When loading a fresh magazine or changing to a new one, there are two ways to “recharge” a semi-automatic pistol. You can push down on the slide lock lever using your firing or support hand thumb, or you can go through a partial slide racking motion. Some on the internet will insist that choosing the wrong method will get you killed and result in Justin Bieber lip-synching Milli Vanilli songs at your funeral.

Well, that’s not likely. Like most topics, the answers are just a bit more nuanced. Let’s explore some pros and cons of each method, and you can choose the right one for your unique situation.

The Slide Lock Lever Method

That neat little lever on the left side is handy for not only locking the slide open for administrative and safety functions; it’s also convenient for releasing the slide and letting it fly forward, chambering a fresh round in the process.

Read the rest: Should You Use Your Pistol’s Slide Lock Lever or Rack the Slide?