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Newbie question - close slide by racking or by pressing slide stop

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by duns, Feb 28, 2010.

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  1. duns

    duns Member

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    The first time I held a gun was only a little over a month ago. I have a very elementary question relating to the two autoloaders I have bought - Beretta 92FS and Walther P99C. The instruction booklets for both say that after inserting a new magazine with the slide open you should press down on the slide stop to close the slide. When I had a shooting lesson, my instructor told me that this was bad practice and I should rack the slide to close it -- but I forgot to ask him why. Is there a best way to do it? And what is the reason?
     
  2. LeontheProfessional

    LeontheProfessional Member

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    I have heard instructors reasoning on it and it is all tactical. They say you should do it because under stress you may not be able to find the release with your thumb.
     
  3. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I prefer this way for a quicker edge if you're in a spot...If not in a hurry, a sling-shot rack is equally fine...BTW, there is no evidence that using the slide or stop release (whatever you want to call it) in anyway causes undue wear.
     
  4. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    Is it a Slide Stop or Slide Release?

    Or both.
    Or one or the other, depending in which gun we are talking about.
    What does the manufacturer call it in the manual?

    Tilos
     
  5. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Either way, I am tending towards the slingshot method more now, but either works.
     
  6. duns

    duns Member

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    Thanks Leon for pointing out my instructor's probable reasoning. Thanks Magyar for advising that it makes no difference to the wear on the weapon. I'll just do what seems more natural for me: at the moment that's pushing the slide stop/release but maybe that will change later. Seems it's no big deal either way.
     
  7. LeontheProfessional

    LeontheProfessional Member

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    Right on. The best thing to do is practice and learn to be efficient with it.
     
  8. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Sometimes I do it one way and sometimes the other.

    With my HK P7, I don't do either. :eek:
     
  9. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I'm in the habit of just pressing the slide release.
     
  10. SOCO

    SOCO Member

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    My CHL instructor said the same thing. Before the class, I'd always used the slide release. On the range that day, I tried his method and I found it much easier/faster. I now practice this way exclusively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  11. Blind Bat

    Blind Bat Member

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    Racking the slide is the "tactically" correct way to release the slide. I prefer to slam the mag into the bottom of the gun and let physics drop the slide. ;)
     
  12. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    This seems to be the answer but If I were you I'd practice both ways.
     
  13. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    If I shoot the gun dry , then I ALWAYS use the slide stop. It IS QUICKER --- don't think so , show me where any experienced Action/Combat competitor will rack the slide instead of useing the slide stop.

    Sillyness ---- tactical smackical --- some of the same "instructors" will tell you to practice "tactical" reloads where you retain the empty/low mags in case you need to fill it later !!!! And if you can't find your slide stop "under stress" how in Gods Name are you finding your extra mag and finding the "hole" in your gun to put it into ???
     
  14. gwlammers

    gwlammers Member

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    I have been told that using the slide release can cause wear (since it is metal on metal) to a point where the slide stop may stop working. If you pull back on the slide after inserting a full mag, the slide stop will move down and out of the way so when you let go there will be no metal wear.
     
  15. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Be aware that pulling the slide back to release the stop MAY work on SOME guns but will not release it on many guns. The slide stop will release it on every gun. It was put there for that reason and that purpose. As far as professional combat competitors goes, they will never shoot the gun until empty. That is a beginners mistake. A lot of instructors seem to be teaching the slingshot release these days. Don't pay any attention to them. They think they are being tactical and they are misinformed. As far as wear on the slide stop goes, that is ridiculous. If that happens it's because the parts have bad heat treatment, not because you used them as designed.
     
  16. David E

    David E Member

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    There are 3 ways to intentionally cause the slide to go forward following a reload:

    1) Slingshot - pinching the rear of the slide between thumb and forefinger, palm down, pulling it fully to the rear and releasing the slide, to go forward on its own power.

    2) Overhand - palm of support hand on top rear of slide, thumb pointing to chest. Grasp the slide, pulling it fully to the rear and release the slide.

    3) Slide stop activation - upon seating the loaded mag, a right handed shooter uses the left thumb to activate the slide stop while you are pushing the gun back out to the shooting position.

    Many people say "slingshot" when they mean "over hand." Or maybe they don't. Regardless, the sling shot method is the least reliable. As far as serious use, the "slingshot" method doesn't belong in your tool set.

    The Overhand method is reliable and nearly duplicates the actions used in clearing some jams. Learning one basic move to cover two different areas of gunhandling saves time to teach and learn while being easier to remember under stress.

    The slide stop method is NOT difficult to do. Those that say you can't hit the slide stop under stress conveniently forget that you managed to find the mag release just fine, so it's really a non-issue as far as that argument goes.

    The negatives for the slingshot and overhand method is two fold: 1) It does not take into account that if the gun has a Shok-buff installed, the slide may not be able to be pulled back far enough to disengage the slide stop. 2) It's slower for the first shot following the reload.

    You can make sure that your guns don't have a Shok-Buff, but not one you may have to pick up that doesn't belong to to (say, a fallen cop's gun) that you have to end the fight with. Yes, that's a far-fetched scenario, so that leaves #2

    The problem with the slide stop activation is that some guns don't have one. (Like a Walther PPK) or are so miniscule as to be pointless. (Most Glocks) For me, I won't be packing a PPK and my Glocks have the factory extended slide stop installed. Chances of having to do a "battlefield pickup" in real life is moot. The slide stop activation remains the faster way to do it.

    That said, the wise learn BOTH the Overhand and Slidestop method. Sometimes, one works better than the other.
     
  17. tack

    tack Member

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    Rack-
    If you get a failure to feed, you will rack the slide with your weak side hand by grabbing the top rear of the slide. Releasing the slide this way means you are using the same motion with slide release for a new magazine and for clearing a failure to feed. This keeps it simple.

    Release-
    After a magazine change, I find using the slide release with my weak side thumb is faster. This method keeps both hands on the grip as I extend my arms.

    Practice-
    Practicing the motion will make both methods smooth and fast. Do your dry fire and jam/clearance homework with snap caps. You will come to enjoy it and the motions become automatic with practice.

    Most Important-
    Have fun!
    Tack
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    my usual answer is to rack the slide using the overhand method and that it is a slide stop, not a slide release...however there are always exceptions

    1. the obvious one is when the manufacturer advises otherwise. during classes we always teach the overhand method except for Berettas, because the overhand method actives the de-cocker/safety...not a good thing
    2. when attachments on the pistol prevent it's use...as in IPSC pistols with their mounted optics

    i have proven to myself that the overhand release of the slide is not slower to the next shot than using a slide stop...it's not faster, but it isn't slower. it's much like the old belief that certain trigger actions were faster to the first shot, they proved, back in the 70's, that all actions were of equal speed to a aimed first shot...the exception were fast draw practitioners fanning their wax bullet firing aluminum barreled guns.

    the advantage of the overhand method is that it is usable over all styles of semi-auto pistols...even without a working thumb.

    side bar: the original Glocks were not designed to have their slides released with the slide stop and the metal of the slide was not hardened for that kind of abuse. they changed their metal treatment and offered elongated slide stops in the american market because they were getting accelerated wear of their slides from users insisting on releasing the slide using the stop
     
  19. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    I am not trying to be a "wise acre" but may I ask ; did you use a electronic timer to prove this ?? Your reloading hand has to travel farther with the "overhand" release then if you are useing most slide stops/releases with your reloading hand. If you are useing your "strong hand" thumb for the slide stop , it is even faster, IHMO.
     
  20. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    The sling shot is fun and looks cool. (And fun and looking cool are very important.)
     
  21. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    As an aside, Kahr manuals specifically state to use the slide lock lever to release the slide (evidently, the opposite of Glocks).

    Again, this is a big fat "FWIW"...
     
  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    we timed it during a class. it was taught by a USPSA Grand Master who demonstrated the correct technique. it was timed from last shot, through the reload to the next shot...both shots were "A" zone hits at about 15 yards

    the time to your next shot isn't determined by how fast you close the slide, it is determined by how fast you can extend you gun and reacquire your front sight...your strong hand doesn't stop driving forward, the support hand has to catch up
     
  23. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    this is true, i recently proved it to myself with my new Kahr CW9

    it has to do with the short grip and that many users can not keep from letting the gun rock backward while racking the slide. the Kahr needs all the slide travel/spring pressure to chamber the round of the magazine when new...it loosens up after a couple of hundred rounds.

    FWIW: the overhand slide release works with the Kahr if the shooting hand is driving the gun forward as you grab the slide. it just doesn't work when the gun is static
     
  24. Boats

    Boats member

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    "The overhand method works with every semiautomatic gun."

    What other pistol than yours will you be fighting a running gun battle with that requires a reload?

    I use the slide release on pistols that offer up a useable one and overhand where the designer has forced me into it by providing some administrative handling nubbins. I got turned off of overhand after seeing a few people training at speed with it pinch their pinkies in the ejection port for forgetting to let go. So much for "easier under stress."

    In my travels, people who vapor lock under stress cannot really be helped. Some people are the "deer in the headlights" no matter what you do to try and alleviate it. Saw it at firefighting and flooding schools in the Navy. Saw it stress training with cops not shooting at a video threat. Some people are destined to cock it up regardless of training.

    The slide release is faster and if you do your part in changing your recoil spring every so often, will likely never have a feed problem using it.
     
  25. David E

    David E Member

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    I don't know who the GM was, but perhaps you could describe his "correct" technique. MY technique has you starting to push the gun out as soon as the fresh mag is seated. Since both hands are moving together at the same speed, it is stable, smoother and more consistent than making the weak hand catch up.
     
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