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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As prescribed in my Walther manual, I've started to more frequently to rack the slide (to load a round into the chamber) with the de-cocking / safety lever in the down (on) position. I've found that when using an overhanded racking technique I can place my thumb on the de-cocking level (in the down position) to get a more positive grip on the slide.

My question for our forum experts is this - is there a mechanical reason why the slide would be easier to rack with the de-cocking lever in the down position? Or, is it likely my more positive grip (with thumb on the lever) that makes the slide easier to rack?
 

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I don't know about the mechanics of it, but I do know this: Racking the slide with the safety engaged causes the hammer to slam down on the safety drum, which over time may crack it. That's also the reason why when engaging the manual safety you should ride the hammer down gently with your thumb to keep it from impacting the safety drum.

My advice is to rack the slide with the safety off, then ride the hammer down with your thumb. Afterward, disengage and then reengage the safety to reset the trigger to the forward-most position.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
UE: Yes, I also have that concern, but also wonder why Walther (Ulm) recommended (Page 12, Bedienungsanleitung PP/PPK) loading the chamber with the "safety catch on" if doing so might damage the pistol.

Just read the manual again and it even advises keeping the safety catch on during disassembly and assembly of the pistol. I wonder what Walther planned as the number of times one could de-cock the hammer before cracking the drum.
 

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UE: Yes, I also have that concern, but also wonder why Walther (Ulm) recommended (Page 12, Bedienungsanleitung PP/PPK) loading the chamber with the "safety catch on" if doing so might damage the pistol.

Just read the manual again and it even advises keeping the safety catch on during disassembly and assembly of the pistol. I wonder what Walther planned as the number of times one could de-cock the hammer before cracking the drum.
They are likely more concerned about their exposure to liability than the longevity of the gun. They can replace the safety drum; an injury from an accidental discharge is another matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Can't find the manual that came with my Interarms PPK, but both of my Ulm manuals recommend loading with the safety catch on. Ironically, my S&W manual, which has "red font" safety warnings on nearly every page, does not contain a recommendation to load with the safety catch on.

I imagine the safety drum receives some shock, during normal firing, after the hammer hits the firing pin and when the slide drives the hammer back. I wonder, over time, how that stress compares to the stress of (much less) de-cocking.

PS: I don't know squat about firearms metallurgy and the limit to my knowledge of firearms mechanics is field stripping.
 

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DE', you raise a legitimate question about the safety drum taking a whack every time the gun is fired, tho' there is a slight cushioning from the firing pin/primer resistance, and the concave face should spread the point of impact.

Conventional wisdom here is to cushion the hammer's drop when using the decocker, and it is what most of us do.
Previous posts about the legal department relentlessly wanting the safety on are exactly right.
Frankly, many here cock the hammer, to reduce the considerable resistance the .380's slide offers, before racking the slide.

Of course you will always have to observe muzzle discipline. (My attorney said to say that...)
Moon
 

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If you are racking the slide by holding the gun in your firing hand, and pulling the slide rearwards, you’re doing it wrong.

Well, not ‘wrong’ exactly. But you are doing it the hard way.

You know why you can (perhaps) do 50 or more push-ups but maybe less than ten pull-ups? It’s because human arm muscles are infinitely stronger in the ‘push’ direction.

Cock the hammer.

Grasp the slide firmly and hold it stationary.

PUSH the frame away from your body—the slide will remain stationary and the frame will move forward.

Now, release the slide, chambering a round.

Try it. It’s an old Auto Mag trick (it’s actually in the manual) and works really well on any self-loading pistol.
 

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...



PUSH the frame away from your body–the slide will remain stationary and the frame will move forward.

Now, release the slide, chambering a round.

...
That's fine, but keep the gun well out in front of you and watch where the muzzle and your elbow are.

Chambering the first round is, statistically, the most dangerous part of gun handling.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
MGMike: Do you think loading with the safety catch on (down) increases risk of breaking the safety drum any more than extensive firing.
 

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I always keep my thumb on the hammer when dry firing or engaging the safety when there are rounds in the magazine. I want to soften the hammer striking either the safety drum or the firing pin. Why cause unneeded stresses on the meta parts? As a rule I always make sure the muzzle is pointing at a safe direction even without rounds anywhere near the gun.

When loading a live round, I make sure the gun is pointing in a safe direction, I consciously keep the trigger finger pointing straight out, away from the trigger. I keep the thumb on the hammer and engage the safety to soften the hammer strike. I make sure I am purposeful and aware of my actions.
 

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For dry fire practice, I put a foam earplug at the back of the slide on all my autos. It does a magnificent job of cushioning the hammer fall. I sometimes have to manually reset the trigger forward if doing double action practice.
 

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I've always loaded mine with the safety off, used the safety to decock then switch the safety off.

It never occurred to me that Walther recommended anything other than this.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yes - my two German (Ulm) manuals say to load/dis-assemble/assemble with the safety catch on. I've used this procedure, but was also concerned about the potential for pistol (safety drum) damage and found that several forum members share that concern. Some speculate that Walther recommended this procedure to reduce its liability. I considered that as well, but in an even more litigious time and country, my S&W Walther manual does not have a similar explicite recommendation to have the safety catch on when loading (etc) even though the S&W manual if full of "red font warnings."

I'm still inclined to think loading with the safety catch on is prudent procedure to reduce the chance or negligently firing an untended shot and this outweighs any potential for damaging my pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
That said, I have never liked or trusted the loaded chamber signal pin.

I wonder if there were any .32 or .380 PPK pistols made without the signal pin?
 

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That said, I have never liked or trusted the loaded chamber signal pin.

I wonder if there were any .32 or .380 PPK pistols made without the signal pin?
I'm pretty certain I read a paragraph to that effect in Dieters book. As in, yes.
 
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