How to top off the mag

This is a discussion on How to top off the mag within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been manually putting a loose round in the chamber, sending the slide forward, then inserting a full mag. It sounds from the other thread ...

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Thread: How to top off the mag

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    How to top off the mag

    I've been manually putting a loose round in the chamber, sending the slide forward, then inserting a full mag. It sounds from the other thread that most insert mag, rack slide, then remove mag and add a round to the top.

    What is the reasoning for that? Is one method better than the other?
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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    I've always been told to load the chamber from rounds in the magazine, something about messing up the extractor. It is fairly easy not to mention good practice to insert magazine, rack the slide, eject magazine, top off magazine, then re-insert the magazine. Another school of thought is to not top off the magazine after loading the first one, I prefer to top off my magazine-I don't wanna be one bullet short.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Dropping a round into the chamber and running the slide forward over it can be hard on the extractor, particularly for guns with internal extractors like most 1911s.

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    JRI
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    Putting a round in the chamber and sending the slide forward stresses the extractor. The extractor is forced to ride over the rim of the case as the slide moves forward.

    When the round is chambered from the magazine the case rim slides under the extractor as it is pushed forward by the slide and exits the magazine.

    Chamber round from magazine - remove magazine and top off - is the way to go.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK87 View Post
    It sounds from the other thread that most insert mag, rack slide, then remove mag and add a round to the top.
    You didnt say what gun you have but this is the proper way to go +1. Dropping a round into the chamber then allowing the bolt to "slam" forward on an already seated round is not good on the extractor or bullet and may cause a slam fire. Riding the slide slowly forward by hand may cause the bolt to not be in full battery.

    Semi auto's are designed to pick up a round from the magazine and chamber the round naturally. Dont ride the slide forward, allow the recoil spring to chamber the round.
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    Yup, same here. I was under the impression that it is harder on the extractor due to the angle (or lack of might be a better descriptor) of the rim when it passes over it. I won't claim to understand why it would cause that much more stress on the extractor but I always chamber from the magazine just in case!

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    Member Array Freakdaddy's Avatar
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    Definitely a good way to break the hook off the extractor. The problem is you most likely won't realize it until you shoot the first round. Bad if you're at the range...beyond bad if you're in a fight for your life.

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    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Probably a little less awkward, less likely to get oil on your clothes, to rack the slide and then replace the bullet in the mag.
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    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    I definitely wouldnt let the extractor "pop" over the rim, but being short on cash and defensive ammo I've started to sneak one in between the extractor and breach face then let the in-place round slip in the chamber. Making sure the slide is in battery is important, but I can't find any reason this way would cause harm to the gun, as it is likely less stressful on the parts than a regular chambering.

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    Member Array Astute's Avatar
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    Broke a Glock 19 extractor doing that. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way

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    Member Array vn6869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRI View Post
    Putting a round in the chamber and sending the slide forward stresses the extractor. The extractor is forced to ride over the rim of the case as the slide moves forward.

    When the round is chambered from the magazine the case rim slides under the extractor as it is pushed forward by the slide and exits the magazine.

    Chamber round from magazine - remove magazine and top off - is the way to go.
    +1 on that. A lot less problem doing it this way.

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    Ex Member Array NavyLT's Avatar
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    I will be the dissenting opinion here. Repeatedly chambering the same round from the magazine may cause bullet setback. The force of the bullet being pushed against the feedramp repeatedly may cause the bullet to be pushed into the case causing a high pressure condition. So watch your rounds if you are repeatedly chambering the same round from the magazine over and over.

    I have a Taurus PT-145. The extractor pivots on a pin against a spring. Because of this extractor design, extractor breakage from hopping over the rim of a chambered round is negligible. This is how I load my Taurus PT-145.

    1. Drop round in chamber.
    2. Ride the slide forward allowing enough force for the extractor to engage the rim of the round.
    3. Pull back on the slide just enough to visually observe the extractor pulling the round from the chamber.
    4. Push the slide forward back into full battery.
    5. Ensure the slide is in full battery by observing that the back of the slide is flush with the back of the frame.
    6. Insert full magazine, double checking full seating of the magazine.

    I load my gun for the range the same way and never had a failure in 100's of trips.

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    Member Array vn6869's Avatar
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    NavyLT.
    Agreed, you are the dissenting opinion, however you raise a good point: "Repeatedly chambering the same round from the magazine may cause bullet setback."
    I may be mistaken but the question was not about repeated chambering, but your point is correct. JMHO

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I've heard pf shells in a SG being cambered that way, but not pistols.
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    Member Array Midnight412's Avatar
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    I used to always drop a round in, slide release forward and then insert magazine. This was on my S&W CS45 when I carried it. I did it this way for years and never had a trouble. The extractor on the CS45 is bevelled at 45 and it is on a spring.. to me, that says the gun is designed to handle that type of operation.

    That said, when I started dating my now wife, who is a LEO, she told me to load mag, chamber, then top off the mag. That is how her department trains.

    It's faster to drop the round in then put in the full mag, but for the reasons described in other posts, I do the load from magazine now. It's faster to work the magazine then to have a gun failure and have to fix it.
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