View Full Version : IDPA SSR tac Reload speed, method

June 18, 2002, 07:12 PM
I've read (somewhere) that suggested doing reload with retension all the time so that you don't have to think about it. That adds a couple of steps to SSR (from what I can tell): ie: dump rounds into hand, drop rounds in pocket, smack the ejecter (in case any are stuck)...

I just finished 'loading' up 12 dummy rounds for practice, and my first attemp took 5 seconds from 'gun is out of ammy' to ready on target. I could probably shave a lot off by simply dumping ammo, but OTOH I'd hate to get into that habit and get a penalty for failure to retain..

Any thoughts?

June 19, 2002, 11:01 AM
What, no comments? Not even a 'Damn you are slow!' :rolleyes:

June 19, 2002, 11:36 AM
I'm guessing you aren't getting a of action on this topic due to the very small number of IDPA revolver shooters. There were like 3 or 4 revolver shooters out of 110 shooters total at the last match in which I participated. Pretty small subgroup.

June 19, 2002, 12:16 PM
Kinda figures.. I saw a couple of folks shooting SSR at the first match I attended, but most were using much more hi-tech equipment (40S&W with moon clips and the like).

Personally I kinda like the retro aspect, plus it makes things more challenging I think ;-). Probably the biggest reason I'm shooting SSR is that my wife can't quite rack an auto, and I hate hunting for brass.:mad:

June 19, 2002, 01:46 PM
I shot the classifier with a revolver, once, so my total experience with reloading a wheelgun on-the-clock is what, five reloads? Anyway, when I am talking reloads (auto) with new shooters, I tell them to not even bother with the RWR; since the TR is more versatile, why bother practicing both? I think spending your practice time perfecting one makes more sense than splitting your time, and possibly causing some hesitation when it's time to reload.

June 19, 2002, 02:06 PM
This is just my personal opinion, but the one IDPA rule I really hate is the reload with retention. That goes for revolver or auto. I think it is much slower than just a regular reload, and since IDPA is supposed to reflect reality, why do I want to do something that much slower? I know the logic behind the rule, but I just don't see myself ever doing it in a gunfight. :)

How about this for a realistic approach, though it wouldn't work worth a darn in competition. Say you get in a gun fight, and shoot a bunch of rounds, do a reload, let your mag, (or shell casings) fall to the ground while keeping your eyes up an scanning for threats. If there are not threats, pick up your magazine and put it in your pocket.

In the classifier I can only think of one reload with retention, and that is in 3rd stage. But you fire six shots before you need to reload, so I don't know how that affects SSR.

June 19, 2002, 02:21 PM
From what I understand, there isn't really a RWR for SSR in the classifier... shoot 6 and dump them. And of course a reload from slide-lock is just a regular reload..

Thanks for the suggestions...

Jim Watson
June 19, 2002, 02:57 PM
I read your post right after breakfast, but did not have time to reply before leaving for FLG's shop.

Anybody who recommends doing RWR all the time must be trying to slow down his competition.

And trying to set them up for procedurals. I agree with RickB, learn the TR and forget the RWR. You can be required to do a TR, or you can have a choice between TR and RWR, or you can do "any IDPA legal reload", to include TR, RWR, or slidelock. But an RWR is never required. Not that I have seen, anyway. So why bother with it? In a few instances it can save you a *little* time but I don't think it is worth the effort of making the decision on the clock. But then I am not a Master Class shooter.

Surely if you can remember how the gun operates you can remember when to do a Tac Load or a slidelock reload.

It is even simpler for SSR. As you say, the Classifier (and many CoFs) call for a TR after six shots; no change in operation of the revolver is called for. If a TR is called for after less than six shots, you can do the Rulebook FAQ reload and "stuff the whole mess in your pocket." then reach for a speedloader. What I call the "baby with the bathwater" reload.

You can, of course, learn one of the old standard revolver Tac Load techniques. The usual one is:
Open cylinder, muzzle down.
Short stroke ejector rod and release.
Fired cases, being light and expanded will stay partly extracted, live rounds will drop back in their chambers.
Pluck out the protruding empties and replace them with individual rounds from Speedstrip, belt loop, or pouch.
Close cylinder and resume firing or ready position.
That works pretty well with one or two shots fired. More, and the plucking and replacing gets involved and slow.

I worked with what I called the "modified baby with the bathwater" method.
Open cylinder, position hand behind cylinder.
Raise muzzle, do NOT stroke ejector rod.
Catch live rounds as they fall out. Fired cases, being light and expanded will stay in their chambers.
Put live rounds in pocket, draw speedloader, stroke ejector rod HARD, let empties fly.
Reload with speedloader.
Close cylinder and resume firing or ready position.
I practiced that one for a while. It seemed to work pretty well, but I could not see that it had any effect on the CoFs I was shooting - including the Nationals - and gave up on it. Shortly after that I went back to CDP with .45 auto.

June 19, 2002, 03:31 PM
Sounds like your "modified bady with the bathwater" is what I've been doing, except I put the ammo in my shirt pocket (when I dump I'm holding the pistol high and close to my chest so it's closer than any other pocket) then on the way to my speedloaders I use the palm of my hand to give the ejecter a good whack..

In regards to RWR never being required, it kinda is when a Tac load is required due to IDPA rule 17. There is a note in the current rules that doesn't really clear it up entirely, but it seems that you cannot leave any loaded ammunition behind.

Seems the choice for revolver is fire them all or do a RWR.

June 19, 2002, 05:24 PM
The Tac Load can no longer be specified. The rule book doesn't say that, but we just had an SO class, and the instructor was very adamant that Tac Load and RWR are interchangeable.

June 19, 2002, 05:40 PM
There are only 2 kinds of reloads in IDPA and this applies to autos and revovlers. When the auto is slide locked empty, and a wheelgun has fired 6 rounds, everything goes on the ground.

A retained reload for autos is done either at the gun (tactical) or from the pouch (retained). What has been clarified is that either method is acceptable when a retained reload is specified.

For revovler shooters they still must retain a partial moon clip or loose rounds.

June 19, 2002, 05:44 PM
So the choices for revolvers are if a tac load is specified after 6rds then dump the empties, anything else and you're stuck with a RWR as you can't drop the live rounds.

Jim Watson
June 19, 2002, 06:15 PM
RickB, 9x45

That is very interesting.

In spite of all the hoo-haw, I had always considered the TL and RWR to be functionally equivalent and thought that the commando coaches who saw a big difference in the length of time that the gun was unloaded during the proverbial lull in the action were making a mountain out of a molehill. On the other hand, I figured it was just another technique to learn to meet CoF requirements and didn't consider it worth all the controversy.

I think RWR "leaves the gun unloaded" marginally longer, but is faster last shot to first shot for the average shooter, and less prone to fumbling, especially with a double column magazine.

And it is a lot easier to explain to a beginner.

Now if I can just retrain **myself**.


You have it right, but realize that "anything else" leading to a RWR is substantantially LESS common than simply shooting dry and reloading. I think Hackathorn calls it the Emergency Reload to differentiate it from the Tactical Reload and the forbidden IPSC Speed Load.

June 19, 2002, 07:53 PM
Hey, on a scenario, you can crank as many rounds as needed to run dry if there is an advantage to slide locking.....

June 20, 2002, 06:59 AM
9x45: That's what I was thinking, even if it's 2 to COM 1 to head and a reload is required....I wonder if firing the last 3 and dumping would be quicker than trying to retain the full carts..

I think I'll have to try that at the range next time, I'm pretty sure it will be quicker for my wife as her hands are pretty small and she had difficulty catching the cartridges..

Jim Watson
June 20, 2002, 08:42 AM
9x45, braindead0

Be advised that dumping rounds to get to a slidelock or empty cylinder reload is specifically forbidden in IDPA.

"ON STAGES REQUIRING A TACTICAL OR SLIDE LOCK LOAD, CAN I DUMP ROUNDS DOWN RANGE SO I WILL BE ABLE TO RELOAD BY A FASTER METHOD/MORE CONVENIENT LOCATION? YES, however you will receive a “Failure to do right” penalty of 20 seconds for the stage for not negotiating the course in the spirit of the contest."

You can get away with it if you are subtle about it, but a burst of fire into the berm is a pretty obvious infraction, and a volley of shots into a close target is about as bad. I do not see a way to beat the system on a CoF calling for a Failure drill followed by a reload. That said, I don't think I have ever seen a penalty called on it. There will be some nods and side glances, and maybe some peer pressure to learn proper technique instead of trying to outsmart the CoF designer. This is not IPSC, you know.

I am surprised that your club is putting in so many Tac Loads as to be a big problem. Around here I see about one per match, and I very seldom put one in at home where I MD, unless I am doing it as a warmup for a big shoot.

June 20, 2002, 09:17 AM
Jim: I have no idea what to expect at our local clubs matches (yet). I've only attended one and shot a single COF.

I'm mostly trying to plan my practice sessions. I think I'll try to practice both RWR and Dump and fill, I think I can handle the transition (used to go from right shift motorcycle to left shift with no problem ;-). My wife OTOH will probably not handle it quite as well.

I think the penalty for dropped live ammo is 5 seconds? Which is more time than it takes for me to do a RWR (and I'm sure I could get faster)...

June 20, 2002, 11:11 AM
Jim, the main reason I prefer the TR is because the partial mag can be stowed while moving to the next shooting position - such as string two of stage three of the classifier. Maybe it saves only a second, and maybe only occasionally, but two or three seconds can make a big difference over the course of a match.

June 20, 2002, 11:45 AM
Jim, I am not advocating 'dumping rounds' or bending the rules. But in the 5 years of shooting IDPA, and running matches, I have never seen a failure to do right on this issue. Take for example a CDP shooter using a 7 round mag and starting the gun at 8. Lets say the COF has 3 threat targets to engage, then advance to another position for 2 more. Clearly a retained reload after firing 6 shots is slower than pulling the trigger 2 more times and doing a slidelock reload. So the shooter put one extra round in 2 targets. That would be damn difficult to call a failure to do right. Now if there was 2 threat targets and I burn 11 rounds to get to slidelock, I still have to pull the trigger 7 more times, lets say another 1.3 seconds, might as well do a retained reload.. The trade is the time it takes to pull the trigger versus the time it takes to stow a partial mag.

Jim Watson
June 20, 2002, 12:34 PM
I agree, a **proper** TR, **perfectly perfomed** IS faster in that application. I have done it myself. But I still think the TR is more difficult to do than a RWR. A fumbled TR or a magazine dropped instead of stowed (Is the SO going to give you credit for an *attempt* to stow it? Maybe, maybe not.) can eat up the time savings. So the question is, where is your practice time better spent? I have the TR pretty well ingrained and will not likely go to the RWR, but what about the new guys?

To quote a usually reliable source (me)
"You can get away with it if you are subtle about it... I don't think I have ever seen a penalty called on it."
In fact, I don't recall EVER seeing a FTDR assessed for ANYTHING, and I, too, have been in it from year one (card #177.)
So if a couple of two-hit targets come up with three -0's right before a reload, we all know what is going on, but it is, as you say, damn difficult to call a FTDR. But it IS contrary to the rule. Since the rule is unenforced, nearly unenforceable, and contrary to the concept of the Vickers Count, it should probably be repealed. Meanwhile, it is generally ignored. But I am not going to be the one to advocate sneaky procedures and loopholes. That sort of stuff is why I shoot less IPSC than I used to.