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Thread: Reload technique in idpa

  1. #1

    Reload technique in idpa

    My wife will be shooting her 3rd match Saturday. Last month she was having trouble w/ reloads. Last week we practiced some and decided her grips were too thick and making it real hard to get to the mag release button w/ strong hand thumb. She had to move the gun around a lot. She has long fingers but we have discovered not real strong fingers or thumb. So we got new thinner grips and practiced again this AM. The grips definitely helped but not a 100% solution. So she tried hitting the mag release w/ her weak hand thumb. Ah ha, think we have something here. We talked some and figured it could be slower because her weak hand could be 1/2 way or more to the new mag if it were not used for the release. But we decided that if the mag release is now 100%, then the time possibly lost is going to be less than the time lost repositioning the gun, and especially the time lost when it doesn't immediately release. We are both old, me 74 and her 67, so I said that I doubt that we will be getting stronger, so best to change technique rather than expect to overcome a strength problem. What do you think? Good idea or??

  2. #2
    I have seen that done and while not as fast, if you gotta you gotta.

    What gun?
    There are grips with a DEEP scallop behind the magazine catch that might be better than just thin overall.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #3
    If her magazine release button is reversible, she can use her trigger finger to dump the mag and if anything be faster than the conventional technique. Also guarantees finger out of guard during reload.

  4. #4
    Oh Dremel, Dremel, Dremel JCN's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    My wife will be shooting her 3rd match Saturday. Last month she was having trouble w/ reloads. Last week we practiced some and decided her grips were too thick and making it real hard to get to the mag release button w/ strong hand thumb. She had to move the gun around a lot. She has long fingers but we have discovered not real strong fingers or thumb. So we got new thinner grips and practiced again this AM. The grips definitely helped but not a 100% solution. So she tried hitting the mag release w/ her weak hand thumb. Ah ha, think we have something here. We talked some and figured it could be slower because her weak hand could be 1/2 way or more to the new mag if it were not used for the release. But we decided that if the mag release is now 100%, then the time possibly lost is going to be less than the time lost repositioning the gun, and especially the time lost when it doesn't immediately release. We are both old, me 74 and her 67, so I said that I doubt that we will be getting stronger, so best to change technique rather than expect to overcome a strength problem. What do you think? Good idea or??
    A common technique used for Glocks, especially Gen 3 with small buttons is to “flip” the gun in the hand to hit the mag release which also puts the magwell in a natural orientation to receive the new magazine.



    Also note that Max Michel, CO champion also does a “flip” with his P320 while reloading.

    It’s way faster than anything that occupies either pointer finger.
    Currently I’m still within the acceptable dickhead parameter of PF 2017+.

  5. #5
    Oh Dremel, Dremel, Dremel JCN's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
    @CraigS

    If it is a dedicated gaming gun you can try cutting or lightening the mag release spring. That can help a lot as well.

    Here is a left handed trigger finger roll release that doesn’t take any additional time.

    Currently I’m still within the acceptable dickhead parameter of PF 2017+.

  6. #6
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    I’m with @Mas - as a lefty, that’s my technique for “right handed”guns (sometimes the strong hand middle finger works as well / better).

    Oh - and much respect for a COUPLE who’s ages round to “70-ish” for being out there competing and working to improve.
    Especially your wife, as IDPA isn’t often a “mature woman” game. Good on you both.

  7. #7
    A couple of details I left out initially. We are shooting Beretta 92s. I have cut the mag release spring so it is definately easier to push. I have a huge groove in the G10 grips that I use but we are reluctant to do that to her new nice wood grips.
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    May have to, but probably as a last resort. The Shannon Smith video is very good. I like that he spends a lot of time showing technique in good detail. My take away is that maybe flipping the gun is no big deal. We will need to work on that. I really like his point about having the gun up high so one can actually see the mag well. I think that is one of those subtle things where making use of a natural physical phenomenon has to help. I am going to adopt that technique. (An interesting side benefit of trying to help her is that I have to pay attention to my own technique too.) I will try flipping the mag release and see how that works. I had messed with it w/o actually moving the release and it seemed to be very awkward to get my finger tip that far to the rear of the gun. It required a gun flip in the opposite direction for me but may work for her. Thanks guys, this is really helpful.

  8. #8
    Oh, man, oh Lady, Beretta is about as far out on the Big Butt curve as you can get with a popular pistol.
    I don't see much to do about it not already mentioned, shift the gun or set up to use a finger.
    I learned to do a left handed reload for long WHO stages, so the finger method definitely works.

    I am glad a nice young couple like yourselves are in the shooting sports.
    (I am 77 and while I should not divulge my protege's age, she is a Grown Up Lady.)
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  9. #9
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    Concur re much respect re doing IDPA together.

    Concur re exploring lighter mag release springs, making sure the parts are as smooth as possible etc

    Re sanding/removing material on the grip panel:

    1. Go low and slow

    2. Wear eye protection

    3. Do it in a well ventilated area and/or have a fan blow across your work space

    4. Strongly consider wearing an N95 3M particulate mask so you do not inhale anything. This is critical with polymer, G10, Micarta etc.

    As much as you would hate "damaging" a nice set of grips if my choice was flip the gun OR remove enough material so as to not have to flip the gun, I would remove the material. I fully acknowledge that it might not be an A v B choice for a given person.

    If this would be helpful, I have successfully textured the factory Plastic Beretta grips many times, if you sent me such grips, I would texture them for free and return them to you 1st class USPS with tracking CONUS for free as well as a sign of respect to a couple recreating together in the shooting sports. PM me if interested.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/203529369133
    I am not your attorney. I am not giving legal advice. Any and all opinions expressed are personal and my own and are not those of any employer-past, present or future.

  10. #10
    I was going to suggest the same as @Mas and then I saw he had already posted it. Makes sense since I'm pretty sure he was the first person I learned that method from many years ago.

    Good luck and good for both of you. Enjoy the competitions!

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