Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard

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Post by mikemyers on Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:53 pm

I got my new (old) High Standard Victor from Roddy Toyota yesterday morning.  I have been enjoying everything about the gun, but this morning I noticed a personal "issue".  I'm not that strong to begin with, and I just plain didn't have the strength to rack the slide.  It acted like it was welded shut.

Here's the gun the way Roddy set it up for me - I wanted to try the steel sights before switching to optics.Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Img_1914

It might not be obvious from the photo, but the rear sight is "wider" than the slide, and it wouldn't allow my fingers to get a good grip on the slide.  Reaching forwards from the back of the gun, I could get a little of my fingers over the slide, but not enough to get any leverage.  

So, the first thing I did was to remove the steel sights assembly.  At that point, I could get a wonderful grip on the slide, with my thumb alongside the slide on the left, touching the grooves both in the front and in the back, and the other side of my hand gripping on the right side.  Racking the slide was now effortless.

Next step was to put the rail on - Roddy went to a lot of effort to get the sight-line as low as possible, and allow me to put my Aimpoint H-2 sight towards the rear.  With (only) the rail in place, there was still no issue racking the slide.  Everything was fine. As a test, I put a Vortex Venom on the rail, sort of towards the front.  It is tiny, and light, and after a little experimenting, I could still work the slide with no effort.  I doubt the Vortex Venom is on the same planet as an Aimpoint Micro, let alone the same comparison range, so I expect I'll change this later.

If I put the Aimpoint on, as planned, I think it's going to get in my way as I try to rack the slide.  I guess I'll just need to move the Aimpoint far enough towards the front.  I would do that now, but I don't want to remove the Aimpoint yet from the gun it's currently on.  

Who knows, for "area aiming", the Vortex might even be adequate.  Here's a photo:

Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Img_1915

My question is what people did over all these past years, when they didn't have enough strength to rack the slide.  I've come up with one answer that seems to work so far, but maybe there are others that I never heard of.

(I called Alan at High Standard to ask about this - Interarms carries a part that acts like a handle sticking out to the left side, which he says moves the problem.  I asked him to put it on my new gun, which I think I'll be receiving in several days.)

(I also called the folks at Taandemkross, but they don't think their slide rackers would work on any of my guns.)
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Post by Bullseye58 on Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 pm

I shoot a HS 107 Supermatic Citation Military with Iron sights Hamden built. Never had this issue with my slide (very easy) and I actually use the slide stop/release to chamber my first round. There are a lot of High Standard folks on this sight that can likely help figure out why the slide is so difficult to rack.
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Post by mikemyers on Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:42 pm

Hi, and thanks.

I'm not so sure how difficult the slide is to rack.  Roddy just went through the gun, and as long as I can get a good grip on the slide, I have no problems.  Maybe my hands are smaller than usual, and there is no question my hands are no longer as strong as they once were.

It's not just this gun - I've had the same problem in the past with other guns.  

By the way, once the gun is cocked, it is effortless to rack the slide.  I'm talking about when the gun is not cocked.  I think I was the model for the 98 pound weakling in the old Charles Atlas advertisements, but I can usually find ways to work around issues.  The way the gun was configured in the top photo, my thumb can press against the left side of the slide, and one finger can press against the right side, but the slide doesn't budge.  In the second photo, I get a good grip, and everything works fine.  The problem is most likely me - not the gun - and I see where others have the same problem.  ....oh well, if I leave the gun the way it is now, I'm all set - but I did want to try it with the steel sights too.
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Post by Bullseye58 on Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:49 pm

Sure Mike, I understand. I have never had the pleasure to shoot the Victor, but I have heard nothing but great things about them. I think you would enjoy shooting the HS with iron sights. Just hoping my eyes can hold out for a few more years. Good luck with your Victor!
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Post by mikemyers on Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:05 pm

Thanks!  I'm sure I'll get something figured out.

I also called Alan about this issue, and what he does to make things easier for people buying the new High Standard guns.  He told me about this part:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Standard-Slide-Cocking-Handle-Mfg-by-IAC/123722990588?hash=item1cce7703fc:g:t4IAAOSwYmZXDlrB

I asked him to install one on the new gun he is sending me.  I'm curious as to how it will work, but it seems like it ought to completely solve my issue.

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Post by Oleg G on Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:34 pm

Mike,

There are two methods to rack a slide. I will illustrate them with photos below. Do you have troubles with both methods, or only method 1? If only the first method, you may want to try the second one, as it usually allows a better purchase on the slide and makes it easier to rack it.

Method 1:

Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Rackin10

Method 2:

Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Rackin11

Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by LenV on Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:16 pm

This. Or something like this

https://www.zoro.com/superior-tool-plumbing-pliers-soft-jaw-18-to-4-58-in-6012/i/G2056092/?msclkid=364e3c654d9718b7b7dc6255f2f0b4fc&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PLA_US_L1%20Pipes,%20Valves%20%26%20Fittings&utm_term=4585650683013193&utm_content=All%20Products&gclid=CNKKiqm1p-cCFSurxQId9G4M9Q&gclsrc=ds


Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Z00j3v10
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Post by 243winxb on Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:53 pm

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Post by orpheoet on Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:21 pm

I was shooting my M107 just today and I always bust my knuckles on that bridge rear sight when I rack it with the hammer down. Glad to see I'm not the only one with High Standard racking issues.
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Post by 45ACP223 on Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:07 pm

With the sight rail removed and scope rail installed, the rear sight is no longer in the way.  I use method 1 shown above with a full tube UltraDot red dot mounted and it cycles without much effort.  I usually slingshot the slide into battery vs.using the slide stop release.
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Post by Jack H on Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:34 am

I was raised on a HS 106 Trophy.  Back in the 70s my left thumb was shredded constantly by the safety more than the bridge sight when I worked the slide.    Being young and stupid, I just kept on shooting. 

I have had an idea in my head for a long time to take a HS Tournament or Sport King type slide off of EBAY or some other place.  Maybe Alan has one. 
Mill the front top of the slide down to Victor level.  Stop in front of the sight area.  Shorten the scope rail (like Mike's rail) to match the Victor cut.  Match the cut and the rail to look good.  Leave the sight there if an adjustable one to use the sight as a handle.  Or if adjustable sight or a fixed sight, replace the sight with a dovetail insert that sticks out like wings.  Maybe a set screw in it's middle to secure it. 

Now that old age is hitting me in the arthritis, I may be forced to do this someday.  If I had a mill.  Finishing the rest is easy.

BTW  https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t6759-high-standard-slide-racker
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Post by JIMPGOV on Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:39 am

https://www.tandemkross.com/Charging-Handles_c_59.html
 TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. I'VE SEEN CLAMP ON SLIDE RACKERS THAT WERE 3D PRINTED BEFORE. BUT IN A SEARCH JUST NOW I COULDN'T FIND IT. JP

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Post by bruce martindale on Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:45 am

You could use a bamboo chopstick or a kabob skewer in the bore and push it open. Unlikely to damage anything. Has to be short enough to not buckle and long enough to overcome the hammer and still be obvious as a bore obstruction.

Good luck

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Post by Dtdk on Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:59 am

It's funny, I have noticed that my victor has the hardest hammer to overcome out of any pistol I have ever owned.  I wonder if it has something to do with the geometry of the gun's internals vs just a heavy spring to help delay the slide opening.

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Post by LenV on Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:42 am

Mike, The solution is simple. You have a lot of other pistols. Do not dry fire with this one. There is no reason to ever drop the hammer on an empty chamber on this pistol. If this was your only pistol and you absolutely had to dry fire it then make sure whatever your using to protect the breech face sticks out far enough on both sides to help you grip the slide. Just my .02.

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Post by Aprilian on Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:47 am

I have made this suggestion for all the different slides people have trouble racking - skateboard tape.

A little gives far more engagement than the cocking serrations milled into the slide.

With Len's collection, I think he may buy it by the shipping container  lol!
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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:43 am

Thanks, guys.

There are three reasons why I might be struggling.  The first, is that the serrations don't "grab" my hand well enough.  So, if that's the case, I just ordered a roll of skateboard tape. I will put it on both sides of the slide.

Or, it might be that I'm gripping the slide in a way that isn't the best way to rack the slide.  I tried lots of ways to do this - with the steel sights, the sight parts, especially the rear sight, are in the way, limiting my ability to grip the gun effectively.  

The third reason is that my hands no longer have the strength to grip and PULL on the slide with enough force.  If that's the case I either need to work at building up my hand strength, or to eat more spinach. 


I hope you guys are right - if so, I can move on to whatever my next issue might be.

My main concern is with the Victor I just got from Roddy.  With my old High Standard, there's a "slot" on the top of the slide - I can put a small bar in that slot, and that makes it almost effortless to rack the slide.  The new gun comes with a fitting that Alan sells, that should make this a non-issue.  It's a "handle" tat screws into the slide.  For the new gun, this is now a "factory part", so no concerns.  I'm not sure I would want to do that to my Victor though.  

'JIMPGOV', you wrote: I'VE SEEN CLAMP ON SLIDE RACKERS THAT WERE 3D PRINTED BEFORE. BUT IN A SEARCH JUST NOW I COULDN'T FIND IT. JP"

Anybody remember who used to make or sell these?  Sounds like an ideal solution, at least until I can build up my hand strength.
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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:19 pm

I got an email from Roddy the partly explains why this is so difficult:

NO rimfire gun should ever be dry fired, with out some kind of chamber plug/snap cap in place.  I sent your HS to you with one of Larry Carter's plugs, did you get it?  Larry's is a copy of the Hammerli plugs which were the best, but haven't been made in 20 yrs.  Larry's are still available thru Red Feathers,
https://www.larrysguns.com/Products/Chamber-Plugs__LGI.aspx
 
Some guns, like S&W M41's won't work with anything but a fired .22 case because of their disconnector set up.  Many HS's also have this issue, but I've set up your HS to work with a chamber plug.  With a chamber plug/flag that actually holds the slide away from the breech, the trigger will be slightly heavier than when actually firing live rds.


If my understanding is correct, when I try to rack the slide, not only am I cocking the hammer, I'm also compensating for the additional pressure caused by the firing pin and spring.

Thanks to an old discussion on the Rimfire Central forums, I found a solution that works for me:
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=777121
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Post by jglenn21 on Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:34 pm

My wife shot a 107 trophy for years. If she had a light strike or bad round it was simply impossible for her to cock the pistol mainly due to the bridge sight. I took a.path very similar to what Alan is going to do for Mike. But i used a 1" 6-32 shoulder bolt screwed into the slide at the same point shown in Mike's picture.. easy money.. she's a small lady but had no issues at all racking the 107 with it..
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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:17 pm

I thought I should post an image of how the gun turned out, all set to take to the range tomorrow or Saturday. 

Roddy did a lot of work on the rail - when I look at it from the bottom, there is so much machining to get the rail down as low as possible, to keep the line of sight through the red dot sight low.  The plan was for me to use my Aimpoint H-2, which is currently on another gun, so I'm going to try it with my Bushnell sight.  I had the Vortex Venom on the gun, but while dry-firing, I didn't like the view that much, and it was more difficult to get the dot where I wanted to see it.  I don't know how far front/back the sight should go, but this is pretty close to where Roddy put it when he tried it out.  If I remember correctly, LenV likes the Bushnell sight - to those who don't know better, it looks like an Aimpoint Micro.   :-)    If Len likes it, it's gotta be good!

I left the barrel weight off for now - I'll try it later, and see if it makes a useful difference for me.

As to racking the slide, the skateboard tape arrives tomorrow, but I've already got one way that "works", even if it's not the most convenient.  

Working around issues when racking the slide on a High Standard Img_1918
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Post by LenV on Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:41 pm

No I don't. Aimpoint, Ultradot, Sightron, Sig, Nikon, Holosun, Primary Arms, Valdada, Vortex, Adco and Millet have all worked for me. Bushnell never made the list. I won't buy another Holosun either. YMMV
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Post by jglenn21 on Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:23 am

Holosuns seemed ok for a 22 for me but died rather quickly on the 45
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Post by mikemyers on Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:08 am

I guess I’ll get to try it out. The only negatives so far are that it is considered a one-inch sight, and the emitter (if that is the right term) uses a lot of space.  I wouldn’t use it on a 45, but the only way I would use an Aimpoint is with the Kodiak base.  Will find out today or tomorrow.

Len, I will check if I mis-understood what I thought you meant.  If my budget allowed it, I would replace all my dot sights with Aimpoint H-1 or H-2.


ADDED LATER:
Len, I must have had a brain fart....   your words were "I have not had good luck with Bushnell products. Maybe they just don't like me."  I guess that's a good reason to avoid it.  It's already mounted on the gun, so I'll give it a shot anyway, maybe 40 shots.  I do have a Matchdot II which I can use, but I prefer something lighter.  I wonder how well it ever worked out for Tim:H11 in his discussion at https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t4883-bushnell-trophy-dot-sight-opinions?highlight=bushnell+TRS+-25 ?   I guess once again, you get what you pay for.
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Post by mikemyers on Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:24 pm

LenV wrote:No I don't. Aimpoint, Ultradot, Sightron, Sig, Nikon, Holosun, Primary Arms, Valdada, Vortex, Adco and Millet have all worked for me. Bushnell never made the list. 
As always, you were right.  I compared the view through the Bushnell and the Aimpoint.  Big differences.  The Aimpoint clearly has a larger field of view - which I've gotten used to over time.  Also, while the Bushnell has a good part of the "view" blocked by the emitter components at the bottom right, on the Aimpoint it is barely noticeable.  The Aimpoint dot is smaller, and sharper.  Finally, looking through each sight at sailboats I can see beyond my balcony, as a photographer, the "view" is sharper with the Aimpoint - not by much, but I can tell the difference.  Presumably that means that a target will also appear sharper.  I'm not sure why, as there's no magnification involved, but that's what I see. Maybe that's why the Bushnell is $70 or so, and the Aimpoint is ten times that.

Anybody reading this got an Aimpoint H-2 or H-1 that they want to sell?
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Post by LenV on Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:56 am

Hi again. It is time to address the 90lb weakling part of this discussion. Some how we're going to end up talking about Judo. Judo is probably the most passive of the martial arts. I remember thinking "how long are we going to be working on releases" (getting away). And when will we get to the kick butt part. Well, releases are pretty important. One of the little things you learn is how to increase force. The simple movement of placing one finger on top of another can increase your grip by almost 4 times (on a small area). Doing that one little thing should make you be able to rack the slide anytime you want. To test this grab ahold of your weak arm with shooting hand and squeeze. It is kind of hard to generate enough force to hurt yourself. Now place the middle finger of your shooting hand on top of your trigger finger. Now squeeze your arm with that claw. Yep, that hurts. Now use that claw the next time you want to rack the slide. Very Happy

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