Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

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Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by watercam on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:18 pm

New to me manual of arms for a Match 1911:

Proper way to release the slide of a Target 1911:

With the slide locked to the rear: Thumb the hammer back while releasing the slide with the slide release
Or: Pull the trigger back while pulling the slide back and releasing.
Explanation from a Vet with 40 years of Bullseye Competition:

You're holding the modified hammer hooks off the sear. The two item have been modified with a trigger job and are usually about half as much engagement as would be left unmodified, this can just bounce forward from the slide momentum. Then it should hit the half cock notch. But that also gets shorted in the trigger job. The half cock notch should hold? But if it sears off, then it's a full auto trigger... This is unusual to see, but it has happened. 
If your not ready, a full auto 1911 is a hand full. It will twist in your hand so fast, with luck the last round will be fired straight up.
That loading procedure comes from the military, and Roddy still instructs new shooters with his trigger jobs to load that way. 

When your firing the pistol, it should complete the cycling, before you have released the trigger to reset.

I had no idea...

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by cdrt on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:29 pm

OBE


Last edited by cdrt on Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by CR10X on Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:32 am

OK, this has been discussed before.  Part of this is from the days of mil-spec hammers, sears, disconnectors and "gunsmiths" cutting hammer hooks too short.   With today's available parts, hammer follow should not be an issue.  IPSC / USPSA shooter have triggers way less than 3.5 pounds and cannot touch the trigger when loading and have no issues. 

So the best way to drop the slide on the guns describe above is probably dropping both the slide and frame and all the other parts off at the nearest best gunsmith available for an update.  ("It only went off once" is not exactly a good thing.) 

My recommendation is you should not hold the trigger back when dropping the slide on a 1911.  Any mistakes in the order of that process WILL eventually lead to a discharge.  Every loading discharge I have ever seen on the line over the last 25 years has been from the use of this outdated and (potentially) unsafe practice (when not done properly).  

(Finger off the trigger until the gun in on the target.  Any accidents with a shooter doing otherwise and the shooter will be considered part of problem.)  

You can hold the hammer back if you wish.  

Please help stamp out "holding the trigger back".

Thank you for your support.

CR



Thanks.


Last edited by CR10X on Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification and added specifics, too early for typing and thinking the first time. My apologies.)

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Bullseye_Stan on Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:31 am

Holding back the hammer while closing the slide is always an option.  I would be concerned about doubling if that were needed.  I've yet to see a pistol that can't be racked and the slide allowed to slam into battery without a round.  If the full impact of the slide won't allow the hammer to follow, adding the resistance of stripping a round from the magazine won't make that happen.  But, using a dummy round may ease any apprehension for those who don't believe that.

Safety is the main concern.  I rack the slide while holding the trigger back and use my hand to slow the slide when loading the first round from a magazine - all while the muzzle is pointed down range.  If a round goes off when I release the trigger, that's going to happen when trying to acquire the target during timed or rapid fire.  That means its time to contact the range officer, pack up my gear, and excuse myself in order to not aggravate everyone on the line.  Opinions vary.

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Olde Pilot on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:15 am

CR10X: Thanks for setting us straight. I've always thought holding the trigger back is both unnecessary and unsafe. Holding the hammer back is harmless but shouldn't be needed if the trigger is correct.

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Chris Miceli on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:38 am

Olde Pilot wrote:CR10X: Thanks for setting us straight. I've always thought holding the trigger back is both unnecessary and unsafe. Holding the hammer back is harmless but shouldn't be needed if the trigger is correct.
On a properly functioning 1911, you can hold the trigger back and rack the slide and the hammer will not fall. It will remain cocked until you allow the trigger to reset and pull the trigger again.
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by kc.crawford.7 on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 am

Chris Miceli wrote:
Olde Pilot wrote:CR10X: Thanks for setting us straight. I've always thought holding the trigger back is both unnecessary and unsafe. Holding the hammer back is harmless but shouldn't be needed if the trigger is correct.
On a properly functioning 1911, you can hold the trigger back and rack the slide and the hammer will not fall. It will remain cocked until you allow the trigger to reset and pull the trigger again.
As a pistolsmith this is where I'll chime in.  You should ALWAYS hold the trigger fully to the rear any time you're dropping the slide.  Whether it be from slide stop or slingshot, the trigger should be held to the rear to ensure the safest possible condition when letting the slide go into battery.
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Olde Pilot on Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:59 am

Tough to argue with one of the best pistolsmiths in the country. But, I can't come to grips with the idea of pulling the trigger on a gun before the intent to fire it. So, if I damage my trigger by not using the hold-back method, it's just more work for Crawford, Sayler, et al.

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by dronning on Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:11 am

I think KC's point was more about safety verses damage to the trigger.  When you hold the trigger back the disconnector prevents the hammer from falling just like it does when you are firing the gun.  You have to release the trigger for it to reset and be ready to fire again.
- Dave

Here's a video, watch the trigger bow.


Last edited by dronning on Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:24 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Jack H on Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:12 pm

Holding the trigger back duplicates the event of normal cycling.  Does it not?
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by dronning on Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:23 pm

Jack H wrote:Holding the trigger back duplicates the event of normal cycling.  Does it not?

+1
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by CR10X on Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:23 pm

Please do not let this thread become a bunch of positioning, he said, she said, etc..  This issue deserves thoughtful consideration, discussion and a knowledgeable decision on the part of the operator.  In the event it does, I will simply delete my posts.  I will not participate in a discussion that causes any hard feelings, etc.  

Ok, first off I totally agree with KC.   (You should never dismiss the comments of your gunsmith and friend! Smile)  And I respect everyone's opinion on this matter. 

On the other hand, I still stand by my comments.

Why and how is this possible?

Well, mechanically KC is absolutely correct, that method will maximize the available features.  And this method will keep there from being any issues when loading the pistol.  When done properly and in the correct order.  It has been done for a long time, and is mechanically safe and sound.  

The concern with the holding the trigger method is that mechanical issues are rarely the problem, its the software operating the gun.  At some point there is the potential for the person operating the pistol to get the process out of order. (And the same can be said for "keeping the finger off the trigger".)  And there are lots of benches, gun boxes, loud noises and surprised expressions to support this observation.  (Not to mention a couple of instances where other things transpired.)  And since I also function as a Match Director / RO, my perspective is also from that position as well. 

Having to go from "don't touch the trigger" when the slide is forward; to OK to "hold the trigger back when the slide is back" simply adds another item for the shooter to keep track of.  Now the shooter has two different manual of operations / processes to keep straight.  Every time I've had the occasion to see a loading discharge on the line, the shooter was using this method (and basically screwed it up).

The NRA also includes:

NRA GUN SAFETY RULES: The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are: • ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. • ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. • ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. 

on the first page of the rule book.

My choice and recommendation is to hold the hammer, pay for any extra trigger work that may result and not touch the trigger as part of the chambering process.  If the hammer is following, I'll still suggest that it needs to be looked at anyway.   

However, each will need to make their own decision as to the process they choose, then stick to it completely so it will work, every time. 

Again, please do not let this thread become a bunch of positioning and rants, etc.  This issue deserves thoughtful consideration, discussion and a knowledgeable decision on the part of the operator.   In the event it does, I will simply delete my posts.

Thank you.  

CR

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by watercam on Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:18 pm

Perhaps we should let it end here...

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by mikemyers on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:30 pm

CR10X wrote:.......The concern with the holding the trigger method is that mechanical issues are rarely the problem, its the software operating the gun.  At some point there is the potential for the person operating the pistol to get the process out of order. (And the same can be said for "keeping the finger off the trigger".).......
I will stay out of the technical discussion, as I don't know enough to have a comment either way, but having worked so hard to keep my finger off the trigger until/unless I am about to shoot, even if this was a good idea I wouldn't use it.  Both my conscious mind and my subconscious mind have learned to keep my finger in a safe location resting against the side of the gun unless I am shooting.  Doing what has been suggested up above could "confuse" my habits.  Never, means never.  No exceptions.  If for no other reason, that's why I would never deliberately do something to break that habit.


Last edited by mikemyers on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by LenV on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:34 pm

How the heck does anyone hold the hammer back? Not getting into pros and cons. Just curious if anyone has thumbs that small?? Mil-spec, maybe, but thumb would not be between hammer and firing pin. I wanted to ask this all day but had to wait till someone opened it back up again Smile

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Jon Eulette on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:37 pm

Only pistols with standard G.I. grip safety can hammer be held down when releasing slide. So Len obviously you are correct.
Jon
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by KB2MBC on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:28 am

After reading the last two posts, I feel sooo much better! I too could not figure out how I could get my thumb onto the hammer and keep it there securely as the slide released. 
I did consider growing out the nail and coating it with an epoxy, then  it could double as a screwdriver too!

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Bullseye_Stan on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:23 am

.


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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by watercam on Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:55 am

See pistolsmith comment above...

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Axehandle on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:18 pm

Those of us that came from military marksmanship teams know that pulling the trigger and holding the hammer back when dropping the slide was dictated.  Additionally you were required to rotate your trigger finger to between the hammer and firing pin before you released the hammer.  No if ands or butts.  Don't do it and you were thrown off the firing line.  The pulling the trigger requirement went away in the early 80s.

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by knightimac on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:56 pm

I had some material shaved off my beaver tail to allow me to hold back the hammer.

I just can't bring myself to hold back the trigger given all my safety training for all firearms over the years.

As others have stated, all respect to others who have posted and their methods.

About 20 years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of a full auto 5 round string which ended my match with thankfully no injuries except for the light above the target with the last round.

Maybe this is why I still like revolvers.
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by watercam on Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:09 pm

Yikes!

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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Jack H on Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:34 pm

How about holding neither hammer or trigger.  Just grab the dot and let it forward by hand.
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:01 pm

IJack H wrote:How about holding neither hammer or trigger.  Just grab the dot and let it forward by hand.

Will vertical string at 50 yds
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

Post by Toz35m on Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:18 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:
IJack H wrote:How about holding neither hammer or trigger.  Just grab the dot and let it forward by hand.

Will vertical string at 50 yds

I started out holding the trigger back until one time my finger moved just a little bit and BOOM.  Never again. It does not take much to loose focus and you put one in the dirt.  I now do just what Jack said. 

last Sat I shot a 99-3 slow at 50 yds.
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Re: Proper way to close the slide on a 1911 Target Pistol

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