Let the slide slam home
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  1. #1
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    Let the slide slam home

    We've all been trained that we should let the slide slam home when chambering a round - specifically don't "walk" it forward. Regardless if using the slide stop lever or slingshot method to release the slide, it's important to let it rip.

    From my own experience and working with new shooters, I was aware that not letting the slide slam home could cause some inconsistencies - either a light primer strike or a failure cycling the first shot. I had never actually thought about why in detail.

    Today I was messing around with a G19 Cutaway to observe the interaction between round and chamber when I noticed a fairly consistent behavior. When bringing the slide closed slowly so I could watch the round, the rear of the case would "kick" to the left, failing to push the extractor forward and slide behind it. I experimented with both dummy rounds and a couple of live rounds (the cutaway firing pin does not have a tip on it but I still don't like live ammo - so I only tested a couple of times with HP and round nose ammo to confirm the same behavior).

    With the dummy rounds, I removed the RSA and worked the slide entirely by hand. When moving the slide forward quickly, the cases moved behind the extractor correctly but when moving the slide forward slowly they would kick to the left. The same was true with the RSA in place as well.

    The issue with the casing kicking out is that it will end up in front of the extractor. This can result in:
    • The gun not being able to go fully into battery (light primer strikes)
    • The extractor "jumping" the rim of the case which can result in a chipped extractor or chipped case rim
    • The extractor not correctly "gripping" the rim of the case resulting in a failure during the cycle (failure to extract, stove pipe, etc. etc.).


    I don't have any "absolute" statements to make here, just reporting the observations and that what was observed can result in the typical failures that happen from "walking" the slide forward when chambering a round. What is really driving my brain nuts is how consistently the gun chambers a round correctly when the slide comes forward quickly. When Glock keeps saying "things move/act different under force" I guess they mean it.
    Last edited by MtStream; 02-11-2017 at 04:02 PM.
    I'm on Twitter @GlockGuide http://twitter.com/GlockGuide

  2. #2
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    NWGlocker's Avatar
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    Nice observations. I'll have to play around with this the next time I'm at the range. In the cases where people ride the slide back into battery, have you done press checks to see how the case is sitting relative to the extractor?

  3. #3
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    I haven't, never thought about why something went wrong just accepted that things could go wrong from ridding the slide.

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  5. #4
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    I did this when I first started out with handguns. I guess I did not want to do anything that might damage the pistol I had saved up (usually months) for.
    Before I learned better, I even dropped a round into the chamber and then let the slide slam home. I was subsequently told this could damage the extractor, so I quit doing that.
    Now I insert a loaded mag, then usually slingshot the slide, thus chambering the round. I believe that this is the preferred method now, as it most closely replicates the normal functioning of the pistol chambering a round.
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  6. #5
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    All Glock motions have to be violent to work right, just like during firing. Letting a slide go on a chambered round is a sure way to chip the extractor. You can load any Glock in one, or all, of 3 ways. Insert mag and slingshot, insert mag on locked back slide and push the slide stop button to release the slide, or slam mag into slide locked Glock, and it will load itself. Some brand new Glocks may not self load, but all of mine are between 10,000 and 200,000 rounds old.

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    Pull and let go.
    Always worked.
    Never known otherwise.

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    From armorer's class: releasing the slide stop to let the slide slam back to battery can, over time, round off the edge of the slide stop lever making it defective in stopping the slide open. Use your hand to pull slide back and let go


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  9. #8
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    Yes, but it takes thousands of times to wear it out. I have replaced the slide stop only once on my old 2 pin G17 that has over 200K on it because the spring went dead.

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