Proactive Reload?

So I’ve been watching a lot of ASP and he talks a lot about using a proactive reload as opposed to a tactical reload.

The difference is this:

Tactical reload, you replace used magazine with a new magazine while retaining the used magazine and placing it somewhere else in case you need it later.

Pro-Active reload: you drop the used magazine to the ground and replace the magazine.

Reasoning: John says he has never seen a case where someone needed to use a retained magazine for self defense.

Pros: it’s faster and easier
Cons: you lose ammo.

Thoughts? I think he makes a good point.


Rules of warfare, you can not have too much ammo. Every round counts. Do not waste ammo. It does not grow on trees.
If it worked in the Marine Corps, I will use it. After all, I packed it in with me for a reason. It would be ashamed to waste it.


Doesn’t time count too? Dropping and swapping will always be faster period.

Are we taking about war or are we talking about citizen using a firearm for self defense. Does the context change anything?

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Greetings and Salutations Todd30. I agree with you, particularly in protracted gun battles. The intense amount of stress on the officer may have contributed to the quasi “tactical/emergency reload”. I’m not gonna fault him for that. I like the technique, but I am a believer of “better to have and not need, than to need and not have”. if safe to do so, pick up the mag and store it. What’s the worst that could happen; you have more rounds? Tom Givens will pay anyone $10K for proof of anyone having used retained rounds in a gunfight. I pray he never has to pay out.


Video proof , Good luck on that!

Personally I don’t see any reason to learn “pro-active” reload. At least for my self. If I’m in the fight and have slide lock, it will take me the same about of time to do “slide-lock” reload.
If I have a time for tactical reload, I’m saving my ammo. Otherwise - I’m waiting for slide lock.


What would John Wick do? Proactive when needed. :rofl: :slightly_smiling_face: :frowning:


If you are saying that John Wick would do this… hopefully in Chapter 4 he is gonna consider ammo cost :wink:
Actually you are right… proactive reload looks cool… but still I don’t see it working for me…

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I had an intermediate pistol class where the instructor wanted us to do 1-2-3-4-5 drills. Takes 15 rounds to complete the course of fire. I had 16 round mags for my CZ 75B so I loaded them to fifteen. The instructor also wanted us to reload as quickly as possible when necessary. Some people had to reload more than others. I ran 3 mags of 15 each. When I swapped I was supposed to drop the mag and push in a new one as quick as I could. When the class was over I realized that dropping the mags on the floor had bent the side and the base plate and I could no longer remove the bottom of the mag for mag cleaning. Ruined two perfectly good magazines. I suppose there must be a solution for this but I am not much of a machinist. Bought new ones so all good again.

I guess I don’t mind losing the magazines if it improves the training, I can always get more. If I was in an actual fight I wouldn’t worry about this. But I don’t want to train this way as it gets pretty expensive. I guess I could save the spoiled mags for the next training opportunity.

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He would use his pencil🤣


“Perfectly good” mags for a fighting pistol are much tougher than that. Now, if you stepped on one…kicked or threw one as hard as you could against a brick wall…that sort of thing…then maybe a “perfectly good” mag might break.

To the OP: retain your partials and take ASP’s tactical recommendations with a grain of salt. He’s never been in a gunfight.

With a little bit of training you can be lightning fast performing a tac reload.
An additional advantage, what if you need that mag due to a malfunction, or double feed.
You’re only doing a tac reload “when you have the time and the threat has been deemed a non-threat”.

So, if you do a “proactive reload” the threat is over, and now you’re just going to dump that mag on the ground and leave it there until law enforcement arrives, kinda silly I’m thinking.


Using these terms I use the proactive reload.

I let the mags fall to the ground every time. If I want to recover the magazine, when the drill is complete (or the situation allows it) I glance down and step on it. Then while keeping my head up I kneel down and pick it up.

The previous comments about retaining ammo are very valid for a sustained gunfight.

As far as worrying about ammo cost. Personally if I had my gun drawn in a self defense situation the absolute last thing on my mind is the cost of ammo.

At the end of the day how you train IS how you’re going to fight. If you “catch” your magazines on the range, you’ll do it when the time counts.


Never let a good round go to waste!


In all of the interviews I have conducted, videos I have studied, and training I have conducted/attended, I have yet to witness anyone conducting a “tactical reload”. This includes myself. Under stress, when protracted gunfights have occurred, or numerous rounds expended, I have yet to see anyone do anything other than an “emergency/slide lock reload”. The only time I have witnessed, or completed the “tactical reload” was during training, whereby it was required to do so; and the partially expended mag was retained.

I understand his point, though. My issue with the “pro-active reload” is, at what point do you conduct it? If you conduct it too early (fired only a few rounds) you may still have 12 rounds in the magazine. If you do it too late, you might was well go to slide lock. At which point do you know under that amount of stress? This is assuming you do not retrieve the magazine.


yeap. This is the field we have few options… and we should do whatever works best for us.

I’m advocate of “slide lock” reload - it’s very rare when somebody counts the rounds shot (I can do this at the range, hard to follow the counts during stressful situation). So that’s why I train this only. Once trained well - “proactive” reload has no sense for me.
I do “tactical” reload ONLY when threat is / threads are down, no more danger present or I moved to safe location or behind the cover.

Can we use all other methods? yes, sure… but why? Train the one which works best. There won’t be time to think which method to choose if somebody is shooting at you :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Anyway, as most of us have mentioned - “proactive” means “waste of ammo”.


In my humble opinion, here is what I’ve learned, so far:

  1. Emergency/Slide Lock Reload - A Way.
  2. Tactical Reload - A Way.
  3. Pro-Active Reload - A Way.
  4. Any combination of the three listed above Reload - A Way.

None of these techniques are THE WAY, and none is better than the other. The objective of these techniques is to get the firearm loaded, and/or keep the firearm loaded.


I think it’s awesome that different trainers have different ideas and methodologies. As students, we should get exposure to as many “ways” as possible and then roll with what works for us.

For John Correia, what influences his choices as a civilian trainer (afaik he does not train LEO/MIL) is his watching of bajillions (not a real number) of videos of self-defense situations. IIRC, he has stated he has never seen a civilian do a emergency/slide lock reload… ever. He has seen them in LEO context, but not as a CCW or civilian defender. It’s important to recognize the bias here which is he only has access to videos he’s provided and those videos are mostly CCTV (aka business related) and police badge cams. So that doesn’t mean it never happens it just means he hasn’t seen it. And that influences how he approaches training. IIRC i believe he doesn’t carry a spare mag for the same reason.

For me, I don’t think I’d ever do a pro-active reload as he describes. I will be shooting until the threat stops, and if that requires emptying a magazine I will do an emergency reload. If I have the time to do a pro-active reload it means I feel I am no longer in immediate danger and in that scenario I would do a tactical reload. If I were in a context (maybe LEO?) where I had “lots” of spare mags I might be more willing to leave a half-empty mag on the ground, but as a civilian I will usually only have 1 spare mag and maaaaybe 2 spares. Not willing to drop them in that scenario.


^^^^^^^^^^^^ :point_up:

Looks @Harvey we finished the same school :wink: :handshake:


After a nights sleep, I agree with most of y’all.

I’m shooting till the slide locks back (like paw paw Clint says), or doing a tac reload if I’m in cover taking a break.

That being said, I think there is merit to being in a situation where you discharged 10 rounds out of 15, there’s a break, in action and you top it off real quick unsure of what’s coming.