tactical reload question

tactical reload question

This is a discussion on tactical reload question within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In a recent class the instructer demonstrated a loading technique that was somewhat different from my own. He stated that (for a right handed shooter) ...

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Thread: tactical reload question

  1. #1
    New Member Array keitht's Avatar
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    tactical reload question

    In a recent class the instructer demonstrated a loading technique that was somewhat different from my own. He stated that (for a right handed shooter) when the slide locks back after the last bullet - you would:

    1. pull the gun in close to the body.
    2. Hit the mag release with the weak side thumb.
    3. then reach down to reload from the weak / left side hand, then
    4. Recover the target while simultaneously closing the slide with the left side thumb.

    The only part I have trouble with is the part where you release the mag with the left hand --- then use the same hand to reach down for another magazine. In practice, I am much quicker using my (right) strong hand thumb to release the magazine while at the same time reaching down for my spare mag with my left hand.

    The reason I was told I should not use my strong hand to release the mag is that then you give up your grip on the gun and when you reposition it, it will be different and will shoot different.

    (Hope that was clear?)

    What is the consensus on how to properly and effeicently do a tactical reload?


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    A true tactical reload wouldn't involve this step:
    4. Recover the target (while simultaneously closing the slide with the left side thumb).
    There should still be a round in the chamber while you change magazines, so no need to release the slide.
    Using the weak hand thumb to press the release makes sense in a way, but I don't think I could get accustomed to that. I always use my strong hand thumb for the release while reaching for my next magazine at a match.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    A true tactical reload wouldn't involve this step:
    4. Recover the target (while simultaneously closing the slide with the left side thumb).
    There should still be a round in the chamber while you change magazines, so no need to release the slide.
    Not to mention the fact that in a real fight you wouldn't be doing a tac reload if there's a target available for you to "Recover". If there's a BG visible, you ought to be shooting to slide lock, not doing a tac reload.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    There is nothing tactical about a reload.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  5. #5
    New Member Array keitht's Avatar
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    You are correct. I actually did not mean a "tactical reload." What I am talking about is after all the bullets are spent and the slide is locked back. sorry

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    Member Array ranburr's Avatar
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    Your instructor is an idiot.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    I would use whatever technique you've practiced and are comfortable with.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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  8. #8
    VR4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranburr View Post
    Your instructor is an idiot.
    This^

    As stated above in real life you wouldn't be doing a Tac reload.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I am not a trainer or instructor, just a guy that's been shooting for a little bit that has had the opportunity to get some good to excellent training from various sources, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    1. pull the gun in close to the body.

    I have to ask why? Once you are reloaded it's faster if the gun is already "out there" pointing in the general direction of the target. This makes sense, the pulling the gun in close, if one is reloading a revolver, but not with an autoloader, IMHO. I do my revolver reloads at my belt.

    2. Hit the mag release with the weak side thumb.

    I understand the reasoning, regarding the firing grip, but I do disagree with it. The fastest I've found is to have the magazine release positioned for the opposite hand and using the trigger finger to manipulate the magazine release. Also, if you shoot to slide-lock you may need to reacquire your firing grip, and manipulating your magazine release with the firing hand allows you to do this.

    3. then reach down to reload from the weak / left side hand, then

    I don't hit the magazine release until I have a loaded magazine in my hand. The less time I have the magazine out of the gun the more effective I can be.

    4. Recover the target while simultaneously closing the slide with the left side thumb.

    I do close the slide with my thumb while reobtaining my grip. On this I will agree 100% with your Instructor. When I'm shooting left handed I bring my right hand under the gun to manipulate the slide stop. As far as recovering the target, the gun never should've left the target to begin with. I will rotate the gun to about a 45 degree angle during a magazine change, but it stays out there at the end of my arm.

    I won't go so far as to call your Instructor an idiot, as he or she most likely has a valid reason for teaching the way they do. I will say that I have expirmented with the way your Instructor is teaching, and find that it's not for me.

    Biker

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    I'm going to be faster hitting the mag release with my strong hand, same for releasing the slide lock. I might work for your instructor, but mucle memory and practice trump classroom learning.
    God is love (1 John 4:8)

  11. #11
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    Putting aside the debate over what the correct term for this type of reload is, I'll offer my semi-informed opinion.

    1. pull the gun in close to the body.

    Ok, as long is you mean into your "work space," with firing side elbow close to the body, weapon just below your line of sight and still oriented at the threat (though slightly canted to facilitate accepting the new mag). To answer BikerRNs question, this position gives you more strength if you should need it to manipulate the slide (or whatever), is more "natural" for most people when performing the somewhat complex movements of a fast reload. Operating with your strong arm fully extended feels awkward to many folks, and takes much more time to train to.

    2. Hit the mag release with the weak side thumb.

    No. Not even a little bit. In the first place, if you are using a two-handed grip, you are already breaking that grip in order to reach for the new mag; using my strong hand thumb (which sits right on top of the mag release anyway, on my Sigs and Glocks) causes less disruption of my grip and is also faster. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is this - who says you are going to have two hands on your gun? Yes, that's how we train, but many people default to a one handed shooting grip under even the simulated stress of force-on-force training. Plus, you could have been using your off hand to manipulate something such as a door or light switch, carrying groceries, pushing off the attacker, or any number of other scenarios. Training yourself to require two hands to release your mag is bad ju-ju, IMO.

    3. then reach down to reload from the weak / left side hand, then

    I am hitting the mag release and moving to draw my new mag simultaneously, while also pulling the pistol back into my "work space," - all three things are going on at the same time, so no time is wasted. Assuming we are at slide lock, my weapon is useless with or without the mag in it - why wait until I have my new mag in hand to drop the empty, useless one? What if there is an issue with the mag falling free (common with some Glock and other polymer mags)? What if it isn't slide lock, but some sort of malfunction that I must now use both hands to clear? If I already have a new mag in hand, what am I going to do with it if I find I need my other hand to get the gun back up? (Note that if I am simply putting a full mag in to replace a partially depleted one, I do as BikerRN does and keep the partial in until the full is up next to the gun.)

    4. Recover the target while simultaneously closing the slide with the left side thumb.

    I train not to use the slide stop at all, but to use the "slingshot" technique. I do, however, also train to use the slide stop if I am shooting one handed (and I train that way quite a bit) because, as noted above, there are many situations where my off hand may be needed for other tasks. That said, I would never use my off hand to manipulate the slide stop for the reasons already stated (slower, more awkward for me, requires two hands.

    I have never had an instructor teach that particular method, and while I won't call it idiotic, I will say that it is a minority opinion in my experience. A minority of one, in fact...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  12. #12
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    Applying a revised technique to an old design isn’t new. However, adapting to this method would be very difficult for those that have trained in a more conventional manner. It's been said that we revert to our lowest level of training under stress.
    Regards,
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    1. pull the gun in close to the body.

    Ok, as long is you mean into your "work space," with firing side elbow close to the body, weapon just below your line of sight and still oriented at the threat (though slightly canted to facilitate accepting the new mag). To answer BikerRNs question, this position gives you more strength if you should need it to manipulate the slide (or whatever), is more "natural" for most people when performing the somewhat complex movements of a fast reload. Operating with your strong arm fully extended feels awkward to many folks, and takes much more time to train to.
    Reloading in close also makes it more difficult for someone to grab your gun. With the gun close to your body they have to get closer to get their hands on it. It also gives you more options for hand-to-hand retention techniques.

  14. #14
    Member Array ranburr's Avatar
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    If you fire to slide lock:
    Immediately, hit the mag release with your strong side thumb, your weak hand ought to be ripping the empty mag out of the pistol. Drop the empty mag, secure and load a new mag with the weak hand. Come over the top of the slide (utilize gross motor skills) with the weak hand and chamber a round.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Here is a link to all the info you need to know about practicing reloads; it is an old shooting comrade, Dave Sevigny demonstrating some IDPA drills, among them reloads. I guarantee you that he and others perfected these techniques shooting with the USPSA crowd, who by far are the fastest reloaders around....

    Enjoy

    YouTube - IDPA Drills
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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