Ease the slide to prevent setback?

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Thread: Ease the slide to prevent setback?

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    Member Array .40swToFreedom's Avatar
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    Question Ease the slide to prevent setback?

    Is this logical?

    I've heard of people no longer using a defensive round or putting it aside for the range once it has been chambered only 2-3 times. This doesn't seem realistic to some people who may clear their firearms on a daily basis (not me, and that's not the debate here).

    So my question is, after you insert the mag on an empty chamber, will easing the slide into battery and slowly chambering the round prevent setback? Or it this not a recommended way to load a semi-auto out of risk it may not chamber the round forcefully enough?

    Tried to search but everything I found was about the "myth" of bullet setback.

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    Much depends on the brand of ammo that you are using as some ammo brands will suffer bullet set back and some will not. Also some pistols (due to how the cartridges impact the ramp and chamber) will set bullets back into the cartridge cases and some will not.

    Overall bullet/cartridge length is a very easy thing to check.

    Just buy a cheap set of calipers and keep one cartridge out of your box "virgin" & unchambered. You can easily compare the overall length of your chambered cartridges to that one.

    Personally I think that it is not good practice to ride your slide and ease it forward.

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    About that myth--

    I conducted an experiment a while back. I slingshot cycled a .45 ACP LRN reload, a .45 ACP Gold Dot commercial load, and a WIN .45 ACP PDX1 thru my Glock 30 10 times each, measuring the COL before and after the test. The reload setback approx .1", which I expected due to being used brass. The Gold Dot surprised me by shortening slightly more. The PDX1 setback a few thousands of an inch, minimal at best. It is NO myth that it happens.

    As for sliding the slide closed, some pistols will allow that due to looser tolerances in the breech and extractor. My G30 requires a smack to close into battery if I do that. My S&W 4566 will close completely with the same rounds. It may be feasible to do so with your pistol, it may not be.

    How dangerous is setback? That depends on the caliber. A .45 ACP basicly could care less. A 9mm Luger could be a potential hazard to to its higher pressures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Much depends on the brand of ammo that you are using as some ammo brands will suffer bullet set back and some will not. Also some pistols (due to how the cartridges impact the ramp and chamber) will set bullets back into the cartridge cases and some will not.

    Overall bullet/cartridge length is a very easy thing to check.

    Just buy a cheap set of calipers and keep one cartridge out of your box "virgin" & unchambered. You can easily compare the overall length of your chambered cartridges to that one.

    Personally I think that it is not good practice to ride your slide and ease it forward.
    ^ This. The round in the chamber on your carry gun is the most important one. Don't monkey with it.
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    True enough............I rotate mine in the order every so often....Hmmmm.

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    Thanks for the responses. The ammo in question would be .40 or 9. I agree it doesn't feel right to ease to slide, I want it to really slam forward from the force of the spring and grab that round as it is designed to do. My only concern is that I hear .40sw is more prone to setback and has a higher pressure than some other calibers. Checking for it is easy enough. Do you guys feel that any visible setback even the slightest amount is grounds enough to discard the round?
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    I've heard of people who set aside a round if it was chambered ONCE. It seems a bit OCD to me, but I'm not going to play Internet gun expert and say you can't or shouldn't do that. Of you want to, fine go right ahead.

    Personally I think everyone should know their gun well enough to know if its got a major setback issue. There's usually a good reason (like a feed ramp with gouges) for it.

    Personally, I rotate the rounds in the mag, sometimes I unload the whole mag, mix up the rounds and then reload. I do not mark or keep track of the rounds that have or have not been chambered, nor do I worry about it. Eventually my defensive rounds are fired at he range and replaced with a new "batch" every so often anyway.

    So no, I wouldn't chamber and unchamber the same round a whole bunch and go shooting, but I'm not going to lay awake at night worried that the round in my chamber might have been cycled 4 or 5 times either.

    Is it something to be aware of, yes. Should you live in fear that a setback round is going to blow up your gun, unlikely. You probably have a better chance of being shot.





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    I don't know that one caliber is more subseptable to setback than another, only that some may present more of a hazard than others. The easiest solution to the problem is to stop unloading the chamber except when required.
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^ This :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I don't know that one caliber is more subseptable to setback than another, only that some may present more of a hazard than others. The easiest solution to the problem is to stop unloading the chamber except when required.
    +1 When I chamber a round, it remains there until I shoot it out ( usually during practice ).
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    Senior Member Array 031131's Avatar
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    Great thread, I had no idea about this set back issue. Good to know, I feel the urge to go replace my top two rounds now lol. Once this holster finally gets here it will be problem solved so I will be carrying gp100. Oh well I only have to when I cross the Maine border and that is maybe once a month if that.
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    Set back can occur use calipers if your concerned, Personnaly I wouldnt be concerned with .010" setback use at own risk.
    Why are these rounds getting loaded so many times? My EDC rides in its holster all day and becomes a bedside gun at night next morning it returns to its holster remaining loaded the entire time.
    Ride the slide no but I do a chamber check each morning you can tell if your gun is completley in battery or not cant you?
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    Kahrs for one REQUIRE that you let the slide do its job unassisted: if you rack it and ease it shut the gun won't work. Other manufacturers may be similar... or not... but I know this because I had a Kahr and read a lot about this issue.

    I used to take a Sharpie and put a stripe on the top round in the mag, on the back/bottom from primer to outer rim, just before loading. When I occasioned to unload and reload (for instance, to work on the shape of a holster), I would change the order and do the same marking - keeping it so the top one only had the mark I just added. Sometimes I would rechamber a previously-chambered round, so it would wind up with two stripes. After that I would use it for range ammo. Nothing scientific, no basis for the number of times I chambered it, and no good reason for quitting. If you choose to follow something like this, I recommend the calipers trick so you'll have some basis for doing it. I plan on doing this sooner or later.
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    I picked up a REALLY nice set of professional calipers at a yard sale for $2 (German made, in the case, with paperwork). Picked up some other really nice tools on the cheap there too. The guy that died was a machinist and his son-in-law was selling his stuff. I got there early!!!! Lucky me!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rem700 View Post
    My EDC rides in its holster all day and becomes a bedside gun at night next morning it returns to its holster remaining loaded the entire time. Ride the slide no but I do a chamber check each morning you can tell if your gun is completley in battery or not cant you?
    I keep the EDC loaded at all times because it is my all the time everywhere gun. My M&P has the site hole to check periodically to see if one is in the pipe. I had one problem years ago with a round that didn't seat completely and fired scaring the heck out of me and blowing out the base of the casing. Nope, let is slam shut as designed to do.
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