About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, currently on hiatus.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!



my books

my books
Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Racking the Slide - Yes You Can!!

How many times have you been told that women don’t have the strength to rack a slide on a semi-automatic?  There are some guys out there who have trouble with it.  If you are a new shooter, and find wracking the slide a challenge, that’s ok. Don’t give up!  There are a couple things you can do.

First, position is key.  Have a firm grip on the pistol with your strong hand (the one you write with).  This should be similar to your shooting grip.  You can pull the gun in closer to your body.  With the weak hand, cup the top rear of the slide, it is often ridged for an easier grasp, being careful to ensure that your hand does not extend over the ejection port, and pull straight back while pushing forward with your strong hand.  Pull the slide straight to the rear, and then let it go.  Yes, let it fly, if you hold the slide as it is returning to position you can create several issues such as a mis-feed, failure of the gun to return to battery (ready to fire).  This takes practice.  It is also harder on tiny gun, you may need to adjust the position, but…you can do it!

If you need to strengthen your hands, there are products available for that purpose.  My personal favorite is the GripMaster , available in multiple resistance levels at Amazon.com.  It can be used to work the fingers individually.  The other advantage to this exercise is that is helps with your trigger control.  Some triggers are harder to pull than others.  Ironically, the triggers on revolvers, which do not have a slide and are often recommended to women, have a harder pull than many semi-automatics.

Lastly, a good instructor can help you to adjust your hand positions so that you can be effective.  Don’t hesitate to ask for help.  If you are at a range that has NRA Certified Range Safety Officers, they are all instructors, and therefore can offer you some advice or assistance if you need.

Safe Shooting!


4 comments:

  1. Great post! I use this method, modified a little for my comfort, but still the same grip. When I first learned this method I had a hard time letting the slide slam home. I do want to emphasize that the majority of gun salesman don't know this method. That is why I prefer women instructors!!
    Thanks for the tip on the exerciser. That is just what I need! J.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! When I first started shooting I used to grasp the sides of the slide from the rear and pull back. It wasn't until I started working with my instructor that I learned the cupping over the top, and that it was better because it is a major, versus, fine motor skill. Riding the slide is very tempting, but very dangerous. Besides the obvious issues with mis-feed, etc., there is the risk of a "slide bite", OW!

    My primary instructor, Evan Carson of Innovative Defensive Solutions, is a man, but he is patient, articulate and a lot of fun to shoot with. He is also the best shooter I've ever seen this side of You Tube! But I try to learn from other instructors, even from my students.

    Safe Shooting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I thought about this post just yesterday while I was at the range and was to thankful that I was taught to rack the slide the way you describe. It's a huge help when shooting weak handed; I don't think I'd be able to rack it by pulling from the back with two fingers as some are taught to do.

    Also, you had a really good point about not riding the slide - it's so easy to do and I think women are more prone to do it than men, simply because we tend to not want things to slam around and we're afraid we're going to break something. That may or may not be the case, but I have noticed at the range (and in classes I've taught) that women want to "ease" the slide back into position instead of letting it slam into position as it was designed to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If all of that doesn't work you can get the pistol modified like they did in a recent Sons of Guns Episode.
    "Also, Vince and Steph team up to modify a Glock with special charging handles to help a customer with multiple sclerosis safely fire again."

    ReplyDelete