A.J. practicing speed reloads. Notice the focal shift to the magazine well.

A.J. practicing speed reloads. Notice the focal shift to the magazine well.

Once again it’s time for me to address a “trend” becoming popular in the shooting/training community. It’s become fashionable for a growing portion of “Instructors” to over simplify shooting techniques that have no business being simplified in the first place. If running guns fast and accurately was so simple, a student would be able to walk away from a two day class shooting like a USPSA Grand Master!  News flash: IT’S NOT! I’m talking about the instructor who’s whole block of instruction on Slide Lock Reloads is: “Dump the mag, put a new one in, and send the slide forward. It’s that simple.” NO, IT ISN’T! I get it, Keep It Simple Stupid, but we have to draw the line somewhere. When I see an instructor teaching like this, two thoughts occur to me. First off, the instructor in question undoubtedly reloads his gun about as fast as a snail ties it’s shoes, often citing consistency or reliability for their lack of speed. Secondly, the instructor himself either doesn’t know how he’s actually doing the reload, or absolutely knows, because he’s been taught, but isn’t going to give the student the nuances right away.  Now, I’m all about the tiered, guided self discovery approach, but often there is little to no more information given. Now, I see this most often with the reload, but it is not exclusive to it. From the holster presentations, sighting the gun, even the grip has been dumbed down so that there is no semblance of any actual technique or skill left. Don’t get me wrong, shooting a gun is simple at its core, but running one fast and accurately is not. Techniques don’t need to be complicated, but they don’t need to be Cro-Magnon simple either. World class shooters like Mike Seeklander and Rob Leatham certainly don’t just “dump the mag and put a new one in really fast” when they are doing a reload. There are nuances like index points, visual patience, even magwell direction that all play into the efficiency of the reload. If you are an instructor doing this, you are not doing your students any favors by dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator for everyone in the class. Anything worth teaching a student is worth teaching properly.

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