Racking The Slide: Pull Back or Use Release
This is a discussion on Racking The Slide: Pull Back or Use Release within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by JonInNY
I have a question about racking the slide on a handgun.
I have seen this done at the range many times, ...
July 21st, 2008 10:21 PM
Pull it back, I hear that it seats the round better.
Originally Posted by JonInNY
Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
July 21st, 2008 10:45 PM
I was taught - and do believe - that you are more likely to screw it up if you slingshot. If you dont release immediately and ride the slide, it may not have the force required to go completely into battery.
Drop it with the release lever. If you wear out the release lever (!) buy a new one. $10-15 for a lever is the expense of learning a good habit the proper way.
July 21st, 2008 11:21 PM
Every class I've been through teaches the slingshot method. More of a gross motor skill vs fine motor skill. I think the idea is under stress you might flub hitting the slide release, the slingshot method is more him fist proof.
I think if you've trained with using the slide release...it would be come rote (muscle memory) as well.
do whichever works best for you
"If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."
July 21st, 2008 11:37 PM
I always release the slide with the slide lock lever on the 2 pistols that I carry on and off duty, Glock and Kahr. If that's the way you train, then that's the way you will do it in a gunfight, if you need to reload. I get so sick of hearing the "gross motor skill" BS. Pulling a trigger is a fine motor skill. Pushing a mag release button is a fine motor skill. Using the slide stop lever is no different.
It's not uncommon to receive an injury to one hand during a violent confrontation. Good luck with the overhand method if one of your hands is a bloody, mangled mess. I can draw, fire, drop the empty mag, secure my pistol, attain a fresh mag, insert the mag and drop the slide....all with one hand, either hand. If you can't, you will lose.
If I can't retain the presence of mind to hit a slide lock lever with my thumb, I don't see how I'll be able to use the same thumb to hit the mag release button. I somehow doubt that I'll turn into a quivering mass of motor malfunctions, unable to perform simple tasks that I've done over and over in training. How the heck am I supposed to get my G22 out of my level 3 holster, if I can't even hit a slide lock lever? Heck, I have to hit a thumb release, a middle finger release, rock my pistol back, then pull it out before even getting it into action!
I wonder how all of the LEO's that came before me, with their hopelessly "fine motor skill" intensive revolvers, ever survived a gunfight in which they had to reload? Holy smokes, they had to first realize their gun was empty, then hit the cylinder release with their thumb, then pop the cylinder out with their other hand, then dump the spent casings with the ejector rod, then get a speedloader out of a pouch, shove the fresh rounds into the cylinder and twist the speedloader knob, or push it if it's the push-release type, drop the speedloader, close the cylinder, and re-engage the threat, all without dumping the fresh rounds onto the ground.
In addition, using the overhand method is SLOWER than hitting the slide release. Slow is bad in a gunfight, especially one in which you've expended all of your ammo and it didn't do the trick, necessitating a reload.
If you use overhand on a DA/SA pistol, get ready to learn a whole new set of malfunction drills when you inadvertently activate the safety or decocker lever.
I see no positives to the overhand method, and at least one fatal negative when it comes to fighting with an injured hand. My $.02.
Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.
July 21st, 2008 11:39 PM
I use the hand over the slide, not slingshot. I use the slide lock to lock the slide back when needed. Other than that, I don't use it at all.
July 22nd, 2008 12:28 AM
Whichever the manufacturer of the weapon in question recommends (if they make such a recommendation).
Some (Kahrs in particular) are persnickity about it; they want you to use the slide release; they have a slight tendency to jam if you don't. I don't know why, except it has something to do with high tight they are, and how tight their tolerances are.
Others, esp. 1911's, IME, it doesn't really matter much.
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
July 22nd, 2008 12:31 AM
Here's a good discussion to read: Is using the "Slide Stop" to release the slide really going to get me killed? It's a bit long, and the site has no shortage of personalities, but it's a good discussion on the subject.
Folks have done it using the slide stop and not. For my 1911, it's not a very ergonomic option. If I had a Glock (or, 'when I get my Glock'), which places their slide stop more rearward, I'd use it.
July 22nd, 2008 12:39 AM
Whatever floats your boat. Several of my pistols will close with the insertion of magazine anyway. I like that. Personally, I'll do either one of those actions depending. It does not make much difference aside from the tactical or malfunction clearing instances. Whatever you feel comfortable with is the best way.......until such time you realize a bit more about yourself and your chosen pistols for SD.
Racking The Slide: Pull Back or Use Release?
July 22nd, 2008 01:02 AM
This is just my personal opinion, but..
Its best to clap your hand over the slide and run it like you normally would. In high-stress circumstances your fine motor control goes to crap and muscle memory takes over. Get in the habit of making 'bold' movements with your hands and not with your fingers.
The Gunsite Blog
ITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
July 22nd, 2008 01:09 AM
I was taught to pull the slide always, that way it is muscle memory, not confused with other actions.
It seems that "most" LEO are taught the pull slide method, but they of course would need to address that. My education was from several swat instructors. That's how they teach it in my area.
July 22nd, 2008 01:44 AM
I use the "slingshot" method, but apparently a little differently than some of you.
I turn the pistol sideways, with the right side up. I pinch the rear of the slide between my left thumb and the side of my left index finger. Then I PUNCH the frame straight forward using my right hand. This is done with the gun at high chest level.
July 22nd, 2008 02:54 AM
I can’t agree more with metro 40!
The main reason cops are thought that “most” don’t shoot enough to ever get good proven habits down. Frequently they shoot the area up like everyone in front of them is the enemy with little or no regard to the safety of others.
Case in point: Detroit Police VS Wayne county Sherriff Department. One raided a sting house on the east side of Detroit that the other department was running. The raiding department never declared upon entering that they were LE, a gun battle started. When it was over, one officer suffered minor wounds from jumping through a window. After each department shooting more than 100 rounds no one was hit. I could go on for days but that was the only cop to cop shoot out I can recall with those numbers.
Another one that comes to mind a vehicle chase starts on lower west side of Detroit actually in a suburb (I think) any way it ends 30 or so miles away in the north east side of metro Detroit off of I 94 somewhere.
The driver is an obese black woman 30-40 years old. The car is hung up on the median wheels are off the ground. Several police departments (if memory serves me) Detroit/ Michigan state police /Wayne county /Oakland county /several other suburbs start shooting at a vehicle that cannot move from its present spot without help. After more than a 100 shots two LEO’s are hit, two passing vehicles are hit. The intended target of the shooting is also hit. Once in the ankle! Oh by the way it was stated at first that the defendant fired at police. Later it was found that she was unarmed.
I just read a report by the fed’s stating that police departments should not concern themselves with the thought of over penetration due to the likely hood of a pass through shot hitting innocent bystander pails in comparison to the possibility of being hit with one of one hundred or so misses. It’s not verbatim but close enough that we all get the picture.
In closing Cops (not all but a lot are) Some of the poorest, and scariest gun handlers I have ever seen.
July 22nd, 2008 03:23 AM
Always rack the slide. You get more "spring" from the spring and it's more of a gross motor skill than hitting that little lever.
I personally prefer the overhand method, but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it if someone does the "roll and slingshot."
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
July 22nd, 2008 12:38 PM
Metro 40 presents a good argument for the use of the slide lock lever which is the way I handle my automatics.
July 22nd, 2008 02:17 PM
Originally Posted by rocky
I was taught from the the get-go (way back when) to use and practice both. I still do although racking the slide is, IMO, the best method for the simple reason that the strong remains properly on the grip, trigger finger out, and sighted (roughly) at your target. using the slide release requires(for many shooters) adjusting your grip somewhat. Gross motor skills (i.e. racking the slide) usually win out over fine motor skills (i.e. using the slide release).
Kenpo Tex describes the way I was taught....holding the slide and "punching" your grip (the sidearm itself) forward.
Last edited by goldshellback; July 22nd, 2008 at 02:25 PM.
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
"Sometimes when you're making gumbo, people just show up.", Leah Chase
By TheOhioan in forum Defensive Carry Guns
Last Post: March 29th, 2010, 08:34 PM
By firebug8 in forum Basic Gun Handling & Safety
Last Post: December 19th, 2009, 05:41 PM
By 1611mac in forum Defensive Carry Guns
Last Post: October 18th, 2009, 01:13 PM
By GreenHorn in forum Defensive Carry Guns
Last Post: March 13th, 2009, 07:35 PM
By FallenPhoenix in forum Defensive Carry Guns
Last Post: November 1st, 2008, 01:17 AM
Search tags for this page
how to pull the slide back on a handgun
pistol slide pull
pulling back the slide
pulling back the slide on a gun
pulling slide back on gun
pulling the slide back
racking the slide
semi auto with an easily racked slide
slide back assist
slide pull assist
slide release button
the act of pulling the slide back on a pistol
Click on a term to search for related topics.