View Full Version : Overcoming Slide Difficulty for a Lady

August 30, 2000, 05:34 AM
I have a friend, rather petite she is, and seems to have a bit of trouble racking the slide on her .380 and mine. I plan to get her a revolver soon, but am unable to for a while.
She asked if there might be some way to weaken the spring. Knowing the importance of full seating of the slide, I would be reluctant to snip off part of the spring.

Any suggestions???

Thanks, Terry

Chris Orndorff
August 30, 2000, 07:17 AM
How about some exercises to build up the hands, wrist and forearms? That, and make sure the pistol is clean and properly lubricated. I wouldn't mess with the spring myself; I don't think you'd significantly reduce the effort required to rack the slide anyway by going to a slightly weaker spring.

Does she have problems pulling the trigger?

Good luck.

George Stringer
August 30, 2000, 07:28 AM
Tmoney, last year I had an elderly gentleman bring in a pistol with a similar problem. His arthritis kept him from racking the slide. I was able to find a happy medium with the recoil spring but it did take some time to find the weight that he could operate and would still function properly. George

August 30, 2000, 09:17 AM
Before you do anything to the springs, make sure she's using the best technique to rack the slide.

I've an MK40 that has a stout little nested spring system, and a very petite lady used it for the first time in a class when her pistol was acting up. At first she couldn't rack the slide at all.

Insure that she's gripping the slide firmly, and she pushes the frame away from her, while just holding the slide. When the frame is pushed all the way out, let the slide slip from the support hand and fly forward. That's the key - push the frame, don't pull the slide. Worked for her.

Also, if the pistol has an external hammer, have her thumb-cock it before attempting to rack the slide.

Hope this helps...

Jeff, CA
August 30, 2000, 09:35 AM
Make sure she's got the heel of her hand on one side of the slide, and the pads of all four fingers on the opposite side - don't do the "slingshot".

August 30, 2000, 11:09 AM
Jeff - I've found most women have more strength in their hands between the thumb/palm and fingers than the overhand method.

What this student did was a modified slingshot, using the thumb and palm below the thumb on one side of the slide, fingers on the other. The pistol was canted sideways. She could not rack with the fingers/heel method, nor the traditional slingshot (thumb/fingers) method.

Have her play around with some dummy rounds and I think she'll find a way.

Art Eatman
August 30, 2000, 03:28 PM
There is certainly no harm in following Chris' advice, above, about some strengthening excercises. The lightweight-spring grip dealies; also 5-pound dumbbells...Nothing heavy-duty, there, and ten minutes a day will work wonders.

"Small" does not have to be synonymous with "weak".

Regards, Art

4V50 Gary
August 30, 2000, 08:33 PM
Technique, not strength. Morgan's got a good one and with a good instructor to observe, I'm sure one can be found which will work for her.