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Old August 28, 2013, 11:56 AM   #1
PatriotGunsmith
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Slide too stiff for elderly customer

An elderly man brought me 2 guns (Bersa Thunder380 and Ruger P90) his complaint was the slide is to stiff for him to load them . Is there anyway to lighten the pull? or lighter springs to use? any and all input will be much appreciated
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:13 PM   #2
g.willikers
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Most folks don't actually know how to work the slide on auto loaders.
They go out of their way to make it hard.
Before messing with the springs and maybe creating reliability issues, show him this web video:
"Racking a slide with weak hands"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbayNc6D9HY
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:27 PM   #3
allaroundhunter
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Slide to stiff for elderly customer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriotGunsmith View Post
An elderly man brought me 2 guns (Bersa Thunder380 and Ruger P90) his complaint was the slide is to stiff for him to load them . Is there anyway to lighten the pull? or lighter springs to use? any and all input will be much appreciated
Okay, are you a gunsmith as your display name suggests?

Yes, there are ways to decrease the amount of strength required to rack the slide, but it won't be by much at all. It may be better. Instead I teach him the proper way (push-pull method). If that doesn't work then it is doubtful that changing the recoil springs will help.
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:27 PM   #4
Tom Servo
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Quote:
Is there anyway to lighten the pull? or lighter springs to use?
Not really. The recoil spring provides resistance, and making that lighter will lead to cycling problems.

Review his technique, and if that doesn't help, consider a revolver.
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Old August 28, 2013, 02:18 PM   #5
PatriotGunsmith
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Thank you all for your insight, and I didn't think there was anything I could do to get it as easy as he wanted, I just wanted to check if there was something out there. I will offer him a good trade deal and set him up with a revolver ... Thanks again for the input
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Old August 28, 2013, 02:52 PM   #6
SIGSHR
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Perhaps they need some breaking in, or smoothing out? Using a lighter recoil spring usually cause problems when more powerful ammunition is used.
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Old August 28, 2013, 05:37 PM   #7
nanewt02
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You could make a custom slide racker that screws into the slide
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:30 AM   #8
Rifleman1776
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My wife, age 70, cannot rack my American Arms Walther style PX22; her Beretta 21A or my Ruger LCP.
She also cannot shoot the AA first shot with double action and the 21A is very difficult for her. She will cock first if time permits.
Age does bring problems. We may have to consider changing to revolvers and lose some of the concealability.
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:47 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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If good technique is not quite enough, tell him to cock the hammer before racking the slide. The mainspring is part of the unlocking resistance.
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:04 PM   #10
4V50 Gary
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I was helping an elderly female try to acquire a pistol. The DA trigger pull on a revolver was hard for her and her thumb wore out working the hammer. Besides, this meant firing would be very slow as it required manual cocking for each shot. The only pistol I found she could handle was the Glock. It didn't matter if it was the tiny 9 mm Glock 26 or the bigger Glock 20/21. At least she could rack the slide on a Glock. Your elderly friend may want to try one of them.
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Old August 30, 2013, 02:52 PM   #11
nanewt02
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Get the cocking handle from a semi auto shotgun and fit that to the slide
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Old August 30, 2013, 03:29 PM   #12
Onward Allusion
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Teach him to push the frame forward instead of pulling the slide backwards. The movement is much more natural and all he has to do is hold the slide tight.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:23 PM   #13
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Look up cornered cat (PAX) and read what Kathy has to say.
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Old August 31, 2013, 09:00 AM   #14
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I have made a 42 pound triple recoil spring for a 45acp Patriot and a 48 pound triple recoil spring for a 9mm Glock 19. Almost no one else can rack these. It is not the pulling strength that limits people, it is the grip on the slide. It takes some real squeezing to hang on to the slide.



I have plotted slide force being racked and allowing to return forward in my dual recoil spring 1911 Commander.
Notice how both friction an hammer cocking force cause a hysteretic loop in the difference between going back and then forward.
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