What is a Handi-Racker and why would you need one?
Sometimes things don't always end up like they are supposed to. If we were in a perfect world, people would have perfect health and live to 104. What happens when your health gets in the way of what you enjoy?
Such is what happend to a customer of Iowa Gunsmith Chris McAnnich. Said customer was no longer able to shoot his semi-autos because of a permanent injury to his hand. Chris picks up the story with me during a phone call in early January, about 10 days prior to SHOT show 2014:
"One of my regular customers was lamenting how his hand injury kept him from shooting a big group of his handguns, his "Autoloaders." Chris came up with the idea of a "Device" that would allow folks who found cycling slides difficult. Hence, the Handi-Racker was born.
Fitting over the front portion of the slide, with a groove for the front sight, a cut In the top of the device, made of polycarbonate anti-impact plastics, with white on the bottom and different top colors depending on Model, it's no surprise to me that something so simple is so effective.
We tested the model for the Ruger LC9/Kel-Tec PF-9/P11, which has a Black top, and the standard white plastic bottom part. Even though my hands are not nearly as bad as my wife's, I thought I would be able to test Handi-Racker under several different situations. First came an "outside" shooting session on the Friday prior to us leaving for the "Drive " to Vegas for SHOT.
While Northern Arizona is not as Warm as southern parts of the state, it does also get cold above 2500 Feet. We went to our" special outside" spot in the high desert just south of Sedona Az., at 5,000 Ft. Or so. We had no rain or snow, but some steady wind and temps around 50 degrees. After an hour of shooting our hands began to get cold, and it does add a bit of difficulty closing your off hand around the slide.
I ran a three magazine Drill with 8 rounds in a regular LC9 Magazine(7+1), and 2 7 rounders, at three seperate targets, using the Handi-Racker in my left hand to twice grab the first round out of the mag and into the chamber. Both times the Handi-Racker was flawless in feeding the top round from the mag inintone chamber. But I wanted to see the Handi-Racker handle a Jam at least once. I purposely created a Jam situation. The Handi-Racker not only knocked out the brass jammed between the slide and chamber, it flawlessly drew the next round up from the magazine!
Next, we took the Handi-Racker with us to Vegas, to get some responses from attendees, and from my Podcast Partner, the Vikingdad. While we didn't get a chance to go shooting to an indoor range, we passed it around. Lots of folks had that quizzical look, but many caught on right away.
One well known writer who I'll keep nameless, said, "where has this been! Half the population of Floridans over 62 need this!"
Back home after SHOT, we continued testing. I wanted to try and cycle an entire magazine of unfired rounds with it, but I wanted to do it outdoors away from anything, and with safety in mind. I loaded one of my extended 9 rounders, racked the top round in, dropped the magazine to load an extra, and proceeded to "Rack" 10 unfired rounds out of my LC9 without a misfire or a Jam! Quickly, before I thought better, I decided to do it again, except I used 2 of my 7 rounders, and did another mag change. Not because we were going for speed( but since you asked anyway, 14 rounds across two magazines in just under 8 seconds) but precision under the pretense of "Stress &Duress."
I might have lost a second or two in my advancing age from my "competition days," and I'm not saying the Device is a replacement for proper skills, but it's good to know that if hand strength is a problem due to age or physical health, the Handi-Racker can be a "missing link" in your range bag or even your pocket.
(The bottom of the Handi-Racker in White shows where the cutaway for the front of the Slide fits in, and the groove for the front sight is.)
(Top of the Handi-Racker in Black with the Instructions heat molded Into the face)
Overall this is to me, an even better safety tool for shooters, then even having a Gun rest with a mounted stabilized base, because it's easy for Just about anyone who can raise a hand, even if you can't move your fingers well, or take the pain from the pressure of moving your hand in the needed motion.
I had told Chris when we first spoke by phone, that this was a winner of a product at a more then reasonable price. Available at Several websites, email Chris at: firstname.lastname@example.org for a complete list of vendors.