I received the new Handi-Racker 2 a few days ago for review. It is an aid designed for people with poor hand strength, such as the elderly, disabled or younger persons who want to use a semi-automatic but lack the hand strength to operate the slide. Its also for use at gun shops. I’ve been trying it on several different pistols and this product does what it claims to. You might say “if you cannot rack the slide you should not use a semi-automatic and instead use a revolver!”, but those who cannot operate a slide may not be able to handle the heavy double action trigger pull on a revolver. This product would allow them to carry a semi-automatic pistol, and then load/unload it at home or the range.
The Handi-Racker comes in three sizes to fit most any pistol on the market. Just refer to the website for further information on choosing the correct size. I looked up the price at Brownells and they sell it for $19.99. The MSRP is $29.99. Handi-Racker Website
The Handi-Racker works by placing the block with the appropriate cut over the end of the slide and position the front sight in the notch on top. The instructions say you should lay your hand flat on top of the block and pull to the rear charging the pistol or locking the slide in place. I tried this on several pistols with mixed results. With the Springfield Armory Range Master in 9mm I was able to rack the slide as instructed. This pistol has a weaker spring than say a 1911 in 45 acp with a 17 or 18 pound recoil spring. Trying it on my Remington R1 Carry with a Wilson 18 pound spring there was no way I could simply lay my hand flat on top of the block and rack the slide. I was able to rack the slide on my S&W M&P Pro but just barely.
Now if you look at the overall picture and feel tempted to place the palm of your hand in front of the block to get the power needed to rack a pistol with a heavy spring you’ll notice right away that the barrel is pointed right at your hand. Depending on how you hold the pistol with the support hand this could get a bit risky. I found the best way to use this tool is by placing the block on the pistol pointing down on a table top or other sturdy object and simply push down clearing a jam or charging the pistol. This video was done by the inventor and will explain what he has in mind for use of the tool.
The Handi-Racker 2 is well made and will probably last for years. The user just needs to be cautious of the direction the barrel is pointing. If you have a friend or family member who lacks the strength to rack the slide of a semi-auto it’s worth looking into and figuring out the method you want to use with it and stick with that method. As I mentioned the user may have difficulty with larger guns but the small and medium size pistols should pose no problems.