Ignorant semi-automatic pistol question

Are there any semi-auto pistols that can fire without racking the slide first? That is, are there any semi-auto pistols that one can take out of the box, (slide back, empty or no mag) slide in a mag, and pull the trigger to fire?

I’d guess not, but you never know.

How would the first round move from the magazine to the chamber?

That’s kind of the gist of my question. Are there any semis that can chamber a round upon mag insertion?

Has it been done, probably not, can it be done, certainly. Would it be practical, I’m not sure.

Classic movie scene; hero fires his last shot and the slide locks in the “pulled back position”. When our hero releases the slide, a round is loaded from the magazine.
If the slide is in it’s “forward position”(in battery), when you insert a magazine, you do have to pull and release the slide to load a round.
I’m not aware of any semi-auto that fires a round without first extracting it from the magazine.

CMC fnord!

Classic movie scene; hero fires his last shot and the slide locks in the “pulled back position”. Then inserts a fresh magazine. When our hero releases the slide, a round is loaded from the magazine.

CMC fnord!

I’ve reloaded my Ruger by inserting a fresh clip, and dropping the slide release. As you mentioned.

If there are no semis that can shoot from the “slide forward” position, as I suspect, could there be a need or market for it? It seems simple enough that some inventive M.E., or gunsmith could figure it out.

It’s impractical for one simple reason, the whole point of an automatic or semi-automatic is using some of the energy in the firing of a round for loading the next round. When the slide locks in the back position you’re effectively storing that energy for the next magazine.
What you want would require an extra mechanism for loading a round. Simple, well, maybe, I’m no gun-smith, but what would be the point of adding more complexity and weight to the weapon for a type of loading that you require… when?

I’m aware of the way that these guns function. I’m also aware of the recoil, and starting kinetic energy involved. Who says there has to be more weight and complexity?

This isn’t a problem as such, it’s an avenue of thought. At one time, most things were impossible, now we know better.

Well for one thing you would be adding a whole new mechanism to perform an action that the current mechanism cannot do.

You’re also adding another point of failure, which in a device that some people use for self-defence would seem to be a bad thing, especially since the labour saving isn’t great (‘racking’ the slide is hardly a complex or strenuous move).

I think open-breach weapons are what the OP may be looking for.

Most (all?) semi-automatic weapons are closed-breach - to load, you cock the mechanism back and forth in the same motion, with the forward motion grabbing a round from the magazene and sealing it into the barrel. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer (which was loaded back during the backward motion of the mechanism) which hits a pin and fires the bullet. The recoil/gasses then pushes the mechanism back for anothe bullet.

Open-breach weapons, OTOH, chamber the round and fire it with the same motion; the default condition of the mechanism is pulled to the back, and pulling the trigger simply releases the mechanist forward There is no independant spring-loaded hammer. Theoretically, with an open-breach weapon one can put the magazine in and simply pull the trigger to fire, if you had the mechanism pulled back to begin with.

However, most users do not walk around with the slide back - for safety reasons, obviously, and to prevent spring fatigue. Additionally, most open-breach weapons are heavy, belt-fed automatic weapons like machine guns; the only exceptions I can thing of is certain older sub-machineguns like the Uzi*. So theoretically, yes: you can put a magazine in an Uzi, pull the trigger and open fire. But only if you don’t know what you’re doing.

*I’m pretty sure that the more modern Uzi varients, such as the Mini-Uzi, Micro-Uzi and Uzi Pistol are close-breach.

Racking the slide is (as of now) a necessary step, all gun owners can and do, deal with that.

Nothing ever changes, right? Nothing can be improved upon here. Mechanics can never be simplified.
No new ideas allowed huh?

So, this is the best result that can ever be obtained? Status quo improves nothing.

I didn’t say it couldn’t be done. I just gave a reason why it might not be worth doing. Big difference, imo.

Ahh, but you’re not talking about simplifying the mechanics, you’re talking about making them more complex. And they would be, you want them to perform additional actions, and unless you are a wizard (you’re not are you?) AFAIK you can’t add processes to a machine without adding complexity to the mechanism.

If it goes bang when you want it to and doesn’t when you don’t, what more do you want?


Magazine, not “clip.”


I was going to be snarky and suggest a revolver… takes care of that pain in the ass slide! :wink:

Still a semi, but fewer rounds of course.

Although not quite what you are asking about, the H&K P7 will cock without pulling the slide. You will have to work the slide to chamber the first round. But it can be carried around safely uncocked, and quickly fired without pulling the slide. After frieing it decocks it’s self rendering it safe again.

That would be as dangerous as a loaded pistol.
When you pick up a gun, any gun, remove the magazine or check the cylinder.
Next rack the slide to eject an cartridge in the chamber or remove/empty the cylinder.
Why would anyone [in their right mind]? want the magazine to chamber a cartridge.
Far safer to rack the slide or rotate the cylinder off the EMPTY chamber to prepare to fire.

According to the gun dopers, a revolver is not considered a semi-automatic handgun:

Why did the older (and maybe modern) 50 calibre machine guns require you to rack the slide TWICE?

I’ve always heard you have to chamber a bullet first.

I’m still somewhat confused as to what (and why) the OP wants.
But I’ll add this anyway:

The H&K P7
series closes the slide automatically upon squeezing the cocking lever. This makes reloading easier as one does not have to use a slide release lever or jack the slide back to close the action.

There are some handguns with a “tip up” barrel that allows the chamber to be loaded without jacking the slide.