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Slide Catch or Release?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by model4006, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. model4006

    model4006 Well-Known Member

    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)
  2. GRB

    GRB member

    He knows because he is the gun store guru.
  3. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    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.:)
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    Any gun that's ruined by releasing the slide via the catch/release is a gun I don't want, empty chamber or not.
  5. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    +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
  6. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Well-Known Member

    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?
  7. GRB

    GRB member

    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.
  8. bogie

    bogie Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. eflatminor

    eflatminor Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    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?


    Mr. Buehller?
  11. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. jason10mm

    jason10mm Well-Known Member

    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".
  13. arthurcw

    arthurcw Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Bullseye57

    Bullseye57 Bullseye

    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!"



    Attached Files:

  15. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

    Bullseye57 how did that happen? I have only seen that from folks using too light a spring with many too hot a load.
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.
  17. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

    Happiness Is A Warm Gun Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Disaster

    Disaster Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. AndyC

    AndyC Well-Known Member

  20. fineredmist

    fineredmist Well-Known Member

    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.

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