Frustration with new M&P .40 and .45 slide release design


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sleepyone
December 11, 2012, 11:54 PM
Ok, let me preface this post by stating I am ex-military, a hunter, a shooter and very well versed with semi-automatic handguns and have owned Rugers, XDs, several 1911s etc... I decided to get into the M&P platform and recently bought the .40 Pro Series in 4.25" and the full-size .45. I have put about 300 rounds through the .40 Pro and love it. I just received the .45 and have not had a chance to shoot it yet. Both these pistols are new.

The problem I have run into is the ambi slide release on both pistols is almost impossible for me to work with a single thumb. I have had carpal tunnel and cubitul tunnel syndrome on both hands/arms. I realize I have lost some grip strength but I have no trouble working any of the features on any of my other weapons. I have bolt actions, lever actions, pumps, ARs, revolvers etc. I don't have to force or exert any effort when operating these weapons.

About the only way I can release the slide on my M&Ps is to use my index finger and thumb to pull down both sides together or use one thumb to press against the other to work one side. Fortunately, it is not a deal breaker for me because the M&Ps are designed to release the slide and go into battery when you slam in a loaded magazine. I'm assuming this is a design feature and not a malfunction. Both of mine do it and so does my friends new standard M&P .40 full-size. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Why are the slide releases so stinkin hard to work? My friend stated that while it is not easy, he is able to work his with one thumb only. My XDs were not hard at all to work. What gives? Can you do anything to "loosen" the slide releases up for smoother operation or is the preferred method of operation to slam a loaded magazine in to release the slide? Is there an after-market kit that uses an over-sized slide release?

I do realize that Smith and Wesson calls it a slide stop in the manual. I am also aware of the overhand method of pulling back on the slide and releasing to load the chamber, but I really like the way my 1911 slide releases work and wish all others worked the same. Maybe I am trying to make something work in a way it was not designed.

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SouthernBoy
December 12, 2012, 12:30 AM
If you look at the detent in the slide that the slide stop moves up into when the magazine follower pushes it up after the last round, you will notice that the vertical part of the detent which holds the slide stop is not at all slanted towards the front of the slide. This causes more pressure to be exerted on the slide stop in order to release it.

The fix is to do hundreds of releases on a dry gun, use the slingshot method of releasing the slide, or have a gunsmith angle the vertical part of the detent a little to relieve some of the pressure (careful with this one).

BILLG
December 12, 2012, 12:36 AM
Use the slingshot method to release the slide.

3twelves
December 12, 2012, 01:08 AM
The slide hold open is just that, the proper way is to use those aggressive slide serrations to release the slide. Mine auto closes when you slam a mag in also, I like it.

snakeman
December 12, 2012, 01:16 AM
I either use the slingshot method or use my support thumb. If you don't like the guns consider a sig 2022, they have the easiest slide release ever!

allaroundhunter
December 12, 2012, 01:46 AM
I oil and grease my slide release and it helps, but the main way that I release the slide is by inserting a fresh mag. If you give it a firm push then the slide will be sent home that way. It is very fast, and doesn't require me to play with that small slide release or slingshot the slide.

chris in va
December 12, 2012, 02:11 AM
I had the same problem with my Sig 220. Had a hell of a time locking the slide back when the RO called cold. I don't miss that gun.

PabloJ
December 12, 2012, 03:20 AM
Ok, let me preface this post by stating I am ex-military, a hunter, a shooter and very well versed with semi-automatic handguns and have owned Rugers, XDs, several 1911s etc... I decided to get into the M&P platform and recently bought the .40 Pro Series in 4.25" and the full-size .45. I have put about 300 rounds through the .40 Pro and love it. I just received the .45 and have not had a chance to shoot it yet. Both these pistols are new.

The problem I have run into is the ambi slide release on both pistols is almost impossible for me to work with a single thumb. I have had carpal tunnel and cubitul tunnel syndrome on both hands/arms. I realize I have lost some grip strength but I have no trouble working any of the features on any of my other weapons. I have bolt actions, lever actions, pumps, ARs, revolvers etc. I don't have to force or exert any effort when operating these weapons.

About the only way I can release the slide on my M&Ps is to use my index finger and thumb to pull down both sides together or use one thumb to press against the other to work one side. Fortunately, it is not a deal breaker for me because the M&Ps are designed to release the slide and go into battery when you slam in a loaded magazine. I'm assuming this is a design feature and not a malfunction. Both of mine do it and so does my friends new standard M&P .40 full-size. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Why are the slide releases so stinkin hard to work? My friend stated that while it is not easy, he is able to work his with one thumb only. My XDs were not hard at all to work. What gives? Can you do anything to "loosen" the slide releases up for smoother operation or is the preferred method of operation to slam a loaded magazine in to release the slide? Is there an after-market kit that uses an over-sized slide release?

I do realize that Smith and Wesson calls it a slide stop in the manual. I am also aware of the overhand method of pulling back on the slide and releasing to load the chamber, but I really like the way my 1911 slide releases work and wish all others worked the same. Maybe I am trying to make something work in a way it was not designed.

Actually slide release ISN'T supposed to be used to release the slide from open position. Even pulling slide back when empty magazine is inserted the slide is driven home by partly releasing magazine and pulling the slide back and releasing it. The slide release lever is NEVER pressed.

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 04:00 AM
Maybe I am trying to make something work in a way it was not designed.
Maybe ;)

I must say I've never noticed until this post made me pick mine up to try. I'd only previously used to slide stop to to lock the slide to the rear when clearing the gun...I've never even touched the slide stop lever on the right side...mine seems to release fine when I push on it.

Are you getting your thumb on top of the lever when depressing it...the left side lever of the slide stop protrudes a bit more than the right side lever to give you better purchase. I even checked the spring that powers the slide stop and it's doesn't seem overly sprung. It might have to do with how much of your thumb you are getting on the lever...mine fall right at the beginning of the nail bed.

I can control if the slide releases when I insert the magazine...it isn't designed to automatically release, but you can make it do so...by varying the angle that I insert thee mag. When inserted straight in, it doesn't release; when inserted at about 45 degrees to the rear, it always releases...I use it as a feature during slide-lock reloads when shooting in competition

Skylerbone
December 12, 2012, 05:18 AM
Two of my 3 M&Ps gave me fits with the releases whether with a full magazine or no magazine inserted. The ambi (slave) side would simply flex and fail to work while the strong side required both thumbs to disengage. Touched up both with a small file, less is better, now both work as expected. Before work, neither would release with a firm magazine seating so slingshot was the only option. Both now go to battery when smartly inserting the mag.

sleepyone
December 12, 2012, 09:21 AM
Are you getting your thumb on top of the lever when depressing it...the left side lever of the slide stop protrudes a bit more than the right side lever to give you better purchase.

I forgot to mention I shoot left-handed, so I purposely purchased the M&P because of the ambi features. I have noticed the left side has a higher notch before the slide stop lever and like a previous post mentioned, it is angled in a way that makes it harder to pull it down manually to release the slide. I really don't like filing on new guns. I'm going to use the slingshot method or the "slamming" method to release the slide for the first several hundred rounds and see if it loosens up over time. I have read some posts on other sites that this was the case for others.

Skylerbone, where exactly did you run your file across the slide stop?

Fishbed77
December 12, 2012, 10:18 AM
Fortunately, it is not a deal breaker for me because the M&Ps are designed to release the slide and go into battery when you slam in a loaded magazine. I'm assuming this is a design feature and not a malfunction

Not really a design feature and not really a malfunction.

It usually means you are slamming in the magazine too hard.

mgmorden
December 12, 2012, 10:38 AM
The slide stop on the M&P isn't really used to drop the slide on a life round. Realistically about the only time I use it is to lock the slide open when I'm field stripping it.

When actually shooting, use the slingshot method. As noted too the gun will tend to pretty easily auto-forward and you seat the mags with some authority. Personally I tend to like this but I don't really rely on it. By habit if I ever reload from slide-lock I make the motion of moving my hands up to the slide to slingshot but if I notice when transitioning that it auto-forwarded then I basically shift back to a shooting grip rather than completing the motion.

sleepyone
December 12, 2012, 11:17 AM
Not really a design feature and not really a malfunction.

It usually means you are slamming in the magazine too hard.

After speaking with several people and reading many forums including the replies to my original post here, I have to disagree. I don't think S&W would design a pistol that automatically chambered a live round by seating the magazine too hard. That would be a HUGE liability. I think it must be a feature to either compensate for the lack of a 1911 style slide release or decrease the time it takes to reload the weapon for combat or law enforcement scenarios. I certainly could be wrong about this and would like to hear from someone who has a different opinion.

The S&W manual refers to it as a slide stop only. Several people on this site and others have been able to use the slide stop as a slide release if they do some filing and/or some lubrication or have very strong thumbs.

SouthernBoy has a good point below:

If you look at the detent in the slide that the slide stop moves up into when the magazine follower pushes it up after the last round, you will notice that the vertical part of the detent which holds the slide stop is not at all slanted towards the front of the slide. This causes more pressure to be exerted on the slide stop in order to release it.

It looks like the design is intended for locking the slide in the open position but not necessarily for releasing the slide. There are ways to overcome that, but I will just be content to slingshot it or seat the magazine hard enough to load a round. I actually like that feature. Thanks for all the input, THRs. I can always count on thoughtful and helpful input from our members.

allaroundhunter
December 12, 2012, 11:48 AM
Not really a design feature and not really a malfunction.

It usually means you are slamming in the magazine too hard.

Well, with my M&P it doesn't take too much force when seating the magazine to release the slide, so I don't think I am slamming it too hard. Now, to get my Glock to do the same thing, yes, I have to slam it too hard.

mgmorden
December 12, 2012, 01:07 PM
After speaking with several people and reading many forums including the replies to my original post here, I have to disagree. I don't think S&W would design a pistol that automatically chambered a live round by seating the magazine too hard. That would be a HUGE liability. I think it must be a feature to either compensate for the lack of a 1911 style slide release or decrease the time it takes to reload the weapon for combat or law enforcement scenarios. I certainly could be wrong about this and would like to hear from someone who has a different opinion.


It's not S&W specifically - its really just the way autoloaders work in general. The slide is spring loaded. The slide stop is spring loaded in the downward position (otherwise it would catch the slide every time it cycled). It's only friction that is causing it to hold the slide open. With enough of a jar the slide will bump loose.

Pretty much every autoloader will do this if the magazine is seated with enough force. It just seems that M&P's seem to take a little less force than others to dislodge the slide lock.

Its certainly not a feature as it doesn't do it consistently (and even between M&P's some are more susceptible than others), but it isn't really a flaw either. If it does happen then consider it a boon and continue shooting, but never COUNT on it to happen.

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 02:26 PM
I have noticed the left side has a higher notch before the slide stop lever
That might be because there is no notch on the right side for the slide stop to engage. The slide stop lever on the left side of the M&P is just an extension of the slide stop assembly. The slide stop notch is only on the left side of the slide

. I think it must be a feature to either compensate for the lack of a 1911 style slide release or decrease the time it takes to reload the weapon for combat or law enforcement scenarios. I certainly could be wrong about this and would like to hear from someone who has a different opinion.

The S&W manual refers to it as a slide stop only.
So does Colt...see part number 46 below:
http://www.m1911.org/images/parts.jpg

sleepyone
December 12, 2012, 02:45 PM
So does Colt...see part number 46 below:

Very interesting. I have always heard it called a slide release and used it as such. JMB had it right from the get-go. I have never had a 1911 where the slide stop/release was difficult to work. I like M&Ps, but the more polymer autos I am exposed to the more I like my 1911s. Just shows that there is nothing new under the sun and that JMB was a genius on the level of Edison, Ford, Bell, etc.... but he is never mentioned in the same conversation by those outside the industry. Maybe he was better known and respected back in the day. Don't mean to go off topic here, but since I started the thread I guess can take that liberty. But I digress....

CommanderCrusty
December 12, 2012, 02:46 PM
You said you, "... use one thumb to press against the other to work one side."

So do I (and I have carpal tunnel syndrome in BOTH wrists).

I use the same technique on the M&P, the 1911 and the Sig. Been doing it for years. Works great. Never had a problem.

ny32182
December 12, 2012, 03:01 PM
Mine auto-forwarded reliably from day one. I would say it works about 99% of the time. In the event it doesn't I hit the button on the right side of the gun (I am a lefty) with my strong hand thumb. It costs a little time but not nearly as much time as it would take to slingshot.

I'd say mine broke in over time and now pressing the button to drop it requires less pressure than it did when brand new. You are pressing it DOWN, rather than IN, correct? I never had to use the amount of force you are talking about. You will have to press the right side a little harder than the left since only the left engages, and you will need to overcome the flex that occurs when you press only the right side of the wishbone shaped part.

If it were me I'd give it some time to break in, and/or polish , with 600 grit sandpaper (not "file") the engagement surface on the slide catch. Polishing will just speed up what would naturally occur through breaking in the gun through live or dry fire. Worst case, if you over-cook the polishing (which would be hard to do) it is a $16 part I think.

If it auto-forwards it can't be getting hung up all that badly.

Robbins290
December 12, 2012, 03:07 PM
my glock 30 is the same way, i trained myself to slide it back and release

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 04:04 PM
...and very well versed with semi-automatic handguns
Very interesting. I have always heard it called a slide release and used it as such. JMB had it right from the get-go.
You might want to check where else your sources might have lead you astray ;)

You know that JMB did not design the 1911 to be carried cocked-n-locked (Condition 1), right?

The US Army forced him to redesign the pistol to add a thumb safety he had not included in his original submission. His original design relied on the grip safety as the primary. Condition 1 was not a common carry method until 30-40 years later

Fishbed77
December 12, 2012, 04:17 PM
After speaking with several people and reading many forums including the replies to my original post here, I have to disagree. I don't think S&W would design a pistol that automatically chambered a live round by seating the magazine too hard. That would be a HUGE liability. I think it must be a feature to either compensate for the lack of a 1911 style slide release or decrease the time it takes to reload the weapon for combat or law enforcement scenarios.

Sleepyone, I guess I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. :D

mgmorden sums it up well here:

Its certainly not a feature as it doesn't do it consistently (and even between M&P's some are more susceptible than others), but it isn't really a flaw either. If it does happen then consider it a boon and continue shooting, but never COUNT on it to happen

If S&W were to market it as a feature, that would be a liability, as it is not a "design feature" that could ever be counted on to activate consistently in a defensive situation, and would certainly never be marketed to law enforcement as such, or recommended for training.

By the way, I have a Walther P99 that will also release the slide if the magazine is inserted too forcefully. No big deal, just physics in action.

Walt Sherrill
December 12, 2012, 04:53 PM
If you really feel you must use the slide stop/release to let the slide go forward, but can't use the thumb of your strong hand to do it, use your OFF HAND, with several fingers in a hook/claw, to depress the lever. It's much easier with several fingers than just one, and not nearly as hard to find the little release tab on the lever.

I found that dropping the empty mag, and using the offhand to insert the fresh mag, and then just moving the fingers on up to release the slide is almost as fast as using the strong thumb, and you do NOT have to change your grip (required for me with some guns) or move the gun's bore dramatically away from the target (as IS the case when using the slingshot method).

(When you watch master-level shooters in combat-type competitions, you see that nearly all = of them leave the gun up, pointed at target, at eye level, insert the mag while it's in that position; they then release the slide using the slide stop/release lever. Some use the strong hand thumb, but not all.)

An acquaintance -- a pro shooter and a formerly highly ranked IPSC shooter, is now an instructor who works Special Ops troops at Fort Bragg. He told me, some time ago, that the US Special Ops command no longer advocates the slingshot method in its training classes -- except as a part of the clearance drill. Why the change? Because the military was were getting too many reports from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan of shooters having to do a clearance drill or having to rack the slide again after a failed slingshot release, loosing a round in the process and taking extra time when time was critical.

It's always been claimed that using the slide release requires fine motor skills, while using the slingshot method did not. It would appear, however, that when the adrenaline is flowing and stress is high, either method can require more finesse than might be available -- and releasing the slide using the slingshot method, if not done crisply, can be as problematic as using the slide stop/release lever.

You should know how to slingshot a slide -- as its a critical part of the clearance drill, but experiment with the other method; with practice, decide for yourself which works best for you -- don't rely on THEORY alone.

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 07:50 PM
To avoid any mis-perception or confusion by a later reader, are you using sling shotting the slide interchangeably with the overhand grab to rack the slide?

...or are you referring to pinching the slide between the thumb and index finger to pull it from the rear?...what I think of, when I hear the term sling shot

Does someone still teach the sling shot slide manipulation in defense tactics classes/schools?

Walt Sherrill
December 12, 2012, 08:45 PM
I'm referring to "old-style" SLINGSHOT, grasping the rear of the slide LIKE you would grab the pocket of a slingshot.

For this discussion, I think the term can apply to the overhand method, too. The Overhand method COULD lead to the same problems as the older slingshot method -- in that you must PRECISELY release the slide using the overhand method to avoid the problems described in my earlier response; with heavy gloves or a non-optimal release, etc., there could be issues.

That said, the Overhand method CAN let you keep the gun positioned on target, so that's a big plus over the older style.

I have been a big CZ fan over the years, and because of the slide-in-frame design and went to the overhand method; CZs give a bit less slide to grasp otherwise. Using that method I found I sometimes had problems when doing clearance drills - as my hand got in the way of the rounds that needed to be cleared. I think smaller guns present a problem with the overhand method, too: your hand just COVERS to much! I pinch the rear of the slide when I do a clearance drill, now, if only because I want to SEE what's going on, too, and don't want my hand getting in the way.

All of these methods discussed -- including using the slide release -- have drawbacks. But, if you hit the release/stop lever, it will give you a uniform, crisp, and technically sufficient release. And THAT, I think, is what's behind the US military's training change.

As I said, folks should try each of these methods and see what works best for them. I think too many folks read or participate in these discussions, say "that makes sense" and pick one based on the "theory" -- but never try to see if theory and reality really agree.

sleepyone
December 12, 2012, 08:51 PM
Quote:
Very interesting. I have always heard it called a slide release and used it as such. JMB had it right from the get-go.

You might want to check where else your sources might have lead you astray

You know that JMB did not design the 1911 to be carried cocked-n-locked (Condition 1), right?

The US Army forced him to redesign the pistol to add a thumb safety he had not included in his original submission. His original design relied on the grip safety as the primary. Condition 1 was not a common carry method until 30-40 years later

9mmepiphany, I have read many of your posts over the years so I know you probably have forgotten more about semi-automatic pistols than I know. However, when I said he had it right from the start, I was referring to the way the 1911 slide stop works; not the safety. You are correct that there were several changes to the 1911 before it became the 1911 as most people know it. According to a book I have on Browning, some changes were made by Browning such as redesigning parts so they performed several functions, thereby reducing the total number of parts and simpliying the arm which was covered in a 1913 patent, and like you said, other changes were required by the U.S. Army. From the picture in my book, it appears the slide stop as JMB designed it was not nearly as pronounced as current 1911s, so whose to say that I would have been able to use the slide stop as a slide release like my current 1911? I have only seen one "original" 1911 and I probably would not enjoy shooting it near as much as current models.

In response to your last question about sling shotting the slide and overhand method. I am speaking of two different methods. Pinching the slide between the thumb and index finger to pull it from the rear would be sling shotting as I have heard it as well. I prefer that over the overhand method.

As Walt Sherrill mentioned:
(When you watch master-level shooters in combat-type competitions, you see that nearly all = of them leave the gun up, pointed at target, at eye level, insert the mag while it's in that position; they then release the slide using the slide stop/release lever. Some use the strong hand thumb, but not all.)

There is no way I could do that with the slide stop on my M&Ps with just my thumb. That is still the fastest way for me to reload my 1911s. I don't shoot competitively, but I try various methods and I am always fastest when loading the magazine with my off hand and using the slide stop with my thumb. The only faster way I have found for me is when I "slam" the magazine, which from what others have said in this thread is not a designed feature and does not work 100% of the time.

I found that dropping the empty mag, and using the offhand to insert the fresh mag, and then just moving the fingers on up to release the slide is almost as fast as using the strong thumb, and you do NOT have to change your grip (required for me with some guns) or move the gun's bore dramatically away from the target (as IS the case when using the slingshot method).

If you are referring to using the index finger and thumb to work both sides of the slide stop, I was messing around with that last night and thought it might be an option too.

Bovice
December 12, 2012, 09:34 PM
Every time you release your slide using the lever, your slide loses 5k rounds worth of service life and it promotes finger cancer.

Naaaaaaaaahhhhht!

Either get stronger thumbs or slingshot it.

Walt Sherrill
December 12, 2012, 09:34 PM
(When you watch master-level shooters in combat-type competitions, you see that nearly all = of them leave the gun up, pointed at target, at eye level, insert the mag while it's in that position; they then release the slide using the slide stop/release lever. Some use the strong hand thumb, but not all.)There is no way I could do that with the slide stop on my M&Ps with just my thumb. That is still the fastest way for me to reload my 1911s. I don't shoot competitively, but I try various methods and I am always fastest when loading the magazine with my off hand and using the slide stop with my thumb. The only faster way I have found for me is when I "slam" the magazine, which from what others have said in this thread is not a designed feature and does not work 100% of the time.

I have an M&P Pro that was worked over by Speed Specialties before I bought it, and release the slide using the slide stop/slide release is a piece of cake. Maybe you need a lighter recoil spring? As noted below, it can help with some problems.

I recently picked up a SIG P-226 X Five Competition in .40 (SA only). The slide stop on that gun is sooooo stiff I must BOTH pull the slide and press the release. Pressing with both thumbs wouldn't do it!

There was no quick release of the slide with that gun. It's apparently NOT typical, as other folks with SIG X-Fives don't have this problem. I had my gunsmith try to work with it, and he broke the recoil spring bar -- a part of the multi-part guide rod assembly. He fabricated a part that did the job, but I contacted SIG to get the right part. They said they don't have a big stock of all parts for my X-FIVE (SA) in the US, and it would be a while, but they'd send a new one.

I tried the lightest recoil springs for the 226 from Wolff, but that didn't help -- I think the X-Five uses different springs. SIG said they didn't have lighter springs. A week or so ago, several months after my first call to SIG, a package came -- nothing to show where it came from, but it was a new recoil spring and it looked like one for a 226; it had different color (orange?) paint on it. I installed it, and I can now release the slide with one hand -- but it's still not easy. Nice gun, except for this issue -- and this has to be resolved, one of these days. A lighter recoil spring made a big difference. That might help with your gun, too.

For my other guns, I use three fingers (fore-, middle-, and ring-) as a unit to release slides on my other guns. That won't work with this SIG X-FIVE, but does well on all my other guns. (The slide stop/slide release, and the safety are so close together that any method is a problem...)

.

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 09:37 PM
As I said, folks should try each of these methods and see what works best for them. I think too many folks read or participate in these discussions, say "that makes sense" and pick one based on the "theory" -- but never try to see if theory and reality really agree.
On this we agree completely. If I hadn't tried all the methods described...for at least several months each, I wouldn't feel qualified to render a very creditable opinion

For this discussion, I think the term can apply to the overhand method, too. The Overhand method COULD lead to the same problems as the older slingshot method -- in that you must PRECISELY release the slide using the overhand method to avoid the problems described in my earlier response; with heavy gloves or a non-optimal release, etc., there could be issues.
I can only presume that we learned or use the overhand method differently, as I haven't encountered any of these issues...granted, the CZ has issues all it's own with the slide riding inside the frame.

1. After I have inserted the magazine, I bring my support hand up while my strong hand rotates the gun counter-clockwise.
2. I grasp the rear serrations, with my hand behind the ejection port, with the base of my thumb on one side and the fingers on the other.
3. The I drive the gun back out as my support hand moves to the rear.
4. When the slide reaches it's rearmost travel, it is pulled out of my support hand (which continues to my chest)
5. I've always thought of it as a gross motion as opposed to a precise one

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 09:44 PM
(When you watch master-level shooters in combat-type competitions, you see that nearly all = of them leave the gun up, pointed at target, at eye level, insert the mag while it's in that position; they then release the slide using the slide stop/release lever. Some use the strong hand thumb, but not all.)
If you watch Travis Tomasie reload...he is supposed to be the fastest...you see that he rotates the frame so that he can look the magazine in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAFxgQmxbGI

sleepyone
December 12, 2012, 09:50 PM
Either get stronger thumbs or slingshot it.

I'm sure you were being sarcastic, but guys that have had to deal with carpal tunnel and/or cubitul tunnel (the ulnar nerve) liev in a different reality. Multiple surgeries, drugs, therapies, treatments etc... have not cured my problem and my grip strength is slowly deteriorating. I need all the help I can get when it comes to ease of use.

Walt Sherrill
December 12, 2012, 09:54 PM
9mmepiphany:

Your method is different from what I've observed or heard described -- and requires moving the gun MORE than some. When I've seen the Overhand method done and discussed, it's generally about grasping the slide at the rear OVER THE TOP of the slide, and then racking the slide. But you're correct in that the way you do it, it's a "less precise" approach than the others -- and that's good.

Your method should allow a more trouble-free release than the conventional slingshot method, and it's probably better than racking the slide with the hand-over grasp, but your method still moves the gun a LOT more than I'd consider optimal. I do think YOUR method is much better than either of those methods.

I do like the consistent release of the slide using the stop lever -- and I think it's easier to keep the gun on target or closer to on target that way (unless you're using my SIG X-FIVE...). I'll have to try your way the next time I go to the range.

RE: Travis Tomasie. Yes. The guy I took instruction from did that too -- but only tilted it slightly. Keeping the gun high, in front of the eyes, allowed him to guide the mag in -- but most of them probably aren't watching that closely: muscle memory seems to be what's controlling that movement, and it arguably done too quickly for eye sight to have much role in the activity. I'd be very surprised if they couldn't do it just as quickly blindfolded...

mgmorden
December 12, 2012, 11:59 PM
I have an M&P Pro that was worked over by Speed Specialties before I bought it, and release the slide using the slide stop/slide release is a piece of cake. Maybe you need a lighter recoil spring? As noted below, it can help with some problems.

Be careful with lightening the recoil spring on an M&P. It can cause other problems (with striker-fired designs in general really). Unlike a hammer-fired gun, on a striker fired gun the recoil spring has the overcome the striker spring to close the action. On my particular gun just dropping from stock (16 lbs) to 14 lbs was enough to start causing the action to fail to return to battery about once every 50 to 75 shots - even when running a lightened striker spring.

Dan Burwell (one of the better known M&P gunsmiths) specifically recommends sticking to the stock spring weight on the M&P, which I've personally done and eliminated my problems.

On a hammer fired gun there is no other spring counter-acting the recoil spring so you can go a bit lighter. Plenty of people shooting STI 2011's seem to go down to 13 or even 11 lbs without issue.

9mmepiphany
December 12, 2012, 11:59 PM
it's generally about grasping the slide at the rear OVER THE TOP of the slide, and then racking the slide.
This is one of the short comings of posting on a forum as opposed to verbally communicating; I am talking about grasping the slide over the top.

My thumb is on the left slide of the slide (pointing toward the rear) and my fingers are on the right side. I do bring my muzzle off the target...or at least don't try to keep it on target. I've tried it both ways....on and off target...and bring you gun into my sphere of dexterity, as Tomasie is doing...allows for a measurably, on a timer, faster and more importantly reliable reload.

I've trained with the overhand grasp more as I will ofter teach with different platforms where the slide stops are positioned in differing locations. The other advantage...I don't buy into the fine motor skill argument either...is that it allows for instances where the slide has failed to stay back before the fresh magazine is inserted

Walt Sherrill
December 13, 2012, 10:53 AM
Be careful with lightening the recoil spring on an M&P. It can cause other problems (with striker-fired designs in general really). Unlike a hammer-fired gun, on a striker fired gun the recoil spring has the overcome the striker spring to close the action. On my particular gun just dropping from stock (16 lbs) to 14 lbs was enough to start causing the action to fail to return to battery about once every 50 to 75 shots - even when running a lightened striker spring.

Dan Burwell (one of the better known M&P gunsmiths) specifically recommends sticking to the stock spring weight on the M&P, which I've personally done and eliminated my problems.

Good points. I've not encountered that sort of problem with a striker-fired weapon, yet, but it is something for me to keep in mind if I start encountering function problems after having lightened a recoil spring.

Most problems, from my experience, come from people having taken it the other way -- going to HEAVIER springs. (That is not meant to be seen as a disagreement with the points you're making, above.)

I wonder if the OP should just contact S&W and talk with them about the problem -- there may be something a local gunsmith can do to make the effort required to release the slide less difficult WITHOUT changing springs -- like polishing the rear of the release lever where it interacts with the slide.

.

Skylerbone
December 14, 2012, 12:06 AM
To the OP's question of where metal was removed I filed lightly on the slide detent which had something of a burr and smoothed out the contact surface of the lever itself. Either might have been enough alone and if you're considering trying I'd recommend starting with the lever.

I've gone through a few bouts with tendonitis requiring extensive physical rehab and cortisone injections so I have some frame of reference for when easy tasks become impossible. I went from 60 lb. dumbbells to 2 lb. and they hurt but I never did lose grip strength. That said, the starboard lever would flex till it bottomed out. It simply could not release the slide.

ny32182
December 14, 2012, 12:45 AM
I've run 18k through my M&P with a 13lb recoil spring and stock striker spring, and as long as it is either clean or lubed it runs 100%. If neither of those conditions are met it will have the occassional failure to return all the way to battery.

Unlike some other guns, it will NOT run well with ~129pf ammo, the stock recoil spring, and any hint of limpwrist... I have seen exactly the same behavior in multiple examples now.

dsm
December 14, 2012, 12:51 AM
Maybe design and manufacture a extended version of some sort. Then market and sell it.

sleepyone
December 14, 2012, 01:42 AM
I appreciate all the feedback and hope to try the different methods discussed. I don't plan on changing recoil springs, but I am interested in installing an Apex trigger kit and want to get some feedback on the pros and cons. I'm going to start a new thread though.

dsm
December 14, 2012, 06:43 AM
Apex Tactical is definitely worthwhile.

dsb1829
December 17, 2012, 02:38 PM
One of the guys I shoot with told me to ride the slide stop during reloads for the m&p guns. I tried it and discovered that it works well. Jostling from mag insertion greatly reduces force to drop the lever. I am still getting used to the technique, but when done right it is fast and easy on the thumb.

9mmepiphany
December 17, 2012, 04:43 PM
told me to ride the slide stop during reloads for the m&p guns.
...Jostling from mag insertion greatly reduces force to drop the lever.
That just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Wouldn't it be easier to learn to not jostle the mag insertion at all and cause the slide to close on it's own

justice06rr
December 17, 2012, 10:52 PM
I think its probably just your weak fingers. All the pistols i've owned have about the same resistance on the slide stops. (XD's, M&P's, Glock's, etc)

Yes, the M&P also has the function that automatically moves the slide back into battery after inserting a magazine when the slide is locked back, so there is nothing wrong with yours. My M&P9 and M&P40 both did this. A very good feature for quick reloads.

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