Why not? I have always been told not to use the slide stop to release the slide on my Glock 19 or any other semi-automatic pistol for that matter. I never questioned why until recently.
Surely using the slide stop lever would not harm the gun. It’s part of the gun’s design and it’s made to operate in that way so why not use it? Here are some reasons.
Reasons To Use the Slide Stop
You Get The Full Force Of The Recoil Spring To Return The Gun To Battery
When you use the slide stop to release the slide you may not be using the full force of the recoil spring to chamber the next round and to return the slide to battery. See for yourself.
Pull the slide back on your pistol and lock it back using the slide stop. Then manually pull it back all the way and compare the difference in distances.
On both my Glock 19 and Glock 26 I get about 1/8″ more recoil spring compression. I have read that some guns won’t reliably load a round when the slide stop is released but will do it every time when racking the slide.
It’s Easier To Grab The Slide And Pull. Fine Motor Skills Go Out The Window In A Self Defense Situation
Many pistol/self defense course instructors will advise you not to use the slide stop to release the slide. They tell you this because in a self defense situation your fine motor skills and your ability to manipulate small objects is diminished.
If you train load a magazine every time by releasing the slide with a racking motion you will build up your muscle memory and it will become automatic and second nature to you in any situation.
You Don’t Have To Look For The Slide, You Do For The Slide Stop Lever
When you use the slide stop lever you have to look down and take your eyes off the target or threat. If you just pull on the slide your eyes can remain on the threat or the target.
Sling-Shotting The Slide Is More Universal To All Pistols
Not all pistols have slide stop and slide release levers. Using the sling shot method of releasing a slide will make you better prepared for handling a larger variety of hand guns.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many reasons why one could use the slide stop to release the slide. From getting the full force of the recoil spring to return, to being able to do it efficiently in a self-defense situation, I don’t see why you shouldn’t use the slide stop to release the slide.