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Old July 13, 2018, 02:14 PM   #1
HughScot
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Hard to rack slide

Comparing the Beretta PX4 Sub-compact in 40sw versus the HK P30sk. Will the slide be harder to rack on one versus the other?
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Old July 13, 2018, 08:23 PM   #2
Drm50
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I have sold and traded several compact 9mms. All good brand name guns. The
one complaint I get all the time is the stiffness of racking the slide. The nature
of the beast means spring has to be stout to make up for the length. If you
grip the slide and "rack" the pistol it makes it easier. Just make sure your finger
is not on trigger.
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Old July 13, 2018, 10:06 PM   #3
Walt Sherrill
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As Drm50 notes, small guns, including many compacts, have heavy recoil springs that can make racking the slide difficult.

Your have three easy, inexpensive possibilities with most of them:

1) if hammer-fired, cock the hammer before racking the slide, or

2) hold the slide down around near your waist (but with the muzzle pointed down and away from your feet), and brace your slide-holding hand against your body while you PUSH the rest of the gun down, or

3) if hammer-fired, do both!
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:42 AM   #4
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Very good advice here^^^^^^^. And I'd add KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF the TRIGGER!
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:51 AM   #5
dontcatchmany
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I have a Shield 40 and the slide is/was hard to rack, even after well over a thousand rounds of 40 and 9mm (barrel and mag changes).

I started using Liquid Wrench RV Dry Lube sprayed very liberally and that has helped to make it tolerable but not perfect.
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:06 PM   #6
HughScot
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Thanks for all the replies. Good advice. I've watched a number of videos and they look so easy. Never thought of the spring needing to be heavier.

I was looking at the HK P30sk and the Beretta, but now perhaps the HK VP9 sk with the ears on the slide would be better. Trouble is none of the stores around here stock these guns. I've got a Sig P229 and it is almost impossible to rack at my age 78, had it since '94 and can't believe how weak I've gotten. Ha!

Last edited by HughScot; July 14, 2018 at 02:15 PM.
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Old July 15, 2018, 08:18 AM   #7
mlk18
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If your hand strength has lessened where it is hard to rack a slide, it may also be at the point where shooting the .40S&W and dealing with slide manipulation (like during malfunctions) could be somewhat difficult as well. There are guns on the market that specifically deal with the issue of hand strength in a variety of calibers that would be worth checking out. The Springfield XD-E, Walther CCP, S&W Shield 380 EZ, etc.

My Dad started having a lot of trouble with slide manipulation in his late 70's. He decided to just give up on semi-autos and I bought him a S&W 638 .38spl instead. He is very good with that gun and can reload it quickly.
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Old July 15, 2018, 09:02 AM   #8
Drm50
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Two weeks ago Sat, a young local man bought a new Glock compact model.
Brand new gun. 1st time out he shot a kid through the guts with it. I don't
do Glocks but the story is slide was hard and gun went off when slide slipped
out of his grasp. The missing part of this story is his finger on the trigger when
this happened. Of coarse there is no excuse for where Muzzel was pointed, but
with handgun and novice things can go wrong. Victim had to be Life Flighted
to Pittsburg. He has Spleen, Pancheas, Stomach and intestines shot up by a
fragmented HP.
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Old July 15, 2018, 09:41 AM   #9
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Can't believe how careless some people can be!! terry
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Old July 19, 2018, 12:54 AM   #10
thibaultfelix40
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I hope I can explain this. I cut a piece of 3/4" PVC pipe about 3 inches long. Many semiautos have a space between the barrel and the operating rod at the muzzle. Put the pipe on the table, put the muzzle on the block and shove down hard on the handle of the gun. The barrel will go in the pipe and the slide will retract. Storing the gun with the slide retracted might weaken the spring.
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Old July 19, 2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Good answers, I have no problem handling my Sig P229 including shooting it. My grip is good but my skin has gotten thin with age and pushing that slide back really hurts. I put on a glove and it's not a problem. May go the revolver route.
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Old July 19, 2018, 12:57 PM   #12
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I have a Baretta Pico and it is a bitch to wrack the slide for my 80 year old hands. On advice of some guys on another forum I left the slide locked open for several days, applied grip tape in strategic places on the slide and drilled myself on the overhand wracking technique.

The idea was to "season" the recoil spring, improve the grip surface on the slide and perfect the "weak hand on the slide/strong hand only pushes" technique. After some practice I got the drill down and strengthened my grip to boot. It's still not a perfect solution but it's good enough. Hope this helps.

Oh and for the range I have a golf glove with the trigger finger cut out.
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Old July 19, 2018, 02:06 PM   #13
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Just ordered some grip tape and this may just work. I'm also trying locking the slide back for a few days. Thanks.
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Old July 19, 2018, 05:17 PM   #14
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I have had the same mag loading issues with my Px mags for the CX4 carbine. I have 17 and 20 round mags and cannot seem to load any of them to full capacity. I don't consider it to be a wimp issue....they just will not go. I can get around 17 in the 20 rounders. I could understand if it was 19 and the 20th was too difficult, but at 17 I feel as if I am going to break something. I can get 15 or so in the 17 rounders. I bought all of these mags new and even re-read the packaging to make sure I got the right ones.
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Old July 20, 2018, 09:05 AM   #15
Walt Sherrill
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Mag springs, like slide springs, will eventually degrade a little (unless they're cheap mags or slide springs, in which case they'll degrade a lot.) A little relaxation or degradation is normal and expected -- and the designers take that into consideration when specifying the springs used.

You'll probably find that with use (and leaving the mags loaded when not used) that an extra round or two can be more-easily loaded.

Mag springs that are THAT stiff will also make it harder for the slide to strip the next round... so don't rush the process.
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Old July 20, 2018, 09:57 AM   #16
stephen426
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I hope this doesn't sound condescending, but work on grip strength and hand strength. I taught a female friend of mine to shoot, and she could hardly rack the slide initially. I gave her an old airsoft I wasn't using to practice, and her strength improved significantly, to the point where she is able to rack the slide of a gun without too much difficulty.
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Old July 26, 2018, 02:06 PM   #17
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Grip Tape works for me. Just got some GT5000 in the mail today from Guntape.com and applied two small strips and now I can rake with no problems. It was not having something to grip. Didn't know about this stuff until it was mentioned.

Last edited by HughScot; July 26, 2018 at 02:17 PM.
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Old July 27, 2018, 09:54 PM   #18
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Have you seen this?

http://handi-racker.com/
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Old July 28, 2018, 06:18 AM   #19
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Smith and Wesson 380ez or revolver.

Problem solved.
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