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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello experienced shooters!

Which do you believe is more effective and why? Which is more practical, or are they the same when in comes to speed and practicality?

My opinion is that a true tactical reload is the better method. By obtaining a new mag BEFORE dropping the partially depleted one, you reduce the amount of time your firearm has no magazine in it. I would also say, though, that a good tactical reload takes a little more practice than a Reload with Retention.

For those who don't know what these are, fear not! I didn't know until I started competing in IDPA.

Tactical Reload: Shooter retrieves new mag from pouch, gripping in the front fingers, ie thumb, index and/or middle. Shooter then releases partially spent mag from firearm into latter fingers, ie middle, ring, and/or pinky. Shooter then shifts hand and inserts new mag, then stows partial mag in either pocket or pouch for use later.

Reload with Retention: Shooter releases partial mag into hand, stows in pocket or pouch, then retrieves new mag and inserts into firearm.

FYI: this is my understanding of the two types of reloads (other than slide-lock). Feel free to correct me if I'm way off (I didn't go into exact detail on how to do the reloads, grip the mags, etc, because I just wanted to give an overview.)

Anyway, what are your thoughts on these types of reloads? Which do you prefer?
 

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My belief is that there is only one practical reloading method: Punch the button and drop the magazine with the strong hand, while, at the same time, reach for the reload with the weak hand. Briefly hold the gun at eye level and "look the magazine in," and then ram it home and commence shooting again.
If you think you've dropped usable rounds left in your discarded magazines, do go back later and retrieve them.
If really good, safe cover is available, you could duck behind or into it and execute a "tactical reload," or a "reload with retention," but then you will have to remember which magazine(s) have only one or two rounds left in them, and that may become confusing in the heat of a fight. I wouldn't do it, but it's your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My belief is that there is only one practical reloading method: Punch the button and drop the magazine with the strong hand, while, at the same time, reach for the reload with the weak hand. Briefly hold the gun at eye level and "look the magazine in," and then ram it home and commence shooting again.
If you think you've dropped usable rounds left in your discarded magazines, do go back later and retrieve them.
If really good, safe cover is available, you could duck behind or into it and execute a "tactical reload," or a "reload with retention," but then you will have to remember which magazine(s) have only one or two rounds left in them, and that may become confusing in the heat of a fight. I wouldn't do it, but it's your choice.
Good point. The routine that me and my friends had developed was taking the mag furthest back first, then putting the partial mag in it's place. Not failproof, but it does help take some of the anonymity out of the process. Also, I figure that tactical reloads and reloads with retention are reserved for when one is in cover, not for when one is under fire and running. Then you just drop the damn thing and reload. :)
 

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I favor the RWR. Your weak hand does the same amount of travel from supporting your gun to your waist and back, but there's less chances of fumbling and dropping a mag. Also, if you have a large pocket, it's easy and quick to just drop the partial mag in there.
 

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Context is everything here. The OP asked about IDPA. With that said, there is a higher degree of dexterity involved with the tactical reload, but it can be much faster than RWR, and if you have an established protocol for handling magazines, then you shouldn't have to worry too much about your next reload being a short mag.

Here's how I break it down.
If you are carrying more than one magazine (lets say two spares) and you need to do an emergency reload (slide lock reload), drop the empty magazine while grabbing the front most magazine and reload.

If you are doing a TR, use the back most magazine and put the short magazine back where you took the magazine from, leaving your full magazine to the front in the event you need to do a slide lock reload, you'll have a full magazine in the forward most slot.

If you are doing a RWR, drop the magazine into your hand, store in a pocket, and grab the forward most magazine. In the event you deplete all your magazines, go to your pocket for the short mag.

Now, if we're talking a defensive situation, I agree with Steve M1911A. Once the first salvo of rounds leaves the gun and you still have rounds in the gun, do a scan and assess on the situation, move to cover if available, but most important, keep that gun fueled up in case more bad shit happens.
 

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You're really talking about administrative techniques, guy. You don't do either one in a combat situation, it'll get you killed. As such, I don't know how to say which is more 'effective'. I'm with Steve, punch button, drop mag, replace mag, continue the fight. If it's a lull in the action it doesn't matter when you put the mag in.
 

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Meh. It's more of a game than training.
That depends a great deal upon how you look at it, and how you use it.
If you compete against the other shooters for points, prizes, or bragging rights, you are correct: It's a mere game.
If you compete only against yourself, comparing today's performance against yesterday's, then you will be practicing and learning in the only environment normally available which at least approximates real gunfights.
(Been there, done that.)
 

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The OP specifically mentioned IDPA.
He says he learned about these in IDPA, however this IS the Tactics & Technique section of the forum, not the Competition section.

Now, regarding reloads....it depends.

If you have time for a tactical reload and can accomplish it without flubbing the procedure, do so. If you can safely retain a mag a mag, do so. If not, ditch the sucker and do what you have to do to keep shooting IE speed reload not worrying about the retaining an empty.

In the light armored community it was not uncommon for us to dummy-cord our mags so we could drop them and not loose them 20 miles back. While we were being resupplied with ammunition, I don't think we got replenished with a whole lot of mags.

In terms of competition, the reload with retention can be done pretty fast as your hand is all ready on the gun to remove the mag and it's going to travel to the belt line anyway...the "tactical reload" is easy to botch. I prefer just reload with retaining the empty. Trying the two mags in one hand thing kind of sucks.

Besides, I shoot a 1911, like there's going to be any ammunition left in the mag to retain.. (Added for HK Dan's benefit:mrgreen:)
 

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"You fight as you train."
IDPA shooting is training, specifically for fighting.
QED
I have to disagree. IDPA is a shooting game with specific rules. It's not designed for back alley, in the street, you could die gun fighting, except the use cover of course. Those IDPA reloads take time. I'm betting anyone involved in a dramatic gun fight will go to slide lock, say oh shit, and reload a fresh magazine, for those who carry an extra mag. For us that do not, we can only hope to hear the arrival of a police siren, or help in some way.
 

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I agree

i have to disagree. Idpa is a shooting game with specific rules. It's not designed for back alley, in the street, you could die gun fighting, except the use cover of course. Those idpa reloads take time. I'm betting anyone involved in a dramatic gun fight will go to slide lock, say oh shit, and reload a fresh magazine, for those who carry an extra mag. For us that do not, we can only hope to hear the arrival of a police siren, or help in some way.
i agree
 

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I repeat that it's "the only environment normally available which at least approximates real gunfights."
If one uses it properly, it's training.
If one uses it properly, anything can be part of one's training.

Truth:
I have never competed in IDPA.
I competed in IPSC, in the SWPL, beginning fairly soon after it had been instituted. The IPSC/SWPL club to which I belonged seceded from the sport because it had begun to be anything but practical, but it still offered training to those who used it properly.
Today, the nearest thing to truly practical shooting is one (or more) of the following: instruction in some shooting schools, the IDPA, and the SCTC of Southern California (which I helped found). All of them have street-unrealistic rules which must be obeyed, for safety purposes. These rules do not vitiate the learning that is possible in that environment.
 

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If I end up in a shootout there will most likely not be a helper around to cover me while reloading. I have shot enough to know I can reload much faster by flicking the release while reaching for a spare mag. An empty mag is of no value to me while in a shootout therefore it is simple trash at the point of release. If conditions allow I may look for dropped mags afterward but it is probable the police will prefer they be left in place. If I survive I want the police to have enough evidence to exonerate me and empty cases and mag position just might help.

If I manage to escape the area without all my mags so be it. I have more at home. The key is to escape danger unscathed.

Should I at 71 years old, end up in a true war zone I probably wont make it so need to blast fast and furious till all rounds are expended and maximum damage has been inflicted. YMMVtumbleweed
 

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I repeat that it's "the only environment normally available which at least approximates real gunfights."
If one uses it properly, it's training.
If one uses it properly, anything can be part of one's training.
I appreciate the sentiment, but it's just not true Steve. Nobody is going to correct bad technique in a match. A match is at best a practice and nowhere near real training.

Hey JD--How do ya find a 1911 shooter at a USPSA match? Follow the trail of live ammo and empty mags on the ground. He'll be at the end of it, crying...LOLOLOL
 
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