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 JudoJake Pull back and release every time. Forget that you even have the option of using the slide release button. This has ...

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Thread: Racking The Slide: Pull Back or Use Release

  1. #31
    AMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJake View Post
    Pull back and release every time. Forget that you even have the option of using the slide release button. This has been taught to me in the Police Academy. At my Department. By every department I know of. And in every SWAT class that I have ever attended. In fact if I was ever caught using the slide release button, I would probably be forced to do push ups, or at least be made fun of for days or months.

    Why pull back and release? Because in a real gunfight you might have to manipulate the slide. Why? Reloading obviously. The slide locks back on an empty weapon.

    Why is pulling back and releasing important? If done correctly using the hand over method, it doesn't require you to use fine motor skills. Fine motor skills don't usually work in a life threatening confrontation, due to the fact that the blood partially leaves your extremities and goes to your innards to help pump more blood, remember increased hart rate is another reaction to combat. The point is that you can't count on fine motor skills in combat, so train not to use them as best you can.

    Why not use the slide release when loading the gun in a non combat environment? Because gunfighting is not something that you want to over complicate. You should always try and stream line your techniques. Or another way of saying it is, you fight like you have been trained. If you sometimes use the release button and some times don't, then you might very easily try and use it in a combat environment and that is not recommended.

    I see no pros to using the release button. However I see a whole lot of cons.

    BINGO!
    The military taught me the same thing. Only use the release in extenuating circumstances.
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  3. #32
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I agree with Metro. My Academy (waaaaay back when) taught me to use the slide stop. I've practiced that way for the last 25+ years and it is second nature. I use that technique in IDPA matches. At this point in my life, I think I would fumble if I were to change my technique! Unless there is some mechanical or functional reason to learn a new skill, I'll stay put.
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  4. #33
    EW3
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    Well, here is a wrinkle:

    My Kahr CW40's user manual explicitly states to use the slide release, and NOT to "slingshot" the slide when reloading.
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" – George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

  5. #34
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacNewton View Post
    The more appropriate way would be the over hand grab on top of the slide to reduce the chance of the slide slipping out.
    And if you are in a fighting stance, slightly angled (like a Weaver stance), and you don't pay attention, you could be lining up your muzzle with your weak-side elbow, in a high-stress situation in which you just may have forgotten to take your finger off the trigger.

    I use the slide release. I also keep the muzzle parallel to the ground during reload (as opposed to the "high muzzle" reload). Muzzle always on target, less range of motion for the weapon, and, by the way, I have SIGs so the slide release is actually in the correct location.

    Last thought. I see many people slingshot or overhand their slides to reload. If you ride the slide forward from the rearmost point, even just a little bit, you might not go completely to battery because you are absorbing energy from the spring. That's not an issue using the slide release.

    Just to keep the discussion going, another argument in favor of slide manipulation is that your slide may not have locked back. You will then need to rack the gun anyway to reload. A valid point, but also consider that you may have reloaded before you were empty and there is still a round in the chamber; now a slide rack wastes a round and possibly jams the gun if you only give the little tug that you would from slide lock. Not a problem with the slide release; you just press a button that doesn't do anything.

    I will stick with the slide release.
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  6. #35
    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    The reasoning that I was given for the slingshot/ hand-over method being the best to use is that it will work for every semi-auto handgun. Think about it. What happens if you have to use an unfamiliar gun and need to do a reload? Do you know where the slide release is for every make and model of gun out there? Even if you do, there are some guns out there (Glocks without the extended slide stop lever for example) that are very difficult close with the slide stop. When you have the new magazine seated do you want to take the chance on fumbling about trying to get your thumb lined up with the slide release? By using the slingshot/hand-over way, and making it your natural reloading method, you will never have to worry about missing the lever as you won't go looking for it anyway.

    I used to be a slide stop guy but I had to bend to the logic presented above as the better, universal way of doing a reload.
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  7. #36
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    Wow, I never figured there would be so many comments on both sides of the issue of my original post. This is a great discussion. I think I will continue to rack the slide, as most people here are recommending.

    Also, on my Ruger LCP, since it does NOT stay open on an empy magazine, you have to rack it in order to reload! Good to stay with what works!
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  8. #37
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jualdeaux View Post
    The reasoning that I was given for the slingshot/ hand-over method being the best to use is that it will work for every semi-auto handgun. Think about it. What happens if you have to use an unfamiliar gun and need to do a reload? Do you know where the slide release is for every make and model of gun out there? Even if you do, there are some guns out there (Glocks without the extended slide stop lever for example) that are very difficult close with the slide stop. When you have the new magazine seated do you want to take the chance on fumbling about trying to get your thumb lined up with the slide release? By using the slingshot/hand-over way, and making it your natural reloading method, you will never have to worry about missing the lever as you won't go looking for it anyway.

    I used to be a slide stop guy but I had to bend to the logic presented above as the better, universal way of doing a reload.
    Hand-over will not work for every semiauto. Do the hand-over method to a DA/SA pistol (Beretta, 3rd gen S&W, H&K, etc.), and you are highly likely to induce a malfunction by inadvertently bumping the safety/decocker on an unfamiliar pistol, especially under stress.

    Besides, I am FAR more likely to have to fight with an injured hand than I am to lose my gun and then wind up using some unfamiliar type of pistol. It's even MORE of a stretch to think that I'll actually pick up the magazines of the unfamiliar pistol and do reloads during a gunfight. Having to shoot and reload with one hand with my pistol is a MUCH more likely scenario. And heaven help me if the unfamiliar pistol I pick up in this highly unlikely event is a revolver or a pistol with a heel mag release catch. I guess I'll just collapse into a heap of "fine motor" malfunction.

    Using the slide release has worked for me for over 20 years, and I'll continue to do it that way. It's quicker and less likely to induce a malfunction. The "gross motor skill" argument is silly. You will revert to your training in a stress situation, and you will fight the way you train. If for any reason my slide release doesn't work, the "tap-rack-bang" is the default malfunction drill that I've practiced a thousand times, and that's what I'll revert to.

    Anyone care to explain how to use only the overhand/slingshot method if one of your hands is taken out of the fight?

    Besides, Larry Vickers says to use the slide release when possible. And he's more tacticool than all of us put together. So there!
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jualdeaux View Post
    The reasoning that I was given for the slingshot/ hand-over method being the best to use is that it will work for every semi-auto handgun.
    Well, there's that.....AND the fact that you have to manipulate the slide to clear a malfunction, so it makes more sense to use the SAME movement for BOTH, and to do it up in front of you, where you're less likely to take your eyes off the threat.

    That's what I was taught.

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Anyone care to explain how to use only the overhand/slingshot method if one of your hands is taken out of the fight?
    Snag the rear sight on the lip of your holster, belt, or any other convenient protrusion.

    Next question.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant Mac View Post
    Snag the rear sight on the lip of your holster, belt, or any other convenient protrusion.

    Next question.
    Yeah, that's what they teach us at the PD. Works with most Glock night sights. With Novaks? Not so much.

    Bottom line is, be totally familiar with ALL of the mechanisms on YOUR pistol, and how they work. Know how to use the slide release (it IS quicker, no doubt about it), know how to reload your pistol if the slide release doesn't work for some reason, know how to shoot and reload with your left hand, etc etc. Know your pistol, period.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  12. #41
    Member Array JudoJake's Avatar
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    Can we agree that the racking the slide is what is GENERALLY taught by most qualified instructors, irregardless of the slingshot or overhand method? I think that is safe to say so.

    With that said, are their valid reasons for doing it. I think we have articulated some of them. Is their a guarantee that you will not be able to operate the slide release in a gunfight? No. Is it possible due to lack of fine motor skills? Yes. Can the gun be loaded, unloaded, and cleared of any malfunctions with one hand while not using the slide release? Yes.

    Dose that mean that somebody who has been using the slide release for 20 years has to switch to racking the slide or face certain death? No. It's your bacon, you do whatever you think is best. I do a lot of things that are considered to be unorthodox. And if anyone asks me about them, just like Metro 40, I can articulate my point. Nothing wrong with that.

  13. #42
    Member Array karlmc10's Avatar
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    I know I'll get flamed for this but it seems pretty simple. It's a slide LOCK lever, not a release. I use the hand over method and it's not failed me when I needed it. Any time you can train using gross motor skills for high stress events why would you not? I was involved in various forms of combat training for a career's worth of years and it always worked best. That said, I'll also add- It's your bacon, fry it how you like it.

  14. #43
    Member Array jonesy_26's Avatar
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    karlmc10...agreed. I used the slide lock until I took my first tactical defense class. After it slowed me down on the very first emergency reload, I used slingshot. I have not looked back.

  15. #44
    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    If you have found yourself in a gun fight, and used enough ammo to need a reload, and still have both hands. The fastest way to be able to deliver rounds to your opponent is with a slide release.

    Unless it’s some silly inferior model that the makes using the release difficult. In which case it’s time to get a new gun with proper controls. I realize not everyone can swap out their weapon.

    You drop the mag. Deliver the fresh mag with your support hand, sometimes with enough force to send the slide home on its own. If not then hit the lever and release it with your support hand thumb, rap your hand around the one holding the weapon and you are now ready to deliver more rounds.

    A half of a second in a gun battle can mean the difference between first and second place.

  16. #45
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Here's a little more food for thought.

    http://www.officer.com/web/online/On-the-Street/The-Great-Slide-Release-Debate/21$36789

    I like this guy's approach. He's basically saying what I've said all along. Know your pistol. Know EVERYTHING about your pistol. Do it the way you feel comfortable with. But you should know how to use every feature of your pistol intimately.

    The slide release/lock/stop lever is the fastest way to send the slide home, and can be performed one-handed. Tap-rack-bang is the universal malfunction drill, so if the slide release doesn't work for some reason, that's what I'll revert to. Knowing only one way to do something could get you killed.

    The "motor skill" argument is silly...you will fight the way you train. If you can't hit the slide release due to motor skill malfunction, you sure won't be able to hit the mag release or obtain any kind of sight picture and pull the trigger and hit anything. Thousands of special operations professionals better turn in their 1911's, because sweeping the safety off of a single action automatic is a fine motor skill. And revolver users? Forget about it!

    Train hard. Know your pistol. Be safe out there!

    Oh, and the next person that mentions "motor skills" gets a free subscription to Sarah Brady's newsletter.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

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