Sheriff's Tips: Reload High

by
posted on September 27, 2020
sheriffs-tips-1.jpg

The first formal handgun training that I had was as a young police officer shooting the PPC with double-action revolvers. That was a pretty good course of fire and it taught us the importance of trigger control and obtaining a good sight picture. However, it had several drawbacks in terms of teaching us to fight with a handgun.

The biggest drawback was in the way we reloaded our guns. The commonly accepted method was to bring the gun down to waist level to reload either from belt loops or with a speed loader. At the point that the shooting line went to the reload, it looked like everyone was contemplating his navel. With a little practice, a fellow could get pretty fast using this method to reload.


The problem was in the tactics of it. By bending over to reload, one loses a good bit of his peripheral vision. Now this is not much of a problem in a pistol match, but it can be an issue in a more serious situation. You simply have a much more difficult time keeping up with what is going on around you when looking down to reload. One thing is for certain: a threat is not going to stand there, facing you like that old B27 target does at 15 yds. The threat is going to be moving and, with your head down, you probably don’t know where he has gone.

It is the same problem that the hunter has when he lowers his rifle to chamber another round, and does so while looking down at the rifle. He will lose sight of the game animal. Maybe the animal is down, or maybe it has escaped. Turning attention away from the target opens the situation to these chances.   


The best way to reload a defensive handgun, revolver or semi-automatic, is to do so with the gun high enough so that the user can keep his head erect. That would generally be at shirt pocket level or higher. In this manner, he can glance at the gun during the reloading process, of which I have to do so more with a revolver than a semi-automatic, and still have a pretty good view of what is going on around him. 

Frankly, that did not seem to be as secure of a method and I had to practice it a lot before it felt right.  However, it does a much better job of keeping you aware and in the know of what is actually going on. At the same time we always want to make use of cover, during a reload, whenever possible. Keep your head up, stay alert and get high to reload. That’s the way to stay aware of what going on in a situation.

Latest

Making Modern Colt Revolvers 2
Making Modern Colt Revolvers 2

Making Modern Colt Revolvers

Colt re-entered the modern double-action revolver market in a big way, bringing back legacy designs like the Cobra, Python and Anaconda. These guns aren't made the old way, though. They're produced using the latest in cutting-edge manufacturing technology.

New For 2023: EAA Girsan MC 14T

European American Armory Corp now imports Girsan's MC 14T, a compact, .380 ACP-chambered handgun that can be easily loaded and unloaded, thanks to its tip-up barrel design.

Updating An M1 Carbine

Many M1 carbine owners would never consider such modifications to a wartime gun with significant provenance, those who have run-of-the-mill arsenal-rebuilt or commercial examples, and who are willing to experiment, are likely to find that the M1 carbine can provide service comparable to modern PDW-type platforms.

Editor’s Choice: BamBeds For Toyota Tacoma Trucks

Designed by a mechanical engineer, BamBeds is a multi-purpose sleeping and gear storage system for '05-present Toyota Tacoma short- and long-bed pickup trucks that lends the popular platform even greater utility for the hunter or camper.

In Memoriam: John Linebaugh—1955-2023

John Linebaugh, inventor of the .500 and .475 Linebaugh cartridges and custom pistolsmith, died March 19 at his home in Clark, Wyo. The road that led him to a permanent place in gunmaking history was far from a typical one.

Review: Rock Island Armory TM22

In 2021, Rock Island Armory shook things up in the defensive-pistol world when it launched the aluminum-based STK100, and in 2022 the company continues its commitment to “Total Metal” firearm construction with the TM22 rimfire rifle.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.