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  #1  
Old 01-28-2009, 10:51 PM
pendennis pendennis is offline
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Releasing The Slide Lock

Last night, while completing the range requirement for my CPL (CCW) classes, the instructors advised everyone not to use the slide lock release lever to seat the top round from a fresh magazine. They were teaching everyone to grasp the slide with the left hand, pull back and release the slide.

I've handled 1911's for over 45 years, and until last night, was never instructed to load a round in this manner. Two reasons were always given:
  • There is temptation to ride the slide, perhaps causing a failure to seat.
  • Using the slide release lever didn't require a delay in gripping when using a two-handed grip.

Has the technique changed? It seemed very awkward, and counter to what I consider a "natural" technique.

Comments or emotional outbursts?

Thanks in advance.

Best,
Dennis
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:22 PM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Dennis,
In the following days, you will read pages of emotionally charged nonsense about what's 'tactically more sound', what's gross vs; fine motor skills and a whole host of unrelated jibberish. Pick one, practice it and move on with your life.

Meanwhile, to dump a little nitro on the coming flames....

John Moses Browning INTENDED for you to use the Slide Stop as both a release and a stop.

Patent #708794 Page 6 starting on line 129
"Then releasing the breach-slide by pressing upon the thumbpiece of the latch-slide the breach will be automaticly closed by the reaction spring, and the pistol will be ready again for firing."

And reiterated in the 1911 patent:

Patent #984519 Page 8 Line 14
"After placing the magazine in the grip the breech-slide is released by pressing the handle i."

The rest is semantics. The MAN himself intended it to be a slide release and a slide stop.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2009, 12:21 AM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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I totally agree with Sethmark. I've handled real live Colt Model 1911A1's and the TOP of the slide stop is finely checkered.

Now, on to training and tactics. I've an instructor for a large police department and teach Glock transition. The slingshot the slide thing is taught by Glock factory instructors because on Glocks the slide stop is such a small, flat piece releasing it is a pain, especially under stress, to release. Also, the tendency is to press your entire thumb against the side of the slide, slowing it down, when releasing the slide.

Some tactics/tactical firearms instructos like to teach under stress fine motor skills will render you unable to find that tiny slide release blah blah blah.

On older, soft mil-spec slide, releasing the slide using the stop would over time peen the slot. Modern, high carbon/stainless slides (I'm building a Caspian right now), do not suffer this issue.

Bottom line, if you train with your equipment until releasing the slide becomes a automatic reflex you'll be fine.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2009, 01:28 AM
BikerRN BikerRN is offline
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When I went to FLETC they were all over me for using the Slide Stop. I even got a lecture about it.

Oh well, the agency that sent me there was paying me, so I did it their way. On my time, and at Re-Quals I do it any dang way I want to. I've been shooting for a bit and use the Slide Stop, as I have found it faster and has less movement than "slingshotting" or "overhanding" the slide.

Funny thing is, one Instructor said, "You are to never use the Slide Stop to release the slide on any pistol." I of course had to bring up the Kahr line of pistols, where they instruct you to use the Slide Stop for loading, not the "slingshot". In short, I did it their way while I was there.

Learn both and be able to use both. Then pick which one you want to use. That's my $0.02 on the matter.

Biker
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2009, 02:26 AM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethmark View Post
Dennis,
In the following days, you will read pages of emotionally charged nonsense about what's 'tactically more sound', what's gross vs; fine motor skills and a whole host of unrelated jibberish. Pick one, practice it and move on with your life.
Truer words were never spoken!
I prefer using the slidestop, but then, I'm a 1911-only guy. For those liable to use other designs (some w/o slidestop), it makes sense to go to a different technique.
Making up technical or tactical reasons to justify the preference is not cool, though, I don't care who the instructor is (can you say, "lowest common denominator"?).
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2009, 07:06 AM
gkos59 gkos59 is offline
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It has always seemed more natural for me to use the slide lock. When reloading from slide lock I keep the pistol pointed in the direction of the target, insert a fresh mag with my off hand,and release the slide lock with my off hand thumb as I regain a two hand grip and place the sights on target. This technique has always worked well for me even when shooting a Glock.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2009, 08:22 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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As I handle 1911's primarily, but also a BHP and an XD(M) I have learned both methods and tend to use both, which might stress folks a bit as many tend to go one way or the other exclusively. But, as mentioned, for some you have the issue of what size slide stop you are trying to release. But again, lots of practice does tend to make one proficient. Even under the pressure of very stressed SD/HD class situations, for me, the slide gets dropped well, one way or the other.

Choose one, the other, or both. Practice and practice well.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by mitrod3; 01-29-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2009, 08:44 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Another advantage, other than the obvious, is that one might not always be using a JMB 1911. As stated above, Glocks, for example, are a lot more conducive to the "four fingers over the slide" method than they are of using the slide stop lever as a slide release.

In my humble opinion, JMB's patent verbiage is largely irrelevant to this discussion.
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Last edited by WalterGC; 01-30-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2009, 04:40 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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Originally Posted by mitrod3 View Post
Choose one, the other, or both. Practice and practice well.
Although I have herd many more *good* arguments to use one TTP over the other, at the end of the day, the best answer is above. As long as you use one or the other, or both, thereby causing the slide to go forward and chamber a round, and it is repeatable, you are GTG.

Like every one, I have a preference. I did not look deeply into the arguments then chose one. I found that even under a little duress, even though I was taught both TTPs and have forced myself to use them both, I almost always revert to one with out any cognoscente thought.

Both TTPs are "correct". Just be careful in what argument you use. I don't see many arguments about the techniques. Most of the argument come about due to the inaccuracy of some of the arguments and myths.

Again, pick one or both, train, and drive on.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:12 PM
69charger 69charger is offline
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I agree with Shaft and others that say its all good. Just do what your used to or comfortable with and don't fret over it.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:21 PM
supergus supergus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAFT View Post
Although I have herd many more *good* arguments to use one TTP over the other, at the end of the day, the best answer is above. As long as you use one or the other, or both, thereby causing the slide to go forward and chamber a round, and it is repeatable, you are GTG.

Like every one, I have a preference. I did not look deeply into the arguments then chose one. I found that even under a little duress, even though I was taught both TTPs and have forced myself to use them both, I almost always revert to one with out any cognoscente thought.

Both TTPs are "correct". Just be careful in what argument you use. I don't see many arguments about the techniques. Most of the argument come about due to the inaccuracy of some of the arguments and myths.

Again, pick one or both, train, and drive on.
Agreed. I personally use the slingshot method. It seems to give a little more
inertia for a nice positive return to battery, although I haven't measured either way with scales. Plus for me the slingshot method is already second nature since I practice tap, rack, release all the time to clear malfunctions.
That brings up a point. I'd love to see if there is scientific evidence that shows if one way closes the slide with more energy than the other.
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:26 PM
scott 40s&w scott 40s&w is offline
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Other factors are in play here as well like:
Do you have the strength/dexterity to operate the slide release?
Do you have a extended slide release to make it easier?
What if you need to use a gun you are not familar with?
There is a difference between the sling shot method and the over the top method. If done properly you will not slow the slide down or pinch your hand.
There is also a concept called continuity in training. It basicly means you do things the same way with different weapons. The over the top method works with almost all semiauto handguns, while the slide release is in different positions. It is also the method you should use to clear a miss fire. If you already have the habit of operating the slide with the overhand method clearing this snap will be easy because you have practiced it every time you load the gun. In training you should load the gun the same way every time, if the slide is forward you rack it to load the gun, so the overhand method is almost identical to loading with the slide forward. I have seen guys that are good shooters get in a IDPA match and have problems finding there slide release due to the induced stress of the match. That tells me the stress issue of a real gunfight will be much higher and they could mess up even more.
Just my .02 worth from training civilians to CCW
Scott
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:41 PM
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I recognize that the slide release (slide stop?) is quicker, but I determined that I couldn't consistently hit it and release the slide. I'm a lefty, and I could never come up with a consistent means of releasing the slide with the slide stop (slide release?). I tried my trigger finger, which really works pretty well, but there's not much leverage, and it's not always positive. I tried using my off-hand fingers, as the tips are near the slide . . . control when I seat the mag, but I would fumble with the choice of finger or fingers? So, I've decided on slingshot, both since it's the most repeatable, and because it's all but universal. I shoot more than one type of gun, and slide releases aren't always in the same place.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:55 PM
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LW McVay LW McVay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendennis View Post
Has the technique changed? It seemed very awkward, and counter to what I consider a "natural" technique.

Comments or emotional outbursts?

Thanks in advance.

Best,
Dennis
Stick with what YOU know and do best. Ignore the fadists... If you know the slide lock, like it, and do it well then just rock on and ignore 'advice'.

Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2009, 11:14 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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Originally Posted by LW McVay View Post
Stick with what YOU know and do best. Ignore the fadists... If you know the slide lock, like it, and do it well then just rock on and ignore 'advice'.
I agree. I have argued about the WHYS but I don't argue about which is better. I know far too many real deal guys who use both and don't give it another thought.
Many of the arguments have holes.

Last edited by SHAFT; 01-29-2009 at 11:17 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2009, 12:29 AM
Steve in PA Steve in PA is offline
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Originally Posted by scott 40s&w View Post
I have seen guys that are good shooters get in a IDPA match and have problems finding there slide release due to the induced stress of the match. That tells me the stress issue of a real gunfight will be much higher and they could mess up even more.
Scott
So they can't hit the slide catch, but they can hit the tiny mag release to do a mag change?

Sorry......its all about being familiar with your weapon.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:11 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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Originally Posted by LW McVay View Post
Stick with what YOU know and do best. Ignore the fadists... If you know the slide lock, like it, and do it well then just rock on and ignore 'advice'. Good luck.
Also agree..........in the end, if it works, it works. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. Go with what works for you.

But, if you find that a familiar method does not fly as you move from gun to gun (say 1911 to Glock or XD) then experiment, experinece, practice and go with what flies then.

If can drop the slide on a 1911 with the slide stop under most circumstances. When I go to the XD(M) I go to the hand over the top of the slide move as hitting that little ole XD slide stop ain't that easy for me anymore. But that just me.

Be safe, shoot well.

Last edited by mitrod3; 01-30-2009 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:20 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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Agreed. I personally use the slingshot method. It seems to give a little more inertia for a nice positive return to battery, although I haven't measured either way with scales. Plus for me the slingshot method is already second nature since I practice tap, rack, release all the time to clear malfunctions. That brings up a point. I'd love to see if there is scientific evidence that shows if one way closes the slide with more energy than the other.
Non-scientifically speaking I have noticed that a slide stop release could at times chamber a round that the hand over the top of the slide method might not, when dealing with a new gun that needed to have the ramp polished or the barrel throated a bit. It just seemed like the slide stop release had a bit more inertia/power to drive that bullet in. Again....in no way confirmed by any real scientific measures or info there.

Be safe, shoot well.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:28 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Originally Posted by mitrod3 View Post
Non-scientifically speaking I have noticed that a slide stop release could at times chamber a round that the hand over the top of the slide method might not, when dealing with a new gun that needed to have the ramp polished or the barrel throated a bit. It just seemed like the slide stop release had a bit more inertia/power to drive that bullet in. Again....in no way confirmed by any real scientific measures or info there.

Be safe, shoot well.

I've found exactly the opposite to be true, in my experiences. There's no logical reason why a slide moving a shorter distance would chamber a round better than from the same distance that normal cycling during firing offers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:35 AM
mitrod3 mitrod3 is offline
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I've found exactly the opposite to be true, in my experiences. There's no logical reason why a slide moving a shorter distance would chamber a round better than from the same distance that normal cycling during firing offers.
Interesting. One of those enigmas that happen out here. For me it is the opposite as stated above.

Maybe more folks can chime in on this, or possibly my hand off of the top of the slide release might not be as "snappy" (as executed by myself) as the slide stop release? The slide stop release is very abrupt while the other may be a little less intense and with less snap, when I do it. I guess my own execution of the hand over the slide technique might be potentially a hair under par?

Edit: I should add that every weapon I currently own will actually chamber well with either method at this point in time. Sometimes it is just easier to use one over the other.

Good shooting to you.

Last edited by mitrod3; 01-30-2009 at 10:24 AM.
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:02 AM
SharkZF6 SharkZF6 is offline
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My first handgun was a Glock 22. I trained with it ... a lot. The use of the slingshot method is ingrained in my head for that reason so that's what I used when I started using 1911s. Whatever you are use to is the strategy you should employ.

FYI - "racking the slide" is part of recovering from a failure training. This can lend to the intuitive nature of using the so called slingshot method as well, which should prevent riding the slide back given proper technique and practice.

Glad to hear you completed your CCW. The more honest armed citizens there are, the better for all of us.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:43 AM
mr2guru mr2guru is offline
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It really depends on the gun, imo.

On my rock stock S70 gold cup the slide release doesn't alway chamber a full magazine. But the the slingshot does every time.

Yeah, it's probably a problem that could be fixed, but the gun is in line to get a full workover by Harrison Custom anyway.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2009, 10:06 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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Originally Posted by scott 40s&w View Post
I have seen guys that are good shooters get in a IDPA match and have problems finding there slide release due to the induced stress of the match. That tells me the stress issue of a real gunfight will be much higher and they could mess up even more.
This is a good example of where the arguements start to go awry. I have seen many guys grab the slide and fail to get it relaesed. Then they have to go back a second time. I'm talking about well known, and respected shooters. No, I'm not mocking the technique, but only saying that there are two sides to every coin.
The "I saw someone screw it up" arguement only flies if you look both directions.

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Old 01-30-2009, 10:53 PM
Vincent Vega Vincent Vega is offline
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To be come too fascinated with one way of doing something when multiple routes to that same destination can be used is not good training. Relying on sling shotting the slide requires the use of two hands. The slide stop just uses one. Why not practice with both ways. For you military folk, METT-TC. The current conditions you face should dictate the best way of doing something.
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2009, 08:23 AM
BillD BillD is offline
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I drop the slide on a new mag using the slide release. However, if (and they are very few) I have a malf, there is no hesitation to doing a tap, rack. And I am certainly not HSLD, I'm just another competitor, expert in IDPA and a C class USPSA.
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