It’s probably a better technique to use than using the slide stop/release lever. Some firearms are not designed to use it as a slide release - like the M&P.
Everything I’ve owned so far (Glock, Beretta, HK) allows it so I never got out of the habit of using the slide release.
Check your owner’s manuals. That slide lock/release lever is not always correctly used as a release lever. Some manufacturers, in fact, warn you to not use it as a release lever. If you do, you run the risk of wearing the edge off the slide notch, after which you can no longer lock your slide open…and you will need to purchase a new slide. Personally, I never release any of my slides using the lever - better safe than sorry.
I used to rack the slide every time. But I’m a lefty and read about a technique of resting the trigger finger knuckle on the slide release while forcefully inserting a mag. Causes the slide to drop and be ready to go with no extra movements. I assume a right handed person could do this with their thumb??
It probably won’t work or shouldn’t be done with all firearms or for all people. You don’t want to put anywhere near enough pressure to drop the slide before the mag is inserted. For my handguns I don’t have to apply any real pressure. I wouldn’t recommend it without a lot of practice. But for me it works 100% of the time with my home defense pistol and 95% with my primary carry. I have trained so that if it doesn’t drop the slide I automatically rack the slide so it doesn’t slow me down at all compared to the rack every time method.
Yes. Gotta rack the slide if it drops when you didn’t want it to, you might have an empty chamber.
Yup I wouldn’t recommend the method if it requires applying any more than the barest amount of force to get the slide to drop as you jam in the mag. In a stressful situation you may apply a lot more force than you think you are and end up with a closed slide on an empty chamber without realizing it. I think that is one of the advantages of being a lefty with this technique. With my finger extended it takes a lot of extra force to use just the finger to drop the slide. At least for me with my smallish hands. My technique Is to drive the slide release up into my finger with the mag as apposed to moving my finger down into the slide release.
That timing issue (premature release causing misfeed or no-feed) is why any release controlled by the strong hand is a no-go for me. When release is by the weak hand, it has completed its other mission (insertion) and can’t be premature. My weak thumb has nothing better to do while I am reforming my grip, so releasing the slide that way slows nothing — and I believe avoids timing errors.
I will occasionally drop the slide by “pull-back” or strong thumb — but that’s for lazy, administrative reloading. The gun is then ready to go while my hands are nowhere close, if my intention is to resume shooting promptly. I don’t what that to be habit.
For me there is no timing issue. Being lefty my left trigger finger hits the mag release and moves to rest the inside of the knuckle on top of the slide release with the finger extended very close to where it would usually be in the ready position. While that is happening my right hand reaches for the spare mag. Right hand forcefully inserts the mag forcing the slide release to bump into my trigger finger and the slide slams forward. I do not have enough finger strength to accidentally release the slide early in this position and have never had an early slide release with this method despite trying to create a malfunction several times for practice purposes. In the rare case when the slide doesn’t drop I automatically rack the slide like I used to to reload.
Not recommending it for everyone but it works much more quickly and smoothly for me than trying to manually use the slide release (which requires shifting my shooting grip a little bit to apply enough force) or racking the slide which adds an extra motion to the process and pulls my off hand away from quickly reestablishing a two hand grip .
This is the timing issue I’m thinking about. Not a classic flub with the slide forward before the mag goes in. Rather an early release of the slide as the magazine is still rising and first contacts the slide stop before being fully seated for a clean grab of the top cartridge.
Trying this a few times, I didn’t get a jam but it felt like I could. My knuckle (or lock lever) is in the wrong place, so I needed to use a fingertip. Maybe I’m overthinking it, or the mechanics of some firearms make it less likely. I can definitely see that left-handed use on some of my pistols would require figuring out something…
The good news about figuring out left handed use of mag releases or slide stops on pistols, is that as a private citizen concealed carrier, you are virtually guaranteed to never use either of those functions outside of a range setting. The trigger is ambidextrous so even “non ambi” pistols are still pretty good left handed.
On a related note, I’m a huge fan of the H&K VP9 with the full ambi paddle mag releases and ambi slide stops/releases. Really slick pistols
@Nathan57 I am hoping to get into some competition shooting in the not to distant future so efficient reloads are something I have been working on for the past year.
@techs I definitely wouldn’t use that method if I had to use my finger tip and not my extended finger against the release. It works very well for me with a G19 and P365. The release is further back and too hard to operate left handed without completely switching my grip on my LCP Max so I have to rack the slide for that one.
I have been training on tactical reloads lately, which allow me to insert a fresh magazine with a round already being in the chamber.
Interesting. Seems recent, but when I first heard of that, I learned it was a way to get that +1 round, of course it’s having one in the chamber.
Not for all, but when in EDC, out and about, I’ve learned to carry that way. Though as the community points out, each person does it their own way, as it’s a very personal decision.
I’m more comfortable shoulder holstered or hip holstered, OWB. But when pocket carry, lately I’ve tried un-chambered or with the safety on, as it’s a little too close to skin. Gotta laugh at myself.
You have to go with what you are comfortable with. I just recommend that you try to get used to having one chambered because that extra move can cost you your life in a self defense situation.
Kind of along the same line, how often do you practice a miss fire, stove pipe, or other type of jam? As I was shooting my new Canik TP9 yesterday I was using a low grade ammo and had to rack the slide after every shot and had four misfires. What a pain in the ass that was.
Then switched over to Magtech ammo, what a difference. Not a single misfire or jam of any kind.
I basically don’t practice those. But, they also basically don’t happen with the gear I choose. And I have before and all the non-beginner classes and pro training I’ve had over emphasize it so the baseline is there. The guns I carry generally have thousands of rounds through them with 100% flawless function. If they don’t, I don’t carry them. I do test them, like shooting weak handed only with a loose sub-par grip and weaker range ammo.
If I had to rack the slide after every shot/had four missfires, personally, I would throw away that ammo after the first magazine, and never buy anything else from that manufacturer. And I’d be skeptical of that gun unless that terrible ammo happened to be reloads/Freedom in which case I’d be okay knowing it was the ammo
Edit: So I checked, in full disclosure my current carry gun only has 670 rounds through it. But its sibling gun that is basically the same has 1,500 and there are hundreds of JHP in that as well as SHO and WHO trying to get the fabled “limp wrist” but not. hmmm I need to go to the range more I think
If the question is, do you make sure a round is chambered, YES.
If it’s ‘do you need to rack the slide every time’, no, many times it’s already locked open.
I have thumb strength to use the lever to release the slide, my wife has to ‘rack it’ back to chamber.
No. When performing that tactical reload, there is already a round in the chamber.