A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, April 03, 2010

On Tactical Reloads

David Armstrong has some incisive thoughts up on tactical reloads. If you are a reader who carries a gun and contemplates effective personal security including lethal force, I suggest you give David's blog, The Thinking Gunfighter a read. Quick, smooth tactical reloads are impressive, especially when performed running and gunning. But are they a viable lifesaving skill in a real gun fight struggle to save one's life?

A while back, I showed a series of photos on how to perform a 1911 reload in this post, and I am fairly proficient at getting the job done. My preference for a handgun reload though, is the shotgun I fought myself to. If I am still in need of ammunition with the smoking shotgun in my hands, I hope there will be another shotgun nearby, or a half empty firearm on the floor.

My thoughts on David's article are in the comments. Thinking Gunfighter.... an apt name to that blog. I'll still carry a spare magazine opposite of the piece on my belt though. A balanced gun belt is a good thing.

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Blogger Ed Rasimus said...

That viddie is simply incredible. Gotta practice...

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was of the opinion I didn't need to carry a reload when I carried my G19 (enough rounds, and all that), but after watching the Magpul Dynamics handgun vids, I will do so, if only to have a spare to use on stoppages and double feeds. To try to lock, rip and rack and keep track of the mag you've been using instead of going for a fresh one seems a solid idea.

St Paul

11:44 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

Not to pick nits, but the video in question isn't a "Tactical Reload".

(Incidentally, Louis Awerbuck would like anybody who ever sees a lull to call him and tell him what it looks like. He thinks they're mythical, like heffalumps and gollywoggles.)

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Bob S. said...

Thought I would let you know that a troll is talking trash about you...without the intestinal fortitude to do it on your blog.


mikeb302000 said...

What I find paranoid is not the competitive excellence of the guy in the video, but the language of Xavier describing how thoroughly he prepares for violent contingencies as if a squad of commandos is liable to attack at any moment.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"I'm an American expat living in Italy these last 20 years."

Need I say more? The guy is talking out his ass.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Bob S. said...


We know that and if you've read Linoge's post you see how much he's talking out of his posterior.

I just didn't want you to be unaware of the troll.

I find his lack of courage to be very telling.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Esteve said...

Was that a reload or a magic trick? Pretty cool either way.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

Xavier, the video you presented here was of a man who is a Grandmaster in USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) demonstrating a reload under competitive circumstances.

You will note that he is obviously 'under fire'. You will also note that he reloads his pistol faster, and more smoothly, than most of us can do under fire.

His pistol is engineered for, among other things, a fast reload. The ability of a man to reload his pistol is here demonstrated under the most benign of circumstances.

However, please be aware that this young man was, at the time the video was filmed, a member of the U.S. Army Competition Unit. (I probably have not correctly cited the unit name, but you get the idea.)

Essentially, this is a demonstration of the fastest one can be expected to reload a pistol, given the least fatal results if the reload is not completed successfully.

Any attempt to compare this demonstration to a "Tactical Situation" (read: self defense) is fallacious and obviously deliberately ignores the ability which is demonstrated by the video.

On the other hand, given the military experience which this young man can reference, it is obvious that the U.S. Army thinks he is on to something.

It may be true that a combat engagement should not, usually, last longer than the number of shots which are typically available in the 'resident' magazine. On the other hand, finding yourself in such a situation ... what will you do?

Fumble for a new magazine? Or quickly reload?

The purpose of this video is to show how a pistol CAN be quickly reloaded; not to suggest that it will ALWAYS be necessary to reload in a defensive situation.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Oh good grief Jerry. This is another reason why I quit blogging.

I am not trying to imply that Travis is under fire in this video.

I am not trying to imply that Travis is being held at gunpoint in this video.

I am not trying to imply that Travis is anything less than a fantastic shooter.

I am not trying to imply that Travis is presenting anything less than an amazing demonstration of skill.

I am not trying to imply that anyone who wants to practice tactical reloads is treading down the wrong path.

What I am saying is that David Armstrong wrote an article that made me think, and an article that challenged one of the paradigms of shooting. If a fellow named Jeff Cooper had not done the same years ago, conventional wisdom would still have us shooting revolvers one handed with our weak hand in our pants pocket.

I needed a video that would attract attention, that would demonstrate how quickly a reload could be done, and that readers might enjoy if they had not yet seen it. A video that would create a few sparks between synapses. The video of Travis fit the bill.

I am not so ignorant to compare a video of a reload demonstration done in what appears to be a hotel room or barracks room to a real life defensive situation.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Bill N. said...

Concerning the picture showing your reload of a 1911 may I suggest you alter your grip on the magazine slightly. The way I learned to do it was with the tip of the index finger touching the first round of the magazine. If the round is pushed forward in the magazine for some reason it can prevent you from inserting your magazine into the pistol well. By placing the tip of your finger on the front of the bullet it prevents the round from being pushed forward in the magazine while reloading. One can also push the round back if it has slid forward for some reason. Also when senting the magazine use the heel of the hand. It has less give than the palm. This was how I was taught at Gunsite over 20 years ago and it has worked well for me as a police officer, soldier, and in pistol matches I have competed in.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Good Point Bill!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...

Just for the record - a tactical reload isn't that hard to do. If I can manage them with my fumble fingers, under stress in classes and competition, then they ain't so tough and they are useful. But unless you wear EXACTLY the same clothes in EXACTLY the same fashion EVERY day, then the so-called 'reload with retention' is worthless. I've seen shooters struggling to shove that magazine into a pocket while they were frozen in place with an empty gun, standing flat-footed in the open, doing a 'retention reload'. Yes, Robbie Leatham can do them just fine, and I watched him do them when I SO'd him in the 1998 IDPA nationals - but OFF the range in the real world where people wear REAL clothes that don't have the pockets wired open like they do in IDPA that reload will get you killed. Dump the mag and speed load and come back for the mag, or tac load when you're confident that the situation permits it, but leave that 'retention' crap for the square range commandos. Only my opinion, of course and I'm just a white boy lost in the blues.

1:51 PM  

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