If ever having to rack the slide “one-handed”? Tips & suggestions?

Kind of a tactics question.

If you were incapacitated in the moment and only had use of one hand, due to injury or struggle, where you only had one arm free, how’s it possible to rack a slide one handed?

Of course, this might be for pistols, and those who don’t carry with one in the chamber; Or in the rare event, one would ever need to re-load, one-handed.

But, a thumb safety button/lever would either have to be maneuvered or non-existent.

I’ve heard of some being able to rack by using their boot, or leather belt/hip maneuver.

Does it matter if the sights are plastic or metal? Would metal sights help in such a maneuver?

One tip was making sure, in the heat of such a moment, trigger discipline, if racking in such an intense moment, one-handed, keep that index finger off of that trigger until ready.

If you practice this, consider unloaded or with snap-caps. Ranges might not allow, and it may be more dangerous, thus know who or what is in your surroundings.

Can it be done and how? Any tips or suggestions?



For starters…extremely unlikely to be needed let alone needed and have time.

That said, trained a number of ways to do it. Heel of shoe seems the best, because you’re going to have access to your shoe/boot more often than anything else (and it points the gun away from me). Unless you’re at home, in which case, probably have a long gun or will have to use the edge of a table


You can do any or all of the above, boot, belt, wall, door, whatever. If you have to rack the slide you can do it off your ear (yes it will hurt). The real question is why did you have to rack the slide? If your answer is “I don’t carry with one in the chamber.” then you can deduct 3 seconds from your draw time. I’ll send you flowers when you let me know you died from lack of confidence in your weapon, abilities and training. A click no bang scenario requires you to THINK. Know your weapon and act appropriately




One of the biggest advantages of the optics on pistols, other than making accurate hits much easier and faster, is the ability to use just about any surface to rack the slide.


The optics reload doesn’t work with all optics, but the one behind the knee I’ve never seen before. Thanks for the tip.


Very true.

Optics also greatly reduce the hand strength required to rack the slide on many pistols even in non emergency situations this is viable

H&K was smart with the charging ears on the VP9…but the optic is so much the better.


One key factor is,… practice it! Train with it! Then be prepared if you ever have to try it.


The time I wasn’t using optics, I changed all sights to metal one and racked the slide on belt or holster.
Optic made the process faster and simpler. I’m able to rack the slide on almost any surface.
The most practical is holster or thigh, depending on the situation.


For EDC i use my belt, on my actual training belt setup i use a true north racker. Using the holster has a bad habbit of damaging the kydex. The racker on my shooting belt is setup in the exact same place i rack off my belt with the EDC so its pretty much the same motion.


I am on the “handicapped” end of the one-handed racking of the slide on my chosen weapon. With my Beretta’s open slide, there isn’t a lot of real estate to do the shoe/boot sole method I have seen some guys do and add the fact I have an aftermarket return spring/guide rod assembly with higher than OE tension and it gets a little more difficult. One-handed racking can be done though.

I have an acquaintance who claims the WW1 and WW2 models of the 1911 are the only weapons anyone would ever need and he most assuredly does not like Beretta. It’s the whole .45 v 9mm argument.

ANYWAY, we are at an event, sitting around the loading bench after a long day and he just pops out and says “And this is why I don’t like Beretta.” He takes his 1911, places the muzzle against the edge of the bench, and racks the slide. I say “Cool, Bro.” I take my 92A1, place the front of the slide against the corner of the bench, and I rack the slide. He shut up.

I can do it that way, but I have to get the front of the slide against a solid corner so when I push, the barrel has somewhere to go. Again, not a lot of real estate. I have since learned I can use rear sights easier. More real estate.


Interesting. Making us think, in the heat of a moment, depending on where we are, is there an object nearby we can rack it against, such as when you used the bench. Food for thought.

I used to think my thicker leather belt was too bulky, but now I like it as it’s more sturdy and the strongest belt I have.

I gots lots to learn.

I too never knew about the back of the knee or arm crook (bend)/inside of the elbow.

Other examples:

Though fictional, at time line 9:40, this person uses the bottom of his shoe (below):


Craig6 just send me root beer :beer: cheers!! :feather::feather:

1 Like