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Up Close and Personal


nra instructor
January 10, 2012

Well, it's not what you think. It has to do with shooting "up close and personal" as in point blank and closer.

A discussion has shown up in one of our Florida forums that said that Zimmerman (of the infamous Zimmerman/Martin shooting in Sanford) was very lucky that the Kel-Tec he used actually fired as the gun was supposedly pushed into the attacker. (Please, no infighting now about Z/M as this is just the lead in to the discussion.)

Whether "Z" had the gun actually pressed up and into "M" becomes important as the gun most probably would NOT have fired. At least that was what the discussion was about. It has to do with most automatics being pushed out of battery when forced into something before firing.

So, with that preamble, I went off and did some testing and this was my reply to the original poster. . . . .


Hmm, had to think about that one a bit so I grabbed the Glock 21 out of the file cabinet, double checked that it was unloaded, confirmed with the wife that it was unloaded and then did the following test.

With a magazine inserted I racked the slide, released it back down using the slide lock and pushed the gun into the couch and tried to get the gun to "fire".

It did.

What happens is that if the gun's SLIDE is pushed back slightly, it won't "fire". However, if the pressure of the front of the muzzle is ALSO on the recoil spring rod, it will fire. The recoil spring rod is taking all the pressure instead of having it push the slide back.

So, if you have to push the firearm "into" something, make sure it's got equal pressure on the recoil spring rod and the slide and it'll work. As you mentioned, if the slide comes out of battery, it's not going to fire.

Also, should you EVER have to actually shoot with your gun actually pushed into somebody (a contact shot), pull the gun away (release pressure) before firing to make sure you get that shot off.


Guys, if you decide to test this at home for yourself, PLEASE, PLEASE double check that your firearm is unloaded, and then check it again. You may have to fiddle with your gun to get it to dry fire with no cartridge in the chamber which is why I had to let the slide down with the slide release and an EMPTY magazine installed.


September 5, 2012
John Browning designed well. 1911 have always had the "out of battery" push.

Just double checked my Springfield XD-40...it cannot be fired when pushed.

My Hungarian FEG PA-63 however...cannot be "pushed" :D It does not have that safety feature. I can shove it against the wall, (I did) it still goes "click" it is a Mak copy of the PPK it is however a "barrel is a part of the frame semi" a blowback semi.

I did check my blowback "cheap" Hi-Points. while designed also with "barrel part of frame" both the 45 and 9 would not go click when slightly pushed. The slide moves just enough, though the barrel will not go back.

Watch "Support Your Local Sherriff" with James Garner. He sticks his finger in the barrel of a six shooter. It is a funny scene.