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1911: Do you drop the slide ever on an empty chamber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ripcurlksm, Apr 30, 2007.

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  1. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Member

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    Is it bad to drop the slide using the slide release on an empty chamber? I have heard that it can mess up your trigger job, or I'm sure worse...I have also heard the opposite that it is not hurting anything... thoughts, wisdom? Aside from the "any physical process causes wear" bit.

    What does Biker do? I bet he has a good answer :evil:
     
  2. bensdad

    bensdad Member

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    I used to do it all the time. Then I read the last thread about it. the consensus seemed to be that it was a bad idea. Now I ease it home if the chamber is empty.
     
  3. Rod B

    Rod B Member

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    I don't do it. I makes sense to me that the gun was designed to chamber a cartridge as the slide goes into battery. I believe the cartridge tends to cushion the impulse when the slide snaps forward.

    I find it easy to gently ease the slide forward when the chamber is empty.

    No point in adding unnecessary stress to the gun.
     
  4. Rik

    Rik Member

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    I don't drop the slide at all unless chambering a round.
     
  5. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    Here is the reason that dropping the slide on an empty chamber is a bad thing for your 1911.

    The extractor would normally be stopped from further inward movement by the case of the next round.

    When you drop the slide and there is no case to stop the inward movement of the extractor it strains it. Do that enough and one day you may break the extractor.

    Thats it. Simple. Won't hurt your trigger job. You can dry fire the thing all day by just cocking it. But slamming the slide onto an empty chamber is a bad idea with your 1911.
     
  6. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    The only time I drop the slide on an empty chamber is when testing sear engagement. If you drop the slide using the slide release and the hammer follows the slide, you have a problem with hammer/sear engagement.
     
  7. daysleeprx

    daysleeprx Member

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    Never...even if it doesn't hurt anything (which I'm pretty sure it DOES), better to be safe than sorry.

    Besides, besides testing sear engagement, why would you need to do it?
     
  8. 270Win

    270Win Member

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    After reading the recent post, I'll never do it again, ever. Can someone link to the post? I'm having trouble dredging it up.
     
  9. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I use to -- but I have reformed my ways! :D
     
  10. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Member

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    Coltdriver, interesting... so as the slide move forward the extractor moves horizontally inward to catch the next round, and with no round it is over-strained inward? Is this an issue with external extractors only? My internal extractor doesn't even move in this fashion. The internal extractor is one solid piece when removed, how could it flex?
     
  11. PRazz

    PRazz Member

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    I've done it in the past, but after re-reading the manual that came with my Kimber I don't anymore.
    It specifically says on page 22, #4 under the title Unloading: "Release slide forward onto the empty chamber by pulling slide fully rearward and releasing or by manually rotating the slide stop downward past the slide stop notch. Repeatedly allowing the slide to slam closed on an empty chamber will cause premature wear and loosening on a match grade 1911 such as the Kimber. Ease the slide closed."

    Another bad habit I've broken myself of is the next one, #5 "Pull the trigger allowing the hammer to fall forward on the empty chamber. Do not "ease" the hammer down by holding or blocking it. Doing so may mar the sear tip which will result in a substandard trigger pull."

    Thought I would share, break out those manuals and see if other manufacturers say anything along those lines.
     
  12. ElectraGlideInBlue

    ElectraGlideInBlue Member

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    only if you don't like the gun

    Never on an empty chamber or one with a round already in the chamber unless you hate your extractor. Ease it closed on an empty and always make sure any round put in the chamber is stripped off the mag and the rim of the round slides under the extractor.

    Also, when loading the gun at the range where you you are not under pressure of a live situation, always release the slide in the "slingshot" manner. It will save wear and tear on the slide stop and slide engagment notch.
     
  13. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Internal extractors on 1911s are designed to flex. The extractor is slightly curved, with the ends curved toward the inside of the extractor channel and the middle of the extractor toward the outside of the channel. As a round is being fed, the hooked end of the extractor has to flex slightly outward to allow the round to be pushed up into position against the breech face, but also maintain tension to hold the round in proper position to feed into the chamber.
     
  14. mrcpu

    mrcpu Member

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    How does the extractor move inward as the slide moves forward? I do not see the linkage that makes this happen.

    These suggestions sound more like WAG's than any kind of actual measured response. Heck, if we go by the manual's, the SD manual for the EMP says to carry it w/o a round in the chamber, and *don't* lower the hammer by pulling the trigger, but lower it by gripping it and squeezing the trigger... and lower it slowly...
     
  15. thedpp

    thedpp Member

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    I am pretty new to 1911s and I heard about this about a week ago... I never dropped it with the release but regardless its still a good think to know
     
  16. MS .45

    MS .45 Member

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    I did before I knew better, but no more.
     
  17. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    The tip of the extractor is flexed outward as a round is pushed up the breech face into position to be chambered.

    From The U.S. M1911/A1 Pistols & Commercial M1911 Type Pistols - A Shop Manual - Volume 2 by Jerry Kuhnhausen:

     
  18. sm

    sm member

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    Only when I am doing certain function checks as gunsmiths do.

    Please use user-names 1911 Tuner, Old Fuff, Jim Keenan, for starters, in doing a search please.
     
  19. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    Now say it 100 times: I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again, I will never do it again.
     
  20. Coltman73

    Coltman73 Member

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    Do You drop the slide on an empty hammer

    This is the same manual that says "never fire reloaded ammunition through a firearm"...Hmmm

    Guys, I'm not knocking what y'all are saying, and for a match grade comp gun it's probably right.
    However, the 1911 was designed to be the toughest, most rugged and reliable handgun ever built, and next to the glock I would say still is.
    I've been shooting and carying these things for the last 25 years, and I've never seen a failure as described in this post. Can it happen? Sure, but then again we can get hit twice by lightening on the way home from work tomorrow too.
    Just my .02




    I've done it in the past, but after re-reading the manual that came with my Kimber I don't anymore.
    It specifically says on page 22, #4 under the title Unloading: "Release slide forward onto the empty chamber by pulling slide fully rearward and releasing or by manually rotating the slide stop downward past the slide stop notch. Repeatedly allowing the slide to slam closed on an empty chamber will cause premature wear and loosening on a match grade 1911 such as the Kimber. Ease the slide closed."

    Another bad habit I've broken myself of is the next one, #5 "Pull the trigger allowing the hammer to fall forward on the empty chamber. Do not "ease" the hammer down by holding or blocking it. Doing so may mar the sear tip which will result in a substandard trigger pull."

    Thought I would share, break out those manuals and see if other manufacturers say anything along those lines.
     
  21. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    The only time I drop the slide from slide release on an empty chamber is when I am checking the 1911 for hammer follow. I see no other reason to do it.

    To quote Hilton Yam (he knows a bit about 1911s):
    I have never heard of the extractor issue brought up by Coltdriver. It makes sense if the extractor was not properly fitted, I suppose.

    I'll note that Yam also advocates in the same article not ever feeding a round directly into the chamber of a 1911, but rather to feed from the magazine instead. By contrast, Ned Christiansen built a device to test this idea. The device duplicated the extractor stress from a Bubba load, and then measured it's effect of extractor setting/tension. First, he ran the device for 10,000 flexs. No change. Next, 30,000, no change. then 60,000. No change. (I'm quoting/paraphrasing a Guns & Ammo article by Pat Sweeney here, I'm unable to find an internet link to Ned's experiment.) A lot of folks, myself included, have a hard time letting that bit of 1911 "knowledge" die off though.
     
  22. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Member

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    Thank you all for your knowledge
     
  23. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

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    Never. That would be blasphemy.

    ZM
     
  24. [FH]K96

    [FH]K96 Member

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    From what has been said above, is it safe to assume snap caps are OK to drop the slide on?
     
  25. mrcpu

    mrcpu Member

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    Yes, but the original question was about an emtpy chamber. I was assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that he meant an unloaded magazine as well, like if you're examining a gun in a gun store. In which case, the extractor has no cartridge to cause it to move, so I don't see how it wears.

    Of course, if we're talking empty chamber, loaded mag, I'm gonna let that slide and spring grab that cartridge and slam it home just like it was designed to. I don't know why I'd need to "baby" it on the first cartridge, and then let the natural motion and action in the slide working under recoil do it's thing...

    But maybe I misunderstand the whole train of thought.
     
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