Tips & Techniques: Handgun Reloads & Grip Relaxation

posted on April 30, 2020

When working with a defensive handgun we often focus too much on speed, particularly when it comes time to conduct a reload. Being able to reload your handgun in a hurry is a good thing, but many shooters make a potentially fatal mistake in the process. If you have partially depleted your on-board ammunition supply and want to conduct a speed reload to top the gun off, do not drop the partially expended magazine until your support hand has located the fully loaded magazine that’s on your person. Always secure a fresh magazine before you eject the one in your gun because an almost-empty gun is still better than a completely empty gun.

New shooters tend to grip a handgun very tightly. It’s a good idea to hold on to a handgun firmly, but you don’t want to squeeze it like you are going to break it. Your thumb applies minimal enhancement to handgun grip strength, and very often—due to sympathetic squeeze response—it can move during the trigger press. This can alter the sight picture at the moment the trigger breaks. When shooting a handgun, relax the thumb and keep it relaxed as you press the trigger. 


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