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Magazine Management During a Gun Fight

“Train how you fight, fight how you train.”

gun magazinesEver been on the firing line during some drills and run the gun to slide-lock empty in the middle of the drill unexpectedly? Most people don’t even think twice about this event. They simply reload and continue the drill or course of fire.

A cardinal guideline should you ever be in a gun fight is never to run out of ammo, and never let your gun run to empty. Yes, yes, yes. I know this is idealistic and history can prove that this may be impossible to avoid (hopefully something we never face). However, it is something we can train diligently to prevent.

So what is magazine management? In simple terms it is keeping the gun as close to fully loaded at all times while simultaneously keeping your fullest magazine in your most forward spare magazine pouch.

To elaborate: You’ve come out of the holster and engaged three targets. You’ve spent somewhere in the ballpark of seven rounds of ammunition. There is a lull – no more threats, no more targets. You have a fully loaded spare magazine on your hip. There is no way to know what future targets or threats may come next. So you have time and do not want to risk being faced with an encounter that would require more ammo than is left in your gun.

Take advantage of this time and perform a tactical reload (simply removing the partial magazine and replacing with a full magazine while leaving the chambered round in place). Place the partial magazine back in your pocket or mag carrier and be sure that your most full magazine is in your emergency mag change pouch.

By performing this tactical reload at the end of nearly ever course of fire will drill in the habit of proper magazine management. It may be that magazine change that keeps you alive in the next fight. Since the chances of this happening as a civilian are pretty slim, it will at least keep you drilling/shooting while your buddy runs empty!

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