SouthNarc’s Reloading the Autopistol

Some great pointers in the PDF document for download.



 Reloading The Auto Pistol

This pictorial is of the auto pistol reloading method I use and teach that IMO takes all the advantages of the “tac” load and “speed” load and combines them. I also incorporated some ideas of my own from some of my experiences in training and real life. Starting from extension. At this point it doesn’t matter if you are at slide lock or want to exchange a partially depleted magazine. The movement mechanics are the same. Regardless of what you want to do, it should be done preferably from behind cover in a “lull”, in the fight. If you slide lock and are still taking incoming fire, it’s not time to reload, it’s time to seek cover if you’re not there. I’ve exposed my spare mag for the pictures, so you can see my hands.

I’ll start to move the gun back in to my center. If your strong side thumb can’t reach the magazine release you can use your support thumb (which I personally don’t use because of a support side partial amputation, but it’s no biggie), or you have to turn the gun in your hand a bit. Most IPSC shooters flip the gun with one hand. Don’t do this. Use the index finger of your

support hand to cant the pistol slightly by dragging the trigger guard. Beginning of the movement.

Closer shot of the cant using my support side index finger. This brings the mag release to my strong thumb.

As I release the magazine it hits the base of my palm and I pick it up from the well. If you are using a weapon that doesn’t completely eject the mag (such as in the case of old Glock mags) the technique compensates for this. It also gets you in the habit of removing the magazine manually, which sometimes you have to do, such as when clearing a double feed. Okay from this position my hand has to travel down to my waist to pick up my spare mag. So what I’m going to do is carry that empty or partially depleted magazine with me.

Hand travelling to the waist line carrying partially depleted or empty magazine. Strong hand is moving the gun downwards until my strong side elbow indexes on my mid line.

Okay the strong side elbow has indexed on mid line and the gun is out of my line of vision. I don’t want anything obstructing my view of the environment. I DO NOT look at the gun while I’m doing this. Why index on the mid-line? Well, the center of my torso is a consistent index point and puts the gun in the same place every time. Plus you have more dexterity, the closer your hands are to your body. How do you thread a needle? With your arms extended or in close? Think about it. If the mag is empty I’m going to drop it behind me. Why? Several years ago I was working a shoot house where the trainer had very imaginatively installed different kinds of flooring, one of which was linoleum. During one evolution I reloaded from behind cover before proceeding onwards and stepped on that empty magazine, which was like a bar of soap. So I asked myself “Self…why would you knowingly put an obstruction in front of your own feet”?

I made it a habit from then on to carry the mag out of my likely path of travel. Don’t throw it; just let it fall naturally out of your hand behind you.

If there are rounds in that magazine that I need to save for the rest of the fight then I’ll shove that mag in my pocket or waistband. Regardless of whether you save a partially depleted magazine or drop an empty one, the movement mechanics are still the same; off side hand moves to the waist line, where it has to go anyway to pick up the new mag. One scheme of movement for a “tac” load or a “speed” load. Doesn’t matter.

After the mag is either stowed or abandoned, the offside hand picks up the fresh magazine, forefinger indexing against the edge of the mag, rounds forward.

The off hand will lift the fresh mag straight up out of the carrier and turn inboard, moving towards the butt of the pistol, to the mag well. I know where the mag well is at and don’t have to look at it because it’s in the same place every time by virtue of the mid-line/strong side elbow index. My hands can find each other. The index finger is on the edge of the mag, tip of the finger on the tip of the first round. If during carry, the top round has moved forward a bit, a can feel that and push it back against the wall of the mag so I don’t bobble my reload. If it’s out to far then I’ll just pop it out, with my finger and let the next one come up.

My hands find each other and the support hand inserts the fresh mag into the well. The index finger helps find the well.

After I insert the mag in the well I slam it home with the heel of my hand. Inserting and seating should be one motion. Do it till you’re smooth. Slam it don’t push. You’re not gonna damage anything.

If the slide is locked to the rear, then either grasp the slide and release it, or hit the slide release with your strong or support side thumb. I prefer grasping but if you consistently use the slide release with your pistol, then continue to do so. You might have to use an unfamiliar handgun though, so have the slide grasp in your battery.

Once the gun is back up, move back to extension, stay at retention, whatever the situation warrants. That’s it. Not the way….just a way.


Originally posted by Southnarc of ShivWorks and Total Protection Interactive. This PDF file is created to aid students of self protection, as a tribute to those who wrote the content and is in no way a challenge to the original author. The format of this document is protected by a Creative Commons Licence. Any derivative works must give attribution to the original author(s) of the content. The copyright for the content is held by the original author. I have edited spelling and grammar only.

James Marwood


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Posted in Concealed Carry, Handguns
One comment on “SouthNarc’s Reloading the Autopistol
  1. […] SouthNarc’s Reloading the Autopistol ( […]


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