TAKING THE “OUCH” OUT                       PART 2      

By Linda Gilbertson



I won’t deny myself the use of a semi-automatic gun just because I suffer from limited arm and hand strength, which makes the manipulation of the slide painful.  And I refuse to use a revolver because I’ve been told by others (generally men), that I have no choice since I have difficulty racking the slide.  I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open for any mechanism that will assist me in the comfortable handling of my semi-automatic.

Such a device exists by the name Handi-Racker ( Made of polymer, this small device sits on the top of the slide, a pre-cut opening is placed over the front sight and the body of the Handi-Racker extends forward of the muzzle. With just the right amount of pressure applied against a hard surface, such as a wall, floor, or tabletop, the slide will move in the opposite direction to expose the chamber.  The only effort required would be the use of your body weight to rack the slide whether it be to load a round in the chamber, clear a jam, apply the slide lock or disassemble the pistol for cleaning.  Proper fitting of the Handi-Racker to the make and model of pistol is important so that the device works against the slide and not the front sight.

The Handi-Racker comes in five sizes.  Each size has its own distinct color combination.  The size appropriate for your pistol is determined by the width of the slide channel. 


Small (Item 3010)



Keltec P3-AT, Ruger LCP,                     S&W Body Guard 380 & more Slide Channel Width

    ¾”   (0.75)

Medium (Item 3034)   


Keltec PF9, Ruger LC9, Kahr CW9,       Bersa 380 & more                                         Slide Channel Width 

       7/8”  (0.875)               

Large ( Item 3027)


Most Glocks, Springfield XD & XDM’s, S&W M&P’s, Beretta PX4, 1911’s & more Slide Channel Width

      1  1/16”  (1.062)

X-Large (Item 3058)



45 Glocks, Springfield 45 XD & XDM’s, S&W M&P’s 45, Hi-Point 45’s & more Slide Channel Width

     1  19/64”  (1.3”)

Beretta  (Item 3065)


92’s, 94’s, 96’s, M9’s Cheeta and clones like Taurus PT-92 &  more Designed for tapered muzzles with exposed barrels


Information courtesy of

Once you’ve selected the proper size for your pistol, it’s then a matter of practicing with it.  It is necessary for you to utilize at least two fingers of your off hand to keep the Handi-Racker in position on the top of the slide, as there is no magnetic attachment or adhesive to secure it in position.  However, it soon becomes a simple manipulation and the photos in this article make it readily understandable.Handiracker 1

If you are concerned about having to carry another item with you as well as your pistol, be comforted by the knowledge that the Handi-Racker is very compact and easily portable, and is only utilized when the slide needs to be manipulated.  For personal protection, your pistol should already have a round in the chamber, so the use of the Handi-Racker would principally be to rectify a malfunction.  Realizing that the Handi-Racker is a necessary device for you to comfortably rack the slide if needed, I’m sure you’ll find a spot for it.  It’s about the size of a cell-phone and easily fitted into your clothing choice.  You wouldn’t want to be without your cell-phone, so likewise you wouldn’t want to be without your Handi-Racker, especially if your life depended on it. 

 Handiracker 5

Linda Gilbertson‘s website,, has videos of both the Handi-Racker and also the Slide-Pull as featured in the Nov/Dec issue of TAWS.