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Old 10-13-2012, 20:43   #1
PhoenixTacSolutions
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Tactical Reload

This is the way I like to execute a tactical reload...it's not the only way...there are several ways of doing it. You may also opt for a reload with retention. Find what works for you and evolve...

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Old 10-14-2012, 19:52   #2
matt_lowry123
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Looks like a pretty good way to reload
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Old 10-14-2012, 21:54   #3
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Nice vid!

It would have been a little better w/ live fire demo.

I've never been a big fan of retaining a used mag in a firefight. Let it drop and if you live long enough you can always pick it up later.

I was taught a long time ago to count your rounds while shooting ( not the easiest thing to do when someone is shooting at you but the last thing that you want to happen is to have your slide lock back unexpectedly.

Count your rounds, swap mags during a lull in action or when behind cover and pray for the best.

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:57   #4
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As-usual, I really like Phoenix's stuff. He always presents it as "one way," and/or "his preference," and notes that there's plenty of other techniques out there that may either be preferable, given the situation, or, alternatively, students would also want to learn.

FRR, I agree that if you can count your rounds, there's nothing bad about it. That's one more advantage you will have over your opponents. However, like you said, how many of us - even when we're only under the self-imposed stress of a competition or am being put through the paces in a stressful exercise rigged by instructors/schools - are able to count? :lol: I know I lose track pretty easily. However, one thing that even "intermediate" level shooters can quickly develop a feel for is just how light/heavy their gun is. Shoot enough, and this almost becomes second nature. To me, that's, in many cases, how I judge whether or not I should tac-reload: it's nearly subliminal. Certainly, how well that awareness may play out on the two-way-range is something that I cannot attest to working - or not. I can only hope that if I were ever in such an awful scenario, that if there was a lull in the fight, that the "cleansing breath" I take to help me better assess my situation would also help me realize that I should assess my weapon, too.

Two pearls which I have gleaned from other instructors that I do want to share with everyone:

(1) If your gun has a magazine disconnect enabled, this has implications for how you will need to react should something happen during the course of the tactical reload.

(2) If you pull out your spent magazine and see/feel that there's no bullets in it, it will be beneficial to you to press-check/chamber-check the gun immediately upon completion of your tactical reload: that it's always possible that, for whatever reason, your gun failed to lock-back on-empty. Ostensibly, a tactical-reload is done so that we can continue the fight. It would really suck to pull that trigger after the reload, to hear a loud click instead of a bang.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:04   #5
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Just curious if you've ever done that under stress? I've done a lot of tac loads under stress of competition and even though bullets aren't flying my way I think your method is a lot to ask in fine motor skills under stress. Specifically trying to index the partial mag between specific fingers. I've seen number of highly skilled shooters fumble tac loads done at the gun. Reloads with retention are far more reliable and less likely to fumble. YMMV Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with your method, I just question whether someone can do it reliably without fumbling the load when adrenaline is surging through your system.

Secondly, I've trained with several top tier instructors. None of them prescribe to putting partial mags in mag carriers. Again, that's your method and if it works for you, drive on. I personally only store mags in mag carriers that I know are loaded to capacity. Nothing worse than grabbing a mag that you think is full to find out that it is not.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:09   #6
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^ I know the questions are for the OP, but I'd like to get in on the information exchange as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagr View Post
Just curious if you've ever done that under stress? I've done a lot of tac loads under stress of competition and even though bullets aren't flying my way I think your method is a lot to ask in fine motor skills under stress. Specifically trying to index the partial mag between specific fingers. I've seen number of highly skilled shooters fumble tac loads done at the gun. Reloads with retention are far more reliable and less likely to fumble. YMMV Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with your method, I just question whether someone can do it reliably without fumbling the load when adrenaline is surging through your system.
I agree, I've seen highly skilled - professional - shooters fumble under stress as well: whether it be a timer they're racing or when they're putting on a demo in front of paying students.

But that's not limited to the tactical reload. It can happen anywhere and everywhere.

I agree, there is an element of fine motor skills involved, but then again, it can also be argued that a lot of manipulations are "fine," and that stress-inoculation is what makes the difference. Without belaboring that eternal argument , the way I see it, it's just another technique (which, of-course, always brings up the specter of Hick's Law ). In the end, the situation - as well as the shooter's skill level - will dictate which techniques are employed.

And in so far as stress goes, I certainly have not been tested by incoming fire. But in terms of training, I've definitely used this technique and have not found it to be problematic.

Quote:
Secondly, I've trained with several top tier instructors. None of them prescribe to putting partial mags in mag carriers. Again, that's your method and if it works for you, drive on. I personally only store mags in mag carriers that I know are loaded to capacity. Nothing worse than grabbing a mag that you think is full to find out that it is not.
I have also trained with a few "top tier" instructors, and so far (here, I need to put in a caveat - I've only been shooting for slightly less than two years), all of the instructors/schools have favored a tactical reload technique that's in-line with what the OP presented. This is not to say that they do not favor or teach the "reload with retention," but rather, to say that as one technique, this type of tactical reload has been, in my experience, conveyed in the same manner.

Ammo/load-out consolidation is also taught by these instructors, typically in-parallel with the tactical reload technique. In conjunction, stowing empty magazines in the mag pouch/carrier or, specifically during these exercises, dropping/dumping partial magazines, are frowned upon.

Overall, I really thought that Jason Falla presented some very, very valuable information about the execution of the tactical reload in the following post on M4C.net:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Falla
Tactical reloads should be performed when the time and opportunity presents itself. There are many gamers in this industry that have little insight into real combat and rely mostly on speculation when it comes to teaching certain weapons manipulations.

Times when tactical reloads should be performed:

Tactical reloads should be performed from cover where appropriate, potentially prior to covering the move of an individual or maneuver group across an obstacle during urban combat.

Tactical Reloads should be performed at the Re-Org phase of an assault, together with ammo redistribution, assessment of casualties and comms.

Prior to conducting a back clearance of a stronghold during offensive room combat operations, or if time permits prior to exiting rooms in a team environment.

Tactical reloads should not be performed while engaged in hostilities with enemy combatants. When receiving effective fire, ground forces will need to regain the initiative by providing large volumes of effective fire into likely enemy positions. Magazines will run dry and combat reloads are the order of the day.

The skill of being able to perform at tactical reload is one worth learning, but timing is key during the execution.

There is a huge difference between combat and competition!

Time for reality checks!
The emphasis is his, and I have not altered the post.

Larry Vickers also gave a very similar response, and that particular OP's worries very much mirrored yours, Jagr.

Last edited by TSiWRX; 10-17-2012 at 08:17..
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:20   #7
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I appreciate the OPs time and effort and like most said, there are several ways to do tac reloads. The key to them is practice and repetition. In a fight, we revert to our training, good or bad.

Another thing to consider is how and how many mags you carry. I train with dual mag pouches, but I carry only a single spare mag 99% of the time, with a second spare in my vehicle, not on me. I always carry it on my left side, but location varies with my attire.

Couple rules I train/practice:

1. I sweep my belt line from front to back to feel for my spare.

2. I grab my new mag, index the round, then execute the swap much like the OP.

3. If I have a single ammo carrier AND I don't have another spare, I place the mag back in it (or whatever pocket I keep my spare mag in.

Problem with the OP was he replaced the less than full mag in the same place he took the fresh mag from, and he had two mags in the pouch. If I have dual mag pouch, I take from front pouch, tac load, put half full mag in pocket, move fresh mag forward or leave it alone based on time constraints.

Bottom line, if I run the gun to slide lock, the first mag I come to when my hand sweeps my belt line is the fullest mag I have on my person.

If I had time, I would probably place half full mag in the rear pouch.

I learned to do tac reloads at Gunsite. They are very specific on how to do them. Here is a good video on how they teach them.



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Old 10-17-2012, 11:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzznRose View Post
Problem with the OP was he replaced the less than full mag in the same place he took the fresh mag from, and he had two mags in the pouch.
Actually, he took from the rearmost slot of his pouch, which is what's considered, by many, to be the proper one to draw a tactical reload from when there is more than one slot/pouch available, as it allows one to maintain the fully loaded magazine in the forward most - ostensibly the easiest to reach and index under an emergency reload condition - slot.

Quote:
Bottom line, if I run the gun to slide lock, the first mag I come to when my hand sweeps my belt line is the fullest mag I have on my person.

If I had time, I would probably place half full mag in the rear pouch.
^ I thought he did? At time-point 0:35, the OP goes for the rear-most magazine in his pouch, and I'd assume that he then returned the spent magazine to that slot.....

Regardless, to me, exactly, that is the time to consolidate (i.e. "bumping mags forward") - since the tac-reload assumes a true lull in the fight, I should have time to correct my mistakes. Jason Falla's - and other instructors' - philosophy is what I've been taught to follow.

Grabbed the "wrong" magazine - the forward-most - to do the reload with? No biggie, just shuffle and consolidate.

Last edited by TSiWRX; 10-17-2012 at 11:45..
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Old 10-17-2012, 14:56   #9
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Not saying this Tactical reload is wrong, just different then what I have been taught and teach. I always sweep to the first available mag on any reload, if it is a tactical reload, the partial mag goes in a pocket, only full mags are in your pouches. Empty mags are not retained. Interesting though to see other versions.
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Old 10-17-2012, 15:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coondawg477 View Post
Not saying this Tactical reload is wrong, just different then what I have been taught and teach. I always sweep to the first available mag on any reload, if it is a tactical reload, the partial mag goes in a pocket, only full mags are in your pouches. Empty mags are not retained. Interesting though to see other versions.
^ Ah, I get what you're saying, now.

I'm definitely one for learning all I can, too.
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Old 10-17-2012, 16:45   #11
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^ Ah, I get what you're saying, now.

I'm definitely one for learning all I can, too.
I should have said "the partial magazine removed from the gun is placed in a pocket rather than in your mag pouch. Only full mags are kept in the mag pouch".
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Old 10-17-2012, 18:40   #12
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^ Hey, it'd be easier if we could just talk to each other face-to-face. They don't call this the Errornet for nothing.

Last edited by TSiWRX; 10-17-2012 at 18:41..
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Old 10-17-2012, 19:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coondawg477 View Post
Not saying this Tactical reload is wrong, just different then what I have been taught and teach. I always sweep to the first available mag on any reload, if it is a tactical reload, the partial mag goes in a pocket, only full mags are in your pouches. Empty mags are not retained. Interesting though to see other versions.
Coondawg,

I agree with you, and I too was taught only full mags in pouches, BUT...I came to the conclusion that if I only have two full mags to start, and I'm in a lull in the action (that you don't know if it will last), and I decide to top off, then I will place the partial mag (my only reload left) in the pouch because in an extended bad situation and I run into slide lock, I will automatically sweep for my reload there first, versus trying to fish it out of a pocket.

In my current life, being in this type of situation is practically unthinkable, but still, I train like I might need to have this skill.


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Old 10-17-2012, 20:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzznRose View Post
Coondawg,

I agree with you, and I too was taught only full mags in pouches, BUT...I came to the conclusion that if I only have two full mags to start, and I'm in a lull in the action (that you don't know if it will last), and I decide to top off, then I will place the partial mag (my only reload left) in the pouch because in an extended bad situation and I run into slide lock, I will automatically sweep for my reload there first, versus trying to fish it out of a pocket.

In my current life, being in this type of situation is practically unthinkable, but still, I train like I might need to have this skill.


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I do the same thing if the partial mag is all I have left.
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Old 10-17-2012, 20:45   #15
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Tac reloads make gun games more interesting and give instructors something to teach and students to pay for.

However for the average pistol packin civilian I would say its value is insignificant.
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Old 10-17-2012, 20:59   #16
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Quote:
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Tac reloads make gun games more interesting and give instructors something to teach and students to pay for.

However for the average pistol packin civilian I would say its value is insignificant.
You really think that is true? Folks have been topping off their guns during lulls in the battle since the metallic cartridge was invented. In the old days it was called "topping off your gun" instead of "Tactical Reload".
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Old 10-18-2012, 13:29   #17
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I'm sure it has its place in "battle".
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Old 10-18-2012, 16:34   #18
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The true 'Tactical Reload'... where you start by grabbing a fresh mag from a belt pouch... bring it to the gun... release the partial mag from the gun... catch that partial mag with the hand holding the new full mag...then shove the new full mag into the gun and then store the partial mag for later use is... IMHO.. someone's massive WET DREAM!

If one has tremendously fine motor hand skills under stress (not something I would want to bet on) it can work with slender single stack 1911 mags (which is where this Wet Dream came from) but try it with a modern double stack mag.

Trying to manipulate two thick double stack mags in one hand is an open invitation to Mr. Murphy (and his entire extended family) to come pay you a visit.

I have seen the following occur with true tactical reloads under nothing more than the simple stress of a IDPA buzzer (1) One or both mags dropped to the ground (2) Newly inserted mag not fully seated because of too many objects in the same hand, and it dropped out on first round fired (3) Shooter firing 3 or 4 rounds and going to slide lock ..OOPs!... stuck the wrong mag of the two they were juggling back into the gun!

What's the point?

If you wish to extract a partially filled mag and replace it with a full mag, the Reload With Retention (RWR) makes more sense because there are no complex moves. The RWR is simple and direct (1) Pull mag from gun (2) Stuff in front pants pocket on the same side as your spare mags are located (3) When coming out of said pocket with empty hand you are right there to grab a fresh mag.

Both techniques keep a round in the chamber during the reload process. The Tactical Reload creates a lot of room for Murphy. The RWR is short, sweet and involves simple and positive movements.

Put yourself on a timer and see which one is actually the shortest, and most fool proof route to exchanging a partial mag for a full one. Run it ten times, and figure the average.

My guess is that you'll decide the Tactical Reload is not your best bet.
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Old 10-18-2012, 17:26   #19
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Quote:
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I'm sure it has its place in "battle".

Ok, if "battle" scares you too much, we could use gunfight, armed confrontation or any event requiring a good guy to use a firearm on 1 or many bad men or women.
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Old 10-18-2012, 17:33   #20
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Chrisx2,

Every move of shooting a handgun is a fine motor skill. A true "Tactical" reload is supposed to be done during a lull when you are safe to do so, not supposed to be a race, if you fumble it then you are moving too fast or haven't practiced enough, both choices the shooter makes for themselves. I don't train for gun games nor participate in them. Nor will I ever as they give you bad habits, there is no clock in real situations only hits or misses, life or death. You use whichever method you have trained with and feel comfortable with.
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