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All,

I've been reading the archives, and have seen conflicting reports about whether or not it's damaging to let the slide "drop" on an empty chamber. Some say it damages the breech face and trigger, others say it doesn't...

Is there a definitive answer?

also, did I read something about holding the hammer back when loading the pistol? Can someone explain this to me?

thanks in advance. I'm more familiar with glocks, where we laugh at trigger jobs.. ;-) *sproing* btw - I love my glocks.

Regards,
Francis
 

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Depending on the design of the hammer, the sear might get marred if the hammer follow throug, that is don't stay cocked but falls to half cock notch. Other damages are academic.
 

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Originally posted by FrancisB:
All,
Is there a definitive answer?

also, did I read something about holding the hammer back when loading the pistol? Can someone explain this to me?
Not that my answer is definitive, but I strongly suggest NOT dropping the slide on an empty chamber. It allows the finely polished and stoned angles of the sear to bounce against the hammer. You could chip or damage the sear if you repeatedly drop the slide this way.

As for holding the hammer back when you load the pistol, I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Some people cock the hammer manually before they cycle the slide to chamber a round. This is certainly not a tactically correct procedure, although it may make slingshotting the slide somewhat easier since there is no force of the hammer/mainspring to overcome.
 

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Well, cocking the hammer prior to slingshotting the slide should be a non-issue since the first thing your supposed to do when you pick up your pistol is PROVE that it is safe, and ready to use. That includes locking the slide open, and examining the chamber, firing pin hole, barrel, and magazine well. Drop the slide, and dry checking all safeties. Then you should be locking the slide back, re-check the chamber, firing pin hole, barrel, and mag well. That's when you should be inserting a full magazine, and dropping the slide.
In a tactical situation, get a mag in as fast as you can, drop the slide and get ready to defend yourself .....PERIOD!!!
I stand by the principle that dropping the slide on an empty chamber is OK to do, but only do when it's needed.

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Really interesting....Don't ya think??
 

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Originally posted by Rich in VA:

Huh?

Rich, I was simply referring to the extra step used when you cock the hammer first, then slingshot the slide. In a "tactical" situation, you really don't want to make unnecessary movements. You want a round in the chamber NOW. That means slingshotting the slide only - don't worry about cocking the hammer first.

Of course, most of your "emergency" reloads will be done from slide-lock, so this is not much of an issue, but there is still no need to cock the hammer manually should you ever be reloading with the slide closed.
 

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FrancisB - Did you mean holding the TRIGGER back when loading the pistol? That is done to disconnect the trigger from the hammer/sear. When the slide runs forward to load a round in the chamber, the trigger can "bounce" off the disconnector/sear, causing the hammer to follow. While holding the trigger was apparently a common and acceptable situation in the darker ages of 1911 gunsmithing, the use of modern parts, jigs, etc. in the performing of trigger jobs has rendered it something of an old habit that new shooters should avoid getting into.
 

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Slamming the slide on an empty chamber can be harmful to your pistol over the course of time.

A round in a magazine does slow down the slide enough to prevent un-needed stress at the barrel/slide contact point. Doing this repeatedly is just asking for trouble.

In addition, if you have a sweet trigger job, over the course of time, that'll disappear too.
 

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RickB,

that's probably what I heard, or at least the only thing I can think of which makes sense. It's almost impossible to hold the hammer back while loading... I tried. ;-)

ArmySon and others, thanks. I'll not drop the slide unnecessarily.

Regards,
Francis
 

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There is only one time to drop the slide on an empty chamber-to initially(half) prove a light trigger job before it has live rounds run through it-THE ONLY TIME!.This seems a little extreme to me,but some of the old bullseye shooters would pull the trigger and hold it,cock the hammer and release the trigger to catch the fullcock notch,then cycle the slide to load it-thinking eliminating the halfcock ledge scaping would prolong wearing out their trigger job.To a lesser degree they were correct,but with todays steels and heat treating,it's pretty much a moot point.
 

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Originally posted by shane45-1911:
Rich, I was simply referring to the extra step used when you cock the hammer first, then slingshot the slide. In a "tactical" situation, you really don't want to make unnecessary movements. You want a round in the chamber NOW. That means slingshotting the slide only - don't worry about cocking the hammer first.

Of course, most of your "emergency" reloads will be done from slide-lock, so this is not much of an issue, but there is still no need to cock the hammer manually should you ever be reloading with the slide closed.

Well, fine for you and me, but hard for smaller and/or younger hands sometimes. Anyway, I was not aware that the question revolved around a 'tactical' situation, whatever that is. I am a pretty big/strong guy, and I still thumb cock before loading, almost all the time, but this is at matches. If I am in carry mode, the gun is already loaded........ Regardless, it is difficult for my daughter to rack the slide without cocking the hammer first. And she ain't a bad shot, either, as some on here can attest........

Rich in VA
 
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