Pistol, Tactical Reload

It is very difficult to keep count of the shots that you've fired while under stress. If you have fired your pistol and are unsure whether you are closer to full or empty, maybe it's time for a Tactical Reload. This skill is reinforced on the range in Pistol Drill 4.

There are two situational requirements for a tactical reload:

If there is a break in the action you may have time to perform this procedure. This is all subjective but, if you have time to wonder how many shots you fired, then you have time for a reload.

Cover or Concealment:
Cover is better but concealment may be all you have. The idea is not to be exposed while executing a tactical magazine change.
Step 1:
Obtain a fresh magazine from your equipment.
It is a common mistake to remove the partial magazine before retrieving the new one. Don't do this.

No matter how many rounds are in the magazine it's way better than only one in the chamber. If the situation flares back up into a fight, you won't be caught with an empty gun.

Step 2:
Eject the partial magazine.
There are several different ways to grip the magazines to perform the exchange. You will have to find the way that works best with your hand size vs. magazine size.

Step 3:
Insert the fresh magazine.
Stow the partial magazine in a location where it can be reached. Dump bags are good for this unless you are also saving empties. Digging through the dump pouch for that last partial magazine is a recipe for frustration.

Example of the Cigar Grip Technique

Technique doesn't matter as much as proficiency. You will drop magazines at first, but it won't take long to master this skill.

Drills & Skills


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Don is a Retired Green Beret over at:

Rodney and Brian are Law Enforcement Officers over at:

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