The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 8, 2009, 02:08 AM   #1
Plaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2007
Posts: 131
Hard to pull back slide

I have a Sig 220 pistol which I bought recently. I am having a terrible time getting a good grip on the slide and pulling it back. I am sure that part of my problem is because I am 84 years old.

Can someone tell me if there is anything I can do to the gun to help correct this problem?

Does anyone know what weight recoil spring comes with these guns?
Plaz is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 02:48 AM   #2
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,996
Don't modify the gun, modify your technique

Plaz,

Thanks for asking our advice.

Knowing your experience level (and how bad your arthritis is would help in composing an answer to your question. Is this your first semi-auto handgun?

I would try everything to modify my technique before I started modifying the gun. Proper weight recoil springs absorb recoil, reducing the battering on the gun and on your gun hand(s) and also have the proper strength to feed rounds from the magazine into the chamber. Too light of a spring, and the gun wears prematurely or breaks something, your hand takes more shock loads and misfeeds can occur.

The first thing I would do is cock the hammer before racking the slide. I estimate this simple expedient reduces the force required to rack the slide by 25% to 40%. You only have to compress one spring at a time that way.

Purists will object to my next suggestion, but this is not for usual operation, but just to test your hand strength. With the gun empty. No bullets in the magazine (or no magazine in the magazine well) and no bullet in the chamber. Put the muzzle of the gun into a couch cushion and hold onto the gun with your shooting hand and push into the cushion. Lean on it, elbow straight. Now, grasp the rear of the slide with the heel of your hand and thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. Get as much skin on the gun as you can. Can you pull the slide all the way back? If you can't, you may not have enough strength to operate the gun unmodified. If you can, then you should just learn and practice the proper techniques.

If you don't have a couch cushion, you could have a friend hold the (unloaded, cleared) gun while you use one hand to pull back on the slide. Either "crutch" allows you to concentrate on one hand at a time.

If you can't, we can talk about modifying the gun later.


Caveat:

Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you get from the internet. Even this post. Maybe especially this post.

Do your own independent, confirming research when ANYONE gives you new facts on the web.

Also remember, even the idiotic stuff might have a kernel of truth buried in there somewhere.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is online now  
Old July 8, 2009, 06:40 AM   #3
Nev C
Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2007
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 69
racking lever

See if you can get a racking lever fitted to the slide, I have a Tanfoglio 9mm and the racking lever is an optional extra. See what your local gunsmith can do for you.
__________________
If a man speaks at sea where no woman can hear, is he still wrong?
Nev C is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 06:58 AM   #4
vito
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2004
Posts: 637
You might want to consider trading in this gun for a good revolver.
vito is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 07:44 AM   #5
gwnorth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 692
Another thing to perhaps try is use an overhand grip with your slide hand, and simply hold the slide tightly. Now push forward with your grip hand instead of pulling back with your slide hand.
gwnorth is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 08:13 AM   #6
J.Netto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 26, 2009
Location: Elizabethtown, KY
Posts: 713
Quote:
The first thing I would do is cock the hammer before racking the slide. I estimate this simple expedient reduces the force required to rack the slide by 25% to 40%. You only have to compress one spring at a time that way.
+1 on that


Quote:
Another thing to perhaps try is use an overhand grip with your slide hand, and simply hold the slide tightly. Now push forward with your grip hand instead of pulling back with your slide hand.
Yeah, bring both hands in real close to your body, to about the center of your chest. You can get better leverage on the gun that way. Establish a firm firing grip on the gun, then put your other hand on the top of the slide. Then, just try to push, or "punch" the gun out with your firing hand, and pull back with your other hand on top of the slide.
J.Netto is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 08:44 AM   #7
greyson97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 29, 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,284
+1 on overhand grip.
greyson97 is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 08:57 AM   #8
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
read the technique in the Cornered Cat, using a push-pull manner

http://corneredcat.com/

in this section:

http://corneredcat.com/RunGun/rack.aspx
oneounceload is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 10:59 AM   #9
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
Not an answer that you'll want to hear, but I'd recommend getting a Glock with it's blocky, easy-to-grip slide and installing a reduced-power recoil spring. You can also get a slide-racker that replaces the slide cover plate.
Alleykat is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 12:10 PM   #10
Brian48
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2001
Location: Boston, People's Republic of MA
Posts: 1,360
You should try pulling the slide back with my Colt Delta Elite with it's 23lbs recoil spring.

What I recommend with the P220 is that you cock the hammer first, and then pull the slide back, keeping your finger clear of the trigger of course.
Brian48 is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 12:19 PM   #11
Tater.40
Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2009
Location: S.C.
Posts: 35
push with the hand on the grip and pull the slide back with over grip with other hand.
Tater.40 is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 01:29 PM   #12
Steve1911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Posts: 431
I would say a combo of the two...

Quote:
Pull the hammer back first
... then ...

Quote:
Another thing to perhaps try is use an overhand grip with your slide hand, and simply hold the slide tightly. Now push forward with your grip hand instead of pulling back with your slide hand.
If this combo doesn't work I would look about getting a lever added, by a qualified smith.

But whatever you do... ignore the comment about the ugly brick that AlleyKat made... just the thought makes me a feel a little like :barf:
Steve1911 is offline  
Old July 8, 2009, 02:11 PM   #13
tjhands
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2005
Posts: 1,708
As has been said, try cocking the hammer before attempting to rack the slide. It makes racking the slide quite a bit easier.
__________________
"If the sole purpose of handguns is to kill people, then mine are all defective." - Uncle Ted Nugent
tjhands is offline  
Old July 9, 2009, 01:18 AM   #14
Hagar the Republican
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2006
Location: In the hot yucky South.
Posts: 244
Even though the Sig 220 is one of the finest guns ever made, a K-frame Smith & Wesson revolver is pretty hard to beat. It has a great trigger, and .38+Ps are great self-defense rounds. I've got nine S&W revolvers in all shapes and sizes, and I have yet to land one that wasn't excellent.

One of my favorites is a 2.5" Model 19. It is so incredibly balanced it is like pointing your finger. My automatics will all go before my S&Ws.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg S&W 19.jpg (64.9 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by Hagar the Republican; July 9, 2009 at 01:40 AM.
Hagar the Republican is offline  
Old July 11, 2009, 09:55 PM   #15
borninfire
Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2009
Posts: 21
Go for a nice revolver. Any decent gun has a pain in the ass slide charge for the first 1000 rounds. Especially Glock. (they DO loosen up.)
borninfire is offline  
Old July 11, 2009, 10:00 PM   #16
smoakingun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2009
Location: melrose, fl
Posts: 634
this solution comes from another old man, my grandfather. find a solid object with a defined corner, a table will do. catch the bottom edge of the table with the rear sight, push forward.
__________________
Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction.
smoakingun is offline  
Old July 12, 2009, 07:23 AM   #17
hickok45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2000
Location: Nashville, Tn
Posts: 212
I haven't owned a Sig 220 for about 15 years and don't recall if this was an issue at all, but I know that with some pistols the slide is much more difficult to rack if the magazine is fully loaded, particularly those magazines that advertise an optimistic round count and require a hammer and press to get the last round in. :-)
__________________
www.youtube.com/user/hickok45
hickok45 is offline  
Old January 5, 2014, 03:48 PM   #18
Jim567
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2014
Location: NE FL
Posts: 232
Humbling posting after Hickok45!! Love the videos!

I have owned dozens of 1911s and Hi Powers over the years.

Just got a Glock Gen 4 21 and a Sig P220.
Fun!

The Glock is a bit stiff to rack with a full mag. Did not raise my eyebrows though.

The Sig P-220 is a different story. I went to rack it with a full mag and my left hand came right off the pistol. Slide did not move!

I have owned all sorts of large semi-auto pistols and just got done shooting the Glock 21 -----.

I though I had a real problem mechanically.

I gave it another try and was successful. But -- it was uncomfortable and a real wrestling match.

This with the 8 round mags full.

With seven in, it was easy, no different from the Glock. Both pistols brand new Oct 2013 mfg.

Hopefully it will loosen up, it's a bear,no great problem, just uncomfortable and surprising.

Those 8 round mags are tight!

Love the pistol

Jim
Jim567 is offline  
Old January 5, 2014, 04:17 PM   #19
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 813
It pays to make sure you can pull back the slide before buying any pistol. Some are much harder than others, a Glock 17 is pretty easy, a 40 cal XD is very heavy. Most are in between somewhere. A model 15 or 19 S&W revolver don't have a slide. Both work great for anyone.
pete2 is offline  
Old January 5, 2014, 05:14 PM   #20
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,559
This thread is over 4 and a half years old. Just saying.
DaleA is offline  
Old January 5, 2014, 05:23 PM   #21
TheDoubleDeuce
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2013
Posts: 108
Yeah, Jim, may be worth looking at the dates before you post.
TheDoubleDeuce is offline  
Old January 5, 2014, 07:25 PM   #22
Jim567
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2014
Location: NE FL
Posts: 232
Why would the original date of the thread be a problem?

My experiance relates to the original post.

I experianced the problem, searched the internet and found this old post, then registered.

Love the forum.

Note, the pistol ( Sig P-220 ) is more than twice as hard to rack with 8 rounds in the mag as the weapon is with 7.

I have never experianced that with any other pistol.

To recap, the Sig 220 with its 8 round mag takes almost twice the force of the Glock 21 with its 13 round mag topped, to rack. With 7 rounds in the mag the Sig racks as easy as the Glock.

Both rack about the same with no mag inserted.

Just wondering if this is others experiance.

Both guns are new, the Sig yet unfired... I am assuming this will loosen up.

Cheers,

Jim

Last edited by Jim567; January 5, 2014 at 07:41 PM.
Jim567 is offline  
Old January 6, 2014, 12:06 AM   #23
Hagar the Republican
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2006
Location: In the hot yucky South.
Posts: 244
I have a 1911 like that, however if I cock it first it's no problem.
__________________
"It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." Winston Churchill
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." Ronald Reagan
Hagar the Republican is offline  
Old January 6, 2014, 12:40 AM   #24
101combatvet
Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2011
Posts: 81
Get some Hoppe's Gun Grease. Put a liberal amount on a q-tip and run it up and down the rails and groves on your slide and frame. Re-assembly and work the slide a few times. That should do it.
__________________
NRA Life
Weapons Instructor
Gunsmith
Competitive Shooter
101combatvet is offline  
Old January 6, 2014, 09:05 AM   #25
tirod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2009
Posts: 1,187
The issue the OP had related to his age. He never mentioned trying to rack the slide fully loaded. If anything, he never even replied after numerous suggestions were made.

It's the hazard of searching the net - sure, it's out there, but it doesn't mean the topic needs to be revisited. It was asked, it was answered.

I hear the same issue with loading the AR15 - inserting the mag on a closed bolt and then charging it results in high effort. The answer is even simpler than downloading the magazine by one round - lock the bolt or slide back first, THEN insert the mag. It's not a high effort method, and it results in then being able to release the bolt/slide at it's most rearward either by the stop or pulling it back even further, as the maker directs, to charge the first round. With many weapons, it's the preferred method. With the AR and many pistols, it functions that way - the slide hold back is activated on an empty mag. If the maker wanted it to be loaded against a closed slide, why lock it open?

In that regard, the OP may have been attempting to rack it first and still found his grip and strength were challenged. Being nearly 61, I've begun to understand that issue, and the brutal reality is that it's not going to get better. Massive exercising isn't an option. Alternate methods must be considered.

With the onset of carpal tunnel, I've had to abandon DA triggers and have just one pistol, SA, with safety. In my case a revolver won't satisfy the issue. If grip strength for the OP was part of the problem, then changing to a revolver that required high finger trigger effort won't be a good solution. He may be forced to cock that one first. Same problem. Strength.

Not something those with the luxury of youth need worry about. It will come along and make itself known all too soon. When it happens, will we need to be reminded years later, all over again?

Perhaps the old adage has some value - let sleeping dogs lie.

That is why old topics aren't constantly brought back up. It's not necessarily better to do so, especially when some other old guy finds so much in the entire thread questionable. The answers that made sense were to install a racking handle or use the sights hooked onto a vertical object and let body weight assist. Both directly addressed the issue. Downloading the mags or switching to a revolver doesn't.
tirod is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13310 seconds with 8 queries