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A Great Product That You Never Knew You Needed…


Gordon D. Smith

As an older American, I sometimes receive unwanted visits from Mr. Arthur Itis that reduce my ability to grip things I never used to have problems with.  When I am experiencing that pain, it is nice to know that I can still rack my .45 auto in an emergency or in the dark with the aid of this handy little device:  the Handi-Racker.  It is the brain child of Mr. Chris McAninch and is a lightweight, sturdy plastic device that is so simple it makes you do one of those “why-didn’t-I-think-of that?!?” moments.  The Handi-Racker is a Patent Pending device available in several different models to accommodate various sizes and configurations of slides.  They are color coded with Yellow/Black the color of the Handi-Racker that fits large auto pistol slides such as the one on my Springfield .45.  Green/Tan is for large caliber Glock slides, Blue/White fits slides the size of a Ruger LCP and Black/White fits many mid-sized pistol slides. 

 A slot is milled into one side of the flat of this ¾ inch thick, 2x4 inch block of plastic to accommodate the size and shape of the slide.  A small slot is through-cut on the opposite flat to receive a blade front sight.  If you have a ramped front sight or it is oversized, you might need a bit of modification.  This arrangement provides a larger, non-slip surface to grasp when attempting to rack the slide.  I would like to see deeper vertical gripping lines cut into the narrow sides, just to provide an additional bit of purchase on the plastic, however, that still might not provide enough leverage for an arthritic hand or weaker individual.  The genius of the Handi-Racker is that the slide only fits part way into the milled slot, leaving enough room for the front edge of the Handi-Racker to be placed against a wall or other hard surface and, holding the pistol in the normal fashion by the grip, simply pressing the grip toward the wall to rack the slide without the muzzle ever touching the wall.  The ejection port is not blocked and the non-marring plastic will not damage the firearm’s finish in any way.  The Handi-Racker could even be mounted next to where you keep your home defense pistol for quicker access.  Although simple and intuitive to use, a line drawing showing instructions, along with the website and a warning to never let the muzzle cover any part of your body when using the Handi-Racker, is all “branded” into the top of the unit just for good measure.

On most days, racking any slide is not a problem for me.  Where the Handi-Racker provided peace of mind was when I had to leave on a trip recently.  We had moved outside the city to a 5 acre lot a few months prior and my wife was going to be home alone.  On top of that, there were concerns about a rather obsessive former owner that had lost the home to foreclosure.   We looked at keeping a smaller caliber pistol by the bedside, but smaller caliber does not automatically equate to lighter springs and easy manipulation of the slide.  The decision was to stick with the Springfield 1911 and, of course, the recoil spring of the big ‘ol .45 proved to be a formidable force for her to reckon with.  After some practice, she was able to rack the slide but not in a manner I considered safe because it had the muzzle covering part of her body while she muscled the cycling of the slide.  Handi-Racker to the rescue!  As I said, it is intuitive to use and she was confident in her ability to load the weapon and rack the slide after a very short period.  So now, the Handi-Racker sits next to the .45 in the gun vault by the bed.

Current retail prices for this “Proudly Made in the USA” Handi-Racker start at $29.99 for the unit that is used on smaller caliber automatics.  Several models that work on a number of automatics on the market are available now, with others “on the drawing board” For more information, or to order your own Handi-Rackers, navigate to:, or give the inventor a call at 515-480-4905

Copyright 2014 by Gordon D. Smith

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