Oldie but goodie: slingshot or slide release? (Spoiler: it don’t matter none)

“It’s a slide stop, not a slide release.”   “You need to release the slide with a slingshot because it uses gross motor skills rather than the fine motor skills that using the slide stop/release does.”

I have heard variations on these two statements for decades now, and at one time I actually believed them.  Then at one point I realized that over the years I had been using both techniques unconsciously, using whichever just came to me at the moment.  And truth be told the only mistakes I recalled having were flubbed slingshots.  That’s when I decided that it didn’t  matter which technique you used.  Just use the one, or both, that experience had taught you were reliable and instinctive for you.

That was my opinion: a single data point from someone that no one should take very seriously.  But I’ve just come across an old thread over at the HKpro forum where a poster says: It’s funny how trainers who have been there and done that with Delta like Larry Vickers, Paul Howe, and Jim Smith of Spartan Tactical all teach using the slide release. All of the above have seen combat with that unit, and one of them, Larry Vickers, has probably trained more of that units operators with handguns than anyone else.


2 thoughts on “Oldie but goodie: slingshot or slide release? (Spoiler: it don’t matter none)

  1. This may be overly pedantic, but when I took Larry Vickers’ 2-day pistol class in March 2014, he was teaching us to trip the slide release with the thumb of the LEFT hand – for a shooter who’s going all-out for speed during a slide-lock reload, there’s a fair chance that they might drop the slide with the thumb of their right hand BEFORE seating the fresh magazine if they’re not careful. By using the left thumb, the fresh magazine in the left hand pretty much has to be seated in place before that thumb can even reach the slide stop lever.

    Of course, when shooting lefty, you’ve got to either adapt and use the fingertips of the right hand, or be shooting a S&W M&P or CZ-85 with fully ambidextrous controls…


    • My absolute #1 concern about magazines and reloads is not making a quick smooth reload- it is retaining the original magazine securely latched into place, throughout the days work, no matter what.

      Have you ever found a loose mag in a pistol you have drawn? Now having a slow reload is one thing, having NO second shot capability is quite another. I just read of a case of this in N Ireland. Mob attack, one round fired. Loose mag, apparently the shooter had the gun under his thigh in the car.

      PS-Know where I can get a stronger mag catch spring for a stock G19 gen4? It has this problem big time.


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