Glock Slide Stop Failures: Another View

even_glocks_breakWe were contacted by a longtime readers who is a professional firearms user after our post on the Glock slide stop failure (the original post is here).

(Larry A.) Vickers, Kyle Defoor, and Mike Pannone taught me to use the slide stop to release the slide. It is faster and LESS likely to induce a stoppage, despite what one of your commenters said.

You can hesitate and delay your slingshot of the slide. You take it off target by doing it!!

Boat guy said he does it on everything but his M9. So he trained heavily in one manual of arms when his duty weapon required another!

Slide mounted safety = Slingshot bad!!

The reason being, you can put the safety on with the over-the-top slingshot method. Pistols with slide mounted safeties include most first generation SA/DA autos, including P.38 and derivative Walthers, Smith & Wesson M39s and derivatives, Berettas and their clones, and others.

At this point he wound his body up with his left hand on his head and extended his right hand through the crook of his left elbow, asking, “How do you shake hands?”


I don’t know who taught you to shake hands but their is another way.

How do you shake hands? Well, just because I can do it with a big retarded gesture does not mean it is the best way.

Slingshot bad/retarded! Slide stop good.

How fast can you hit a slide stop and engage? How fast can you slingshot the slide, hope you got it right, get back on target, and engage?

At this point, we couldn’t resist a shot, and said, “Well, I don’t need to slingshot the slide, because my P-01 has a slide release machined from steel that fits right under my thumb.” He disregarded the gibe, and stuck to Glocks.

I forget which instructor it was, but one was teaching the SEALs. He was pushing slingshot to deal with the poorly placed slide stop [on the SIG 226].

He was pushing it to the Army later and another instructor pointed out that leads to bad things with a Beretta! Had to remind him that he came up with that as a way to deal with a Sig deficiency.

But using the slide stop wears through the Glock OEM part hence the Vickers upgrade.

Interestingly enough, this guy does not run any non-Glock parts on his work Glock.

cutaway_ghost_3_17_copy_revisdedI have been using a Glock OEM extended because my job wants OEM parts.

I put Vickers on my [personal] pistols and on [a particular SF unit’s] Glock 19’s.

As for the Vickers mag release that was a fix for the too short button a Glock Gen 3. It is not needed on most of the Gen 4 pistols.

[The unit in question] even bought new trigger systems for the Glocks.

For the record, the triggers they bought were Ghost Inc’s (image right).

One cold, hard fact that lurks in the background of this whole pistol parts debate: everyone is ever seeking to get more hits, reliability, heck, electrolytes with a simple gadget. The simple gadget is ammo and range time. Anything else, and you’re one of the 99% whose pistol shoots better than you do. (We resemble that remark).

41 thoughts on “Glock Slide Stop Failures: Another View

  1. jim h

    but I still come away with this question: why, if the slide release is the chosen way, don’t they make it beefier or at least less fragile looking? and why are so many folks being trained, ostensibly by glock, taught the slingshot method as well? wuddup wit dat?

    1. Tim

      To the first question: Most likely because these don’t actually break that often. If I remember correctly, Kyle Defoor at one point put 200,000 rounds through a Glock without replacing the slide stop.

      As for what Glock teaches, it may very well be a liability issue. If you get killed trying to reload with the slingshot method they can just say it’s your fault for being slow, but if you get killed because the slide stop broke and you tried to use it they might have some trouble.

      1. jim h

        good point – but if you’re confident in your manufactured part, then it shouldn’t be an issue. equipment breaks, sure. but if it’s breaking to the point that you need to introduce new training, counter to conventional pistol doctrine to avoid the potential lawsuit, then maybe the part should be looked at again.

  2. Keith

    There is no inbeded link to the earlier post. I learned to use the slide stop on my 92FS, HP and 1911. The manuals that came with them all said to do that. The exception was the Luger. It’s manual said to pull back and release the slide.

  3. 10x25mm

    This seems mostly to be an issue for right handers. We left handers are better served to sling shot the slide, rather than straddle it. Thumb under the slide mounted safety assures that the safety is off, except on Makarovs. Or shoot a CZ-85.

  4. robroysimmons

    Back just after the last taradactyl fell out of the sky the MC I do believe taught slide stop for the .45.

    1. Mike_C

      I misread that as “tardactyl” and got a mental image of something like the below, flapping about ineptly. Good thing I have an appointment with the optometrist next week.
      […] Right. As you were, gentlemen.

  5. Jim Scrummy

    I use both methods when training with pistols. I’ve modified my Glocks with the OEM extended and the Vickers extended. But the key sentence to this issue is: “The simple gadget is ammo and range time. Anything else, and you’re one of the 99% whose pistol shoots better than you do. (We resemble that remark).” I would only add dry weapons training. I look at precious range time as fine-tuning my preparations, making sure I take notes as to what worked and what didn’t work.

  6. 68Whiskey

    I recently purchased a Beretta M9A3 in the “G” configuration (decocker only). I’m interested to see if this will remedy the slingshot issues that can be encountered with the M9 and 92F types.

  7. Raoul Duke

    This breakage problem appears to be happening to super-super-super-high-round-count guns only.

    If you are shuffling 20K a year through your Glock in a YEAR, replacing the slide stop is not a big deal. The replacement cost is something like five dollars, if I remember my last armorer price list. You will have to replace other parts like recoil springs and the like, with that type of usage.

    I’m willing to bet the AVERAGE professional user will not go through 20 thousand rounds in five years (or even a decade).

    As for the manual-of-arms issues, the “slingshot” and the “overhand slide release” seem to have stemmed originally from the circa-1992 Glock “Instructor Workshop” and “Glock Transition Course” courses that have been VERY prevalent, especially in the law-enforcement business. These slide manipulation methods may or may not have been adopted to counter the difficulty small-handed shooters have with the stock Glock slide release.

    1. LSWCHP

      I’m not a pro, but I’m an Expert rated competitive PPC (well, WA1500 actually) shooter. I’m shooting about 5000 rounds per annum right now in practice and matches. A lot of my range buddies shoot a helluva lot more than me, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see guns with round counts of 20K or more on the range. And this is in mostly gun-free Australia.

      Of course, we mainly shoot 1911s in the semiauto matches so we’re not too worried about slide stops suffering metal fatigue, unlike those Glocks which everybody knows are inherently unreliable. (I kid, I kid!!)

  8. DSM

    This addressed my question on the Glock factory extended slide stop though I might take a look at the Vicker’s model when I have a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket.

    “Anything else, and you’re one of the 99% whose pistol shoots better than you do. (We resemble that remark).” Confidently raises hand as a member of this elite club.

        1. Raoul Duke

          I broke a 1911 slide stop/release, once.

          Of course, I broke an AK rifle once, too… :)

          1. Hognose Post author

            I’ve broken lots of stuff, including stuff everybody breaks (TT-33 firing pins), and stuff that’s supposed to be GI-proof like AKs and Suomis. On the other hand, I’ve received AKs new in the crate that were DOA, too. (Romanian).

  9. Boat Guy

    Since i’ve been “mentioned in dispatches” I feel obligated to clarify; the M9 is NO longer my “duty weapon” ( THANK GOD!) and has not been for some years (going on 8 now). When it was I used the slide stop. In the interim I had the pleasure and privilege of attending one of Clint Smith’s pistol classes with my Bride. The very first thing Clint does in class is discuss “LOGIC”; his rationale for using the soegennant “slingshot” (in which I sense some derision, intentional or not) is still very logical to me “Why not use a technique that works in every self-loading pistol you will encounter?” Since adopting the technique the biggest advantage I’ve found is not having to alter my firing grip; something I’ve had to do when using the slide stop in the 1911, the 226, the M9 und so weiter.
    I can understand the reluctance to use the soegennant “slingshot” method with the M9; again, I didn’t do it then and wouldn’t do it now. I’m just about to buy my first Glock; a -19; so I guess we’ll wait to see which technique works better for me.

    1. Boat Guy

      I’d also be interested in whichever instructor “… was teaching the SEALs. ” – being a member (Emiritus, and Lesser-Mortal) of the NSW community I may or may not have enountered this instructor. Regardless the commenter then goes on to talk about said instructor “… pushing it to the Army later… ” . The WHOLE Army or SF? I can think of one instructor who was used by both NSW and SF but am unclear if he is the one referenced. Again the criticism of using the technique on the M9 is logical; on the 226, not so much IMO.
      My bigger problem with the 226 (my second issue sidearm in NSW) was riding the damn slidestop. Took some observation and clarification from one of my Team Guy brothers to eliminate that. I don’t carry the 226 very often anymore and always have a range session prior to doing so in order to make damn sure i’m not riding the stop.

  10. John M.

    IMHO one of the main reasons to use the slingshot method rather than the slide stop is that twiddling the slide stop is a fine motor skill. Perhaps for the cold-as-ice operator type, getting shot at is just another day at the office. But for me, if I’m under sufficient attack that I need to reload my pistol, I’m expecting my fine motor skills to be garbage.

    I also like the “don’t have to remember every pistol’s manual of arms” argument, which was new to me as of the last thread on this topic. Slingshot works the same way on all pistols, even those without external slide stops.

    The “doesn’t work well on pistols with slide-mounted safeties” is an interesting one. If I were issued a Beretta or 3rd Gen S&W, or regularly entered sketchy situations with those who were, I’d give that one a good think. Since I despise slide-mounted safeties and wouldn’t carry a pistol with one, I’m not going to worry about it much.

    -John M.

    1. Raoul Duke

      The “fine vs. gross” motor skills notion for running the slide breaks down when you consider that pressing both the trigger and magazine releases are fine motor skills.

      1. John M.

        Sure. But should one maximize fine motor skills required to operate a firearm, or minimize them?

        -John M.

  11. KB Dave

    Paul Howe teaches the “slingshot” method, his reason being that A. It works on every gun and B. The slide stop lever is sometimes missed under stress or when wearing gloves. His reasoning makes sense. However I’ve found that using the slide stop lever is faster for me personally, so that’s still what I use.

    1. Ullr

      Interesting datapoint to note that “slingshot” does *not* work on every gun.

      The Ruger Mark III .22 pistols, which a lot of people use for sub-caliber practice sessions, has the endearing combination of these two features:

      1) Slide stop is known to fail reliably when repeatedly used as a slide release.

      2) “Slingshot” is programmed out of the pistol by design.

      Manufacturer’s defined method of proper operation from slide lock is to manually extract empty mag (it wont drop free), insert a new mag, pull bolt to the rear, depress slide stop, release bolt while keeping slide stop depressed.

      Most popular user modification to these pistols is “slingshot mod”, of which there are a couple of variations, both of which spring load the slide stop so that it reliably drops out of the way when using the “slingshot” technique to drop the bolt.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Does the new Mark IV version fix this? Have only seen the headlines in the usual press-release-rehash-and-fire-one-box-ammo mags.

        1. Ullr

          The ‘no slingshot’ problem is only found on the Mk III 22/45 (the ‘kind of looks and acts like a 1911’ model) and there is no 22/45 version of the new MK IV as yet, so we won’t know for awhile.

  12. Kirk

    I look forward to the day when someone does a “standardization of interfaces” for weapons. We are getting there, but there’s always some damn genius who thinks he knows better than everyone else, and who “innovates”.

    Main reason I went to Glocks was that I am able to have a battery of handguns with identical “everything”, in terms of manual-of-arms, going from deep concealment with the 26 on up to hunting with a 20 or 29. That really makes life a hell of a lot simpler, and enables me to not have to do that mental “Uh… What’s in my hand? Where are the controls for it…? Is there a safety?” that I discovered early on leads to a butt-load of slower time when competing.

    As to the slide stop thing? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of those, and I’ve fired a lot of Glocks, and worked on a bunch. The only time I’ve seen that part broken was when some damn genius decided to use it as an impromptu pry bar to get something else out, and I’m still not too sure what the hell he was trying to do with it.

    1. Hognose Post author

      According to Defoor, and I’ve heard the same from others, the ones in G IVs are breaking. And not necessarily in very high round count guns.

  13. raven

    One assumes if you burn through a full magazine, that someone one is returning fire.
    If this fire happens to hit your weak arm , it is going to be hard to slingshot that slide.

    My gripe with glock is how easy it is to inadvertently disengage or drop a full mag, with the low force plastic on plastic release and no mag brake.

    Just out curiosity, what was wrong with the Romanian AK’s?

    1. Hognose Post author

      Glock can’t win. They raised the mag release on the Gen IV because everyone was putting the Vickers release in.

      On the Romanian AKSUs, it varied but about 1 in 10 was DOA on a function check. Most usual problem was either semi or auto sear not engaging the hammer in semi and auto mode respectively.

  14. Steve M.

    This is what I’ve gathered so far…
    1. Glock most likely has a problem/change somewhere in the manufacturing process of their slide stop/release due to the failures of said part noticed by Defoor and others in that line of work. Hognose and several commenters with an understanding of manufacturing processes noted this in the earlier posting.
    2. Every design/brand/model of pistol has differences and similarities. Nobody is really arguing about how to insert a mag, but the slide release generates debate and dissension. As many others have mentioned, the Beretta M9 is susceptible to accidental safety engagement while using the slingshot method. (The new M9A3 features a slightly upswept safety lever so as to help prevent accidental engagement.) So that design might be better suited for using the slide release. Meanwhile, Glocks might be best run using the slingshot method if you really don’t want to pay $5-19 for a new slide release because you broke your slide stop using it as a slide release.
    3. Some great instructors with a ton of experience teach the slingshot method because it is universal and works. As KB Dave noted, the slingshot method works great if you’re wearing gloves. That all makes a lot of sense and is quite logical.
    4. Some great instructors with a ton of experience teach the slide release method because it is faster and works. Frank Proctor teaches and uses the slide release method, but he also teaches that it should be done with the left hand so the right hand can maintain a solid firing grip. That all makes a lot of sense and is quite logical.
    5. Hognose says I need to hit the range and practice. I agree. Oh wait, I can honestly say this, “I am the 99%”.

    1. raven

      Steve–#4 above- There are people teaching to slingshot the slide with the strong hand? That is just nuts.
      Do they switch the knife and fork every time they cut a chop?

      1. David

        Frank Proctor teaches releasing the slide stop with the left thumb, so you don’t have to break your firing grip to operate it with your right thumb.

      2. Steve M.

        I apologize for the lack of clarity. Nobody that I know of is teaching a strong side slide release method. It is as David stated.

    2. Boat Guy

      One more thing on the whole “slingshot” terminology” – it’s inaccurate as to hand placement. When I draw the slide back to release it; I’m grasping the rear of the slide overhand,my thumb is pointing back towards my chest. Now, I don’t know how y’all shoot slingshots but I sure as hell don’t shoot a one that way.
      Before attending Clint’s class I did use my non-firing hand to work the slide stop and mag relase (this was mostly with the 1911 and I trained a bunch of people to do that). I still use my non-firing hand to release the mag, regardless of whatever I’m doing to reload the gun. I really like my firing grip to be uninterrupted.
      And for raven; if my support hand is out of the game I might just use the rear sight to draw the slide back to reload the gun; in fact that’s the way I was trained to reload if I was hit in my dominant hand. I had to do that in a Sim “fight” – I got hit on the proximal joint on my dominant hand; in order to reload one-handed with my “off” (in my case left) hand, once I had a fresh mag in the gun I used the rear sight to draw the slide back and chamber a round. Yeah I spose I coulda run the slide stop with my left index finger – except with the placement of the stop on the 226 I didn’t have the leverage (or strength?) to run that stop.
      As to “faster” using the slide stop? I dunno; I’d have to use a timer and see. Fast is nice. Sure is essential.
      “I need to hit the range and practice. I agree. ” AYE.
      Thankfully I don’t have to deal with the M9 anymore – or probably won’t have to; no telling what one might find lying around one day can one? I’ve still got my M9 rigs and several “proven” magazines.

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