Overview of Reloading the Pistol
Reload is an important skill because obviously as the pistol runs out of rounds, it’s a paperweight. Every shooter should know how to reload. With that in mind, reload should be put in full context with respect to a speed reload, tactical reload, how to re-chamber the pistol, what to do with an extra ammo and a dump magazine, etc.
First off, reload is actually rarely utilized in critical incidents. FBI statistics show that only a handful of actual LE or civilian firearm fights resulted in a reload.
First is a basic reload, a simple speed reload where the mag within the pistol is dumped on the ground. That is done by pressing the mag release where the magazine drops from the grip area and falls to the ground while the shooter simultaneously reaches for the second magazine to be inserted into the mag well (handle area of the pistol).
Upon full hard insertion thereafter, the slide is dropped with two different competing techniques.
First Technique: Overhand Rack–
The first technique is to take the support hand over the top of the pistol and pull it back rearwardly aggressively. At this point, the mag catch is disengaged, and the shooter must let go of the slide, it goes forward to chamber the round. After that, the index finger reestablishes on the trigger guard, and the pistol is represented on target depending on the context of the situation.
Second Technique Slide Catch–
Perhaps an alternative technique is to insert the magazine and thereafter, with the thumb of the strong hand, press down on the slide release,which will allow the slide to drop forward, chambering the next round where the shooter can take the support hand and simultaneously reestablish grip and extend the pistol depending on the context. Some instructors do not teach this technique because it does require more training, and the equipment has to be set and the thumb has to be strong enough to release the mag release. Nonetheless, it is a very valid technique which is faster if practiced properly. Note, if the shooter doesn’t hit the mag release on the first press, generally speaking, the best practice is to take the thumb and re-engage the slide release and press with more force to drop the slide.
Another option other than a speed reload is a tactical reload where there’s some lull in a gunfight, and the individual wishes to put a fresh magazine into the pistol, but yet retain the ammunition in the magazine of the pistol. This requires a decision upstream because instead of dumping the mag right away, the shooter will grab the second mag then discharge the magazine into open fingers generally between the forefinger and middle finger or between the thumb and forefinger, as shown in the video, and the mag is retained while the second magazine is inserted into the pistol. At this point, this second magazine is put into a separate location or put into the same location if the shooter only carries one magazine. This gets highly contextual and there’s various debates on this process; but nonetheless, there’s statistically very few incidents of speed or tactical reloads and actual engagements.
You may ask yourself: do I overhand rack after a tactical reload? There is one line of thought that even after a tactical reload to overhand rack to make sure it is a round in the chamber. Although, other instructors feel this is a waste of ammo and time because the probability of a round not being in the chamber is exceedingly low, but again this is all very highly contextual.