The New Handi-Racker 2 Review

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Tyler McCommon

    When I was growing up I wasn’t allowed to use a semi automatic until I could rack the slide on my own….

    • Laserbait

      Is someone planning to take that semi automatic away when you can no longer rack the slide on your own?

      • Stan Darsh

        Only if you are an S.S. Beneficiary.

  • karm42yn

    I know I won’t get any popularity points but I have to ask. If you can’t rack a slide or work a double action trigger, is it a good idea to have a gun at all? What kind of control over a gun can a person like that have?

    • Jack Morris

      It could also be argued that if a person is actually that physically diminutive; they would need a firearm for protection more than anyone.

      • That’s a valid point====

        • Bill

          I believe the counterpoint would be that someone who lacks the physical ability to rack a slide likely also lacks the physical ability to obtain and maintain a good grip, manage a trigger successfully, achieve good sight alignment and handle recoil appropriately.

          It’s unfortunate, but shooting is a psychomotor skill, and requires a certain level of motor ability. A slide racking device wont help if the person can’t avoid limp wristing the pistol, press the trigger multiple times in rapid succession or looses control of the gun in recoil.

          It’s borderline analogous to the highly “respected” “expert” who once floated the idea that blind people should carry guns loaded with blanks, the theory being that a contact wound from a blank would likely be sufficient for self defense purposes. I’m not sure how Rule 4 translates to that scenario.

    • Really only a person in that position could answer that.

    • HSmith

      You might want to ask my lady-friend about that. She’s 5’0″ and shoots a Sig .40S&W. She can’t rack the slide by herself, but if she can see it she can hit it. Better shot than I am, so I just keep quiet, rack the slide for her and hand her the gun.

  • Bob

    Just get a revolver

    • Bob

      You know, I tend not to pay a great deal of attention to people’s names in these comment sections, but I wonder how many of us are using the handle Bob. It might be confusing for some. ;D

    • Laserbait

      Not always an option for people with arthritis.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    If you are too infirm to even pull the trigger on a revolver maybe its time to hang up your spurs and just get a shotgun for the house.

    • JoshCalle

      So the elderly should all just shatter their collarbones and shoulders?

      • Bill

        Medical science has gotten to the point where people are “living,” if you can call it that, long past the point that nature intended. I’m not talking about floating PeePaw out on an iceberg, but being the youngest guy in cardiac rehab while recovering from a cop-induced heart attack in my mid fifties, there were a LOT of people there who were more in the market for a serious lard reduction operation or a pull-tab assist device for their adult diapers than a gadget to rack a pistol.

      • BigR

        Josh, try a 20 gauge pump action! It works almost as good with a minimum amount of recoil!

    • Laserbait

      From the post that you deleted, I know what to tell you, but I won’t say it publicly.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I didn’t delete any post so say what you have to say.
        The moderators may have deleted it but I didn’t.

  • Twilight sparkle

    The trigger on the lcr I’ve handled wasn’t very bad.

  • Daniel VanZanten

    What about teaching people to hold the slide and PUSH the frame forward to work the action? No materials needed, or mount the device to a clearing barrel for safe loading and unloading through the push method.

  • Father was a catapult/arresting gear mechanic (USN ABE Master Chief) for 23 years. Fingers and knees are shot for strength or dexterity.

    Couln’t rack my Ruger 22/45 or PF-9 without difficulty. This doesn’t look lie a bad thing for a (young) 51 year old man.

  • 45 Alfa Charlie Papa

    This was originaly designed for people
    with disability’s, older folks who could no longer enjoy their
    collection at the range, military vets who have lost a hand or arm,
    new shooters who have not got the feel of racking the slide, etc…
    One of the side benefits of this tool for me has been to clear hard
    jams. I have used it on several occations for this use including
    clearing a hard jam on my AR.

  • Gambler X

    I rank it somewhere between the hat with notches for your Oakley M-frames and the AR15 cooling fan in uselessness.

  • Tassiebush

    Glad to see products like this. We’re all just an injury or wear and tear away from being someone who might need this.

  • StraightshooterJeff

    Ridiculous.

  • BryanS

    Its a plastic version of the one handed Israeli rack (the one where you use your rear sight on your belt).

    I know a few people who can control a firearm, but lack finger strength to pull back the slide on a small auto. My wife in particular. We are growing up in a society that is so obesessed with small electronics, not realising the issues this is causing our hands and arms.

    (Ive got the time in PT and the thousands in injury treatment to provide a great example)

  • Budogunner

    That is NOT the safest way to rack a pistol…

    • Bill

      Just looking at the diagram with fingers forward of the muzzle proves your point.

    • Dave Welch

      Once you get one in your hand and physically try it you will understand its place.

      • Budogunner

        I understand the place for my hand is not in front of the muzzle. I’m sure it grants mechanical advantage, but no thank you.

  • Big City Lawyer

    A few folks have questioned why people who cannot fire a double action revolver or rack the slide on a small pistol should carry at all…..really? After working local, state, federal and military law enforcement and now over 20 years as an an attorney and prosecutor—I must question why anyone on TFB would suggest that disabled people should not be armed….they are absolutely the people who need protection more than anyone else…duh? It is for that same reason that you now see some companies addressing that market with new products. For example, Ruger modified their 9mm LC9 to be striker fired…the original double action version sucked, with a trigger pull of about 11 pounds…the new striker version is only 4.5 lbs and my wifes is as crisp as a 1911. After carpel tunnel in both wrists a better trigger dramatically improved her shooting. And some of the J frame sized handguns have much better triggers…the new little Ruger revlvers have great lightweight/smooth triggers as do some of the Charter Arms versions…now finally, I grew up with tremndous hand and arm strength and lifted heavt weights for decades. Now at 67, I have bad shoulders, bad wrists, bad knees and a bad back….I no longer haul hay, ride horses daily, and even have trouble racking the slide on my 1911/ 400 Cordon with its 22 lb spring…I also have trouble in double action mode with my little Smith and Wesson and Taurus double action 22s…..and the point is everyone reading this will eventually lose strenght and need to find other platforms that work for them…maybe a different gun or maybe some goofy looking little tool like this…lest just keep that in mind that we will all soon be seniors and hope people keep trying to make the little guns more user friendly, unless of course Hillary gets elected and bans older people from owning handguns….it can happen….duh?

  • Big City Lawyer

    One other thought…for seniors…the Glock 19 or similar product comes with a 5.5 lb trigger and a 3.5 can be installed as well….for self defense at home, just have someone else load the 15 round mag and rack one into the chamber….then you are good for 16 rounds if you can pull that 3.5 lb trigger….for 30 years I carried a J frame 38 with 2 speed loaders (15rounds) and thought I was armed….16 rounds of 9mms are better than 15 rounds of 38 from a 2 inch platform……problem solved..

  • Bill

    Bill’s EZ Racker:
    1: Place front top corner of slide or front of rear sight against solid surface.
    2: Push. You can put your whole weight behind it if needed.

    If you read this, please send the bargain price of $19.98 to:
    Bill
    Corner of Squalor and Bedlam
    State of Confusion
    USA

    Thank you for your patronage. This product has a lifetime guarantee
    Insert Magnuson-Moss Warranty Requirements Here

  • Dave Welch

    Unfortunately not all of us are testosterone, chest pounding, SOF operators capable of placing 1/8″ shot groups at 45,000 meters on a snowy day dressed in cut off BDU’s…this product gave my wife the capability of firing/operating a semi auto pistiol which opened up a new range of firearms to her or so I thought …. She is capable of revolver, 38, 357, Rifle 5.56/223 and AK pistol 762×39 without any difficulty but cannot rack the slide on a semi auto…I purchased one of these rackers, gave it to her and she tried it, racked, reloaded and racked, shot, repeated…smiled, handed it back to me..picked up her revolver, smiled and said :”no thanks, I’m good”.. this product does have a place and it does open up the semi auto line of firearms to a whole new group of shooters…so to all of you chest pounders out here remember, once we were in your shoes, in the not to distant future you might end up in ours.

    • Bill

      You don’t have to be a chest pounding snake eater to get a 80 cent raquet ball to develop some grip strength. Girls can do it too.

      • Dave Welch

        There is more to it than just grabbing that 80 cent raquet ball Bill. if it only was that easy.

        • Bill

          Having spent more than half my life both in various rotations through both physical therapy for sundry injuries and psychomotor skills training, from both sides, I figured out that repairing, enhancing or improving physical abilities isn’t supposed to be easy, or they could sell it in a bottle, which in a twist of irony, is how racquetballs are packaged. I’m just not comfortable with the idea of too many adaptive devices in the fighting firearms field, especially those that go in front of the muzzle.

  • MadMonkey

    Fingers ahead of the muzzle AND and possibility of flipping the whole thing down in front of the muzzle by accident. With the number of people who can’t even handle disassembling a pistol without shooting themselves, I can’t see this being a good idea…

  • Ned Weatherby

    If your carry gun is difficult to rack without a tool. perhaps a revolver is a solution.

  • Aaron E

    I really like this idea and to support shooters that need a little help. However I’m not a fan of the design or instructions as shown.

    Placing the fingers on top of the slide and parallel invites the fingers to cross the muzzle – a major no-no. In addition, the diagram accurately shows that the same slide hand’s thumb is creeping towards the trigger well. We all know where that is going! Those who need a little extra traction are definitely going to go towards the instinctive grip motion and then BANG!

    The fix is easy though. Keep the basic design with front sight slot, but add a one inch high back stop on the rear. Instructions would show the support hand grasping over the slide from the side (no lawyering fingers or thumbs in trigger guard). The front sight is still gripped by the slot, and the shooter can rack the slide by pressing their hand into the backstop. Grip strength isn’t necessary as the effort becomes a gross motor skill of the hand and arm instead of fingers.

  • If you cannot rack a slide, you either need to improve your grip strength or acquire a self-defense tool that you can manipulate *on your own.* That might be a revolver, a side by side .410 bore loaded with PDX, a taser, or even a weaponized prosthesis a la Rolling Thunder.

  • dP

    It’s a bit impractical to need a special “racking device” whenever you need to load or clear your firearm. Sights like the Henning Battlehook are a much better alternative, and are available for several brands of handguns (Glock, XDS, S&W M&P, HK, Tanfo, 1911 Novak and Volkmann cut).

  • Dan

    My dad used to shoot extremely well. He grew up shooting rabbits for a nickel, enough to be able to buy himself and his siblings food while his parents traveled around during harvesting season. After his stroke a few years back pretty sure the only thing he could consistently hit now is his own foot. I could tell it bothered him but he made the decision to hand his guns over to me. He realized there is just no way he is able to hit what he would need to. Getting old sucks but such is life.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      That sucks. Sorry.
      My dad had a stroke a few years back but luckily he retained enough function to live normally and keep shooting.
      We all have to accept that we wont always be able to do the things we used to do. Its a sad fact of life.

  • Al Wise

    It’s interesting to see the debate this device has sparked. Valid points all arounds however the conclusion I have drawn is simple: Clearly, this device has a place in our self-defense/shooting sport world. It allows certain people to engage in the sport that otherwise might struggle or be otherwise limited. And that is a good thing.

  • Andrew Foss

    Let’s discuss this meme that “if you can’t chamber a round unassisted, you shouldn’t carry it” with an example:

    Multiple sclerosis has been known to strike in the late 20s and early 30s, and hand injuries can happen at any time: I could fire my 1911 (my first, and at the time, only pistol) before the occupational therapist got my thumb working: should I have not carried it and relied on the police (“When seconds count, we’re only minutes away”(tm)…) for my personal security? I figured out that I could rack it against my boots or my belt, but only because I knew it was possible. (Knowledge and experience are a large part of being able to defend oneself.)

    Self protection isn’t required by the healthy alone, nor should it be predicated on one’s health.

    Now is it truly necessary? It depends on the firearm (and the willingness to wear clothes conducive to chambering a round in a nonstandard way, or the foresight to look for hard edges that can assist you.) and experience level of the shooter. Personally, I don’t *need* one, but I can see that there are people who *might*. (Most women, for example, wear soft clothes; no belt, no boots. And new shooters, because of stalkers or crazies, (You know, the wrong moment to consider improving their safety: *after* their illusions have been shattered.) still building up grip strength who can otherwise control the recoil, but manipulation would be their downfall…) As a crutch, sure, but you don’t generally need a crutch for the rest of your life: You work to make it unnecessary.

  • John1943

    I love (not) all these people who say “I could handle this safely, but it should be banned because less intelligent people might shoot themselves.” Sounds like Diane Feinstein.

  • Doom

    The only way this could even dream of being safe is if you had an empty gun and put this on and racked it by pressing against a table or something. I dont know how they can say it is safe to have your hand in front of the muzzle while chambering a round. putting a pull ring at the back would be safer than this. or building hand strength would be the best solution.