Eric Lewis talks about semi-automatic pistols and their basic functions in this episode of At The Range.
Hammer Fire vs Hammerless – while they look different, functionally they are very similar.
On any semi-automatic pistol, you’ll have a mag release located just behind the trigger. Hitting this button will drop, or release, your magazine. In some cases, this button may be ambidextrous and it is usually preferred to use one’s thumb.
The slide lock is located on the back of the pistol. Generally, there is a button you would slide up and that’s how you lock it back. This button is handy for not only locking the slide open for administrative and safety functions; it’s also convenient for releasing the slide and letting it fly forward, chambering a fresh round in the process. That’s also how the firearm will finish out when you empty the magazine.
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In the event that the pistol does not have a safety, the safety mechanism is your trigger finger as well as the tab on the back where the pistol sits between your thumb & index finger. This ensures that the firearm will not fire unless you have a firm grip on it. Otherwise, an engaged safety lever or button will keep the pistol from firing until it is disengaged.
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