Shoot to slide lock or count rounds?

This is a discussion on Shoot to slide lock or count rounds? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i count rounds as i engage whatever it is I'm up against...be it paper, Texas star, pins or various IDPA scenario. it is done completely ...

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Thread: Shoot to slide lock or count rounds?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Shoot to slide lock or count rounds?

    i count rounds as i engage whatever it is I'm up against...be it paper, Texas star, pins or various IDPA scenario. it is done completely sub-consciously. thus it does not take anything away from my thinking/acting as the situation requires.
    what it does mean is that i can re-load before slide lock and save myself between .5 of a second to 1.5 seconds in time needed to reload and than drop the slide. [A]
    in IDPA this is often the difference between placing 3rd or 7th. in real life it has a even greater benefit---time not spent re-charging the gun ( bang, bang, pull, pull, oh! is almost a whole second that can get you killed) is time you are not actively engaging the problem.

    it is not a trick. and many can learn to count. even if you have been shooting for years it is an acquirable skill.
    how many rounds you start with is all you need to know.
    i usually reload when the mag is empty--last round chambered and re-load before firing it.
    or there may still be rounds in the mag ( tactical vs strategic reload; with or without retention).

    how many here count rounds to avoid slide lock?
    revolver people also need to reload.....do any of you also count till empty or are in motion to reload as the last round comes under the hammer?

    how many shoot to slide lock, and a pull or two more before the brain gets the message --time to reload?

    anticipate vs wait till the guns tells me its empty?
    ----------------

    [A] the .5 is for someone who knows the slide is back and the time he needs to rack it after changing mags.
    the 1.5 is for the bang, pull, pull, oh... and than realize a change is required.
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  3. #2
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    Well, usually when I shoot, I count rounds. However, when I was overseas, I found that it didn't happen. There was too much other "stuff" going on that was taking up my mental capacity. So I just reloaded whenever I got a chance, with fresh mags (and during down time would consolidated used mags making them fresh again).

    Although, I think really, the lower your ammo capacity is, the easier it is to count, and the more important that it is too count. So for instance, it is more important to count on a 5 shot revolver, than a 30 round rifle, because the odds of needing a reload from the 5 shot capacity is greater, and with the bigger capacity, if you are in doubt and have a reload, then you should.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I've been trying to get myself in the habit of counting. I don't currently carry any extra magazines with me, so the slide lock issue doesn't matter. But I figure if I'm ever in a fire-fight it might be good to know how many rounds I have left without pulling the magazine to count. Unfortunately, I haven't got myself into the habit just yet.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye .45 View Post
    Well, usually when I shoot, I count rounds. However, when I was overseas, I found that it didn't happen. There was too much other "stuff" going on that was taking up my mental capacity. So I just reloaded whenever I got a chance, with fresh mags (and during down time would consolidated used mags making them fresh again).

    Although, I think really, the lower your ammo capacity is, the easier it is to count, and the more important that it is too count. So for instance, it is more important to count on a 5 shot revolver, than a 30 round rifle, because the odds of needing a reload from the 5 shot capacity is greater, and with the bigger capacity, if you are in doubt and have a reload, then you should.
    I have to second this...its a completely different world between shooting for time/points, and defending yourself (or your friends/family depending on circumstances).

    If you're counting rounds, its for gamesmanship to increase your points and win the match.

    If you're "otherwise engaged", you shoot to stop the threat...if you don't know how many rounds you have left, and there is a lull, it's time to reload.

    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    I've been trying to get myself in the habit of counting. I don't currently carry any extra magazines with me, so the slide lock issue doesn't matter. But I figure if I'm ever in a fire-fight it might be good to know how many rounds I have left without pulling the magazine to count. Unfortunately, I haven't got myself into the habit just yet.
    Don't get into that habit...

    If you don't know how many you have left, reload...that way you know you have at least 1 + a full mag. If you're counting rounds, you're not shooting, moving or communicating...you need to be doing these actions to survive a gunfight.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    buckeye.... well said. and a good point, though i was not intending for a war setting with LARGE cap guns.
    more what 'we' carry: j-frames to glocks.

    Sigguy--while i used the gaming --IDPA-- as an example i am interested in actual events in our lives.
    for the great many; and this is a good thing every which way, gaming is often the closest we will come to actual combat.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    Counting rounds sounds good in theory, but the practice always seems to go away when the bullets are flying both ways and there are more urgent things to think about...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    buckeye.... well said. and a good point, though i was not intending for a war setting with LARGE cap guns.
    more what 'we' carry: j-frames to glocks.

    Sigguy--while i used the gaming --IDPA-- as an example i am interested in actual events in our lives.
    for the great many; and this is a good thing every which way, gaming is often the closest we will come to actual combat.
    Thankfully, outside of military service, I haven't run into a lethal encounter where I needed a firearm. But the main point I was trying to make, is that usually there is a lot of other "stuff" going on in such an encounter, and things like counting rounds will most likely be forgotten in that haze. I think this is one of the arguments against revolvers (I do sometimes carry a J-frame), but there is no slide lock back to show empty, and reloads are slower. Also, a partially used magazine can be retained for future use, where as a partially used cylinder gives the options of dumping all your ammo out and doing a full reload, and possibly loosing rounds. Or only dumping the used rounds, and replacing them. Either of those is less than optimal, and the ability to "top off" in a gun fight is a good thing to have.

    Just something for folks to think about, because sometimes the difference between 5 or 6, is pretty darned important.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In most cases of SD shooting by LEO's and others back when we carried wheelguns they would claim they fired 2 or 3 rounds,but when their gun was checked they had expended more and a lt of times had anempty gun,In a real life scenario you may need that last round to take a guy out or throw him off balance while you move and reload.
    Like Buckeye CPL said when you got a minute throw in a fresh mag so you don't encounter a group of bad guys and suddenly find you only had 1 or 2 rounds left in the mag,It can get ya killed real quick
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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    I'm a beginner, and I started off trying, in-earnest, to count. Why? Because I thought that Dirty Harry always knew.

    Since I'm a beginner, I'm at a point in my training where "average" stressors such as an instructor (or two) yelling in my ear(phone)s, having water thrown at me, having someone behind me trying to foul my shots - or simply having to move! - makes me "flustered" enough that I'll lose all track of how many I've shot....and with nominal 13+1 or 19+1 rounds, yeah, that becomes even harder....and we're not even talking malfunction drills incorporated into the mix, thanks to the miracle of spent shell casings.

    But what I have noticed is that even "under stress," I can still tell when the gun feels noticeably physically lighter. Furthermore, that the weight difference is exacerbated by recoil. Now, whether I will be able to tell this difference when I've got some REAL stressors to worry about - when there's bullets flying - that I honestly don't know. Nevertheless, it's something that has helped me in my training classes.

    FWIW, I also "tactical reload" whenever I can - in the words of my instructors, "whenever life is good." Not only that, but again as my instructors and more advanced shooters have preached to me, to take the time, whenever possible, to consolidate/re-stack/re-arrange.

    To me, it's almost like that Golden Rule when you're on your surgical roation: you eat when you can, you sleep when you can. I reload when I can, I consolidate so that my next tactical (or emergency) reload will go better.

    I hope that I'll never have to skin my pistol.

    I pray that I will never have to reload.

    But I practice as if my life depends on it.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    Sigguy--while i used the gaming --IDPA-- as an example i am interested in actual events in our lives.
    for the great many; and this is a good thing every which way, gaming is often the closest we will come to actual combat.
    Except in actual combat/gun fight, someone is shooting back at you...in IDPA you're shooting for score, and a low time...and yes, you are penalized for not seeking cover...it's another thing if they were to use some sort of automated airsoft or paintball gun to shoot back at you...then THAT will change your mindset on counting rounds.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Counting rounds sounds good in theory, but the practice always seems to go away when the bullets are flying both ways and there are more urgent things to think about...
    i try to avoid absolutes. for many, yes, all--who can speak for all?

    it is a sub-conscious ability. requires no monitoring on my part. none. takes away nothing from the gestalt of what is happening.
    many can casually point to North ( even when turned around in a building. of those some can tell time +/- 5 minutes with out a watch.

    humans, there are lots of us and even a real small few can add up to enough that a trend appears. these 3 abilities ( and fast math) seem to go together.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    I have talked about this with my instructor. We both tend to count rounds while at the range but he assures me that when under stress there are VERY few people that can really maintain a round count that is remotely accurate.

    It will never hurt to train it but I will take his word for it that I will not be able to remember under the stress of actual engagement.

    By the way... Thanks for posting the original question. It is a good topic.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    New Member Array parm4's Avatar
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    trying to count rounds while being shot at = your dead shoot them and get away never stand and fight
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    Counting rounds in peactime...good.
    Counting rounds in battle...not very realistic.

    What sounds good in theory...is often not when tested.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I agree that it is unlikely that round counting will occur during real vs competition shooting. I don't do it.

    I also think that round counting is easier when you are doing consistent patterns such as double taps or Mozambiques or known stages as opposed to the variables in burst fire where you might shoot three rounds in one aggressor and five in another.

    Carry extra ammo and reload when circumstances permit.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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