Racking The Slide On A Handgun

Discussion in 'XD Forum' started by PANDEMIC, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick question.

    So I went out to the shooting range yesterday evening because I was dying to put some more rounds through my XD. (Was pretty busy lately).

    Anyways, after shooting and finished packing up all my gear for the day. Before I left, I made sure the weapon had no magazine and that it was cleared and unloaded. I spent some time racking the slide ALOT and locking it to the rear. Mainly this was for me to get more used to it and because when I first got it, it was really really hard for me to rack the slide. And locking it to the rear was impossible.

    So after doing it so many times yesterday, its now starting to feel like butter, and I'm able to lock it the rear on the first try every time now. :)


    This may seem like a dumb question, but its okay to rack the slide as many times as you want on a handgun, like it wont hurt anything right? Sorry, I'm more of an AR guy.

    And yes it does have lube, I lubed it the day after I got it. If it racks fine with no hiccups then I know its good on lube. I do the same with my AR. If my bolt racks back and fourth just fine with no hiccups, then its also good on lube.


    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  2. SK2344

    SK2344 Active Member

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    I don't think this hurt your gun.
     
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  3. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    I think so too, I mean the gun is designed to be racked. Not to mention it will rack itself when its being fired, just alot faster.
     
  4. christopher dorn

    christopher dorn New Member

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    I have always heard that you should rack a semi 500 times before shooting it to help it break in. I think you are fine.
     
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  5. microadventure

    microadventure Well-Known Member

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    on TV, the sound of a gun racking is louder than the sound of a gun with a silencer.

    so why do we not hear the loud sound of a silenced firearm being racked after the "phhht?"

    should the sound of a silenced firearm not be "phhht... WHICK-WHACK?"
     
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  6. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For me, it would be much more enjoyable to shoot your new pistol "X" number of rounds rather than manually exercise the slide. Shooting your pistol will get the recoil spring "set" to its working length in a better manner from the recoil energy, and.....it's more fun to do.
     
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  7. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    PANDEMIC,
    It will not hurt the Pistol one bit to Rack the Slide.
    Just be sure to the rails lubricated.
    As far as racking a slid when it is hard. I have recommended the following.
    When on the Range and getting ready to load and shoot or clearing the weapon. I am Right Handed so I will explain for the Right Handed Shooter. Obviously the technique would be the opposite for a Left Hand Shooter regarding the stance.
    RH Shooter. Standing on the line or at a bench=
    1. Standing with both feet even facing Down Range. About 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart.
    2.With the Pistol pointing Down Range in the Right Hand
    3. Keeping your Left Foot in the original position then
    4. Move your Right Foot back to about a 3:00 o'clock position.
    (This will Blade Your Body with the Target Line)
    5. With the Pistol still pointing Down Range
    6. With your Left Hand cupped and gripping the Top Rear of the Slide and your Right
    Hand gripping the Pistol Grip.
    7. Shove the Pistol Grip Forward with the Right Hand while Pulling the Slide Back at
    the same time with the Left Hand.
    8. Just use "Caution" not to get any portion of your Left Hand in the Ejection Port
    when the Slide Closes on it's OWN! Do not Milk the Slide Closed let it Fly!
    I have found this technique works well for the ladies and those not having enough strength to simply pull the Slide Back easily. And a lot of pistol slides have very strong springs.

    03
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  8. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah I agree 100% just to keep shooting it. But right now I don't have much ammo for it. Like I've got 78 rnds (thats including 7rnds in the mag currently) and this is because I'm buying the individual boxes by the 50rnds.
    I just dont have the money to buy the big bulk of ammo just yet, but when I do I'll be pretty trigger happy with my gun at the range lol.
     
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  9. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much 03! And thanks for the step by step instructions for the stance. Pushing the gun forward as as you pull the slide back does sound alot easier. I will definately try out that stance method the next time I go out there. And yes, I don't milk the slide/ride it forward, I let it fly! I did pinch my left index finger a bit when I racked the gun the first time but that was my fault because I had my fingers partially over the ejection port. Lesson learned.

    I did find a technique where if I tilt the gun sideways as I rack the slide, I have more grip and control over it and its faster too.
    So thats working out for me really well so far.

    Thanks again 03!
     
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  10. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Well-Known Member

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    Racking the slide will not hurt a pistol. But many gunsmiths will tell you not to let the slide slam shut empty. without a round being chambered, there is nothing to cushion the metal-to-metal impact.
     
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  11. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Its no big deal to let the slide slam on an empty chamber every now and again. c3 even told me to let it fly and not ride it. And this appplies reguardless if its on an empty chamber or a live round. The reason for this being is so that you don't end up babying it and also so you don't develop bad habbits of always riding the slide because then you'll end up doing it with a live round without even noticing and it will cause misfeeds.

    I used to do this with my AR when I babied it, but then I started treating my AR like its supposed be treated, a tool and don't be gentle with it and get a little aggressive and use it the way its supposed to be used.

    Just like an AR you can let the bolt slam as many times as you want. Same thing applies to a handgun, except 1911's with match trigger jobs or other guns in general (depends on the gun). But its fine with most modern day handguns, like the XD for example

    Do I let let my slide slam all the time, no. But most of the time yes, its fine. I wouldn't have spent $300 on this pistol if I knew that letting the slide slam now and again would do damage to it. Same thing with buying an AR thats worth $700 or more and letting the bolt slam on that as well would cause damage which in reality, it won't. Also, firing the gun would rack the bolt/slide 10x faster then by just playing with it on an empty chamber.

    Not to mention, both my guns are not even near the 1k rnd mark. If I had like 30k - 40k rounds through both guns, then yes I would be a bit more gentle with them since they would already have seen alot of abuse. But in this case, its fine.

    Most gunsmiths that say its not good to let the bolt/slide slam onto an empty chamber because it would just be metal onto metal kind of thing. And using a live round or even a snap cap gives it some form of cushion.

    I think they say that so that you don't end up making it into a bad habbit. Or you sitting there all day every day letting the slide slam kind of thing. But I'm sure they would agree with me that letting it happen now and again is no biggie or if your really low on ammo like me :) and your doing it to break in your gun so that it goes from really rough to really smooooooth as silk! :) Then your good to go! :)


    Thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  12. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's the "key" right there. Doing a "professional trigger job" on a 1911 pistol reduces sear to hammer notch engagement to around 0.018 thousands of an inch. When a GOOD trigger job is done to a 1911 style pistol, no, it is not recommended to let the slide fly forward using its own weight over an empty chamber. Only because the inertia involved can disengage the sear from the hammer notch and ruin engagement when that practice is over-done. Somehow the admonition has gotten passed around as an 'ol wives tale that it applies to ALL pistols.
    We should hope that the slide does hit the "barrel hood" before the slide slams into the back of the barrel face, and stops where it does. The forward motion of the slide, if it gets too close to the chamber mouth, the forward inertia involved with the slide going forward could cause the firing pin to hit a primer during the shooting sequence. Wouldn't that be an exciting happenstance?
    Any yes, it's no "biggie" to let the slide go forward from the stored energy involved with the recoil spring, it was designed to do that. Old wives tales seem to flourish when they continue to get passed around by folks who should know better, but don't.
     
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  13. PANDEMIC

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you said! :) and Thank you very much for the detailed explantion on what happens when letting the slide slam on an empty chamber for a match trigger job on a 1911. I read that over doing it would eventually damage your sear. But I dident know until now what exactly happens when its over done. I don't own a 1911 yet, but that is a handgun I've been drooling over to be the next gun I want to buy. :)

    Thanks again SGWGunsmith for all your help as well as everyone else's! I can't thank you guys enough. :)
     
  14. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Excellent information and right on the money. That being said I see no point in ever releasing a slide on an empty chamber on any pistol. Not an issue of potential damage just a personal thing, and as far as developing bad habits I think that is not a real issue. I have never screwed up the handling of a loaded gun because I tend to baby an empty one. Maybe I just don’t mindlessly handle guns.
     
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  15. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup! That it is. You'll see many folks do what's called a "sling-shot" recharge. They'll pull the slide back a bit using the rear slide serrations and then let it fly forward. No foul there. Or, the slide release gets depressed and the slide goes forward. No foul there either. My choice, and it's only that, a choice, is to retract the slide, or bolt, slightly and let it fly forward from the stored energy involved with the recoil spring. Sorta as how the gun works when fired.
    As you profess, "it's a method to reach and end result", nothing more or nothing less.

    For years, many years, I've read about how owners should NEVER use the bolt hold back lever on the left side of a Ruger Mark II, III, 22/45 or Mark IV pistol. WHY? Because it was thought that the bolt face will get worn from sliding off the face of the bolt stop assembly.
    The little dude who rules the inside of my skull kept telling me there's something wrong with that summation about the bolt stop and releasing it to get the bolt to go forward and causing damage. Enter slow motion mode on a customers digital movie camera. My, my, when we actually saw what the heck was going on with a couple of Ruger Mark pistols held fast in a "mechanical rest" we found it to be obvious that the bolt was actually hitting the rear face of the bolt stop assembly, bouncing back a bit and then the spring would drive the bolt forward again, only to hit the rear face of the bolt stop assembly and stop.
    I still use the sling-shot procedure mostly, but do now use the bolt stop thumb piece on occasion on all my Ruger Mark pistols. Works just fine and some slight damage from the returning bolt still does happen.
     
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  16. RJF22553

    RJF22553 Well-Known Member

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    Racking the slide is just fine. My dogs (when they were with us), horses and cats don't like it one bit. Kinda weird, but that is how it was/is. Particularly perplexing since one of our horses was a Mounted Police horse with the Charleston WV PD. But they clear the room or stall should I rack the slide on my CCW.
     
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  17. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I racked the slide on any firearm, the late "Dakota" in my photo always got up, gave me a dirty look & left the room.
     
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  18. Bayou

    Bayou Well-Known Member

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    Rack away!
     
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  19. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just shoot the snot out of them. That takes care of breaking in the slide to frame fit and polishing out the burrs. A modern handgun is not a 52 Chevrolet that needs to be driven under 40 MPH for the first 500 miles.
     
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