Slide release

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Keola, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. As the procedure goes: After the last round in the magazine the slide would lock back, drop the spent magazine and insert a full one, release slide and continue to engage targets.

    Why is it when I would insert a fresh magazine, my slide would release by itself and chamber a round?

    I've had this happen to me a few times but never thought it was a bad thing, esecially during speed drills.

    It happens with my SW 1911 and SA XD.
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Are you slamming the magazine into the well? Where are your hands? Does it do it if you gently push the magazine home? Is the slide release pushed completely home against the slide?

    It could either be a bad slide release or a bad magazine catch, however, we will know more when you answer the questions above.

    When you push the mag all the way in, does the mag come back out a little?

    Does it do it with an empty mag?

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    The way the slide lock back works is important to finding the solution to your problem. The magazine has a cut out on the side at the top so that a small part of the magazine follower is exposed. The follower has a flat spot on it that is visible and fully available when the magazine is empty and dissapears from view and availability when any ammo is placed in it. When the last round is loaded the follower raises so that when the slide opens this small flat touches the back of the slide release and forces it up. As the slide tries to return to battery after opening for the last round, the follower further raises the slide catch and the slide release catches the slide and locks it back.

    So the problem could be in the magazine: spring too weak, burr keeping follower from raising completely, magazine follower small flat place that engages the magazine release catch damaged, magazine dirty and follower slugish or dirt not allowing it to go to top when empty, magazine not seating high enough due to magazine lock in notch in wrong place (would probably make the mag feed poorly).

    The problem could be in the gun: slide catch deformed on back side not engaging magazine follower correctly, surface on slide that engages the slide release deformed so that any jar to the slide allows the slide to slip off the catch.

    With these places to look and observing the operation (unloaded gun) of the slide release lever and the slide you should be able to see were the problem is. The magazine is the most suspect as the followers are often plastic that takes a real beating from the metal slide release lever or rarely get cleaned so accumulate dirt and crud.

    You need to solve this problem as it is a safety issue since the gun is self loading when you think it is empty and locked back. Inattention and a unwanted touch to the trigger could set it off in the wrong direction.


  4. My hand placement is during the reloads is I guess what you would say the normal position. Finger off the trigger, and along side the slide, thumb on the magazine release and the other three fingers are on the grip.

    During speed drills is when it happens. I really don't notice how hard I'm inserting the magazine in, but I can tell you it's not gentle nor overly powerful. I practice as if my life depended on getting that magazine in there chambering a round and getting the shot off accurately.

    Just to see what would happen, I have "slamed" it in to see if the slide would release and say out of ten to fifteen times, nothing. When I did "slam" it in, doing it harder than when doing my drills, I found that 90% of the time after I release the slide (pulling back on the slide then releasing)the round would get stuck at the mid point when coming off the magazine. Then I would have to lock the slide back, and pry the round off of the magazine so I can drop the magazine and re-insert normally, release the slide and it works fine. This is only with my SW. The XD, "slam" it and nothing.

    However, I have not taken notice if the slide release was all the way home into the slide.

    Bad magazine? Don't know but I don't think so. I have 4 Wilson Combat 8 rounders and it will happen with all of them. Two of them came with the gun when I bought it and I bought two more about 8 months ago. The magazine stays well seated when inserted.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2005
  5. LDBennet

    I took my gun to a SW gunsmith a couple of months ago in my area to take care of some burrs that he spotted. He also did some some other work as a courtesy. When I went to pick it up, he said that he did and inspection of the whole gun and said that nothing was wrong. Since then, i've maybe put 250 rounds through it. But this was hapening before it went to the gunsmith.

    Now that I re-read the replies, and try and answer these questions, I'm thinking it could be the magazines. Two of them are about a 14 months old and the other two are about 8 months old. And all of them saw many a rounds. The cleaning of magazines are very infrequent. And using Wolf FMJ 230 grain doesn't help in keeping them too clean.

    How often should the springs and followers be changed out? I've kept all 4 magazines fully loaded since I got them. Call me crazy, but having an empty magazine when I might need it just doesn't agree with me.
  6. SAXD

    SAXD New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Ive had the same thing happen when using a Beretta 92fs.. Its usually during a combat reload and I usually slap the mag in. I am guessing that when I slap the mag in I am somehow releasing the slide lock, however its never really mattered because I was going to bring the slide home anyways :D
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    The follower should be replaced if it is damaged (inspect the flat on the follower that engages the slide release lever). Storing the magazine full is tough on the springs and it may be part of your problem. Try disassembling them, and cleaning them. Then stretch the spring a bit to return the preloading level of the spring to what it was when new. Then don't store ammo in them. You really only need one mag full for self defense. If you can't get the bad guy with a magazine full, you need lots of practice.

    The mechanism that I discussed in my earlier response is designed to hold the slide back. If that was its primary function and the slide never had to be released, the mechanisms' angles would be so designed as to be hard for the slide to release. But that is not the case. The slide needs to be released so the engagement angles allow the slide to be held back yet be easily released. Banging the gun around by heavy handed magazine insertion is not conducive to this mechanism staying engaged. The only thing holding it open is the spring tension from the magazine follower creating friction on the engagement surfaces. If that force is diminished due to storage of ammo in them for long periods, the slide release will have trouble staying engaged. Fix the magazines, remove the ammo from them except during shooting, and practice a little lighter touch in the gun handling.

  8. I checked into it earlier, and when I slam the magazine in, the round will stop at mid point when coming off the magazine. I switched off between pulling the slide bak and using the slide release. I also inserted a magazine with one round in it and chambered it. Then I pulled the slide back and the slide locked. I checked out the slide lock and there is some play in it. I would say a little more that an 1/8 of an inch is contact between the slide and the slide release. That might be a possibility to my situation.

    My magazines are dirty and i'll clean them this weekend and try then out again.

    Another thing I found out is whenI slam in the magazine, it won't fall freely from the magazine well. This was all during dry fire so I don't know if it'll make a difference between dry or live fire.

    After cleaning everyting this weekend, i'll try to get to the range on Mon or Tue and see what happens..

    Thanks for the assistance.
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