Brownells Smyth Busters: Is it OK to use the Slide Release?


Brownells Smyth Busters: Is it OK to use the Slide Release?

(Image: Screenshot from video)

Here’s one I’ve never heard of, possibly because I generally live a life of logic. But apparently, some folks believe it’s somehow bad to use a pistol’s slide release to (wait for it) release the slide.

If you’ve heard of this, maybe you want to check out this short “Smyth Busters” video from Brownells, which they made due to a viewer request.

Call it a slide stop, slide release, slide catch, or whatever. It’s the handy-dandy little thing which holds the slide open on a semi-auto pistol. Some folks claim that using that mechanism to release the slide will cause undue wear on the firearm.

We learn the Brownells stance within seconds, and it can be summed up in one word: Ridiculous.

But Caleb’s anecdote may actually be about something else. He speaks of using the slide release on a customer’s pistol in his shop, to the protest of the customer. It is entirely possible his customer was objecting to him slamming the slide on an empty chamber, which is a reasonable objection. I was taught to never slam a semi-auto action shut on an empty chamber, and to always slam it when chambering a round.

You need that kinetic energy when you’re chambering a cartridge, but slamming the action empty is a bad idea in my opinion. But that’s another topic.

Steve sums it up pretty well:

“You say ‘slingshot,’ I say ‘slide stop;’ it’s all good. They both work; do what you trained to do and you’ll be fine.”


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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