Emergency Reload: "Gross" versus "Fine" motor skill myth?

This is a discussion on Emergency Reload: "Gross" versus "Fine" motor skill myth? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is an update to a recent video I made regarding whether to use the slide stop or overhand rack to send the slide home ...

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Thread: Emergency Reload: "Gross" versus "Fine" motor skill myth?

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    Member Array PhoenixTS's Avatar
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    Emergency Reload: "Gross" versus "Fine" motor skill myth?

    This is an update to a recent video I made regarding whether to use the slide stop or overhand rack to send the slide home when executing an emergency reload. Needless to say, pick whichever works for YOU...not what works for anyone else. However, there are many who feel that certain skills which require "fine motor skills" should be avoided and replaced by those requiring "gross motor skills".

    I put the following video together to address this issue (which again is MY opinion):



    As always, I look forward to your comments!

    Find what works for you...and evolve!
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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    I can tell you, at least anecdotally, first hand that (as a type I diabetic since age 3) when blood sugar drops, which it can and often does during an adrenaline dump, even for a non-diabetic, your fine motor skills really do go straight out the window, and you feel like you're working with oven mitts on your hands. It's hard to think clearly, hard to function accurately, etc... that's my experience with low blood sugar, and has resulted from adrenaline dumps at times in my life as well.. even when I wasn't a diabetic for a brief period during a pancreas transplant that later failed. Just some thoughts from my experiences.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Everyone's different.

    Myself, I've been in a few IPSC style competitions in which I had to do some unexpected reloads in "sticky" situations. Nailed them all. But then, I've also had somewhat smaller guns that required a greater amount of small-motor coordination to execute the same tasks ... and failed in several cases to get it right in any decent amount of time. Have yet to be under the gun, under fire, when doing such reloads. Depends on how far gone the (for lack of a better term) fine-motor control is, when the SHT proverbial F.
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    How many reloads have you performed while getting shot at? No offense, but if the number isn't greater than zero your opinion means nothing... it is just words.

    I don't know how people run any particular type of shotgun under stress, I've never done it. The AR style bolt release is designed to be hit by slapping the side, it isn't a fine skill at all. Hitting a mag release on a pistol can be tricky but the location of the button allows a thumb to engage it without being precise.

    The reason people talk about "fine motor skill" is because it is a proven fact that under great stress many people lose the ability to perform those tasks. It may happen to you, it may not. But of those studied that have been under real stress it happens more often than not. That doesn't mean it would be impossible for them to hit the slide stop lever, it just means there is a possibility that they won't get it done. There's also a possibility that they'll miss the mag release button or have problems getting the fresh magazine seated in the weapon, but there is no second option for those issues. Racking a slide by hand is an option that is far less likely to fail than hitting the slide lock lever and thus is the better option for people to train with unless they know they won't lose the ability to hit the lever under the stress load that comes from being shot at.

    If you want to run the lever, go for it. If people want to pay you to teach them to hit the lever that's there choice. But making a video and trying to poke holes in something that's about as proven in this field as something can be just to further your own position doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Don't let your gun run dry....no worries then to send the slide home

    EDIT: For Echo_foru: I have had to do this while BG's were around
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    As your title says, it's a slide "stop" - not a slide "release". Haven't needed it yet, but I'll stick with betting my life on a grabbing a big, honkin' chunk of steel instead of pressing a small nubbin that sits fairly flush with the pistol. As Echo said, you can release the AR bolt with a fully open palm. Wrt shotguns, if you run it dry, you drop a large shell into a big hole and then either tap the loading gate or push another large shell into the magazine via the loading gate. Not at all comparable to hitting the slide "stop". You're suggesting using a tool to do a job for which it was not designed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post

    EDIT: For Echo_foru: I have had to do this while BG's were around
    That's the best answer. Sadly I personally don't have the skill to keep up with how many rounds have left my barrel when under stress. I know some others have this issue, but I don't know how widespread that particular issue may be. Reloading when given an opportunity is always wise but knowing I'm just about to hear a click is beyond my personal skill set.
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    Hand over slide is more positive IMHO, but pulling the slide lock is quite a bit faster.

    Whatever works for you and your disposition.
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    MJK
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    How can a person "do what works for you" without having been tested under duress? IPSC and IDPA are great games but your life is not on the line.

    In the few confrontations I've experienced I've never been shot at but the adrenaline dumps occurred nonetheless. I was "all thumbs" and therefore have always slingshot my slide. Even in IDPA where it undoubtedly cost time to do so.

    Better to employ the techniques I would use in a fight instead of gaining a little time in a match.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJK View Post
    How can a person "do what works for you" without having been tested under duress? IPSC and IDPA are great games but your life is not on the line.

    In the few confrontations I've experienced I've never been shot at but the adrenaline dumps occurred nonetheless. I was "all thumbs" and therefore have always slingshot my slide. Even in IDPA where it undoubtedly cost time to do so.

    Better to employ the techniques I would use in a fight instead of gaining a little time in a match.
    Yes, real-life being shot at is so much better, in that regard. Absolutely, for showing what works and what doesn't.

    But most don't get in such situations. What they've got instead is poor substitutes ... force-on-force simulations (Simunitions, Airsoft), IDPA/IPSC type games with time pressures and movement. A poor man's substitute, absolutely. But they can induce some or even much of the loss of fine-motor skills man folks report in real situations.
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    My preference and training is to use the slingshot method. I agree with others, I'll put my trust into grabbing a big slide instead of going for a lever/button.
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    MJK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    ...IDPA/IPSC type games with time pressures and movement. A poor man's substitute, absolutely. But they can induce some or even much of the loss of fine-motor skills man folks report in real situations.
    +1

    Both definitely help instill muscle memory but the negative training aspects - like not having threats at your 6 - can be a problem.
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    On the content of the video, I think it's fair to say that "with enough training" you can do just about anything that falls within reason. That, however, doesn't make it a good idea, nor does it make it advisable to "train" that way. Fine motor skill vs. gross motor skill isn't a "myth", so it's sort of disingenuous to even use that in the title of the video. I would sort of equate what you're advocating to saying something like "Shoot for COM" is a myth because with enough training, you can always make a head shot. Yeah, that's possibly true for some people but that doesn't equate to something that should be used as generalized logic for the 'average' shooter; especially when the 'average' shooter probably does little to no training or practice. Tell them that something is OK "if you're really good at it" and there's a good chance they'll happily stop thinking about it right there, because everyone thinks they're 'good enough' already.
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    I train only to use the slide stop/release because it gets me back on target faster. The only time I rack the slide is to chamber a round or clear a malfunction. Thankfully I've never been shot at. I do IDPA which provides a little stress and time pressure, but nowhere near that of being shot at. I've got it down to muscle memory though, and I'm pretty confident in my ability to hit the lever. It's not like I'm playing Operation or something.

    On the other hand, I'm in the middle of switching over to M&Ps as my carry guns. The release buttons aren't nearly as big on them, so I may have to reconsider. Another thing frequently pointed out in this debate is that not all semiautos have the same slide release mechanism or lever placement, but all (or almost all?) can be released by racking the slide. There's a slim chance I may need to shoot a gun I'm not familiar with.

    This thread has me reconsidering my use of the slide release.

    EDIT: here's another question - slingshot or overhand rack?
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    Dude, epic mustache.
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