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Help me - Potentially breaking the 180


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I tried a head mount camera for the first time and I noticed that during a mag reload, I could potentially break the 180 even though I've never been caught so far. I am a right-hand shooter. As I rotate the grip (a 1911) to press the mag release, the muzzle could potentially pass the 180 if I am reloading while moving to the left. What would you guys recommend to correct a potential DQ? Thanks.

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Pay very close attention to the muzzle when moving left and plan all the reloads you can while moving forward or to the right. This is why lefties (I am one) generally run a stage backwards of right handed shooters.

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That is a pretty common problem for right handers. You will see a lot of mid-level shooters trying to plan always going to the right even if it is longer just for that reason. As RJH said now that you are aware make extra sure where the muzzle is if moving left and reloading. On not getting caught, in local matches with just on RO they are on the right and would not usually see that. Go to larger matches where a RO sits out on the left side of the stage and you can get caught; seen it several times.

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This is how I got my first DQ as well. The best way, in my opinion, is to drop your mag at the position you're leaving, and complete the reload as you enter. I rarely ever have to do this, but when I MUST reload from right to left, it's the safest way to do it.

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If we're going to shoot Majors (Level II and above) it's a good idea to practice some of the more complicated movements, simply because you might need them. Right-to-left reloads (for right-handers) are among these. It's not quite as "natural" as a normal reload because you need to extend your right wrist in order to keep the gun pointed well within the 180 (flexion is toward the palm, extension is toward the back of the hand). Practicing dryfire at home is a good idea, because there's no match pressure and no loaded rounds to deal with.

It's not impossible at all and requires muzzle awareness - but we're doing this all the time anyway, right?

I periodically run stages right to left at local matches, for the practice. It provides another level of flexibility, which can be really helpful in complex long courses.

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My simple approach is to be aware of the muzzle -- my wrist doesn't just rotate, it's capable of simultaneous movement in a couple of other axes as well, so if I simultaneously cock my wrist (thumb moving toward forearm) that usually fixes the problem.

Now, that approach won't work if I'm moving parallel to the 180 (directly left) but in that case I'm usually completing the reload by the second step out of the position, and I still face either toward the 180 or at an angle left and downrange to keep the muzzle within the 180. Once the reload is complete, I can straighten out my approach.

It all depends on how much movement is involved, and how you can make the angles work. Sometimes shooting from near the rear fault line at the position helps to give you a few feet, to make the angles work in your favor. Keep an open mind.....

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I DQ'd doing this vary thing at Double Tap last year. It was my first major and third match overall. I shoot SS so this movement happens more than I'd like. If I'm stuck doing a R-L reload, I either side step while reloading if its a short distance or perform the reload while starting to move and then turn and burn with the gun pointed downrange for longer distances.

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If you have the space then complete the reload prior to leaving array A, before you turn and burn for array B.

If the target placement is such that you can take some middle targets then you exit array A and do a sideways step as you engage the array B targets and even do a reload to engage further array B targets before you turn and burn for array C to engage targets as you move forward into array C.

If array A is short and tight but array B or C is more open then drop the mag as you leave A and perform your reload as you move into the next array.

Every stage is different and you just need to plan for the best way to safely complete the reload. The key is determining which time frame is the quickest and stablest. You either reload slow and turn and burn, or you turn and burn before slowing down to reload on your way into the next array. The reload will take the same amount of time either way the trick is determining when to turn and burn.

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If you have to shift the gun in your hand so that you are pointing the muzzle at the 180, then you:

1. Need an extended mag release.
2. Are simply doing it wrong.

My finger hits the mag release when the gun is still pointing downrage at the targets, and then I rotate my wrist to expose the magwell. (The muzzle is the axis of rotation) The muzzle is ALWAYS pointed downrange.

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If you have to shift the gun in your hand so that you are pointing the muzzle at the 180, then you:

1. Need an extended mag release.

2. Are simply doing it wrong.

My finger hits the mag release when the gun is still pointing downrage at the targets, and then I rotate my wrist to expose the magwell. (The muzzle is the axis of rotation) The muzzle is ALWAYS pointed downrange.

always pointed straight downrange? if so, that is pretty unusual. almost everyone turns the gun slightly to the support hand side to line up the magwell with the incoming magazine.

If you are not paying attention, it is easy to break the 180 when reloading and moving towards your weak side. My solution to this problem is to pay attention. I do reloads in both directions in dry-fire, and I pay acute attention to where the muzzle is pointed so that I know how it feels and looks. In a match, all i have to do is the same as in practice.

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If you have to shift the gun in your hand so that you are pointing the muzzle at the 180, then you:

1. Need an extended mag release.

2. Are simply doing it wrong.

My finger hits the mag release when the gun is still pointing downrage at the targets, and then I rotate my wrist to expose the magwell. (The muzzle is the axis of rotation) The muzzle is ALWAYS pointed downrange.

always pointed straight downrange? if so, that is pretty unusual. almost everyone turns the gun slightly to the support hand side to line up the magwell with the incoming magazine.

If you are not paying attention, it is easy to break the 180 when reloading and moving towards your weak side. My solution to this problem is to pay attention. I do reloads in both directions in dry-fire, and I pay acute attention to where the muzzle is pointed so that I know how it feels and looks. In a match, all i have to do is the same as in practice.

Always pointed DOWNRANGE. Where did I ever say "straight downrange?"

If you do it right, you don't need to turn the muzzle toward your weak hand side to insert the mag. Your wrist ROTATES! Simply rotate your wrist, not the axis of muzzle. The muzzle IS the axis of roatation. Rotate your wrist so your palm is flat facing up, as opposed to rotating the axis of the muzzle so that your palm is pointing at your face.

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If you have to shift the gun in your hand so that you are pointing the muzzle at the 180, then you:

1. Need an extended mag release.

2. Are simply doing it wrong.

My finger hits the mag release when the gun is still pointing downrage at the targets, and then I rotate my wrist to expose the magwell. (The muzzle is the axis of rotation) The muzzle is ALWAYS pointed downrange.

always pointed straight downrange? if so, that is pretty unusual. almost everyone turns the gun slightly to the support hand side to line up the magwell with the incoming magazine.

If you are not paying attention, it is easy to break the 180 when reloading and moving towards your weak side. My solution to this problem is to pay attention. I do reloads in both directions in dry-fire, and I pay acute attention to where the muzzle is pointed so that I know how it feels and looks. In a match, all i have to do is the same as in practice.

Always pointed DOWNRANGE. Where did I ever say "straight downrange?"

If you do it right, you don't need to turn the muzzle toward your weak hand side to insert the mag. Your wrist ROTATES! Simply rotate your wrist, not the axis of muzzle. The muzzle IS the axis of roatation. Rotate your wrist so your palm is flat facing up, as opposed to rotating the axis of the muzzle so that your palm is pointing at your face.

Take it easy there cowgirl, I simply asked for clarification.

If your muzzle isn't pointed STRAIGHT downrange when you reload while facing downrange, then it is naturally going to break the 180 if you reload when facing to your support-hand side *UNLESS* you take steps to prevent that (practicing, for example). Sure, you rotate the wrist, but the simple act of bringing the gun closer to your body causes it to point to the support-hand-side.

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I think the take home messgae for the right handed shooter that is moving/reloading right-to-left is to be mindful of where the 180 is and turn your body to the right when moving/reloading to ensure your muzzle stays pointed downrange.

If the stage layout is such that I have no choice but to do a reload while moving R-L then I kind of exagerate the movement and may even pronate my strong hand wrist while side-stepping to do the reload before hitting the afterburners for the movement left. It helps to identify those problem spots during the walk-thru and try to burn it into your memory while formulating your stage plan.

But all that said, if given the choice of moving left to right or right to left, most of the time I'm going to move left to right (being a righty).

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