young age.

FoMoGo
February 18, 2010, 09:44 AM
If she cant, or wont do whats needed to, work the slide on a semi auto, look into a revolver.
S&W K frame, Ruger SP101 or GP100.
My wife started with my 629, got her own GP100, then moved to her own 1911.
She has small hands and had no issue racking the slide.
Hers is a compact with a 22# spring.
She holds the slide and pushes the gun forward.


Jim

Warhawk83
February 18, 2010, 10:08 AM
I have arthritis in a couple fingers and a fused spine (can't twist my torso to add oomph).
I use the overhand grip,elbows in, and push forward on the backstrap as I pull backward on the slide. Much easier.

kludge
February 18, 2010, 12:13 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention that she has nice, manicured nails that she's not going to cut.

Well, there you go.

I'm 6'3" and weigh 240# and I can't rack the slide either if I'm worried about my nails. There's no way to get a proper grip, overhand or slingshot, while worried about nails.

WC145
February 18, 2010, 04:49 PM
My wife has a S&W 315 Night Guard. No slide to rack, nails stay intact, she loves it.

Glock Holiday
February 18, 2010, 06:16 PM
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x42/Glockholiday/LCR1-1.jpg
Wife had same problem.
The LCR works for her.

sourdough44
February 18, 2010, 06:21 PM
To me a big factor would be how much of a 'gun gal' is she? Nothing wrong with a simple revolver. Yes she could learn the semi-auto, IF she wants to.

jakemccoy
February 18, 2010, 07:11 PM
She's not much of a "gun gal". She's pro-gun and grew up with guns in her house. She likes going to the range and tries to outdo me. By the way, she's naturally a better shot than me. She understands the value of self-defense. However, to her, guns are not much different than any other tool in the house. She's kind of like, "A gun is over there, OK so what, I don't need it right now."

I'm thinking we're going to try out some revolvers. I need a revolver in my collection anyway.

zombieoutfitters
February 18, 2010, 07:38 PM
Hi Jake,

My wife has extremely small bone structure and as a result her hands are not that strong...she can't pull most MA triggers on new guns as a result...unless they are 22's.

I find your post interesting as about the ONLY gun she could rack and pull the trigger on were Glock 17's. Of course these are all MA pre-ban and have some definite use on them.

Other than a .22 those are the only one's that work for her...I mention this because the only way we found out was to go down to the gun store and tell them the deal...that "hey my wife cannot work the action on most guns, can she try the one's you have and find one she likes" After 10 guns she finally found one.

Good luck!

devildog32713
February 18, 2010, 08:01 PM
Why would anyone want a small child to operate the action on a semiauto pistol?


If whatever strange reason he/she needed to, he/she could. The only thing we can do to prevent gun accidents is correct mindsets and thourough firearms education. I first learned to use and fire a Glock 19 when I was 8 years old.

richw
February 18, 2010, 08:02 PM
Not to discourage the gf, but if she truly only cares about home defense, revolvers are arguably better anyway.

Can even get 8 rounds .38 sp+/.357 mag if you wanted...sooner or later hopefully a company will put out a 9-10 rounds .327 federal....

rha600
February 18, 2010, 08:24 PM
I'm a little late to the game here, but m intended and I went to the range tonight. She hasalways had a problem with the slide on my glock 21 (.45 cal), but tonight she shot my 9mm PX4 (it's fairlynew so she has never shot it) and she loved it. The slide was not a problem at all for her.

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