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Just bought my first Taurus about 4 weeks ago. haven't shot it yet as I was waiting for a new mag and a pinky extension that I had ordered. I noticed when the stock mag is in and empty, with the slide locked back, it is very, very hard to depress the slide release and unlock the slide to let it move forward. It is still pretty hard to release with the mag out of the gun too.

I also tried the mag with the picky extension mounted on it. Just a little snug but it will lock in the grip pretty well. It is also extremely hard to release the slide if it is locked open with this mag in and it is also empty when in the grip.

Can someone please help me with the slide release issue?
 

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The springs are new and stiff. They just need to work in a little to relax some. You don't even have to push the release down when you finally take it out to shoot. Load the magazine and insert it in the gun. Pull the slide back all the way and release it. This chambers a round. Fire the gun until it is empty and the slide will lock back. Drop magazine and reload it. Insert it in the gun and pull the slide back all the way (only a small amount needed) and release it. A round chambers and you are good to go again. You never touched the release lever. Now if you really want to push it down, try pulling the slide back just a little and push it down. That is sometimes easier than if the slide is resting on the tab holding it open. Hope that helps.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Good advice on the slide lock issue. On most new guns, especially small frame guns, this piece is under tension. The smaller the slide lock device, the less area there is to place a finger on to release it. Just pull back on the slide a bit, them you may release using the slide lock.

Caution. Do NOT keep your hands on the slide when chambering a round. Pull the slide back, then let it go. "Following" will lead to jams. Please note that most manufacturers call the device a slide lock, NOT a slide release.
 

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Snap Caps and practice will loosen it up. When I first got my 24/7 G2C, I thought that it was defective because I could not get the slide to stay open. I just took a couple dozen cycles to loosen things up.
 
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