Slide Stop Vs. Racking The Slide


WOW! Sorry if I made you mad. Let me apologize/explain…

Yesterday, I sent out a link to a video showing the difference between using the slide stop and racking the slide after a reload.

You can see the video that caused the stir by clicking >HERE<

Between comments, emails, and feedback on Facebook, it’s obvious that this is a sensitive subject, and I apologize if I made you mad, but I need to explain some facts, however difficult they may be to hear…

First off, using the slide stop to put a pistol back into battery after reloading is a technique that has been taught since, at least, Vietnam. It’s been proven effective in military, LE, and civilian combat situations.  Yet many instructors and writers SWEAR that it is a bad technique.

So, why is it so controversial and why do so many respected instructors say it’s not reliable?

  1. Most shooters do it wrong. They either use their shooting thumb or try to “s l I d e” their support hand thumb along the frame rather than pushing their hand down and in THROUGH the slide stop, using their thumb as the point of contact with the gun. Done correctly, the technique works reliably with mud, blood, cold fingers, and gloves.
  2. Prima donna guns have issues. A lot of guns look pretty but don’t run well. They have problems in all stages of shooting and they NEED the extra 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch of slide travel when returning to battery to operate reliably.
  3. Efficient teaching vs. most effective teaching. When you’ve got a line of 10-20 students, instructors need to teach techniques that will work for everyone, not 10 different techniques that will work best for the 10 particular models of guns that are there. As an instructor, I agree with this 100%, but when you want to MASTER your gun, you want to use the techniques that are most effective for you and your gun. It’s like learning to drive A car vs. learning to drive YOUR car.
  4. It’s a technique that’s just for SEALs, Green Berets, and other operators with unlimited budgets.  Again, a popular but misguided line of thinking.  You only need an unlimited training budget if you’re using pre-historic, old school training techniques.  With advanced training techniques, like what we teach, you can become a VERY advanced shooter with an incredibly small ammo budget.
  5. The slide stop technique is a fine motor skill and will fail under stress. This is an incredibly popular argument, but it has very little basis in fact. First off, hitting the slide stop is no more of a fine motor skill than pressing the trigger, hitting the mag release, isolating the trigger finger from the rest of the hand, or disengaging retention on a holster. If one fails, wouldn’t all of them fail? Why pick on the slide stop?

    Second, fine motor skills succeed or fail in extreme stress situations based on several factors…the 2 main ones being the number of times that you’ve executed a skill before and whether or not you freak out and lose control or have gone through a process to keep your cool in stressful situations.

That’s one of the reasons why retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch created the Concealed Carry Masters Course…He don’t want to just tell you how to do stuff and that you should blindly listen to him because he is a SEAL and looks cool in flip flops and sunglasses.

The 9 ½ hour DVD course goes into detail on WHY specific techniques work and why others don’t. Detail that most instructors would love to provide, but can’t because of time constraints. Details that could easily change the outcome of a self defense shooting.

The course is a completely unique combination of classroom instruction, dry fire follow along drills that you can do in your living room, and live fire demonstrations so you can see the techniques in action at full speed.

The DVDs use several cutting edge accelerated learning techniques so that you will learn WAY faster than with a traditional live fire class and you’ll retain the ability to perform the skills longer.

Learn more now by going >HERE< You’ll be happy you did.

Already have the DVDs? Please forward this to your friends (the ones you like the most) so you can share the experience with them.

Questions? Comments? Please share by commenting below:

Please follow and share:
Pin Share


  • Tom

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015

    I have an old Browning Hi-Power from WWII but I would not use it for self defense instead I use a single action revolver in .44 special. It go’s bang every time hot or cold rain or shine dirty or clean. I have a browning 1911-.22 which I might consider for self defense as it shoots any .22 shell I feed it. I also have a Ruger new model single six with the .22 magnum cylinder in place that is my go to gun for self defense inside my home to keep the muzzle blast down and to keep penatration to a minimum (It will still shoot through and through on a human body)

  • Scott

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015

    I can’t really see on the video the steps to the slide lock release reload but am guessing the following so please set me straight if I’m wrong somewhere. I’m right handed with a Glock 19
    1. slide locks open automatically when last bullet in mag is fired
    2. left thumb pushes mag release on the way to the next full magazine
    3. left hand grabs full mag and inserts it in gun
    4. left thumb pushes slide release on way to gun support

    Thanks and I like the Dry Fire Cards

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 28, 2015

      Thanks, Scott! Step 2 is the only one that I do differently…I use my right thumb.

  • Steve Doran

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015


    A good part of my career was in intelligence. I also served with 2nd ANGLICO in the Marine Corps and was assigned as liaison to may other special operational units both foreign and domestic during my time there. There is a huge difference between the American Police and the Navy Seals or any other military unit although those lines are becoming more blurred and I do not like it. . The main objective of a Soldier, Sailor and Marine is to survive to see another day at all costs. The military including the Seals when push comes to shove is all about using overwhelming force to neutralize the enemy collateral damage is accepted and expected.

    Sorry but this mentality has no place on public streets where it places the officers safety above the duty to protect the innocent. How many times do we see officers shooting innocent people and the collateral damage after a gun fight with the bad guy. Almost every single time it was unnecessary I took an oath which I took very seriously. This impression that police officers defending themselves should not be held accountable for their actions when things go wrong or extremely poor judgement is used is ridiculous.

    If a member of the military kills the wrong enemy troop so what. If the snatch and grab as you call it goes to hell and they have to waste everyone in the area, so what and they are more than prepared to do so, and it sucks to be an enemy combatant who is in their way, In the civilian world not the case. The issue is not simply win at all costs. It is one of values. Does a police officer have more value than an innocent bystander? Do the police deserve special privileges denied to citizens? The answer would be no. In fact they have less their job is to put themselves in harms way to protect the innocent not the other way around.

    Police priorities are not those of military. That attitudes and lack of accountability fosters a dangerous blurred line between police and the public they are sworn to protect.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 28, 2015

      Hey Steve,

      I think you might have misread my comment…I too am disturbed by trends that I’m seeing in LE, but that’s not what I was referring to.

      What you said is that LE has and obligation to take prisoners and SEALs don’t. Whether you meant it or not, it gave the impression that SEALs can kill them all and let God sort them out.

      What most people don’t realize is that a LOT of SEAL missions go down without any shots being fired…and a lot depends on the mission parameters and how the BGs respond.

      Great video, by the way 🙂 Even more impressive than my 5/5 at 100 yards video with the Glock 26:

  • Rick Cross

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015

    David / Ox, what Facebook page?
    I’m part of the Tactics and Preparedness page but the last post on that one was June 26th.

    I’ve done a search and have come up empty.
    I would like to add me own comments (from a positive side).



  • Steve Doran

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015

    These arguments get old, the truth is if you train there will not be an issue, The main thing that makes a gun unreliable is the operator. I carried a 1911 for many years and used the slide stop. I had instructors tell me I was going to miss it under stress. I asked them how many gun fights they had been in the answer was always none. I pointed out I had and as usual someone was over thinking the process if what i do works for me why are you trying to fix it. . People who do not train can also screw up using the hole slide technique as i have seen it happen multiple times. On a cold range day a officer grabbed his slide to load his pistol for the first stage of fire and his hand stuck to it. Sorry it was hilarious at his expense, everyone offered to pee on it to make it release. The basic truth is reloads are hardly ever needed in a civilian application unless their is a malfunction. Even then once the shooting starts everyone scatters. As a peace officer you are obligated to take prisoners unlike a Navy Seal . As a civilian you just want to terminate the threat, meaning get the A-Hole off you typically when he finds out you are not an easy target he is off pardon the pun like a shot. When not in uniform or on special assignment both civilian and in the Marine Corps at times I carried a snub. It is more than enough gun for most applications if you take the time to practice. Again it is not the gun but the person behind it, I never felt outgunned in any situation I faced. I had a good working firearm, quality ammo and I could hit whatever I aimed at quicker than most could clear leather with their full size gun (. ) I will let you in on a secret gun fights are a surprise. If you knew it was going to happen you would be elsewhere. Unlike peace Officers who may arrive on scene knowing something is up with guns drawn in a gun fight you may or may not get a heads up from the gutter punk. Meaning you may see the gun before shots fired or you clue that your life is in danger is you are actively being fired upon. You better be able to get that piece of metal you are so proud of into action instantaneously and you do not have time to overthink it or admonish the bad guy for not attacking you in a manner that you trained for. The other sad truth is most training is not worth a tinkers damn. All you have to do is watch dash cam and surveillance footage even the “Highly Trained” operators and officers go into panic mode and fall apart when the shooting starts. Why because when it does not go down like they think it should they panic. The same scene plays out time and again. lost of shots fired no one hit or the officer does not even draw their weapon. All of these arguments are ridiculous. Focus on getting that gun out and rounds on target if you carry a semi auto failure drills are way more important than reloads and since they involve reloads it is the same thing. My failure drill is clear the damn thing and replace the mag, I am not going through several stages of clearing and the reload being the last. I am getting it back up ASAP. Know your equipment, and practice, BTW if you get mad at something like someones opinion on training. Hang up your gun you are too immature to carry one. If something that insignificant upsets you, you are extremely unstable and should not be near anything as dangerous as a firearm.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 28, 2015

      Several great points, Steve. On the LE vs. SEAL response, most people would be surprised about a “normal” SEAL direct action style mission. In snatch and grabs, their tactics and results are a lot like LE…speed, surprise, violence of action, tie everyone up, and no shots fired. Larry told me about one raid where he rappelled through the window into a conn on an oil tanker to find himself alone, facing 5 attackers advancing on him. MP5 in his hand, he took 3 out of the fight and 2 gave up–all without having to fire a shot. Just because they have the ability and willingness to shoot bad guys, doesn’t mean that they do.

      On the surprise part…you’re going to appreciate our new dry fire deck that focuses on unstable shooting positions, dynamic movement while shooting, and practicing in a 360 degree environment. It’s NOT live yet, but you can check it out as we put the finishing touches on it at

  • M. T. Brawner

    Reply Reply October 28, 2015

    I have always used the slide lock technique. Trained with an Olympic Gold Medalist on a Colt 1911 @15-17. (father arranged to keep me out of trouble and out of his hair.)
    At 66, I now shoot two Browning Hi-Power and to this day continue that reload sequence. Muzzle remains downrange, one hand, not cumbersome two handed. Put on a 40lb. backpack and check which is more comfortable and efficient.

    Don’t understand the controversy in the survival context. If 0.5 seconds becomes critical, the average(Sunday afternoon at the range) shooter is going to be in serious trouble either way.

Leave A Response To Tom Cancel reply

* Denotes Required Field