Still can't do it reliably but the fact that I can operate it at all now gives me some hope. I have a nice blister welling up on my thumb from trying to work the slide release. Then I realized I can put my left thumb on top of my right one and push with the left one instead and that works much better.
Back to building up the strength.
I don't think I'll want to get messing about with my gun. I never was a person to modify. I've played guitar for 4 years and have a very nice bass (my primary) and in that world, too, are people who immediately swap out parts the second they get the instrument. I never did that either. Now, I do plan to eventually get into competition (IPSC or IDPA followed by 2 Gun or 3 Gun later) and looking at upgrading the single action trigger may be something I would do if that happened.