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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I don't know if this is a new idea, or whether it's even a good idea. However, I got this idea the other night falling asleep and decided to put it into practice.

When practicing I load my 15 round mags with five or 10 rounds just to keep a number easily multiplied into 100, the number of rounds I usually shoot at a time.

This has an added bonus: Those in gunfights usually shoot more than what they think they have, and I'm therefore forced to reload more often.

I count my rounds though, and it gets predictable. This even carried over (as I believe it should have) in the one instance I had to fire in self-defense. (I shot three rounds in seemingly slow motion. My peripheral vision picked up the brass sloooowly flying through the air to hit the side of the travel trailer.)

Because it's so danged predicable, I fired a round of mags (30 shells expended) then reloaded with five each. While I usually stick to five or ten per magazine per session, depending on available ammo, this was different. I talked to my parents for a few minutes, losing my focus as I intended, and went out "expecting" to have ten rounds per mag.

The drill was to back up while shooting the targets: five 1/2 gallon milk jugs, from left to right, then back up and engage the target from my EFMJ report as it wasn't too shot up yet.

I started the the drill about 15 ft away from the milk jugs. I knocked 3/5 over on the first pass (though to be fair, one was hit and didn't go over, thus still "alive.") I was then out of rounds in that mag... and it surprised me. My "autopilot" was still set for 10 rounds for today, so I fumbled out an acceptable reload in less than two seconds, made a second pass, hit the one I missed with two shots and put three into the stubborn one, whereupon it went down.

I then backpedaled as I dropped that mag and inserted the last one. I hit my good friend the cardboard guy with all five but "he" failed to go down. I was out of ammo and therefore declared myself "dead," though I also played my "backup rifleman" after the pistol was reloaded with my carry ammo and I decided to engage Mr. Cardboard with my Romanian training rifle. Two to the head and "he" fell.

Next session I will vary the number in each magazine, perhaps 9, 4, and 7 rounds just to mix things up a bit. I want the range session as unpredicable as possible.

Does anyone else do this, or is this a first? Good idea, bad idea?

Josh <><
 

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I don't. I load 'em up.
I don't bother to count rounds either.

I do have a sorta kinda "trick" to give me surprise mag changes. Let me just go over part of a practice session-

I carry one of three guns as my primary, depending on the situation or my mood- either a 1911, a HiPower...or if forced to wear clothing that won't conceal a gun well, I carry my HK P7 because it's smaller/flatter. The thing with the P7 is that I only have four mags, so the following doesn't work as well, but does OK.

If practicing with a 1911 or BHP, I have plenty of magazines. I will load them up, put two in the same pouch I use for carry, plus stuff a few more into pockets. Therefore, I may have 7-8 mags on me as I start to shoot.

I shoot, and reload- either tac loading or speed loading as I see fit. Soon, I have a couple of full mags, some with one or two rounds, and others somewhere in between.
I make no effort to keep straight which is which.
As I begin another drill/exercise/whatever, I usually will have just changed magazines. The thing is, I have no idea how many rounds are in that magazine. I may get slide-lock after a couple of shots, or I may not get there at all on that exercise.

Even with just six or eight mags, I can keep this going for a surprisingly long time before I get to a point where most mags have only a couple of rounds in them. Even then, I'll run across one in a pocket that is full or nearly so, which keeps me honest.
If I get to the point where I have a bunch of mags with one or two rounds, I just combine a few, and go some more. Usually, I just pick up a couple of full mags from my gear and add them to the mix.
Empty mags usually end up on the ground and out of the mix because they get dumped on a slide-lock reload.

This seems to work for me, but I can't promise anything. I suppose if I really wanted, I could estimate the number of rounds in a mag by it's weight, but I don't want to. Really, I don't think I could tell much beyond "mostly full" and "mostly empty", which wouldn't be specific enough to help in this case.

I'm not saying your practice is good or bad. Just that I do something different.
The only thing I would question about yours is that I have found a mag now and then which is causing function problems when fully loaded, and that would be less easily found with your method.
 
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For most practice I load ten rounds in an HP mag. I put seven in a .45ACP mag. I have been doing this so long that I can tell by just picking up a mag which ones are full and which ones are not. I also count rounds, as this helps me keep track of when to change a mag, which I do when a mag has two or three rounds left when working a multiple target practice. I have found that I can change quicker when I do it before the mag is empty, but that is just me.
 

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Mix in a few snap caps might prove interesting too Josh. Giving you a bit of malfunction clearing to do in the process. You can't practice too much. As for underloading mags, I think there are good and bad things to this practice. The good thing is, you learned to be more prepared for what might happen. The bad thing is, you're not necessarily practicing to your full potential.

My thinking is just that you should top them off and tactical reload after every engagement. Remember if you're shooting you should be moving, if you're moving you should be reloading, if you aren't moving, shooting, or reloading you're dead.

-Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You know, I've been thinking a LOT about the moving and shooting thing.

Chances are, the engagement will be over before I can even move. My draw from cover is down to less than a second on a good day, and then I can hit 5 1/2gal milk-jug sized targets in about two seconds with about 33% accuracy (3/5) solid hits first time around. The rest, according to the backstop, would have been close enough that I would have hit the lungs etc if I had been aiming at the heart.

Also, if I do move to cover, I ain't movin' again. I figure if I have a good barrier, let them come to me.

I would only move to put myself in a better position because my moving combined with their moving would lower my hit ratio even more. I know I do need to get better than I am currently (I'm just out of practice). I think the only reason to move would be to engage a baddy who is not currently a prime target, if I'm still in the open, or to just move to cover.

Thoughts on moving and shooting, gents?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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I work on it (moving and shooting).

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but-
You're putting a lot of faith into things going right for you.

If I get 10,000 practice shots that go under .001 second from start to hit, the one that counts on the street will be the one in which I get the gun caught in my shirt, or I get a bad grip, or my reaction time is terrible, or I get the first hit(s) yet they have little effect, etc and so on.

I want to be moving then, so I practice drawing/moving/shooting.

Even if things do go right for me, I may have to move:
I want cover anyway. I may have to move to see something more than his gun hand. I may need to move away from my family/friends to "draw fire" away. The cover I have may not be as good as I thought.
And many other reasons that may call for movement.

Movement is just another thing that you may need, but hope you don't. In that respect it's little different from reloading. If we shoot like we practice we should only need one round per antagonist, but we all practice reloading. Same thing. Like a gun, it's better to have it (or have practiced it) and not need it than the opposite.
 

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I never practice with underloaded mags because I never *carry* underloaded mags. With the BHP I'll occasionally plink with ten-round magazines, but I never carry them. Never.
 
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