[SHOT 2019] Mean Arms Pistol and Triggered AR Release

    Mean Arms are the guys behind the MA Loader. It is a new style of stripper clip that allows you to load 10 rds of 5.56 into the ejection port of an AR15. This was a way to help those who build a fixed magazine AR15 in states like California. Well they have some new ideas like their Mean Arms pistol and trigger based bolt release.

    Mean Arms Pistol

    The guys are Mean Arms have designed a new type of pistol. It is loosely based on a VP9 and used a VP9 magazine. At least the prototype does. They will come out with their own magazine when they come to market with a finalized product.

    This pistol was designed for people who struggle with regular handgun manipulation.

    “Some women have a hard time pushing the slide release so we designed this to make it easier”

    When the slide locks to the rear on the last round fired, you insert a fresh magazine and pull the trigger to drop the slide.

    Yes you read that right. Pull the trigger to drop the slide.

    I can understand their train of thought but this violates proper firearm safety.

    ALWAYS Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot

    When holding a gun, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

    Dropping a slide does not mean you are ready to fire.

    Mean Arms rebuttal is “where should your gun be pointed when you do touch the trigger”

    Ok yes, on paper that is what you should do. But guess what? People still manage to hurt themselves or others. With a trigger pull dependent slide release, you are encouraging bad habits. What happens with someone who is used to this manual of arms then uses a traditional hand gun?

    More than likely nothing will happen. Slide is locked back to the rear and a fresh bullet is waiting to be chambered. Pulling the trigger on an open and locked slide won’t do anything. Now if it was an open bolt machine gun the bolt will drop and it will fire.

    I am more in support of proper training. Have trouble accessing the controls on your handgun? Try pulling the slide back to release it.

    Below you can see the ambidextrous trigger.

    The trigger is similar to a Glock but rather than a detent it is a shoe that pivots.

    The one feature that is of interest is how you remove the slide. You press the trigger forward and that releases the slide for field stripping.

    Triggered AR Bolt Release

    Prepare to be triggered. Mean Arms is carrying their trigger release idea from their pistol over to the AR market.

    When the bolt locks back, you reload and pull the trigger to release the bolt.

    What could possibly go wrong?


    Having a trigger based release could be an interesting concept for a compliant rifle set up.

    The UK has ARs that have a locking bolt after every shot. The shooter presses a release to send the bolt home. The Mean Arms Trigger release could work better here.

    Even better would be to incorporate a pull release trigger with their bolt release design. So instead of pushing an auxiliary release you just have to release the trigger to chamber the next round. Imagine you pull the trigger back and the gun cycles. With the bolt locked to the rear. You are still in binary mode so when you release the trigger, it will close the bolt.

    This would be considered a manually operated firearm and could be sold in any state.


    I like their ideas to help ban states keep their firearms and still be able to use them. But I have doubts about these triggers release designs. While you could train your self to be safe and use this, it seems like an unnecessary answer to a problem that no one has. Operating a slide on a handgun proficiently requires practice but also the right training and method. Most people who don’t know how to use a handgun revert to what they have seen on TV or movies. Show them the proper way and even people with weak hand or weakn arm strength can manage to manipulate a pistol.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]