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Old May 14, 2019, 10:31 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Ride the slide?

What does it mean when one is shooting a semi-auto handgun and they ride the slide?

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Old May 14, 2019, 10:45 PM   #2
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That's when you pull the locked-back slide to chamber a round and your hand stays on the slide as it goes forward. It often reduces the forward force of the slide as compared to releasing it and allowing the full spring tension to work. The result is sometimes a failure to go fully into battery (failure to close completely) which in turn results in a non-functioning gun when the trigger is pulled.
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:18 AM   #3
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Also applies to racking a closed slide and not releasing it to slam forward under it's recoil spring energy. When the slide is at it's rearmost position one should just let it go to load a round properly.
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Old May 15, 2019, 08:37 AM   #4
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"Riding the slide" usually means holding on to the slide so you control the speed it closes.

Done by fictional characters to make loading their gun "quieter". Done by some real people who think the fictional characters are right. The drawback to this is that fictional character's guns jam ONLY when its in the script.

As mentioned, riding the slide (closing it slowly) when chambering a round can result in the slide not being fully shut, when you think it is. Can, not will 100% of the time. But even once in a while it a bad thing, because if the slide isn't fully shut, when you THINK it is, that could mean no bang when you want bang!

There is a time when riding the slide is the right thing to do. That is when the gun is EMPTY!!!! That is because when the gun is empty, it hurts nothing, and might actually have some benefit. No standard service grade semi auto will be harmed by slamming shut empty. Some OTHER designs might be, and a highly tuned match gun MIGHT be.

For those guns, riding the slide EMPTY is not a bad thing. Riding the slide while loading ALWAYS is.
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Old May 15, 2019, 10:04 AM   #5
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In a controlled setting, like loading at home before you leave the house, there may be some value in riding the slide to decrease the risk of bullet setback. If you do so, though, you need to be mindful of the fact that you are kind of forcing the pistol to do something abnormal, and check that it is fully in battery. In that kind of setting, you have time to check and correct it; in all other settings, it is a no go.
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Old May 15, 2019, 04:23 PM   #6
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Thanks 44AMP. I don't read fiction (enough of my non-fiction has probably of lot of fiction in it already) and didn't have a clue where that came from.
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:07 PM   #7
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Thanks to all.

Thanks to all. Still learning, learning, learning.

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Old May 16, 2019, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
, there may be some value in riding the slide to decrease the risk of bullet setback.
If you're going to ride the slide and risk a malfunction because you're worried about bullet setback, you need to get better ammo, so you don't worry so much.

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Old May 16, 2019, 05:08 PM   #9
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People bring up bullet setback all the time. I do understand the concern. That said, I've rechambered the same round from slide lock multiple times. I've never seen significant setback, or even visually discernible setback. I usually put a round in the range box once it's been chambered a number of times because the case rim starts to get chewed up. That always happens, for me anyway, long before setback.

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Old May 16, 2019, 05:13 PM   #10
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Bottom line
Don't ride the slide
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Old May 16, 2019, 05:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof Young View Post
What does it mean when one is shooting a semi-auto handgun and they ride the slide?

Life is good.
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How it's done? Ease the slide forward, usually with a loaded mag in the gun.

What does it mean? Usually, that the operator doesn't know what they're doing.
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Old May 17, 2019, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
If you're going to ride the slide and risk a malfunction because you're worried about bullet setback, you need to get better ammo, so you don't worry so much.
I get that you signed it with a grin, but you don't really risk a malfunction if you ride the slide and make a point of riding it all the way in. I make my own practice ammo, and use well-recognized defensive ammo, and I have never experienced significant bullet setback, but we have all seen pictures of rounds that set back significantly. Treating one's defensive ammo a bit gently seems prudent to me.
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Old May 17, 2019, 03:56 PM   #13
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Then there is "thumb drag" which is when the shooter in the midst of pure panic (or lack of training) allows their thumb to press on the side of their semi-auto pistol's slide.
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Old May 17, 2019, 07:44 PM   #14
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I get that you signed it with a grin, but you don't really risk a malfunction if you ride the slide and make a point of riding it all the way in.
I agree, IF you do your due diligence and make sure the slide is completely in battery, every time, its not a problem. But I have seen a number of pistols, of different designs that, if you close the slide slowly (ride the slide) they can sometimes stop short (1/4 or 1/8" or so), which MAY be enough out of full battery to engage the disconnector, rendering the pistol inoperable. A bump or push on the end of the slide normally closes it all the way, but you have to recognize it has happened in order to fix it.
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Treating one's defensive ammo a bit gently seems prudent to me.
To what end? soft loading the first round saves you what? The GUN isn't going to soft load the rest of the rounds. You do what you think prudent. I maintain that if you have concerns with bullet setback, you need better ammo. Even if you have to make it yourself.
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Old May 18, 2019, 03:34 PM   #15
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Aw, c'mon, man. Surely you have at least seen photos of pistol ammo with set back. It seems to me that it is most common in .40, which I don't shoot, or make.

I don't worry about setback - haven't seen it in the ammo I make or use - but I don't consider it impossible. Practice ammo isn't re-chambered, of course. Defensive ammo might see two or three chamberings, so I treat it a little easy so that I can continue to say the first sentence of the paragraph.

I understand what you say about the ammo being chambered by the firing cycle. That is one last chambering for that round. Am I being over-cautious by more softly chambering my defensive ammo before it is fired? Probably. I'm OK with it if I am. I'm kind of fond of the idea of it working well if I need it.

I know you're mostly just razzing me. We're good.
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Old May 18, 2019, 04:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
That said, I've rechambered the same round from slide lock multiple times. I've never seen significant setback, or even visually discernible setback.
Depends on the gun and the ammo. I've seen some factory ammo that would set back very noticeably in one particular gun from a single chambering. It's something to be aware of because it can be a fairly serious issue--just not with every single gun-ammo combination out there.
Quote:
...you don't really risk a malfunction if you ride the slide and make a point of riding it all the way in.
If you're careful how you do it, it's possible to make sure the gun is fully into battery. But it can cause a failure to go fully into battery which would definitely be a malfunction--and potentially a dangerous one in some guns and under some circumstances.
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It seems to me that it is most common in .40, which I don't shoot, or make.
.40 is probably one reason that so many people know about setback. That's not because it's more likely to set back than any other caliber out there, but rather because there was one common loading that was very sensitive to setback. A relatively small amount of setback in that loading would cause the discharge pressure to essentially double.
Quote:
Surely you have at least seen photos of pistol ammo with set back.
Yup, seen it in person, even. But I've never seen it with premium self-defense ammo that has only been chambered a few times. Chambering a round a single time shouldn't raise any concerns about setback. If that weren't true, semi-auto pistols would be dangerous to shoot normally.

Chambering good quality self-defense ammo 4-5 times or less, shouldn't be an issue either, but it never hurts to do some checking on your own to see how your particular gun/ammo combination behaves.

Anyway, all that to say that concerns about setback should be addressed by using different ammunition, or by limiting the number of times a given round is chambered, not by coming up with non-standard operating procedures for the pistol.
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Old May 18, 2019, 05:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
Depends on the gun and the ammo. I've seen some factory ammo that would set back very noticeably in one particular gun from a single chambering. It's something to be aware of because it can be a fairly serious issue--just not with every single gun-ammo combination out there.
Which is why the sentence preceding that quote said I understand the concern. I can understand a concern even if my own experience hasn't shown that to be an issue.


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