Meanwhile back in reality

Watch this video.

When you’re done laughing at this idiot for cutting his hand on the slide of the pistol, please join me for a moment of lucidity to discuss all the ridiculous aspects of this.

Stopping the slide of a semi-automatic pistol is almost in the category of the infamous “Beretta Takedown” maneuver made popular by Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4. Let’s take a look at the issues presented by the “slide grab” technique.

  1. This is a big one: I can still shoot you.  Assuming for the moment that you have effectively grabbed the slide of my Glock before I’ve fired a single round, grabbing the slide of my gun will not prevent me from smoking a round directly in to your center of mass.
  2. I can still shoot you.  Seriously.  This is a problem for you if you’re depending on the “slide grab” technique.
  3. In an even more realistic situation, in the time it takes for you to close the distance between a gun wielding enemy and grab his slide, he’s probably already shot you.  Several times.  Like the Beretta disassembly, this works a lot better in theory than it does in meatspace.

Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t do this.  If you’re fighting in a phone booth and can in fact grab the slide of the other guy’s gun, by all means give it a whack.  I would however recommend that this be a last option, which you only exercise when “shoot your attacker with your own gun” has failed you.


  1. Not seeing the movie, isn’t pushing it out of battery a good way to keep it from going “bang”?

    1. Less, perhaps but he doesn’t push the slide out of battery – he just grabs it and does nothing to prevent the shot.

  2. Less, perhaps but he doesn’t push the slide out of battery – he just grabs it and does nothing to prevent the shot.

    Yeah, I see that now… He just holds the slide… He’s not actually pushing it out of battery or anything.

    Less, not if it’s a Glock.

    I thought it only takes about ~inch to keep the trigger bar from pushing the firing pin stop in…

    Oh, well: Jet Li’s move was “teh cool” and made for a memorable movie…

  3. Less, there’s a rumor that Glocks are more prone to firing out of battery than other designs. I don’t have any opinion, just fanning the flames.

  4. More importantly, pushing the gun out of battery only works until the shooter relaxs enough that the gun goes back INTO battery, and then he fires a round off while you’re hold on.

    I GUARANTEE you will let go, and the shooter will then shoot you like that idiot with the “Shoot Him to the Ground” video. (That crap might actually work if the shooter starst off in the phone booth with the Bad Guy.) So, even if you manage to avoid major damage from the first dislodging shot, you can count on stopping half of whatever he has in the magazine. If it’s a Glock, XD, or other above average capacity weapon, that’s a LOT of bullets to swallow.

    If I’m so close that grabbing for the guy’s gun is a viable option, then all I’m trying to do is keep the pointy end pointed away from me, while I gnaw his jugular out, mentally force the genetic mutation of claws in my toes so I can gut him like a cat, all while I’m screaming and climbing up his head like a pissed off chimp on Angel Dust. ‘Cause apparntly, we passed “insanely desperate” about 10,000 feet ago, and we’re still climbing like an F15 Eagle.

  5. Could his point be that if you grab the slide and keep the gun pointed away from you, when the bad guy gets his first missed shot off, he will have to rack the slide to get another one off?

    Not that this sounds like a good idea to me, but that could be his train of thought.

    1. I’m certain that is exactly what he’s thinking; but just like the guys that advocate for the Jet Li gun grab he’s addressing the gun grab in a static environment.

  6. Seems like one of those “Marine with rifle versus midget with knife” situations — if you shove them both in a phonebooth the midget might have a chance. In this case, you’d have to shove them in a phonebooth and feed the gunholder a massive dose of Prozac — but hey, then it might work!

  7. This video was the result of a discussion on where several people were saying that if you tried to hold the slide closed when the gun fired, that it would break fingers, burn skin, etc.

    There was a discussion about whether that would be a good idea in a gunfight, but the video focused on whether holding the slide during firing would cause injury.

    I will say though, that if I didn’t have a gun, and couldn’t run away, I’d rather hold the slide and disable the gun after 1 shot than stand there and let him shoot me over and over again. Not the best option, but it does prevent the gun from cycling.

  8. “Could his point be that if you grab the slide and keep the gun pointed away from you, when the bad guy gets his first missed shot off, he will have to rack the slide to get another one off?”

    Yeah if the video shows anything it’s that getting your hand on the slide will most likely cause a failure to eject after the first shot. It doesn’t protect you from that first shot, but getting off a second will be a lot harder.

    1. The video is also conducted in a vacuum and not in an actual fight. Good luck actually grabbing someone’s gun before they shoot you.

  9. This video was the result of a discussion on…

    You could have stopped right there, really.

  10. If there is ever a gun ban he should be able to get work as a crash test dummy! He is also an annoying wise-ass… so I guess he’s also qualified for being Obama’s spokesman.

  11. The presenter has a very annoying voice and style but the video does not seem to advocate grabbing the slide as a great method of self defense, it seems to be showing that a slide can be grabbed with at most minor damage to the hand (in comparison a revolver grabbed around the front of the cylinder can badly damage a hand due to the hot gas venting out the barrel/cylinder gap when it is fired). What the video left out was the situation that would cause a person to want to grab the slide. I was assuming that the person wanting to do the grabbing had already screwed up and was in a situation where he was having to wrestle for control of a weapon or to keep a weapon from being pointed at him. Police officers as an example have had to fight for control of their own weapon or have had a suspect pull out a weapon right next to them. The presenter did comment that grabbing the slide was better than getting shot but he did not insist that grabbing the slide was THE BEST thing to do or give instruction on when and how to grab he just showed that it was possible.

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