Front serrations have become overwhelmingly popular over the last few years in the handgun market with more and more companies incorporating some sort of front serrations on their pistols now. Even Glock has jumped on the bandwagon offering front serrations as an option for several models of their carry guns. Front serrations can be a great addition to various concealed carry guns but they can also make shooters develop some bad habits if they aren’t used correctly. Let’s dive into the good bad and ugly about front serrations on your carry gun.
Having front serrations on your carry firearm can be fairly beneficial to shooters. It can offer a quick and easy way to press check to see if you have a round chambered before shooting a drill. Front serrations give you more surface area for manipulations if you find yourself in a tight spot or awkward shooting position. Having them can sometimes be looked at as a gimmick or novelty but under certain situations, they can be extremely useful. At the end of the day, front serrations give the user another section of the slide to grab for manipulations. Doing one-handed manipulations under stress is probably one of the hardest drills to do.
One-handed manipulation drills are becoming more popular due to officers getting their hands injured in scuffles or shootings. Having another contact point where there are edges to grab material for one-handed reloads can make all the difference in a stressful situation. I wouldn’t depend on the front serrations but it’s one more surface to grab material to rack the slide into battery. It may seem like a rather small benefit but at the end of the day having front serrations gives a shooter one more tool to utilize when they get caught in a tricky situation. In my experience, front serrations can be a useful tool if the shooter doesn’t rely on them too much. Things do start to change though if shooters start to rely only on the front serrations.
The Bad Side of Front Serrations
Front serrations are a huge plus when doing awkward manipulations and press checking. This habit, however, can create some serious training issues if they’re used on a regular basis. Over the last three or four years, I have seen a number of people start to charge their pistol by the front serrations only. Creating a habit where you only charge the pistol off the front serrations can be a negative training scar because it’s a slower style and in some cases can cause feeding malfunctions. Constant press checks have led to guns being out of battery as well. There were at least two separate occasions where a friend’s VP9 was out of battery from him constantly press checking it to make sure a round was in the chamber.
I’ve seen a few of these issues occur during an IDPA competition. A certain shooter was only racking his pistol slide by the front serrations. Not only was he consistently slower reloading than the other shooters, but he wasn’t fully racking the slide so he had two feeding malfunctions in a row. After pulling the guy aside and explaining the pros and cons of using the front serrations, he decided to switch to the more common power stroking method. Now I know the comments section will be giddy for the fact I said stroking, but it’s easier to make sure the gun can be properly loaded with that technique.
Front serrations can be a great asset if used correctly. They offer a safe way to press check for quick access to the chamber. Another great use of front serrations is during one-hand manipulations while training. In all honesty, it isn’t always the most useful skill to have when you’re just plinking at the range. If used correctly, front serrations can be a great tool in certain situations but can often be misused by shooters over time. It’s important to never rely on a technique so heavily that it ultimately affects your performance.