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Hi,

I read recently that it's a bad idea to release the slide on an empty chamber. Why is that? What kind of bad things will happen?

Thanks
 

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Not so much an empty chamber as not chambering a round when releasing the slide. Puts stress on the frame I hear -- so I don't do it. :) Dry firing is OK from what the gurus say, so I do a lot of that. FWIW
 

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Can damage the extractor they say plus batters the frame needlessly .. Figure when its grabbing a round the Forward motion is Slowed doesnt seem like much but old time gunsmiths will tell ya dropping slide at fullspeed on a empty chamber does all kinds of nasty things to it..


im sure someone will chime in with everything it will do i cant rember at moment got a headache
 

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What is bad for the extractor is manually inserting a round into the chamber then closing the slide. Letting the slide slam closed on an empty chamber may be bad for the extractor, but is more destructive to the hammer/sear interface and can lead to unsafe conditions such as hammer follow.
 

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I read on THR that it has to do with damaging the barrell lug. When stripping a round from the mag, the slide nearly stops- using almost all of its momentum and spring pressure to force the live round over the hump and into the chamber. By the time all of this energy is expended, there isn't much travel left before lockup. Thus, very little momentum is gained, and the "slam" of lockup is negligible. However, a slide released from slidelock with nothing in front of it has full travel to gain momentum. The only thing to stop it is the barrel lug. The idea is that it can, over time, elongate the barrel lug and loosen the lockup.
 

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It's not terrible to do it to a gun if it's YOUR gun. Don't ever do it to one of mine. Besides being bad gun handling, kind of bad for the gun (see above), it's also very rude. As far as I know, dry firing a 1911 isn't bad for it.
 

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Besides being bad gun handling, kind of bad for the gun (see above), it's also very rude.
Y'know, if you were to go through a Gunsite advanced pistol class (350 or 499) you would find yourself doing this in various clearance and other drills dozens of times (albeit, from over the top, NEVER dropping with the slide lock).

I get the distinct impression that nobody's gun has died from this so far that didn't deserve to die :cool:

Then again, I haven't seen anyone in my classes with a 1.5# trigger job bullseye gun, either.
 

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As Archer notes this practice is harmless. If it damages your pistol you have the wrong pistol. Or someone has dicked with it.

And, of course, you reach over the top (thumb pointed toward your body)! Same single motion for loading, clearing, immediate action.

I suspect the same guys who worry about that tiny scratch under the slide stop which occurs during assembly also worry about this and probably won't dry fire their pistols either. :p

-- Chuck
 

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Chuck S said:
As Archer notes this practice is harmless. If it damages your pistol you have the wrong pistol. Or someone has dicked with it.

And, of course, you reach over the top (thumb pointed toward your body)! Same single motion for loading, clearing, immediate action.

I suspect the same guys who worry about that tiny scratch under the slide stop which occurs during assembly also worry about this and probably won't dry fire their pistols either. :p

-- Chuck
I hope that you don't mean reach over the top of the slide (thumb pointed toward your body) and cover the ejection port with your hand while doing so. That is a good way to get hurt while clearing a live round if the primer happens to strike the ejector and goes off. I have seen it happen a few times this year myself at local practices and matches and heard about a few others. Lots of blood and a trip to the emergency room at a minimum. I prefer to grab the slide from the back and pull it like a slingshot - keeping my hand as far from the ejection port as possible.
 

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Just curious, what is the point of repeatedly dropping the slide on an empty chamber in an advanced pistol class anyway? What kind of drills???
 

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Dropping the slide without a round in an inserted mag is, indeed, bad karma. While it will NOT harm the sear or hammer's polished and shaped surfaces (unless the hammer's halfcock notch breaks), it is not good for the bottom barrel lugs, the slide stop pin, or the slide stop pin's holes in the receiver. I've reworked a ton of military 1911's that have had this done to them countless times and, even though the steel in the affected areas is quite thick, it is elongated/egg-shaped. And, if the barrel has been 'fit' by a well-meaning amateur who removed too much metal from the bottom barrel lug 'feet', those feet will bend and eventually break. Here's the mechanics of the stress on those 'feet'. When the slide slams into battery, the feet are bent backward a little. Then when the slide is slammed into full recoil, those feet will contact the recoil surface in the receiver and bend forward. I'm sure you can understand what that constant bending will do.

Bob
 

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Bob Brown said:
Dropping the slide without a round in an inserted mag is, indeed, bad karma.......
i agree, especially if you're one of those Dudes that thinks he needs to run a heavy recoil spring....those heavy springs do way more harm that good in my book.

i always hook my Bomar with the palm/little finger area, of my week hand to slow the slide down when droping without a full mag (e.g., after "showing clear" after a stage)... i've done it for over 30 years, it just comes nautral
 

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Just curious, what is the point of repeatedly dropping the slide on an empty chamber in an advanced pistol class anyway? What kind of drills???
For one, simulated type one malfunction (click on second shot, no bang, initiated by an unseated mag) BANG-CLICK-TAP-ROLL-RACK-ASESS-BANG drills.

Here's the rub.

What happens when you fire and the recoiling slide goes home on an empty chamber when the mag's not properly seated anyhow ? I suspect that's rather more severe than just dropping the slide, nu ?

Ok, so it might be tough on the ol' safe queen. But, just how DO you develop the instant, automatic (as opposed to the "duh... let me look at the pistol and figger this out") response to such an event if you don't drill it ? (Remember this is a gun FIGHTING school, where they very clearly tell you up front to bring a HEAVY DUTY pistol or two.) You need to drill that until the response is automatic. No, it's probably not nice to the gun, but as I said, I never saw one die yet that probably didn't deserve to.

And good point, Kevin's_garage, you preferably do not cover the ejection port when manipulating the slide. Besides potentially being slightly dangerous as you mentioned, it tends to keep things in the pistol which you may want to clear. But, I am not good enough to reliably "slingshot" the piece every single time, under pressure, and it's also hard to "roll" the pistol in that mode. Why not let gravity help you clear the pistol ?
 
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