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?
The manufacturer built your gun with both a slide lock lever and grip enhancements at the rear of the slide. To the best of my knowledge, they would not bother with additional machining and cost to add features that are not meant to be used. I think that depending on the situation and where your hands are positioned on the gun, whichever method best fits the situation is the right one.
The lever would always be used to lock the slide open, so the part is required for administrative use like that. The question is whether it’s ideal to release the “locked open” slide using the lever.
so, what’s the answer…i always rack, but that’s just a habit/think it’s easier.
If I’m “charging” the pistol, I rack the slide and let it slam home just as is does when ejecting a spent round and injecting a live round. I never “nurse” the slide home. When the magazine is empty, the slide will lock back. I eject the empty magazine, insert a fresh magazine and use the lever to let the slide slam home.
I cannot remember the last time that I locked the slide back with the lever.
The lever is an integral part of the firearm and is there to be used. “Ideal” is a personal opinion and selection.
It really doesn’t matter what method you use, as long as you’re comfortable with it. They both get you to the same place. I would recommend you practice both, just because of Murphy and his law. If anything CAN go wrong, it WILL. Usually at the worst possible time. Use the one you prefer, but practice both. Just in case.