Shooting is very similar to other martial skills. It requires that you develop an entire spectrum of abilities in order to master the art. While many shooters focus purely on accuracy, serious shooters spend time working on reloads and other mechanical skills. You can be the absolute best shooter in the world, but if you can’t clear a malfunction or execute a reload your life could be at risk.

Reloads are undeniably one of the most essential skills a serious defensive shooter can have. With that in mind, we will look at three different reload techniques to help you master the skill: the emergency reload and then two versions of a tactical reload.

Emergency Reload

The emergency reload has many names, but is always the same problem. The slide of the weapon is locked back and the magazine in the gun is empty. If you are in the middle of a self-defense scenario, this is indeed an emergency. The technique to get the gun back into operation is as follows.

A second technique is called the “sling shot.” After the magazine is seated, grab the back of the slide with your support-side hand. With one quick motion pull the slide to the rear and release. The slide will now run forward and the gun will be back in battery.