How To Load A Pistol With One Hand

Rob Romero demonstrates how to chamber a round into various handguns with just one hand. It involved a rearward jerking motion with a quick forward punch. The rearward jerking motion moves the slide rearward and thanks to inertia it keeps moving rearward as he punches forward until the recoil spring overcomes the inertia to return the slide forward.

He demonstrates this loading technique with the following handguns:

  • M&P45
  • Glock 35 with 15lb ISMI recoil spring
  • Glock 34 with 15lb ISMI recoil spring
  • Glock 34 with factory spring
  • Glock 17 with factory spring
  • Glock 19 with factory spring

While this is an impressive display of pistol manipulation, I would put it right up there with twirling a revolver. It is good for show but not much for practical purposes.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • USMC03Vet

    Pete already on one knee ready to propose.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Interesting. I’d sure want to practice it a lot before putting it into real world usage, maybe not even then. In a way it would seem safer than the traditional methods of holding the slide with your knees or manipulating the slide off the belt with the sights, at least on a range. On a crowded street, probably not.

    • Dougscamo

      Heel of your shoe works quite well…

  • A.J. Hodges

    I would disagree with your impractical conclusion. There are enough instances of people getting shot in the hand that being able in some way to rack your pistol with one hand can wind up useful. I would recommend practicing with different techniques to find which is best for you and the gun you carry but knowing this technique is possible is nice.

    • Risky

      In the video he even says that it’s mostly a gimmick although it worked out for a certain competition stage that required a one-handed chambered.

    • gunsandrockets

      To be fair, it is the technique demonstrated that is impractical. The ability to do a one handed reload is as you say practical. Now think about a one handed reload with your off hand! (presuming your primary hand is disabled)

      I think I can do that with my 9mm Ruger LCR.

  • Auslander Raus

    When cocking I prefer 2 hands, and preferably not my own.

    • Alex @Sea

      The assistant being 5′ 1, blonde, slim with a cunning smile…..mmmm

      • Phillip Cooper

        I understand Bradley Manning is available…

        • Auslander Raus

          Nah…he’s 5’2″

        • Alex @Sea

          (runs screaming and retching!!!!)

        • Dougscamo

          “Be..all that you can the AAARRMMYY”…

          • Phillip Cooper

            That SOB should have been shot in the head shortly after trial.

            Aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war, and all that.

  • BeGe1

    I’m flabbergasted that that actually works. I can’t believe he was able to overcome the spring tension. But seeing is believing. I’ll have to try it out today and see how much practice it takes, if it’s something that can be picked up easily.

    And I agree with the others. 1 handed cocking is not just a gimmick. If it can be done reliably then it’s an important tool. Some people only have one hand, and it wouldn’t be the first time someone functionally lost a hand during combat. There’s definitely more important things to practice, but a basic familiarity with it seems like a good idea.

    • Risky

      I just tried it with my unloaded G26. No where close to slide lock, but I could hear it unlock… maybe with some more practice.

      • Dougscamo

        Like saying you can’t touch your nose with your elbow…now everyone will be trying it…fail

    • Just Say’n

      I’m going to try this with my Sig P320, but going be prepared for an inadvertent double-tap (puts flame-suit on).

  • Risky

    I guarantee this will be featured in the next John Wick.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Yep. And I won’t see it, either.

    • J.T.

      I’m surprised it wasn’t featured in the first too seeing as how this video is from 2010.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Can’t wait to see the one where he blows his tendons in his shoulder! 🙂

    • Dougscamo

      Considering I spent $3,600 out-of-pocket for my last shoulder surgery and it’s now held in place with super glue and baling twine….yeah….I can see that happening but not from me!

      • Phillip Cooper

        I blew out my right shoulder a few weeks ago yank-starting a weedeater. Yes, I do feel pathetic. I should mention it was exacerbation of a previous injury, but still.
        Gettin’ old is no place for sissies.

        • Dougscamo

          Welcome to the club…

          • Phillip Cooper

            I feel ya. Every time I try to move the shoulder.

            Of course, AFTER I did that, I saw it’s got a hex drive on the back for starting with a drill. 5/16″ Allen driver in my cordless impact makes it a damn sight easier. 🙂

          • Dougscamo

            Wish mine did….almost had a stroke trying to start it….fail….

          • Phillip Cooper

            Well then I shouldn’t mention I got mine free…. neighbor left it in his front yard for 3 days (not just laying there, on the curb, you know? Literally left for whoever wanted to cart it off. So I did, as an exercise for my 17 year old son to learn the value of using his brain to fix things himself).

            I gave him a bit of homework- some Youtube videos on small engine troubleshooting- and told him to get it working.

            Compression- check. Spark – check. Fuel – check.

            Put in a $3 spark plug and she purrs like a kitten. In all honesty, I think the problem was that the old plug had a screw-on attachment where one plugs the magneto lead onto the plug. It was VERY loose.

            Replaced it and the thing starts on the first yank, all the time. Of course, I didn’t know that it would do that when I gave it the Gorilla-Yank and felt- and heard- something in my shoulder go POP!

          • Dougscamo

            “So endeth the lesson”…

  • David Kiser

    One handed reloads (with either hand) is a good skill. I don’t believe this would work for me however. Also, for discussion purposes, bear in mind the pressure exerted (from the magazine spring and live rounds) against the strip rail or bottom of slide is MUCH greater with a full magazine than one round.

    • BattleshipGrey

      I wondered about the mag spring pressure as well, but then if, he’s able to do it in competition then it must work (for some). I tried his trick last night with an empty gun (G17 gen4) and couldn’t get it to work. I had the slide moving, but not enough. I wracked the action fully, then slightly to listen to the difference in sound I was hearing when trying to use the inertia trick and that’s how I figured it wasn’t travelling back far enough. I didn’t feel good to do either, so I’ll not bother myself with it anymore.

      ETA: Just watched which pistols he used again, all the glocks were Gen 3’s, I’m guessing the dual recoil spring on the gen4 is just too stiff.

      • Robert Kruckman

        I think U figured this out. Good work!!

  • Michael

    On the same principle, one can forcefully swing a pistol up and then down to do pretty much the same thing. (less safe as muzzle direction changes)

  • Do they not teach Kids These Days how to rack a slide by catching the front sight on the edge of the holster/belt/mag pouch/whatever? That should be basic shiznit for any one-handed operation drills, right up there with drawing and firing with the weak hand.

    • James Young

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • BillyOblivion

      ITYM Rear sight.

      Real Men(tm) just drive it into the meat of their thigh and push.

      Once. They do that once. Then they realize that’s dumb and use their belt, or (if they took a knee) the heel of their shoe.

  • vwVwwVwv

    it works even with a glock 26. yes you have to practice a bit.
    such things are the reason i love this blog.
    thanks, it was a lesson.

  • Edeco

    Impressive. I confess I haven’t been able to get it to work. I bet alignment is important, punching parallel to the assault rails that hold the slide on. Must get access to a punching bag to tune up for this.