Difficulty chambering pistol

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by garywsp, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. garywsp

    garywsp Guest

    Oct 3, 2009
    After much research, I purchased a P3AT for my middle-aged wife. However, my research did not include the ergonomics of racking the slide of this little pistol. I own a Ruger P85, and she has no problems chambering that pistol, and gave the matter no more thought. Of course, after many attempts (and trying several different methods), she just can't do it. Now, I recognize a lot of this is leverage, and she regularly tries, but I'm about to give up and get her a revolver. Before I do, is there anything else I can try? I've made sure it is cleaned and lubed. Do after market springs exist that might ease the difficulty? TIA.
  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    A few helpful hints:

    1.  It is always harder to rack the slide on a brand new gun.  Shooting a couple hundred rounds (breakin) will wear the mating surfaces and make the gun easier to rack.  It will also wear the recoil springs enough to reduce the stiffness.

    2.  You can further enhance the breakin by doing a little fluff and buff (polishing) if you are a little mechanically inclined.  Infact, no amount of shooting will make the gun work as smoothly, IMO.  Reducing friction will help make it easier to operate.

    3.  Proper lubrication to include grease on the slide rails is also very helpful in reducing friction.

    4.  Fluff & Buff (Reliability Prep) and lubrication are covered in the link below, toward the bottom of the page under DIY Projects. Of course many people send their is to Don (Goldenloki) and he does an excellent professional job:

    5.  Finally, racking the slide is less about strength and more about technique.  She can learn.  This article will show her how and she can practice.  This site, Corner Cat has a lot of great advice for women shooters.  Meanwhile, take her out and get some rounds through the gun.  It will get easier for her to work the slide.  Practice makes perfect.

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Try having her push (punch) rather then pull (rack).

    Have her hold the slide in her left hand, four fingers on one side and thumb pointed forward on the other.

    Extend the left arm and rotate the pistols grip to the right so the left arm is straightened out.

    Now, stiff-arm the grip forward with the right hand using the shoulder muscles until it bottoms out, and then release the slide.

    And I agree it will get much easier to open after a break-in period.