For those who are new to firearms, racking a slide can seem like a next to impossible task. The slides feel heavy and it’s hard to get a good, productive grip on them for a lot of new shooters. Keep in mind that many new shooters are older and some have hand strength issues for one reason or another.
A lot of instructors will suggest to new students to practice racking the slide at home (without ammo in the room) so that they get the extra reps that will help make racking the slide second nature.
What tips do you give new shooters to improve their ability to rack the slide?
Absolutely! My full size Sigs are all easy to rack, and pretty friendly as well. I have a Beretta 85F in .380 that’s a little beast; the slide is tough to grip, because of its size, and to make matters worse, the sucker bites!
Finding the right gun for you should be paramount when going to purchase a gun . Racking the slide should be one of first things you do when the salesman hands you a gun to check to make sure there’s no round in the chamber. If you have trouble racking the slide don’t buy the pistol. 380 Auto is usually your best bet for easy racking and if you can’t find a pistol that’s easy to rack there’s always the tried and true wheel gun. The revolver is a much more reliable firearm anyway.
ALTERNATE SLIDE RACKING TECHNIQUES FOR SEMI-AUTO HANDGUNS
Credit goes to “SH007ER Tips & Training” for the video.
I took a beginner’s class locally when I started out and the instructor taught us a similar technique to the one in the video. We were at the range and turned our whole body slightly (keeping the muzzle pointed down range) and used our shoulders to rack the slide as well. One of my class mates that day had arthritis in his hands and was able to use his bigger muscle groups to rack the slide more effectively because he didn’t have much grip strength. It does work very well.
When I was in the military they taught us to hold the frame steady and pull the slide back while keeping the barrel on target, which works out well in combat situations . Now with my two slide guns , a 1911 45acp which has a very strong spring which I changed so I could use all kinds of bullets and no jamming now on the other hand when I do my 9mm high power it has a much lighter spring so my memory muscle in the hand remembers by the grip as to how hard I need to pull so both are held on target while racking, this is what I train to do.
Remember accidents hurt safety doesn’t.