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Help With My Ever-changing Mag Reloads


Micah
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My magazine reload technique is always in a constant state of change. I dryfire over an hour every day, and shoot around 600 rounds a week at the range. Using Steve Andersons holy book of drills, I have been able to refine my splits, transitions, draws, spins, gun transfers…all of that. The one thing that continues to change are my reloads.

Any advice? I am not doing it on purpose. It also seems like I use a different variation when reloading from higher or much lower targets. Some days I can do 200 .9 second reloads and fumble 8, or like today, fumble 20+

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You're obviously not practicing enough! :blink::lol:

I kid. Maybe you're working too hard on the reload drills and need a break? Sometime less is more, training can get really boring.

Are you doing Burkett reload drills or the full monte? Just curious. I mostly do Burkett reload drills and I've found it greatly helps reduce the number of fumbles. I also vary which mag I grab from the belt, as I found I was quick to my #1 mag but #2 and #3 were much less precise.

What's different about your reloads, are you fumbling is a consistent fashion? Is it an hand/finger indexing difference on the mag?

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Recently I have been practicing with mags loaded with dummy rounds, to replicate the actual weight.

+1 what Matt has mentioned. Also try only turning the gun enough to see the inside of the magwell~ so the magwell opening is orientated to the mag pouch you are reloading from. Placing your fingertip on the bullet seems to really help with consistancy also. Good luck and I think you are doing much better than you are giving yourself credit for! :)

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The Burkett drill forces control - something we tend to lose with the full reload. You can do an "in between", as well, where you pause w/ the mag just outside the mag well, and then complete the reload.

Here's the thing - the reload is probably the most complex set of movements we do on a regular basis. The draw is fairly complex, as well, but the reload takes the cake. In order to refine something that complex, you must do many repetitions at an achingly slow speed - and slow start to ramp it up. Consistency and speed will come, if you remain patient and give it time. Start finding the key "feelings" you need to have to be consistent (for me, the angle my left first finger is pointed at as it nears the gun and how that feels is critical, for instance....).

I've written before that I break it down into a lot of discrete pieces - left hand only, right hand only, Burkett drill, pause-to-reload drill, full reloads, and all of those things at various speeds. That seems monotonous, but it does help a bunch... Learning how to relax during all of that helps a bunch, too :)

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Thanks gents for the replies so far. I shoot Production with a G34, and dryfire with ten round mags loaded with 8 40 dummies to replicate ten rounds of 9mm. When I do the "6 reload 6" type drills, obviously the reloads are complete.

When I do reload only drills, I start with the gun on a target, preform a complete reload, and end it on a different target. I don't know what makes me think I know more than MB, but I feel that there is more to learn from complete reloads and getting back on target.

It is difficult for me to explain the evolution of technique...I'll try and tape a few tomorrow and post them. When the gun is to the right of my center, I always see the magwell. If it is dead center, (think Bill Drill") I don't always cant the gun to one side, rather it is a straight "up and down" reload, if that makes any sense.

Matt, Rocket35, I will make it a point to always see the magwell. When I first started to really practice to get better, I placed a dot in the magwell and always looked for it during reloads.

ihatepickles, XRe, I will do true Burkett drills for a little while and see what the outcome is. Slowing down and getting back-to-basics may be exactly what I need.

Edited by Pharaoh Bender
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Turn the timer OFF, forget about time. Get the reload solid, fluid, consistent and all of that. Don't worry about time until you get the reload technique you want burned in, then turn the timer back on. The weird part is you won't be any slower but it will feel like you have all day to get the reload done, the 'pressure' and 'hurry' will be worked out of reloading.

Remember, 1.1 or 1.2 in a match consistently will pay off over 9 reloads at .8 and one mag over the berm when the wheels come off. I still haven't learned that lesson as well as I should, but I am working on it.

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advise... slow down.

seriously practice at about a 1.2 or slower pace. reloads should be 100%. my first thought was get some training so it's the same every time. but seriously at that speed. just slow down. get it hitting every time... then when you do speed. up.. think about applying the same mental intensity there as you did going slow. many times I found that I was letting my mind out run my hands to try to go faster.... which never works well in the end

Ditto to turning the timer off. you need consistancy and smoothness once you get it then get faster. (your plenty quick on what i see when i've watched you shoot)

No matter where you are reloading you need the gun to the same spot every time. because that is where your hand will go when trained. same spot, same look same load. I mainly practice on one target for concentration. so i'm not dividing my consciousness between acquiring another target and repositioning my weak hand.

If you get bored try doing them on the move or leaving position. (which is what us production shooters do anyway ;) )

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The last "trick" that helped me was LOOK AT THE DN MAGWELL.

I'd tell myself that whilst doing the reload and it went much better. I was getting too relaxed with my eyes and not really looking where I wanted the mag to go.

To add to that...follow through with looking at the mag well.

Speed Reload video <clickity>

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I like the drills that Jerry Barnhart had on his tapes. Use the timer but start with a par time of 2.0 seconds. Make sure every part of the reload is done precisely and correct to how you want to do them, then pick up the pace and work it down. Push until you start to fumble, then slow it down to a pace you will hit every time.

Some of what you describe may be your body sorting out what it needs to do to get the reload done, pay attention to what it's telling you. If you fumble, what did you fumble? Did you get the mag wrong from the pouch, did you miss the well? Was the gun not there or the mag? Do you miss to the same place each time or a different place?

These will guide your technique. When it's sorted and you are happy with it, do the same thing EVERY time. Regardless of the shooting situation, where the gun was before the reload started and where it will end up. Eg. returning to the same target or making a swing to the left or right, while moving or changing position (high port to low port) bring the gun to the same point in space in front of you, complete the reload then move to the next target. I see lots of shooters trying to get a mag in while pivoting or running and end up chasing the mag well. Do one thing at a time.

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I turned the damn timer off, and practiced my reloads with almost a two-stage look, much like the Flex video. Bringing the mag quickly to the gun, I force myself to pause and read the little G and M written on the inside lip of the magwell...then I insert it.

I worked in this for a while, and got to try it this past Sunday at KEENs classifier match. I was very happy with the outcome, shooting my first match sub-6 El Prez

Linky to vidy

While applying this reloading shift in practice, I was interested to find out that there really was no time difference between how I was doing them, and using the "pause" technique. The percieved pause is simply my consious mind focusing on the magwell. Again, big thanks to Chris, Bill, Steve, Flex, Pat, Smith, XRe, Matt, and everyone else thats given me a boost to B class :D

2 more things to add to this post...

1)Please feel free to critique the vid. It has many flaws, but still somehow made 76% nationally

2)I am focusing on shooting during the off season, not dieting. I'll cut the winter weight come March ;-)

Edited by Pharaoh Bender
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Three things I noticed on the vid was:

1. Try to complete the turn with one step instead of two.

2. Follow through on the last shot fired. It looks like you were starting to look down as you fired the last shot.

3. Get into your "set" sooner. Your starting position looked "rushed".

JMHO of course. ;)

Keep up the good work! :)

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Hitting those A's results from proper fundamentals. Turning more efficiently results in a faster technique to apply those fundamentals. ;)

More efficent techniques, follow through and finding a "set" to start from will help increase your consistancy applying proper fundamentals and overall achieve better classifier scores.

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Do half your reps in slow motion at about half speed....this will help refine your economy of motion and make you more consistent as a whole.

Also....in practice, it isn't very hard for me to hit a reload in the .6's....but in matches I usually hover around a second or even a little more. Don't be afraid to slow down a hair for consistency.

Better to lose a tenth here or there than lose 2 seconds for a fumble.

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Your elbows at the start are 'flying', as soon as you start the turn they come in, and then your hands drop. Start with your elbows in, one less thing to do and it should add consistency. Start to build the position in reverse, put your strong on the gun, your weak hand on your belly just EXACTLY like you would for a 'hands relaxed at sides' draw. The only thing that must be above your shoulders is your wrists, so think about what you need to do to get your wrists that high. Of course your hands are going to be above your wrists but it is the wrists you need to focus on. You can even leave your hands in the shape you want them to be to grip the gun. Do this in a mirror, find the things that are moving that don't need to be moving and stop them. Work on it, then video some dry fire. Extra parts will be moving that don't need to be moving and excess motion is a real enemy of efficiency.

Couple a good surrender draw with an aggressive one piece turn and you can shave a half second off the E.P. by doing nothing else differently, now you are down to sub 5.5...... A good surrender draw will REALLY pay off in a steel match too.

Don't get too corked up waiting for the buzzer, prepare but don't get too worried about anything. Ready to go and absolutely free of tension is what I want to feel when I am hearing 'stand by'.

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Don't get too corked up waiting for the buzzer, prepare but don't get too worried about anything. Ready to go and absolutely free of tension is what I want to feel when I am hearing 'stand by'.

Great advice Smith and Jake...I really was corked up on that run. For some reason, I completely gave in to stress and it showed in my starting position. Certainly gives me something else to work on during the winter months.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of the things I did that I saw Phil Strader had done was paint where the mag well mets the grip in red on the right side if you are a right handed shooter, and than make sure you see the line on every reload. Your girl friend/wifes nail polish works great

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