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Thread: In search of sub-second reloads from slide lock

  1. #1

    In search of sub-second reloads from slide lock

    It seems like sub second reloads are pretty much a performance baseline of USPSA competitors from my podcast listening. Are these same numbers doable from IDPA style gear and slide lock reloads as well or is that a game specific thing?

    I'm trying to avoid the easy route of blaming my slow reloads on the lack of magwell or canted off-set mag pouches but sub second reloads might as well be the sound barrier for me.

    In dryfire I'm reloading from a sight picture at slide lock to the click of the trigger back on the A zone trying to beat the par timer. For about half the reps I turn off the timer and try to just be fast and smooth. Reintroducing the timer shows me that what I was thinking was fast without the timer was degrading more to a 2.0 time though. Out of 10 reloads with the par timer a typical breakdown would be

    1.5 (1 time if the stars align. I never manage one any faster than this.)
    1.6 (2-3 times)
    1.7 (3-4 times)
    2.0 (normally at least two of these as I flub something, hit the edge of the magwell, or fail to properly look the mag in)

    I can tell I'm leaving a couple tenths on the table with the weak hand retrieval speed. Maybe 2 tenths again on a slow down and mag insertion. Even if I collect all of that time though I'm still not even close. I've worked some Burkett reload reps in to try to shave down my weak hand path times. Mainly it seems to mess up my rhythm when I go back to full reloads. I'm assuming that mainly means that my strong hand movement isn't commensurately speeding up with its job on the mag release and/or my coordination between the two is still trash.

    So, is this a matter of more reps? Letting time do its thing over a couple of years? An unrealistic goal with gear? Or slow hands with no coffee?

    I'm working out of JMCK v3 single mag pouches hung off an AresAegis belt using Magpull Pmags, and a Glock 19.4 with factory extended mag release button, and extended slide release lever (both came stock) I've done the whole Armoral my mags, mag pouch interiors and stock magwell thing. Doing 300-500 dryfire slide lock reloads per week with dummy rounds in the mags. What should an aspiring IDPA guy be looking for if I wanted to eventually hang with the local heat skill wise in club competitions?
    Last edited by NoTacTravis; 06-29-2020 at 03:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTacTravis View Post
    It seems like sub second reloads are pretty much a performance baseline of USPSA competitors from my podcast listening. Are these same numbers doable from IDPA style gear and slide lock reloads as well or is that a game specific thing?

    I'm trying to avoid the easy route of blaming my slow reloads on the lack of magwell or canted off-set mag pouches but sub second reloads might as well be the sound barrier for me.

    In dryfire I'm reloading from a sight picture at slide lock to the click of the trigger back on the A zone trying to beat the par timer. For about half the reps I turn off the timer and try to just be fast and smooth. Reintroducing the timer shows me that what I was thinking was fast without the timer was degrading more to a 2.0 time though. Out of 10 reloads with the par timer a typical breakdown would be

    1.5 (1 time if the stars align. I never manage one any faster than this.)
    1.6 (2-3 times)
    1.7 (3-4 times)
    2.0 (normally at least two of these as I flub something, hit the edge of the magwell, or fail to properly look the mag in)

    I can tell I'm leaving a couple tenths on the table with the weak hand retrieval speed. Maybe 2 tenths again on a slow down and mag insertion. Even if I collect all of that time though I'm still not even close. I've worked some Burkett reload reps in to try to shave down my weak hand path times. Mainly it seems to mess up my rhythm when I go back to full reloads. I'm assuming that mainly means that my strong hand movement isn't commensurately speeding up with its job on the mag release and/or my coordination between the two is still trash.

    So, is this a matter of more reps? Letting time do its thing over a couple of years? An unrealistic goal with gear? Or slow hands with no coffee?

    I'm working out of JMCK v3 single mag pouches hung off an AresAegis belt using Magpull Pmags, and a Glock 19.4 with factory extended mag release button, and extended slide release lever (both came stock) I've done the whole Armoral my mags, mag pouch interiors and stock magwell thing. Doing 300-500 dryfire slide lock reloads per week with dummy rounds in the mags. What should an aspiring IDPA guy be looking for if I wanted to eventually hang with the local heat skill wise in club competitions?
    A full sec off your current slidelock reloads is a lot. That said, have you videoed yourself, especially in slo-mo to look for lost/wasted movement and time? For me, the biggest time suck is to remember to get my support hand moving and retrieving the mag as soon as the gun runs dry. While your support hand is doing its thing is while your strong hand is doing the mag release thing and then moving/canting the pistol. Realistic for me with a full-frame Glock and no magwell is 1.5-1.6 on-demand in the middle of a FAST. If I just do 1R1's, I can push a little faster. Lately, though, with my 19 I've gotten my grip to the point that I'm completely incapable of getting a 19 length mag to drop free and end up having to strip the mag every time.
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  3. #3
    Your initial premise is flawed. In USPSA, a slide lock reload generally means you have made a mistake. Many open and limited guns, and CO guns with 140 mags don’t lock back at all. In any event, there ain’t nobody doing sub second, slide forward reloads on a routine basis in USPSA during matches.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  4. #4
    There's a lot to unpack here.

    I think top USPSA guys may not be hitting sub second reloads at matches but a fair number of them are doing it in dryfire. Your reload time sounds respectable to me with 0.2-0.3s of allowance for concealment and say another 0.1s for the slide lock. Keep in mind that in dryfire you're reacting to the beep as well, so the time doesn't compare straight across to live fire drills where someone knows in advance when to reload.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by NoTacTravis View Post
    It seems like sub second reloads are pretty much a performance baseline of USPSA competitors from my podcast listening.
    Nope. That's just something that people talk about but very few do. Somebody is talking about sub-1 reloads as their performance baseline, ask for their USPSA number. If their scores are not lit by a bunch of GM runs, they are full of shit. If I cared, I'd find videos of Ben and JJ fucking them up in practice and matches when going at that speed. Consistent sub-1s, especially sans magwell, is one of a truly discriminating metrics. Speaking for myself, I would not set this one a a goal, ever.


    Quote Originally Posted by NoTacTravis View Post

    In dryfire I'm reloading from a sight picture at slide lock to the click of the trigger back on the A zone trying to beat the par timer.
    That's what I did too, until I learned better. Don't do trigger press, try sight pic - reload - sight pic. You might be conditioning yourself to a bad trigger press after the reload if you're trying to beat the timer with a trigger press.
    “Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

  6. #6
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    +1 to what YVK said.

    Sub 1 sec in battery reloads from a gamer rig unconcealed are fast as fuck.

    Sub 1 sec slide lock? From an IDPA rig? That's otherworldly. I suspect there is much lower fruit to pluck.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    I'm gonna agree with all the other posts about sub-1 second reloads being a really, really hard goal in idpa/concealment gear, and that there are almost certainly lower hanging fruit to attack first.

    IF you want to improve your reload times though, and are doing Burkett loads (which is the 'first half' of a reload), I would also suggest practicing the "second half" of the reload. Be sure you're re-establishing your grip, and gripping correctly, as you get a good sight picture.

    I think I first read about this drill in one of Stoeger's dry fire books, and I've found it helpful.

  8. #8
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    Here's my take:

    Sub 1 second reloads are certainly obtainable for most GM level shooters, but while they represent top speed, high end GM match reloads are more realistically in the 1.2-1.3 second range. I can consistently hit 7 yd sub 1 sec reloads in practice all with ease, but I don't think I've ever gone back and checked my splits on a USPSA classifier and had less than a 1 second reload in a match. Most of my 100% classifier runs with reloads were in the 1.2 second range under actual match pressure/conditions. I think the fastest reload time I've hit on a match classifier was 1.09. Depending on what gun you're using, a slide lock reload could be almost identical to a slide in battery reloads (glocks, sig's) or could be significantly slower (1911's), depending on if you can reach the slide release with your strong hand thumb.

    Without seeing a video of you, I would guess you have a lot of wasted motion in your reload form. The most common places I see shooters lose efficiency reloading is seating the mag, closing the slide, and extending back to sights on target. Ideally, this should be all one fluid motion, but most shooters break this up into jerky steps where they seat the mag (sometimes giving it an extra un-needed slap), close the slide while the gun is still in their work zone, and then they extend back out to target, waiting until their sights are beyond settled to even begin pressing the trigger.

    A few other notes:
    Remember, in dry fire, you are reacting to the beep before starting your reload motion. This equates to a roughly .20 second delayed reaction time. If you set the par time for 1.2 seconds in dry fire and start with the slide locked open, that will realistically be closer to a live fire 1.0 second reload. In live fire, you have to make sure you are starting your reload as soon as you see the sights lift off target, and not waiting for them to reset before starting the reload. If your live fire reload time is slower than your dry fire time, you are possibly not reacting fast enough after the sights lift off target.

    Concealment reloads from a proper IDPA vest should be almost identical to open concealment if you are really gaming the vest right. Concealment reloads from an untucked shirt are going to be significantly slower. A 1.5 sec reload from an untucked shirt is about as difficult to achieve as a 1.0 second reload from an open top mag pouch.

    I'll post up some 2 reload 2 drills at 7 yards that I did last year which includes a slide lock reload at the end as well if you want to compare to what you're currently doing. If you post a video, we may be able to easily identify some inefficiencies that you're not noticing.
    Last edited by Gio; 06-30-2020 at 12:12 PM.
    Formerly givo08.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gio View Post
    If you post a video, we may be able to easily identify some inefficiencies that you're not noticing.
    Free coaching?! I'm in!!

    I shot this stage at the "Introduction to Action Pistol" class I coaxed my son to take with me September 2018. It's about the only video I have of anything of me recently. I'm high D class in USPSA (39%), having shot a total of only 10 matches lifetime.

    The stage was one of two we shot on the day. It is very simple, because the class is the "first" action pistol event many (most) have taken. The stage is run like a normal match stage, just shorter. There is one reload, which probably shows my pretty feeble attempt at hurrying. I shoot Production with a Glock 19, and tend to reload between target groups, since I only have 10 rounds in a mag.

    https://youtu.be/rtuYQucnCdU

    PS Please be gentle, my son and his girlfriend were watching, so I was acutely aware of trying not to screw up.
    Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught. — J. C. Watts

  10. #10
    Here is 2 reload 2, and 1 reload 1, from my CO rig.

    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

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