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Mag reloads on my G34 are kicking my ass


TBeazlie

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I have to change my grip in order to hit the mag release button for one thing. I have practiced steady for the last two weeks probably a couple of thousand times in all, and I have found I'm a bit better when I bring the gun half way into my body and at about mid chest level but still missing 8 or 9 out of ten. I am using dummy rounds and I have beat the edges of the mag well to a pulp. And Stoeger says the par time should be a second. Are you kidding me!? Is there another production gun that may be innately easier to reload. Would a gen4 be better from this standpoint. Should I just slap a mag well on it and shoot limited minor? Any thoughts, someone please help!

Or I could just say screw it and not try to get any better and stay in C class forever.

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Fastest I've ever done a shot to shot reload is 1.31 seconds. And the hits were good. But in the comfort of doing drills, matches seem to be 1.50 consistently.

Is the par time just 1.0 for dry fire, no shots required? IIRC, he also has you practice doing the reload in stages as well, breaking it down into its component pieces.

I would say at first to practice repping the motion properly and about 1/2 your speed so that the mechanics of it are PERFECT in a controlled environment. Then I'd say work on doing it in live fire at whatever your natural speed is to do it with ZERO fumbles or bobbles. Then I'd start fooling around with par times to decrease your -reaction to the visual or mechanical clue you need to reload -your reaction time to the buzzer/timer you're using in dry fire and increase your overall hand speed.

I also do a drill unrelated to shooting but tests your hand speed. Hold a tennis ball in each hand, palms down. Drop the tennis balls simultaneously. Then with a very rapid hand movement you catch each tennis ball in the opposite hand of the one that dropped. Tennis ball dropped from right hand is caught with left hand and so on.

If that is too difficult at first kind of lift your hands up as you drop them, giving yourself some momentary "hang time" to snatch them out of the air. Or do just one ball at a time, the catching hand empty at the start.

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Try this exercise. Take your timer & see what your average reload time is done smoothly. Once you get a number to work with set your par time 2\10 second longer than that. Use random delay start. Have gun pointed at target and hit start. Helper or friend handy here but can be done alone. Buzzer sounds, fire shot, go for reload, wait on par buzzer before firing next shot. Par buzzer goes, fire. Do this half dozen times. Set par1\10 faster. Repeat several times. When you find yourself waiting a bit, set par time another 1\10 faster. Continue moving par time faster until your reloads fall apart. Remove par time & see what you can do, I've taken a lot of shooters to around a second reloads with this method.

A video camera is also your friend. Your body should not be moving during reload. Only your gun hand and arm and your reload arm. No head up or down. No twisting body, no straightening or bending legs.

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Practice every day for a month or two. Burkett reloads. 4 Aces. Add in some moving reloads. Whatever. If you get to a plateau, put it down for a few days, then restart the process.

You'd be surprised what is possible.

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...And Stoeger says the par time should be a second. Are you kidding me!? ...

Or I could just say screw it and not try to get any better and stay in C class forever.

Have you read Stoeger's book, "Skills and Drills for the Practical Pistol Shooter"? The 1.0 sec par time for reloads is for Grand Masters.

For Production B-Class, his recommended par time for draw, shoot 2, reload and shoot 2 is 3.5 sec at 7 yards. Assuming a 1.3 sec draw, splits at 0.2 sec each, that leaves a very do-able 1.8 sec reload.

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I'd advise you to practise it very slowly, broken down into it's component parts.

When you master the movements required, start speeding up - until you start fluffing reloads, then drop back a tad and keep practising until you are ready to speed up some more.

This is always assuming that you are executing the fundamentals of the reload correctly...one mistake which many people make is that they don't look at the mag well - this is rather important.

Just my 2 cents worth ^_^

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Burkett Reloads for the win.

(assuming your angles aren't jacked up and the mag well points somewhere in the direction of your mags, and the guns somewhere between your belly button and your forehead)

Or... you could shoot SS without a well for a couple of years

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Thanks for the replies. Steel match this past weekend. 4 stages and a reload on each. I had 5 smooth reloads- had a mag fall back out on one stage. Dry fire today and bobbled 8 out of ten. Go figure!

Kinda hard to diganose the problems you are having without seeing you in action, post a vid if possible.

As for Ben's 1 sec reload........if you are C class don't try to hit that number, as you have seen it will just end up frustrating you to the point of wanting to quit. I am a GM and shoot a 34 (and have to shift my grip) and I can do 1.1ish in live fire and to be honest that is good enough. Seems like you are just trying to rush and not executing the motions since you are feeling the time pressure. Relax, and you need to see that mag hit the magwell, if that takes an extra .1-.2 that is better than fumbling.

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One that has helped me is to remember that shooting and shooting and reloading is reloading. That is once you're done shooting turn your focus on the magwell, and then back to the target -> sight.

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I ran some drills yesterday comparing a ZEV G17 and a ZEV G19. The G17 has a mag well and obviously the G19 has a shorter grip and no mag well. I was consistently .50 faster with the 17 over the 19. Reloading the 19 was a PITA. But that was the whole point of the drill as these are my work/carry guns.

I have much more respect you guys that shoot production Glocks.... :bow::bow:

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TBeazlie,

Like others have said. Dry fire at a lower rate, not on timer. bring the gun to your face so you can see everything. pause see the mag go in. The speed will come. I have been out of shooing USPSA for 20 years and getting back into myself. I am running a M&P Pro, I do miss my magwell.

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

Years ago I started out doing mag changes down low while standing in front of a mirror just getting basic mechanics down. Later I refined things to where I drop my mag as I pull the pistol in close just at or below eye level so I never lose sight of the target I am engaging or am about to engage (I try to do this while moving as well so I can step into the next box gun up and ready to fire). Now I actually practice my mag changes in much the same way (right around eye level), but with eyes closed, standing on just my right foot, left foot, leaning forward, back etc. Totally out of my comfort zone to duplicate what may happen or go wrong during a stage. I have found that my mag changes just "happen" now without a single thought beyond a momentary "mag change" command in my mind when I feel my pistol starting to get a little light.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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A few thoughts:

  • I need to break my grip too. My support hand helps break my grip on its way to the fresh mag.
  • Look the top round into the mag well. Pause (briefly) if necessary to make sure everything's lined up right before slamming the mag home.
  • Make sure you're not angling the gun too much or the mag will bind in the magwell.
  • Practice reloading with a full mag (dummies). Seating a full mag is a lot harder than a mag with just one dummy round in it.
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  • 2 weeks later...

One way helped me improve drastically on my reloads. While at work I would practice while seated in my car. I would bring my competition gun, unloaded of coarse, and sit in my patrol car during my down time and just go through the motions...over and over and over etc...having an empty magazine in the gun, dropping it and catching it, then bringing it back up from where they would be positioned on my belt and reloading. When I practice I look at the magwell each time and then punch back out on target. You of course can do this while you're watching tv or anywhere. Practice above all made me consistent.

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Couple key pointers:

-Focus on getting a consistent index on the magazine when you grab it (index finger on bullet)

-Shifting your grip is a non-issue. Just work on getting the muscle memory of the flip down while you are bringing the gun back towards your chin.

-The insert is absolutely key: work on just loading and unloading the magazine from the gun. Keep on drilling that down.

-When the magazine is inserted, the support hand rolls right back into the grip as you reacquire your sights and push the gun forward back into position. This should all be accomplished in one fluid motion.

Regarding equipment concerns:

-Grab a grip plug if you don;t have one. Pearce works.

-The g34 can be reloaded without a magwell incredibly quickly. I'm currently hovering around .6-.7 for speed reloads in dry fire. Under 1 for live. Check out Vogel and his lack of magwell even when he shoots limited as well.

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Lots of good advice here, and I don't want to derail, or make my post sound off track. I was a late starter to shooting, and to USPSA, and I struggled along at first. One of the biggest steps I took towards improving, was actually understanding what the numbers meant, and how they applied to me. When you know where the numbers come from, and how they work, then it's a lot easier to set your practice goals to your desired match results, and not just when it comes to reloads. Let me explain where I'm going with this.....

Take a classifier, use El Presidente because it's easy, everyone knows it, and it's repeatable. Do you know what a Production 100% score is? A Production 60% score?

9 Alpha, 3 Charlie, 54 points out of 60, pretty reasonable points for a Production shooter?

If you do that in 8.7 seconds, you have a hit factor of 6.21, which is actually just a hair over 60%,(according to Classifier Calc) or a B class Production run. Heck of a lot slower than you'd think, no?

If you spend 2 seconds on the turn and draw, and 2 seconds on the reload, you still have over 6 seconds to get off 10 shots. Are your splits at the .33 range, transitions at the .55 range? Again, all readily attainable goals.

So what does all this have to do with your reloads? A couple of things:

1) When you break down a few classifiers, you'll understand what you need for your "B" card, and from there you'll be able to set dry fire goals that make sense for you. I'm not suggesting you set a 2 second par time, the 1.8 number suggested earlier is good (and if you do this math, you'll see where the number comes from). Start there, get your perfect reload, and then start dropping the par time, and eventually your live reloads will both improve, and get closer to your dry fire goals.

2) To earn your B card, you don't have to have the fastest draw, or fastest reloads, hell you don't even have to shoot blazing fast. Earning and being competitive are two different animals, My point is that reloads are only a part of the game. Are you successfully practicing the other facets of the sport at a level that gets the results you are looking for?

I apologize if I meandered, but I read your OP as not just a reload issue, but your desire to earn your "B" card, to which is what I was really responding to. Great advice here from people on things you can do to improve it, my only intention was to help with understanding what times you really need to be working at that for, at least for now.

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don't get hung up on the "1 sec" reload time you hear a lot about .... 1 sec reload with an accompanying A hit on a 10 yd target is GM level shooting .... being realistic as mentioned earlier will cut down on the fustration quite a bit ....

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agreed the one second shot to shot reload is shooting god level. Watch Robbie Leatham vids. His shot to shot reload in drills is around 1.5sec or just under but he does it all day long and no fumbles. With a limited or open gun with a magwell and big mag bases a 1.2-1.3 is probably M level. The 1 second thing is great but very few shooters would be able to execute that regularly in a match.

Apart from stand and shoot classifiers with mandatory reloads on a stage you should always be reloading when moving so the time is not the critical part, it's the reliably execution. A solid 1.5sec reload is not going to be holding you back until the rest of your skills get to M level.

The other thing is do you want to run classifiers and get your way to a A card or whatever or do you want to shoot matches and compete at your realistic level? There are 2 different ways to approach that.

Don't expect to be doing the M level draws and reloads as a B grade shooter. :)

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As was said, a video would be a big help in order for anyone to give good advise.

How are you holding the mags? Are you cupping the base in the palm of your hand and running your index finger up the front edge of the mag? Doing this gives me much better spatial awareness and helps me to find the mag well without issue 99% of the time. Basically making a circle with one hand (gripping the gun) and poking the index finger of the other hand into the circle.

If you're having trouble shifting focus to the mag well in order to "look the mag into the gun", I've seen some guys paint the inside of the magwell (a white dot, stripe, etc.) so that they have something to draw their eyes in and help them focus.

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