In it, they show the only side-by-side comparison of releasing the slide with the slide stop vs. racking the slide that I’ve seen.
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There are a lot of people who argue that the rack is more reliable than the slide stop method, and that’s true with some finicky guns, but not with a gun that’s going to run reliably enough for concealed carry, home defense, duty, or competition.
The fact is that guns are manufactured to go into battery from the slide stop position, and when you use the slide stop, you are using the tool in the manner that it was intended to be used.
Another big argument is that racking the slide is a gross motor skill, using the slide stop is a fine motor skill, and you won’t be able to do it under extreme stress. This argument comes from a misunderstanding of fine vs. gross vs. complex motor skills.
Here’s what I mean…releasing the slide stop with your LEFT thumb is no more of a fine motor skill than pressing the trigger with your finger. (We do NOT recommend releasing the slide stop by swiping down with your right thumb. There are some exceptions, but for MOST shooters with MOST pistols, that causes all sorts of issues, including an increased likely-hood that you release the slide forward before the mag is fully seated.)
Done correctly (with the left thumb…or more specifically, by pushing your left HAND through the slide stop at an angle, using the thumb as the point of impact), the technique works with gloves, blood, water, cold, oil, and even pink unicorn dust. (OK…it might not work with pink unicorn dust, but it works with everything else.)
- For shooters who take their basic pistol or concealed carry class and then only practice a couple of times a year, the over-the-top rack is probably the best solution.
Without adequate practice, base level shooters will probably have a problem with disengaging any retention or safties, isolating the trigger finger, keeping the sights on target while pressing straight back, and manipulating the magazine release button/lever before they ever have to worry about which slide release technique to use.
The over-the-top rack is also the only option for people shooting guns with lightened springs (for speed), steep feed ramps, squared off bullets, or similar scenarios where the extra 1/2″ of spring compression makes the difference between the gun going into battery and having a malfunction.
But for anyone who thinks they might need to defend themselves with a pistol, and who is running a duty/combat worthy pistol, it’s worth it to practice and know both techniques. The extra 3 rounds on target could make a big difference in how things play out.
In the process of more than 1 million people watching this video here, on Facebook, and on YouTube, we’ve gotten a few other questions that I think you’ll appreciate.
First, it’s not *just* a SEAL technique and it’s not new. Larry is a SEAL and using that fact helps us break through some barriers to get people to listen and hopefully help more shooters shoot better, but not all SEALs use it. One DEVGRU friend of mine in particular insists that it’s worthless, while others swear by it. It’s been taught by various military schools since the early days of the Vietnam War. A tunnel rat buddy of mine who’s first helicopter insertion was in the la Drang valley (We Were Soldiers) used it throughout the war whenever he had a 1911, although he’s the ONLY Vietnam era Army guy I know who was taught the technique. The rest are Marines.
On the topic of what the Marines teach, I hear the following almost equally, and with with the intensity that you’d expect from Marines:
“We were taught never to use the slide stop in the Marines and there’s no reason to change now.”
“We were taught to use the slide stop in the Marines and how I’ve always done it.”
Not really sure what to say about that…except that Chris Graham (Force Recon Marine www.3010Pistol.com) uses the slide stop technique.
One common problem that affects up to 30% of shooters is that this technique is primarily for right handed shooters. So, what do left handed shooters do?
First, you may want to get a pistol that has a left-handed slide stop. That’s not an option for most.
Second, the best left-handed technique that I know is “the chop” as shown below by frequent Journal of Tactics and Preparedness author, James Washington
Left handed technique of “Chopping” the ejection port with your right hand to release the slide
The last comment/complaint that we’ll address is that “Racking the slide works on every gun. The slide lock is different on a lot of guns and doesn’t even exist on others. I’d rather have 1 technique that works on every gun.”
Ah, yes…the magical “1 technique” that works on every gun. I understand the desire. And that argument even makes a little sense when you’re working with base level shooters where you’re more concerned about them not hurting themselves or anyone around them rather than helping them become the best shooter possible.
But the “1 technique” that works on every gun is as much of a fairy tale as pink unicorn farts. Universal manipulation techniques don’t exist on pistols (different mag releases) and don’t exist on rifles (AK vs. AR).
But when you (or a student) wants to master your craft, I believe a better approach is to minimize the number of types of guns that you shoot and focus on the specific techniques that will work best for the pistol that you shoot the most. Use the best techniques for the gun that you want to master and use the general techniques for everything else.
Remember, all of this came from less than 2 minutes of the 9+ hour Concealed Carry Masters DVD Course. With 4.5 hours of instruction and another 4.5 hours of dry fire follow along drills and live fire demonstrations, it’s hard to put into words how quickly and dramatically it can improve your ability to put fast, accurate rounds on target.
This is a perfect training tool for yourself or for the shooter in your life…especially if he’s a fan of the SEALs. With ranges full, ammo expensive, and range time as expensive as it is, this is the perfect answer for how to quickly, easily, and affordably go through Special Ops pistol training in the comfort of your own home. To learn more now, go to: ConcealedCarryMastersCourse.com
Questions? Comments? Fire off by commenting below.