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S&W Slide release.

Ty Hamby

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I am enjoying my M&P more and more. I have 2 identical M&P pro model's. The slide release is just crap. I'm left handed and the releasing the slide from the right side tab using my right thumb while seating a magazine is not 100% reliable. I know most defensive based instructors recommend the over the top method. I can agree this is the preferred method for defensive based training. It is not the fastest method. Shooting in production or IDPA every tenth of a second counts. I have concentrated a lot of time in modifying the lever. I have a box full of levers I have modified in different ways. The lever has a significant amount of flex when activating from the right side. Using the left side release tab is an option. I have been using my trigger finger to manipulate the release from the left side for the last 6mo. This has been my only resort other than "over the top"(which is too slow for this game).

Can someone please step up and create a slide release that works. I shoot mostly in ESP (IDPA) so any lever that doesn't extend beyond the stock width would be a the ticket. I would love to find one like this for an M&P. The problem is always going to be the design of the stock one. We need someone to design one that uses a pin to transfer the motion to the left side as opposed to the spot welded spring steel currently being used.

Thanks for listening to my rant. now back to grinding on my frame to give my left side release more clearance. :angry:

Randy, (APEX) We need you!!!!!!!!

Edited by Ty Hamby
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Based on the shape, and complexity of the design, I don't imagine anybody making what you'd want at any realistic price point.

The other problem is that it wouldn't be legal for USPSA Production division, so the number of folks wanting these would be very small...only a few folks using them for Limited/L-10, etc.

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Thanks for all the advice. a couple of members have PM-ed me with options that may or may not be legal as per the rules. I have tried some of them previously. I will try the rest soon. Keep the options coming.... by PM is fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...


From Apex Tacticals Facebood page on May 14th.


Seems like for a lot of M&P owners there slide releases are breaking? Any chances you guys could make a improved apex one?


I will be tackling this problem within the next couple of months. There are a lot of forces on the part, and I want to make sure that the solution we come up with resolves the problem for good. -Randy

This is great news. Im in for 2. This would be the final piece I need for my Apex 9mm Pistols (which also have a few S&W parts left on it) :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ever think of NEVER using the slide release, I never do I always grip the top of the slide and release, Always do the same thing every time. Also you never have to find the slide release if your not using your pistol.

Its something pushed hard in most defensive pistol courses

I shoot M&P's in production class and a Witness in lim 10 and that way my practice is always consistant

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It's a slide lock not a release, the M&P slide can be released by simply loading a magazine, if you use 125gr loads there's more than enough mass there to slide it in a bit harder and get the slide to go in to battery. It's faster than pulling back o the slide or looking for the slide lock

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"releasing the slide from the right side tab using my right thumb while seating a magazine is not 100% reliable"

How so? Do you perceive that somehow it is worse from the left hand side than the right hand?

You're definitely correct that an over the top release is slower. As far as slam charging your mags (per some of the other suggestions)... it just isn't a good idea. It's slower, you come to depend on it then end up looking silly with a gun out of battery when it doesn't drop, and sooner or later you'll probably have issues with slam charging not stripping a round and getting "click" when you pull the trigger.

While I have heard of the occasional slide stop breakage, this is the first I've heard of a reliability issue with releasing the slide with the the slide stop.

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I of course can't speak for everyone but in my case I find it better to only do things ONE way that means when a seat a mag I bump it, when I drop the slide I come over the top with my Left hand (I'm right handed), Grip the slide the same way and pull and release the slide the same, If I'm loading it for a match, loading it for carry, or unloading it to put it in the safe my procedure for dropping the slide is the same, A friend of mine thats a Mechanical Eng. who specializes in production line function calls it "out of process" when you break from the one way you do it and when you go "out of process" then you increase your likelyhood of a malfunction,failure, ect. and I have to agree with him, If I look back to the root cause of every malfuncion I've had on the competition clock you can usually track it back to something you did different that went down the chain of events and caused a malfunction or cause the operator to cause the malfunction. Unless its just a plain old brain fart.

Both of us recently went to Gunsite together and we came back with some very stong opinions of things that Gunsite taught that we WILL NOT be doing and one of the biggest is the chamber check on the slide release, we tried it and it caused both of us multiple failures. But when we loaded the gun and used our ONE method for dropping the slide we had no failures.

I think you also have to look at the market, S&W probably went to training facilities and asked what the people at those places wanted and gave it to them. The old days of the extra long extended slide releases are about over, Now my 1911's will not function the same way as my M&P does and I have to use the slide release for those guns and as I shoot the M&P and witness more I find it harder to run my 1911's as efficiently as I once did.

Try the offhand over the top type release for a while and see if it helps, Don't sling shot it by grabbing the back of the slide and pinching use the same overhand grip that you would use for a stuck round in the chamber, get good hand contact and be in a position that you can GRAB the slide and push it around in a forcefull manner.

Good luck with whichever method you decide on.

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