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Discussion Starter #1
I just put this on the gun club board and thought I'd toss it out to you guys for comment.

Recently I have been experiencing some DISMAL IDPA match results. So what ELSE is new, right? Please, no cracks. :duh:

I have never concentrated on playing the "IDPA game" and many of you may recall my first question on finishing a course is if I had any procedurals. However, I think I'm having a lot of trouble with my reload technique, especially where mag retention is critical. It's always been a problem even when I was using a 1911 or my Glock. It may be worse now because I recently switched to the H&K USP (strange mag release).

Can somebody detail a good sequence, step by step, for a smooth and fast tactical reload (not from slidelock)? Is it worthwhile to put the replaced mag back in the mag holder on the hip or does this burn more time? How many folks swap the mags and retain hold of the mag in the nonfiring hand so as to keep the pace? If this is done, what happens if you must perform yet another reload? I need this asap so I can practice before the next qualifier in April. :blink:
 

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Jim - I am not slick compared to some of the guys but I endevor to get old mag asap into a left pocket - too fiddly going into mag pouch. If I have a vest cover garment this helps a lot, giving me a front left pocket.

I don't personally favor holding on to the old mag - it is too inconsistent for me. What I may have gained in time I will lose in accuracy in next string of shots.

So - mag release - cup left hand to secure mag - quick dive to pocket to dump then on with grabbing the fresh one and in. Always sounds easier than it is - but some dry fire practice with weighted mags does help a bit to get a better flow. I have much practice to do yet to get anything like what I'd call good :wink:
 

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pull the pistol to centerline just above the belt, catch the mag and tuck it into your belt iwb firmly, sweep the hand back and aquire reload stoking the pistol in the same place, roll hands properly togeather and present pistol . This can all be done while moving ect by bringing pistol to just above waist level ( you will find your sweet spot ) and close to the body you isolate pistol movement and since " hands find hands" have no need to look down to load. You never loose focus of your course of fire. it takes longer to describe than do lol
 

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Thanks RR! I just found out that one of the local indoor ranges (gunshop too) allows the guys from MY club to do drills that are not extended to the general public. They allow tac reloads and draw from a holster ON THE LINE. So I'm going to go study under some of the better club shooters to improve my own skills. I'm an instructor myself and I'm a professional educator that means I'm ALWAYS learning from folks better than myself to do a better job.
 

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Ex,

I know you probably this but just in case... There's a tactical reload and a reload with retention.

The tactical reload purportedly minimizes the time the gun is unloaded, but it increases reload time and I think it requires more manual dexterity. The reload with retention, requires the gun to be in an unloaded state longer, but the reload is faster and to me, more reliable.

There are two ways to perform a tact load. The first is executed by retrieving the fresh mag. The index finger is along the front side of the mag with the tip of the index finger very near the tip of the top bullet in the mag. The fresh mag is brought up to the gun and the mag in the gun is released into the palm of the support hand (which is holding the fresh mag). The used mag has to be "gripped" by the small finger and ring finger. The fresh mag is inserted and seated and then the used mag is secured in the belt or a pocket.

The second tactical reload method is like the first except you re-position the fresh mag in your hand as you bring it to the gun. This method is especially useful and advantageous for wide mags like Glocks and USPs. As the support hand brings the mag toward the gun, the mag is re-positioned by moving the middle finger to the other side of the mag. This places the mag between the ring finger and middle finger. In this position, the mag is secure and the thumb and index finger are now available to manipulate the mag in the gun. E.g., a full-size Glock has a finger relief in the front of the grip. You can use your free index finger and thumb to forcibly remove the mag should it not drop out. The mag in the gun is released into the grip of the thumb and index finger. The wrist is rotated and the fresh mag is inserted. The used mag can now be secured in a pocket.

The reload with retention is executed by removing the mag from the gun first and securing it in a pocket, etc. and then essentially performing a speed reload. The advantages to this method is that you never have to manipulate more than one mag at a time, and it takes less time.

The classic rebuttal to the reload with retention is that the gun is unloaded too long. But, if you’re in a gunfight, you should be speed reloading from cover not tact reloading or reloading from retention. So to me the argument that the gun is unloaded too long is irrelevant.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Tangle. I had to do a cut and paste onto a document so I can really study your post. I'm a visual guy so it really has to be shown to me rather than explained in print. But I'm going to show this to the guys in the club and I'm SURE they'll know what to show me. I knew about indexing the mag to the mag well, but I didn't know about the difference between the Tac and Retention reloads. They seem awfully similar to me.
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
...difference between the Tac and Retention reloads. They seem awfully similar to me.
By chance do you mean the difference between the two tactical reload methods rather than the difference between the tactical and reload with retention?

In either of the tactical reload methods, the new mag is retrieved before the mag in the gun is removed. In the reload with retention, the mag in the gun is removed and secured in a pocket before the fresh mag is retrieved.

Believe me, if you compare tactical reload times to reload with retention, it will be clear the reload with retention is faster. Plus if you push the speeds up a bit, you'll find that you'll muff more tact loads than reloads with retention.

Would it be useful if I took some pics and posted them?
 

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Ahhhhh GOTCHA

Tangle said:
In either of the tactical reload methods, the new mag is retrieved before the mag in the gun is removed. In the reload with retention, the mag in the gun is removed and secured in a pocket before the fresh mag is retrieved. Would it be useful if I took some pics and posted them?
:yup:

Ahhh that was buried in the text and I didn't quite "see" it. And yes it would help if you could post some pix. Thanks. :congrats:
 

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Ex,

I forgot to respond to this, so if I may...

"...However, I think I'm having a lot of trouble with my reload technique, especially where mag retention is critical. It's always been a problem even when I was using a 1911 or my Glock. It may be worse now because I recently switched to the H&K USP (strange mag release)."

I've shot Sig, XDs, 1911s, Beretta, Glock, BHP, H&K USP and P2000 and probably some I can't remember. I have never seen a surer, faster mag release than a USP. If all else were equal, I'd carry nothing but a USP9, but everything isn't equal so...

The first time I actually performed a reload on an a USP, I thought it would take some getting used to. It did - one shooting session! I didn't realize just how instinctive and natural the mag release on the USP was until I took a different gun to the range and couldn't get used to the thumb release that I had used for years. It was then I realized how good the USP mag release really is.

I don't know how you're releasing the mag, but for me using the trigger finger is by far superior to using the thumb. Using the trigger finger also insures the trigger finger is off the trigger during the reload. I guess it's clear that I'm really sold on the USP mag release.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Trigger finger mag release

Tangle said:
I don't know how you're releasing the mag, but for me using the trigger finger is by far superior to using the thumb. Using the trigger finger also insures the trigger finger is off the trigger during the reload. I guess it's clear that I'm really sold on the USP mag release.
:king:

Okay, I'm sitting behind my desk in my classroom and I'm hidden by the desk and a bookcase (strategically placed so I can still view the room) and I'm pretending to grip the USP in my right hand (at low ready), fingers curled and although I can naturally shift my thumb position to drop the mag (as I would a 1911) it doesn't seem to work for my trigger finger to move the lever downward at the base of the triggerguard. I'll try it for real when I get home.:hand5:
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
:king:

Okay, I'm sitting behind my desk in my classroom and I'm hidden by the desk and a bookcase (strategically placed so I can still view the room) and I'm pretending to grip the USP in my right hand (at low ready), fingers curled and although I can naturally shift my thumb position to drop the mag (as I would a 1911) it doesn't seem to work for my trigger finger to move the lever downward at the base of the triggerguard. I'll try it for real when I get home.:hand5:
LOL! I can visualize that image!

It'll feel much different with the gun; I'm sitting here (without the gun) and it doesn't feel right to me either, but when the gun is in your hand and you acclimate just a bit, it'll be different.

Don't go fast, just get the feel. Speed will come naturally. I'm really eager to hear what you think after you try it. Keep me posted.
 

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The reason I don't participate in IDPA type stuff is because of the tac reload drills. IMO these drills will cost somebody their life one day because they will be more worried about holding on to that partially spent mag instead of getting more ammo into the gun. (Which after all is what HAS to be done). Think of how easy it is to fumble one during a match. It's going to be 100 times harder to perform when bullets are flying around you.

In a real gunfight, in which you have to reload your gun (in a hurry), doing a speed reload is the only thing that will really work. Reach for your new mag. Draw it from its holder in the manner described above, with your index finger lined up on the mag so that the top round is at the tip of your finger, drop the used mag to the ground and slam the fresh one home, then realign your sights on target. If I have cover and the time, I can always pick that mag up off the ground.

Another point to remember when doing a combat reload is to never take your eyes off the target, or move the muzzle from the targets direction. Be able to reload your gun blindfolded or in complete darkness. Be able to perform reloads as easily and thoughtlessly as you do in putting on your shooting glasses.

This is just my .02 worth. But I have seen the elephant. :yup:

Trust me here guys. :image035:
 

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Well I disagree and agree with the posts above on several points.

1. A reload from slide-lock does not require retention of the spent mag. Fill it up and go, YOU ARE STILL FIGHTING.

2. A tac-reload represents a LULL in the fight and speed is not the greatest issue. A reload with retention is plenty fast enough and it is done from behind cover, which is required in IDPA.

3. I agree the fumble prone "tactical reload" is a gamer invention to save 10ths of seconds off time, and that it's a bad idea, Stick with the reload with retention. The time difference in minimal, but the retention is greatly increased with it. Both are ADMIN functions anyway.

4. Watching the target does me no good if I can't get bullets into the magwell FAST. I prefer "never lose track of the target" and watch your mag into the well.

It's less than 1/10sec to target glance the magwell while keeping the target in your line of sight. Use a timer and test it yourself. I don't care how many times you have reloaded with your eyes closed (I've done it 1000s of times) you will still be faster and smoother with a target glance to the magwell. Do both 100 times counting your misses and tell me with a straight face you missed less while watching a moving object in front of you or blindfolded.
 

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I agree with you Oregon, sort of. At least on points 1 and 2.

What will happen in a real fight is that when you take your eyes off the BG for that 1/10 of a second, He will change his position when you do and then he will come up somewhere you didn't expect him.

I don't see, or at least have, a skill problem with bringing a mag to the base of my strong hand in position to slap into an empty magwell. That may be just me, but I can count the number of times I've fumbled a mag insertion on one hand.

I just think it's more important to not loose sight of the BG. If I'm at slide lock, then reloading is required. If I'm not at slidelock, I'll reload when I chose to and that won't be with him looking looking me in the face with a gun in his hand.

And yes, I still have a straight face. :yup:
 

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I agree, but like I said... "I'm not losing sight of him." I'm using periphial sighting to see a blurred target and clear mag well for an insignificant amount of time.

Unless he can remove himself from my 120deg cone of vision in 1/10th of a second I'm not losing anything and gaining a positve reload.

You are a freak if you have done thousands of "no-look" reloads from slide-lock with less than 5 misses. Or very good at keeping a straight face! :)
 

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Thank you. I will take the 'freak' appellation with the utmost pride and appreciation. :image035:

I was taught well at a very early age and then my days in SF just amplified my ability to handle firearms with a minimum of thought towards what I'm doing at that moment. Of course 2 years in sunny Southeast Asia didn't hurt my abilities either.

The bottom line is; can you make this work for you in a gunfight with bullets flying?

You have to do what works for you.
 

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Wait guys, who in their right mind would do a tact load or a load with retention in a gunfight?

A tactical reload or a load with retention has no place in a gunfight and should never be done in a gunfight.

But what about all the other times, say the gunfight is over, the BG(s) are in custody, and it's time to top off the gun. You're standing on concrete and you're just going to drop the part that causes the most failures to your gun and let it bounce off the concrete? I'm not going to.

Let's talk about some other instances, a cop needs to reload before he proceeds. He's got three comrades covering the situation and the BGs have left the scene. The cops are about to pursue them. He's standing in the dark in two inches of muddy water, N.O. comes to mind, or he's in a boat that's got water in the bottom of it, or he's on a stairway and if he drops his mag it may be lost, the ammo with it plus the noise will give away your position. Or you're in a dark alley, and have to be very careful using your lights, if you drop your mag you likely won't be able to see where it's going to wind up or what its gong to wind up in, and again the sound of the mag bouncing around among the cans and bottles. There are no shots are being fired, you're buddies are covering while you reload. I'm not gonna drop my mag.

I'm also never going to do a tactical or retention reload in the middle of a gunfight with bullets flying. I'd no more do a tactical or retention reload with bullets flying than I'd stop to clean my gun. But for all those other times, I'm likely going to do a reload with retention. I just don't see dropping my mag everytime I reload when it isn't necessary. The mag is the one thing that causes more malfunctions than any othe part of the gun. I've seen feed lips and floor plates bend and distorted from dropping mags.
 

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What you say is Good Tangle

But your not going to do a tac reload at speed after the fight is over you have time to slow down a bit and reload and not worry about dropping the mag on the ground or say bottom of a boat.

If ya read all the gun rags they tell you tac reload during the fight is way to go same with the games .. Sorry im shooting to slide lock then ill reload after the fact im not sure you would call it a tac reload when the fight is done or just a plain reload
 

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Bud,

I understand, I shoot to slide lock too and speed reload. But when it's over and I want to top off my gun, there's no threat, so speed is not an issue. A tactical reload in real life is not a fast thing.

Competition is something else. If you're "on the timer" and are required to do a tactical or retention reload, then it's a speed thing. And, it's a gross misapplication of a good thing.

The tactical and retention reload is an administrative action, similar to cleaning or inspecting the gun. It was never intended to be used in a gunfight. A speed reload should always be used in a gunfight.

If I had fired 7 shots, and the BG was behind cover and I was behind cover, but it's not over yet, if I wanted to top off my gun rather than wait for slide lock at perhaps a very bad time, I'd speed reload - I'm still in a threat situation. Tactical and retention reloads have no place in a threat situation.

Unfortunately, competitions give the impression that a tactical reload should be done before it's over. That just ain't right.
 
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