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difficulty with press check

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MrBitey, Nov 19, 2020.

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  1. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

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    Earlier this week I took a Defensive Pistol 2 class where we learned to shoot from a holster, and I had trouble with the press check on my Sig P320. I haven't practiced this often since I mostly shoot targets at the indoor range. In this class, the instructors asked us to do press checks after each Load and Make Ready command; I think the point is that for EDC you would use the press check before holstering the firearm each day.

    The problem I have is that it takes a fair amount of force to get the slide to start moving, and I overshoot and end up ejecting the round about half the time. Is there a technique I'm missing? Are some guns easier to press check? Does my Sig just need more break-in (I've fired 1500 rounds so far)? Is the technique even important?

    ps. I just binge-watched "The Last Ship", and the Navy guys/gals press check all the time, so it must be important. ;)
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    There are a lot of ways to do a press check, here Ernest Langdon shows a couple of techniques with a Beretta 92. He shows two techniques to limit slide travel and avoid ejecting a round beginning around the 1:45 mark. I typically use his second technique, though I'll admit I'm not doing it with a striker fired gun, or with a small gun with a short slide.

     
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Tiger McKee shows his technique with a 1911 at around the :50 mark.

     
  4. AK103K

    AK103K member

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    I just wrap my hand over the top of the slide, with my thumb along the left side of the slide, like you do with an overhand slide release, but with my hand forward of the ejection port, pinkie finger behind the front sight, and just push back a little on the slide, and maybe a little forward on the grip. This gives you more control of things as you do it.

    With things like my 1911's, BHP's, etc, I still do it the old school way, thumb in the trigger guard, finger on the slide under the muzzle and squeeze.
     
    JR24 and edwardware like this.
  5. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Have you finished the course? If you have completed it, you can easily forget about the press check technique. Personally I think that there is nothing more useless. If after correctly inserted the magazine and chambered the first round you need to press check, then leave the pistol at home because if you don't trust the pistol has chambered the first round manually then you are not going to trust the pistol chambering the rounds during live fire. So why don't press check after every round fired, just in case?
     
  6. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I got to agree with @5-SHOTS. Press checks are just a bad plan in general and lead to more malfunctions than they prevent. If you really want to check things and your magazine have witness holes look before loading and then drop your mag and look that a round was stripped. This works very well for AR, as the top round has switched sides. If your gun has a loaded chamber indicator I would use that over a press check.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  7. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    Been a very long time since i paid attention to the specifics of how i press check, so i just did it and made note.

    I grip the slide overhand, but rotate my strong hand up so the gun is mainly supported against the web of my thumb, and place my trigger finger at the bottom edge of the ejection port, rest of my fingers around the trigger guard and upper grip, or bladed off alongside the gun. With a combination of support hand pressure and trigger finger at the rear of the port, i draw the slide back far enough to see the brass, and also feel the case with the tip of my trigger finger. Works in the dark that way, as well.

    Kinda weird, i guess. But I've done it that way for a while.

    Worth noting, i don't generally press check a gun i've recently loaded...i mainly do it if it's been in a safe or other storage with a loaded mag in it, or just before holstering, if i didn't load and chamber it immediately prior.
     
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  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Take the magazine out.

    Until you get the hang of it.
     
    JR24 likes this.
  9. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Doesn't the P320 have a gigantic LCI? (loaded chamber indicator)

    You only need to break it a fraction of an inch to see the case.
     
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  10. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I do much the same, though I never got into the habit of the "pinch check".

    Some guns with tight mag springs do require a lot more force with the mag in. Dropping the mag can make a press check much easier to safely control and can let you verify that the mag is fully loaded as well (or not, depending).

    Verifying a gun is loaded (or not) was so drilled into me by my grandfather that every time I grab a gun that's been out of my possession I check the chamber and mag. Even when from my EDCs safe that I KNOW is loaded, or from my downstairs safes where I KNOW they are unloaded. LCIs do help though, I don't typically need to press check my Glocks, just a finger over the extractor can tell me if it's loaded.
     
  11. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    With my glocks I have to check if it's brass or a snap cap.
     
  12. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I dont think all of them do. I have a compact and full size, and they have a LCI like the glock, on the extractor. Barely notice its there.
     
  13. RETG

    RETG Member

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    No press check required here. All weapons I carry and have in the house have a round in the chamber. Only time they are removed is when shooting, changing out ammo (JHP to FNHC), cleaning. And when done cleaning or shooting, chamber is loaded. Place full mag, cycle to load one in the chamber, then insert round into mag. If it ever happens I cannot insert that round into the mag, it would mean I did not load one in the chamber. But that has never happened.
     
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  14. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    I watched the videos and practiced a bit with snap caps, and I think I've found a technique that works. Basically a combination of the "rotate and pinch" technique in the Langdon video that @JTQ posted, together with a non-dominant overhand grip at the front of the slide. I should've mentioned that I'm left handed. This combination lets me use the ring or pinky finger of my left hand to check the chamber.

    I also found that I can just use the overhand grip at the front of the slide and press check pretty reliably by using a short, sharp motion and pressing more downward than back on the slide.
     
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  15. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Indeed!
     
  16. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Press checks are an excellent idea when picking up any firearm. Always check to see if it has a round chambered. Looking to see if there is a mag inserted merely tells you that there is a mag inserted.

    As for how to it, that depends on the type of pistol and whether it has a full-length guide rod or not. Press checks are easily done w/ a 1911, BHP, and Glockenspiel. Can't speak for the others as I never touch them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2020
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  17. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I agree to five shots if it's not a requirement in the class skip the press check. It's nothing more than unnecessary administrative handling and unnecessary administrative handling is the number one cause of negligent discharges
     
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  18. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Same here -- press checks are something I sparingly use to verify the condition of a gun that should be loaded when I pick it up for the first time in a while. Chamber checks are used to verify clear of guns that should be unloaded.

    I use the same technique as well, since as you said it can be employed in the dark.
     
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  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I don't see the point. Unless I'm doing maintenance my carry guns are loaded. There's nobody in my home but my wife and myself and I just don't see her sneaking into the safe and unloading my guns.

    Now the guns that I have in my safe that aren't carry guns and aren't stored loaded get chamber checked every time I pick them up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2020
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  20. AK103K

    AK103K member

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    Everything gets checked every time I pick it up, and even if I just put it down 5 minutes ago and haven't moved from the spot. Just an ingrained habit.

    I dry fire all sorts of stuff all the time, everything picked up has to be cleared.
     
  21. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Same thing here but with the addition that when I want to safely check or manipulate one of my guns I do a full check not only a press check and that means remove the magazine and rack the slide. When I put a loaded magazine on one of my pistols, I rack the slide to load the chamber and then I remove the magazine to add the cartridge to full load again, I don't need to check if the chamber is loaded or not. And I don't see the need to press check anything at the range once the pistol is on the table, empty magazine removed, in the hold open position and pointed in the only safe direction possible. Same thing when I insert a loaded magazine and I close the slide to fire.

    I find more useful to do a press check on the zipper of my pants before leaving the house.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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  22. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Thank you for validating my thoughts. Your honesty is appreciated.
     
  23. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    With my Glocks I can either do it one handed or two on press checks. I prefer one handed as it’s easy to control for me. But I have longer fingers.

    One hand: dominate hand web jammed under the beavertail at an angle that I can wrap my pointer, middle and ring finger on top of slide in front of the rear sight. My thumb has a strong grip close to its normal firing position but at a slight upward angle. Then it’s almost like a milking maneuver with my three fingers on the slide as I gently pull (squeeze) the slide back against the web of my hand and check. This is the same way I take down my Glocks for cleaning, works well and I have a lot of control and fine movement as there is no risk of over racking and ejecting the round because my fingers can’t move the slide that far in that position.

    Two Hands: simply a firm grip with dominate hands and support hand fingers grasp the slide in front of ejection port and push pull in a controlled fashion.
     
  24. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My carry gun has a LCI and I rely on that.
    An instructor press checked his glock habitually by holding the gun in front of his face, wrapping the offhand trigger finger around his rear sight, thumb on the beavertail, and squeeze. It proved a simple, smooth crack of the action.
     
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  25. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    Thanks for validating my opinion of you.

    I have never attended a class in which the instructor even mentioned press checks. Let alone suggested that we do them.

    Again, I see it as nothing more than needless administrative handling, similar to those stupid scenes in movies when the cop drops his magazine to make sure that there are rounds in it. Has your gun not been with you all day?

    I don't know any cops who do it. I don't know any SF guys that do it. I've never seen a thug do it but I bet it looks wicked cool in the movies.

    I've never seen a gun magically unload itself but hey, you do you
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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