Semi-Auto Pistol Slide Lock

Should we wait on the slide locked to reload? Right now, everyone saying what in the hell is this fool talking about? That is how we are taught and trained. Why wait for your slide lock to reload if you are in a real civilian threat situation? If you are dumping a full Mag out in public, at home, or whatever the place may be, shi#$#$ has gone south, so why wait for the slide lock? Instead, train to reload after x rounds are sent down range.

Why? Going to slide lock is slower to reload. When the slide is locked back, you must drop the mag, insert a new mag, and either hit the slide release or rack it. Compare none-slide lock- dropping the mag, inserting a new mag, and keep shooting.

Now carrying an extra mag is mandatory if anyone thinks of using this non-conforming method.

Family, let me know what everyone thought are.


If you have a moment when it is safe to do so, and you have fired a majority of the rounds in your mag, YES, then would be a good time to reload a full mag. :slightly_smiling_face:


Brother @Buddha-In-The-Sun,
When we were at the range in my NYPD days they called it a tactical reload. You don’t have to wait to be empty and the slide to lock back to load a fresh mag. For instance if you have a 17 round mag as in a full size firearm and you are in a firefight you can fire 10 rounds and remove the mag and insert a fresh 17 round mag. You already have one in the chamber so you just continue the fight. Just remember not to toss the mag you released because that will be your next tactical reload.


A good demonstration.


My realistic answer is to do whatever the competition you are engaging in requires, or whatever the drill calls for, as the odds of a private citizen concealed carrier needing to reload are essentially zero.

My I guess I’ll give it some thought answer is, reload when you need to. If you don’t need to, reload when you can do so safely.

Personally I can’t imagine “train to reload after X rounds are sent downrange” because it’s been proven time and again that even highly trained individuals are unable to accurately count how many rounds have been fired in a life or death situation.

If you are facing an imminent deadly threat, and you discharge your firearm to stop that threat, fire until stopped. If the slide locks back and you need to fire more, do a reload.

If the threat stops, and you take cover, and you don’t need to fire right now but the scene isn’t safe and secure yet, look around one more time…and now take out your spare mag, drop the old, insert the new, as quickly as possible, letting the old fall, so you minimize the time spent with 0 mags in the gun


At a defensive shooting class I took, they covered two types of reload: when the mag is empty and the slide locked, or as stated above the Tactical reload. They taught us when it would be appropriate for both types and we practiced both.
If you are behind cover and there is a pause in the action, Tactical makes sense including maintaining the magazine you remove.
I guess it depends on who are where you are getting your training from.


It’s a personal preference and the way how you feel more comfortable plus circumstances dictate which one is better.
From tactical perspective tactical reload is better, this way you always have enough ammo ready.
However tactical reload is slower than emergency reload. It definitely should be done behind the cover if you want to save the magazine. It’s easier to drop the mag on the ground while moving or running so in that case emergency reload is better.

Definitely the good idea is to practice both… You never know which one will be needed…


I’m actually faster on the emergency reload (slide lock condition) than the tactical reload. With a tactical reload, I was trained to check for a spare mag first before removing the partially depleted mag. Also, I want to retain that mag, even though it’s partially depleted. Both of those things add time. With the emergency reload, I’m not checking for a mag, I’m just grabbing what’s there and I’m dumping the empty rather than putting it in my pocket. For me, releasing the slide lock doesn’t really add time.

My EDC is 7+1. If the activity is over in less than eight rounds, then I’d absolutely do a tactical reload at that point. Or if I had to fire a few rounds and then made it to cover, time for a tactical reload.


Learned this about two years ago


Interesting discussion.

Newbie/civilian here. Saw a video about when officers used to more often carry revolvers and a sad case when the 2-3 assailants took advantage of the few seconds of the poor officer’s reload time.

I’m guessing, if one is really good at pressing that slide unlocking lever, I guess it would be fast enough. My humble experience is keeping my eyes on my target or surroundings, and using my hands to feel out the back of the side to rack it back in order to unlock it “good to go”.

My amateur self worries I’d fumble too much with the slide release lever, to my demise.

However, I’d imagine of one trains enough, your speed could be top notch, in your favorite method.

Great food for thought when seconds count. Stay safe.


Slide lock and tactical reloading, practice both and learn to count rounds!
I prefer tactical reloading but if caught in a John Wick situation, absolutely, slide lock reloading works too!
I prefer power stroke reload to a slide release. I practice both as well.



I go to slide lock. Too hard to count. If I am doing a stage where one cannot take extra and I can figure exactly when to reload after last round in mag I will drop the mag and reload but I have to be careful not to rack the slide or hit the slide release out of habit.


I wouldn’t want to give an attacker an unmolested chance to continue their attack by pausing to reload. Unless I was forced to by a slide lock. In which case I can emergency reload quicker than doing a tactical reload. Though I would be more concerned about moving and getting to cover at that point.

I could imagine some scenarios where the attacker(s) might give an opportunity for a tactical reload. But I would be more concerned with making sure I was ending the threat and preferably doing it while getting behind good cover where I then might have some extra time to think about a tactical reload.

Being a lefty, more often than not I can get the slide to drop by resting the knuckle of my trigger finger on the slide release while forcing the new mag in. On the rare occasions that doesn’t work I have trained to immediately switch to the sling shot method without having to think about it.


Practice allows us to repeat the practiced behavior consistently. Unknown


From all my training, if you are under threat, you should always be moving no matter what. You are not standing still and shooting. Even if you are in cover move move -The Training I have done emphasizes moving and not being a stationary target.


Agree on the moving part unless I’m behind good cover and able to keep the attackers from approaching it. What I was trying to say is that if I was shooting and moving and my pistol goes to slide lock or I think it is about to I suspect in most situations where I wasn’t behind good cover that it would be best to shift the majority of my focus to moving as fast as possible to a safer position.

I haven’t practiced reloads while sprinting and/or diving for cover. I can reload while jogging but slowing to a jog to reload might make me an easier target. So think I would be best off moving as fast as possible especially if I still have a couple rounds left in the mag in my pistol.

But my only experience in these situations is from paint ball fights in high school and practice on targets that weren’t firing back at the gravel pit. So my assumptions could be wrong.


This is how I have been training, don’t take your eyes off the threat of possible.


I train both ways. The thing to remember with a tactical reload is that you need to retain the partially loaded mag in case you need more rounds later, rather than drop it to the ground. It takes practice to be able to drop that mag and reload a new one without dumping it in the dirt. Practice, practice, practice.


Personal preference.

I know I have said this before, but considering that as far as we know 0 concealed carriers have needed a spare mag, I’m good with the odds of needing to re-reload the first mag after using it and running empty the second mag…vs on the other side, the odds of fumbling the tactical reload trying to handle two mags in one hand at the same time and ending up with 0 mags in the gun.

Minimal time with 0 mags in the gun and minimal chance of ending up with no mags in hand at all is what I remember to shoot for.

(not-considered option for me is removing and stowing the current mag, then after that retrieving the new mag and inserting it…probably few do this…it minimizes your odds of ending up with 0 mags but requires an awful lot of time where you don’t have a mag in the gun)

Pros and cons to each of the methods, gotta choose for yourself, just make an informed decision.

(and IMO, good training is what presents all of the options to let you make an informed decision, not training that says “this way is the only right way”)