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Hellcat: Difficulty locking slide back - suggestions?


PaleoMan
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Hi! New Hellcat owner. I love the (iron) sights, and grip on this gun, and am learning to shoot it better each time I go out (only have about 200 rounds so far - checking POA/POI). However, the only nit I have, which I sort of noticed when I was checking it out at the store, before buying, is that the fairly flush slide lock button is really hard for me to engage. I pull the slide back with my left hand, and try to push up with the thumb (the lock is right there at the joint), but can't seem to engage easily.

 

The only way I can seem to do it, is with moving the fingers of my right hand, back and on to the side of the grip on the right side, instead of leaving them wrapped around the gun, but it puts my index finger closer to the trigger, so I'm not comfortable with that.  It probably more of an issue, if I want to practice using the Hellcat, by trying it out at an USPSA match (not that I'd use it for competing, I have other guns for that), or in a self defense class.

 

Any thoughts of other techniques I can use to lock the slide, without going through contortions?

 

Is it possibly an issue that will fade as the springs become less stiff?

 

Note: I usually have the magazine removed as well, when I slide lock (like what would be done in a match).

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I run a M&P compact 1.0 and also need to slightly rotate the gun in my hand to be able to push up on the slide lock, nature of the low profile of the slide lock. Don't own one, but looking at photos/videos it looks like the plastic fence just beneath the slide lock might interfere with pushing up on it. Might consider trimming it so it doesnt stick out from the frame.

 

Mark

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Yeah, I don't have a problem disengaging the lock - slight pull on slide works fine.

 

For locking back, I've always been more comfortable locking the slide and actually physically checking that the chamber is empty (versus visually checking).

 

Granted, I only plan on competing occasionally with this gun, as a way to get more practice time with it. Main role will be for CCW.

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 5:56 AM, PaleoMan said:

Yeah, I don't have a problem disengaging the lock - slight pull on slide works fine.

 

For locking back, I've always been more comfortable locking the slide and actually physically checking that the chamber is empty (versus visually checking).

 

Granted, I only plan on competing occasionally with this gun, as a way to get more practice time with it. Main role will be for CCW.

 

So you visually check and see that the chamber is empty, but need to further "physically" check that is clear to verify?  Does that mean sticking your finger in there or what?  You could literally lose the end of a finger doing that on a semi-auto shotgun.  I wonder if you meant something different.  I hope you aren't doubting your eyes.  

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9 hours ago, obsessiveshooter said:

So you visually check and see that the chamber is empty, but need to further "physically" check that is clear to verify?  Does that mean sticking your finger in there or what?  You could literally lose the end of a finger doing that on a semi-auto shotgun.  I wonder if you meant something different.  I hope you aren't doubting your eyes.  

Just from training, I was taught to lock the slide back and both physically and visually check that the chamber was empty, before handling  off a handgun or when accepting one. when I take training classing, they often have students lock back slides, as instructors go down the line checking chambers are empty. When I compete, I tend to follow a similar process, locking back the slide and visually checking the chamber is empty and showing the open chamber to the RO. I don’t physically check the chamber during competition. I‘ve seen ROs, especially with newer shooters like myself, wanting to really look and make sure the chamber is empty, and that has been far easier to do with a locked slide, than by trying to hold the slide back, IMHO.

 

I’m only taking about semi-auto handguns.

 

My question, which we’ve strayed away from, is whether there is a better way to lock the slide back (in general, not specifically in competition), When the lock is positioned at ones thumb joint. I seem to only be able to do so, by either sheer luck or by rotating the Hellcat in my hand.

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Rotate your RH slightly CW around the grip to get more leverage on the slide lock.  I have no idea how that would place your trigger finger closer to the trigger.

 

I also cannot understand why holding the slide back to show clear is such an issue.  It's not.  If you see clear, it's still clear regardless of who or what is holding the slide open.

 

As for timmy training classes.....see my very first sentence.

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:31 PM, mpom said:

 Don't own one, but looking at photos/videos it looks like the plastic fence just beneath the slide lock might interfere with pushing up on it. Might consider trimming it so it doesnt stick out from the frame.

 

 

I'd be careful with that.  Small pistols usually have those guards to prevent inadvertent activation of certain controls.  Once that fence is gone and it results in the meat of one of your hands constantly pushing up the slide lock, you're kinda screwed.

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