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Old 10-04-2020, 09:54 AM
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I see so many post on racking the slide, especially for the shield.
Here is what I use and teach, I hope it helps some.

Racking the slide and not riding the slide forward is key to any semi auto. The technique I use and teach is to use both arms, not just one arm or the other. The more muscles you use the less each of those muscles has to work. When someone canít rack the slide in the usual manner of grabbing the slide with their none shooting hand (weak hand) and pulling it back people always say instead of pulling back with the weak hand grab the slide with the weak hand and hold it, now push the pistol forward. While this might work for some you are just telling people to use a different set of muscles. Why not use both techniques rolled into one, Grab the slide as usual with the weak hand and pull back,while pulling the slide back with the weak hand push the gun forward using your strong arm. By using both you basically have twice the strength as you are using both hands/arms to accomplish this task. Now instead of letting go of the slide hoping it is all the way back just continue to hold on until you basically rip it right out of your weak hand. You will not be riding the slide or letting go before it is all the way back.
hope this helps
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cracker57 View Post
I see so many post on racking the slide, especially for the shield.
Here is what I use and teach, I hope it helps some.

Racking the slide and not riding the slide forward is key to any semi auto. The technique I use and teach is to use both arms, not just one arm or the other. The more muscles you use the less each of those muscles has to work. When someone canít rack the slide in the usual manner of grabbing the slide with their none shooting hand (weak hand) and pulling it back people always say instead of pulling back with the weak hand grab the slide with the weak hand and hold it, now push the pistol forward. While this might work for some you are just telling people to use a different set of muscles. Why not use both techniques rolled into one, Grab the slide as usual with the weak hand and pull back,while pulling the slide back with the weak hand push the gun forward using your strong arm. By using both you basically have twice the strength as you are using both hands/arms to accomplish this task. Now instead of letting go of the slide hoping it is all the way back just continue to hold on until you basically rip it right out of your weak hand. You will not be riding the slide or letting go before it is all the way back.
hope this helps
Many people, especially us old coots. can't get a good enough grip on the slide to do that. The best for most is, and always will be the off hand grip on the slide while pusing with the strong hand.
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:25 AM
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raisin not sure if i follow what you are saying, if I can hold the slide with the off hand strong enough to hang on and push with the strong hand why is this grip not strong enough to also pull back while pushing forward?
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:53 AM
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Simply place your off hand on the rear of the slide and while pulling back on the slide and pushing forward with your dominant hand in one continuous step will charge the round in the barrel. Do not ride the slide with either hand and, again, do this method in one continuous step.

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Old 10-06-2020, 02:27 PM
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Simply place your off hand on the rear of the slide and while pulling back on the slide and pushing forward with your dominant hand in one continuous step ...., again, do this method in one continuous step.

Nick
Exactly. It is easier done than said.
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Old 10-06-2020, 05:28 PM
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I think one problem that occurs when pushing the slide/frame through the support hand, to avoid ďridingĒ it forward and interfering with the recoil springs job, is the rear sight.

If finger strength is sufficient to allow just grasping the slideís sides opposite the bottom of the palm, with a tunnel of palm/fingers above the slide, sliding the hand off the rear of the slide should not be a problem.

However, it only takes a little incorrect variation of building this tunnel to get hurt on the rear sight. They protrude above the slide and often have sharp edges. Get hit once by the sight and one is not likely to use this method again soon.

In theory, allowing the support hand to slide off the back of the slide works. As a practical matter, it often wonít. So you are back to having that support hand potentially interfere with forward slide motion even with full capability to use the push/pull method.

That hand must come off the slide at just the right time. Thatís what some people just donít understand. They end up riding the slide slightly without knowing it because their release timing is faulty.

I have RDS on my guns. Obviously my hand is not going to slip past such a sight. Lifting it off the slide at just the right time is second nature to me. For new shooters, it takes time (reps) to learn to muscle the components for cycling as well as to develop a feel for the method and timing of slide release. Itís hard on the hands and muscles for many.

The solutions are not quite as simple as we experienced shooters sometimes feel.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:51 PM
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CB3, thanks for bring this point up. I have never had a problem with the rear sight but can see were this could /would be a concern.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:05 AM
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On my autos that have a slide lock, I lock the slide back then drop it on a round to chamber it. I'll use the sling shot method only if there is no slide lock.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:58 AM
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As a last alternative, I would not use the slide stop to chamber a round. Think about it, having the slide stop hold the slide, at that point pull the slide back and the slide will further move back, slightly, indicating the additional pressure that is left from not pulling and pushing the slide to chamber a round. Not saying this will happen all the time, but the extractor could not fully capture the rim of the cartridge. Lets face it, what is the job of the extractor? The extractor has two functions. It holds the cartridge in place and positions it so the ejector can eject it. I would use the two hands and leave the one handed release of the slide if your non shooting hand is incapacitated.

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Old 10-07-2020, 11:39 AM
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I believe Racking the Slide 101 was meant to be a thread about teaching effective methods to those who were challenged with racking.

Challenges come from unfamiliarity (lack of training), not knowing which technique works best for an individual and a specific pistol, lack of strength or dexterity, and method and timing of release of the slide to avoid slide riding.

Really, not so simple. There is more than one answer that can work depending on the need.

An instructor or friend helps the shooter discover what works for her. Thus the instructor should be able to offer numerous methods and let the shooter decide what works best.

Locking the slide back using the slide stop takes as much muscling as a pull back and release method, but initially it avoids any opportunity to ride the slide forward, even slightly. Thus it eliminates the second biggest problem with racking, the first being inability to fully retract a slide. However, it adds complexity by requiring the additional step of manually engaging the slide stop. There are always trade-offs.

Now comes the argument as to whether to retract the slide further to release the slide stop, but that can reintroduce slide riding.

Dropping the slide stop with finger pressure eliminates slide riding, but many pistols today come with non-adjusted factory slide stops that canít be easily swept off. Once the stop is adjusted to work as designed, this method is easy and reliable. Itís not a method that would work with any gun, since so many people donít understand adjusting slide stops and some are just too stiff for new or weak shooters to operate.

I coached an elderly man (80) who had been sold a Springfield XD .40 as a home defense gun. He could not rack the slide and had never loaded or fired the gun.

I sold it for him. I bought him a used .38 revolver and added a laser sighting grip for him for the same money. Thatís what worked.

Racking the Slide 102.
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:48 AM
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Makes no difference, been doing it for 40+ years. Whatever works best for you is all that's important.
I'll get the popcorn! lol
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:42 PM
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racking the slide 101 102 103 104 there are many methods as CB# has pointed out and yes one should work, if not revolver is the next answer.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:43 PM
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At the risk of derailing this thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobby-gunsmith View Post
Lets face it, what is the job of the extractor? The extractor has two functions. It holds the cartridge in place and positions it so the ejector can eject it.
With respect, the extractor has only one function; to remove a cartridge or spent casing from the chamber.

In semi-auto pistols the cartridge is indexed on the front of the case. While the extractor can hold the case, that's not it's function. Take the extractor out and the case will still feed, index and fire properly.

Place me firmly in the push-pull camp when racking the slide.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:29 PM
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I believe with the pull push method racking the slide is much faster than push or pull as each hand only has to move half the distance, both moving at the same time.
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracker57 View Post
I see so many post on racking the slide, especially for the shield.
Here is what I use and teach, I hope it helps some.
Slide-racking issues come in many flavors; let me share my own odd personal journey to slide-racking humility.

Several years ago, my wife had extensive surgery on her shooting hand. Substantial recoil was subsequently painful when shooting and she had to give up her preferred 357 magnums. She decided to switch to a semi-auto in a lighter-recoiling caliber. She tried all of the pistols that my son and I owned and the only one she could rack -with difficulty- was a Glock 17. With around 50 years of shooting experience, she certainly knew the techniques for racking a slide.

Watching her struggle, I became disappointed and concluded that, for whatever reason, she just did not want to go through with the effort. I mean, she could have simply locked her elbows and twisted her shoulders enough to rack the slides, although she claimed she could not. Having been married over 40 years, I know when to leave topics alone, so I just shook my head as she bought a .22 for range fun and a .380 for concealed carry.

And then providence intervened to enlighten me ... I injured my left arm and damaged the ulnar nerve. The first symptom of the nerve damage was when I tried to squeeze one of the dog's squeak toys and did not have enough grip strength to even do that. After a few weeks of therapy and exercises, it was time to get back to the range! I got a pistol out of the safe, grabbed the slide with my left hand, and ripped the slide out of my left hand trying to rack the slide.

My epiphany came the second time I tried to rack the slide. Instead of ripping the slide out of my left hand, I just struggled vainly to pull the slide back. After ripping the slide out of my left hand once, my brain had automatically taken over and told my muscles to stop just short of losing my grip on the slide! If I thought about it deliberately, I could rip the slide out of my left hand, although that did not achieve the objective of racking the slide. If I was not focused and deliberate, my brain shut the racking effort down before I lost my grip on the slide.

What I discovered -and my wife already knew- was that there is no common technique to overcome a lack of grip strength. But we also learned that there may be other workarounds. My wife has more grip strength in her shooting hand than her off hand, so she can do a bit better by switching hands to rack slides; pushing forward with the web of the hand on the frame's backstrap requires minimal grip strength.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:22 AM
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The way i teach it is to push with grip hand, pull with slide hand. Make sure you slap your chest as the slide releases. Of course when they get it reflexively there is no need to slap the chest.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:36 AM
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I'm a 79 year old fart that owns a first gen Shield 9. It has always been difficult to rack all the way to slide lock. The major problem is that the traditional technique of racking the slide with my weak left hand is impossible, but I discovered that if I reverse things, holding the grip with my weak hand and racking with my strong right hand I have no problem. A lot of the problem is due I believe to the narrow width of the slide that prevents really good grip with the weak hand. I don't have problems with pistols normal width slides like M&Ps and 1911s. Of course the Shield does have a very strong recoil spring.
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:34 AM
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For pistols with an exposed hammer, cocking the hammer first sometimes makes the difference. The shooter only has to overcome the recoil spring and not the both it and the mainspring.

Beretta did offer an alternative...


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Old 10-08-2020, 02:57 PM
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Well, I hate to differ with Rastoff, as a Certified Gunsmith, Extractor 101 defines that the extractor has two functions 1. The extractor has to hold the case so the ejector can get at it. 2. The extractor has to snap over a chambered round virtually over most firearms with the exception of some machine guns and very few pistols which most gunsmiths would not encounter them. Now, I can go into further detail, but most firearm problems are related to the extractor or the magazine. Ask any competent gunsmith and they will concur with that statement.

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Old 10-08-2020, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobby-gunsmith View Post
Well, I hate to differ with Rastoff, as a Certified Gunsmith, Extractor 101 defines that the extractor has two functions 1. The extractor has to hold the case so the ejector can get at it. 2. The extractor has to snap over a chambered round virtually over most firearms with the exception of some machine guns and very few pistols which most gunsmiths would not encounter them. Now, I can go into further detail, but most firearm problems are related to the extractor or the magazine. Ask any competent gunsmith and they will concur with that statement.

Nick
I always understood that the rim of the case coming up from the mag slips in behind the extractor, and that helps guide it, although minimally, toward the chamber. Extractors do not snap over the rim of every chambered cartridge.

I am not a gunsmith.
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:19 AM
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Well, I hate to differ with Rastoff, as a Certified Gunsmith, Extractor 101 defines that the extractor has two functions 1. The extractor has to hold the case so the ejector can get at it. 2. The extractor has to snap over a chambered round virtually over most firearms with the exception of some machine guns and very few pistols which most gunsmiths would not encounter them. Now, I can go into further detail, but most firearm problems are related to the extractor or the magazine. Ask any competent gunsmith and they will concur with that statement.

Nick
I see well known gunsmiths and well known competitive shooters use the slide lock/stop (both are correct terms) to release/drop the slide to chamber a round all the time? If there was a discernable difference or any harm to occur, I'm sure they wouldn't do this, especially on camera.
Just NEVER do it without chambering a round, that'll trash a nice trigger job for sure after a while.
I'm sure being a gunsmith, you'd concur?
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:38 AM
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If you learn extractors, as a true gunsmith course, there are a lot of disbelievers when it comes to extraction. One last known fact, some guns have an extractor and do not extract or have extractors that do not have to extract. For example, blow back guns relied on the mass of the bolt to extract. I can go on and on with extractors and facts to support a known fact but there will still be disbelievers without going into full detail.

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Old 10-10-2020, 06:25 AM
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Interesting discussion.
I've been shooting for many years and received a lot of training with semi-autos during my police career. I've been schooled on the "proper" ways to rack the slide and used the techniques even after retirement. But like many of the members here, a combination of arthritis, old injuries and a reverse-shoulder replacement have made racking properly nearly impossible with several of my semis. (Not trying to whine - I had a lot of fun getting in such bad shape.)
So what I've taken to doing is placing an empty mag in the firearm, getting the slide back and locking it, usually by pressing against the edge of a table, and then loading. The difficulty is then kind of "spread out" between that lock back and then releasing the slide onto a full magazine. I think I'm more safe that way since the most difficult portion is done with an empty gun. It doesn't solve the problem 100%, but at least I can continue to enjoy shooting sports and not be a hazard. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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The extractor has to snap over a chambered round virtually over most firearms with the exception of some machine guns and very few pistols which most gunsmiths would not encounter them. Now, I can go into further detail,...
Nick
You may differ with me all you want, but the extractor does not snap over every round. It is designed to snap over a case rim if a round is already chambered, but that should be rare.

CB3 has it right...
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I always understood that the rim of the case coming up from the mag slips in behind the extractor, and that helps guide it, although minimally, toward the chamber. Extractors do not snap over the rim of every chambered cartridge.

I am not a gunsmith.
...I'm not a gunsmith either, but this is how it works. There really is no argument about this. You can easily see it in action if you slowly close the slide on a loaded magazine, you can see the cartridge rim slide up under the extractor. This action is why most recommend not closing a gun like a 1911 on an already chambered round.
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