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Wife can't rack the slide

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hadmanysons, Mar 8, 2009.

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  1. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

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    Before I get verbally molested for not searching let me say that I did and I wasn't about to browse all 10000 results. Sorry if this has been talked about before.

    My wife can't rack the slide on any gun I've had before. It was a Kel-Tec P11 and a Taurus Pt-111. She wants a semi and NOT a revolver. I was thinking of getting her a LCP (if I can find one) but I was wondering how easy the slide is to rack.

    What makes a slide difficult to rack? Spring tension? Hard to get a grip?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  2. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    have her grip the gun (shooting grip) with her strong hand, hold the gun tight to her body actually pointing the gun across her body (if she is right handed, she will be pointing the gun directly to her left)., Then place her non-dominant hand on the slide and grip firmly (the gun will be pointed directly under the elbow of her non-dominant arm). from this position she can PUSH with her dominant hand while PULLING with her weak hand.. this is a much easier way of racking the slide. also, it is the safest way as the gun is never pointed at any part of the body. very petite girls are able to rack the slide on even the most difficult of my 1911's.

    the difficulty , as far as parts of the gun comes from the recoil spring, however, most people use that horrible racking method that actually has the gun pointed toward their feet or directly in front of them... this only allows you to hold with your STRONG hand and PULL with your weak hand.. it is no wonder some people struggle using this BAD method.. they are only using half of their potential strength.
     
  3. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    Beretta Tomcat .32 has a tip-up barrel, so she can load & unload without ever racking a slide. However---Auto's can fail to feed, and any autoloader needs to be operated by someone that can clear it. The US military + every police force in existence uses autoloaders, and they all employ woman. Your Mrs. CAN develope the proper strength to use these weapons properly if she is committed to doing so. If she is not, then probably best to stick w/ wheel guns. (or not carrying at all).
     
  4. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    The slide spring is very stiff on the KT because of the light weight slide, something has to slow down the rearward force. If it was heavier then the spring could be less.

    Get her a hand exerciser and put her to work.
     
  5. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Most semiautomatic handguns have recoil springs rated between 10 and 20lbs. As PT1911 pointed out, it's not an issue with strength, it's an issue with proper technique.
     
  6. Ringer

    Ringer Member

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    My wife has the same issue and doesn't really care to learn. My daughter had the same issue but learned to overcome it. The Cornered Cat helped her learn better technique. Good information for women (and men), by a woman.
     
  7. tlen

    tlen Member

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  8. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

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    Thanks for the info
     
  9. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Some guns are easier to "run" than others. The worst are the little pocket guns with stiff springs and little slide to hold onto. The Glock is easy; it has a tall square slide with substantial grasping grooves, and being striker fired does not have the additional tension of the mainspring.

    If the gun is hammer-fired and she has the relative time luxury, she can cock the hammer before racking. Manually locking the slide open needs to be learned as well, for "showing clear" for a range officer or clearing a "double feed" stoppage.
     
  10. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Member

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    Head out to your local gun shop and try a bunch of different guns to see if they have one for her. If she can't rack the slide then she can't run the gun effectively.
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    the Beretta 92/96 has just about the easiest slide to rack because of how they lock up.

    i think they used to make a 9mm or .380 that also had the tip-up barrel for loading the first round without racking the slide...their extractor is designed to withstand the strain of not having the round feed from the mag
     
  12. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Both.

    Little guns tend to be worse about it. Both because the springs tend to be stiffer and there's less to get hold of.

    Unless she's going to carry it, you might look into a full-sized 9mm. The H&K USP full-size, the Beretta PX4 and the Ruger P95 all have slides that are pretty easy to rack. Other guns will vary. If you can find a good gunshop with a wide selection you might take her there and see which ones she can work.

    Also corneredcat (cited above) has some good advice on techniques for racking the slide for those who have troubles with the process.
     
  13. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    My wife has the same problem, we tried every small caliber auto we could get our hands on, but nothing felt "right" to her. The racking method that PT1911 descibed made things easier but she still couldn't find one that worked. She eventaully settled on a Walther P22 and loves it. We didn't really want a .22, but she feels more confident with it, and recoil is not an issue. I feel better knowing that she will actually carry this one, and practice with it, instead of having a 9mm or .380 that stays locked up at home.
     
  14. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    PT 1911 got it right. proper technique and practice, she will be OK
     
  15. 23Glock

    23Glock Member

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    One other (controversial) recommendation would be to put one or two less rounds in the magazine. A fully loaded mag, especially with a new mag spring, puts a lot of pressure on the feed ramp, making it difficult to rack the first round. That means one less round in the weapon, but if this is just practice, I wouldn't care - it will help her build muscle memory and strength. Eventually she should be fine racking a full mag.
     
  16. broken

    broken Member

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    ......

    my wife used to not be able to rack a slide ,then she started working out 2 years ago,shes only 110 or 115 lbs,39 year old redhead and"hot"im 38,getting gray headed and weigh 300 lbs, but shes got a grip now using my hand squeezy walmart specials,i used for my hand after my busted up arms in a motorcycle wreck.she handles my smith wesson good enough for emergencies if im not home.
     
  17. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

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    Lot's of info, thanks. I'll try to talk her into a Glock 30 or something. She really wanted something small to conceal but I guess I'll have to move her away from that.
     
  18. XD9WBT

    XD9WBT member

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    This guy knows what he is talking about.
     
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Yep. It's just a matter of getting used to it. Any adult has the strength to do it. You can push with the strong hand easier than you can pull with the weak hand.

    But I usually tell people to point it straight forward rather than to the left.
     
  20. highorder

    highorder Member

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    I'd pass on that recomendation.
     
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    As much as I like CZ pistols, the short slide with fine grasping grooves is not one of their better features.

    1911s and BHPs have easy to grasp slides.

    If a person lacks hand or finger strength, they are likely to have trouble with the DA revolver trigger as well.
     
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