The tactical reload calls for alot of fine motor coordination under EXTREMELY stressful conditions. For that reason, I doubt it would work in real life.
State of the art reloading, (ok......) is when you decide to reload, physically pull the mag. out of the gun with your weak hand.
Do not grab the full mag. until the mag. in the weapon has been removed.
The thinking is, that Murphy is also a weapon designer, and that if a mag can hang up if you try to drop it be just hitting the mag release, it will hang up, when you are in the fight of your life.
If it hangs up, you will probably already have the next mag in your weak hand, and you don't have a free hand now............
Competitive shooting techniques use techniques best reserved for competition.
So in real life if you want to be 100% sure your reload goes without a hitch.....
1) Get behind cover, if no cover concealment, if no concealment don't stop moving.
2) Hit the mag release with you srtong hand, while stripping the mag. from the weapon with your weak hand.
I suppose if you want to get fancy you could put the "old" mag in a pocket, but throwing it to the ground will work too.
3) Index, insert the new mag.
4) if it was a "slide back" reload, reach over the rear of the slide with your weak hand. Grasp the slide in a "cupping" grip, and pull the slide back releasing it as it goes to it's rearward most travel.
If this was an in battery reload skip step 4.
As a LEO, My department stresses tactical reloading. Some people are proficient at it, others are not. It is all about one thing.... TRAINING and PRACTICE.
You can never be sure you are going to do something in a stress situation unless you practice it until it is second nature. Everytime I shoot, whether at the range, in the desert, or during qual shoots, I practice both. Same thing with drawing out of a retention holster, or clearing a weapon.
Practice, practice, practice. I do not plan on being the guy in the after action photos where I got dead because of a stovepipe round, and I monkeyf*cked with the weapon and got killed because I couldn't clear it in a stress situation. Tap Rack!!!! (Seat the mag by hitting it up into the weapon with your palm, and then racking the slide. Will clear just about any malfunction.)
Tactical reloading works. You have to practice where you are going to place that magazine after you reload, it is just as important. I am a Highway Patrol Officer, and help could be a 1/2 hour away. Every round may count.
Of course, I will be fighting my way back to the trunk, where my AR-15 is waiting to rock and roll...
Or back to the Remington 870 in the passenger seat...
But you have to practice reloading those too.
Tactical reloading is only good if you practice, and can do it without ever looking at the weapon while doing it. keep your eye on the target while reloading. That round in the chamber may be the one you have to put down range, if you do not have time.
There is a time for an empty weapon reload, and a time for a tactical reload.
Next time you are shooting, have someone else load your rounds, and have them load them full, or a couple missing, and then have them yell "Threat" when you are in a holstered position, not ready. Multiple targets, 2 to the body, one to the head. And tactical reload some, and empty reload some. You will see why it is important.
Actually, you need to get that fresh magazine in your hand before removing the not-so-fresh mag. Otherwise, if you have to go to it right then, while you have no mag, you only have a single shot weapon, that will NOT lock back when fired, or in worse case senario, you have a weapon that will not fire without the magazine home. (My issue weapon does, but some models and types do not.)
We get ripped up by the instructors if we start without the fresh mag.
I don’t know that a tactical reload (which I prefer to more descriptively call a “magazine exchange”) is really all that complicated. Granted, it does take fine motor skills, which can be in short supply.
Admittedly, unlike a “speed reload”, you do have the extra motion of retrieving and holding the partially loaded magazine. On the other hand, unlike a speed reload, you don’t have to send the slide forward – it’s still in battery.
I don’t know about IDPA, but in real life you can keep the ejected magazine in your weak hand and still return fire, though putting it in a pocket when you get a chance is a good idea. I’d suggest always using the same pocket and putting the magazine in oriented the same as if it were in a pouch (to make it easier to find and use later).
However, if you’re out of fully loaded spare magazines anyway, I’d suggest you put the ejected magazine back in a magazine pouch – properly oriented.
I agree with you re: dropping a partially loaded magazine with the idea of retrieving it later. I see additional problems. Obviously, if you’ve moved – the magazine didn’t go with you. Also, most gunfights occur in dim light – good luck finding the thing.
Once you’ve found it, there’s a good chance you won’t know the top from the bottom and the front from the rear. (Forget using your fingers for this – in a high stress situation you loose your fine motor control and sense of feeling.)
While the magazine butt plate will keep an upside down magazine it from entering the magazine well to begin with, a right side up but backwards magazine will probably go in the magazine well part of the way and then get stuck.
You’ll think it needs a harder push, and, using the enhanced gross motor skills which also result from a high stress situation, you’ll firmly wedge the magazine in there, taking your pistol out of service!!
(I guess this is where I should rave about the idiocy (IMHO) of competition shooters who put partially loaded magazines backwards in their pouches to indicate the magazine is partially loaded! That might make sense in the relatively relaxed atmosphere of a range, but it is a formula for disaster on the street.)
However, if you know you’ve only got one or two rounds in the magazine in the gun and you’ve got two or more fully loaded ones available, simply loosing the magazine in the gun may make sense. Alternatively, if it’s just you and you’re surrounded by a motorcycle gang, you may decide you might need those one or two rounds.
All that being said, generally shooters run their guns totally dry in gunfights before reloading. (When the FBI carried revolvers, they taught a fire two rounds, reload with two, type of shooting – using a 2+2+2 ammo pouch. But in the Miami gunfight, everyone shot their guns dry!)
Still, while you probably won’t need it, being able to do a magazine exchange is a skill you really should have “just in case”. Get two empty magazines and simply practice swapping out – pretty soon it will be second nature.
Yeah, and if the mag in the weapon hangs up, or you get a nasty stoppage just as you start that reload...... with 1 hand full of gun and 1 hand full of magazine you will have a very tough time pulling a "hung up" mag. out of the mag well.
Often times in gun fights the participants will focus on the threat, the other persons gun. If your gun gets hit it may still be functional, but very hard to reload. I read about a lawsuit against Glock, the officer took one between his second and third fingers of his gun hand. It damaged the frame of the gun and disabled the mag. He was able to remove the destroyed mag. and put a fresh one in to get the gun back in action. That would've been tough to do with a "tactical reload". He sued saying the Glock reiceiver shouldn't have been damaged by a bullet hit, and lost.
If I decide I must reload, the mag in the weapon must come out no matter what.......
I carry 3 13 round mags, +1, if I reload a half full mag. and need those 6 rounds.......... hey wait if I couldn't knock down the threat with those other 34 rounds I doubt 6 more will help me. (I also have 2 more 10 round mags. in the car).
I think that if you use 2 mags, which is a lot of rounds, you should be planning to use the 3rd mag to get to a long gun, or finding good cover because what you are doing isn't working.
Not to mention that most LE shootings are at very close range with something like 5 rounds fired.
I think the tactical reload is good if you are focused on every round be needed, but rquires a lot of small, detailed movements. The method I described, I think is a quicker reload, and works even if the mag in the gun decides not to come out.
I understand what you are saying, but if you look at the way the fresh mag is indexed, it gives you the finger and thumb to strip the old mag. I was never taught to assume that the spent mag would fall out. You want to grasp it before you release it, so that if you are in darkness, it will not just hit the ground.
If you look at a usual gunfight, not a whole lot of Officers hit what they are shooting at in a stress situation. I will be the first to admit that. Shooting at another human being is not a normal reation. Most people would rather not. I know I would rather not. You can imagine that if bullets are flying to the point where you have to reload, both you and the other shooter probably have cover, and you are not going to get a clear shot, i.e., many more expended rounds than usual.
I will agree with you that an Officer should be thinking about the next upgrade of weapon in his arsenal in the car or wherever immediately. I have been taught that the handgun is a defensive weapon anyway. You should be using it to get to your shotgun, or rifle, which will be your offensive weapon.
I understand your points, and do see what you are saying. All I am saying is I have been taught tactical reloading a certain way. If the SHTF, and my hand is wounded, or the weapon is rendered useless, well, I will have to make sh*t up after that. But if you train a certain way, and train hard, I am saying that it will work, because it becomes a reflex, rather than a thought process. Thinking in a firefight, as in war, can get you killed or wounded. Reacting with training and reflexive action in a critical time, like a shooting, can and I believe, will save my life. And that is why everyone trains.