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Widder, SASS #59054

Slide/Bolt Stop or Release device ?

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This is something WE semi-auto pistol shooters can talk about.

 

I've witnessed over the course of a couple decades of shooting that MANY folks shooting a semi-auto pistol

will often use the 'slide/bolt lock open' device by pushing it down to release the slide/bolt when chambering a first round.

 

AND... I've witnessed MANY folks who will pull back on the slide/bolt to release it when chambering a first round.

 

My observations have shown me that those who use the lock open device as a Slide/Bolt Release mechanism for

an extended period of time have started having their slides NOT lock open on the last rounds, but rather close.

AND... contrary to that, I've observed those shooters who ONLY use that mechanism as a Slide/Bolt Lock Open device

have a greater reliability of the Slide/Bolt locking in the open position after a last round has been fired.

 

This past summer of 2019, I noticed on a couple of pistols were failing to lock open because the locking device was

wearing heavily on the edge of the Slide/Bolt because it had been used as a 'Release' device.

 

My thinking is that these devices will function much more reliably for a longer period if they are used as a 

Locking or 'Hold Open' mechanism and NOT as a 'slide/bolt release' mechanism.

 

Have any of you experienced this OR have any of you Semi-auto pistol shooters used this device as a 'Release' mechanism

over the years and have not had any issues with failure of your slide/bolt locking open after the last round is fired?

 

Thanks for your input.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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I noticed the notch for the slide lock had worn to a rounded corner on many of the 1911s that the Texas National Guard was armed with.

Those pistols were old and had been abused.  I saw a lot of soldiers close the slide by pressing down on the "device".

 

Duffield

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Slide Stop vs Slide Release

by John Travis

I had an interesting conversation with a 1911 owner/shooter the other day concerning the slidestop. He made a few ridiculous statements, and although I don't think that I changed his mind, I was at least able to give him something to think about. I'll list them below, along with my counter arguments. His comments in parenthesis.

"It's called a slide STOP...not a slide release. It was never intended to be used to release the slide."

The slidestop arm stands proud of the frame, and it has checkering on top. If it were never meant to release the slide, it would have been faster and cheaper to simply machine it flat. So, of course it was meant to release the slide.
***********************

"Using the slidestop to release the slide causes premature wear on the slidestop and notch."

With an empty magazine in the gun, draw the slide full rearward and look at the notch in relation to the stop. You'll notice that it goes well past it on a 5-inch gun. When the follower on the empty magazine pushes up on the stop's inner lug, it causes the stop's outer lug to pop up into the notch and lock the slide as the slide runs forward. The leading edge of the notch fairly slams into the rear face of the outer lug under near full spring tension and with whatever momentum the 14-ounce slide developed during the trip.

Better yet, draw the slide rearward and let go of it and you can see how hard it hits the stop. If it will stand up to that over and over, it's unlikely that a little friction will do it any harm.

The slidestop actually has five functions if we don't include field stripping.

It's a slide stop that keeps the slide from running off the frame when it goes to battery.

It's a slide lock that holds the slide to the rear when the magazine is empty.

It's a camming surface that works with the lower barrel lug to get the barrel into the slide.

It's an anchor for the link to get the barrel out of the slide.

It's a slide release.

He didn't take this well, and seemed to be in a snit when he left the conversation.

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I used to use the Slide Stop on my 1911s as a “Slide Release”. I did wear a couple of them out. 
 

When I bought my first Glock the LGS told me that the Slide Stop is not a Slide Release and that one should not use the stop to release the slide. I have been pulling the slide back to release the stop on every autoloader I have fired since then. 
 

If I were in a hurry I would still use the “slide sling shot method” to release the slide because if crap is going down I don’t need a jam on a reload. Which has happened to me in the past when using the Stop as a Release. 

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I, and many other competitive shooters have used the 1911 slide stop as a slide release over the past 50+ years. Replace it if it gets worn. 

 

I do NOT use it as a slide release when shooting a Glock.

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I think the "pull and release" or "slingshot" started with the Glock pistols.  I'd never heard of it before the Glocks came out and they said the slide stop was NOT to be used as a slide release.  Nor had I ever noticed anyone using the "slingshot" method on a pistol before the Glock.  I've never known anyone, before, that had any problem with wear by using the slide stop as a slide release.  I was actually taught to use the slide lock as a slide release before the Glocks arrived on the scene.

 

FWIW I use the lever as a slide release on all my pistols that have one, except for the Glock. 

 

On a tangent, I was watching footage of the Bianchi Cup last night and I noticed that none of the shooters I saw ever had their pistol go into slide lock.  They'd shoot their six (or whatever) rounds, drop the empty mag into the bag at their feet, load another mag and holster the pistol.  I assume they must overload the first mag by one round so there is always a round in the chamber.  Is that correct, or am I missing something?  It seems odd doing that in a competition.  Especially since their muzzle control did not seem to be the best while conducting those reloads with a loaded gun.  It's possible that those space guns have the slide lock removed or disabled for some reason and I just didn't notice them rack the slide before holstering.

 

Angus

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I can only say that when I entered the Army Reserve in 1988, and for the next five years, we still had 1911s. All of them were WWII vintage, and very well used. We only had a couple that had any real accuracy, but I recall no problems with them locking back or staying locked back. Now, I certainly don't claim any "special insight" into the platform, although I was trained to not only utilize it, but to train others in its use as well, by soldiers with what I still consider solid bonafides. I was trained to utilize the slide stop/ slide release to let the slide go forward after inserting a fresh magazine. I was also trained to not let the slide forward via the stop/release without a full magazine in, as over time it would damage the firearm. This training was reinforced with the M9 for me.

I will say for a fact I am faster releasing the slide via the stop/release after a magazine change, and it is a matter of economy of motion, although certainly training comes into play to a small extent. Consider:

Insert magazine, roll supporting hand up into proper grip and use the thumb to release the slide as the pistol pushes back forward toward the threat. OR

Insert magazine, take supporting hand up over the top of the pistol to grip the slide in some manner, and pull back to release, then back down to grip as the pistol pushes back forward.

 

If I were to carry a Smith and Wesson M&P, or a Glock, or any number of other semi-autos, I would need to practice the rack/slingshot method, because I have noticed the slide stop on them is such that I wouldn't have confidence in my ability to manipulate the lever consistently. As it is, the stop/release on the firearms I shoot regularly (1911 platform, M9, PX4 Storm, and now my little Beretta 85fs, all have prominent releases that I can get a solid purchase on.

Finally, believe it or not, I will say that one advantage of training to rack the slide to release it, is it works, regardless of what pistol you're using.

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1 hour ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

I, and many other competitive shooters have used the 1911 slide stop as a slide release over the past 50+ years. Replace it if it gets worn. 

 

I do NOT use it as a slide release when shooting a Glock.

 

This, X2 :excl:

OLG 

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Posted (edited)

 

IMG_0223.jpg.5350c2a4a93de5110aaf02a68b6815e8.jpg

The lock/release on my Springfield Arms is ridged on the top. This indicates to me it is a release; it is a release, but... From the manual for mine:

 

 

Quote

UNLOADING

If slide is already in “locked back” position:

  1. Point gun in safe direction.

  2. Press magazine release button to remove magazine.

  3. From top and rear, carefully inspect chamber to make sure it is empty (Figure 21-1).

  4. Hold slide, disengage slide stop, ease slide forward.

    Notice: The slide of a 1911-A1 pistol should never be released on an empty chamber; especially one which has had an action job. Releasing the slide on an empty chamber causes damage to the breech face on the barrel and undue stress on all action parts, including the hammer and the sear. This will ruin the action job performed on your pistol.

So what about for loading the pistol...

 

 

Quote

LOADING/PREPARING TO FIRE

  1. Place the EMPTY magazine in the magazine well, [...] Pull the slide all the way to the rear, until it locks back.

  2. Depress magazine release and
    remove magazine. [Load magazine]

  3. Re-insert magazine into magazine well, [...]

  4. [...] Pull slide back and release slide smartly to allow slide to move forward and load a shell from the magazine into the chamber.

 

The Slide stop is not a release for chambering a round, at least not on this particular firearm.

 

Edited by John Kloehr
Bold key statements in quoted material

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Posted (edited)

This is an AMT 40 Smith, Commander-size. It is not mine, just a pic I grabbed from the web.

 

IMG_20200525_121122.jpg.317a14c8442c0d9d88ee16dd420d70e5.jpg

 

Notice the extended slide stop and thumb safety.

 

When I first got mine (it came with one magazine) I loaded five rounds and shot them. The slide locked back.  I dropped the magazine, put five rounds in it, reinserted it and used the slide stop to drop the slide. The gun would not fire. The safety was on.

 

I did this several times, and the same thing happened every time. I would drop the slide using the slide stop, and the gun would not fire because the safety was on.

 

I finally figured it out.

 

When I reached for the slide stop, my thumb was underneath the thumb safety. The lightweight gun combined with the shock of the slide flammang SLAMMING home made the gun jerk in my hand, and the top of my thumb would hit the bottom of the thumb safety, putting the safety on without me knowing it.

 

2112605162_AMTCommando40SW.jpg.939935aa39cf76995c92c645c0464d49.jpg

 

This one is my gun. Notice both the oversized slide stop and the oversized thumb safety have been trimmed down.

 

The safety was just DOES not go on when I drop the slide now.

 

With the extended parts being so popular, this would be something to think about. Would truly suck to make a quick magazine change during a firefight, push down the slide stop, and then while you're frantically pressing the trigger wondering what the hell is going on, some bad guy shoots you 3 or 4 times.

Edited by Alpo
otto, quit making up words. "flammang"?
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

When I bought my first Glock the LGS told me that the Slide Stop is not a Slide Release and that one should not use the stop to release the slide.

 

1 hour ago, Black Angus McPherson said:

I'd never heard of it before the Glocks came out and they said the slide stop was NOT to be used as a slide release.

 

Interesting. I bought my first G17 somewhere around mid-1980s-ish and have never heard that before.

 

From the Glock manual:

 

If the slide is locked in the rearward position, either press the slide stop lever (27) down to release the slide and return it to the fully forward position or grasp the rear of the slide at the serrations with your other hand and pull the slide fully back and then release it, allowing it to return to the fully forward position.

 

Glock owners' manual

 

Okay, maybe this link will work:

https://us.glock.com/en/downloadable-materials

Edited by Ozark Huckleberry
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10 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

 

 

Interesting. I bought my first G17 somewhere around mid-1980s-ish and have never heard that before.

 

From the Glock manual:

 

If the slide is locked in the rearward position, either press the slide stop lever (27) down to release the slide and return it to the fully forward position or grasp the rear of the slide at the serrations with your other hand and pull the slide fully back and then release it, allowing it to return to the fully forward position.

 

Glock owners' manual

 

Okay, maybe this link will work:

https://us.glock.com/en/downloadable-materials

I have read that too. I just stick with sling-shotting the slide. It doesn’t hurt. 

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On my Sig SP2022, the equivalent control is called a Slide Catch Lever. It can be used to release the slide on reloading the firearm, or the operator can pull back on and release the slide..

 

For this firearm, the Lever can also be used to drop the slide on an empty chamber.

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One of the pistols I had referenced in my OP was a very used S&W model 41 .22 semi-auto.

Over the years, the slide 'lock' device had maintained its integrity BUT, the area of the slide that mates with it had worn

and actually beveled to a degree that the slide would not stay open, EVEN if you held the slide back and manually pushed

up on the slide lock device.   Indeed, this was very strange to me.

S&W had to replace the whole blame slide to fix the problem and charged the owner accordingly...... 'ouch'.

 

After reading all the good stuff posted above, here are some of my thoughts:

1. whether its a good or bad technique to use the slide stop mechanism as a slide release, if its purpose of locking the

slide back once the mag is empty is compromised, then the shooter MUST rack the slide completely in order to chamber

the fresh round from the mag.   When the slide lock functions as designed, the shooter only has to rack the slide 

slightly rearward to chamber that fresh round.

 

2.  In my younger years, I have used the slide lock as a slide release but the past couple decades have made me look

at it different for various reasons.

I've grown to use the 'sling shot' technique to feed a fresh round from the mag AND, just in case I ever have to reload

with only the use of ONE HAND, I will be able to do so using the Slide Stop to release the slide.   Kind of an insurance policy

when everything else might be going south.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I didn't start this thread to make it sound like there is a right or wrong technique in using the Slide Stop/Release

mechanism but rather WE can share input from experiences and thought.

 

Good post above.   Thanks fellers.

 

P.S.:   Black Angus, I have also seen some videos of various competitions as you mentioned and I noticed the same thing you

mentioned.   Interesting.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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2 hours ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

I, and many other competitive shooters have used the 1911 slide stop as a slide release over the past 50+ years. Replace it if it gets worn. 

 

I do NOT use it as a slide release when shooting a Glock.

Same here, when I shot 1911s in competition. 
 

When I took up shooting Glocks I had stopped using 1911s. The only 1911s I have fired since have been other folks guns when at the range or at fun shoots. 
 

I may buy another 1911 someday for Wild Bunch.

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24 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

 

 

Interesting. I bought my first G17 somewhere around mid-1980s-ish and have never heard that before.

 

From the Glock manual:

 

If the slide is locked in the rearward position, either press the slide stop lever (27) down to release the slide and return it to the fully forward position or grasp the rear of the slide at the serrations with your other hand and pull the slide fully back and then release it, allowing it to return to the fully forward position.

 

Glock owners' manual

 

Okay, maybe this link will work:

https://us.glock.com/en/downloadable-materials

 

Now you've got me wondering where I first heard that the Glock slide stop was not a slide release.  I honestly don't recall ever reading the Glock owner's manual.  Shame on me, I guess.  I DID once go thru a Glock Armorer's course for Police Dept.'s and I seem to recall hearing the "not a slide release" in the class.  I'm not sure if I even still have the handouts from the class to check them.

 

I'm pretty sure that any Glock based training I've had mentioned the slide stop was not a slide release.  Maybe it was one of those "Everybody knows that" facts that is wrong.  Usually the training to use the slingshot on Glocks was accompanied by a "look how flimsy the slide stop is made" comment.

 

Angus

 

 

 

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My favorite (only) semi-auto has always been the 1911.  Even when used as my duty arm, I used the "Slide Stop" as the Slide Release.  ALL of my 1911s have been delivered from the manufacturer with the extended Slide Stop/Release as well as Ambi-Extended Safety.  I personally never had one wear out.  I did have magazines that wouldn't trip the Stop.  I have never owned/shot a Glock 

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If you are shooting competitively and somehow manage to go to slide lock (because you didn't/lost count etc) … AND … need to reload … It is nice to be able to release the slide with your weak hand thumb as you are extending the gun/re-establishing your grip.

 

Some people say they can slingshot just as fast but to each his own I guess.

 

Light recoil springs (for competition) I suspect were responsible for the appearance of recoil buffers and many 1911s will not slingshot with one installed (removes too much reward slide travel for the stop to fall down). 

 

I have shot a 5 inch M&P in competition "a lot" … it is a first gen M&P and one thing I always appreciated was it's ability to release the slide by simply seating a magazine aggressively. It is actually an M&P core ... and when it has an optic mounted it is kinda tricky attempting a slingshot w/o paying attention. 

 

Of course ... it "IS" poor form to go to slide lock on a stage but sometimes it just happens (lose count / take a chance on absolutely/positively making that "last" shot to avoid a reload on the clock etc) …

But when it did happen it was cool (IMHO) to watch it slam forward all by itself.

 

This was something that was "fixed" in the second gen M&P and many youtube/gun forum experts immediately materialized to correct complainers … "that it is a slide stop … not a slide release" … blah blah blah …

 

Of course … everything works when you have all the time in the world … so again … I guess … "to each his own" … BUT … it is irritating to have them get on their horses (sgt tactical) and dedicate their lives to telling every errant sole "how wrong they are" …

 

AND … if the practice of releasing the slide with the little thingie on the side … instead of doing a slingshot actually did cause any significant wear … who cares??

These are competition guns (not BBQ guns) and you might actually have to do some maintenance sometimes (although I have not yet had to do so on my high mileage rock island or M&P). <_<

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While on the subject of slide stops, something else to consider.

 

This is a 45 magazine in a 1911. Notice how the slide stop teat almost completely covers the follower ledge. With this magazine the gun locks open every time.

 

IMG_20200525_140640.thumb.jpg.6c53c5a0177ffd384d757a15149f96bb.jpg

 

Same gun, 9mm magazine. See how the teat is just barely touching the ledge on the follower? The slide never locks back with this magazine.

 

IMG_20200525_140515.thumb.jpg.ed734219b7c5d2530024216099974f4b.jpg

 

I discovered they make a 9mm slide stop. I suppose the teat is longer, so that it will reach further into the magazine channel. Since the 9 mm magazine is skinnier than the 45 magazine, the follower ledge is not as close to the left side.

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Regarding the 1911, I have had one slide stop fail, with the tab that is engaged by the magazine follower break off inside the frame. But I still use it as a slide release. Muscle memory, I guess. 

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I have a Glock 23 (so compact 40 S&W-- to save a google for that would need) generation 3 from 1998 or 1999, it's my most consistent carry pistol.  I've mostly used the lever as a release, I have used over the top slingshot a bit.  I can see the logic behind both techniques, though I don't really agree with the whole "loss of fine motor control" crowd.  I have no idea how many rounds have gone through it, but I'd venture its a healthy 5 digits, though no way it's 100k.  Mostly Winchester White Box 180grn FMJ through it (though the last few thousand have been reloads [I only started reloading a few years ago]).  It's all still original parts actually, aside from an extended Vickers(I think) mag release that went in a few years ago.  Pretty much flawless function, still locks back on last round no issues.  40 is supposed to be notorious for being hard on these frames, mines fine.  Though just reading that makes me think I should think about springs....  

 

So for a data point: 20 years of decent but not super use n=1 is still just fine.  If it starts to go; it looks like glockstore has a replacement for 18 bucks, I'd count that as a win.  My other stuff I don't think I've used consistent/long enough to be a talking point- but M&Ps, P320s, A Walther P99 gen 1 all are fine too.

 

I'm still digesting what I think, but I think I'm falling into the thought that changing or dictating technique based upon long term wear is something I don't fully support.  It's a bit like the advice some give of "don't use an expensive gun for carry as if you have to use it you'll lose it to evidence for years."  Which in my line of thinking is somewhat insane, it's a tool not a talisman.  

 

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4 minutes ago, Dr Matt Lurse said:

It's a bit like the advice some give of "don't use an expensive gun for carry as if you have to use it you'll lose it to evidence for years."  Which in my line of thinking is somewhat insane, it's a tool not a talisman.

That would depend upon HOW expensive.

 

I have several guns that cost in the neighborhood of $1,000. That's expensive. But if that's what I happen to be carrying when I shot the bad guy, it would not upset me too damn much for my $1,100 pistol to be in the evidence locker.

 

I also have a couple that are 20K plus. I would really not like to shoot somebody with one of them and have it go to the evidence locker.

 

There's expensive, and then there's EXPENSIVE.

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1 minute ago, Alpo said:

I also have a couple that are 20K plus. I would really not like to shoot somebody with one of them and have it go to the evidence locker.

 

There's expensive, and then there's EXPENSIVE.

Agree, but I still would.  :)  

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Kahr recommends using the slide stop/release to chamber the first round on their very small sub-compacts because if the slide is not all the way back when it is released, a failure to feed often occurs because the slide did not have enough energy to chamber the first round completely..

 

I own a Kahr PM9 and found the above to be true.  If I pulled the slide back and released I would get the failure to feed, but if I locked the slide back and used the slide release lever, the first round always chambered.  I don't think I've ever had a jam ammo otherwise.

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That doesn't make sense.

 

If the slide is locked with the slide stop, the slide is (we will say for example) back 1.2 inches. If you push down the slide stop it goes forward 1.2 inches.

 

If you pull the slide backwards to release it, when you let go it is back 1.4 inches.

 

If the slide is fully forward, and you pull it to the rear and release it to load the chamber, then I can see how you might possibly not pull it for enough and you would get a failure to feed.

 

But if the slide is in the slide lock position, and THAT is far enough back to pick up the top round in the magazine, if you pull the slide further back to release the slide stop, how can the slide not be far enough back to pick up a top round?

 

 

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Alpo,

I was thinking the same thing.    How can a shorter movement of the slide be more efficient 

in feeding rounds from the mag than the longer movement of the slide?

 

..........Widder

 

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Sometimes when people slingshot they either don't pull the slide all the way back or they don't quickly release it from all the way back easing it down for a short distance before releasing. 

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People are prone to "riding" the slide" back into battery when doing it by the sling shot method.  The slide release utilizes 100 percent of the spring pressure.

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Hi, I have always used the slingshot method. I have complete control of the pistol. I don't hang on to the slide, AKA slingshot. I recently had a reblued 1911 made in 1918 that I purchase from a shooter 20 years ago close on an empty magazine. I had to changed out the slide stop, I checked the magazine first. I got my first 1911 in the 70's and this is the first slide stop I  have had to replace, YMMV, regards, Mike

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I think some people may be confused how about terminology.

 

This is not slingshotting the slide.

1191613663_Sliderackoverthetop2.jpg.5896fb3d90836a9a747c9f701f7047ba.jpg

 

And it is very likely that when doing this you will ride the slide home.

 

This is slingshotting.

233396666_Sliderackslingshot.jpg.c47cbb17585b5f96c2d008411936b99e.jpg

 

You pull it back and you let it go.

 

Two people in this thread have referred to over the top as slingshotting.

 

As for "riding the slide", you should not let equipment make up for incorrect handling. If you "ride slide home", you need a little bit of training.

 

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5 hours ago, Alpo said:

That doesn't make sense.

 

If the slide is locked with the slide stop, the slide is (we will say for example) back 1.2 inches. If you push down the slide stop it goes forward 1.2 inches.

 

If you pull the slide backwards to release it, when you let go it is back 1.4 inches.

 

If the slide is fully forward, and you pull it to the rear and release it to load the chamber, then I can see how you might possibly not pull it for enough and you would get a failure to feed.

 

But if the slide is in the slide lock position, and THAT is far enough back to pick up the top round in the magazine, if you pull the slide further back to release the slide stop, how can the slide not be far enough back to pick up a top round?

 

 

Because people weren't always pulling the slide ALL the way back.  And on a Kahr PM9, the difference is maybe a 1/16th of an inch between slide lock and all the way back.   In practice Kahr is right, I don't remember ever having a failure to feed on the first round by releasing the slide lock/release lever.  

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47 minutes ago, Alpo said:

I think some people may be confused how about terminology.

1191613663_Sliderackoverthetop2.jpg.5896fb3d90836a9a747c9f701f7047ba.jpg 233396666_Sliderackslingshot.jpg.c47cbb17585b5f96c2d008411936b99e.jpg

 

 

Does the terminology really matter??

It's really ... "using the slide stop to release the slide or some other means" ...

 

Actually, if this woman puts any pressure on the protruding shaft of the slide stop/release on the right side of the frame with her index finger (as show in the pictures) as she is retracting the slide ... she will probably jam the gun anyhow ... (as it will slide out just enough to jam the slide). Then the intruder will simply take it away from her and resell it on Craigslist to a Wild Bunch shooter. 

 

AND .... how about this guy?? He lost his left arm on the internet and has to use his shoe ... Is this an "over the top"??

heelrelease.jpg.37dec3c92878a2187a4d1d5533e9e834.jpg  

 

I'm just kidding of course ... but ... this seems to be where these threads go everytime they appear on most forums. (several pages) ... :lol: 

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Needs a squared off sight to make that more manageable.  Riding the slide is a no no for sure.  I slingshot my carry 45's because I want to know that first round is fully chambered everytime.  I shot IPSC 30 years ago and it does cost time, but not as much as a round that has to be shucked or a gun recocked for a second strike

 

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