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Old December 26, 2019, 05:18 PM   #1
Brit
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Finger shortener.

More and more, semi-Auto pistols are being manufactured with finger grooves on the slide, as an add on. On the front of the slide!
It basically puts you in the not enviable position, of being able to remove the tip of an off-hand finger, quickly, from that finger!

I had a friend from South Africa, were at the time he lived there, the Colt .45 1911 was the undisputed self-defence pistol. A popular trick that allowed the status of the chamber to be verified.
This dodgy manoeuvre was called a PRESS CHECK!

How too. Hold pistol in shooting hand, point in a safe direction, grab the front of this very smooth, and slippy slide (Especially slippy in a hot climate, it's called sweat!) pull it back a bit, the slide see cartridge, close again, reset safety catch, re-holster.

Finger of shooting hand inadvertently presses trigger *BANG* the end joint! Gone. Yes, George had one of those missing digits.
With my Glock 19, or 43X. My holsters allow me to feel the extractor sitting proud. Yes, round chambered. Next check? Fingertips, good.

Last edited by JohnKSa; December 26, 2019 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Added paragraph break.
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Old December 26, 2019, 05:20 PM   #2
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You mean slide serrations? Never heard them referred to as finger grooves.

If you don't want to use them you can always not use them. Press checks can be done using front or rear serrations. I prefer the visual and tactile check over trusting the extractor. Even were you to use the front serrations your hand should not be passing in front of the muzzle. It's obviously dangerous and totally unnecessary to do a press check in this manner.

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Old December 26, 2019, 05:40 PM   #3
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No worries, I have never found the need to "press check" anything.. ever.
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Old December 26, 2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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Like Fire Forged, It was not something I ever felt the need to do. My guns are always loaded.
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Old December 26, 2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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With 1911s, the way many people used to do press checks was to hook the index finger of the weak hand around the front of the slide, on the recoil spring plug, and use that to pull back the slide. If that index finger were to ride up even slightly, it would be partially covering the muzzle and a negligent discharge at that time would have fairly predictable results.

Front cocking serrations (which I do not like, and which I avoid to the greatest extent possible) were added specifically to allow press checking without putting any digits in line with the muzzle. As to the opening post -- I'm having some difficulty understanding how George's 1911 fired when holstering if the thumb safety was set. Apparently his pistol was defective.
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Old December 26, 2019, 07:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'm having some difficulty understanding how George's 1911 fired when holstering if the thumb safety was set. Apparently his pistol was defective.
If I read it correctly ....George's trigger finger was disengaged from his thinker safety ....and pulled the trigger during the press check....before the thumb safety could be engaged, all prior to holstering his sidearm.
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Old December 26, 2019, 08:05 PM   #7
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I’ve always hated any form of a press-check, it isn’t needed if you follow rule#1 of the four rules and if you are going in to “service” or “duty” or you are entering a stage of competition or joining a fight, you had better damn well know that your handgun is loaded and if you are unsure then OPEN it properly and make it ready.

Following that, I have loathed forward cocking serrations (FCS) since the very moment I first saw them. Besides being a visual abomination, these awful things attract or promote neophytes and beginners to put their hand near the muzzle of a handgun, a stupid move at all times.

Even the original “press check” on a 1911 puts your finger in a place of certain ridiculous jeopardy even if it NEVER actually crosses in to the line of the muzzle. 20-some thousand PSI just a millimeter or two from your fingertip is going to be RED and horrendous if there is an unintended discharge.
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Old December 26, 2019, 08:14 PM   #8
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Nothing about press checking is in conflict with the four rules. Again, press checks don't have to be done with forward serrations or at the front of the pistol. You can use rear serrations and stay well away from the muzzle.

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Old December 26, 2019, 08:16 PM   #9
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All guns are always loaded.
(or treat every gun as if it is loaded, some prefer)

I find a conflict right there.
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Old December 26, 2019, 08:17 PM   #10
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But all guns aren't loaded. This is a reality, and as you yourself say if you are going into potential conflict or competition knowing which is the case is important. Doing a press check doesn't mean you put your finger on the trigger or let your muzzle cross something you aren't willing to destroy. It certainly doesn't mean you aren't aware of your target and what is beyond it.

Handling firearms means handling firearms that are loaded. You had to load the firearm in the first place and then either holster or sling that firearm. If someone wants to argue that handling it after the fact is redundant or unnecessary, I can understand where that argument comes from. But to say that press checks violate the original four rules while general handling does not is something I don't get.

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Old December 26, 2019, 08:49 PM   #11
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Don't stick your finger in front of the muzzle.

No matter the mechanical or aesthetic design of the firearm, the user is still responsible for their own digits.
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Old December 26, 2019, 09:02 PM   #12
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Press (chamber) checks ARE necessary.

I cant tell you the number of times ive seen folks insert a mag, run the slide and end up without a round in the chamber.

Mag not fully seated, short stroke the slide. Any number of things can go wrong.

If done safely, what is the harm of ENSURING the gun is loaded before heading out into the world??
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Old December 26, 2019, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'm having some difficulty understanding how George's 1911 fired when holstering if the thumb safety was set. Apparently his pistol was defective.
It has to be the gun, and verifying that everything was working properly (including the operator) was obviously someone elses job, and not the fault of the person who screwed up.

I always find it interesting that people bitch about things like Glocks being unsafe, yet you still see these "accidents" happen, with guns that have all the added safeties, that are supposed to make them so much safer.


Quote:
Handling firearms means handling firearms that are loaded. You had to load the firearm in the first place and then either holster or sling that firearm. If someone wants to argue that handling it after the fact is redundant or unnecessary, I can understand where that argument comes from. But to say that press checks violate the original four rules while general handling does not is something I don't get.
It amazes me sometimes at how silly some people can get about things. They worry endlessly and go overboard about the minutia of safety, and supposed violations of it, yet very often, are barely competent with the guns that have and carry.
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Old December 26, 2019, 10:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
How too. Hold pistol in shooting hand, point in a safe direction, grab the front of this very smooth, and slippy slide (Especially slippy in a hot climate, it's called sweat!) pull it back a bit, the slide see cartridge, close again, reset safety catch, re-holster.

Finger of shooting hand inadvertently presses trigger *BANG* the end joint! Gone. Yes, George had one of those missing digits.
This is two separate paragraphs--I'll edit the OP to insert the paragraph break.

Paragraph 1 explains the entire procedure from start to finish as it would normally go if there were no "interruptions".

Paragraph 2 explains how the procedure went wrong in one case--the shooting hand pulled the trigger while the other hand's finger was pulling the slide back a bit and was apparently in front of the muzzle.
Quote:
Press (chamber) checks ARE necessary.

I cant tell you the number of times ive seen folks insert a mag, run the slide and end up without a round in the chamber.
Maybe in a very few firearms. In most firearms it's very easy to tell if a round chambered without fiddling with the slide.

Option one. Check the loaded chamber indicator. Even guns that don't have a chamber loaded indicator built in often have a feature that serves the purpose. I have an old Glock before they went to the new extractor version that doubles as a chamber loaded indicator and even with the old one you can feel the extractor and easily tell the difference beween an empty and a loaded chamber. My Kahr pistols are the same way.

Option two.
1. Load the magazine to full.
2. Remove the mag after racking the slide and top it off. If the extra round won't go in, guess what happened.

Option three.
If the mag has round-count holes, look at the mag before and after chambering a round to see if the round count in the mag changed. If it didn't, a round didn't chamber.

And, finally even you end up in some kind of situation where none of that works, you still don't have to put your finger near the muzzle of the gun to see if the chamber is loaded. There's nothing forcing a person to grasp the slide near the muzzle to retract the slide.
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Old December 27, 2019, 01:42 AM   #15
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Finger of shooting hand inadvertently presses trigger *BANG* the end joint! Gone.
Finger of shooting hand negligently presses trigger *BANG* the end joint! Gone!

There, fixed it for you!
Serrations, or not, keeping the booger hook off the boom switch is a must.
Somehow, I'm surprised that George isn't missing other, possibly more important, parts with his negligence in firearms handling!
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Old December 27, 2019, 04:40 AM   #16
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Good old George did admit to at a young age, a liking to a Wee Dram of Scotch. So the delinquent handling of his 1911, was not helped in that regard?
My latest every day carry, my 43X, the first nickel like finish model. Is loaded by the top off method, as described by more than one, insert a full magazine, rack slide, top off the magazine and holster.

No children in our house, so the pistol sits 2 feet from my nose, on the bedside table. Table lamp, cell phone, house phone. And my very bright LED light, that goes into a holster, next to spare magazine on the belt, when dressed.
This flashlight (Called a torch in my native UK) is a SureFire, goes on a plane with me, steelhead, serrated. Is a hidden weapon. A blow to the forehead begets a flood of blood into eyes. But mostly used as an inoffensive source of light.

Most Police Stations have a drum of sand, to point the muzzle at, in the loading sequence. Must have a good reason for that.
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Old December 27, 2019, 08:17 AM   #17
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I just WATCH the round go in the chamber EVERY TIME when I drop the slide.
If I am competing, click no bang is not good for score.

Front serrations are for racking the slide when you have an RMR ad don't want finger prints on it.

Function over looks.

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Old December 27, 2019, 10:51 AM   #18
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"RMR"??

What is an "RMR"?
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Old December 27, 2019, 12:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
"RMR"??

What is an "RMR"?
Trijicon RMR red dot

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Old December 27, 2019, 12:59 PM   #20
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Have folks learned this from television? Four cops sitting in the office cracking jokes when one gets a phone call to investigate a body found in a crack house at 5th & Main... all four cops open the second desk drawer of their respective desks and each pull out a pistol in a paddle holster, drive down to the crack house and then three of the cops do a “necessary” press check while the fourth cop waits until he’s on the porch to rack a round in the pump shotgun?!

My EDC has a chambered round because I chambered it at the range the last time I was there. It’s not been cleared since.

It’s foolish if a guy carrying a gun has no idea if there is a chambered round and if he’s that clueless he should clear his weapon and load (re-load?) it.

These are my opinions and all can feel free to disagree. Form a committee, even, and disagree as a group. Be sure to take attendance and also ask each committee member if they have any idea whether or not their carry gun has a chambered round. Include those details in the minutes.
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Old December 27, 2019, 01:49 PM   #21
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Not sure why you went on a rant there at the end but okay.

I "know" the status of every firearm in the safe(s). At the same time I regularly do dryfire practice with a number of them. When I do dry fire I remove the magazine, lock the slide to the rear, and check both visually and by feel that the chamber is empty and there is no round being held by the extractor. When I go to holster the pistols I "know" are armed I do a press check to confirm that they do in fact have a round chambered. Doing this, once again, doesn't involve my finger on the trigger or the muzzle being pointed at anyone. I have a set backstop I use to do this so that were the firearm to discharge no one else can be hurt.

In the situation you describe I wouldn't have a firearm in the desk. It would be on me and chambered and the press check would have been performed before the firearm was holstered for the day. Some people will go to extremes and do them all the time. I do it when the firearm is put on for the day. Were my firearm in the desk I'd chamber a round before I left the building. A cruiser ready shotgun, IIRC, often doesn't have a round chambered, so what you describe there isn't particularly unusual.

You seem to be basing this off of the premise that press checks are for forgetful or unskilled shooters. If you would like look up the SIG Sauer Academy. Literally every instructor there will teach or show a press check. These are law enforcement officers with typically decades of experience on SWAT and many former military servicemen, including Green Berets and other members of special operations. Most are still active duty. I'm not sure if they got all of this from TV. For the record I'm not calling them the ultimate source of information. This is simply an example of professional firearm users doing press checks.

In the two dozen defensive firearm courses I've done I've seen multiple people with a "dead man's gun". Gun comes up and click and no bang. Many of these people "knew" their firearms were loaded. This has happened to me and it was me running the 100 yards to the gong to further reinforce the consequences of my mistske. When there's an option to do a press check and prevent that from happening when it really matters out in the real world, why not? Can it be done poorly and cause injury? Sure, but that's firearm usage in a nut shell.

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Old December 27, 2019, 02:00 PM   #22
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I have had two "surprises" that I am aware of.

One time at a gun show before the safety indicators were common and required a seller cleared a firearm and handed it to me. I cleared it again and then showed the seller. He removed the jammed empty case from the chamber - IIRC he used a small screwdriver. He said I was not the first person to handle that gun that day and was overly apologetic.

On the second day of a duck hunting trip I removed my shotgun from its case, loaded two roads in the magazine, and pumped the action only to have a live round come out. Apparently I had put it away with a round chambered.

Every gun is loaded all the time until proven otherwise and even then it is loaded. If I a vital piece of the gun is not removed (the slide assembly on a semi-auto or the bolt in my bolt action rifles) or the action locked in a position that will not fire such as safety straps at a show that gun is loaded in my mind. However every defensive gun is checked anyways to verify it is chambered before being put in my holster.
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Old December 27, 2019, 02:03 PM   #23
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One can't possibly lose a finger tip unless he put it in front of the muzzle and pull the trigger. This has nothing to do with either press check or front serrations. The pistol can't fire once the slide is pulled back.

George lost a digit because he shot it off.

-TL

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Old December 27, 2019, 02:25 PM   #24
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I've never found the need for a "press check"
If in a situation where I wanted to confirm (absurdly rare) I simply ran the slide
Today there are so many pistols with visual or tactile LCI's that its largely unnecessary
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Old December 27, 2019, 02:31 PM   #25
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A buddy of mine, a bunch of years ago, worked in 41 Div. for Metro Toronto Police Dept. I was picking him up, to go for breakfast, Charlie a native Indian.
A good friend of mine for the last 50 years (He is long retired)
He had this minute office. His Glock Mod. 22 40. calibre. Was in the drawer, of his grey steel desk. He was back to the wall. So he stood up, pointed his Glock at my tummy! Racked the slide, and holstered that big black gun.


If I had a dollar for every time a Police Officer swept me? I would be rich.

Trained LEO/Security/Military for 25 years. In Ontario. Canada.
The best tool I had, for sight alignment, a S&W Mod 10 4" barreled revolver. That spit lead, so I threw the cylinder and yoke away.

You could still fire the mechanism, double action, CLICK. I would put the safe revolver in the students' hands, "Aim at the centre chest of that target" then I would stand in front of this non-fireable Revolver, move the rear sight in front of their master eye, then lift the front sight up, till it filled in the gap of that rear sight. Press two shots, double action, watch the movement of the neutered revolver. I had officers fire to point of aim for the first time in 20 years! I also had trainers refuse to teach that system.
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