The efficacy of racking the slide with the hammer back vs forward

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by runningfast, Apr 11, 2010.

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  1. runningfast

    runningfast Member

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    Hey, guys. :)

    So my carry license is almost here!... stupid municipality and its stupidness.

    I've been reading a lot and handling my gun (with snap-caps!) a lot, in preparation for the mental commitment to carry. I've made the decision that with my DA/SA P229, I'd like to carry +1, with the hammer in its forward position. This seems best to me: immediately fireable, and a 10lb (vs a 4.4 SA) trigger pull. Cool.

    I have a question, though.

    Obviously the slide is easier to rack with the hammer already retracted, because it doesn't encounter that 'resistance' of cocking the hammer as it moves backwards. My question is whether there is any difference, here, in the 'consistency' with which a pistol will chamber a round.

    Let's assume that I draw my gun and rack the slide to chamber a round. However, because of nervousness or fear or whatever, I don't rack it 'forcefully' enough. Either I don't retract the slide fully, or I 'ride it home', somewhat.

    Is there any difference in the likelihood of a round not fully feeding into the chamber, or getting a double feed or what have you, when considering whether the weapon is cocked or uncocked?

    This isn't really an entirely important question because I rack the slide forcefully anyway, plus I plan to carry chambered... but it is my technical curiosity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  2. David E

    David E Member

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    Hammer down or back, rack the slide FULLY to the rear and LET GO !

    If you "help" it forward, you can easily cause a jam or failure to go fully into battery. It's how the GUN does it when you shoot, isn't it?

    Do it like you mean it, or leave it in the safe.
     
  3. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Why does that matter if there's already a round chambered, like you said? Just pull the trigger. The whole point in carrying it with a loaded chamber is so that you DON'T have to rack the slide.

    Unless you're crippled or are really just that weak, The hammer being forward while the slide is pulled shouldn't matter.
     
  4. runningfast

    runningfast Member

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    I don't plan on ever needing to rack the slide in 'the moment'. As I said in the OP, this is just technical curiosity.
     
  5. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC Member

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    if the slide is pulled completely rearward, then there is zero difference as to whether or not the mainspring was compressed previous to the cycling of the slide.

    if you mean to ask whether or not you are more likely to fail to correctly cycle the slide with increased resistance via the mainspring, it should be obvious that yes you are more likely to fail due to increased effort required.

    I don't think the extra resistance makes you any more likely to ride the slide home.

    is the heart of the question perhaps a curiosity about carrying hammer back with an empty chamber, and hoping for an easier slide manipulation to chamber a round than standard? it's the only practical application I can think of for the particulars of racking the slide on an already cocked firearm.
     
  6. runningfast

    runningfast Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    There is actually no practical relevance to the question I'm asking. I simply want to better understand the internal machinations of the pistol I'll be carrying.
     
  7. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Precocking the hammer does nothing except make the slide easier to move initially, and even then only in a controlled environment when you are not under time pressure.
     
  8. sideways

    sideways Member

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    Sir,I mean no disrespect but you have no business carrying a firearm until you know that pistol inside out, get yourself a book or video, spend enough time on range so you know the answer to stupid questions like that one .This is no joke you will end up hurting yourself or someone else.:banghead::banghead:
     
  9. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I think the point is that he is trying to learn.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    sideways, chill out.

    He was curious, he asked a question.
     
  11. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    Geez. the past few threads I have read have gone sour REALLY fast. This forum is going downhill with all these new people who think they know it all.
     
  12. dovedescending

    dovedescending Member

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    Throw the rascals out! Oh wait, I'm one of those guys. :uhoh:
     
  13. Strahley

    Strahley Member

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    To answer this question, probably not. As long as you slingshot the slide the same, I don't think there would be a difference
     
  14. runningfast

    runningfast Member

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    Thank you to everyone for your answers.

    t sideways: I hardly think that I'm ignorant and 'asking stupid questions'. I've taken several NRA certified courses, and I've acquired an armorer's DVD for my eventual carry weapon. I can fully disassemble and reassemble my pistol. However, I'm not mechanically inclined whatsoever, so I don't know every mechanical force or connection occurring in my gun just by looking at it and handling the bars and pins and springs. I hardly think that being an armorer is necessary to be safe and competent with a firearm, but I am trying to learn anyway.
     
  15. ScareyH22A

    ScareyH22A Member

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    Actually that's a good question. I have a couple HK USP V1's and I keep them cocked and locked. The reason it matters for me is because when I press check them, it's A LOT easier with the hammer cocked. I press check by reaching under and grabbing the front of the slide. It doesn't help that the gun doesn't have serrations on the front of the slide either.
     
  16. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    Runningfast, the nice thing about the highroad is that "Tool's, troll's and just plain rude people" are few and far between around here. So don't worry about his little comment.

    On your question, I suppose you're more likely to have an issue chambering if the hammer is down but I wouldn't worry about it. If you have a hard time pulling the slide fully to the rear with the hammer down try a different way of pulling the slide back.

    Take the pistol in your strong hand and turn it on it's side (picture holding the gun gangsta' style) then with your weak hand firmly grasp the slide. Now instead of pulling the slide back just push the reciever/frame forward while holding the slide. When you reach the end of the slide's travel simply let go of the slide. It's strange sounding at first but trust me, once you try this method you'll be suprised how much easier it is to rack the pistol.

    Good luck in your pistol packing adventures:D
     
  17. runningfast

    runningfast Member

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    Thanks. :)

    I can rack the slide just fine, thankfully. There have been some pistols (Kahrs, mostly) that gave me a little trouble but on my SIG the slide actuation is smooth as butter. I was just curious about the actual technical going-ons and whether the hammer assembly played into the feeding at all.
     
  18. sideways

    sideways Member

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    Runningfast,I'm sorry my reply was unsolicited and totally uncalled for please accept my apologies you are right the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
     
  19. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    To clarify earlier statements, the reason precocking the hammer makes the slide easier to rack is that you've taken the tension of the hammer spring (aka mainspring) out of play and are now only working against the recoil spring. But, in the event that you need to clear a double feed stoppage, this is an extra step that - if it happens in a gunfight - you will not have time for. You want to grab a handful of slide and work it as fast as you can.
     
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