The speed reload is something everyone needs to learn to do effectively. In simple terms, this is the fastest possible reload once you have run your magazine empty. In a deadly force incident, the ability to reload your pistol quickly is a valuable skill that could turn the tide of an extended fight in your favor.

To conduct a proper speed reload, keep the pistol in front of your face so you can still see the threat. If you drop the pistol to your belt line to reload, you will most certainly lose sight of your adversary, which puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

Once you realize you have run out of ammo, bring the pistol from the fully extended shooting position back toward your chin, keeping your eyes on the threat. Hit the magazine release with your thumb and allow the empty magazine to fall free. Do not catch it. As the empty magazine falls, reach to your spare magazine pouch and firmly grasp your spare magazine and insert it firmly into the magazine well to seat it. Pull the slide fully to the rear and release it. Now you are back in the fight.

One tip to make the magazine change go more smoothly is to ensure you have your spare magazine inserted in the magazine pouch with the bullets pointed toward your belt buckle. This way, you may drop your index finger on the front of the magazine as a guide and rotate your hand to bring the magazine to the correct position to be inserted. As you push the magazine into the well, use the heel of your hand to ensure it’s fully seated. Remember also to release the slide cleanly. Don’t hold the slide and let it run forward slowly. The pistol uses the full pressure of the recoil spring to drive the round into the chamber.

Build Muscle Memory

Practice until you can’t get it wrong. Your speed will improve with each repetition. You want to be able to perform every element of this reload without looking at your pistol. The danger is downrange. Keep your eyes on the bad guy.