Racking the slide

This is a discussion on Racking the slide within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; First off, let me say I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A JERK. I don't want to sound arrogant or mean. I'm just curious. Why ...

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Thread: Racking the slide

  1. #1
    Member Array firecrackerktm's Avatar
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    Racking the slide

    First off, let me say I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A JERK. I don't want to sound arrogant or mean. I'm just curious.

    Why do most of the men on here say racking the slide is so difficult for their wife/daughter/girlfriend/mom/friend? I'm on the large side of average but I am not a big, muscular, beefy woman. I haven't had any trouble working the slide on any of the guns I've owned or shot. I shot my dad's Glock 22 when I was 12.

    I wonder if you are making it sound harder than it is, and she is intimidated?
    I wonder if you expect her to be able to do it with just one finger and a thumb?
    I wonder if she is not getting the proper lessons in technique?

    Please don't flame me. I just can't see how anyone without an injury would be completely unable to work the slide on most semis. I think any of the women in your lives could learn to work a slide. Now whether or not she WANTS to is different, I am just talking about physical capability.
    tony1990 and raytracer like this.

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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    Technique needs to learned just like you did when you were 12
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    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Racking the slide

    In my opinion its due to a lack of use. My girlfriend when she first shot my glock thought it was hard. Now that she has a technique that works for her she can pull the slide back with ease. Give someone a gun that has never shot it wether it be a woman or a man will be rough around the edges when operating it but wen you simply let them shoot and you just watch and help where they need it they will grasp it sooner than later

  5. #4
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    firecracker... I am not of the female persuasion, 6', 240 lbs. and had until recently a little Beretta Tomcat "Alleycat" model, 32 acp with the tip-up barrel. Racking the slide was a real pain in the buttski and I seldom had to do it. On this gun the tip-up barrel was a real winner. I'm sure you could rack the slide--- from what you say--- but I'd be willing to bet there are not many women who would PREFER that method over the tip-up barrel technique. Good-- and easy-- shooting to you.
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    I'll keep my opinioin to myself on this one.
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    Member Array DandLfam's Avatar
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    These type of threads seem to get removed and hostile quickly. I think you will find most of the veteran female member's of this group to shy away from these types of threads. Opinions are like belly button's, we all got 'em.
    gregnsc likes this.
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    Member Array tony1990's Avatar
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    Well it be that it is the truth, my wife has been shooting for over 2 years now and she still has trouble racking the slide on her 22LR, 32 & 380 cal pistols. Her hands just do not have the strength to rack the slide (due to her Carpul Tunnel operation) but each time I go to the range she is there shooting her heart out. Which is great since " the family that goes to the range together to shoot stays together. "
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    Member Array coltchris's Avatar
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    Strength & age have a little to do with it; as well as experience. I speak from experience with my 72 yr. old wife! The following link was helpful for her, and with more shooting experience, I think will do fine in her Spring CPL class.

    Rack the Slide | Cornered Cat
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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I'll keep my opinioin to myself on this one.
    Waaaaait a second.... Who are you, and what did you do with OldVet??

    OP, I think it has a lot to do with how comfortable a person is with a gun. My girlfriend hits the gym with me regularly, and can certainly hold her own. However, she "cant" rack my semi's. She isnt very comfortable around guns, and has that dainty two finger "eeek is it gonna go off?" approach. I think many people may have this same mentality if not properly introduced / educated. It's a mental block more than anything. She has no interest in guns, and I dont push the issue, so we havent really worked on it at all. I have no doubt that she could rack the slide of just about anything, but "thinks" its harder than it is. I dont worry though. She may not want to shoot the 12 gauge, but if anyone breaks in, she can swing it with the best of em. Got that Siscilian blood in her

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    My wife has small hands. You know those grip exercisers? She watches me sit and squeezeone of those while I'm watching TV and she just shakes her head. She can't squeeze one using both hands. I watch her knit, or make jewelry, and I am amazed by the dexterity of her fingers.

    Mrs Pockets has great difficulty racking the slide (actually she can't) on my semi-autos in 9mm, or .45, and she has a lot of difficulty shooting an SP101 in double action, but she is hell on wheels with her SR22.

    I tell her exercise will strengthen her hands, and she just smiles and keeps making those twenty-five cent holes in her targets at 30 ft with that little .22. Time after time, 10 shots, 30 ft, 1" hole. How can I argue?
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    Member Array drbald1's Avatar
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    I got into the firearms arena later in life. I had already learned that a suprising number of things in life can be broken if you don't know what you're doing and force something. These things include, but are not limited to:
    • CD players
    • VHS players
    • Car steros during installation
    • ANYTHING on a computer
    • Keys
    • Any bolt on any motor in a nearly unreachable place
    • dishwashers
    • clothes washers
    • dryers
    • Basically, anything I worked on for the first time


    So I learned to be gentle with anything I didn't know how to work. "Forcing" it would break it. Until you know what kind of force the thing is expected to take, you're a little reserved with it.

    I was like this my first time racking a pistol. Once I figured out it was designed to take a whole lot more force than I was gonna apply, I was golden.

    Most of the women I know who have trouble racking firearms are like this (probably for different reasons). They are unnecessarily gentle with the thing because they're not confident and comfortable with the amount of force needed (which they're more than capable of applying).

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Many people when they first attempt to rack a slide, grip the slide and try to force it back. For many people, not only women but men, that can prove difficult. If you firmly grip the top of the slide and with your other hand grip the butt of the gun and shove it forward, the process becomes much easier. Being right hand dominant, I'll grasp the slide with my left hand, brace it against my left hip, and grasping the butt with my right hand...shove downward. You can rack anything using that method.
    bombthrower77 likes this.
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    Senior Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with dishes... just can't seem to wash them.
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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I'll keep my opinioin to myself on this one.
    Curmudgeon much?

    The recurring "women can't rack the slide" is just about as stupid and misguided as "your first gun must be a DAO revolver".

  16. #15
    Member Array ttyndall's Avatar
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    I agree with the technique. I have a 22 Browning that is harder to slide than my 9c, 45c and XDS.
    I had to get use to a method that worked. My wife cannot use the 22.
    Ted

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