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Chambering technique

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Chambering technique Empty Chambering technique

Post by faraim 7/4/2021, 4:46 pm

As a new bullseye shooter, I'm learning new things and sadly, having to unlearn others. I'm curious to learn how you folks release the slide from slide lock. Do you simply press down on the slide stop, press the trigger or hold the hammer and press the slide stop, or slingshot the slide? I appreciate the info.
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Post by xman 7/4/2021, 5:28 pm

faraim wrote:As a new bullseye shooter, I'm learning new things and sadly, having to unlearn others. I'm curious to learn how you folks release the slide from slide lock. Do you simply press down on the slide stop, press the trigger or hold the hammer and press the slide stop, or slingshot the slide? I appreciate the info.
Depending on the pistol.

I have been told/inform that constantly using the slide release can wear out the mechanism over time. So that means "slingshot/racking the slide is the better technique.

I can only speak about the Model 41 and Browning Buckmark. Am sure others will chime in on other pistols.
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Post by james r chapman 7/4/2021, 6:07 pm

Generally slingshot
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Post by SteveT 7/4/2021, 6:22 pm

On the 1911 it is a "slide stop" not a "slide release". If you use it to release the slide repeatedly it will wear down and eventually fail to lock back. Guess how I know? It takes a LOT of times to wear it down, and failing to lock back isn't an unsafe condition and is not too difficult to fix. I recommend sling-shotting the slide, but not everyone has the grip strength to do it safely.

Holding the trigger or hammer when releasing the slide can be a bit of a holy war in these parts. If you have a firm grip on the gun and hold the hammer back, there is no question that is the safest way to release the slide. If you have to hold the gun differently or it might slip, then it is not any safer.

I was taught by two gunsmiths to hold the trigger back when releasing the slide because it prevents wear in the trigger. That is what I learned and did for years. I also sent 3 rounds downrange at the "load" command at Camp Perry (that was exciting). I am pretty sure my finger bounced on the trigger. We could not find any problems with the gun afterward. 

Recently I decided holding the trigger was not right for me and have been trying to un-learn / re-learn. I don't think you should train yourself to pull the trigger when you are not on target. In just about every other shooting sports you will be penalized or disqualified if you do it. I think it can be done safely in the bullseye environment where loading and shooting are strictly controlled, but I don't want to take that habit into the real world or other sports.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is that whatever you do, the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction and you have a firm grip on the gun so if anything happens, it becomes a simple failure and not a tragedy.
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Post by Joe Morgan 7/4/2021, 7:22 pm

Not sure this video helps- lots of equivocation, but here is what Brownells thinks about dropping the slide on an empty chamber:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK88VyZfs7k

The gist is that on some guns it can induce trigger problems.

In the following video, Brownells make the claim that you can use the slide stop/slide release without issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zLH8HTi9IM

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Post by jimsteele 7/5/2021, 6:16 am

Over the years, shooting "precision pistol", I've tried all three methods. I urge you NOT to hold the trigger back when releasing the slide. It's just asking for trouble.

I get my grip with forefinger along side slide, insert magazine, pull slide all the way back, release slide. Works every time. Almost.

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Post by pgg 7/5/2021, 11:40 am

Yeah, paying for a little trigger rehab work every few years (maybe) seems like a small price to pay for keeping your finger off the bang switch when chambering a round.

Those firearm safety rules don't have an "except when I'm anxiously irrationally worried about incrementally extra wear on my gun" footnote.

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Post by Froneck 7/5/2021, 1:08 pm

I hold the trigger back when releasing the slide with the slide stop. Have done so with hundreds of loading in the same pistol and never had a problem with wear. I also hold the trigger back. I don't think holding the trigger back or not will change trigger wear, you "load" (chamber the first round) the gun 9 times in a 900 match yet the sear/hammer engagement happens 81 times more as the gun cycles. The main advantage is that the disconnector is kept off the sear when the trigger is held the same way it's done 81 times during the 900. Not holding the trigger back when "loading" can cause a discharge known as trigger bounce. Though I don't agree the trigger is bouncing but improper disconnector function. Holding the trigger back simply removes the disconnector from the sear when the slide is back. (actually it don't remove the disconnector from the sear. it is on the sear but sliding forward until it pops-up, the forward movement is slightly pushing the sear into the trigger when the trigger is released) I do it with all my guns including the .22. When learning to do so I did have a few fires when "loading" It was me out of sequence. Pull trigger then let slide released not let slide released then pull trigger. After a few times I had the sequence learned and haven't had an early discharge in over 30 years! In reality the 1911 trigger has no spring pushing if forward unless you have the Jimmy Clark 4 bladed spring. It's the disconnector that pushes the trigger forward. Not holding the trigger allows the disconnector to be forward of the sear though not engaged because it's not in the slot provided in the slide. The disconnector will now accelerate from it's lowest position to it's uppermost position when it aligns with the slot in the slide. It will sometime result in "Trigger Bounce"
 Having gone to Perry over 30 times and going to the school provided by the Army the method taught to load the 1911 service pistol back in the 80s was to grip the weapon with the shooting hand  with no finger on the trigger (if my memory is correct) thumb on the hammer and then slide released using the slide stop with index finger. When slide was closed carefully release the hammer an confirm it is being held by by the sear before removing the thumb. Therefore the AMU was teaching to use the slide stop to release the slide. Not easily done by left handers.


Last edited by Froneck on 7/5/2021, 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by sharkdoctor 7/5/2021, 1:50 pm

As a lefty, I use the technique above, which I learned in the '80's.  Gun in left hand, hammer held back with right thumb, gun held with right hand.  Slide dropped with left trigger finger pressure on slide stop.  No AD'S thus far and sear has held up fine.

Froneck, as an aside I recall scoring your son for a National junior record in timed fire (45?) at a Regional in Charlotte way back when.  Time sure has flown!

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Post by Axehandle 7/5/2021, 3:30 pm

Those of us with military bullseye backgrounds know that we were instructed to release the slide with the slide stop.  This DID NOT make the slide stop wear out.   Those who have been around a while also know we were directed to hold the hammer back while doing this and not that long ago you held the trigger back too.  Fail to do this and you would be removed from the firing line... Do that for a 20 year span and see how hard it is to get it out of your head.  We learned to perform this task by the numbers when we were restricted to hardball and it naturally carried over to our wadcutter guns.  FWIW I have personally NEVER had a 1911 fire when I did this.   Our current beavertail  safety guns pretty much eliminate holding the hammer back.  Since we all didn't die makes you question the entire process doesn't it.    Smile Smile

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Post by Froneck 7/5/2021, 4:44 pm

sharkdocto wrote:
Froneck, as an aside I recall scoring your son for a National junior record in timed fire (45?) at a Regional in Charlotte way back when.  Time sure has flown!
 Yes it has been a looong time!! Adam retired from Army, was in the AMU 22 years. Ended in November 2020. One year at Perry he had scope problem, but aced the short-line, He came in second overall. Shue beat him with only a few points! They wanted him to stay and would have accepted his request to stay in, actually they were trying to talk him into staying! He now has a job working for the Army. Will not be shooting this year at Camp Perry, guns are being built but not yet complete, has other guns but don't see any reason to use things that are not extremely accurate.  Since he's not going I decided not to go, my other son can't go either so we are planning on next year. Might go to NRA match but didn't decide that yet. Be first Camp Perry I missed in 38 straight years other than 2020. Adam has been to Perry 37 straight years, I took him the second year I went!
 Axhandle the method taught by the Army was to hold hammer back with opposite hand thumb, beaver-tail don't get in the way. But I think you are right we were taught to hold trigger back, hammer back, release slide, assure sear held hammer before removing thumb, then release trigger. Worked ALL the time!! I did if for a while but eventually stopped holding the hammer but the trigger is pulled back before slide released.

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Chambering technique Empty Not just B/E!

Post by jjfitch 7/6/2021, 11:13 am

This post does not apply to B/E but addresses slide stop and sear wear. 

Shooting a variety of pistol games and lots of training scenarios doing magazine changes over the last 30 years, probably 10's of thousands of times. And dropping the magazine using my weak thumb I bring the fresh magazine up to insertion and use my weak hand thumb to release the slide stop. This is very smooth and fast. 

Yes I have experienced sear wear but only after thousands of rounds and yes there is wear at the slide lock interface. These are competition guns and viewed as tools and not for self defense or daily carry. 

The slide lock wear does not affect safety checks but does allow the slide to go into battery after a robust magazine insertion. (No slide follow!)

I can tell the amount of sear wear simply by checking trigger release by measurement. I like a crisp 3.0 to 3.5 # release. If the measurement drops below 3.0#'s it's time to check for wear and  correct as necessary.

Smiles,


Last edited by jjfitch on 7/23/2021, 2:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Froneck 7/6/2021, 12:46 pm

Sear will wear, everything wears especially 2 pieces of metal under pressure rubbing together as the sear and hammer hooks are. But holding trigger or not when releasing the slide makes no difference because the sear is in it's rear most position as the slide lowers the hammer hooks on to the sear. However the face of the sear is in contact with the hammer and will rub the same amount if trigger is held back or not during slide release because the disconnector has been removed from the sear until the slide is completely closed and trigger released. There are some that feel that the sear will wear if hammer is pulled without moving the slide because the sear will now slide against the hammer hooks as soon as there is enough space to allow it to do so. But it happens when the slide pushes the hammer back but much faster, I don't think there is much difference if the hammer is pulled or the slide and if there was a difference it would favor pulling the hammer back to dry fire rather than the slide because I think the hammer can be pulled back faster than the slide! I dry fire by pulling the hammer but hold back the trigger first, release the trigger when hammer is completely back then slowly lower the hammer onto the sear. This way there is no wear but from time to time I get lazy and just pull the hammer back! As to slides stop wear, yes I assume over a long time the slide stop will wear however I have found that before the surface of the slide stop that enters the slide stop notch is worn and requires replacement the pin that contacts the lower barrel lug is worn and effects accuracy so it will need to be replaced. I have never replaced a slide stop pin due to worn locking face nor had to repair the slide notch but have replaced the slide stop many times due to pin wear. You mentioned it don't apply to B/E but will apply anywhere accuracy is required. Of course a Bullseye shooter must have the trigger of the 1911 at 3.5 pounds, I would think most Bullseye shooters will not want a 4.0 pound trigger. My trigger weights are in ounces, my trigger is tested to 3.6 pounds to avoid any problems with weight check. However I use the ounces to test pull to pull weight and do my "roll" to repeat within +/-1 ounce.
royalreloadusa seems to be a bad site!!


Last edited by Froneck on 7/6/2021, 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Royalreloadusa seems to be a bad site!!)

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Post by ermakevin 7/22/2021, 8:32 pm

hello, slingshot on all semi autos, the catch will wear down over time since the slide rides the latch as it rams forward. just my 2cents

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Post by john bickar 7/22/2021, 9:32 pm

Froneck wrote:Adam has been to Perry 37 straight years, I took him the second year I went!

Your math is way off. Adam's only a couple of years younger than I am, and I'm 29.

Yeah, that's my story. Laughing
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Post by BE Mike 7/23/2021, 7:31 am

With wad guns the recoil springs are light so not a lot of pressure on the slide lock. I always did like Axehandle and held the hammer back with the thumb of my left hand (I'm right handed) and released the slide with the index finger of the same left hand. This was to keep the possibility of the hammer following the slide down and resulting in an ND. I never noticed any excessive wear in the slide lock notch on the slide. My pistols were built mostly on Colt pistols. With hardball 1911's I did the same thing, and although they have full or extra power recoil springs, I never noticed excessive wear. Of course I shot hardball pistols less than the wad guns. If I remember correctly, this procedure (or very similar) was taught at the NRA Small Arms Firing School, Pistol.
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Post by Al 7/23/2021, 8:48 am

john bickar wrote:
Froneck wrote:Adam has been to Perry 37 straight years, I took him the second year I went!

Your math is way off. Adam's only a couple of years younger than I am, and I'm 29.

Yeah, that's my story. Laughing
Me too John, in fact I just celebrated my 37th anniversary of being 29!  lol!

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Post by Pac918 10/22/2021, 3:03 pm

FWIW, Keith Sanderson advocates inserting the mag with the slide forward (and hammer also, I assume), trigger held back, then rack to load, release trigger and feel reset. 
I think…

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Post by SmokinNJokin 12/22/2021, 3:37 pm

Pac918 wrote:FWIW, Keith Sanderson advocates inserting the mag with the slide forward (and hammer also, I assume), trigger held back, then rack to load, release trigger and feel reset. 
I think…
This is how i have always done it. Raises a lot of eyebrows, but its 100% consistent and safe, just a little awkward to rack slide with barrel pointed exactly downrange.

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Post by Pac918 12/22/2021, 4:24 pm

Good to know, thanks. Is consistent chambering the expected benefit?

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Post by Jon Eulette 12/22/2021, 4:41 pm

Back in the day when 1911’s had primarily spur hammers, the Army Teams taught gripping pistol (righty explanation), slide back, insert magazine, left thumb holding hammer down, left index finger pushing slide stop down, round now chambered.
Commander hammers screwed that up lol.
I have always loaded by locking slide back, inserting magazine, holding trigger to the rear, releasing slide. 
Two reasons. First was to protect the hammer/sear engagement surfaces. Just allowing slide to slam forward allows hammer to bounce on the sear. It will damage it. Second, back in the day there were a lot of guns out there with minimum engagement surfaces and the hammer would follow if the trigger was not held to the rear. There were lots of guns like this. I still run across them on occasion.
My trigger job/pull is damn near the most important thing to me about my pistol. Protecting it is vital to me. So until they make a rule change stating I can’t do it, I’ll continue this way.
I was once at a big match. I was in second place. Guy in first accidentally put a round into the ground when loading for the SF 45 match. That shot cost him 1st place and a gun. I later thanked him for my new pistol;)
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Post by Merick 12/22/2021, 10:14 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:..
Just allowing slide to slam forward allows hammer to bounce on the sear. It will damage it. ...


Does it not do this when it cycles anyhow?  What is the difference to the sear and hammer of the slide going to battery from a slingshot, slide release, or from cycling in live fire?

The sear drags over the hammer hooks and wears them down eventually no matter what you do*

*exception being dry fire I will hold the trigger back, thumb hammer back, and release trigger/sear, and lower the hammer to full cock.  as opposed to racking the slide or just thumbing the hammer back and having the sear drag over the hammer hooks.  This only works because the slide never moves and so the disconnector never disconnects.


Last edited by Merick on 12/22/2021, 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SmokinNJokin 12/22/2021, 10:25 pm

Slide closes way faster than you can release the trigger. Trigger is held back during normal firing cycle until slide is closed, so no sear dragging.
The difference between the loading techniques you mention is what are you doing with the trigger. Holding trigger or hammer back prevents sear contact.

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Post by Merick 12/22/2021, 10:28 pm

SmokinNJokin wrote:Slide closes way faster than you can release the trigger. Trigger is held back during normal firing cycle until slide is closed, so no sear dragging.
The difference between the loading techniques you mention is what are you doing with the trigger. Holding trigger or hammer back prevents sear contact.

The disco releases in the first fraction of an inch of slide movement, and the sear goes back to spring tension against the hammer.

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Post by SmokinNJokin 12/23/2021, 6:07 am

Wheres that armorer training aid video steve posted… that would be a big help for this conversation

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