Front page article, slamming the slide

View Poll Results: On an empty chamber, do you....?

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  • Ride it home?

    10 35.71%
  • Let it slam!

    18 64.29%
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Thread: Front page article, slamming the slide

  1. #1
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    Front page article, slamming the slide

    I haven't been on this site for very long, but this is the 2nd article that made me scratch my head. I have been sifting through other sites that come up on google searches for specific questions I had long before I joined this site. I remember researching this exact question after a friend asked me to not slam his 1911. I found an article from a Marine armorer (not sure if that is the right title, and I don't have the story anymore, but would search for it if needed) explaining after years, through thousands of handguns and rifles, that slamming the slide home on an empty chamber or dry firing a center fire semi auto, he has not found it to be damaging to any of the weapons he had to maintain for his base. Needless to say, I did not slam my friends handgun out of respect of his request.

    While many agreed that it doesn't do damage, they would rather use snap caps and eliminate any lingering doubt. Then there were many others on the other side of the fence, especially 1911 owners with trigger jobs.

    I always felt riding the slide home would create unwanted muscle memory. I have always power stroked the slide when I wanted it to be in battery, empty or not. I remember the story from my ccw class of the police officers that lost a gun fight. When investigating the fire fight, they found bullet casings in the officers pockets (when revolvers were standard issue), a muscle memory from the range where the range officer didn't want brass on the floor. This became an subconscious movement, and ended up causing them their life. This story may or may not be true, but it was a story the ccw instructor used to engrave practicing proper technique all the time.

    There have been gun stores with signs essentially saying, slam the slide and buy the gun. While I have been in other stores that said, it doesn't matter, this weapon is used to save your life, it better be able to withstand the abuse. One store loved to tell me, "The gun is literally holding an explosion. If it can withstand that, it can withstand the slide going back and forth."

    What do you guys feel about slamming the slide on an empty chamber? Does the cartridge provide enough friction to slow down the slide to prevent damage?

  2.   
  3. #2
    Every time you shoot your semi-auto the slide slams home. You are talking about slamming home with an empty chamber but in reality there is little difference so to me it is just a personal preference in most cases. However you need to check with the manufacturer as I have a Kel-Tec P3AT that specifically says to never dry fire it. Always use a snap cap as damage can and will occur from dry firing. But you also have to allow it to slam home to chamber a round, otherwise it will hang up with the round partially chambered.

    I think it is just human nature to try to be gentle on anything and not allowing the slide to slam home is just something that we want to do but doesn't matter in reality. When you pull the trigger to fire a round there is a lot more forces and pressures at work than anything one can ever do in the normal use of the gun so read the instuction manual to find out the details on your gun and don't worry about it otherwise.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    These ain't no super soakers, they're designed to handle the forces of a controlled explosion and rechambering of a round. LET IT GO! It's been engineered that way. BUT when all else fails..............RTMFB, as FN points out.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  5. #4
    I tend to take every article on the front page of this forum with a huge grain of salt. All of them seem to simply express some self-proclaimed expert opinion with very little factual research in them.

    For example, what does the US Army say about the subject?
    (I know the below link isn't the Army site, but it does reflect what is in the actual M9 Technical Manual):

    Online Army Study Guide - M9 Pistol | ArmyStudyGuide.com

    What are the steps required to perform a function check for the M9?

    Clear the pistol in accordance with the unloading procedures.
    Depress the slide stop, letting the slide go forward.
    Insert an empty magazine into the pistol.
    Retract the slide fully and release it. The slide should lock to the rear.
    Depress the magazine release button and remove the magazine.
    Ensure the decocking/safety lever is in the SAFE position.
    Depress the slide stop. When the slide goes forward, the hammer should fall to the forward position.
    Squeeze and release the trigger. The firing pin block should move up and down and the hammer should not move.
    Place the decocking/safety lever in the fire POSITION.
    Squeeze the trigger to check double action. The hammer should cock and fall.
    Squeeze the trigger again. Hold it to the rear. Manually retract and release the slide. Release the trigger. A click should be heard and the hammer should not fall.
    Squeeze the trigger to check the single action. The hammer should fall.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  6. #5
    Also, on page 22 of the M1911 Pistol Technical Manual, the US Army says to release the slide:

    • 31. To CLOSE THE CHAMBER.-With the right thumb press down the slide stop and let the slide go forward. Squeeze the trigger.
    So, apparantly the US Army does not feel it is necessary to ride the slide forward, or to ease the hammer down.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  7. #6
    Join Date
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    Heh again, seems like the middle of the road topic. All the posts have so far been let it slam. But the poll is about 50/50.

  8. Funny how many firearm stores, find ways to run off their customer base.

  9. #8
    I just don't like letting it slam home with out round in the chamber. Personal preference. Do it the way you want to.
    I guess that is why mine is always loaded!

    Psalm 82:3-5

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Iam2Taz View Post
    I just don't like letting it slam home with out round in the chamber. Personal preference. Do it the way you want to.
    I guess that is why mine is always loaded!
    I cringe when I hear it slam closed without a round in the chamber. I was mostly just pointing out that the articles I have read on the front page have been very largely opinions without much facts or research in them.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  11. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    I cringe when I hear it slam closed without a round in the chamber. I was mostly just pointing out that the articles I have read on the front page have been very largely opinions without much facts or research in them.
    Why do you cringe? I'm curious as to what part of the weapon is at risk of breaking by letting it slam home. Besides the 1911, where the sear, hammer, lower lugs are at risk, what about all the other pistol and rifle designs? Specifically the smaller pistols that do not lock back on empty mags? With the 1911's, does it only affect those that have a trigger job done? Or all 1911's?

    How much does the stripping of a bullet actually slow down the slide? Is there a way to test the pressure exerted when the slide goes into battery with and without the bullet?

    When you are at the range, would you be able to tell if a slide is slammed between an empty and a loaded mag?

    These are all serious questions, not rhetorical or sarcastic.

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