Use the slide lock or rack the slide?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Norton, Mar 24, 2005.

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  1. Norton

    Norton Member

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    The wife took her 1911 to the armorer at work to have some trigger work done and they got to discussing some things about shooting.

    Somehow they got on the subject of dropping the slide. I've been under the impression that is preferable to put the firearm into battery by 'racking' the slide....that is pulling and releasing.....and NOT using the slide release. The idea being that by using the slide lock/release you will eventually cause wear to either the notch on the frame or the slide lock itself.

    The armorer said that this was a big no-no.....that by racking the slide you cause unnecessary wear on the spring internally.

    Is this peculiar to 1911s? I've been doing my way on my USP for a couple thousand rounds without any noticeable problems.
     
  2. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    The springs are designed to take thousands of repetitions of full recoil, so I call BS on that theory. I rack it since there's no reason to wear the slide release on the slide.
     
  3. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Member

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    That has been around for years. I also think that springs are far more robust now than the were 30 years ago.
     
  4. Nodak

    Nodak Member

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    If the slide is locked to the rear while loading, by all means, depress the slide stop.

    If the slide is forward when inserting a magazine, then rack the slide. There is no reason to lock the slide to the rear then depress the slide stop to release the slide under this circumstance.

    You are unlikely to wear the slide or slide stop out but DON'T let the slide slam on an empty chamber. It is hard on the sear and, in my opinion, it is hard on the link.
     
  5. slydel0kt

    slydel0kt Member

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    Ditto the bs on charging the pistol by 'racking' the slide.
    Your hands cant muster near the speed or energy that a fired round can to operate the slide, so how can it hurt.
    I believe that at one time, grasping the slide and pulling it rearward was taught under the belief that all fine motor skills go to hell when the adreneline dumps, and your thumb cant hit that little lever. (funny, cause i teach my finger to hit that little trigger). Later, it was tested and found that those who always practiced by hitting the slide release had no trouble hitting it when injected with adreneline (on of Ayoob's tests). Those who always yanked the slide, same thing-no prob.
    Now, pulling the slide is taught mostly as it can be used on any auto pistol to charge the gun. That way, if your pistol did not lock open on the last round, you will still chamber a round by racking the slide on a new mag, rather than hitting a release that aint helping at the time. Some pocket pistols dont have slydel0kts, therefore, must be charged by retracting the slide. So, for purposes of 'universalizing' charging techniques, the rack is taught.
    Just my opinion, maybe some instructors will help out here.
    Hope this helps,

    Dan
     
  6. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Funny but the range I go to has ask me to do the pull and release on their guns. When I mention this at last gunshop I've been to, they told me that Glock and other makers have said the same thing.

    Even if the spring thing is true, it's easyer and cheaper for most people to change the recoil spring the the slide stop.

    -Bill
     
  7. model 649

    model 649 Member

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    Horse feathers. You can manually rack the slide all you want. "wear on the spring" my butt. Ooh! INTERNAL wear as in molecularly? Nyuk, nyuk. I got yer molecules right here!

    Josh
     
  8. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    i dont do either. i jam the loaded magazine with enough force it bumps the slide stop off and chambers.
    know how many ninja-seconds you save doing that? it adds up over time, i tell ya.
     
  9. DSRUPTV

    DSRUPTV Member

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    Nodak, I think you may be missing the idea. When a magazine is fired empty and the slide locks back it is possible to insert a new magazine and pull the slide back slightly and then release it instead of pushing the slide release. Forgive me if I am wrong.

    Slydel10kt, that was the exact reason I was given by an instructor. His words were it's easier to get that big monkey paw on the slide an pull it than to hit the release under stress when fine motor skills are lost.
     
  10. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

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    I prefer the "pull back and release method" myself for re-loading the gun, but also make sure on occasion I can hit the slide stop switch should I need to reload in an emergency.

    -Snub
     
  11. Nodak

    Nodak Member

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    . When a magazine is fired empty and the slide locks back it is possible to insert a new magazine and pull the slide back slightly and then release it instead of pushing the slide release. +++++

    This is one technique that can be used. However, as I found out the hard way, the method does not work with a Kimber that has a "shock buff" added to the gun. The notch in the slide is over long and with the buffer added, the slide will not retract far enough to release the slide stop.

    Bottom line, different techniques work for different folks but except for dropping the slide on an empty chamber, you are not going to hurt the gun regardless of the technique used. (assuming a quality pistol, others need not apply).
     
  12. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    wow.people actually use shock buffers???
     
  13. Norton

    Norton Member

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    Thanks folks....I suspected that it wasn't as big a deal as the gentleman was making of it. I guess what I'll do is to use the slide lock on the 1911....her gun, her rules.....and then continue doing what I've always done with my guns.
     
  14. one45auto

    one45auto Member

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    I read an article once which claimed that police officers are trained to pull back the slide after recharging the weapon so as to be certain the slide is back in battery.

    As for Glock, all I can say is that the service representative I spoke to at the factory stated that pulling back on the slide was the proper and encouraged method.
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Hit the Rack

    Racking the slide is hard on the spring... :confused: An armorer said that?? :rolleyes:

    Wonder what he thinks happens every time the gun fires... :scrutiny:

    Using the slidestop release does cause wear between the lug and the notch in the slide. It's dry, metal-to-metal contact under nearly full spring load.
    It HAS to cause SOME wear. Whether or not it'll wear things out quickly is a matter of the hardness/toughness/durability of the steel, and will vary from gun to gun. I use the slidestop when practicing fast shoot-to-lock reloads...and the overhand push-on-the-slide technique for all others...whether the slide is locked or not.

    The way to reduce the fine motor skill fumble factor...otherwise known as the "Firefight DTs"... is to reach up with the weak-hand thumb as the pistol moves up into firing position. The thumb is already in the right position for it after the mag goes home, with no searching for the lever. It's fast and sure...and after a little practice, it becomes automatic. Try it!

    Generally not a good idea to shoot every magazine to slidelock anyway...
    What you do repeatedly becomes a habit, and you'll default to that in an
    emergency. Shooting to slidelock is a stoppage, no matter how you cut it.
    If you're UTYAIA, a stoppage can get you killed. The pistol has a detachable box magazine that allows us to reload it without taking it out of battery. Reloading on a hot chamber will put the gun back in the fight much quicker than a fast reload and return to battery from slidelock, no matter which technique you use to release the slide. When the lead is singin' past your head, time is NOT on your side. Takin' advantage of all the breaks just makes sense...at least it does to me.

    Shooting to slidelock also induces impact stresses to the backside of the notch and the slidestop. The notch goes past the lug...The stop is pushed up by the magazine follower...and the slide crashes into it as it rides back toward battery. Again...how much damage is done depends on the properties and quality of the steel in the two parts.

    Dropping the slide on an empty chamber is a no-no. It's rough on the gun...
    Lower lug...Slidestop pin...can cause damage to the sear, and generally just not a good idea. So the gun will tolerate the abuse...Why abuse it just because we can?

    Just a few IMHOs from an old Gunny... :cool:
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    It's all about practice and muscle memory. I agree with the above 100% and have been using that method for years. I've never seen a 1911 damaged from using the slide release either. I have a Delta Elite with well over 20k rounds through it from 15 years of IPSC, and the slide stop still engages and releases just fine.
     
  17. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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    I rack it.
     
  18. Murphster

    Murphster Member

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    I'm a slide racker, but fwiw, the instruction manual on the Beretta Couger (8045) I once owned said to use the slide release lever. I had feeding problems chambering the first round out of a full magazine using the rack-the-slide method. Thought it was the newness of the magazine but then read the manual. That's the only pistol I recall owning where the manufacturer said to use the slide release but the gun functioned perfectly that way and didn't function perfectly racking the slide. Go figure.
     
  19. pax

    pax Member

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    Use whatever works for you and the gun.

    Me, I rack the slide.

    I also shoot to slide lock. If I ever need to use it for real, I intend to worry about more important things than how many rounds I've shot. The gun'll tell me, and it's one less thing to clutter my mind.

    Diff'rent strokes.

    (Oh, about the gunsmith: yup, he's right. Compressing the spring 'll wear it out eventually. Also right are the folks who say you'll wear out the slide stop if you use it. Using any mechanical object wears it out eventually. So?)

    pax
     
  20. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    If the slide release lever shouldn't be used, why is it there? Why is it serrated, to allow for a more positive operation?

    If the slide release lever on a Glock cannot be used without causing undue wear on the weapon, the piece needs to be either omitted or improved.

    What you practice doing, you will do under stress. I always dump my empties and reload quickly, no matter how I'm shooting, whether it be with revolver or semiauto. The reloading motion becomes reflexive, then.

    In any case, the slide stop, if it's a fragile part, can be replaced. Order a spare and don't worry about it. The Glock is the epitome of the all-business gun. It's black. It's square. It's plastic. It's a tool that launches projectiles, and nothing more. I wouldn't say it's worth babying; it's not like they're going to stop making them.
     
  21. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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    The SLIDE STOP is there to lock the gun open when the magazine is empty. It is serrated to allow you to close the slide on an empty magazine if you so desire. :D

    We could argue for the rest of our lives about this one. Blah blah blah - fine motor skills. Blah blah blah slide stop - blah blah slide release. Who cares? Use the slide stop if you want, me I rack the thing.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Dropping the slide on an empty chamber can theoretically stress the extractor and possibly break it -- but that's a remote possibility. So some experts stress easing the slide forward on an empty chamber.

    Using the slide lock to release the slide to chamber a round can theoretically result in less run-up and failure to fully chamber and lock -- but that's a remote possibility.

    Using the slide lock to chamber a round when reloading after shooting to slide lock is a bit faster than "sling-shotting" (pulling the slide back slightly and releasing it.)

    Racking the slide to chamber a round can theoretically jar a match-grade trigger off the disconnector and result in an accidental discharge -- but that's a remote possibility.

    Basically, it's your choice. I usually load from a slide-forward position, and rack the slide to chamber a round, keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction while doing it (when re-inserting the magazine after topping off, it's best to have the gun pointed in a safe position as well -- because THAT can supposedly jar a finely-tuned trigger out of engagement -- but that's a remote possibility.)

    When reloading after shooting to slide lock, I usually sling-shot the slide.
     
  23. PaulDaisy

    PaulDaisy Member

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    I have learned something from this thread: if people like something they will argue for it even if it is inconsequential.
    Until I read it, I didn't even know how I do it: sometimes I use the lock, sometimes I rack the slide. And once in a mixed-gun session, I tried to rack a SW wheel gun :rolleyes: I guess I will pay more attention now.
     
  24. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    The only thing I can think of is it is supposed to hurt a 1911 to let the slide slam home on an empty chamber. Not sure why.

    As for tactics. I was taught to use the overhand grasp to release the slide and not use the slide lock. The reason was it is supposed to be easier to use a gross motor skill under stress. Personally I see nothing wrong with using the slide lock. But the over hand grasp and pull works better for me as it works on all guns and my hands are not quite long enough to reach the slide stop with my shooting hand. I know of the method of using your support hand to release the slide stop and it works. But I am sticking with what I have been doing. Why mess with something thats not broke.
    Pat
     
  25. Norton

    Norton Member

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    I agree that we can argue over any split hair if we try hard enough. When the wife told me what the armorer said, I viewed it with a great deal of skepticism.

    I've always racked the slide because it's simply more comfortable for me.....my giant hands give me the opposite problem that many others have....the guns are simply too small and the controls don't fit where they should. Hmmmm.....maybe I need to get that Mark 23 SOCOM afterall :D
     
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