Written by: Greg Ellifritz
Although I think that the skill of speed reloading is one that gets overemphasized in most shooting schools, there is certainly a place in your training for practicing the skill. My standard practice is to load up at least three magazines and place them on my belt when I’m doing shooting drills. I don’t normally spend much time on reloads in particular, I just run my drills and reload from my belt as quickly as possible when I run dry during the drill. Honestly, that’s probably enough practice for the average armed citizen or street cop, especially if he is carrying a high-capacity auto pistol.
With that said, some folks need a little more work on their reloading skills. I found the Emergency Reloads Shooting Drill in an article written by Tim Lau from Modern Service Weapons. It’s a simple drill to run and will give you some extra practice on your emergency reloads.
– Set up a 25-yard Bullseye target at seven yards.
– Load three handgun magazines with 3, 5, and 7 rounds, respectively.
– Randomly load one of the mags into your gun and place the other two in belt pouches.
– Start from the low ready position. At the sound of the buzzer, shoot all 15 rounds in a continuous string, reloading as necessary.
Tim suggests a scoring system of two points for hits in the 9 and 10 ring and one point for hits in the 7 or 8 ring. For his police department, he requires the officers to complete the drill in less than 20 seconds and score at least 24 out of 30 points. For advanced shooters using open top mag pouches, he suggests that a time between 10 and 14 seconds would be a good goal.
I ran the drill a couple times last week using my police duty gun (Glock 21) and Safariland closed-top duty magazine pouches. As you can see from the target above, all my shots were in the 9 or 10 ring for a perfect score. My first run was 15.10 seconds. My next run was 14.05 seconds. I think I can drop the time a bit if I sacrifice some accuracy for speed while shooting. I’ll try to run it again this week and see if that makes a difference.
If you can’t be bothered with scoring, an easy modification might be to require all hits be in the black (9 or 10 ring) and then just track the time. If you throw one out of the black, you disqualified yourself on that particular run. That will result in slower times, but will give you an opportunity to practice accuracy along with your reloads.
If you can’t put all your shots into the black area of a 25 yard Bullseye target (shot at seven yards), you need to work on your trigger control and shooting ability before you even think about working on your speed reloads.
Give this one a shot and tell me what you think!
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