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"Press Check" Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Flynt, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. Flynt

    Flynt Member

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    I've heard the term "press check," in relation to 1911's and other semi-autos, and if I understand correctly, it means to pull the slide back a little to visually check and see if there's a round in the chamber. I've noticed that classic govt. model 1911's have grooves toward the back of the slide, and I use those to check the chamber. However, I also have a Kimber with grooves near the back and the front of the slide. I understand the front grooves are for press checking, but I don't understand their benefit. If I retract the slide using the front grooves, it seems a lot more awkward, plus my hand and wrist can block the view.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Those front grooves were invented by holster makers, so they can sell more new holsters after the front slide grooves tear the linings out of the old holsters.

    Seriously, we always did press checks by hooking the thumb in the trigger guard and one finger around the spring tunnel then squeeze.

    Yea! I know it's not safe, and so forth, and so on.
    But that's the way we did it in Uncle Sam's Army.

    Doesn't work with full-length guide rods, and I suspect that is why the front slide serrations became popular.

    I notice a recent trend towards doing away with them both lately.
    Good riddance to both I say!

    rc
     
  3. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I've seen folks press on the recoil spring plug to press check (which I understand has been done for quite some time), so I guess to each his own. If I need to check the chamber, I simply retract the slide by the rear serrations as you do.
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    It is interesting how the meanings of terms have changed over time.

    The press check is performed as rcmodel described...with the thumb in the trigger guard and the index finger under the barrel, this was one of the early objection to the FLGR

    The current training term is chamber check and the most common method taught is to grab the rear of the slide, overhand,...with your hand behind the ejection port...and drawing the slide to the rear just far enough to see a chambered shell.

    The front slide serrations are an affection from USPSA competition, where the optic mounts covered the rear serrations. If you choose to use them to check your chamber, you should be grasping them with your hand coming up under the gun in front of the trigger guard, with your thumb on the left side and a couple of fingers on the right (if you are right handed)...this is how you chamber check a Beretta 92/96, grasping the taper of the slide
     
  5. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    If you are clearing the chamber of a gun, front cocking serrations allow you to turn the gun over and have your palm over the ejection port so that the ejected round falls into your hand and not the dirt.
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Front grooves are an abomination unto the Lord. And yes, they were invented by holster makers to wear out holsters faster.

    You're doing the press check correctly -- no front grooves needed.
     
  7. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    Not to get sidetracked...but what was the point of sticking your thumb in the trigger guard and checking the gun that way? That seems about as safe as pulling the trigger to see it it's loaded.
     
  8. possum

    possum Member

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    i trap the front of the slide (no matter if there are serrations there or not) with my hand and pull back enough so i can look into the chamber in lighted conditons as well as enough so that i can feel the round in the chamber with my finger. visual and tactile in all scenarios and you stay consistant no matter what the sittuation is.
     
  9. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    A "press check" involves retracting the slide just enough to see a hint of chambered round - not so far as to start to eject it - to verify that you loaded the chamber. It is not to be used to verify that the chamber is empty - this is a different situation entirely. You can do this by coming up under the front of the slide with your support hand and using your fingers in a pinching motion to push the slide back a little bit, and some gun makers provide serrations on the slide to help with this. On 1911s without a full length recoil spring guide, you can hook your thumb inside the front of the trigger guard, your index finger on the front of the slide at the recoil spring plug, and pinch them together to retract the slide. I offer these for reference purposes only, as I do not personally recommend them due to having your fingers near the muzzle. What I prefer to do is hook my thumb under the grip "tang" under the rear of the slide, put my first three fingers on top of the slide behind the ejection port, and squeeze the slide to the rear.
     
  10. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    You mean you guys don't pay attention to Steven Seagall??!! Or is that Segall?
     
  11. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    The front grooves are just another "custom" feature added to jack up the price of guns ... perhaps the scope-mount origin is correct but it has become a useless add-on. In theory, one could grasp the front serrations from underneath and get a peek into the chamber, but you can do that with a non-serrated front end, too.

    There's nothing wrong with verifying that the feed boss picked another round out of the magazine, but I see no reason to develop a special method to do so, just grasp the slide as normal (I prefer overhand) and take a look.

    On another note, this is a reason I like the "peek slot" type loaded chamber indicators. So long as it doesn't add useless mechanical parts to the gun I'll take an LCI if it is offered. Since guns in my household (should) exist in two states; "loaded on purpose, leave in holster" and "should be cleared, verify each time" the peek slots are nice for verifying a loaded condition, although I'll never trust anything but an eyeball and/or finger into the chamber to verify unloaded.
     
  12. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Seagal. And no, I don't pay attention to him, at least not where my fingers possibly getting shot off are concerned.
     
  13. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    This is the way I've seen it done (which again isn't what I do). The slide is "squeezed" slightly rearward as the thumb is hooked in the front of the trigger guard and the index finger is pressed against the recoil spring plug. I've also seen the index finger hooked into the inside of the trigger guard and the thumb on the spring plug, but I'd imagine this would also allow a careless person to have the muzzle pointing in their general direction during this process.

    I have had an absent minded shooting buddy try to press check my Kimber Classic custom in this manner, which of course doesn't work. Though my RIA can be checked this way, I still have no desire to change what I do.
     
  14. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    I mean, I understand how it works...but why would you ever do it in this manner, as opposed to retracting the slide while actually in control of the gun?
     
  15. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    John, I don't know. I've had 1911s for years and never saw a problem with retracting the slide as you mention; I absolutely agree with you there.
     
  16. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    I've seen the left thumb and finger-press on recoil plug. Even tried it a time or two (on a verified empty chamber). The way I was taught, was (trigger finger on end of slide-stop pin, naturally) left palm across top of front of slide so your thumb points back at you. Then, reach the thumb over to the upper front edge of the trigger guard. The length of a person's thumb will define the correct leverage point. Then, use the thumb and palm to pull the slide back the quarter-inch or so to see brass or not.

    This is done with the right elbow tucked in close and high, putting the muzzle pointed down somewhere between 10 and 11 o'clock. Recall that this is a very short stroke, and the weapon is out-of-battery 'safe' (not that is worth that much, but is still the case).

    Real issue about a press-check is that you are making a big change in focus. And, you only have one hand in a shooting grip. The contra-argument usually offered is the palm-down press-check is the same one used for stovepipe clearance, and some TRB.

    Dunno from that. You likely can get the slide movement using your cover, door edge, window frame, whatever, should you suddenly forget if the chamber is empty or not.
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    that's the way Jeff Cooper demonstrated it in his books and how it was taught at Cooper's school in AZ Gunsite...it was all part of the Modern Technique
     
  18. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    If you drop your hand holding the gun just slightly, so the grip safety is disengaged, and assuming its working properly (you'd be surprised at how many dont), your chances of the gun going off are pretty slim. This is how I always did, and do, press check mine.
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The image I usually get is Pacino in Heat
     
  20. FLAvalanche

    FLAvalanche Member

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    Thank you rcmodel for finally finding a negative for the FLGR inadvertantly.
     
  21. MrIzhevsk

    MrIzhevsk Member

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    The way I press check is by wrapping my thumb under the beaver tail of my handgun and wrapping the rest of my fingers over the top of the slide and "squeezing" slightly till I can see if I'm loaded. I find this works pretty well if you are precarious of putting your thumb inside the trigger guard.
     
  22. ET

    ET Member

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    I've started press checking my semi's with my off hand by placing my thumb behind the grip at the beaver tail. My fingers are over the slide and I simply close my grip. It opens the slide enough to see/feel the chamber for a round. It is the same action that I use to pull the slide back enough to unlock the slide on a Glock or Sigma to field strip it. Yes, it isn't aimed at a potential target ready to fire, but it is the quickest, most secure way I have found to press check. Hey, I was never a grunt.

    ...Crap, I didn't read all of the posts on this thread before I decided to post and now realize that I just said the same thing as the post above...sorry.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  23. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    I refer to it as a battle readiness check. I grasp the slide with my support hand using the overhand method and retract the slide until I can insert the tip of my pinky finger (support hand) into the ejection port to feel for a chambered cartridge. If I feel a cartridge I remove my finger and release the slide. If necessary I perform a palm strike to the rear of the slide to drive it into battery.

    If I don't feel a chambered cartridge I remove my finger from the ejection port and energetically roll the pistol in the direction of the ejection port & rack the slide, and perform my battle readiness check again.

    I prefer to use tactile (by feel) methods over visual methods. Tactile techniques work in low or no light conditions.
     
  24. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Because you are doing it wrong? I can't see how you would block your view, unless you were left handed. In that case, you could do it like 9mmEpiphany suggested. Palm underneath the gun.

    But as a righty, I find that gripping the front corner of the slide from the top gives the BEST possible view. The way I most commonly do it, is to turn my grip "gansta," ejection port facing up. Then I pinch the front of the slide from the top, between thumb the index finger knuckle. I push back with just a little pressure. Just enough to where I can use my right trigger finger to crack the action open by pulling back against the side of the slide. This gives a great view with minimal change to muzzle direction and no change to shooting grip.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The really funny thing is, you can press check till the cows come home.

    But all it really proves is there is a case in the chamber, but not necessarily a loaded case.

    rc
     
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