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Lurper
September 24, 2006, 02:07 AM
Tactical reloads receive a lot of attention particularly in IDPA circles. I believe they are unnecessary and a bad habit to teach to shooters (just like requiring they shoot their guns to slide lock). I'll state my reasons in a later post, but before I do: Can anyone show me a documented case (outside of a war zone) where a tactical reload saved someone's life or failure to do a tactical reload cost someone their life?

FS2K
September 24, 2006, 02:49 AM
While I can't offer you any examples either for or against the nessesity of fast reloads, I do agree with your opinion that it is not a required ability for defensive shooting. Speedy "Tactical" reloads seem more geared towards competition shooting and the need to get as many rounds downrange as possible within a specified time limit. When you think about it, this goes against most defensive firearms training.
Practicing 'tactical' reloads doesn't really make much sense to spend alot of time on if you aren't a competitive shooter. I can see it being an asset, but, I don't see it being something to spend alot of time practicing to do.

I don't have anything against having a spare magazine at the ready in your weak hand or swapping your (low) magazine for a fresh one if the oppertunity arises when you are allowed the time to do it, but you would only need to to this if you found yourself seriously out gunned: the chances of which are slim if you aren't a law enforment officer or soldier.

I think being super fast with your magazine swaps takes a backseat to being accurate with your magazine changes. If you feel the need to have to learn how to swap your magazines quickly like competitive shooters and feel somewhat inadequate that you can't, maybe you should consider getting a gun with a higher capacity. There are no "points" given in real life for style, or pride. Being "fair" has no place in survival. There is only one goal you need to be concerned about and that is to be able to walk away from a conflict. If you feel your competance level is at a point where you NEED to have a super high capacity weapon in order to maintain an adavantage, then get a high capacity weapon and forget about FAST magazine swaps.There's no shame in that. But keep in mind what real life situations you are preparing yourself from then decide what kind of firepower you need.

OH! That reminds me Lurper, I do have an example of a slow mag swap gone bad, albeit FAKE! LOL! Remember the movie "Colors" when them gangbangers raid "Rabbit's" house (or some stupid name like that) and the 2 guys go at each other with MAC's? And neither could change their magazines quickly and both get shot? Heehee...Just thought I'd mention that. I thought that scene was funny.

Blackwater OPS
September 24, 2006, 04:27 AM
I also cannot give a specific example, but I feel it's common sense. Anytimeyou are in public and involved in a lethal force situation, it's likely the perp was a gang member (at least in my area/other metro places I have lived or worked). If he is KIA, or even hurt, it is VERY likely his buddies are nearby and are now out for your blood. SO, after the shoot, it makes sense to check your world and do a tac reload before getting out of the area ASAP.

Why? Well, clearly you might need the rounds in a fresh mag, and you don't want to leave the half empty one lying on the street. The point in doing drills is that you can do a tac reload without much more trouble than an emergency reload. If you have a semi-auto you should have a spare mag anyways, and it's not going to do you any good in your pocket.

In any case, while it may be a skill not as important as marksmanship or a good draw from concealment, why on earth would it be a "unnecessary and a bad habit"?

jhenry
September 24, 2006, 09:11 AM
The vast majority of defensive shootings occur very close, are very fast, and require fewer rounds than the average revolver carries. By that standard proficiency at 7+ yards is a waste of time. Heck, sights are almost a waste of steel. We do however practice at longer ranges, carry weapons with higher capacities, and yes, try to become adept at reloading quickly. These things add up to weapon proficiency. This is a good thing. Confidence follows this course. Confidence and actual proficiency equals the edge you may well need.

The tactical reload occurs when there is a lull of some sort and you have not shot your weapon dry. You then remove and retain your partial magazine (or the live rounds from your cylinder), and insert a full magazine. You have retained all of your live rounds and have topped off your weapon. It is true, true, true that this scenario is not extreemly likely, but as the Deputy in 'Streets of Laredo' stated, "I just don't want to get killed for lack of shooting back".

garryc
September 24, 2006, 09:26 AM
A tacticle reload is something you should practice. The odds of actually having it make a differance in a live situation are very small. A TAC reload means a break in the occurance which is very likely your oppertunity to extract yourself from the situation. Stay and fight when you can get you and yours out is not an option.

FS2K
September 24, 2006, 06:11 PM
From what I just read, there seems to be two distinct parts to a "Tactical" re-load: The SPEED in which the magazine being shot is replaced, and the Assurance of having a fully loaded (fresh) magazine in your weapon just in case the conflict were to escalate. Is this correct?

While I do understand and agree with the thinking behind replacing a partial mag with a fresh one when given the chance, I still don't understand why all-out speed is an issue. I would think speed would take the backseat to proficientcy, and that the more proficient one becomes the faster they'll get.
Kinda like the old saying; "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast".

It has just been my thinking that being technically capable of completting a task correctly is what needs to be emphasised, and that speed (in this case the ability to accomplish the task quickly) will come naturally. As with anything else, the more you do something the faster you will get doing it.

In this case SPEED is not the primary goal, instead it is the byproduct of becoming efficient.

Is being 2/10ths of a second faster really that critical in 'real life'? I can see why it is in competition, but I fail to understand its importance in a real life situation.

As I mentioned before, I DO believe it to be an assett IF you are able to do it well, but as far as it being a nessesity, I don't agree with that part.

Can someone enlighten me?

STLRN
September 24, 2006, 06:17 PM
A tactical reload is when you top off the weapon

A speed or dry reload is when you shoot your weapon empty.

At least what we train Marines is that a tacical reload is done on your time, a speed or dry reload is on the enemy's.

Blackwater OPS
September 24, 2006, 06:22 PM
Pretty much what I think lurper was saying is that there is no point in reloading, unless you run out of ammo, in which case you do an emergency/speed reload(drop the mag and slam a fresh one in). I am saying that just because you think the fight is over, it might not be. I think it would also be fair to say that you are generally more likely to be in a shooting situation right after you just shot one BG, then when everything is normal. Would you walk around a 3/4 empty mag when everything is normal?

Also, to lurper, when you are getting shot at, it's a war zone, be it your house, Iraq, or downtown Los Angeles. (IMO)

FS2K
September 24, 2006, 06:38 PM
So the IPSC guys are doing SPEED/DRY reloads right?

OK, Thank you!

Lurper
September 24, 2006, 07:30 PM
FWIW, I already know what a tactical reload is. As I mentioned, I don't think it is a technique that is necessary nor wise to practice. I am capable of 1 second reloads w/my competition equipment, so speed of the reload isn't really what I was getting at.

So the IPSC guys are doing SPEED/DRY reloads right?

No, they don't shoot their gun dry.

Pretty much what I think lurper was saying is that there is no point in reloading, unless you run out of ammo, in which case you do an emergency/speed reload(drop the mag and slam a fresh one in).

That's not exactly what I meant.
First, as pointed out, most civilian and LEO shootings are over in a short period and a small number of rounds (most wouldn't even require a reload w/a revolver). So, that begs the question why bother to learn or practice something that is 1. never likely to happen even in the unlikely event you are involved in a shootout, 2. of tertiary importance to marksmanship and tactics (once the ballon goes up). I'm not even saying it is a bad idea to reload before your gun is dry (in fact I would encourage it). What is bad is to train to focus on the partially empty mag. Obviously, you should be focused on the (now removed) threat and any potential emerging threats until the police arrive and take over. When you train to first catch or pick up the ejected magazine you are not focused on the threat. Then you focus on putting it in your pocket or holding on to it, you have again changed your focus to a task that distracts from the threat and pulls your mind out of the zone. For civilians and LEO, there is no reason not to drop the partial mag or empty a partial cylinder on the ground and forget about it. It reminds me of one of my LEO buddies telling me 20 years ago about a cop picking up his empty cartridges during the gunfight (I believe he was killed). You fight like you train, so IMO this creates a potentially lethal habit.

In fairness, I don't teach tactics. I just teach people how to shoot fast and well. But I still don't understand why 1. people teach this and 2. why it is enforced in IDPA.

I still cannot find a real example where a tactical reload saved anyone. I do know of several times when a fast reload saved someone.

For example: My friend (and one of my early mentors) Roger was a cop in PG County MD. He was called to a liquor store because the 2 guys who robbed it were now in the store buying liquor (probably with their ill gotten gains). He rolled up on the scene got out of his cruiser and stepped onto the sidewalk just as the two perps were walking out the door. When they saw Roger at a distance of about 10' iirc, they both started reaching under their jackets. Roger drew his S&W 64, fired 5 rounds into the first guy, reloaded and had his sights on the second guy before the perp could pull his Mod. 29 out from under his coat. The second guy wisely surrendered. I was told by the guys in Roger's squad that the perp swore that Roger had a macinegun.

Anyway, my point is that it is more important to learn a quick reload (preferably before your gun is dry) than it is to learn and/or practice a tactical reload.

shield20
September 24, 2006, 08:05 PM
On the news today I heard about a guy in NY who was going to be robbed in his house by 3 (three) armed men. He got into a shoot-out with them - all of them.

Leaving ammo on the ground in a prefectly good mag doesn't make sense to me - not when there are techniques out there that can be learned and mastered to aovid it - I don't think you are supposed to focus on the partial mag, nor are you supposed to drop it then try to pick it up - you are bascially supposed to make a swap. Pratice comes in to make sure you CAN do it right, w/o losing focus on the threat(s).

No matter what most statistics say, real life might have its own ideas and maybe you might want that ammo before you are done.

STLRN
September 24, 2006, 08:28 PM
I don't know if most troops do them or not, but when we train them we require them do the changes prior to moving from room to room in shooting houses. We also issue a dump pouch to wear on their weak side toward rear. They put the partial magazines in the dump pouch and consolidate later. The Marines are also instructed to keep their speed/dry reload toward the center of the body and their tactical reloads toward the outside.

The Marine Corps adapted many of these techniques after sending Marines to GSR and other shooting schools, so our TTP somewhat reflects the current state of the art in the shooting schools.

Lurper
September 24, 2006, 08:49 PM
STLRN,
Read the original post, this excludes the military. They engage in long drawn out battles quite often. Civilians and LEO do not. No offense to the Corps ( did some fun things at Quantico), but military tactics and training w/handguns has always been behind the curve. Also, for miltary application tactical reloads make perfect sense.

On the news today I heard about a guy in NY who was going to be robbed in his house by 3 (three) armed men. He got into a shoot-out with them - all of them.
The number of assailants has noting to do with it. It is the number of rounds fired. You can't do a tactical reload without finding the partially empty mag and finding a place to put it. That keeps your eyes (and mind off the threat). You could train yourself to put the partial magazine in a pocket, but you still have to divert your focus to feeling for the pocket and feeling the magazine into it.
If you carry a gun for SD and you don't carry 2 reloads, you are flirting with disaster.

I cannot think of a situation where a tactical reload made the difference and I still can not find any evidence to that effect.

STLRN
September 24, 2006, 08:56 PM
I know we kind of talking two points with military compared to LEO/civilian application. However a few people had some question in regard to which type was which and the context how they are used.

I would agree with your assessment of the state of training prior to the GWOT, however now a days we have the what amounts to blanks checks when it comes to training and ammunition. My Battalion sent quite a few people to both military and civilian shooting schools (GSR seems to be favored by the Marines) to become trainers prior deploying and expended almost 4.5 million rounds of small arms ammo prior to go over seas last times.

KingofAttendance
September 24, 2006, 09:00 PM
What do you guys think about holding a spare mag with your left hand with a two handed grip (right if your a lefty) in between your fingers sticking out horizontally? Then you just drop the mag free with your right and slam the gun on top of it, opening your fingers, rotating your hand, hitting it with your palm, then hitting the slide release while getting your second hand back on your first. I knew a guy who used to do this but never really gave it much thought.

MisterPX
September 24, 2006, 10:10 PM
So you can't take a mag out of a pistol and stick it in your pocket without taking your eyes off a target?

It's preferable to have a full mag after an exchange of gunfire than a mag with unknow rounds left in it. Granted, your probably not going to find any instances to show this, as most LEO/Civ gunfights don't go that long.


Didn't Maxis and Pratt's (sp) attempted apprehenders run dry a couple times when they didn't have to?;)

JohnKSa
September 24, 2006, 10:22 PM
Lurper,

Just so everyone's on the same page, could you please define exactly what you mean by a "tactical reload".

I think we've got a couple of different discussions going on this thread right now.

Thanks

Steve in PA
September 24, 2006, 10:47 PM
So whats' your definition of a quick reload? Reload with retention? Speed load/reload?

Just because you can't find an event where a tactical reload didn't save someone doesn't mean its not a valid technique. Did you find a case where doing a tactical reload cost someone their life?

And just because a certain scenario isn't likely to happen, doesn't mean you don't train for it. Not training for something like that sounds like a poor excuse for a trainer.

Every reload, tactical, reload w/ retention, speed/emergency reload has its good and bad points.

A tactical reload requires good coordination, but it's pretty fast.

A reload with retention doesn't require as much coordination, but it is a little slower and the gun is out of service longer if it has a magazine disconnect.

A speed/emergency reload is fast, but if you are dumping a mag with rounds still in it, you may or may not want those rounds, which is another issue in itself.

So pick your reload and be good at it. I teach all three methods. Oh, I also instruct my shooters (LEO's) to do this without looking. I used blindfolds this year and had them do two-hand reloads, one-hand (strong & weak) reloads as well as the malfunction clearing drills.

And if you can't locate or put away a mag without looking, you need more training. There is nothing that you need to do with a pistol that requires you to take your eyes off the threat. The only exception will be if you have a malfunction and you need to take a quick look to determine if you have a stove pipe or a double feed.

Lurper
September 25, 2006, 12:49 AM
For my purposes, Tactical reloads and reloads with retention are the same ( although the literal Tac reload which is reloading during a lull in the action is valid). As I stated earlier, it's not the reload that I have an issue with. I can perform one second reloads all day long and as I have stated, I recommend reloading as soon as possible regardless of the number of rounds fired. What I have a problem with is worrying about the partially full magazine. Outside of the military, I can see no valid reason for training in this technique. The lowest capacity gun I carry is my Officer's ACP. When I carry it I have 19 rounds (3x6 +1). If 19 rounds isn't enough, then I have bitten off way more than I can chew and historical facts support this.

I guess more directly to the point I would say that the ability to reload quickly is more important than retaining the rounds in the partially empty magazine.

Just because you can't find an even where a tactical reload didn't save someone doesn't mean its not a valid technique. Did you find a case where doing a tactical reload cost someone their life?
I would venture to say that if the LEO killed while picking up his brass was taught not to worry about it the outcome may have been different. Kind of apples and oranges, but still a valid point. It takes your focus off of the threat. While your eyes may not have to track the magazine, your mind does. That places your focus elsewhere.

A speed/emergency reload is fast, but if you are dumping a mag with rounds still in it, you may or may not want those rounds, which is another issue in itself.
Shooting your gun dry is a fatal mistake IMHO. But reloading quickly is still more important than worrying about the ammo in the dropped magazine.

So whats' your definition of a quick reload?
1 second between the shot before dropping the magazine and the shot after inserting the fresh magazine. As a training standard: 1.5 to 2 seconds with both shots hitting c.o.m..

Didn't Maxis and Pratt's (sp) attempted apprehenders run dry a couple times when they didn't have to?
Can't remember right now, but it was poor training and tactics that got those guys in trouble.

What do you guys think about holding a spare mag with your left hand with a two handed grip (right if your a lefty) in between your fingers sticking out horizontally? Then you just drop the mag free with your right and slam the gun on top of it, opening your fingers, rotating your hand, hitting it with your palm, then hitting the slide release while getting your second hand back on your first. I knew a guy who used to do this but never really gave it much thought.
So, are you going to walk around with a spare mag in your weak hand all day long just waiting for something to happen. Or are you going to draw your weapon and a spare mag simultaneously? Either way, you're doing something that compromises your abilty to put lead on the target quickly, which is probably the single most important skill to develop.

CDH
September 25, 2006, 05:30 AM
This thread is getting close to just arguing definition rather than purpose.

For civilian training, I like the idea of being required to do either/or/both tactical and dry reloading because it does two things for the civilian defensive shooter:

First: Done during tactical training such as IDPA, it makes the shooter manipulate their weapon in more ways thereby making them more proficient in handling the weapon in more "modes" of operation.
This results in more familiarity with the handling of their weapon in general which then results in the weapon being a more natural extension of themselves during a real-world defensive incident.
This is no different where a pilot will train to a high degree of complexity for things that may never happen, but that training results in the pilot performing the more mundane part of the job better than if they had never had the advanced training.

Second: It makes the shooter THINK about things other than the primary mission. During an emergency, it is natural to overly focus on some things while ignoring other things.
I'd like to believe that forcing a shooter to perform seemingly lower priority operations DURING the more important procedures will somehow introduce to the shooter that in a real-world defensive situation, you have to keep your mind open as well as your eyes and be PREPARED to have to act on other details of the situation whether it be to reload or any other physical act that must be done at the same time you are handling the primary mission.
Using the pilot analogy again; an instructor will often add an emergency of some sort during training (like pulling the throttle to simulate engine failure) in order to train the pilot to be able to shift focus while still maintaining control over other responsibilities.
In both situations, for the shooter or pilot, it's nothing more than helping the student to learn how to walk and chew gum at the same time. :)

As far as the argument about whether additional ammunition will be needed during a defensive incident, I'm in the camp that believes it just ain't gonna happen.
Street thugs, including gangs, are decisively cowardice and are going to scatter at the first indication that their own lives are in jeopardy.
While police and military are trained to "engage" an enemy and to therefore sustain an attack, thugs just want to victimize you in some way, and the moment they see that they no longer have control over the situation and realize that it is they who may ACTUALLY lose their life, they're going to scatter like cockroaches. That would be my clue to get the hell out of there as well thereby negating the "need" for more ammunition. It would probably take no more than one or two COM shots to get to that "condition". (I do NOT believe in wasting ammunition on warning shots).
I challenge anyone to come up with an actual street mugging or attempted rape or any kind of "personal" crime where a thug chose to hang around and participate willingly in a gunfight.

My lowest capacity weapon I carry is 8 rounds in a Commander, and the highest round count I carry is 16 rounds in an XD9. In neither case do I ever worry about carrying an extra mag and am quite comfortable that for the purpose of why I carry, I will never have to be concerned about a tactical or dry reload.
I'm concerned enough with trying to conceal the weapon itself without having to add another thingy hanging on my belt that I have to hide.

So I like the reload training a lot, but it's not something I'd ever worry about during an actual defensive incident.

Carter

Lurper
September 25, 2006, 09:03 AM
Well said Carter. I should have been more precise in my question. While you (and others) present some good points, I still can't see the need to train to retain the partial magazine. In truth, part of it is that I see and hear people talking about techniques that don't fit my reality. What I mean is that having been a professional shooter/consultant and top competitor for many years, I believe that the single most important skill to teach someone is the ability to hit the target quickly. Everything else is ancillary to and sometimes detracts from that. A shooter needs to master that ability before they try to master other techniques (I do see the value of familiarization training however). In my experience and the experience of every LEO I know who has been involved in a shooting, it is usually over in a few rounds. What I am advocating is: shoot until the threat is removed, reload (leave the partial mag where it falls), if your position is a secure/safe one, wait for the police. If not, move to a safe position and wait for the police.


Another example: The Tueller drill (this should be a post in itself). My understanding for the reason behind it was to demonstrate to LEO that 1. be aware that the situation can go to hell in a handbasket quickly 2. it is better to have your weapon out of the holster at the first inkling of trouble. Yet you hear people talk about it being the definitive example of how a knife is more lethal than a firearm, etc. ad nauseum. The standard for the Tueller drill is 2 hits in 1.5 seconds. I am working on a video the I call the anti-Tueller drill, it shows that a well trained shooter can hit the target 4 or more times in 1.5 seconds including a mozambique drill from the holster. With the pistol out of the holster, 8 or more hits is possible. To use Dennis Tuellar's own words: "Skill at arms and proper mental attitude. that's the combination that will make you the winner in a 'Close Encounter of the Cutting Kind'."

Sorry for the drift, I like your pilot analogy. This process also helps me think through questions that I have in my mind and either solidify or change my beliefs. For that I want to thank everyone for their input. I just don't think I am ever going to be convinced that civilians need to worry about the partial magazine.

garryc
September 25, 2006, 10:44 AM
Yet you hear people talk about it being the definitive example of how a knife is more lethal than a firearm, etc. ad nauseum

If you are speaking of a previous post you would be wrong. We were discussing physical contact with the BG. Firearms, USD and knife fighting tactics are a part of a total self defence system. It is foolish to think that mastery of one will serve in all cases.
Lets say someone gets you from behind, How do you get you gun into play. You don't, you don't have time. You must rely on USD first. In the Tueller drill you must be prepaired to use USD tactics when he reaches you, and if he's pumped up on drugs or adernilin he will very likely reach you even if he has a few rounds in him.
In teaching USD we find that people have a natural tendancy to directly oppose force. One of the things I do is to capture the wrist of the gun hand and push it away. 90% of the people will oppose that force directly, and loose. When they learn to roll that wrist into the thumb they see how easy it is to break a grip. As a corrections officer I train to fight unarmed. In Tueller drill, ideally, the BG eats his own knife.
So, to summorize, If you master the gun thats great!! But if you choose not to work on USD then you simply have to accept the fact that you are not nearly as prepaired as you would be if you did.

The knife has one distinct advantage to a gun. That would be axis of force. The guns axis is in one direction, in line with the muzzle. The Knife has a 180deg axis. But you have to train in it's use and thats alot harder than training with a gun.

Lurper
September 25, 2006, 11:04 AM
Garry,
I wasn't addressing any one post, but a compilation of several. I refrain from the what if it was the 4th Sunday, it was raining, you were walking your pet snake in a wheelchair and were jumped by 6 samurai kind of speculation. It is worth less than the energy it takes to write about it. My point was simply that a knife doesn't trump a gun even at close range. It boils down the the skill of the individual.

In your profession, you need to train extensively for unarmed combat. I don't disagree that I am not as prepared as I could be for unarmed combat. However, I did study Aikido for many years. But, that wasn't the point. My point in that particular comment was that I think it is unrealistic to make a blanket statement that the Tueller drill proves that a knife is more lethal than a gun at close range. Yet you read exacly that on many different forums. Tueller himself in critiquing the drill says that learning to move rearward as you draw is an important skill because that 4 or 5 feet can make the difference between getting cut or not.

It was just an example of another "internet myth" that some people believe and promote as gospel. Similar in a sense to "tactical reloads will save your life".

garryc
September 25, 2006, 11:28 AM
My point in that particular comment was that I think it is unrealistic to make a blanket statement that the Tueller drill proves that a knife is more lethal than a gun at close range.

I can't say a knife is more effective at close range, that would be a silly statement. What I'm saying is after contact is made the gun looses many of its advantages, especially its main one of keeping the BG out of contact range.
The fact of the matter is that once contact is made the likelyhood of being able to deploy any weapon is slim. In my case the knife is more accessable than the gun, he gets the knife. I do not believe under, those conditions, I chose the lesser weapon.
For most people the gun is the only option. Due to physical differances and the like, they can't use USD. Lets face facts, most people who have CCW's get the most basic training and stop there. Many never fire the weapon again. If most people are not willing to expend the energy to become truely proficiant with a gun, vastly fewer still will become even basically proficiant in USD. And almost none in knife fighting tactics. So these people have to accept, understand and potentially realize the effects of thier lack of training. Hopefully they can avoid getting an "Invicable" attitude. If they don't want to train that's their buisness. I choose to. And let me say this, Even given my training, I know there are plenty of people that would defeat me quickly. I live under no delusion to that fact.

ceetee
September 25, 2006, 12:01 PM
Lots of good points to ponder here... thanks, guys!

Lurper, the incident you're thinking of involved two California Highway Patrolmen shot from ambush during a traffic stop. I can't find any references to the story, but IIRC, they had stopped a van. BG's came out of the van shooting. The Troopers returned fire, but were killed when they stopped to reload.

It was discovered later that their training officer didn't like to sweep up brass, so while on the range, he had them dump their empties in their hands, and put the empties in their pockets, with the admonition that they shouldn't do this in a real shooting incident. They were both found shot, with their pockets full of empty brass. That's where the lesson "As you train, so will you perform" comes from.

In all my formal training (revolvers only), I've been taught to dump the cylinder... let it all fall. It's more important to get the weapon functioning again than worry about which brass is empty and which is full. In my opinion, if you've already mastered shooting, and reloading, there's no harm to learn how to reload while saving a half-full magazine for "just in case".

Chances of a normal person being involved in a shooting are slim as it is. Chances of that samae person being involved in the kind of drawn-out affair where a tactical reload would make the difference would be almost nonexistant. Still, isn't it better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it?

CDH
September 25, 2006, 12:24 PM
It was discovered later that their training officer didn't like to sweep up brass, so while on the range, he had them dump their empties in their hands, and put the empties in their pockets, with the admonition that they shouldn't do this in a real shooting incident. They were both found shot, with their pockets full of empty brass. That's where the lesson "As you train, so will you perform" comes from.

I won't doubt that description because I don't have direct knowledge of the incident, but I have to say that I'm a bit skeptical that those troopers actually took the time to pocket the brass. They knew the difference between training and (this) real thing. I just don't think that happened.

About the first part, though, there were not one, but two officers who fired enough to end up with empty weapons needing reloading.
I don't know whether they had revolvers or not, but if "just" revolvers, then they had 12 rounds to shoot at the bad guys. I'm doubtful that there were 12 people in that van which means they missed a lot.
It is THAT part that I find troubling about two officers who were supposed to be well trained but couldn't concentrate enough to go for COM shots.

I just don't think that those troopers had to die if they had kept their wits and fired "controlled". If they HAD hit their targets, they would also have had a better chance to reload if they needed to being as the BG's might have been a bit distracted by wounds.

Then, none of us know how we'll react in a real world gunfight so don't flame me for criticizing the troopers because I'm not criticizing, just trying to understand a situation.
Like anything else, hindsight and after-the-fact observations are simply not relevant to the actual incident and how it unfolded.

Carter

ATW525
September 25, 2006, 12:31 PM
Still, isn't it better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it?

I imagine having it doesn't make a difference if you're killed while juggling magazines.

Though the tactical reload might have a place during a lull, like has been mentioned, I don't see it as a training priority. Under fire I believe the most likely reload I'll encounter is the emergency reload, so that is the one that gets the majority of my practice time.

ATW525
September 25, 2006, 12:39 PM
And the Newhall Incident (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/claude_werner/slideshow?.dir=/f2b0&.src=ph). It's actually a pretty famous gunfight, and it was four officers killed... at least one officer had his spent brass in his pocket.

ceetee
September 25, 2006, 12:54 PM
Yep. That's the one. I couldn't remember the details, but it was taught to me that the officers were found with empty brass in their pockets because of training that way at the range.

I agree that making tactical reloads should not take priority over shooting, or speed reloads... but if you can do those things well, without losing your ability to focus on the situation at hand, why not broaden your skill set? What do you lose by learning something new that may make a difference at a later date?

MisterPX
September 25, 2006, 04:26 PM
Shooting 2 bad guys, scanning, not seeing any other immediate threats, tac loading, scanning, then finding more threats and engaging.

VS

Shooting 2 bad guys, scanning, scanning, engage more threats with an unknown/limited amount of ammo in your mag, possibly running dry.

Which of the 2 scenarios would you rather be in?

Lurper
September 25, 2006, 07:16 PM
Thanks ATW, I could not for the life of me remember the name of the incident.
I agree that making tactical reloads should not take priority over shooting, or speed reloads... but if you can do those things well, without losing your ability to focus on the situation at hand, why not broaden your skill set? What do you lose by learning something new that may make a difference at a later date?
My point is that it won't make a difference. If you analyze the Newhall, North Hollywood and Miami incidents, all could have been ended much quicker with a higher level of marksmanship. The amount of time spent training to retain the partial magazine (which real life shootouts show is not needed), could be better spent training on marksmanship skills. As I have said before, I believe the single most important skill to develop is the ability to put lead on the target quickly. Yet, I am constantly amazed how many "instructors", LEO and shooters want to spend time practicing the latest tacticool technique yet lack the ability to hit the target quickly. You should be able to hit C.O.M. at 10 yards or less in 1 second (from duty or cc rigs). Until you master that skill, all else is for naught. The greatest tactical reload in the world won't save your a$$ if you cannot remove the threat.

Shooting 2 bad guys, scanning, not seeing any other immediate threats, tac loading, scanning, then finding more threats and engaging.

VS

Shooting 2 bad guys, scanning, scanning, engage more threats with an unknown/limited amount of ammo in your mag, possibly running dry.

Which of the 2 scenarios would you rather be in?

Personally, I'd rather be in neither. It is not the tactical "reload" that I have an issue with, it is retaining the partial mag. The best way to train is to train to do what people are now calling a "speed" reload. Recharge your weapon in the fastest manner, let the partial mag fall to the ground and forget about it.

ceetee
September 25, 2006, 08:53 PM
If you analyze the Newhall, North Hollywood and Miami incidents, all could have been ended much quicker with a higher level of marksmanship.

True. They could've also been ended much quicker if the bad guys had allowed themselves to be blown ten feet backwards by a single COM hit, like it shows in the movies...

The SAC at the Miami shootout was consistantly a top scorer in all of his quals. What happened? He lost his glasses. This means that anyone that wears glasses should not be hired as an agent, right?

My point is... if you already can shoot well under stress, and if you already can perform quick reloads, learning a new skill set is not going to make you unlearn what you're already proficient at. It's just gonna give you another tool in the box. It's up to you to use the right tool at the right time.

Steve in PA
September 25, 2006, 09:07 PM
Marksmanship? Engaging in a gun battle with a handgun against automatic weapons at rifle range distances? Um, yeah marksmanship would have ended it.:rolleyes:

There is nothing to "analyze" about the Hollywood shoot out. The cops were out gunned. Superior firepower ruled the day.

JohnKSa
September 25, 2006, 09:16 PM
I still can't see the need to train to retain the partial magazine.I agree 100%. Worrying about the magazine you wanted to get OUT of your gun is something you shouldn't do until you have a full magazine back IN your gun. Then if the situation warrants and you really need the one you dumped, you can pick it up.

I can't see fumbling around with the partially emptied mag in the middle of a reload. Once you dump one mag, your only priority should be getting your gun working again. Trying to deal with the partially empty mag should be WAY down on the list of priorities until after the reload is complete.

IMO, the best reason for NOT doing a reload with retention is the KISS principle.

Lurper
September 25, 2006, 10:51 PM
Marksmanship? Engaging in a gun battle with a handgun against automatic weapons at rifle range distances? Um, yeah marksmanship would have ended it.
There were several officers well within practical handgun range at various times through the shootout. Some even scored hits on the armor of the perps and Phillips suffered what would have been a fatal wound from a handgun but shot himself. Had they been skilled enough to score a headshot earlier in the confrontation, the outcome may have been different.

The SAC at the Miami shootout was consistantly a top scorer in all of his quals. What happened? He lost his glasses. This means that anyone that wears glasses should not be hired as an agent, right?

The firearms training at the FBI and LE in general left much to be desired particularly in the 80's. The military and LE communities have generally lagged behind civilians when it comes to pistolcraft.

Steve in PA
September 26, 2006, 11:22 PM
Let us know how you do at taking headshots on a guy who is firing back at you with an automatic weapon. The head is the smallest and hardest to hit part of the human body. Plus, the head is notorious for deflecting rounds if not hit squarely.

Remember, paper targets don't shoot back.

DonR101395
September 26, 2006, 11:35 PM
There were several officers well within practical handgun range at various times through the shootout. Some even scored hits on the armor of the perps and Phillips suffered what would have been a fatal wound from a handgun but shot himself. Had they been skilled enough to score a headshot earlier in the confrontation, the outcome may have been different.

The firearms training at the FBI and LE in general left much to be desired particularly in the 80's. The military and LE communities have generally lagged behind civilians when it comes to pistolcraft.


Standing on line and shooting paper is a bit different than shooting a moving man who firing back with an automatic rifle.

Civilians have lagged behind when it comes to shooting on a two way range.

Jeff22
September 27, 2006, 07:45 AM
For more details on the Newhall Incident, see The Newhall Incident: America's Worst Uniformed Cop Massacre by John Anderson and Marsh Cassady (available from Amazon.com)

Massad Ayoob also analyzed the incident in his column THE AYOOB FILES in American Handgunner about 15 years ago.

And in regards to the tactical reload: is it worth knowing how to do? Probably. Once can envision many circumstances where knowing how to tac load might come in handy. One can also envision many circumstances where it would NOT be needed. I wouldn't consider it a primary technique, and it may not be indicated at all if you have wide magazines and small hands. A reload with retention might be a better tactic, i.e. remove the partially expended mag from the gun, pocket it, and reload with a fresh magazine. Not much slower, and requires less fumbling around.

One does NOT perform a tac load under time -- the tac load is performed behind cover IF there is a break in the action. If there is no cover, or no break in the action, then a tac load is NOT the proper technique for that circumstance.

Rob Pincus
September 27, 2006, 09:45 AM
Lurper,

At Valhalla, we acknowledge the "Tactical" Reload, but vigorously encourage our students not to bother practicing it very much. It is largely an administrative task, meant to be done when someone it NOT actively engaging you... in contrast, what we refer to as a "Critical Incident Reload" is infinitel more important to practice: We have all (or at least all seen other people, if you've spent much time on a range) pulled the trigger on a slide-lock gun when we wanted to shoot: This is bad.

Having a gun at slide lock while you ARE being engaged is a significantly more important situation to recover from, so we stress taking every opportunity to reach slide-lock during training.. ie- NO "tactical" relaods between strings of fire or engagements in our 360 degree live fire ranges...

-Rob

Lurper
September 27, 2006, 10:17 AM
re; marksmanship and N. Hollywood;
I am fully aware that this is severe Monday morning quarterbacking, however there are a couple of factors that you guys are leaving out. The LAPD had the presence of mind to try headshots, it was even announced on the radio to try for a headshot because the perps were wearing armor. My point was that had someone been able to achieve that (and I believe they finally did), the incident would have ended sooner. It was more a statement about training than a knock on any of the officers. Also, many of the officer's pointed out that P & M (too lazy to spell the names), didn't fire at them until they fired first. Some even decided not to fire on them for that reason.

Rob - I would agree with one caveat: It is more important to teach to not shoot your gun dry first (mainly because it also reinforces having the presence of mind). Outside of that, I agree 100%.

Rob Pincus
September 28, 2006, 04:46 PM
There is no way to teach that.... Trying to do so is a waste of time. When people are scared, and they generally are when the shooting is important, they shoot to slide lock. Again, it is the worst case scenario... but it also accepting a reality of human behavior.

Trying to teach someone not to shoot to slide lock during a real dynamic critical incident would be about one degree easier than teaching them not to let their heart rate go up while being shot at, but neither are a good use of our limited training time.

FS2K
September 28, 2006, 06:28 PM
The FS2K TECHNIQUE:

Draw.

Fire multiple shots at badguys. SHOOT TILL THE SLIDE GOES "SNAP!"

Turn tail and RUN!!!! (serpentine of course)

TJ hooker Tucks & Rolls optional.

Find a BIG tree. Or Bus. Or Wall. Or large rock for cover. Large women with hats don't count: move on.

Get behind it and THEN and ONLY then do a SPEED re-load while behind cover.
In fact DO TWO speed loads now that you have some time, which you should unless you suck at serpentine running...

How'd I do?

OBIWAN
September 29, 2006, 11:17 AM
I am with Rob on this one...it (TR) should not be stressed

It should not be your primary tactic.

I also agree that it is a technique best(always) left to a "lull in the action"

But I fail to see how having one more tool in the toolbox is a "bad thing"

I think anything that leads to better dexterity is "good practice"

There are plenty of situations where a mag dropped is a mag lost

Snow, mud, water to my knees to name a few;)

If I have a reload (or two) but my reload mag is bad I suddenly really like that original mag...a lot...I miss it and I am really sorry I threw it away:D

To those that feel the tac reload is a bad thing, as in it somehow diminishes your skill level:confused:

Prove that to me...please

Stop asking me to prove your negative

You say it is "bad" so show me how it is bad.....

Don't expect me to prove that it is good

Show me how everyone that practices the tactical reload becomes a worse shot or is slower to perform a speed reload

I tend to do tac reloads in the winter (I shoot outdoors)

which is extra fun with gloves on

But every time that I shoot for speed (winter or summer)my mag goes to the ground

I don't somehow "get confused" and fumble around...but maybe I am special


And please...for the sake of logic ...reconcile these statements

"(most wouldn't even require a reload w/a revolver)"

"If you carry a gun for SD and you don't carry 2 reloads, you are flirting with disaster"

You are so unlikely to need extra rounds that practicing retention is bad

But not having a bunch of extra rounds is "flirting with disaster"

JohnKSa
September 29, 2006, 09:08 PM
To those that feel the tac reload is a bad thing, as in it somehow diminishes your skill levelI don't think it diminishes the skill level. I just think that it's not something that should be practiced much.

The reason is that you should practice the things you want to be automatic.

I don't think a one-handed, two-way, double-mag, keep-a-mag-and-load-a-mag-all-at-once, is something that should EVER be automatic. It's something you should KNOW about so that you'll KNOW what to do if things slow down enough and you're in such a secure position that the priority of saving your partially loaded magazine can be reasonably elevated above the critically immediate priority of saving your life.

I get the idea that some folks push it as a reasonable default for reloading ANY time you want to replace a partially loaded mag with a full one.

RioShooter
September 30, 2006, 12:30 PM
The tactics for LE and the military are obviously different than those for civilians. For a civilian in a self-defense situation you look for an opportunity to disengage, such as a lull in the action. That's not just a time for a tac-reload. For LEO's and the military, that's not an option.

Their mission is to apprehend or neutralize. As a civilian, mine is to survive.

fastbolt
September 30, 2006, 08:39 PM
Well, if you don't want to do it, or can't see why you'd ever want to do it ... then who's saying you have to learn it and practice it, anyway?

Suit yourself.

On the other hand, if it's going to be something you elect to learn and practice, for whatever reason(s), and something you continue to refine and maintain during reasonably frequent training, then learn to do it right ... and learn how to do it without having the technique and process distract you from maintaining attention on the 'known' potential threat, as well as the rest of your environment.

Not worth arguing about in the abstract.

JohnKSa
September 30, 2006, 11:49 PM
fastbolt,

That's exactly my point. I don't think ANYONE should be practicing this in an attempt to refine it to the point of being automatic because I don't think anyone should end up in a situation where they're doing a reload with retention automatically.

I think a reload with retention should ONLY be done as a conscious decision based on an assessment that the current threat level in the particular situation is low enough to do a slow reload. On the other hand, if the threat level is such that it warrants maintaining constant attention to the level that a reload with retention would normally distract from the threat then that's exactly the time you SHOULDN'T be doing a reload with retention.

If the threat is immediate enough that you need your reload to be as rapid and automatic as possible then you should practice a reload that is as rapid and automatic as possible--NOT one that adds extra steps and complicates the procedure.

The priority in a true threat situation is saving your LIFE, not saving the magazine. The way to save your life is to get a loaded magazine back into your gun and to get your gun up and running as QUICKLY and as SURELY as possible. If you get killed during an unnecessarily long and complicated reload, having a partially loaded magazine in your hand or your pocket will be of very little comfort and of absolutely no use.

fastbolt
October 1, 2006, 02:32 PM
Actually, I didn't say ... nor mean to imply ... in my posting that the process should itself be automatic, nor an automatic response performed without conscious decision. I simply meant that if someone desires to learn it, or is required to learn it, it should be properly learned, practiced and mastered to the extent that it can be done when desired.

I feel the decision to perform the action should be a conscious one, much like when the decision is made to seek cover, for instance, or take a kneeling/crouching or prone position. Becoming properly trained to take a kneeling or prone position obviously shouldn't result in someone finding that they're throwing themselves to the ground, without thought or conscious decision on some level, instead of taking another more appropriate action, simply because they've developed and refined the skill to take a kneeling or prone position, right? ;)

Circumstances should reasonably cause the trained person to realize when a certain action or response is necessary and appropriate, and then the ingrained, practiced skill should be invoked. Research has shown that this can sometimes be done in an accelerated manner (Boyd's gem of the OODA Loop still has lessons to teach us about ourselves), and ingrained skill gained through training can help make things come online faster, so to speak.

Doesn't mean the person doesn't still have conscious control and determination during the process. Training can make things faster, though. Also, from the perspective that "Smooth is Fast", practice can often help with that smoothness thing, too.

I actually practice this sort of skill with some variations, changing the circumstances ... different clothing (jacket/no jacket, uniform/plainclothes); standing/kneeling/prone; cover/no cover; flashlight/no flashlight; moving/standing still; etc., etc.. ... as well as while performing other actions and communicating critical information to someone else, such as if I had to relate info to a partner(s), or direct the actions of someone else at the location, etc..

In other words, my decision to perform the skill/action, and my performance of it, shouldn't adversely interfere with whatever else I should be doing, and I shouldn't have to stop and think my way through the technique itself.

And, of course, just because I've learned the skill it doesn't mean I'll feel it appropriate to perform under all circumstances and in all situations. It's just a skill.

I've had to demonstrate this skill during firearms instructor update training, and I thought it interesting that other instructors found it necessary to compliment me on the speed and smoothness of my skill ... and yet I never felt compelled to perform it at an inappropriate time during training exercises and skill drills, or automatically, to the neglect of other critical skills more appropriate to the circumstances involved. Matter of fact, I was also able to find my retained magazines, and use them, without looking as though I'd lost my car keys somewhere on my person.

It's just another loading/reloading consideration. Perhaps not one that might see much use outside of LE, and even infrequent use within LE situations. Last time I saw some published LE shooting statistics, it appeared something less than 3% of LE ever fired a weapon in lawful defense of self (or another person) during their entire career.

It's a training and practice consideration, for those folks who feel it's a desirable skill to learn and maintain.

I teach it because I'm required to teach it (to LE), as well as observe and evaluate it being done by our folks. However, like most of the skills I'm required to teach, I always try to make the person aware of the advantages/disadvantages of any particular skill, in different circumstances, if they decide to use it in various circumstances, and try to make sure they actually understand the purpose of it in the first place. Their tool box, their choice to reach for the most appropriate tool ... and I likely won't be there to make the decision for them.

I personally practice it in case I may actually find it beneficial to use someday, and not just to look good at some school, either.;)

There are a lot of skills and physical actions that can be learned and practiced when it comes to using firearms in a lawful defensive manner. Some of them may be more likely to be needed by civilian LE, in the course and cope of their employment, than by non-LE civilians.

Some of them may be more physically demanding and difficult to learn, not to mention properly maintain when it comes to performance considerations ...

The cost of learning some skills from a proper instructor may make it too costly and difficult for many non-LE civilians to desire to learn and practice them ... and the potential inherent safety issues alone may prevent most folks from having access to an environment in which to learn and practice them in a structured, controlled and safe manner, under the eye of an instructor.

As far as what LE instructors may, or may not teach? Some things may be taught and advocated by some instructors (with the decision perhaps made for them by administration and training policies), and others may not be taught, for much the same reasons. Not my place to speak for anyone other than myself, and since I don't provide training to anyone other than those folks my agency tells me to train and instruct, it's not really my concern what happens elsewhere. If I decide to enter the public training venue when I retire, if only part-time, for something to do, then that may be another matter ... but in the meantime, I only have a few personal opinions and thoughts to sometimes contribute for the purpose of polite & friendly conversation.;)

FWIW, I'd probably regret finding myself in some nasty on/off-duty situation sometime, where I suddenly found I wished I'd retained those extra rounds remaining in some magazine I'd deliberately & briskly discarded along the way, in my haste to perform the simpler 'combat reload'.

Can't pretend to provide anyone with a definitive answer, though, since I'm nobody's expert ...

OBIWAN
October 2, 2006, 11:43 AM
I don't know anyone that teaches the TR as the one true way to reload

I also do not know any credible instructors that teach to shoot to slide lock

I actually feel that if the gun stops going bang unexpectedly you should probably go for your backup gun rather than reload...but that is a whole different can of worms:D

I also believe it (tac-reload)should be automatic once you make the decision to do it

Notice what I said...unconscious manipulation in response to a conscious decision

IMO it requires more dexterity than the speed reload and is therefore deserving of some practice

I always laughed at those people that couldn't believe I racked the slide after a reload(not from slide lock)- since I did not know for a fact that there was a round in the chamber of course;)

"How can you waste that round????"

But many of those same people would write off whatever is left in a magazine:confused:

I saw an excellent quote on another board

"Never adopt one specific method because circumstances will change to leave you stranded"

Lurper
October 2, 2006, 12:01 PM
Just to stir the pot one last time:
To clzarify, I should have been much more specific. I apologize. What I should have said was reloads with retention, not just tac reloads. It is the retention part that is unecessary. It is much faster to reload, let the partial mag drop and think about it no more.

The problem with teaching retention is illustrated by the Newhall incident. The officers had it so ingrained in their heads to pick up their brass when they reloaded that that is exactly what they did under fire. To carry it farther, if you shoot IDPA or are taught to retain the extra magazine, you will think about retaining the magazine. Murphy's law dictates that this will happen at the least opportune moment.

fastbolt
October 2, 2006, 03:22 PM
The problem with teaching retention is illustrated by the Newhall incident. Perhaps if the retention of empty magazines were the topic, and someone were trained to retain and pocket empty magazines, rather than drop empty magazines onto the range floor/ground during training ...

How would things have changed if some live, unfired rounds had been found to be have been retained by one of the unfortunate officers involved, but the empty cases had been dropped onto the ground at the scene? What sort of modifications in training might have resulted? Would the retention of unfired rounds have been considered appropriate, especially considering the limited number of rounds carried by officers of the day?

Ever wonder?

Wyo Cowboy
October 2, 2006, 04:03 PM
I tend to agree with OBIWAN. The LEO department which I work with requires us to demonstrate a Tactical Reload but this is done at a definate break in the action. The new mag is drawn and positioned close to the mag well. The mag is then ejected TO THE GROUND and the fresh mag is inserted. The weapon is a single-shot-only for about 1/2 second. After the weapon is topped off, you MAY recover the partial mag and stow it away. We also demostrate the TR with a catch of the partial mag as an option only. The logic, as explained to me (I learned the "normal" TR years ago), is that they don't want us to get too concerned about a mag which may only have one or two rounds left and mess up the reload. There is no time crunch, except for the single shot issue, in a TR. The instructors have thrown the 'crazed terrorist charge' right in the middle of a TR. If the mag hasn't been ejected... fight's on , and deal with a possible emergecy reload down the line. If the fresh mag is in... fight's on! If your in the middle your less than a second of a full weapon, solid reload... fight's on!

A tac reload needs to be practiced to insure that the muscle memory will allow for a smooth reload. An emergency reload required a lot more practice as the suprise delay and time crunch are definate factors in the outcome.

pickpocket
October 2, 2006, 04:12 PM
There have been numerous discussions on the Tac Reload here.

For the everyday joe, what it boils down to is personal preference. Most people are going to have very scant need of a Tac Reload as a skill because - as a private citizen - you are highly unlikely to find yourself in the type of sustained engagement where a Tac Reload would make sense.

It's an application-specific skill - mostly reserved for .mil or LE SWAT/SRT teams.

Retention, taught properly, is not a liability. However, when people are taught that they always need to retain magazines then that's what their minds are going to revert to under stress. If they haven't developed the cognitive ability to decide when it matters and when it doesn't, then they're going to default to what they've been trained to do by rote...regardless of whether or not it makes sense tactically.

David Armstrong
October 4, 2006, 04:21 PM
Having debated this over and over, and I think being one of the original "what good is it" presenters, here is my take:
The tactical reload offers nothing that cannot be achieved just as well by another reload technique, thus is completely redundant.
Training devoted to the tactical reload can be better devoted to other things.
Nobody has shown the tactical reload to be harmful, but nobody has shown that reloading while reciting Shakespeare is harmful either. However, just becaue it is not harmful is poor justification for suggesting it should be learned.
The tactical reload has no provable benefit, and much potential liability.

MisterPX
October 4, 2006, 11:14 PM
So there's no benefit to re-engaging with a full mag versus a half empty mag?

Sounds like most of you have a Tactical reload confused with something else.

Double Naught Spy
October 5, 2006, 04:24 AM
Shooting your gun dry is a fatal mistake IMHO. But reloading quickly is still more important than worrying about the ammo in the dropped magazine.

As I recall, there were a couple of schools that used to teach this, proclaiming that you were a bad gun manager if you let your gun run dry, so you had people NOT fully utilizing their guns because they didn't want to be bad gun managers. At least shooting your gun dry, if you need to do that, gives you at least one more round than NOT shooting it dry.

It is really great you can do 1 second reloads all day long.

My point is that it won't make a difference. If you analyze the Newhall, North Hollywood and Miami incidents, all could have been ended much quicker with a higher level of marksmanship. The amount of time spent training to retain the partial magazine (which real life shootouts show is not needed), could be better spent training on marksmanship skills.

Training time is limited. Reloads are taught because cops were getting killed because of inabilities to reload efficiently. Yes, time taught on teaching reloads could be spent on marksmanship, but it isn't much time spent teaching reloads.

As I recall, there were excellent shooters in all the incidents you described. As for North Hollywood, the closest shots were at the very beginning and very end of the fight. At the very beginning, the closest shots were something like 30+ yards and were good shots, COM, before the body armor issue became known. One shot was 9 pellets of buckshot into the back of one of the bad guys, a very good hit. The result from the close-in shooting was returned fire that struck 2 officers.

Officers downed at the intersection with civilians were some 75 yards distant from the shooters and the body armor issue was known by then. The problem was, nobody seemed to be able to make a pistol shot at 75 yards and further to make head shots on mobile targets that were spraying full auto fire. Why? Because nobody trains for pistol head shots at 75 yards and further for highly mobile full auto targets in heavy body armor because of the rarity of such of an endeavor and difficulty of the shot with a short sight radius handgun. Why not? Because such training is mostly within 25 yards because only on very rare occasions will cops be in shootings and very rarely will a given cop's rare shooting incident be more than 25 yards. That is part of the reason many depts have gone to rifles in squads.

FYI, there was a motorcycle cop who was one of the first to arrive at the shootout and who gave aid to the black cop who was shot in the leg and bleeding out. He was within something like 3 months of retirement, carried just under 70 rounds on his person, and had NEVER been in a gun fight for his entire career until North Hollywood. He expended all his ammo that day. So I guess that since he shot his gun dry multiple times, he made fatal errors multiple times? Nope. He needed every single round and then some.

fm2
October 5, 2006, 01:03 PM
I'll add another angle to the discussion. What about slipping/tripping hazards of a mag on the deck. They will not crush and can send you skating if you are on some sort of hard surface and step on them. If you stow the mag, that's one less thing to worry about if you have to backpedal, or re-trace you steps.

pickpocket
October 5, 2006, 01:44 PM
So as I'm sitting here reading everyone's posts -
Anecdotal evidence that reloading skills are important are supported by stories of either LE or military getting in this or that engagement. Like I said earlier, it's an application specific skillset - and not one that many of you are going to find yourself in need of practicing to the extent that we do.

Tripping hazards on the floor? Exactly what type of SD engagements to you imagine you will be in that require reloading the weapon before you clear another room, tripping on magazines, saving the extra half-second that the difference between a combat and tactical reload gets you?

Clearing buildings during a sustained engagement - yes, I'm worried about it. Going to the supermarket? Not so much.

This discussion needs to take place within a certain context - there are certain groups of people who are going to find this both a useful and necessary skill; there are also going to be groups of people who will find no use whatsoever for reloading as a skill to be honed.

Pick a lane and stay in it.

fm2
October 5, 2006, 05:58 PM
Exactly what type of SD engagements to you imagine you will be in that require reloading the weapon before you clear another room, tripping on magazines, saving the extra half-second that the difference between a combat and tactical reload gets you?


Well, nothing was said about clearing rooms/buildings, but you realized there could be an issue there.

I think most SD situations happen on some sort of hard surface. I'd also guess that a very high percentage of training is done on a different surface (soft ground), for safety reasons. Those differences can cause problems. Maybe some people wouldn't forsee a potential problem by just dropping a magazine at their feet.

I agree with your point on the context. But, consider those that carry a low cap semi-auto, like a kel-tec or Kahr with one spare mag. The rounds retained may be a significant portion of their ammo available.

pickpocket
October 5, 2006, 06:52 PM
Clear on the low-cap issue. However, my point is still that TRAINING for specifically Tac Reloads is an application-specific need. It is exclusive to extended engagements where there are expected or predictable lulls in intensity. SD does not fit this criteria - and SD is the context that this discussion needs to take place within.

I will firmly back the need for Tac Reload, but really only for Mil/LE. For civilians, it's a nice-to-know skill; whereas for us it's a need-to-know skill. The frequency and degree of training you need to consistently use the Tac Reload efficiently and correctly is way beyond what most everyday CCW-guy/girl has the time or inclination to put in. It's just not something you want to spend a lot of time on because the benefits realized - while useful - are not getting you the most bang for your buck. There are plenty of other things that I would practice and perfect as a civilian before even talking about the pros/cons of a Tac Reload.

What I'm saying is that if you find yourself clearing buildings and realizing the need for a fresh magazine before you kick in a door - maybe you're not in a self-defense situation any longer.

Wyo Cowboy
October 9, 2006, 09:47 AM
Are we discussing the "Tactical Reload" as it pertains to real-life or the "TACTICAL RELOAD" as it is displayed in competitions?

The real-life tac reload is an unhurried exchanging of a partially used magazine for a full magazine using a technique where the firearm is a single-shot-only for less that one second. If there are any indications of an impending threat, the Tac Reload is not performed. The "reload" from beginning to end may last several seconds, again with the SSO period it's self being very short. Is this a reasonable skill for the average CCWer to have in their bag of tricks? Yep. Does it need to be practiced as to be done in 1.4 seconds, while running, through mud, dodging through a maze? Nope. Does it have any application of the non-LEO/military? Well, only if one is involved in a situation where there is a break in the action, but not a complete removal of the threat. I'd encourage anyone to learn how to perform a Tac Reload smoothly. Then again, I would encourage anyone to practice non-standard range shooting... ie; low light, unusual postions, suprise situations (IDPA?), support hand only, hands occupied, congested firing area, etc.

The debate as to whether the Tac Reload has any significance goes along with the debate of whether the .32 and .380 are adiquite defensive rounds. I'd rather have a .45 than a .380, but I'd rather have a .380 than a rock. I'd rather have covered the Tactical Reload and never need it than never have seen it in training. But if one doesn't carry a spare magazine, the whole question is moot.

OBIWAN
October 9, 2006, 02:23 PM
Well said Wyo Cowboy

The lengths some will go through to make their personal decisions seem smarter

What "potential liability" is there in being able to reload an autopistol withoput dropping a magazine on the ground????

(next you will tell me you should always stop chewing your gum while walking)

The only one I see mentioned is;

"Training devoted to the tactical reload can be better devoted to other things"

Sorry, but I even checked with my 13 yr old daughter and that doesn't pass the basic tests for a logical argument.

(Don't mess with her she has an A+ going in her logic class)

More than one person has said it but they all act like there is some zero sum training paradigm

There is no reason to assume that those that practice the RWR are somehow getting less practice overall

Quite the opposite in my opinion...since there is more dexterity involved it should pay dividends in other gun handling....could actually make for a good study;)

Since I only practice it when I reload the only thing I can think of to substitute at that particular step is a speed reload.

And since my practice is heavily weighted toward the speed reload over the RWR (except in winter...or muddy days ) I don't think I am suffering too greatly....

I imagine that we might very well find that those that practice the most are more inclined to practice the RWR as well

Anyone that is somehow afraid can certainly choose not to ever practice a RWR

It will make them a lot of fun to watch as they fumble through one :eek:

David Armstrong
October 10, 2006, 01:52 PM
So there's no benefit to re-engaging with a full mag versus a half empty mag?
In the overall scheme of most DGU incidents, no, there isn't. That is sort of like asking if there is a benefit to re-engaging with a 8-round 1911 versus a 17-round Glock 17. Either will work. The question is what reloading method is most beneficial if you decide to rengage with a full mag as opposed to a half-full mag.

David Armstrong
October 10, 2006, 01:59 PM
The real-life tac reload is an unhurried exchanging of a partially used magazine for a full magazine using a technique where the firearm is a single-shot-only for less that one second.
Again, as there has never been a verified instance of a tactical reload being useful to the outcome of a fight, I'm not sure where this "real life" information comes from. Furthermore, if your need is such that you want to exchange the magazine in less than a second I'd suggest that the tactical reload is the wrong thing to be doing in that situation.

David Armstrong
October 10, 2006, 02:02 PM
It will make them a lot of fun to watch as they fumble through one
Even those that practice it a lot find they are more prone to fumble the tactical reload than any other type, IME.

Eghad
October 10, 2006, 04:11 PM
I would think that in some instances that few seconds of attention span on the dropped partial magazine retention might mean the difference between the bad and the good. If there is no break in the action I would probably want to have my attention on those who are trying to do me harm. If there is a break and I have good cover and concealment then I would attemt to top off.

Wyo Cowboy
October 10, 2006, 09:42 PM
if your need is such that you want to exchange the magazine in less than a second I'd suggest that the tactical reload is the wrong thing to be doing in that situation.

Ahhhh... those that will not listen shall not hear, those who will not look shall not see.

Given your comment there are only two possible responses with a "pause in the action".

1) do nothing and hope that nothing happens.
2) wait and shoot your weapon dry and perforn an emergency reload.

A Tactical Reload IS a very uncommon procedure for a civilian. But so is an emergency (speed) reload. Then again, so is getting into an armed confrontation with shots fired. However you are telling me that with a few, or several, shots fired and a full magazine on your hip you would NOT reload? Amazing!

I am not advocating spending a lot of time practicing Tac Reloads, but knowing how to do one is not a bad idea. And note, I said that the reload may be performed over several (2 to 5ish) seconds with the gun holding one round FOR ONLY A SECOND.. not a complete reload in a second.

And on that note... good night all.

pickpocket
October 11, 2006, 12:04 AM
We've been through this more than once, and on more than one thread.

Either bring up some new points, or let's put this one to bed and just read the archives.

If you don't like it, don't practice it.

Glenn E. Meyer
October 11, 2006, 09:18 AM
Wait - we can't shut this down - we haven't discussed the classic tac reload vs. the reload with retention. :D

I prefer the later as it has served me well - my favorite cliche that means nothing. I'm too much of a klutz to hold the mag between my fingers and blah, blah. Nor do I want to practice it 3500 times.

If there were a true lull, take the used mag and stow it, store the new one. I did it once at the NTI - due to unique nature of the situation, I knew I had a lull. Otherwise - game it. Have all your opponents stand still, and have the RO take you through a walk through and then start the gun fight.

Ok - after this dribble, we can close the thread. :D

David Armstrong
October 11, 2006, 04:51 PM
If you don't like it, don't practice it.
Should that be a factor in deciding what to practice? I usually tell my people just the opposite, to make it a point to practice those things you don't like to do (assuming one can come up with some utilitarian justification for them) instead of just the things you like.

pickpocket
October 12, 2006, 12:31 AM
Should that be a factor in deciding what to practice? I usually tell my people just the opposite, to make it a point to practice those things you don't like to do (assuming one can come up with some utilitarian justification for them) instead of just the things you like.

In some cases, yes. Many of the comments made here indicate that the people making them don't understand the application of the technique. That's fine.

If a person doesn't like a technique, they generally are not going to find enough reason to practice it - regardless of the advice they recieve.

Like I said earlier, certain techniques lend themselves to different audiences - this is one of them. A room full of guys who pull triggers for a living would disagree with the view that there's no evidence that a tac reload or a RLWR has decided the outcome of a gun fight. Just as a room full of everyday CCW's would disagree with the view that there's no need for a compact pistol.

At the end of the day, each person decides what they want to learn and, ultimately, practice. I only offer lessons learned through experience...it's up to the individual listening to either accept or reject what they hear. Even for people I train, it doesn't bother me one bit if they toss out everything I said as soon as they step off the range - it's their life, their training, their decision. Same concept.

So - if people don't like the Tac Reload - don't practice it. It really is that simple.

raymond-
October 12, 2006, 01:17 AM
Should that be a factor in deciding what to practice? I usually tell my people just the opposite, to make it a point to practice those things you don't like to do (assuming one can come up with some utilitarian justification for them) instead of just the things you like.

my variation-on-a-theme... i suggest that they practice what they're not good at, more than what they're good at.

GoSlash27
October 12, 2006, 05:55 AM
I think many posters here missed the point of the original question, which is "why does the IDPA penalize dropping partial mags when the other organizations don't"? They call it a tactical error....so what's the error?

Answer is...I don't know, but I bet their rules committee hashes out this same question constantly.
If nothing else, I find it beneficial because of the added stress it generates; one more thing to keep in mind. That adds difficulty, which helps develop situational awareness.
The organization believes that IDPA shooting is training first and competition second. I tend to agree.

springmom
October 12, 2006, 08:41 AM
So....

Did I miss something, or was Lurper's original presumption borne out and no one could actually give any data about a tactical reload saving a life?

(Loved the story about the guys coming out of the liquor store, though. "Machine gun" indeed, LOL, although it wasn't a "tactical reload")

A speed reload for me is simply an opportunity to get one moreblood blister on the palm of my hand from those little lips on the front of my Kimber's mags. :( Ow....

Sspringmom

User14
October 12, 2006, 09:25 AM
A small gun will save your life if it is there. A big gun with a lot of extra magazines will not save your life if it is not there.

Lurper
October 12, 2006, 10:43 AM
Okay, so I have learned that I need to be more precise in posting questions because some of you are correct - I actually posted several questions.

One was about IDPA and their (what I think are wholly arbitryary) application of penalities.

One was also about no one being able to show that a RWR has saved anyone's life.

Also, as I have pointed out it is not so much the tac reload (topping off your gun during a lull) as the retention that I object to. I needed to be more clear about that at the beginning I suppose.

Also, perhaps my assumption that praciticing a RWR is time wasted and would be better spent building marksmanship skills is flawed, but I don't think so.

The average LEO does not possess a high level of marksmanship skill. Therefore my feelings are that time would be better spent raising that level as opposed to teaching a technique that they will more than likely never need. Learning how to do a fast speed reload is more important, the second most important (imo) is a fast emergency reload - however, I can understand how some would reverse those two skills. I just don't see where retention is useful for most of us.

David Armstrong
October 12, 2006, 11:06 AM
A room full of guys who pull triggers for a living would disagree with the view that there's no evidence that a tac reload or a RLWR has decided the outcome of a gun fight.
Really? I'm going to disagree quite strongly with that idea, becasue I've been on this quest for years (as have several others), and there have been many occassions where a roomful of guys as you describe could not come up with a single incident where the tacload or RWR mattered at all, much less decided the outcome of the fight. I've asked on some pretty good forums (such as the IALEFI site)for any evidence and nobody has come up with a single example.
Many of the comments made here indicate that the people making them don't understand the application of the technique.
Perhaps it is because other than as an adminstrative technique on the range there is no real application of the technique?
I only offer lessons learned through experience.
OK then, in your experience, can you give us a single non-military incident where the tactical reload or the RWR made the difference in the outcome of the fight? So far, my experience has been that they offer litttle or no benefit while offereing a lot of potential problem.

David Armstrong
October 12, 2006, 11:17 AM
Given your comment there are only two possible responses with a "pause in the action".
Wrong. You have missed what I feel is the best tresponse. Drop the magazine in the weapon, put a new magazine in. You don't even have to wait for a pause in the action to do that. Now, if there really is a significant lull so that you can safely worry about the partialy emptied magazine, pick it up. If there is not an actual lull you are ready to go back into action with a full mag.
However you are telling me that with a few, or several, shots fired and a full magazine on your hip you would NOT reload? Amazing!
Yes, truly amazing. You might want to take that "those who will not see" comment to heart, as nowhere did I say anything close to that.
[QUOTE]but knowing how to do one is not a bad idea.[QUOTE]
Neither is knowing how to shoot your gun using your pinky finger to pull the trigger while it is held upside down in your weak hand. Just because it is not a bad idea doesn't mean it is a good idea, or even a useful idea.

David Armstrong
October 12, 2006, 11:32 AM
Therefore my feelings are that time would be better spent raising that level as opposed to teaching a technique that they will more than likely never need.
IMO that is the key to the whole discussion. Training time is limited for all of us, severely limited for many. Most folks never get enough practice in to develop unconscious proficiency with the basics, much less common advanced techniques. To advocate spending any of that time on a technique of dubious value, particularly when the goals of the technique can be achieved through other methods, seems questionable to me.

pickpocket
October 12, 2006, 12:23 PM
Really? I'm going to disagree quite strongly with that idea, becasue I've been on this quest for years (as have several others), and there have been many occassions where a roomful of guys as you describe could not come up with a single incident where the tacload or RWR mattered at all, much less decided the outcome of the fight. I've asked on some pretty good forums (such as the IALEFI site)for any evidence and nobody has come up with a single example.

Here is where you asked the question...


OK then, in your experience, can you give us a single non-military incident where the tactical reload or the RWR made the difference in the outcome of the fight?

...and here you answered it.

I'm not sure who you were referring to when you said you've talked to people who pull triggers for a living, but to me that means trained CQB personnel - and that usually means military.

So, we're back to my statement that this technique is really truly applicable to certain audiences - which you corroborate by asking for specifically non-military examples.

I agree that most of you here will benefit from using that limited training time, limited training opportunities, and limited training resources to focus on things that will mean more. But simply saying that the technique is useless means that you don't understand the application or the situation for which it is intended.

A Tac Reload is meant for extended engagments during lulls in activity, usually done right before an expected initiation of contact.

A RWR is meant for sustained engagements where one reasonably expects they will need to reload their magazines but don't expect to encounter a supply hut where they can ask for new ones because they dropped theirs all over the last few blocks.

If you don't expect to find yourself in either of these situations, then why are you arguing for/against the technique in the first place? Not only is training in the tac reload/RWR a waste of time - the whole argument is.

User14
October 12, 2006, 12:47 PM
This is rediculous. I think this entire thread is testosterone poisoned. You are not Rambo! You are not superman!

pickpocket
October 12, 2006, 03:18 PM
This is rediculous. I think this entire thread is testosterone poisoned. You are not Rambo! You are not superman!
Amazing. Nothing useful to add, and yet add you did.
14 posts to your name, two days on the board - no idea of your background - and you criticize several productive members with a comment like this.

Welcome aboard. Read more, post less.

Lurper
October 12, 2006, 08:58 PM
If I might add one piece to your advice Pick:
Welcome aboard. Read more, post less. Learn how to spell.

JohnKSa
October 12, 2006, 10:09 PM
Drop the magazine in the weapon, put a new magazine in. You don't even have to wait for a pause in the action to do that. Now, if there really is a significant lull so that you can safely worry about the partialy emptied magazine, pick it up. If there is not an actual lull you are ready to go back into action with a full mag.Exactly. It's possible to come up with situations where dropping the magazine might make it impossible to retrieve it later, but I believe that's getting a little pathological.

What are we really talking about?


Getting in a gunfight. Highly unlikely.
Assuming you get into a gun fight what's the probability of needing to reload? Very unlikely.
Assuming you need to reload, what's the probability that you would need to reload a second time (that would require you to re-use your dropped partially empty magazine)? Again very small probability.
Assuming you need to re-use your dropped partially empty magazine, what's the probability that you would have dropped in such a way that it was impossible to retrieve it? Pretty unlikely.


So we're piling a bunch of highly unlikely happenstances on top of one another and using the resulting infinetesimal probability as a justification for practicing a technique that will slow down a reload significantly.

MisterPX
October 12, 2006, 10:43 PM
Can anyone cite an example of when an emergency reload saved the day in a SD situation??

Lurper
October 13, 2006, 05:38 AM
For example: My friend (and one of my early mentors) Roger was a cop in PG County MD. He was called to a liquor store because the 2 guys who robbed it were now in the store buying liquor (probably with their ill gotten gains). He rolled up on the scene got out of his cruiser and stepped onto the sidewalk just as the two perps were walking out the door. When they saw Roger at a distance of about 10' iirc, they both started reaching under their jackets. Roger drew his S&W 64, fired 5 rounds into the first guy, reloaded and had his sights on the second guy before the perp could pull his Mod. 29 out from under his coat. The second guy wisely surrendered. I was told by the guys in Roger's squad that the perp swore that Roger had a macinegun.

There are plenty of instances where a speed reload has saved someone's bacon.
Edited to add: Guess that's probably not an emergency reload.

David Armstrong
October 13, 2006, 01:08 PM
I'm not sure who you were referring to when you said you've talked to people who pull triggers for a living, but to me that means trained CQB personnel - and that usually means military.
First I would disagree with your contention that only trained CQB personnel (usually military) are the only folks that pull triggers for a living. LE and others have been pulling trigggers for a living for quite some time. Second, I did specifically exclude the military from the equation because I do have ONE example where the bullets saved mattered later in the fight. I'm not sure how applicable it is to the discussion because it was an ongoing E&E situation. BTW, even then the same results could have ben achieved with a drop the mag and pick it up later-type of reload.
But simply saying that the technique is useless means that you don't understand the application or the situation for which it is intended.
No, I think most here understand exactly what th eapplication is, which i swhy we disagree with it so much. The tactical reload adds nothing to the shooter's bag that cannot be accomplished as well or better with another technique, IMO.
A Tac Reload is meant for extended engagments during lulls in activity, usually done right before an expected initiation of contact.
That may be one idea, but it is certainly not the most commonly used, nor AFAIK the traditionally accepted reason for the Tac reload.

David Armstrong
October 13, 2006, 01:11 PM
So we're piling a bunch of highly unlikely happenstances on top of one another and using the resulting infinetesimal probability as a justification for practicing a technique that will slow down a reload significantly.

That seems to be pretty much it.

pickpocket
October 13, 2006, 01:35 PM
First I would disagree with your contention that only trained CQB personnel (usually military) are the only folks that pull triggers for a living. LE and others have been pulling trigggers for a living for quite some time.

Brother - 99% of LE do NOT "pull triggers for a living"... most departments consider themselves lucky just to consistently put their officers through annual qualification requirements. I'll include SWAT/HRT; but not "LE" as a whole.
Why SWAT/HRT? Because theire TRAINED in CQB. Even then, application is limited because there are no SWAT engagements that have lasted long enough to require a resupply of ammunition and was geographically stretched out.

I'm not exactly sure why you are still arguing with me - I've said more than once that the everyday joe isn't going to benefit immensely from practicing this type of technique.

Second, I did specifically exclude the military from the equation because I do have ONE example where the bullets saved mattered later in the fight. I'm not sure how applicable it is to the discussion because it was an ongoing E&E situation. BTW, even then the same results could have ben achieved with a drop the mag and pick it up later-type of reload.

You're out of your lane here. Just drop it and stick to what you know: civilian encounters...which is where I tried to steer this for everyone's benefit.
Your experience with military operations is obviously limited to what you've heard or read - don't attempt to critique something you have not been exposed to, it only weakens your position.

GoSlash27
October 14, 2006, 08:20 AM
Has anyone asked somebody on the IDPA rules committee about this? It strikes me as a little silly that we're arguing amongst ourselves about a rule we had no hand in creating.

The official line from IDPA:
Slide Lock reloads are the recommended type of reload in IDPA.
Statistics show that this happens in the real world, regardless of
intention or training.
Which I can see. Although nobody here seems to have a beef with training to run your pistol dry (unless I missed it), the rationale is you're probably going to do it under stress so you may as well be adept at recharging from slide lock. It still allows you to train for management since knowing that you're on your last round is a tactical advantage.
Since this doesn't seem to be the point of contention, let's move on...
[quote] Tactical reloads and reloads with retention
are intended for use during lulls in the action and should not be
required on the clock.[quote]
They consider any failure to retain a magazine (even an empty one) during a specified RWR or TR a procedural error. The only time you may drop and leave behind a partial magazine without a penalty is if it caused a malfunction.

I am personally ambivalent about the usefulness of this training for defensive purposes, but I don't buy the concept that RWR will make a shooter automatically retain magazines under stress.
They require all planned reloads to occur behind cover (and usually off the clock), so what's the harm in retaining them?
I don't know of any situation where retaining a partial saved anyone's life, but I also don't know of any situation where leaving cover a second sooner minus a few rounds helped either.
Finally, I don't personally see the benefit of training to smoothly leave a magazine behind, but I do see the benefit of training to smoothly pocket one.
Just my opinion.

Again, I'm not on the rules committee and I'm pretty sure nobody else here is either. Why are we arguing about it?

Lurper
October 14, 2006, 08:51 AM
I think there are two tracks to the argument:1. vis-a-vis IDPA in my opinion it is a silly rule (just like the failure to do right) 2. for defense it is of questionable value. I would go so far as to say it is a bad skill to train and practice on.


I am personally ambivalent about the usefulness of this training for defensive purposes, but I don't buy the concept that RWR will make a shooter automatically retain magazines under stress.
They require all planned reloads to occur behind cover (and usually off the clock), so what's the harm in retaining them?
I don't know of any situation where retaining a partial saved anyone's life, but I also don't know of any situation where leaving cover a second sooner minus a few rounds helped either.
Re-read the Newhall incident. You fight the way you train. If you train to retain the magazine, you will focus on that (even if only for a few seconds). There are two problems with that, those few seconds could be the critical ones and the time/effort training in rwr would be better spent building your marksmanship skills.

Don't know that I added anything new there, just wanted to recap it for you.

STLRN
October 14, 2006, 01:39 PM
That is why in your training POI you force them into situations that they have to both dry reloads and tactical reloads. At least what I have trained people is up close and your weapon is dry the mag just falls, but when inserting a magazine in weapon with a round in the chamber, than you are on your time not the enemies so you retain the magazine.

JohnKSa
October 14, 2006, 02:35 PM
This would never have been an issue if IDPA hadn't been working so hard to be different from IPSC.

It's always been considered desirable to reduce the amount of decision making required in highly stressful situations. Up until fairly recently, the almost universally accepted solution was to come up with a reloading method that would ALWAYS work--to the point that many trainers even advocated ALWAYS racking the slide after a reload to make sure that a round was chambered without the shooter having to assess the situation of his firearm (slide locked back or not.)

Just like malfunction clearing drills, the goal was to come up with something that would work almost every time without the shooter having to decide exactly what was wrong.

Then IDPA comes along trying to distinguish itself from IPSC. They foist the RWR upon their competitors and all of the sudden a bunch of people think that it must be a good idea. I don't buy it. If it was such a good idea then why didn't we hear anything about it before IDPA was founded?

STLRN
October 14, 2006, 03:13 PM
John

I know we try to get people to avoid believing there is only "the way." We try to train many ways so the user has a kit bag of various ways to meet the environment they are working in, vice one way that suited the situation it was developed for but not what they are currently doing.

I have told many people to avoid instructors who push their techinque as "the way and the only way."

JohnKSa
October 14, 2006, 09:44 PM
STLRN,

I've given people the same advice, but that doesn't mean it's a blanket invitation to anyone with a wild hair to invent and push a new method when an existing method is already perfectly sufficient for virtually every eventuality.

Is it faster? Less complicated? More widely useful? Easier to do? No, it's none of those things. It's slower, more complicated, useful in only very limited applications and harder to do. It fails every test compared to the standard reload.

The same goes for the "it's just another tool in the box" argument. Sure, it's good to know about other techniques, but there's a tremendous benefit to having a rather small "toolbox" containing only very useful and frequently used tools compared to a larger "toolbox" jammed full of stuff, most of which is only needed once in a great while.

The RWR is, as far as I'm concerned, an artificial technique invented primarily to distinguish IDPA from IPSC and is of highly questionable utility.

People don't need to be making decisions under high stress in a life-threatening situation about what kind of reloads to do, nor do they need to be taught, nor need to practice procedures that artificially complicate and slow their reloads.

pickpocket
October 14, 2006, 11:43 PM
RWR and Tac Reloads pre-date IPDA. They weren't invented for the sake of competition shooting, and they certainly weren't invented to help distinguish one club from another.

The techniques have negligible value in SD training - why one of your sport shooting organizations decided to adopt them is beyond anyones on this board ability to answer. It's a sport. Sports need rules. If you guys REALLY wanted the answer to "why" then you would contact IPDA rather than look for an answer here.

JohnKSa
October 15, 2006, 12:26 AM
Ok, that wasn't exactly what I meant to say. What I was getting at was that the RWR only gained any level of credibility when IDPA adopted it.

Wyo Cowboy
October 15, 2006, 10:46 PM
Wrong. You have missed what I feel is the best tresponse. Drop the magazine in the weapon, put a new magazine in. You don't even have to wait for a pause in the action to do that. Now, if there really is a significant lull so that you can safely worry about the partialy emptied magazine, pick it up. If there is not an actual lull you are ready to go back into action with a full mag.


Sorry, I've been out of town on a trip. So...

You are advocating that one would perform and emergency reload of a non-empty weapon WHILE THE FIREFIGHT IS STILL ON GOING?!?!?!:eek:

You have obviously missed what I has said. At a definite break in the "action", still scanning for threats, one draws the full magazine, holds it near the mag well, ejects the partial mag TO THE GROUND, inserts the fresh mag, and recovers the partial mag at one's leasure.

I think that you are not fully understanding what a number of people are saying here about the "tac reload". It is an optional reload. I agree that a civilian dosen't need to spend a great deal of time on practice, but then again I just read an artical dissing the "Speed Draw" as unnecessary. Is a speed draw likly to be used by most people? No. Is knowing HOW to perform a speed draw a good idea? Yes. Is it likely that a speed draw is going to be needed by LOE's in most Law Enforcemenrt tsituations? No. Is it likely for a civilian, in a CCW type situation likely to have to perform an emergency (speed) reload? No. Is it a good idea to know how? Heck YES!!!

Training is simply that. TRAINING. It is NOT the end-all-and-be-all of reality. Training only increaces the depth and breth of one's knowladge and bag of tricks. Is there a high likelyhood of my need for a support hand only shot with a type one failure clearing drill in real-life? NO. Do I practice it? You Bet! Just like at work... is there a high likelyhood of an engine failure in the airliner which I fly, at rotation off of a runway, at max takeoff weight, at night, in the fog, in the mountains? Well... no, Do I practice that every six months? Over, and over, and over. Because it is one of the more difficult things to do right under stress.

Now, does this mean that I would put a great emphisis on tactical reloads? No. But I still train my students on how to do one smoothly. I also train them on how to preform a speed draw; one handed shooting; multi-target shooting; shoot-no shoot drills. Training is training.

Lurper
October 16, 2006, 09:18 AM
WC,

I think the difference is that you can probably document cases where practicing an engine failure on takeoff saved someone's life. You can also document where a speed reload saved someone's life. You certainly can document where a speed draw has (read my post about my friend Roger). No one has been able to show - outside of the military - where a tac reload or RWR has made a difference in the outcome of the confrontation.

As far as not teaching a "speed draw", that statement is absurd. I'd appreciate it if you could tell me where to find that article, I'd like to figure out how anyone with any sense could arrive at that conclusion. It also depends on the definition, I suppose. However, being able to put lead on the target quickly is the single most important skill one can develop (IMO). That includes drawing. Most people (civilian and LEO) do not have a high enough level of competency in that area. Which is the point: time spent on training RWR/TR should be spent on marksmanship. Strong/Weak hand only training should be required as well. Many situations may arise where that is necessary. However, I cannot think of one where a RWR would.

pickpocket
October 16, 2006, 12:31 PM
One of the most important things this argument touches is not whether a Tac Reload or RWR is a valid tool, nor even whether or not the time used practicing such techniques be better spent practicing something else.

Advanced techniques are great to learn - but if you don't have the fundamentals down - if you're not "brilliant in the basics" - then you're wasting your time and resources focusing on anything else. If people can't be expected to put enough effort into their training that their fundamental skills stay 100% efficient 100% of the time, then don't bother learning HSLD stuff...you won't be doing yourself any favors. In essence, that's what causes the very hesitation that people complain about.

For those that say "I don't have enough time to train" - stick with the basics, and perfect those.

One of the most irritating arguments I hear is the "small tool box" argument. People shouldn't have to make decisions under stress, people are incapable of using their brains under stress, you're only going to hesitate at that crucial moment. Yeah, ok....IF you don't train consistently and effectively.

People are quick to dismiss the training techniques the military uses, but who do you think is the most effective at close-quarter armed confrontation? Who do you think spends more time training in this area than any other facet of society? Not ALL military, mind you, but it is undeniable that some of the best weapons and tactics instructors teach for the military - and that certain military units/occupations have access to the best training available.

If you guys think that we only train using one or two techniques because we can't expect to think under fire, then you are sorely misinformed. We train multiple techniques to the point of boredom, and then practice them some more; the intent being that the "decision" to use a technique is made in a split-second - and if you are thoroughly familiar with its execution then there is no hesitation.
The hesitation comes from the time spent orienting yourself to the situation, trying to figure out how whether or not a certain technique is viable, then trying to remember how to do it. All byproducts of deficiencies in training.

If a person has to ask for "documented proof" that a technique is viable and can't come up with a good reason to practice it even after the application is explained, then I my advice is just not to practice it. Save yourself and others the headache..

Glenn E. Meyer
October 16, 2006, 12:50 PM
Dave - there are a couple of levels of analysis.

1. Is there ecological validity to the use of the technique? Thus, folks argue about whether the technique is ever used in the real world.

In this case, retaining and stowing the magazine is claimed to be valid in the military world but has not been shown to have validity in the civilian DGUs such that the time it takes to acquire the tac reload smoothly is worth the effort as compared to other skills.

2. The second is a human factors view of the various techniques as compared to their utility.

Under reasonable conditions, is there any advantage of the tac reload with holding the mag in the fingers as compared to the RWR. One might be slower and one might be more error prone under stress.

This could be tested with simulations under stress like in FATS simulators or the like with different stress levels. There may be a trade off of speed versus error. Which is worse?

Most gun discussions are purely hypothetical or based on a small number of incidents with so much going on that a real conclusion is shakey.

pickpocket
October 16, 2006, 01:30 PM
Ahh - finally... an opposing view that I can deal with :)
Nice to see you, Glenn.

In some ways, the answer to your first question might preclude the need to answer the second. If we can show that a technique isn't really useful in the "real" world then the rest of it doesn't matter.

1. Is there ecological validity to the use of the technique? Thus, folks argue about whether the technique is ever used in the real world.
In this context, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I don't believe that the benefit gained from perfecting the Tac Reload or RWR is worth the time/resource spent. That time would be better spent perfecting other skills, purely because of the likelihood that one would never find themselves in a situation that requires a fast and smooth Tac Reload or RWR. As others have stated, civilian encounters generally lend themselves to a person being able to go back and retrieve their spent magazines if they so desire. Indeed - if the confrontation even lasts that long to begin with.

2. The second is a human factors view of the various techniques as compared to their utility.
Assuming that we don't discard this question out of hand since I think most here agree that the answer to Q1 is NO...

There are a few different ways to skin the TR/RWR cat. "Tac Reload" describes the method used to get the magazine into the weapon, while RWR describes what happens to the spent/partially spent magazine after the reload itself.
Using this framework, you can accomplish both a "Combat Reload" (HAVE to) with or without Retention as well as a "Tactical Reload" (WANT to) with or without Retention.

This is important because I distinctly seperate the two concepts; remember I learned CQB from military instructors. A Tac Reload is done anytime I just want to "top off" the weapon...although whether or not I want to retain the old one is situation-dependant. If I'm in my house and perform a Tac Reload because I just shot out 4 of my 7 rounds, I'm probably not going to care about retaining the spent mag but I might want to top off. But then again, the ability to process this under stress is what requires the most training - not the actual reload.

Even within that example, you could possibly complete a Tac Reload by dropping the magazine, putting in the new one, and then picking up the old one if you have the time or inclination. It's the concept that's important, not the specific technique. If I don't care about magazine retention or rounds saved, then I'll Tac Reload all day long and just drop the magazines.

Training is as much about teaching yourself how to react within certain situations as it is about learning a technique. When I think of the reasons to practice the Tac Reload the first thing that comes to mind is that I don't want to be two-shots into a new room with threats and have the slide lock back, when I could have taken two seconds before entering and just topped off.

Whether or not you practice Retention is all about whether or not you think it's important. As a civilian, I'm going to vote no. Sometimes I think that some of this contention comes from the fact that everyone is not on the same page when it comes to the terminology. Maybe we should have a TFL-wide effort to standardize terms? ;)

David Armstrong
October 16, 2006, 02:56 PM
Brother - 99% of LE do NOT "pull triggers for a living"... most departments consider themselves lucky just to consistently put their officers through annual qualification requirements.
Nor do most military. In fact, on a percentage basis, I'd suggest that LE is far more CQB oriented than the military.
You're out of your lane here. Just drop it and stick to what you know: civilian encounters...which is where I tried to steer this for everyone's benefit.
Your experience with military operations is obviously limited to what you've heard or read - don't attempt to critique something you have not been exposed to, it only weakens your position.
I might suggest that you are the one out of line here. You have no idea of my military background (yes, I've been "exposed" to it) and if you are trying to steer this to the civilian encounters, quit bringing the military into it.
Tac Reload" describes the method used to get the magazine into the weapon, while RWR describes what happens to the spent/partially spent magazine after the reload itself.

OK, I think I see the problem here. You are defining the tactical reload and the RWR differently than everyone else.

David Armstrong
October 16, 2006, 03:02 PM
You have obviously missed what I has said. At a definite break in the "action", still scanning for threats, one draws the full magazine, holds it near the mag well, ejects the partial mag TO THE GROUND, inserts the fresh mag, and recovers the partial mag at one's leasure.
That is not a tactical reload or a RWR by any definition. In fact, that is pretty much what I suggest be done, so I'm not ssure where the cross-point is.
No. But I still train my students on how to do one smoothly.
Again, why? If it is a true lull, it doesn't matter if it is done smoothly or not. If it is important that it be done smoothly, a tactical reload is proabably the wrong technique. Like John said, "It's slower, more complicated, useful in only very limited applications and harder to do. It fails every test compared to the standard reload."

pickpocket
October 16, 2006, 03:39 PM
Nor do most military. In fact, on a percentage basis, I'd suggest that LE is far more CQB oriented than the military.
That's quite an assumption.

I might suggest that you are the one out of line here. You have no idea of my military background (yes, I've been "exposed" to it) and if you are trying to steer this to the civilian encounters, quit bringing the military into it.
Whatever your military background, it is insufficient to critique CQB techniques - and that was my point. I don't have to know anything about your military background - what I do know is that your military-oriented comments thus far reflect a lack of understanding of our TTP's... and that's really all that matters.

If you take issue with the technique, that's fine. But keep it in your lane. Bring it into someone else's and you're going to get corrected.

OK, I think I see the problem here. You are defining the tactical reload and the RWR differently than everyone else.
Indeed. Everyone here, at least.

Either way, there's nothing else I can add to this thread.

Stay sharp.

JohnKSa
October 16, 2006, 11:08 PM
One of the most irritating arguments I hear is the "small tool box" argument. People shouldn't have to make decisions under stress, people are incapable of using their brains under stress, you're only going to hesitate at that crucial moment. Yeah, ok....IF you don't train consistently and effectively.That depends on your definition of "consistently and effectively". Sure, at some level of training, it's possible to do nearly anything.

So, keeping in mind that fewer than 60% of shooting ENTHUSIASTS can be expected to fire more than 10K rounds IN A LIFETIME, at what level of training do YOU feel it's reasonable to begin to teach a second reload method with the honest expectation that it's going to benefit the trainee rather than lead to confusion/hesitation in a real shooting?

David Armstrong
October 17, 2006, 01:40 PM
That's quite an assumption.
No more so than yours, I would suggest.
Whatever your military background, it is insufficient to critique CQB techniques
Without any knowledge of my military background or my CQB background I would suggest that is, as you put it, quite an assumption.
If you take issue with the technique, that's fine. But keep it in your lane. Bring it into someone else's and you're going to get corrected.
I think what I take issue with here is someone re-defining fairly standard terms to try to support an unsupportable technique, which is why I and others here have attempted to correct you. You have crept into our lane, invented your own teminology, and then used that invented terminology to defend your position.
Either way, there's nothing else I can add to this thread.
I agree. If we cannot share a common terminology there is little chance of progressing.
Stay sharp.
And you!

Wyo Cowboy
October 17, 2006, 03:25 PM
That is not a tactical reload or a RWR by any definition.

Sorry to disagree, but this is the exact definition of a "Tactical Reload" as I was trained to perform it at the LEO academy which I attended. And this is the exact procedure for a "Tactical Reload" which my organization requires that I perform every six months during my requalification.

The only "reload" where we were trained to "catch" the partial mag is during, what my organization refers to as a "Magazine Exchange". This is done only after the fight is completely over. The procedure is that the partial mag be ejected into the support hand, placed into a pocket and then the new magazine be inserted. A catch and replace is acceptable as an option, but they did not spent a lot of training time on it. As you said, little or no direct evidence is available showing where a "catch and replace tactcal reload" has saved a life. They found that a lot of people got so focused on the changing of the magazines that they would end up juggling/fumbling magazines and blow the whole thing.

Double Naught Spy
October 17, 2006, 07:56 PM
Sorry to disagree, but this is the exact definition of a "Tactical Reload" as I was trained to perform it at the LEO academy which I attended. And this is the exact procedure for a "Tactical Reload" which my organization requires that I perform every six months during my requalification.

Sorry to disagree with you, but just because you were trained that way at your LEO academy and told that was a "Tactical Reload" doesn't make it so. Where you learned your information, at the academy, doesn't substantiate it as a definition. What you learned as a "magazine exchange" is specifically what other folks call a tactical or administrative reload.

If we wanted to appeal to authority of where we learned things, the tactical reload of which you speak where a partial mag is dropped to the ground was taught to me at Thunder Ranch as being a good IPSC procedure, but "stupid" for defensive situations and told we were not there to learn stupid tactics. "Stupid" was their word, not mine. Your organization obviously does not think it stupid, but of the places where I have trained, I have not heard one suggest that it would be a good idea to drop partially full mags on the ground as a matter of intended tactics.

M1911
October 17, 2006, 08:22 PM
A tactical reload requires good coordination, but it's pretty fast.

A reload with retention doesn't require as much coordination, but it is a little slower and the gun is out of service longer if it has a magazine disconnect.
Work with a timer and I think you'll find that a reload with retention is about 1 second faster than a tactical reload.

M1911
October 17, 2006, 08:24 PM
Sorry to disagree, but this is the exact definition of a "Tactical Reload"I suggest you go to the IDPA web site and check the IDPA rulebook for definitions of tactical reload and reload with retention. Since this thread was started explicitly with a rant against tactical reloads as used in IDPA, it is clear that the originator was using the IDPA definition of a tactical reload.

Wyo Cowboy
October 17, 2006, 09:23 PM
The statement was... That is not a tactical reload or a RWR by any definition.

The training which I attended defines a Tactical Reload just as I stated. IDPA may define it differently and that is fine. When I received my training from a Gunsite Instructor, I was trained in the "standard" tactical reload and that is fine as well. Some of the instructor at the academy disagreed with the policy and showed the "stardard" TR. But, I was responding to the comment that I was offering a procedure which didn't meet ANY definition. Argue if you will, but that IS the definition of a Tactical Reload under my department's procedures.

David Armstrong
October 18, 2006, 04:03 PM
Sorry to disagree, but this is the exact definition of a "Tactical Reload" as I was trained to perform it at the LEO academy which I attended.
As already pointed out, just because you were taught some incorrect terminology at academy doesn't mean that it is now right. I learned lots of things at academy that have proven to be a bit questionable. That definition has been in use since the 1970's at least and is the common accepted definition. IIRC, even the NRA is now using it.
But, I was responding to the comment that I was offering a procedure which didn't meet ANY definition.
I'm sorry, but IMO definitions that do not meet the standards, and in fact actually conflict with the accepted terminology, are not definitions. If I were to say that a tree is a small furrry animal that hops around and has big ears and a puffball tail, I think we would be on pretty solid ground to say that does not meet any definition of a tree.

OBIWAN
October 18, 2006, 04:47 PM
Wow...not much progress

The dialogue has degenerated if anything...at least in terms of pleasantness

Since the world is flat and the range is square I declare that you are all wrong

ALL OF YOU

Buy a weapon that holds at least 6 rounds (wheelgunner buddies:D )

And don't waste ANY of your time practicing reloading of any type

OOPS...If yu are not gonna reload at all better buy a LOT of that weapon;)

Statisics show you are better off not wasting your finite amount of training hours doing something that cannot be empirically shown to save your life

Sure it is something you can practice at home

Heck...you can even juggle mags in the car...eyes on the road:eek:

But the only way we are gonna settle this...especially since it DOES NOT MATTER...is if you are all wrong.

In fact I am even going to take away your competition excemption and get IDPA and IPSC changed to require ZERO reloading

either that or we all switch to movie guns..those things never need reloading

Sheesh:barf:

M1911
October 18, 2006, 08:01 PM
Wyo Cowboy:

Scroll back to the start of this thread. The first post starts with: Tactical reloads receive a lot of attention particularly in IDPA circles.It's quite clear that, in this thread, the phrase "tactical reload" means what IDPA defines it to mean. If you care to go to idpa.com, select about->rule book, scroll down to page 41 and you will find that they define a "tactical reload" as: Tactical Reload (Tac-Load) is recharging the gun during a lull
in the action by:
A. Drawing a spare magazine prior to the ejection of the partial
magazine from the gun.
B. Dropping the partial magazine from the gun.
C. Inserting the spare magazine into the gun.
D. Stowing the partial magazine properly (See “proper
magazine retention” in the glossary).
I have attended training at Lethal Force Institute (Ayoob), Sigarms Academy, and Cumberland Tactics (Randy Cain). Randy basically teaches the same methods that he teaches at Gunsite, which goes back to Jeff Cooper (may he rest in peace). Cooper is basically the one who defined the modern technique. All three taught the tactical reload in the same fashion: use your support hand to grasp a full magazine, move it to the gun, drop the partially empty magazine into your support hand, insert the full magazine into the gun, and stow the partially empty magazine in your pocket.

You were taught something else. What you were taught is not what 99% of shootists would term a tactical reload. Sorry dude, but get over it. You were taught something else. We can argue about whether what you were taught was useful (it wasn't, btw, but that's par for the course for many police academies).

As far as the original post, it is a strawman argument. Let's revisit the first post: Tactical reloads receive a lot of attention particularly in IDPA circles.And now let's check the IDPA rule book: NOTE: HQ urges course designers to draft scenario courses that do not require tac-loads or reloads with retention to be performed “on the clock”.The original assertion of this thread is that "IDPA thinks tactical reloads are important, therefore IDPA is bad."

The reality is that tactical reloads (and reloads with retention) are not very important for IDPA. So the original assertion to this thread is complete BS.

Lurper: if you don't want to compete in IDPA, that's fine. We won't miss you.

Capt Charlie
October 18, 2006, 08:06 PM
Oy vey! :rolleyes: This has become a merry-go-round. Who woulda thunk a thread about tactical reloads could become a major debate (albeit a relatively polite one ;) ) with 115 posts?

It truly has been an interesting thread, but it doesn't appear that there's much more to be gained from it, and the general synopsis ended up being "we agree to disagree".

Let's call this one a tie in overtime and say goodnight :D .