Slide Stop vs. Slingshot vs. Power Stroke:
So What Is The Best Method?
Are you a little confused after watching all of those videos? There doesn’t seem to be an general consensus on the best way to reload a semi-automatic pistol.
I have adopted the “power stroke” method for several reasons.
First: For training a new shooter, it is much easier to simply teach the “power stroke” method because they can use the same technique to initially load the pistol, then reload the pistol, and then clear all of the malfunction types except for the double-feed. Keep it simple.
Second: Different firearm designs put the “slide lock” in different places among the pistol’s controls. If you execute a “battlefield pickup” (picking up a pistol that has been dropped by a dead guy) and need to use it, if you are not already familiar with the controls then it might take a moment to figure out which lever is the slide lock vs. the decocker / safety or takedown lever. 99% of all pistols work the same in the sense that if the slide is locked back on an empty magazine and you replace it with a loaded magazine, the slide will unlock and travel forward when you place rearward pressure on the slide. To prove this point to myself, a friend was teaching his 15 year old daughter to shoot his S&W M&P 9mm with the “power stroke” method. On the table in front of her I placed a Glock with the slide locked back on an empty magazine, handed her a loaded magazine, and instructed her to load and shoot the pistol. She simply ejcted the empty magazine, inserted the loaded magazine, power stroked it, and fired. She never even looked at the side of the pistol to figure out where the slide lock was located.
Third: There is the thinking that if you pull the slide back the approximate 1/8″ to 1/4″ that it helps compress the spring even further for more energy to rack a round out of the magazine and into battery on a dirty firearm. I don’t truly know if there is any scientific evidence to back this up, but it seems like a sound theory to me.
Like several of the video hosts suggested, find the method that works best for you and stick with it.
Comments below are appreciated.
I teach both methods but emphasize racking the slide. My number one reason is the sheer multitude of different guns that I shoot. If I were to focus on only one gun then yes absolutely the the slide stop release is the faster method, however you’re only talking fractions of a second and the chance of errors increases significantly. That’s not a chance I am willing to take when life is on the line. Truth of the matter is if you find yourself, in a personal self defense situation which requires you to reload from slide lock, you probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Thanks, Jack! Your input is always appreciated!!
HK VP40 here, 13 round mags with spacers to limit to 10 rounds for NJ compliance during frequent matches there. Spacers were carefully filed down such that slamming a loaded mag in on slide lock releases the slide. All 10 mags do it.
Otherwise I grab the wings on the back of the slide but almost never need to to that.