A Little Extra Help: Handi-Racker.
Back when I was in martial arts, we worked hard to improve hand strength. Knuckle push-ups, fingertip push-ups and tossing bags of sand back and forth were standard practice, and we were dedicated. Not everyone can do that, and not everyone has the option of increasing hand strength. For a lot of people, what they have is what they have. And if that isn’t enough to reliably cycle the slide on a pistol, they have a problem.
Well, there’s a solution.
Handi-Racker to the rescue. The idea is simple: The Handi-Racker, which comes in three sizes to match your pistol, acts as a third hand. There’s a slot in the bottom edge with a pinched-in middle. The two ends are different widths, so you can match pretty much any slide size with one or another Handi-Racker. There’s even one for the oddly shaped Beretta slide.
To use it is simple. Place the Handi-Racker, groove-side down, over the front of the slide, parallel to the barrel. Hold it in place with your left hand (left-handers, you know the drill, use your right) and with your right hand on the pistol as if you were shooting (but finger off the trigger, remember!) push the pistol forward.
The big advantage here is dual: You can put your weight behind getting the slide cycled, unlike pulling. And, you have a full grip of the pistol, unlike the fingertips-grab that the usual methods afford you. You use body mass, not grip strength, to cycle the slide.
You can use a wall, a post, a tree … anything that keeps the muzzle in a safe direction. And then, to fully chamber the round you’ve gotten up from the magazine, just hold the pistol in place and lift the Handi-Racker.
The process also works to unload. Drop the magazine first, and then use the Handi-Racker the same way. Once you’ve picked up the ejected round, insert an empty magazine, repeat and voila, the slide is locked to the rear.
There’s still one more bonus to be found using the Handi-Racker. You can cycle the slide, load or unload, and not risk having any part of your hand in front of the muzzle. Also, you don’t point it at anyone else, as long as you select an appropriate surface to rack on. You can even cycle it vertically, muzzle-down, using a sturdy table.
Too many times I’ve seen new shooters, or those with low hand strength, struggling with a pistol at the range, inadvertently pointing the muzzle to the side, to get more leverage. The Handi-Racker provides the leverage for you.
For someone who wants a defensive tool but finds themselves in the pistol-shooting limbo of being strong enough to shoot, but not entirely confident in hand strength to cycle for loading or unloading, the Handi-Racker is perfect. Not everyone who is limited in hand strength is all that comfortable depending on the effectiveness of a .32 or .380. This isn’t just the elderly, if that’s what you’re thinking; someone with repetitive motion injury might be strong enough to shoot, but not have enough grip strength to grab a slick steel slide, even with cocking serrations machined into it.
And for those who were thinking of the elderly, consider this: We all get old. What force I used to be able to grip with (almost tear your skin off) I can’t do now. A half-century can do that.
Handi-Racker solves the problem many already have—and for not much coin at only $25.
For more information on the Handi-Racker, please visit handi-racker.com.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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