Dropping the Slide

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by DonD, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    [1] There is no need to be gentle. A brisk overhand (right handed*) or "slingshot" (left handed*) without "riding" or "easing" the slide forward is preferred.

    * This references the practice of "racking" the slide with the right (ejection port) side down, to develop (the so called) muscle memory for stoppages, where having the ejection port "down" allows gravity to assist in clearing FTEs.​

    [2] Almost all IDPA* shooters use the slide stop (or "release" if you prefer) to drop the slide on "emergency/SLR" reloads, simply because it is faster**. Wear on the slide, or the slide stop/release is not an issue***. Even if it were, the stop/release is generally a softer metal than the slide, so the majority of the wear would be on the stop/release. The stop/release is a pretty inexpensive part, even on a 1911, and really cheap on a Glock.

    *USPSA/IPSC reloads are almost always "speed" reloads, so the slide is not released. The majority of reloads in IDPA are SLRs.​

    **There isn't much debate about the stop/release being faster. The debate occurs among the (super-cool) "tactical" shooters/instructors where the claim is that:

    (1) You have to use the overhand/slingshot (and not the stop/release) because (in a fight for your life) your hands will be be covered, and slick, with sweat/blood/other bodily fluids. To which I say, BS. Because, first - if you have ever had your hands covered in blood, you know blood is sticky - and second, even if your hands are "slick" the slide stop is a more "sure" method of slide release. To prove this to myself, I (and a couple of other experienced (IDPA SS/EX) shooters) did an experiment. We used Glock pistols with "extended" slide stops. We put a mixture of dish soap (Dawn) and water on our hands to make them "slick". Each shooter performed a SLR fifteen (15) times using the "overhand" release, and then fifteen (15) times using the slide stop. The "slide stop" method resulted in significantly fewer "errors" and less time than the "overhand" method for ALL shooters.

    (2) You have to use the overhand/slingshot (and not the stop/release) because (in a fight for your life) because the using the slide stop/release is a "fine motor skill" and the overhand/slingshot is a "gross motor skill"; and under stress your FMS goes to goes to crap, and you will eff-up dropping the slide (using the stop/release). To which I say, BS. Because, first - pulling the trigger is a FMS, so if your FMS's go to crap you are going to eff-up pulling the trigger (which occurs a lot more often than a SLR, more on than in #3). Second, if you have ever SO'ed any action pistol (Steel, USPSA - but particularly IDPA), people just don't eff-up an SLR using the stop/release - ever. I've seen thousands of SLRs, with (guessing) 97%+ using the stop/release - and to be honest, the "overhand/slingshot" shooters don't eff-up the "release" either. What does get effed-up (even among experienced shooters from time to time) is "hitting" the magazine well cleanly - which is, of course, completely independent of the release method.

    (3) Well, #3 really isn't a claim among the super cool tactical shooters, but rather more of something for your consideration. Although there may have been some occurrences, I can't find a single case of where a non-LE/non-MIL (ie "civilian") had to perform a SLR in a DGU. Being in a DGU event is extremely^3 rare for the "general law abiding citizen", then having to fire a shot in the DGU is rare, less than 1 in 10 for DGUs, then having to perform a SLR during a DGU is virtually non-existent.
    *** I have a G34 (the one pictured in the avatar) with 70k+ rounds through it, and probably 10's of thousands of slide releases via the stop/release through dry-fire practice, practice and competition - I'm still using the original stop/release and slide with zero issues. (Although I have replaced a locking block and slide lock).


    Although, I will concede that using the "overhand/slingshot" is the most "universal" method. Different firearms have the stop/release in differing locations, and some are not ambidextrous. So if you are going to use a "pick-up" firearm (as in battle), or you aren't going to practice enough to instinctively "know" where the release is, or if the release isn't particularly conducive to use in stress (like, for me, the S&W Shield), by all means use the overhand/slingshot over the stop/release.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  2. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    It would not effect the frame at all.

    The slide and the slide stop/release are the parts which would wear.
     

  3. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I meant slide actually

    I fixed it
     
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  4. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Here’s a serious answer to your serious question.

    It’s all about what habit you’re into. I routinely just grab the rear serrations, pull back, and let it slam forward. I do this with all my guns, be it a $400 polymer or a five figure “showpiece”.
     
  5. MD357

    MD357

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    Anyone here wore out a slide stop from reloads? Just curious. If it was an issue you'd hear of gamers and those in classes breaking them constantly.
     
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  6. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I never have personally.

    I have seen some wear around the notch in the slide on some used guns over the years, most likely due to repeated use of the slide stop.

    For me it’s just a habit not to. It’s natural for me to just grab the back of the slide with my off hand I guess. Obviously the slide stop is an option should I not have my left arm free.
     
  7. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon

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    Deputy Dave makes some good points on using the slide stop. As well, I'm pretty confident he's got a lot of experience under his belt that I don't.

    Having said that, I'm an "over the top with my weak hand" slide racker. It is what I was trained to do a long time ago and it is what I practice. Doing a reload is already a two hand procedure with handling and inserting a new magazine.
     
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  8. MD357

    MD357

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    Which model and did you take pics? What round count are you talking about?
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Yep

    It’s just very natural for me to do it that way. If I’m shooting one handed, which I do at the range here and there, I may point the gun downrange before racking the slide and use the slide stop to do it. That’s very few and far between though.
     
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  10. bac1023

    bac1023

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    No idea on round count. I’m just talking used guns I’ve seen over the years at shops or shows. Not many at that, so I’d imagine guns with a lot of use. Not something I ever took pictures of cause I had no reason to but I can the next time I see something. Granted I’ve gone to dozens and dozens of shows over the years, so I’ve seen a lot of used guns.

    It’s metal on metal with spring tension involved, so it’s not surprising.

    I don’t see the wear as a big problem or anything, but my habit is to insert a mag and rack the slide with the same hand by pulling back. I find it way more natural than using a slide stop. I look at it as simply that, a slide stop, not a lever.

    To each their own of course. I have friends who use the slide stop all the time.
     
  11. MD357

    MD357

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    I'm not arguing about which method to use, more power to them in whichever method they employ.

    I'm looking for objective examples from honest use that wore the part out. Not observations from a gun show or shop, which really doesn't give much credit to anything either way.
     
  12. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Maybe someone will have something. I’m not sure.

    I’ve never seen a slide stop break. I’ve only seen what I referred to. Can’t remember exactly, but likely all older guns, old 1911’s, Radom, etc

    Stuff that is prevalent at shows.
     
  13. sciolist

    sciolist On the Border

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    On slide-lock reloads, pretty much everyone either uses the stop manually or tunes it to auto-forward if they can't properly reach it. None of this has any negative impact on the slide.
     
  14. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    Not meaning to bicker.. you have a valid point. The following is not directed AT you.. merely hitch-hiking on your point.

    That said, this sort of himhawing around is way overintellectualizing the process. I doubt that ANY gunfight has EVER or WILL ever be lost or won based on pushing the slide stop rather than going over the top. ( or vise versa)

    I have always said that a person should not choose a method arbitrarily. You need to have an intellectually honest reason to do what you do. What you ultimately decide to do should probably support the mission is some easily articulable way. If you have that.. fine, it doesn't matter if it lines up with my personal ideas or not. Pick a method that makes sense to you and get on with it.

    I would wager that the type of shoes/boots you are wearing during your gunfight will probably be more of a contributing factor to winning or losing vs whether or not you use a slide stop. There are plenty of things worth pushing and pulling about in regards to fighting method. This aint one of them. At least not in my opinion.

    Everyone wants their particular beliefs to be relevant...I get it. Perhaps pushing a little chicklet on the side of your gun is better than going over the top. If it is, you will likely need scientific equipment and some high math to measure it. If that is the case rather than it simply being plainly obvious on its face, its probably not worth worrying about.

    To the OP, I would simply suggest buying an extra slide stop and do what works best for you. No matter which method you choose, you may want to acquaint yourself with a couple of other methods to hold in reserve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  15. HALO51

    HALO51

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    I used to use slide stop lever to release slide on reload. Try releasing slide with a slide stop on a Glock 21, not going to happen, have to release via hand on slide release, at least on mine you do.
     
  16. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    sure.. I have had guns like that as well. There are also several different guns that have a reputation for being difficult to use the slide stop as a "release". You make a good point, it is something to consider.

    I will say that I have opted for the over the top simply because I have never found a gun that it doesn't work on. I wont claim that its better or faster, its just what I do and why. It also answers a few issues I have being a lefty.
     
  17. Deputydave

    Deputydave Millennium Member

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    Actual statistics would be difficult to find on that topic. However, dropping the slide with the thumb is simply faster. But as I mentioned in my first post, the often overlooked aspect is one-handed manipulations vs. two-handed manipulations. Under stress and while injured is quite different that a fun day at the range. Most folks don't know how to reload, rack the slide or clear a malfunction one-handed. If they find themselves in a situation where they are under stress/duress and injured it could very well make the difference.

    I used the slide stop/release lever all the time on our agency G21.3's. It didn't seem to have any more resistance than an of the other models.
     
  18. HALO51

    HALO51

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    Mine is Gen 4
     
  19. GlockerBill

    GlockerBill

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    one of my many guns is a kahr cw380. it is rather finicky. manufacturer recommends releasing slide using only the slide stop. i have noticed many failure to feed when i pull back on slide, so i simply stopped doing that and have stopped having problems. i have never noticed it on other guns, but just to be safe i try to remember to use the stop on all of them.
     
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  20. rds95991

    rds95991 NRA Benefactor

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    The only time I cringe is when the slide is slammed on an empty chamber.
     
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