Tactical reload

A tactical reload is the action of reloading a weapon that has only fired a few rounds out of its magazine, and retaining the original magazine.[1][2] An example is an infantryman reloading before entering a hostile building, concerned about ammunition.[3] Tactical doctrine states that one should always have a full magazine before entering the building or hostile situation,[4] but it is also a bad practice to throw away ammunition in case it is needed.[5][6]

A tactical reload is executed by ejecting the magazine with the hand holding the weapon while drawing a new magazine from its place on the shooter's body.[7] Before the used magazine drops out, the shooter takes it with the fourth and fifth finger of the hand holding the fresh magazine, and inserts the fresh magazine with the thumb and index finger.[1] This retains the partially expended magazine for use later.[8]

Advantages and disadvantagesEdit

The main advantage of performing a tactical reload as opposed to a speed reload is the retaining of the rounds left in the partially spent magazine for future use.[4]

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of performing a speed reload as opposed to a tactical reload is that the magazine is retained rather than discarded, resulting in a slower reload.


  1. ^ a b Manuals Combined: U.S. Marine Corps Competition in Arms Program (CIAP) PISTOL Course Instruction Materials, Media & Division Match And Annual Rifle Databook. Jeffrey Frank Jones.
  2. ^ Vesser, D. C. (2018-10-18). (Just About) Everything You Should Know About A Handgun. Page Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-1-64350-292-2.
  3. ^ "Tactical Reload: Trick or Reality?". Handguns Magazine. Guns&Ammo. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  4. ^ a b Lawrence, Erik (2005). Tactical Pistol Shooting: Your Guide to Tactics That Work. Krause Publications. pp. 93–97. ISBN 978-0-89689-175-3.
  5. ^ Ayoob, Massad (2004). Gun Digest Book of SIG-Sauer: A Complete Look at SIG-Sauer Pistols. Gun Digest Books. pp. 136–140. ISBN 978-0-87349-755-8.
  6. ^ Johnson, Brian (2007). Crucial Elements of Police Firearms Training: Refine Your Firearms Skills, Training and Effectiveness. Looseleaf Law Publications. p. 230. ISBN 978-1-932777-30-7.
  7. ^ Ayoob, Massad (2007). The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery. Gun Digest Books. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-89689-525-6.
  8. ^ Fessenden, Dave (2010). Defensive Handgun Skills: Your Guide to Fundamentals for Self-Protection. Gun Digest Books. pp. 104–106. ISBN 978-1-4402-1381-6.