Even Glocks Can Break

even_glocks_breakAnybody recognize this little bit? If you run a Glock you probably do.

It’s the thumb button from what people trained on 1911s or other classic firearms tend to call a “slide release” and what Glock insists on calling a “slide stop.”

Why does Glock call it a “stop” and not a “release”? You’re looking at the reason. The cheap stamped part is not designed or manufactured to take the load of being used to release the slide. Official and canonical Glock practice is that you close the slide on a fresh mag by pulling it to the rear and letting it go — like a Luger or P.38, not guns that have Browning’s handy slide release. 

Of course, the slide release of a 1911 or BHP is machined from steel billet and heat-treated appropriately. JMB Himself intended you to mash your opposable thumb down on it to close the slide, because you needed your left hand to manage the reins of your cavalry mount anyway!

This image comes from Kyle Defoor’s Instagram, where he says:

Seeing some military and LE Glock 19 Gen 4 slide stop levers breaking more than a few times. Never seen this before so often.

A lot of his commenters are… well, we’re not willing to trade commenters with him, let’s just say that. But one of them had this observation, which gibes with what we’ve heard about Glock training.

I’m a factory certified Glock armorer and at my last recert they discussed their position that the slide stop is not a slide release and using it in this fashion can, over time, lead to failures.

And couple more had the sensible comments that,

If not a slide release why the ridges on face for grip?

…and…

It seems to me that it would get more abuse from going into slide lock than slipping out of the notch to send the slide foreword again. What am I missing?

To which the Glock armorer guy replied:

[T]hat’s a valid point and an acute observation. I am remiss in failing to ask my Glock rep, who was in my office just yesterday, for clarification on this.

OK, let us offer our own opinion (note, opinion) on this.

  1. In our opinion, the “don’t use it as a slide release” is a retrospective position that was created by the Glock organization ex post facto when someone broke a slide release. But the oldest official Glock documents we have on hand (a January, 1992 armorer’s manual, and a Glock G1 exploded view dated 1991) already refer to the part as a “slide stop lever.” (The part owners often call a “takedown catch” is, officially, a “slide lock,” not to be confused with the slide stop lever).
  2. Re: “why the ridges on face for grip?” On p. 14 of the 1992 armorer’s manual, it describes how to lock the slide back, and includes a picture. “[L]ock the slide open by pushing up on the slide stop lever while pulling the slide to the rear with the non-shooting hand.” (It then tells you to “Pull back slide to release slide stop lever and close action.” But it doesn’t warn you not to use the slide stop lever to release the slide).
  3. “Why does it break?” OK, here’s a couple pictures of Glock slide stops. First, here’s an OEM slide stop, photographed from the inside. glock-oem-slide-stop-insideNow, we didn’t have a handy photo of this from the outside, but this photo of a Vickers Tactical extended slide stop (we’ve got this part on our own Glock) shows what the other side looks like. glock-vickers-slide-stop-outsideCompare this to the failed stop at the top of this post.

We now have several clues as to why the stops are failing.

  1. People continue doing something the manufacturer says not to do.
  2. The slide stop is made from a single piece of sheet metal, stamped (“pressed” for Europeans) and folded to net shape.
  3. There is a small rounded notch, adjacent to the part of the stop that folds over to the inside, right where the part Kyle photographed began to fail (see where the failure crack is kind of gray at the top? That’s the oldest part of the failure. When it weakened the slide stop enough, the rest failed all at once — that’s the shiny part of the crack). The reason for the notch is to prevent a “stress riser” from causing the part to begin failing at this point, and it obviously is not working in 100% of use conditions.
  4. And that the problem just started showing up with greater frequency, suggests that some aspect of the manufacturing of the part may have been changed recently. Manufacturers are always making small changes in parts to improve something about them (often something that matters to the manufacture, like lower cost, or increase speed of manufacture, and doesn’t matter quite as directly to customers). Manufacturers also are known for making parts in-house and outsourcing other parts to subcontractors. These subs can change at any time.
  5. Putting thumb pressure on the slide stop stresses it several different ways. It can load it in torsion (twist), for which the engineers probably didn’t do the math on this part. It will definitely bend the part laterally (per the gun’s orientation). That stresses the outboard (left) side of the slide stop in tension, and the inboard (right) side in compression. Another way to think about it is when you bend a plate or bar, the side bent convex is loaded in tension, and the side bent concave is loaded in compression. Our best guess (and based on one picture of one part, it can be no more than a guess) is that this part began to fail from tension at the upper outboard corner of the slide stop.
  6. It’s a trivial physics or engineering problem to calculate the stresses on the part, but to know whether they exceeded the design strength of the part, we’d need to know the exact materials and heat-treating condition of the part.

A question on the Instagram page about whether this is happening primarily in high round-count guns isn’t answered, but round count doesn’t necessarily load the slide stop. A lot of cop guns are seldom fired, but are loaded and cleared at least once every shift. If they’re thumbing the slide stop a lot, they can bust their slide stop without even firing a shot.

One last thing: the failure of this actuating button end of the slide stop makes it impossible (or very difficult, requiring tools) to lock the slide back without an empty mag in the pistol. However, without the end of the stop, it looks to us like the basic running of the gun would still be OK, until you needed the slide stop to handle a malfunction. So in combat terms, this failure of the slide stop is fail safe.

58 thoughts on “Even Glocks Can Break

  1. Jay Dee

    I’m a mechanical engineer who designs stamped parts. The most likely causes are improper heat treating, material substitution or recent tooling refurbishment that left a sharper radius or a notch on the part.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Thanks. Something that a lot of people don’t get about stampings is that the tooling wears. Part #10 is perhaps indistinguishable from Part #1, but Part #10,000 shows the wear on the dies. Because stamping dies are very expensive, the process is only used for large runs of parts: nobody designs a stamping for a requirement of 100 parts. If wear begins to show, there are specialty shops that will undertake to “restore” a die for much less than the cost of a new one.

      Most of this technology was developed by the automotive industry, and only moved into firearms during World War II. Germany and the USA developed this technology independently. The MG42 and the US M3 SMG were early stamped designs. (The Sten was made to be built by cottage or light industry, using simple screw machines and lathes. It has relatively few real stampings compared to parts formed from sheet or tube).

  2. jim h

    ive always adopted the idea that if the part has a noticeable “shelf” on it similar to the 1911, beretta, hi-power, etc., than it is obviously intended to be manipulated by the hands. since glocks (and seemingly every other wonder-Tupperware extant) seems to have a small, sheet metal type of slide stop, and it is either totally unobtrusive or in many cases shielded left and right by raised bits of polymer, than it isn’t considered as a primary manipulation, as far as im concerned. im also firmly of the belief that this sort of thing is exactly why people want to try to look super cool by racking (or slamming, usually) the rear sight off of a table every chance they get. but hey, whatever they want to do in order to be an operational operator operating operationally.

    my own agency issue is a glock 21 gen 4. each new deputy being hired is trained in the slide grasp technique and that’s a good thing. when I train newer recruits, I train them to the grasping standard as well. I honestly feel that that method just assures you that you’ve fully seated a round; there’s something about the way that the lever “feels” that makes you question whether you just introduced a small sliver of stamping into your battery. I never got that impression from my Army issued weapons, nor from 1911s or BHPs.

    since a lot of the DoD boys just switched over to the 19, I do wonder how long until glock starts cleaning up their manufacture and making stronger, purpose built slide stop *RELEASES* instead of the now standard parts. I can’t see many in these units accepting parts failures as easily.

  3. obdo

    lol, this is why some hk pistols auto-release the slide when a full mag is inserted with aplomb.

    1. BillC

      A lot of pistols do that. Even Glock and Smith & Wesson M&Ps. But it’s a bad habit to get into, as in expecting to expect it. If it happens, great. However M&P’s are notorious for it happening, but the slide closes too early before it happens to strip a fresh round into the chamber.

      1. obdo

        @BillC:
        you are right, certainly a bad and annoying habit with the tacticool brigade on the range.
        one of this ‘not a bug, but a feature’ things; says a p7m13 guy ;)

      2. Dienekes

        I picked up a Gen 4 G19 for EDC, and it too will autoload from time to time. Then I have to check to see if it in fact chambered a round. So far so good, but I’d rather it was my idea to drop the slide. I shot a 1911 a long time, and find myself easing into a nice BHP for carry. Frankly I find it more reliable, easier to shoot well, and a helluva lot better looking anyway.

        I can always use the Glock for trade stock.

  4. A dead Fidel is a good Fidel

    Given the fact that 1, there could be a production change; and 2, the thingy can’t bend inwards all that much, it seems much more likely to be a heat treat / material selection / dimension tolerance problem than the shooter bending the thingy inwards to the point of fatigue.

  5. Frogdaddy

    I always thought the release (stop) was a little thin/flimsy. My Springfield XD (sometime referred to as a Glock clone) does not have the fold over and it looks like the face is pressed into the arm, not a single piece as the Glock. It does look beefier that’s for sure. It’s all how you’re taught/learned, I have to say I’ve been lazy and used it as a release. Not for cool reasons but because I thought that’s what it’s for. I no longer do it based on knowing the propensity for it to drag/scrape slide and/or the release on disengagement (or putting into battery?).

  6. Boat Guy

    At our most recent pistol course at Thunder Ranch Clint Smith’s recommendation was to grasp the slide instead of using the slide stop because (paraphrasing) “The slides stops are in different positions, why not pratice a technique that works on EVERY autopistol?” This made emininent sense to me then – and still does. Having been raised on the 1911 and then moving to the 226 then (sigh) the M9 and now the XD (personally) and the Glock 19 (soon) I’ve used the “grasp method” with all of the aforementioned pistols save the M9 (I never bought a personal one) and found it to work for me; the biggest advantage I’ve seen is that there is NO change to the grip of my shooting hand.
    My horseback guns are wheel guns; I rather doubt I’m ever gonna try a reload on horseback in any case.

  7. BillC

    That all being said, it is faster to reload the pistol using the slide catch/release. Decide what works for you and your pistol.

    1. Steve M.

      It is amazing how much controversy this topic musters on all the forums. As a Glock owner, I found that the slide stop is rather inexpensive to purchase so I keep a few extra on hand.

      As jim h pointed out, it will be interesting to see what changes/rumors come out as the Glock sees more publicized use in the military. Plus everybody online has a dear friend, cousin’s uncle’s brother, etc, who is Delta/CIA/Gunfighter Supreme and there will be some foolishness arising from that.

      As Boat Guy points out, pulling back on the slide is about as universal as it gets. Then again, like BillC, I have found that using the slide release/stop is faster. I am still in the phase of trying to figure out which works best for me.

      1. Hognose Post author

        I really do have friends like that and most of them are using Glocks daily and making their best efforts to convert me. I will say it’s a lot cheaper than getting hooked on HK like the USMC seems to be doing. (Can’t argue with it, if it works for them. They stayed deadly with Springfields well into ’42).

        1. Steve M.

          The comment concerning the “Secret Squirrel” friends was not meant towards any one on this blog, especially you. I have been blessed with some very, very, light exposure to the community of which you are part and have found that the Glock is very well received and used heavily as well. Even by guys, who were issued a special run of Kimber 1911s when their unit was created, they all preferred the Glock.

  8. DSM

    How would this hold up with the Glock factory “extended” slide stops? It’s still a stamped metal part just with the added bump to make it more viable as a slide release.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I honestly don’t know. I can’t think of anybody who is running one, just the OEM standard or the Vickers extended versions. The Vickers one is smaller than the Glock extended. The three things I think of as “standard Glock mods” are Vickers slide stop and mag release, and Trijicon sights. However, the friend who introduced me to the Vickers parts had the embarrassment of a dropped mag at a pistol course lately and has reverted to OEM parts.

      1. Arsenal762

        Are the Trijicon’s that much better than the Glock OEM night sights? Mine came from the factory with tritium and they’re still alive 7 years later.

        1. Hognose Post author

          Length of illumination is a function of the decay of the unstable isotope, and the amount of it in the tube (the exact thing that makes it glow, when the beta particles released by the tritium strike the phosphors in the tube). The half-life of tritium is 12.32 years, but the life of sights depends on (1) does the phosphor tube stay intact (it’s usually well-designed to do so) and (2) how much tritium they put in the sight. I’m not aware on an A/B test on Glock option vs. Trijicon sights, but bet there’s one out there somewhere. As a rule of thumb, the brighter the sight when it’s new, the more tritium is in it. It’s not a health hazard by any rational standard. Because tritium in high quantities has nuclear weapons applications, though, it’s highly regulated in the Anglosphere and Europe.

          1. Arsenal762

            Oh yeah, I knew all that. I just was curious if it was a huge difference having never tried the Trijicons or known anyone who ran them. A quick googling seems to reveal that performance is equivalent but folks seem to like the 12-year guarantee from Trijicon vs. the 7-year from Glock. They’re about $20 different in price.

      2. DSM

        I’ve a couple with the factory extended slide stops. I haven’t seen anything to give cause for pause on them from routine PMCS but I might take a look at them closer next time I crack open the safe. I’ll compare them to the stock, factory unit that was brand new. Maybe there’ll be a funky flex or bend showing.
        I do rack the slide when loading/reloading but I installed them to give me a one-handed option should I ever need it. I don’t know that the Vicker’s part was even available when I installed them, or, if it was I just got a better deal on the factory units.

      3. parvusimperator

        If you/your buddies want something longer than the factory magazine catch, but shorter than the Vickers extended mag catch, there’s an “FBI” extended mag release made by Glock that’s somewhere in between the alternatives.

        For Gen4 glocks, the part is G8794. A cheap thing to try if the Vickers is too long and the factory mag catch is too short.

  9. Tim '80s Mech Guy

    Used in a manner inconsistent with manufacturers
    Recommendations. It would be cool to hear what the first class of Austrian GIs issued 17s were told about that lever, some info on what all the newly transitioned SOCOM people are being instructed would be nice too. You’d like to think they are getting the transition course. Folks who received their introduction to handguns or the transition course from a Glock certified instructor were told not to use it as a slide release and that it was not intended to be one. Guys transitioning from other autos would probably have ingrained habits to overcome.
    The extended version of the slide stop introduced some time around ’04 has probably led to increased breakage but I was told Popular Demand was the reason for it being offered. The design of the extended lever appears to lend itself to being misused.
    The sheer number of guns in service means we are going to hear about failures-which is a good thing And then there’s the people who are not Glock fans some of whom like to stir the pot, whine and dare I say denigrate-is that raaaacist?

    1. Hognose Post author

      ARSOF teaches pull the slide on Glock.

      I tended to do that on Beretta because fat grip / short thumb / can’t reach syndrome, which is what drove me from Beretta to CZ in 1986. Of course I could work the slide release on the M9 fine with my left hand, which is what I usually did when shooting one. A BHP, CZ or 1911 slide release falls right to hand. So does the Glock slide stop, but if nobody teaches you not to use it then you are very likely to use it that way, especially if, as you note, you have experience on other auto/s.

      1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

        I’m bad for riding the slide stop with my thumb, it’s driven me away from the “Legacy” Sigs where it was almost 100% sure to prevent the slide locking on an empty mag. On the early 320s it’s not as bad, haven’t shot the latest gen slide stop .On the 92/M9 it was maybe 30% of the time. On the G-19 I still ride it but can not remember ever having a failure and I have way, way more time/reps on a 19.

        1. Boat Guy

          Had the same problem going from the 1911 to the 226. When I carry/shoot the 226 I remind myself by working with the gun for a bit; but there’s always that nagging thought that I might still hear that “click”. That’s OK though; that’s what reloads are for.

  10. McThag

    I’m going to agree with the observation, “It seems to me that it would get more abuse from going into slide lock than slipping out of the notch to send the slide foreword again.”

    That entire arm gets put into compression by the slide hitting it when the follower pushes it up into the way. Looking at the angle of the break on that part, it started cracking because it was stopping the slide. The twisting moment from pushing down on the button just finished it off.

    As was mentioned above, the sudden increase in fails is probably from a change in how they’re made. The forming reliefs being shaped differently would be the first place I’d look.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Your comment has been paroled. Sorry, but this was a day to sleep in for men an’ Small Dog MkII. I woke up about 9, but he was sleeping on my arm!

  11. Winston Smith

    Cant add a lot to what others have already said, but it is clearly an instance of people using a tool outside of design parameters and expressly against how the manufacturer says to use it. I haven’t been to schools in a while, but they used to teach getting the pistol back into the fight by pulling back on the slide and not using the side stop lever.
    BUT, that said, every manyfacturer KNOWS that many people are going to use the stop as a release and should design for that. (agreed with those that said there prob been some recent change metallurgy/process recently that is causing this Now)

    Lesson here is to examine yours regularly for any sign of abnormal wear.

  12. Jim

    It seems fairly obvious to me, looking at those part photos…and the pile of Glocks around here…that the stamped “relief notches” on the top edge of the slide stop part are too damn sharp to be a relief notch, and are effectively just the start of a crack. They should be radius’d at the bottom of the cut, and have more radius in the transition into the flat sides of the part.

    From my limited experience hammering metal armor, it is just common sense that when you have a sharp, unradius’d cut into a peice of sheet steel, it is going to fail at exactly the sharpest point of that cut. Period. So radius that shit, GLOCK.

    Admittedly, that would cost more in keeping the tooling fresh and culling parts that aren’t quite right, to avoid failures, and I don’t expect GLOCK to do any of those things.

    1. McThag

      From looking at my sample size of three, the reliefs are sized and shaped for the forming of the part and no regard was given to how the forming would reshape that once formed. A round corner relief becomes a pointed stress riser once the tab that’s pushed by the magazine is formed and that right at where the bend where it kicks out to the thumb-pad.

      Interestingly, the slide-stop for a large-frame Glock doesn’t have reliefs in it, but it’s got different angles and lengths.

      I also notice, looking at them fresh, that the serrations in the thumb-pad are angled to easily allow you to push the lock up to catch the slide and to cause your thumb to slip more trying to release it.

  13. Ken

    As mentioned above, it seems disingenuous to say it is not to be used as a slide release when they make an extended version to make that very thing easier.

    It is probably a thing not knowable but you have to manipulate the slide lock (or beat on the pin) to get the pin out. I wonder if the ones that have broken have been removed many times?

    Also, the pistol will continue to function just fine with that tab broken off.

    1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

      You do not need to beat the pin out, you just have ti move the slide stop about half of one RCH and the pin pushes out with very little effort. It is only tricky when you haven’t done it in a while and forget which way to move it. The glock armorers tool is a crappy little punch and it’s all you need.

  14. 6pounder

    I’ve never had a problem like that on a P series Sig pistol, in the last 35 years. Just saying.

  15. Docduracoat

    How did Glock convince the entire world that it was a good idea to have to pull the trigger to field strip a pistol?
    That is a negligent discharge just waiting to happen
    People are going to make errors thinking the chamber is empty and guns are going to go bang
    That is a completely predictable error
    There are plenty of striker fired pistols that do not require a trigger pull to disassemble

    1. Boat Guy

      And there are plenty of those (the XD I carry nearly every day being an example) that do. The way to avoid the problem is to 1) clear 2) get all of your ammo out of the vicinity. 3) check for clear 4) check for clear again 5) one more check for clear 6) disassemble pistol. Not all that much different for any cleaning regimen for me.

    2. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

      Doc, consider the original idea of the gun as a military sidearm for a peace loving central european army.The first gen mags did not “Drop Free” because the idea was Lt Gruber wouldn’t accidentally drop the mag on presenting the gun or wouldn’t just lose the mag in the course of daily duty. Having the mags drop free to facilitate rapid reloads was an American idea that came later as the guns caught on over here. Considering that I think it is reasonable to think that the euro mentality of the design team may not have even thought that the guns were going to be carried in condition one.

    3. bloke_from_ohio

      We are not talking about SERPAs here. The NDs in question are not people accidentally getting their fingers where they don’t belong due to jacked up draw strokes of something similar. You have to actively decide to pull the trigger during a Glock disassembly. As such you should do the same things you always do when deciding to put your finger on the trigger. Regardless of the gun the only time you digits enter the guard is when A) The gun is pointed at something you want to shoot, B) The gun is unloaded, cleared, and checked. Anything else is just careless.

      To me, it is normal to lock the slide back before you mess with the take down lever. That is how I was taught with the M9 and is how I always do it with every auto I have encountered. Since the action is already open I find it tough to think you would miss a loaded chamber if you were looking for it. Use them peepers!

      As for using your eyes, don’t you look at the gun when you are taking it apart? Not paying attention is not only a good way to potentially put holes in places they are not required, but it is also great way to send your spring guide under the nearest piece of heavy furniture. Isn’t part of the whole reason for striping the weapon an inspection anyway?

    4. DaveP.

      Meh. Treat ’em like they’re a dangerous tool (which you should be doing anyway) and you have no problem. The only time it becomes a real issue is where bad training and complacency come into play- and that’s true for every firearm.
      Remember, it’s not that long ago that MP offices had discharge drums outside the door… because of the number of ND’s with issue 1911’s.

  16. Guest

    I wonder if maybe some other type of equipment is chafing on that particular part, like a holster for example. Not something I would know, not really being that interested in firearms.

  17. DennisM

    When I was first trained on Glocks 20 years ago, we were told that Glock recommended grasping the slide to release it from slide lock. If, true that may be why Gaston made the part so delicate looking. I personally release by grasping the slide because its a gross motor skill rather than a fine one.
    Despite this, both Glock 22’s that I have been issued over the years have had the finish worn off the stop, presumably by holster wear.

  18. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

    But… but… but… I thought GLOCK produced “Perfection.” You’re telling me they don’t now?

    Dude. You’re so harshing my mellow.

    I’ll just stop right there for now.

  19. 10x25mm

    This slide stop fractured from its inside to the outside, not from its top downwards. Crack extended all the way from the top to the bottom, on the slide stop’s inside, at the point in time when final fast fracture separated the thumbpiece from the rest of the slide stop. This is consistent with the force vectors on the part when it stops slide forward motion according to my little FEM program. Slide release induced stresses played no role in this fracture.

    The only feature of the Glock slide stop which is stamped (i.e. with controlled material flow) is the traction tread on its thumbpiece. The rest of the Glock slide stop is a series of free bends. Think Orgami in steel sheet. The notches fore and aft of the magazine follower contact tab guide and control the bending of that tab. Without those notches it would be difficult to free bend that small tab squarely and meet location tolerances where it contacts the follower. The metallurgical structure of the steel sheet and its springback would tend to divert the fold line. The notches focus the bending force at the fold line by making it weaker than the adjacent steel on either side of the fold line. An old sheet metal basher’s trick.

    It appears that Glock are using a backing tool with an insufficient radius when they make the vertical bend between the magazine follower contact tab and the thumbpiece. Someone did not dimensionally check a replacement tool’s radius. This is probably creating a sharp vertical impression on the inside surface which initiates the full height crack. Stopping the slide’s forward momentum creates tensile stresses on the inside surface of the slide stop which are greatest at its bottom.

    Glock has been experiencing some problems with their Tenifer ferritic nitrocarburizing finish lately, and these slide stops do receive the QPQ version of Tenifer. QPQ Tenifer imparts tremendous corrosion resistance and useful surface hardness, but it also makes the surface brittle and susceptible to crack initiation. The normal QPQ Tenifer brittle layer is extremely thin (< 10 microns) and it is a real challenge to screw this up unless process temperature controllers fail.

  20. Swamp Fox

    Another marksmanship gun handling question for the instructors

    You hear this quite a lot that grabbing the slide over the top sling shot method is good because it is a Gross Motor Skill and using the Slide Release is bad because it is a Fine Motor Skill

    I ask is Hitting the Magazine Release a fine motor skill? Remember you just did it to drop the magazine, then why can’t you use a Slide Release that forbidden fine motor skill?

    And why would you sling shot the slide over the top with the support hand? Now you have the gun and your support hand moving in two different directions, the weapon needs to go out to full presentation and your support hand has to catch up. Wasted effort. The slide should be released on the way out to full presentation, not released than pushed out.

    If you have to grab the slide there are better ways than the over the top sling shot method.

    1. DennisM

      Hitting the mag release is absolutely a fine motor skill, but muscle memory will of course trump that. People who train a lot, shoot competition, etc. are not going to have any trouble hitting the mag or slide release under stress because they have practiced it and have done it under at least some stress, ie the timer. The average gun owner, or qualify-twice-a-year cop that hasn’t put in the time is probably going to have trouble. Use whatever technique is appropriate to your skills and level of training.

    2. Tam

      You hear this quite a lot that grabbing the slide over the top sling shot method is good because it is a Gross Motor Skill and using the Slide Release is bad because it is a Fine Motor Skill

      You know what gives me the endless LOLz? When the same instructor that tells me to overhand the slide because hitting the slide release is a “fine motor skill”* then tells me it’s important to only let my trigger reset until I feel the little tactile “click”.

      Self-reflection must not be tacticool.

      *Nobody tell these chuckleheads that anything that happens within one limb is a “fine motor skill”. Running the slide with the “TACTICAL POWERSTROKE”? Fine motor skill. Hitting the release with your thumb? Also fine motor skill.

  21. Lame-R

    When my hands are cold, wet, or gloved, it’s nothing but frustration trying to jam that little Glock lever down. No thank you.

    Have seen a few Glocks where the slide stop levers were strangely closer to the frame than is typical when engaged. Had a chance to compare one side by side and confirm my eyes werent deceiving me. Near impossible to disengage those particular ones under the best of circumstances.

  22. Tam

    Haven’t read the previous comments (yet), but wanted to drop this in:

    Why does Glock call it a “stop” and not a “release”? You’re looking at the reason. The cheap stamped part is not designed or manufactured to take the load of being used to release the slide. Official and canonical Glock practice is that you close the slide on a fresh mag by pulling it to the rear and letting it go — like a Luger or P.38, not guns that have Browning’s handy slide release.

    I’ve put a BB or three through Glocks since I bought my first (of seventeen so far) back in ’94. I haven’t noticed that these parts break much. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen one (not on a customer gun, not in a rental counter) break in the fashion pictured, although I’ve heard of some recent Gen4 guns exhibiting the issue.

    The steel Glock makes their slides out of isn’t the best, and it’s easy to machine before it gets nitrocarburized. Hardened sheet metal slide stops would eat through the Tenifered outer layer and round off the notch on some early 17s, and so the whole “It’s not designed as a release because fine motor coordination and this is combat gun!” yargle-bargle got added to the official Glock doctrine in the late Eighties.

    This is the sort of Just So story that Glock mythology incorporates. Have you hard the one about the reason for non-drop-free magazines being because “the Austrian army fights in the snow and soldiers are only issued one mag and they don’t want them to lose them in the snow”? It sure sounds sexier than “Non fully-metal-lined magazines were cheaper to make than fully-metal-lined ones.”

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’ll have a follow up this week, based on what OTR has been told by several trainers. Guess what they teach?

      (They will be people you know, and, I reckon, respect. OTR and assclowns don’t, shall we say, vibrate in harmony).

      1. Tam

        I used to be an ardent over-the-top slide racker on reloads (albeit for all the wrong reasons) until my first class with TLG back in 2010.

        A lot of people I respect (Chuck Haggard and Tom Givens, off the top of my head) do it and teach it for better reasons: It’s a robust skill that works across a number of platforms, it’s a motion that is involved in clearing other stoppages besides a failure-to-still-have-bullets, theoretically that extra bit of spring compression can help ensure fully returning to battery on a dry or dirty pistol.

        When I took Tom Givens’ class back in August, I tried to do it his way in his dojo, but I’ve converted too completely to using the slide stop; any time the wheels even threatened to come off during drills on TD1, I reverted back to running the slide stop with whichever thumb got there first, and so I gave up and rolled with it on TD2.

        Frankly, there are strengths and weaknesses for both (I don’t think, for example, that the over-the-top is less fumble prone; I’ve seen more people inadvertently foul the slide into a failure-to-feed than I have seen miss the slide stop with a thumb) but I don’t think it’s really worth how worked up some people get about it on the intertubes. Most people should just pick one and drive on. :)

  23. Pingback: Glock Slide Stop Failures: Another View | WeaponsMan

  24. Gun Fu

    I have no proof of how John Moses Browning intended us to interact with the part in question but I do know that all of the old 1911 and Browning Hi-Power (P35) manuals I have ever seen refer to it as a “slide stop.”

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