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Slide release question

4899 Views 21 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Guest
Hello Folks,

After alot of research and deliberation over what's currently offered in todays handgun market, I picked up on an M9 a couple of weeks ago as my first pistol puchase in about fifteen years or so.
Initially I was looking at a Glock(s) since I've owned several models in the past. Never really cared for them all that much. Yeah, they do what they're supposed to, but they've always felt kind of "blocky" and unwieldy. And then the plastic sights fall off. Sig, HK, Walther, SA xd, and several others were under consideration. 1911 style pistols were also in the mix(since that's what I've always been most comfortable with).

Well anyway, I came across Steyr, liked the design, saw one at a local shop and decided to buy(even being aware of the known "sevice" issue and without firing one). My gut said I might like this pistol. Also, coming across this site helped influence my decision. Alot of good info here.

So far I've put 350 rounds through with no mechanical problems. This is a fun pistol to shoot. There has been one curious occurance that only happens occassionaly.

When the last round is fired from mag 1 the slide locks back(normal). Upon insertion of mag 2 the slide will ride home into battery without my using the slide release lever. At first I thought I might be "slamming" the mag in a bit too hard. So I ease up on mag insertion but it still occurs. I then think my thumb may be hitting or riding the slide release while I'm changing clips. Even with my thumb away from the release, it still occurs. But only every once and a while!

I don't see this as a major problem since I am well aware of when it happens and it aleviates a step in continuing to fire the weapon. But I could be wrong. I've never experienced this happening with any other semi-auto I've fired.

Has anyone else had this occur and/or can anyone shed some light as to why my M9 would be behaving this way?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to any replies.

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Not only is it not a problem, I count on it happening when I am at a match. Just be careful that the gun is pointed in a safe direction while loading or reloading.
My M40 does it also. Not every time but enough that I realize it is going to happen and I am not surprised or concerned.
its normal it will happen everytime you insert the mag with a little more than normal force. i think its in the design.
I have a M9, and have not experienced this problem. Has anyone had the weapon accidently discharge when the slide releases?

I know Ruger had run into a similar problem with the P345, but I think it has been corrected. Of course, they have a service department!
Thanks for the replies on this. I would think that if your finger is off the trigger when changing out mags (as it should be when not actually firing the weapon) there is no way you could deactivate the internal striker pin safety and cause an AD. Safe weapons handling is always first and foremost....

If it is built in as a design feature, I'll have to see if I can get it to occur on a regular basis on my next range trip. As I said, it's one less step in getting your weapon ready to resume firing.

Thanks again for your time and replies.

Just a thought, and an observation, but it looks like the slide lock has a finger extending to below the magazine mouth level in the handle, indicating to me that the slide returning to battery upon magazine re-insertion a design element and intentional. I haven't broken down my M9 to check and make sure, and if there's another use for this particular part of the slide lock I'd love to be edumacated...

You're right, though, Noblesavage, it's pretty disconcerting the first few times it happens, especially if you're not expecting it.
Actually if this is a design element, as an LEO it makes the weapon way faster to get back into a fight after slide lock.
That has never happened with my M40. I gave it a try right now and no dice.
weel my Makarov was doing this but never expirienced with Steyr. This evening I will deliberately test my M-9 to see what happens.
After a little experimentation it seems I can get the slide to ride into battery consistenly with moderatlely forceful mag insertion. However, it seems it will ONLY work with rounds loaded in the magazine.
If this is a function design of the weapon you might think it would be mentioned in the manual. Personally, I like it.

Be safe......................ns
I've never experienced the slide going into battery simply from the insertion of a magazine in my M-40 and I've slammed mags in there harder than I would have liked sometimes.

However, if it ever did happen it would not not be a problem as I always have my pistol pointed down range when changing out mags and would never have my finger on the trigger.

Sometimes I wish I could have a sit-down with Wilhelm Bubits the mastermind behind the design of the M-series. Sooooo many questions.

Safe Shooting
I've never experience this, but I will try next time I'm at the range.

Both my M9 and S9 will release the slide if I insert a magazine and slam it home. Generally, a magazine inserted with only a little force does not cause the slide to close. But if I give it a decent whack, the slide will come forward.

Frankly, I kinda like it. And yes, safe gun practices are always top priority. I have loaded my Steyrs literally hundreds of times this way (smack the mag in and allowing the slide to release on its own) without any issue.

And for the record, my Walther P22 and my wife's Firestorm .380 will both do the SAME thing if the magazine is slammed home with a decent amount of force.
nothing happaned to my M-9. slide srays in the position even if you slam magazine hard.
Hey gang,

The slide going into battery when inserting a mag is a function of the condition of the notch in the slide and the slide release lever. The slide release spring (31) is a very weak spring and can't do much to hold the lever in the upper open position.

The finger on the slide release lever that points toward the front-left corner of the magazine is the "empty" magazine detector. When the mag is empty, the floor of the magazine is high enough to push up on the lever's finger. When the last round fires and the slides travels backward, the lever is pushed up into the notch on the slide and the lever captures the slide in the open position. Having 1 round in the mag should be enough to keep the mag floor low enough that it doesn't push up on the finger and the slide cycles normally.

The extra mass of a full magazine should make the slide release more likely compared to an empty mag.

Hoping we don't get charged by the word...

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The slide stop spring acts to hold the stop in the down position unless it is being overcome either by the pressure from the follower in an empty magazine or the pressure from your thumb on the underside of the stop.

The larger grip angle of the Steyr may be a factor in this phenomenon; when you slam the loaded mag home there is a larger component of force acting to push the gripframe forwards. The inertia of the slide will tend to hold it in its present location as the gripframe is being pushed forwards, thereby allowing the slide stop to lose its grip on the slide.

BTW, with my M9, if you insert the loaded mag gently the open slide stays put. If you insert it with gusto the slide will spontaneously go into battery.
FWF nailed the explanation for the slide release phenomenonumnun. Inertia. Auto slide release when slamming the mag in hard happens on all my pistols, Steyr and non Steyr, as long as the slide release lever interface with the slide is reasonably smooth.
Empty mag vs. loaded mag

A little add-on for this thread:

The slide shouldn't spontaneously close when an empty mag is slammed home. If the insertion does generate enough force to cause the slide to bounce free of the slide stop the presence of the follower should still hold the slide stop in the up position, thereby restraining the slide from going forwards.
I finally got to the range with my new M40, and found out that the slide does slam closed when a new mag is inserted. This surprised me, because despite trying, I have never been able to get my M9 slide to close with a new mag.

Maybe this phenom is limited to the M40?
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