A fast and effective reload is an essential skill to master, but there are fine points to consider to make sure you aren't dropping the hammer on an empty chamber.
When it comes to defensive pistol reloads, you need to execute them effectively, swiftly and tactically. Fail to do so and you'll be left virtually empty-handed. That's no place to find yourself in a life-or-death situation.
When it comes to keeping your defensive pistol fed, there are essentially three types of reloads:
- Administrative—deliberate loading of the pistol as you would do at the range.
Speed—dumping the spent magazine and replacing it with a fresh one in the shortest time possible, executed with the slide locked back or in battery.
Tactical—removing a partially-spent mag and replacing it with a full one, generally with the pistol in battery.
Each of them is an essential operation you need to master to become proficient with your defensive pistol. However, the speed reload deserves a bit more comment, given improper execution—especially when the gun is in battery—gums up the works. In particular, it’s easy and natural to assume there’s a round in the chamber in this circumstance, thus expect the gun to go bang after you’ve inserted a new magazine. This can prove foolhardiness.
Learn How To Run Your Defensive Pistol:
- The Advantage Of Shooting From The Kneeling Position
- Effectively Shooting From Cover Or Concealment
- Choosing The Right Concealed Carry Pistol
- Perfecting The Failure Drill For Self-Defense
Not an often occurrence, slides can fail to lock back after the last round, in turn you can find yourself with a full magazine and an empty chamber while the gun is in battery. Talk about something that should send a cold chill racing up your spine. But it’s easily avoided. The prudent maneuver, rack the slide after you reload, even if you’re 110-percent sure there’s a round in the chamber. Yes, you might cut yourself one short, but that’s far less of a detriment than finding out you’re dropping the hammer on air.
In any case, you should work on every type of reload routinely. As important as marksmanship, ensuring your pistol is fully loaded, quickly could save your life.
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