Reloads: The So What

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Alright, staying alive means keeping beans in the chowder and sending them towards the threat. So lets look at the three types of reloads on the board, not so much the mechanics, and how we tier them from “okayish” to just a damn good way to do business.

The three methods are Over hand slide release, Dominant thumb slide release and Support hand thumb release

Over hand slide release

Over hand slide release

Over hand

The over hand, the slingshot or whatever you wish to call it. Long story short;

─ Slide locks back due to being out of beans

─ Feed a new mag

─ Support hand reaches around to slide and racks it to release

─ Support hand collects gun mid stroke and completes grip as it presents on target

The issue with this method, is the excessive gross movement at hand. Both hands are taken off centre line of the body. This is our line for which we drive the gun. Whilst it does minimize the use of finer motor skills under stress, which we know begin to fade after an increased HR of 90bpm, it places a lot of excessive movement into the action. This in turn costs time. For those who only have a pistol, in a firefight, you can’t afford to give the threat a moment to capitalize on.

Whilst this method does work and only relies on the use of gross motor skills, it is our least preferred due to time consumption and how much it takes both hands and the pistol away from the centre line.

Slide release - Dominant hand thumb release

Okay, so this is where we start introducing a fine motor skill. Moving right along to new mag loaded, the shooter utilizes the thumb on the same action hand to release the slide. The bonuses of the movement are;

─ Quick reload time to get the gun back into action

─ Loads a new round

─ Keeps hands inline with our centre line of travel

Dominant hand thumb release

Dominant hand thumb release

Whilst this is a solid movement, it does come with a few hazards.

─ If you employ more than one firearm, utilizing this method can engage the safety on other handgun models through an over stroke of the thumb on the slide release

─ Whilst it does seat the support hand back to the required grip quicker, it disrupts your dominant/ action hand via forcing the manipulation by the thumb. It takes it from the neutral position and in turn disrupts the whole grip. This takes you off line from correct index of the gun and guaranteeing a missed first round.

Still better than the first but not the quickest or more ideal.

Support hand thumb release

Support hand thumb release

Slide release - Support hand thumb release

Our number one and preferred method of doing business. Why?

─ Firearm stays on the centre line and fastest present back on target

─ Support hand and grip are at 80% already and only require the action of the thumb to release the slide and a very slight adjustment forward to complete grip

─ All the work is done in the immediate workspace rather than mid presentation and allows for a quicker turn around time and getting the gun back into action

─ We aren’t all built to the perfect design like that of firearm manufacturers. Regardless of hand size, this method will work for you

The only negative is the integration of fine and gross motor skills which require practice to master and execute flawlessly. If your firearm has an extended slide release, let me tell you, you will be blitzing it on the reloads and putting accurate shots back into the threat.

Give it a shot, run your times and let us know how you go. The video shows the preferred two methods and as you can tell, we fall to our training and skill ingrained into us.

Stay healthy and run it hard!


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