Tanner's Gun Reviews

   By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

Don't Use The Slide Stop To Release The Slide?

WHY NOT? I have always been told not to use the slide stop to release the slide on my Glock 19 or any other semi automatic pistol for that matter.



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 I never questioned "Why Not" until recently. Surely using this lever would not harm the gun. It's part of the gun's design and it's made to operate in that way so why not use it? Here are some reasons.


  1. You Get The Full Force Of The Recoil Spring To Return The Gun To Battery
    When you use the slide stop to release the slide you may not be using the full force of the recoil spring to chamber the next round and to return the slide to battery. See for yourself. Pull the slide back on your pistol and lock it back. Then manually pull it back all the way and compare the difference in distances. On both my Glock 19 and Glock 26 I get about 1/8" more recoil spring compression. I have read that some guns won't reliably load a round when the slide stop is released but will do it every time when racking the slide.

  2. It's Easier To Grab It And Pull. Fine Motor Skills Go Out The Window In A Self Defense Situation
    Many pistol/self defense course instructors will advise you not to use the slide stop to release the slide. They tell you this because in a self defense situation your fine motor skills and your ability to manipulate small objects is diminished. If you train load a magazine ever time by releasing the slide with a racking motion you will build up your muscle memory and it will become automatic and second nature to you in any situation.

  3. You Don't Have To Look For It
    When you use the slide stop lever you have to look down and take your eyes off the target or threat. If you just pull on the slide your eyes can remain on the threat or the target.

  4. "Sling-Shotting" Is More Universal To All Pistols
    Not all pistols have slide stop and slide release levers. Using the sling shot method of releasing a slide will make you better prepared for handling a larger variety of hand guns.


Feedback Comments & Questions

December 25, 2011
I'm sorry but if you don't have the motor skills to operate the slide stop then you don't have the motor skills to pull the trigger, release you pistol from its holster, operate safety (obviously doesn't apply to Glocks), or put your hand over the firearm, pinch it, pull really hard and release without punching yourself in the face let alone even getting the mag in the grip in the first place. Also you do not have to look for the magazine release to use it because it is right above your thumb! There is even a chance of turning the safety on if re-setting the slide on firearms such as a Beretta. I have never seen an auto-loading pistol without a slide release other than a luger, and if you pick up a pistol that's not yours you probably won't have any magazines for it either. Just saying. Also those precious seconds you lose by not using the slide stop/release could most definitely mean death in a real self defense scenario . The only real reasons I find not to use it often is because of the fear of wearing out the slide stop/release, you hurt your thumb, or because it's not your personal preference! But everything else is arguable!!! Also from shooting Ar-15s and pistols you will find that when you pull back the charging handle/slide you usually unintentionally ride it forward slightly creating even less spring pressure! Just my 2 cents, not a question.


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MIKE COVIELLO is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.