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Pistol Operation

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by titsonritz, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. titsonritz

    titsonritz has left the building. Well-Known Member

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    over and out
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  2. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, dropping the slide via slide release is for newbies. I stopped doing it altogether because it creates unnecessary wear to the slide catch mechanism, my theory is some guns can fail to keep the slide open after firing the last round.
     
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  3. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    I agree; rack the slide every time. Thumb release is a fine motor skill that may be lost in the heat of the moment. Grabbing the slide and racking it like you mean it is good training IMO.
     
  4. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Why? Because I was taught it...

    Each has it's pros and cons...you should always practice being able release the slide lock one-handed, reload with your shooting hand and even practice as if one of your hands is disabled. The key to training is to flexible and open-minded. Even though I'm against Appendix IWB carry, I do recognize the pros and cons to it.

    I have to laugh when I read stuff like this. I guess if my other hand has a flashlight in it I'm a "newbie"? There are many other scenarios I can drum up that would require to manipulate the slide release, but I fear it will fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes in this case). I see nothing wrong in using either the slide release or using the slide itself (by pulling back on the slide and releasing it) to reload...they both have their uses. Neither of them are "superior". One is faster, the other keeps your firing hand from having to reposition.

    FYI I've never seen a slide release wear down to the point that it wouldn't lock back on an empty magazine. Not saying it couldn't happen, just never seen a worn down slide-release from "excessive use". Google has nothing on this...even The High Road has this to say about it.

     
  5. enjr4

    enjr4 Renton, WA Active Member

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    I always rack the slide. Don't really know why you would need to, just the way I was trained. Riot has some good reasons not to. But, I think I will contine to rack the slide. In a bad moment, if I have to reload, I am in a really, really bad moment. Most of the time my spare mag is in my truck's console.
    Ed
     
  6. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    If it really bothers you, get a revolver. I always rack the slide, operating the release changes my grip, and I would rather not do that. In the heat of the moment I will always change out a partially empty mag for a full one negating the need to rack the slide or operate the release.
     
  7. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    this is a pretty ridiculous statement.

    the reason some organizations teach the slide rack is for sake of training masses where the lowest common denominator can be expected to be pretty low. it takes a slightly higher level of training to proficiently use the slide stop during an emergency reload, but you'll be a bullet or two faster once you nail it.

    i switched to a support-thumb slide stop after a decade of tactical shooting... i don't fail to manipulate any more than i did before, and i'm noticeably faster back to sight picture.
     
  8. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    switch to decaf, dude- freaken A.
     
  9. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    :laugh::laugh:
     
  10. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Firmly on the side of slide release. Kind of surprised to see a discussion of it. You're taking the firearm out of battery to rack the slide (I don't know anybody who racks the slide in the firing position, and it wouldn't be a good idea if it were ergonomically feasible because you'd have no control of where the muzzle wanders). Completely unnecessary, much slower, and potentially dangerous if you're not cautious where you're pointing it.

    So by racking the slide after changing mags you are:

    1. Taking the firearm further from the firing position, slowing you down.
    2. In taking the firearm out of firing position, you're sweeping the muzzle who know where, probably somewhere towards your foot or leg.
    3. Every time you drop a slide, you're taking a minute chance the firearm will discharge. That's why we train to be conscious of where the muzzle points when doing this

    By using the slide release, you

    -keep the firearm pointed down range, decreasing the chance of shooting yourself
    -increase speed

    Sweeping the slide release with you firing hand thumb shouldn't require losing your firing grip position. If it does, the firearm is too large for your hand. Your fingers stay in the same position. Moving the thumb to the slide relase and back should synchronize with re-indexing your support hand and allow your firing hand thumb to lie alongside your support thumb in the proper "long thumbs" cocked forward position.

    It may take a little practice, but practice will train your sequence of actions with no problem. It is true that gross muscle movement is more reliable under stress than fine motor control. Sweeping your thumbup and down is not a fine motor movement. Reloading a magazine with rounds, wirting your name, putting a key in a keyhole, even gripping a slide: these are fine motor movements. Slide locks and thumb safeties are designed deliberately to be easy to sweep with a thumb. Kimber Custom, I recommend trying an experiment: unload your firearm (ideally have two). Lock the slide back. Do 5 minutes of jumping jacks as fast as you can while squeezing a stress ball in each hand on every jump. Now try both methods (slide release and slide rack) and see which is easier. It should be fairly obvious.

    Somebody mentioned changing partial mags "in the heat" of action. Respectully, I doubt it. If your blood gets up you are going to empty that mag. The only time you would be able to switch partial mags is precisely when you're NOT in the heat of combat. When you have some momentary respite. And even then I doubt you will have counted your rounds.

    When the slide locks back on an empty magazine is a perfect time to change it. You know you can't go any further with the current mag, because there's no more boom. The slide is back, a new mag only needs a sweep of the thumb and you're ready to fire again. The gun stays pointed in roughly the right direction, it's much faster back to readiness etc. etc.

    Watch some videos people post of IPSC or IDPA matches, where they are being timed. I guarantee nobody who wins a match will have manually racked the slide on a fresh mag.

    ~NRA Certified Instructor # 178467647: Pistol and Chief Range Safety Officer
     
  11. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Who started this dumb *** adolescent discussion? Where is the NWFA taliban when you really need them?

    Does NRA "certified" instructor mean something? Evidently not, looking at your "number", they must give them out like baseball cards.

    Being a tad OCD is of benefit, I count, I know exactly how many rounds are in any of my firearms, at any time. Trust me changing a mag, is indeed quicker than changing the mag and releasibg the slide. I have taught too.
     
  12. Long Range

    Long Range East County New Member

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    Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch and most of the LE I know always rack over the top, real world tactical training, not game gun methods. Reasoning at Thunder Ranch was degradation of fine motor under stress and combining malfunction, clearance, and reload, and back in battery with same motion. I would never train or teach tactical training to try and find and manipulate the slide stop/release on semi auto malfunction,clearance, reload, some are almost impossible to hit and sit very flush to frame.
    IMHO LongRange
     
  13. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    First let me start out saying, one could not know how little I care which way anyone drops their slide.

    But some internet fables need to be addressed.

    Some guns are more set up to use the slide stop than others.

    Look at Sig and Glock, their slide stops are more recessed vs. a 1911 or some HK's which are more accessible.

    Moving ones left hand into the shooting grip, puts the left thumb into position to use the slide stop.

    Been doing it for well over 25+ years, and have yet to wear out a slide stop.

    I think the sling-shot / hand over method is a wasted motion, unless your gun requires it. See above...Sig/Glock.

    About the fine motor skill thing, that's been thrown out years ago. Its all about training, and doing any manipulation on your gun to the point where you don't have to think about it.

    I've been in a few scrapes on the street, and haven't missed my slide stop yet.

    But if we must go there, the trigger press/pull is a fine motor skill. If you have trouble jerking the trigger on the range, what do you think will happen when you're facing down someone and having to pull the trigger?

    Bottom line, whatever method you choose, train with it enough where you can do it anytime, anywhere without hesitation...and stick with it. You don't want to train different manipulations, it could be disastrous.
     
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  14. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    My mention of being an instructor is not to claim ultimate expertise, just to establish context. Sorry if you got your panties in a wad about that. I'll admit that with the literally decades of instructors the NRA has certified, there will be some idiots, I'm merely letting you know I have put some thought and time and money into learning- not just spouting off beligerently on an Internet forum.

    But on to the good points:

    titsonritz- now that you mention being a lefty, it makes more sense, but you might as well give up now; the universe is stacked against you mutant freaks ;) In all seriousness, I approach training lefties like I would a disabled person. Find an accomodating solution, even if it isn't perfect, it's better than nothing. It would be great to find a firearm set up for left handed or better ambidextrous safety and slide release, etc. Failing that, training to rack the slide makes sense in case you have to use an unfamiliar firearm that isn't set up for you.

    You have some really good points, including the one about change hand psoition for mag release. Hwoever, mag release and slide release are nearly as far apart in the sequence of movements as you can get. Firing hand (FH) moves to mag release while support hand (SH) goes for fresh mag. FH returns to battery while SH brings magazine to well and inserts. As SH continues upward movement from inserting mag and settles into battery, FH thumb is sweeping the slide relase and settling onto SH thumb in classic "long thumbs" forward cocked grip, SH index finger first knuckle settled on FH middle finger middle knuckle (for me). This brings all elements back into battery in the correct sequence (important) with no extra movements.

    Long range: Yes, not all controls are equally ergonomic and there is variation from one person's grip to another's. I would assume after trying one out, if your firearm controls were inconveneitn or not to your liking, you would change to a different firearm. The firearm that shoots best is the one that you can shoot best. If it's not comfortable, it's not for you.

    I daily carry a Glock model 22 and I never have a problem with the slide release. There were good points about training overcoming stress, and I agree. But nothing will overcome the huge change in grip and posture needed to rack the slide vs release the slide lock. If your idea of fast is like that scene in the Austen Powers movie where the guy stands in front of the steamroller screaming until it gets to him, I supopsee you won't care much about the difference between racking the slide and releasing the slide lock.

    And gripping, while not as fine as threading a needle, is more complex than a sweep of the thumb.

    I still say if one disagrees, try the experiment with the exercise to simulate conbat stress.
     
  15. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    (That link is a joke, btw)
     
  16. MikeSettles

    MikeSettles Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    I've been taught that in a fight there are two points when you may change a magazine (current military):

    1) "Emergency Reload" - you are shooting, while being effectively engaged by bad guy(s), and your slide/bolt locks to the rear: Drop the mag while reaching for the next one. TIME is of the essence; you must be fast or you may be dead. Don't worry about the dropped mag until the fight is over.

    2) "Tactical Reload" - You have gotten behind cover, your magazine is low (or you just want to have a full one when you re-engage): Remove the magazine, put it into a dump-pouch or your pocket, load a full one. Move out/re-engage when your weapon is ready.

    Practice both methods with your long-gun AND pistol. Do it with the tools that you would fight with.

    Racking the slide vs. using the slide lock: I have seen that people fumble on "racking the slide", resulting in a failure-to-feed.
    And most of the time, when the slide (or bolt) fails to lock to the rear, the magazine is at fault. Clean it - Lube it - Replace it. (Amatures ignore their magazines; professionals take care of them as they do the firearm itself.)
     
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  17. SnapShot

    SnapShot walla walla Member

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    as i have been trained.


    Reload when you can, NOT when you have to.
    so practice reloading as described above, (with one in the chamber ready to go) and the above emergency reload, where your slide is locked back. both are good ways to practice.


    when not behind cover, and reloading i would hope to keep my muzzle on targets, as i drop a mag, and reload (this leaves me one in the chamber incase i decide i need another shot before i get that mag in, or get caught off guard.
    this would be the non emergency reload, or reloading when i can.



    reloading when you have to or emergency reloading , reloading when our out of ammo in your firearm, communicate with your partner if you have one, RELOADING, or Going Cold, etc, drop mag, insert new mag, put muzzle back on target if not already there and drop the slide, ( i like dropping the slide with the release better for me, it seems faster, and my non trigger hand seems to have less of a distance to travel from the bottom of the magazine well, to my fireing pos.)




    Now onto your second question, which most people seemed to ignore .

    malfunction /clearances

    Tap Rack Bang

    simple 3 part solution, Tap means slapping the bottom of your pistol, to make sure your magazine is fully seated.


    Rack, Over Hand (NOT PINCHY) C shaped, Cuping action pulling the slide rearward, to clear malfunctions. (carefull as one member pointed out earlier, that you do not cover the ejection port) PRACTICE.


    Bang . shoot


    if problem not fixed, Repeat as above.
     
  18. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    All of my magazines are numbered so that if I notice problems, I know which one it is, and can replace it. Other than a minor adjustment to the feed lips, it's not worth trying to keep a faulty magazine.

    One modification to the clearing drill mentioned above- for people with less upper body strength or even gripping strength issues, having them grip the slide and "push" the firearm away seems to work better than "pulling" the slide to the rear.
     
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  19. MikeSettles

    MikeSettles Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Good "Immediate Action".

    Recommendation - if "Tap Rack Bang" doesn't bang, clear the weapon (while seeking cover), change magazines and return to the fight. This is known as "Remedial Action".

    I had occasion to work with the Kiwi's at Bagram: Their drill for reloading or fixing a stoppage (either one) would have them yell "stoppage" while taking a knee. When they stood up, they were back in the fight. Simple.

    Howsomever: Practice/drill/rehearse with partners.

    Cheers!
     
  20. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I rack the slide. Tap, Rack, Bang. Not tap, release slide, bang. Or in the case of a double feed, yank mag out, tilt to the side, rack rack rack, tap, rack bang.
    If it's a problem with bad ammo, feeding, extraction, etc. the slide isn't going to lock back for you anyway and you sure as heck aren't going to take time to manually lock it back if you are in a serious situation. Plus my medium size hands don't allow me to hit the slide release with my thumb on some pistols like the 1911 without shifting my grip.
    If just plinking or bench shooting I will sometimes use the slide release, but I don't want to train that way if it's a serious situation.