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How to embrace “gross” gunfighting tactics to survive

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Leslie L. is a gun owner living in Georgia, who also has a concealed weapons permit.

One evening he was returning home from a friend’s house where he had been watching a college football game.

As he exited his pickup truck, Leslie removed his .40 caliber pistol from the glove box.

Next, he racked the slide on his semi-auto to make sure there wasn’t a round in the chamber.

When he released the slide forward, the weapon discharged.

Leslie accidentally shot himself in the leg, and he called 911 while he made his way inside his house.

In the house, he took off his belt and used it to make a tourniquet. Then he sat at his kitchen table and waited for police and medical personnel to arrive.

When police arrived, they found a large amount of blood in Leslie’s Ford pick-up truck. The blood trail led into the home where the officers found Leslie waiting for them.

He was coherent and calm and was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center where he was expected to recover from his injury.

Police said the shooting was an accident and there was no foul play suspected.

With semi-auto pistols, you have two choices when you need to chamber a round.

One, you can use the slide release…

Or two, you can grab the slide, pull it back, and release it. This is usually called “racking the slide.”

Every shooter will have a preference on the method to use.

But here are a few factors to take into consideration when it comes to putting your semi-auto into battery.

Advantages of using the slide release button:

The biggest advantage of using the slide release button is that it requires less motion.

All you are doing is moving your thumb and pushing the button. One finger or thumb is all it takes.

The slide release is also faster than racking the slide.

Plus, the slide release only requires one hand. So, if your non-shooting hand was injured you can still push the slide release button while holding the gun.

This would also leave your other hand free to hold a flashlight or do other tasks.

Disadvantages of using the slide release button:

Depending on the specific firearm, the slide release button might not be ambidextrous, so you might not be comfortable using the slide release.

However, some pistols have a slide release button on both sides.

And this is one reason why you should always shoot a specific gun before buying it – you want to make sure you can push the slide release.

Advantages to racking the slide:

When your adrenaline is going you will likely lose fine motor skills, like pushing the small slide release button.

On the other hand, gross motor skills will likely remain, and racking the slide would be a gross motor skill.

So, it may be easier for your mind and body to process racking the slide, compared to using your finger to push a tiny button.

Additionally, racking the slide on a pistol is a pretty standard movement that is done the same way no matter the brand of the firearm.

On the other hand, the slide release button can be different for every semi-auto. It could be in different positions and have a different feel depending on the specific gun.

Disadvantages when racking the slide:

The biggest downside to racking the slide is that it can take more time than pushing the slide release, because it requires more movement.

Another issue is that you must have the hand strength to pull the slide back, and it takes two hands compared to using one hand to push the button.

If you simply don’t have the hand strength, I would avoid semi-auto pistols and consider a revolver.

Which method would I use?:

I would recommend racking the slide. It is something you should be able to do in the first place in case your pistol malfunctions.

Also, sometimes pushing the slide release is not enough to put the pistol back into the battery, and it can require racking the slide to chamber another round.

During the stress that comes with being in a self-defense shooting, it may be easier to rack the slide compared to pushing the button.

At the end of the day, you should be familiar with both methods with your pistol, because there may be a time when you have no choice to use one over another.

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