Changing magazines: Embrace the reality

Rationalization is a powerful thing. The temptation to convince one’s self that “it’s good enough” or that you’ll “do it later” is right up there with other irresistible forces of nature like gravity and checking your smartphone while waiting in line.

It’s so tempting to rationalize training shortcuts, especially when the routine in question is pretty darn close to the “right” way to do something. Here’s what I mean. When at the range, whether plinking, competing, of practicing shooting skills, it’s easy to gear up with everything easily accessible. What I mean by that is that the holster is likely outside of the waistband. The magazine carrier, if you’re using one, is also on the belt. Often, none of this is covered up with a concealment garment, or if it is, it’s not the one you would use in your everyday life travels. Hey, you’re on the range. Or maybe you’re competing in a local match of some sort. You’re getting repetitions with actions like draws and magazine changes, so that’s all good, right?
-John Deaux

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5 Responses to Changing magazines: Embrace the reality

  1. Bad_Brad says:

    If you carry, check out those NeoMags. I just started playing with one but reaching into your front pocket is something most people do a lot. So that muscle memory is already there. Seems to be pretty fast.

    • =TW= says:

      These could work in the back pocket too.

      FWIW- slash style front pockets like those on BDUs or Carhartts are easier to access than jeans pockets, especially when you’re sitting down.

  2. J. Simmons says:

    This article makes some valid points, but it seems that the author is under the impression that every one who carries a gun does so concealed…

    I get, and agree with, the need to practice both your draw stroke and reloads from under a standard concealment garment. Hell, I DO practice drawing and reloading from concealment, if I KNOW that CC is my only option. However I tend to Open carry far more often than I conceal. In AZ open carry, while not as common as it once was, is still pretty common. In many ways open carry is just easier in AZ, as you dont keel over from heatstroke due wearing multiple layers. Plus, for me, it is easy advertisement. I work as a gun smith, and its very rare that a anti gun type even notices my pistol, let alone gives me a hard time over it. Its far more common for a fellow shooter or collector to ask why I am currently carrying, and a natural segway from that is to mention gunsmithing.

    • John Deaux says:

      I believe the gist of the article is to practice the way you carry most often to train your muscle memory. If open carry is your way then practice like that. Louisiana is an open carry state but most cover with a shirt so …..

  3. Gator says:

    This is good stuff. I have a number of handguns, but I really only shoot two. The G34 I use for competitions and the 19 I carry everywhere, every day. The first, and last, thing I do at the range is practice drawing from concealment (AIWB Trex arms) and firing at the 7 yard line on the timer. I do this first because I want to keep track of what my ‘cold’ draw time is, and make sure it stays under a second. I do 15-30 of these a day with an empty gun, too. At least 5 days a week. Speaking of which, as soon as I’m done typing this, thats what Im doing…Once I’m warmed up, I can get them consistently under .85 seconds, with .74 being my personal record. Same with mag reloads. I practice slide lock reloads, as well as tac reloads where I keep the weapon pointed down range and swap them out, returning the mag with a couple rounds still in it to my pocket rahter than dropping it on the ground (if you are shooting enough to need to mess with swtiching mags when you started out with 15 in the gun, probably don’t want to just leave however many rounds are left in the first mag laying on the gorund).

    As the article says, if you spend all your time at the range with a comptition rig on, you may lose the CCW edge. Another factor, my G34 has a big flared magwell thats pretty much impossible to miss, and the mags Im using at 17 rounders with the TTI baseplate that adds 5 rounds capacity and makes reloads a hell of a lot easier, plus guarantees the mag drops free, every time. And, the magazines are located in an ideal position, canted at just the right angle that I like them, and are out away from my body, not covered by a shirt or anything. You always gotta practice both.

    Even after a practice session with the comp gun, I don’t leave without going back to the carry gun, even if its just 5 or 6 holster draws. It might dull the muscle memory a little bit right before a competition, but my ass ain’t gonna win anyways, I just do this for fun. And I don’t have any chance of being killed if I’m a little slow on something at the competition. With my concealed carry routine, I take no chances.

Play nice.