There’s a lot of discussion about reloads in the world of firearms. Tactical reloads, speed reloads, reloads with retention, emergency (slide-lock) reloads…. And I saw a post on social media the other day that was focused on some of these interesting discussions, so I thought I would open it up to even more conversation right here. The meme in question read:

Waiting until slide lock to reload is the equivalent of running your car completely out of gas prior to filling up.”

Split Decision

I noticed a lot of likes and loves on the post, but I had to sit and ponder for a bit. There are definitely many schools of thought that agree wholeheartedly with this statement. In fact, there are many firearms groups, instructors and programs that teach reloading your firearm whenever you can, sometimes as much as you can. And this makes a lot of sense for situations such as shooting competitions, qualifications and general training. Of course, on the other end of the argument, there are many who believe and support the opposite … that a defensive handgun should be reloaded when it is empty and goes to slide lock. The bottom line is: People seem to strongly prefer certain reloads.

Faulty Logic

Because the argument is widespread and ongoing, I was going to just move right along and say nothing, but this specific meme with its seemingly clever example bothered me. So I replied: “While poetic, this is a faulty analogy … due to implausible comparisons.”

I couldn’t help myself. I guess I have been on a bit of a rampage over the last year or so, asking people to really think about what’s being said to them and pay close attention to logical fallacies. But these fallacies aren’t just in the media or from the anti-gun camp. They’re all around us. And this is just one example.

While the statement sounds pretty good, it’s just not correct. Some of the comments on the post give some pretty good reasons why. Consider the following:

  • “Maybe if there was a light or something to tell you one left.”
  • “But what if you carry a spare gas can?”
  • “I think perhaps if you were being chased by a carload of thugs shooting at you, you might pass up the opportunity to stop at the local Kwik Mart for gas…”
  • “Shoot as long as you have reason to be shooting. If you need to be shooting and you stop to reload before you need to, you may not get to start shooting again. That’s different than rejecting the opportunity to reload just so you can empty the magazine. This matches the gas tank analogy. The former does not.”

Sound Reload Advice

No matter what side you belong to — the reload when you want to or reload when you need to — the point is that we need to not only choose our words carefully, but we also need to consider the words of others carefully. Don’t jump on a bandwagon just because something sounds good. Be informed. Do the research. Know the why. And, most importantly, know the context. This will help you recognize a good story from the truth.