I was doing a little dry practice this evening. Lately I’ve been working quite a bit on my drawstroke, and I’ve been seeing some measurable improvement, but tonight I ended up making two interesting discoveries related to the reload.
One important element of a fast reload is to point the magwell at your magazine pouch. I found that I had picked up a tendency to point the magwell more towards my body, and that it was causing me to hang the magazine up on the rear of the magwell. Handy if you like fumbled reloads, but less than ideal if you prefer speed and awesomeness.
On the other hand, if I pointed the magwell a little to the outside of my mag pouch, my reloads were smooth as silk. Every time. Just making that one little change shaved a full 0.1sec off my reload time, and made the reloads much more consistent.
I must have been inspired, because I decided to play with emergency (that is, empty-gun-slide-locked-back) reloads for a while. I wanted to try the technique of ‘pre-loading’ the slide release, which goes something like this: After dropping the empty magazine, your strong-hand thumb goes to the slide release and rests there, just applying a tiny bit of pressure. Your support hand retrieves your magazine and seats it in the magwell, at which point the slide release automatically releases and the slide goes into battery. It’s the fastest possible way to perform an empty reload.
(Note – interesting thread on the reload here.)
So, I did about a hundred reps of this exercise, starting with the pistol pointed in on the target, slide locked back. I managed to work my time down to 1.4-1.5sec, buzzer to click. Not bad.
If there’s a moral to this story, it is this: Practice every day, without fail, even if you don’t really feel up to it. You never know when another piece of the puzzle will fall into place.