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Cranky old curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #1
I have an injury of sorts to my left thumb. I can grasp and rack the slide. It is incredibly painful though. So much so that I currently carry a .357 Magnum revolver.
My interest has been piqued by the 9mm in the 1911 platform. So the question is, how much less difficult is it to rack the slide on a 1911 in 9mm than .45 ACP?
Objective answers would be great, I know that most are going to be subjective. I can live with that.
 

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I can only give you the subjective answer you mentioned. I own or have owned 4 different 1911's one 45ACP and three 9MM. As far as racking the slide I can't tell you I ever noticed any difference by caliber. The ones that racked the easiest were the higher end ones. In particular the Wilson Combat X-Tac which is a 9mm and is very smooth. Sorry I couldn't help more.
 

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i run a NH Fire Hawk with a 9 pound recoil spring in 9mm that can be cycled easily with my little finger against the rear sight. I also run Colt Competition with a duel recoil spring that doesn't allow that easily without a shooting glove.
 

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The recoil spring on my 9mm Dan Wesson Pointman-9 has a 10 lb recoil spring and is really easy to rack the slide.
You could also make sure that the firing pin stop is amply beveled, it'll reduce the force that is required and if you cock the hammer first (mentioned in an earlier post), it removes the FPS from the equation.
 

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I’ve had a full size steel frame WC 9mm, and I don’t remember it being any easier than my 45 in the same gun. The WC ULCC 9mm with a flatwire spring is “stiffer” to rack than either of my 45’s in commander and govt size.

Personally, I don’t think switching to 9mm in a 1911 is going to accomplish what your looking for.
 

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Objectively for my pistols I run a 16-18lbs recoil springs on 45's
9-10 lbs springs in 9mm's so they're going to be easier to rack.
Main springs are 19lbs in all mine, because they set off every primer I've ever loaded.
BUT
I built one for my wife a while back and she went to a 220 and 226 SIGS cause she could rack those but couldn't rack her 1911 any longer as older "adulthood" sets in on both of us!
When I built the 9 I spent extra time stoning and polishing the rails, super smooth. I also put a very rounded firing pin stop in the gun.

With the 19lbs MS, rounded FP stop and polished rails the gun opens really easily. We've used it to teach several women and kids to shoot because it's so easy to manipulate. That way they learn the whole aspect of gun handling etc etc.

So yes objectively 9mm's properly set up are easier to operate than a same same 45 IMO
 

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I run 16lb-18lb springs in my .45 caliber 5" 1911s. I run 18lb-20lb in my commanders, I run a 25lb in my 50GI 4" Guncrafter. In my 5" 9mm I run 12lb-14lb springs, so my 9mm is the easiest to rack the slide on.
 

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My full size 45's have 18 lb springs and my full size 9mm's have 10 lb springs. My 9mm Commander has a 12 lb spring. 9mm is considerably easier to rack. As mentioned, pull the hammer back first. Over hand rack versus slingshot, if you aren't already.
 

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RO Elite Champion is easy to rack, maybe too easy. A little snappy.
 

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Op...keep in mind no matter the caliber, the shorter you go with the slide the heavier the spring weight has to be and will be more difficult to chamber. The government size will be the lightest spring.
 

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I have several Dan Wessons, so here's my observation. My Dan Wesson Valor in 9mm is extremely easy to rack. I doubt you would have any trouble with it. It is by far may favorite of all the many handguns I have owned. My Dan Wesson Valor V-Bob in 9mm is considerably harder to rack, but much easier than my Dan Wesson A2 in .45ACP.
 

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Agree with all that’s been said, my full size was easier than my commander sizes. My Nighthawk and Guncrafters are easier than my Dan Wesson or Colt Competition were. So all said a properly set up full size semi custom should be considerably easier to rack than a Colt commander.

This has been my experience 100%
Dumb question but can you rack with the rear sight on your belt or hard surface using just the right hand?
 

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I have an injury to one hand, so I sometimes rack the gun by bracing it against my knee and pulling back on the slide with my strong hand... pointed down range of course.

It is even easier when seated.
 

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Cranky old curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #20
Dumb question but can you rack with the rear sight on your belt or hard surface using just the right hand?
I have Novak low profile sights. No way to hook those. I can overhand the slide with the left, and it hurts less.
 
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