Trigger Control And Racking The Slide
Trigger Control And Racking The Slide

Trigger Control And Racking The Slide

Trigger Control And Racking The Slide

Practice does make perfect and so long as the shooter has a positive attitude and is willing to learn virtually anyone can be taught to competently and safely "Rack the slide" into position regardless of the pistol. It is important that you understand that the proper technique is vital and is much more important than trying to use just strength alone. It is all about technique and not strength.

If you use the traditional method of pulling the slide back with your support hand and you're having difficulties this is where technique comes in, instead of pulling back with your support hand grip the pistol with your strong hand making absolutely sure that your trigger finger is not on the trigger and is outside of the trigger guard. Next, with your support hand hold the back portion of the slide where the serrations are, and "push" your dominant hand forward in a very firm manner. To learn the complete technique of properly racking the slide of automatic pistol become a member of US Precision Defense where you can learn this and other shooting techniques from our library of reports and videos. 

With having taught firearms training for over 30 years and working as a range safety officer I have had many a student that was either a beginner or over the age of 65 complain about not being able to properly work the slide on a semi-auto pistol. Instructors everywhere have had the same experience. 

The comments range from that they did not have enough upper body strength, they had a medical condition such as arthritis or some other ailment, or that the recoil spring tension was too strong and others were afraid of being injured or "bitten" by the slide due to their lack of experience. This created problems for these individuals as they could not properly operate the pistol for loading, unloading, the clearing of a malfunction or even a simple cleaning task.

The "racking of the slide" Is this simple motion of moving the slide back and forth along the guide rails.  

One of the first things that needs to be taught for a new shooter to understand is while racking the slide to the rearward position is to not place the hand over the injection port. Learn the proper procedure on US Precision Defense. 

As we all know Trigger Control is one of the basic fundamentals of handgun shooting. We have all been taught to squeeze the trigger in such a way that you don't know when the trigger is going to “break” as it should be a surprise to you. There is one aspect of trigger control which primarily applies to semi-automatic pistols and is something that should be understood and practiced as it can elevate you from an average to a highly competent shooter. The technique I'm describing will allow you to become much more accurate on your second and subsequent shots. I am referring to what is commonly known as “trigger reset”.

By understanding what the trigger reset is and to learn how to “feel” the mechanics of your pistol it will greatly reduce the amount of travel in the movement of your trigger for all subsequent follow-up shots after the first one. When you fire your pistol you typically pull the trigger all the way to the rear and the gun fires, where trigger reset comes in is how you "feel" the trigger and allow it to move forward and you feel the click or mechanics of the trigger resetting in the action of your particular pistol. Racking the Slide

Once you feel that click or reset the pistol is now ready to fire and by doing so you are greatly reducing the movement of the trigger. By learning this technique and the subtleties of your particular pistol and with practice it will dramatically reduce the travel of your trigger which will in turn improve your groupings and speed just by the simple time saved in the movement of the trigger.

If you watch other shooters or even some videos you'll see that a lot of shooters will bring their finger completely off of the trigger during rapid shots and if you look closely you'll even see where they'll be slapping the trigger, this type of movement causes a loss of trigger control and can even cause movement of the entire pistol.


  Trigger Control Diagram                       Trigger Control Exercise