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Old January 18, 2015, 06:42 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Preference or tactical advantage: releasing the slide.

We have a slide release on all modern semi-autos that I can think of, yet some people chose to release the slide with their other hand.

Is there a reason for this beyond personal preference?
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Old January 18, 2015, 07:40 AM   #2
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What is you deffinition of modern first off and working the slide works on all of em so one can use one technique and stay with it if they want to.

You also do not clear a stove pipe by simply releasing the slide.

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Old January 18, 2015, 08:17 AM   #3
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There may be a tactical advantage to releasing the slide with the release because it requires less motion and movement and fractionally quicker, but there can be a mechanical advantage to doing it with a firm overhand rearward pull and release that allows for more travel, speed, momentum of the slide to chamber the new round.
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
What is you deffinition of modern first off
ANything post wonder-nine BHPs, I suppose since most guns on sale now are a derivation of that sort of system in one way or another. However, given the question, I mean any gun that has a slide release lever.

Quote:
and working the slide works on all of em so one can use one technique and stay with it if they want to.
I realise that both are possible, but given that there is a lever that can be worked one handed, I wanted to know why some people still choose to use their other hand after inserting a fresh mag.

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You also do not clear a stove pipe by simply releasing the slide.
As explained above, I am talking purely about situations when both could be used, but people seem to prefer one method over the other and I wanted to know why.

Quote:
There may be a tactical advantage to releasing the slide with the release because it requires less motion and movement and fractionally quicker, but there can be a mechanical advantage to doing it with a firm overhand rearward pull and release that allows for more travel, speed, momentum of the slide to chamber the new round.
So the slide release saves time, but the slide grip reduces the chance of a misfeed?
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Old January 18, 2015, 11:01 AM   #5
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I don't have long enough fingers to release the 1911 slide release without changing my firing hand grip. The release paddle on the 1911 is quite small and takes considerable finger force. I prefer to rack the slide with my support hand {unless occupied with something else --- like another 1911} since it will be in my work space after inserting a fresh magazine; without altering my firing hand grip.
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Old January 18, 2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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I have found the reverse is true.
Using the overhand slide slingshot method is necessary to clear a jam, but it can also cause one.
Sweaty hands can slip off the slide and mess up a reload attempt real good.
So, using the release method for a functioning pistol and the slide grip method for clearing problems seems reasonable.
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Old January 18, 2015, 12:40 PM   #7
Pond, James Pond
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I don't have long enough fingers to release the 1911 slide release without changing my firing hand grip. The release paddle on the 1911 is quite small and takes considerable finger force.
I have a similar issue with my SP-01. I still use the slide release though. Readjusting my grip is about the same time as it is to insert the new mag, so no time lost, only a degree of tension on the grip.
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Old January 18, 2015, 01:46 PM   #8
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I've stuck with the overhand slingshot method for a couple of reasons.

The first is that the location, shape, and operation of the slide lock lever is often different on various guns. The slingshot method works the same on everything.

The second is that, with the slingshot method, I am retracting the slide fully to the rear before releasing. I've run across a few pistols that chamber more reliably that way.
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Old January 18, 2015, 02:43 PM   #9
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I personally use the release when I reload, but both academies I have been through taught the hand over technique. My first academy has us doing that then after a while told us to find our preference. My second academy was ready to chop off your trigger finger if you did anything other than the hand over technique citing that using the release is a fine motor skill and hand over technique is a gross motor skill.

While I've never had to test it out in a real life situation, I've never had an issue using the release during any training I've done.
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Old January 18, 2015, 05:22 PM   #10
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My second academy was ready to chop off your trigger finger if you did anything other than the hand over technique citing that using the release is a fine motor skill and hand over technique is a gross motor skill.
And running the trigger is not a fine motor skill???
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Old January 18, 2015, 06:29 PM   #11
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And running the trigger is not a fine motor skill?
Under stress, it frequently becomes a gross motor skill.
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Old January 19, 2015, 11:52 AM   #12
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One method also reinforces malfunction drill skills. I had one mf in a stage yesterday and got the gun running very quickly.
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Old January 23, 2015, 06:49 AM   #13
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There are some principles of using the support hand to release the slide. One, it is the technique that is closest to 100% reliable to release the slide. Two it is very much a gross motor movement.

I know there are going to be people who say I never have a problem using the slide stop lever/slide release. Which I am sure they have not. However I help train over 3000 people a year on different handguns and I see routine issues associated with not using the support hand. Here are the things I see happen by thumbing the slide stop. First, people depress the slide stop a millisecond prior to the magazine being fully seated and the slide goes home on an empty chamber. Which results in a click on the next press which results in a stage 1 malfunction clearance (tap, rack with a right hand twist). All of this is nothing but a waste of time when time matters. Second I do see people “miss” the slide stop. Typically this is not as bad because they know it and quickly reengage and release the slide with minimal time lost.

When it comes to using the support hand there are two techniques, one which is referred to as the sling shot, the other is known as hand over slide. The sling shot is probably the most commonly used and typically done wrong. Most will pinch the rear of the slide between the index finger and the thumb and pull the slide to the rear and then letting go. This only allows for two points of contact which has a minimal about of pressure and friction to ensure a proper reliable release of the slide. The correct way is to roll or cant the gun toward the support side. The support hand contacts the slide palm down on the top rear of the slide (not covering the ejection port) in between the heel of the thumb and the 4 fingers. Then clamp the sides of the slide between the heel of the thumb and the other four fingers to gain solid purchase of the slide. The thumb will be oriented in the same direction as the muzzle.

The over hand technique is basically the same but the orientation of the support hand changes. The support hand wraps over the top rear of the slide (not covering the ejection port) in between the heel of the palm and the 4 fingers. Then clamp the sides of the slide between the heel of the palm and the other four fingers to gain solid purchase of the slide. The thumb will be oriented up or back at you.

Hope this sheds some light on the how and why.
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Old January 23, 2015, 07:11 AM   #14
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@DPI7800

Thanks for that overview of the techniques and reasons.

One question arises, largely due to your observation about how people perform the sling-shot action incorrectly.

I own a CZ which, by virtue of its in-the-frame rail system, has comparatively thin slide serrations. Being a predominantly, slide release user, I wonder if the "4-finger, thumb" technique you describe would still be effect on these, or would that smaller grip area on the slide require a different approach?

Either way, I think I have decided that I need to start changing my ways and going for the sling-shot approach instead, but it will be a hard habit to break.

I just now need to find the method that works best on my gun, so PsOV welcome!
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Old January 23, 2015, 08:39 AM   #15
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FYI, a friend of mine shoots for CZ USA and they use the hand over slide technique without any issues. So I think the height of the slide won’t really make a difference.
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Old February 1, 2015, 08:48 AM   #16
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Not an expert on the matter here, but thought I would chime in. I use exactly what DPI7800 described in the overhand method (didn't know that's what it's called) when running my Glocks. In addition to the fact that the overhand or sling-shot method works with any pistol, regardless of slide stop location, I thought this method was preferred on models that have small slide stops (*cough* GLOCK *cough*) that may be difficult to operate or slow to find under stress. Also, I think some small pocket autos like the little Kel-Tec P32s don't have external slide stops to thumb. Don't quote me on that, I haven't used one in a long time.
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Old February 3, 2015, 12:09 AM   #17
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I do slingshot because no matter the pist, it's the same on all of them.
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Old February 20, 2015, 02:34 PM   #18
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Old February 20, 2015, 03:10 PM   #19
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(cough)glock(cough) puts a small "slide stop lever" (note it is not called a slide release) on their pistols on purpose. In training with their pistols, they train to pull the slide back all the way to the rear and release it, not to use the "slide stop lever". This is because they believe a more reliable first round chambering will result, due to the slide having a short buildup run at the round before contact.
This is how it is taught at the armorer schools.
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Old March 1, 2015, 11:01 PM   #20
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one thing often overlooked is that heavy usage of releasing with the slide stop lever is wearing and rounding of the notch in the slide over time.
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Old March 13, 2015, 10:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
We have a slide release on all modern semi-autos that I can think of, yet some people chose to release the slide with their other hand.

Is there a reason for this beyond personal preference
Actually they are slide LOCKS. Yes you can release the slide depressing them and IMO that puts them under greater wear.
We were instructed during training with many LEO's and LE instructors that, under stress motor skills diminish and trying to hit the slide lock to release the slide may be missed, and here is the point they made- you miss the slide lock lever, you take your eyes off the target/person and look down at the gun in order to release the slide, you now have regain site picture/focus and the target/person being engaged. If you sling shot the slide you maintain eye contact with the target/person. Its almost improbable that one would miss grabbing the slide to sling shot it closed. I tend to agree with them using the sling shot method during competition matches, sling shot works.
As a side note I will RO shooters during a stage and watch them go to slide lock, change mags and try to hit the slide lock and miss it then grabbing the slide to sling shot it.
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Old March 13, 2015, 05:24 PM   #22
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Slide Lock, Slide Stop, Slide Release...what ever you call it doesn't matter that much as long as you identify what part you are talking about and it's function.

The method you choose doesn't matter that much either as both might have advantages and disadvantages. Some pistols have slide stops that lend themselves well to releasing the slide while others do not...look at Glock or Beretta for examples of each.

Attempting to address the over-hand method by using the argument of "gross motor" skills ignores the fact you must still operate the trigger and magazine release "under stress". Some say it works on ALL guns so they adopt it as universal...but..using this method on pistols with slide mounted safeties can result in placing the gun on safe when you don't want to. On the other hand, attempting to use the smallish factory Glock slide stop to release the slide may not be that reliable.

In the end, each person should honestly evaluate what works best for them based on performance testing.
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Old March 14, 2015, 09:22 AM   #23
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Its called a slide release because its a slide release. That is what that little button was designed for.

I use the slide release because I want my other hand free for other activities, such as reaching for another mag, holding a flash light or whatever.

I've seen too many people in using the over hand slide pull back that are too slow in releasing the slide and end up riding it forward, retarding the pressure which often causes failure to lock up.

But to confess, I'm a huge fan of one hand shooting in defense situations.

I want my pistol to fit my hand, or that is to say I want to be able to reach all the buttons that need to be reached without screwing up my grip.
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Old March 15, 2015, 10:35 AM   #24
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As a lefty I sometimes wonder whether John Browning had a soft spot for southpaws.

My only "auto" at this time is a 1911 and the only "control" as stock that is inconvenient is, of course, the manual safety. {easily changed out for an ambi}.

Mag release and slide stop/release seem to be "custom designed" for lefties without having to change adjust grip.

That said, depending on circumstances, I will use both the "release" and overhand for releasing the slide.

Usually I try not to shoot the thing dry when tactical training.

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Old March 16, 2015, 04:08 PM   #25
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It's a tactical advantage, or "tactivant" for short.

No matter what weapons system the operator is shooting, the slide grab will always work. Also, fine motor skills go "BYE!-BYE!" in a firefight. The slide grab is a gross motor movement, one that you can be expected to do reliably in the heat of the moment vs. flicking the small slide release lever.

It's all about the tactivant.

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