Let’s face the music a little bit here… How many of you have seriously taken the time to practice tactical reloads during your training regimen? Bueller….. Bueller….. Bueller?

That’s what I thought. I won’t even ask how many of you are carrying a reload. I recently had a discussion with a student during one of our NRA Basic Pistol courses on what would be better in terms of self defense referring to a revolver versus a semi-automatic handgun. His argument was that only a few rounds would be required to “scare off” an attacker. While I don’t consider his line if thought to be ignorant, rather simply uneducated hence the need for training, I have found this to be an argument that has been presented to me on several occasions.

While it it statistically true that most police gunfights involve the firing of on average four rounds (sourced here) one cannot simply rely on statistics alone. Preparation is key to survival in many situations and carrying a concealed firearm is certainly one of those instances. Now I am not advocating that it is practical to walk around with the equivalent of your training rig or duty belt distributed throughout your pockets, I do have a few items that I take with me on a daily basis: my M&P45 and a spare magazine.

Here’s why: I live in Massachusetts, a state known for its sports teams, clam chowdah, taxes, and ultra-restrictive rights infringement edicts known as “gun laws” (remember… it’s for the children) that hamper citizens and embolden the criminal element. I train to identify and engage multiple targets/threats with as many rounds needed to stop the threat. I can’t put a number on how many rounds that may be required but I do know that there is no magic stop all bullet so the bad guy will be serviced by as many rounds as is required in order to make him stop doing bad things to my family. Twenty rounds beats ten all day long.

As I said, preparation is key so an important part of my training regimen is tactical reloads. Boiled down to its lowest form a tactical reload is simply topping up your firearm with a fresh source of ammunition. We drill these relentlessly during our Carbine and Pistol courses to hammer home the point that you need to keep your weapon fed in case an additional threat presents itself. Big boy rules are in full effect. I can do a combat/emergency load in the time it takes the spent mag to hit the ground, but why would I put myself in a situation that requires me to do one? Tac load a mag and drive on. The fight is never over until its over.


Bottom line: if you have a source of ammunition, and have engaged a target, swap your mags so you have a full gun. Practice this at home or on the range with empty mags or with dummy rounds.

There are several methods to the Tactical Reload…. Some of which will be coming to a video near you soon. (Hint, hint)

In the meantime: check out our training calendar and sign up for a class!


Another question that pops up frequently in all levels of our classes is “should I open carry?” Categorically… We say NO. (Go ahead… Flame away.)

Here’s why:


Reason 1: You become a target. As the adage goes, surprise is an advantage. While many say that you will deter an assault by telling God and everyone else “hey I have a gun, come at me bro” you are also broadcasting “hey I have a gun, come at me bro.” Now I tend to not to frequent areas where someone of lesser character than Continue reading

One of the things that we are steadfast in emphasizing to our students is the importance of being able to conduct a consistent reload under any condition that you may find yourself in. The days of simply taking a magazine out of a pouch and jamming it into the magazine well are simply just done. There’s a method to the madness, folks and it is all done for a reason.

First and foremost, when you’ve shot to slide lock you have a problem: you’re out of ammo! You need to get your gun back into the fight like yesterday. Otherwise it’s like an erection on a nude beach… Everyone’s staring, can’t do anything with it. If you’ve attended one of our live fire classes you’ve heard me yell “FIX IT!!!” several times over the course of the day. One of the biggest mistakes that we a constantly correcting students on is not bringing the gun into their workspace to conduct the reload.


Here’s why you should bring the gun into your workspace during any type of reload: situational target awareness. We aren’t simply training for a choreographed set of movements that we hope we will utilize if the fit ever hits the shan. We are training to be able to conduct that set of movements without though, creating what Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical calls “unconscious competence.” The idea is that you in effect are doing the whole pat head/rub belly thing without even having to think about it. It just simply happens. Bringing the pistol into the workspace allows you to maintain your threat focus while also increasing your ability to conduct a smooth reload.

Next time you’re at the range, try reloading with your arm fully extended and the gun presented to the target. Not so easy, eh? Then try to reload with the gun compressed into your core, slide rotated slightly outboard, and just below your line of vision.

You’re welcome…..

In the meantime, please share this article with all of your shooting buddies and don’t forget to sign up for some more training!