This week, we are joined in the studio by Jason Speller, Chief Instructor of D.R.A.W School, for another great dry-fire drill. The Emergency Reload Drill is performed when your semi-automatic firearm goes dry and the slide is locked to the rear. We are using Jason’s BarrelBlok training system, which makes your EDC firearm completely safe and unable to accept live ammunition during training. In addition to being able to use your actual firearm, the MagBlok inserts allow your firearm to properly cycle during reloads and reduce training scars.
You will need your defensive firearm, the BarrelBlok training system, 2-3 magazines loaded with MagBlok inserts and a magazine pouch or pocket for your spare mags. Insert the BarrelBlok into the barrel through the ejection port and out the muzzle. There should be approximately 1 inch of the bright orange plastic sticking out, indicating the firearm is now safe. When dry-fire training, I like to hang a couple paper silhouette targets on the wall that I have determined to be a safe direction. Lastly, and most importantly, you must create a sterile training environment, and by this I mean removing and securing all live ammunition in an alternate location.
Unlike some (important) drills that you may practice that concentrate on firearms malfunctions, personal injuries or complex courses of fire, your semi-automatic pistol running out of ammo is evitable. The possibility of this happening during a high-stress self-defense incident is also more likely than a stovepipe, hang-fire or squib. Therefore, creating a smooth reload that keeps your firearm full of ammo and ready to defend is paramount.
Starting position is your shooting stance: two hands out in front of your body, holding your pistol, and sights on target. Firearm condition is empty, with the slide locked to the rear. Simultaneously bring the firearm back in to your workspace in front of your face, rotating it to the side and depressing the magazine release button. As you depress the magazine release button, give the firearm a slight flick to your support side, sending the magazine off to the side, behind your body, and clearing it from your path. As you are performing the previous actions, your support hand is reaching down and accessing the next magazine. Position the magazine in your hand so that the baseplate is at the inner most joint of your index finger, with the finger itself pointing toward the follower. Without looking at your support hand, bring it up and insert the magazine (equipped with a MagBlok) into the firearm, using your index finger as a guide. Once inserted, give the magazine one firm tap to ensure it is seated. Turn the firearm 90 degrees, flat and parallel with the floor. With your support hand, grasp the rear of the slide with your thumb and index finger, pull the slide back and release. Let the slide return to battery under its own power (without assistance). Reacquire your sights and press the trigger. Repeat this process using your remaining magazines.
Even though this drill is dry fire, be sure to follow the four universal safety rules at all times. Incorporating the BarrelBlok system into your dry-fire training ensures that your firearm is safe. However, any time you dry-fire practice, all live ammunition must be removed from the room and secured elsewhere. Double-check that all magazines used are empty and/or contain a MagBlok insert.
Jason’s methodology to the emergency reload is slightly different than those we have covered in the past. His BarrelBlok dry-fire training system makes performing reloads easier and more closely resembles how your firearm will work during normal live-fire operation, creating fewer training scars. Try these techniques and let us know how they work for you.
Vary your training. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And keep practicing.