Mag Retention Drills #GunfightScience – Off The Reservation

Reloading with retention?  What exactly does that mean?

Well, in the (NSFW) video above Clay discusses not only what it means to reload with retention, but also situations where reloading with retention makes sense and situations where reloading with retention is not a high priority.

To test your knowledge of the subject, here is a pop quiz:  Of the three, who should be the most mindful to reload with retention?

  1. The law-abiding citizen
  2. The police officer
  3. The soldier

Place your answer in the comment section below along with a brief explanation before you watch the video.  Then, see if you’re correct.  There’s no shame in being wrong, BTW.

Also, check out Clay’s last video on reloading: Clay: Three Ways to Practice One-Handed Reloads

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Tony December 28, 2016, 6:14 pm

    As someone without military experience and an absolute novice in terms to shooting… what tips would you give to a guy like me with limited resources (i.e. Hundreds of extra dollars to enroll in basic courses… other than the 2 that I have already taken… that did not teach me much of anything that your videos haven’t) for home defense? I am a new firearm owner/carrier and, as stated above, I have taken 2 classes already (each at $300 for the basic handgun and $450 for basic AR15) that did not support any kind of home defense tactics and tips… which was my main purpose in purchasing a firearm(s) (gotta love living in a crappy area). I would happily pay for another class… but so far each class has been taught by someone without a military or law enforcement background… so I was left feeling like the instructor only new how to clean and shoot a gun and that’s about it.

  • Bushmonkey November 7, 2016, 3:22 am

    The bottom line is get it done. I ccw w/3 17 Rd mags. IF I need to reload a mag I’d hear my dad “boy you f—ed up” Unlike Ralph I only have NAM to speak of. 3 mags taped together in M14 w/6 more mags on me. I never dropped a mag unless it was MT. (I liked the M-1 cause it told you to reload “PLING” a sound you never forget). I also was never given a ldd mag by resupply just an ammo can and help yourself. You reloaded when you could. Like others I have PTSD. and at times I relive Loc Ninh, RVN Oct 27 1967. It’s always the same “We’re being overrun, I’m scared and running for the arty inplacements when I hear “BEE HIVE” 3x” By now my wife’s got me awake, she learned the hard way don’t touch me. Her retort is always the same “Go sleep somewhere else”.
    As for LEO don’t use your side arm unless it’s all you got, us the AR from your squad!

  • Dan November 6, 2016, 7:20 pm

    Must be that all involved would want to conserve ammo and their magazines for future use even during time of stress. Ammo and magazines are not cheap and should be treated as the valued resources that they are.

  • Josie Grimm November 4, 2016, 5:28 pm

    Law abiding citizen cause they don’practice enough .

  • M1A-Hole November 4, 2016, 12:41 pm

    Did you watch the video? Mr. Martin states the soldier, you may need to reload and you don’t want to resupply your enemy. Furthermore if you are a cop or civilian and you discharge, you ain’t gettin that shit back for a bit.

  • Ralph M November 4, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Having been all three of these people my answer is simple, the soldier because as a combat soldier I was sent out into combat with only so many loaded mags and the rest in stripper clips, as a police officer I was not going to be reloading magazines in the firefight and as a citizen again I will not be reloading magazines in a firefight I will conserve ammo and not spray-N-pray or I will have plenty of loaded mags on hand. In Vietnam we often taped 2 or 3 mags together for the initial fight, yes they were heaver but at that time we only carried 20 round mags not the 30 rounds of today. They “Spray-N-Pray” is not effective and is only used to return immediate fire to either gain cover or to force the enemy to stop while you reposition and you never use more than 1 magazine for that purpose again this was actual combat in Vietnam while on patrol and being ambushed.

  • Kevin November 4, 2016, 12:09 pm

    I hate to keep harping on this but possibility the most important aspect of any gunfight is good use of cover. A “tactical reload” by my definition should only be done behind cover, if available, and only if there is a “lull” in the action, otherwise, fire for affect conserving ammo when appropriate then make a combat reload. Never put a partially loaded mag in your mag pouch, put that mag in your pocket or waistband. Your next combat reload might result in only one or two rounds being loaded into your weapon instead of your other fully loaded mag…..this might only apply if you carry a mag pouch with more than one pocket like the one in the demo.
    Also, your eyes should never leave your threat area during this procedure. If you don’t already know where your mags are located, if you don’t already know where your gun is located and if you don’t already know where your mag release is located, then you need a lot more practice. This is a good drill but it should be practiced enough to develop some muscle memory.
    My opinion and worth exactly what you paid for it.

  • JoeK November 4, 2016, 11:24 am

    All of the Above.

  • Rick November 4, 2016, 11:13 am

    I would say regular citizen. Odds seem higher that the schlub wouldn’t have back-up mags or assistance, like the cop or soldier would. Thus he or she would want to conserve ammo until help arrived.

  • Tripwire November 4, 2016, 9:55 am

    I’d like to address Clay’s videos first, I like his style, I like his lack of of PC, If I wanted to listen to an English major holding forth I’d go back to school, I find Clay’s real world commentary to be very refreshing, I know Clay has been there done that and when he speaks on the subject of gun fighting he does so from that aspect. So many “Experts” on gun fighting have never fired a round with intent to kill. Why try to learn to be a race car driver from your granny?
    Now my one and only complaint about Clay’s vids, he talks too fast, yes Clay you do ! lol, I wear hearing aids and I have a lot of trouble understanding him, Ok, there is one other thing, he needs to speak up a bit louder because us old guys who have been around guns a long time can’t hear shit, So Clay, please slow down a bit and speak up Marine!

    Now as to the mag changing thing, all situations are different, most fire fights are over in seconds, if it’s lasted long enough to need a mag change you either need a bigger mag or you best be behind cover, if you’re behind cover you have the time to mess with mag changes and holding onto the partial empty one, if you’re not behind cover you best not be worrying about dropping a mag until it’s empty and if you can’t reload fast you need to start working on that right now or last week, IF I live thru the fight I’ll collect my mags later, if I don’t, I don’t care. I can drop the mag and reload and be shooting in the time most people do the one handed retain/load and store and then get back in the fight.
    I also believe if you are going to carry a gun you need to carry at least one extra mag, most people don’t, if you really need to carry then you really need an extra mag.
    So, I guess I’m a drop it and keep fighting kind of guy. IMHO and YMMV.

  • BWSmith November 4, 2016, 7:18 am

    To the initial question, I was taught to never let a partial magazine affect my battlespace awareness or effectiveness. I never performed a “tactical”, or partial mag swap, in a combat environment. It is faster to drop and replace at the magwell (“combat” or “speed” reload) and retrieve the empty or partial if the threat situation allows. Double mag manipulation in a single support hand is slower, regardless of training level. I will not sacrifice the lives of teammates (or family, or the general public) just to retain a disposable item. As always, there are caveats, but they are few and limited in scope. If a soldier in an extended austere environment (or if the OBJ will not be controlled after SSE), and has bandoliers at the ORP, perhaps he retains the mags in a dump pouch or shirt, or manage them back into pouches. If he has dedicated logistical support after the offset movment and helo ride back to the FOB, then the mags stay where they dropped. If LE, and worried about liability of recovered partial mags, then run to slidelock. In any case, retrieval is dictated by the tactical situation,

    As far as the video – it was painful to watch, and illustrates very well why tactical experience does not translate to podium presence or concept delivery. Although I do not know anything about Mr. Martin, and I am sure his service was honorable, he absolutely should not be conveying advanced tactics to the general public, without some serious polishing, enabled by self-assessment of his product.

    Setting aside the fumbling of clothing, gear and kit (inexcusable in a produced video), his content and presentation were severely lacking. If you cannot convey a concept clearly, concisely, and in a convincing manner, then what you are saying is lost to distraction. The distraction factors in this video did not allow digestion of content; right, wrong or indifferent.

  • Glenn November 4, 2016, 6:13 am

    Not to be a smart ass, but all three…for slightly different reasons.

    The Law Abiding Citizen; he’s got limited ammo and LE et al may not be on the way to back him up or not arrive in time should he run out of ammo.

    The Police Officer; partially the same reason as above, but also you don’t want to be the LEO who’s partial magazine ends up involved in a criminal assault after it wandered off from where it was dropped in the hands of an “innocent bystander”.

    The Soldier; he may need that partial magazine (all of them may, really), but he’s going to need to reload that pretty damn soon and the supply sergeant may be a bit reluctant to drive off the FOB to deliver a magazine to Pvt Snuffy who’s out on a walkabout.

    So, how wrong am I?

  • Jdsmith November 4, 2016, 5:50 am

    First thing I noticed, he buttened his shirt up crooked.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend