You have a few different options when it comes to cocking a pistol properly and safely. Today we are going to discuss the pros and cons of each technique, and after you can head over to our online ammunition store to pick up some ammo and hit the range to practice.
The slingshot technique is when you hold your pistol in your strong hand, clamp the slide between you weak-hand thumb, your left palm facing downward, pull back and let it go. With this method, your pistol basically ends up pointing directly at the target, downrange. Also, you won’t at any time end up pointing it at yourself. Unfortunately for those with weak hand strength you only have your forefinger and thumb on the slide. But, the slingshot will keep your fingers away from the ejection port.
Over The Top
With the over the top slide racking method, stronger muscles come into play because you are bending your arm to reach. With your weak hand's palm still facing down, grab the slide by placing the heel of your hand on the left of the slide, then wrap your fingers over the top.
While the strength issue is solved, the downsides are problematic. If you don’t pay careful attention, the mechanics of this method can have you directing the muzzle at someone to either side of you. Due diligence is necessary for keeping your gun pointed downrange. Another downside is that your pinkie may be left covering the ejection port.
Pistols that have slide-mounted safeties have problems with both methods. With a slide-mounted safety, you can easily push it from fire to safe when working the slide. Also, forward serrations are sharp enough to shred your leather holster, grate plastic ones, or create friction to your draw.
One of the biggest problems in the way people use the forward cocking serrations is that it requires reaching over the top with the weak hand and clamping down over the slide which leaves your hand far too close to the tip of the muzzle. Next, the ejection port is completely covered by your hand.
With forward cocking serration, try using an underhand method. From the side, reach under your gun while your palm faces up. Pinch the slide with using your thumb and forefingers and pull back. But be aware, that this is not the way to properly clear a malfunction.
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