The Slide Stop

posted on January 8, 2013
rackley2015_fs.jpg (1)

For years, when training and competing, I used the slide stop on my 1911s to return the slide to battery when conducting a speed reload. I had found that I could more quickly obtain my shooting grip in this way.

At the same time, I had always wondered why so many experts on TV always pulled the slide to the rear to load a semi-auto handgun. It seemed slower, which defeated the purpose of the speed reload in my mind. Discussions with other shooters revealed that they also preferred using the slide stop in most circumstances, and that they also admitted ignorance of why some would prefer pulling the slide.

It took a phone call with Tiger McKee of Shootrite and a trip to Gunsite to make me truly understand the reasoning. First, the name of the part is the slide stop, not slide release. To me, that is semantics, so it wasn’t a convincer. However, the next two contained stronger reasoning.

The 1911 has a large, easy to reach slide stop, but many of today’s newer designs have a much harder to hit slide stop, such as a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P. So, by always pulling the slide to the rear, a shooter is training to work with every semi-auto pistol, not just the ones that he or she is familiar with. Also, pulling the slide fully to the rear adds about a quarter inch of additional spring power to ensure the gun returns to battery. While this might not be needed in every case, Murphy’s Law always seems to take effect at the worst possible time, which would mean when you really need the gun to work.

Since then, I have started training in speed reloads by pulling the slide. It still seems a little slower, but it also seems to be the better choice. Which do you use?


Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The Revolutionary War
Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The Revolutionary War

Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The American Revolution

Noted artist and American Rifleman contributor Don Troiani will display some of his original artwork at his first-ever major exhibition, which is being hosted by the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pa. The exhibition opened Oct. 16 and runs until Sept. 5, 2022, in the museum’s first-floor Patriots Gallery.

Preview: Convergent Hunting Solutions Bullet HP Complete Game Calling System

With a 10-hour runtime, wireless control and IP64 weather resistance, the Bullet HP is an electronic game-calling system made right here in the USA. Thanks to a powerful 10W internal amplifier, the Bullet HP bluetooth-operated speaker is capable of exceeding 100 dBs at wireless distances of up to 300 feet.

The Armed Citizen® Jan. 24, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

New For 2022: Bergara Premier MgLite Rifle

New for 2022, Bergara introduces its new Premier Series MgLite rifle, combining carbon fiber and magnesium construction for an ultra-lightweight, long-range bolt action.

New For 2022: Stoeger STR-9C Optic Ready

New for 2022, Stoeger introduces a new addition to its compact STR-9C handgun line with an optic read model, the STR-9C Optic Ready.

New For 2022: Browning X-Bolt Speed Ovix Suppressor Ready

Browning introduces a new addition to the X-bolt Speed series for 2022 with a suppressor ready model with pre-threaded barrel.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.