Clay: Three Ways to Practice One-Handed Reloads

Can you reload your pistol with one hand?

While the likelihood of you actually needing to reload with one hand is rare, it’s still a good skill set to acquire as you never know what’ll happen, not only during a gunfight but in everyday life as well.  Car accident, skiing collision, you may slip off the counter spraying for ants.  Who knows?  But whatever the case, if you’re ever down to one wing, you still want the ability to use your weapon.

In the NSFW video above (contains explicit language), Clay shows you three different ways to reload with only one hand.  What’s the best method?  Well, watch, practice and then decide for yourself.

Feel free to leave Clay some — good, bad, indifferent — feedback in the comment section.  I just ask that you be respectful.  You can also read Clay’s latest gun reviews and columns by clicking on the links below:

Clay Martin: Marine Special Operators Trash 1911 for Glock 19!

Fist full of Hardball: Why I Carry a Springfield XD-S

FN15 Tactical from FN in 300 BLK—Full Review

Former Green Beret Has Message for NFL QB Colin Kaepernick

Green Beret Responds to Report: ‘Half of Today’s Army Recruits Have Never Held A Gun’

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  • Gerald Donovan May 26, 2017, 10:25 am

    Good stuff Clay! Thanks for sharing your experience and ideas. I carry a 1911 mostly, and I choose to not have a full length guide rod on any of mine. This allows me to perform a one hand reload on an empty pistol with the slide down; simply insert a loaded mag and push the recoil spring plug back on a solid edge (table edge, door jam, boot heel, etc.) to rack the slide back and chamber a round. Easy peasy. Hard to sell a 1911 w/out a full length guide rod installed these days but the “old school” 1911 guys do not like ’em because the shooter looses that method of a one hand reload. Mr. Browning designed the 1911 that way for a reason and that’s why most of the 1911 plugs are checkered on the end….. The newer striker fired pistols all seem to have the full length guide rod as part of the design which is why we see a flat “shelf” built into the rear sight on so many of ’em, thus enabling the one armed shooter to use the sight by pushing it on an edge to perform the closed slide reload. Each shooter needs to determine which method works best for them and then PRACTICE performing that style of one hand reload. Thanks again for the demonstration!

  • Pat Kennedy October 17, 2016, 9:17 pm

    You are F*+#g hilarious, and right on. I have shot one-handed for years thanks to American made displacement. Regardless, method #1 of your shooting methods is the one I use, though I thank you for your thought provoking exploration of the others. I thought I was the only one that came up with that stuff.

  • Inidaho October 17, 2016, 11:01 am

    Again, thank you for you military service! Thanks to all our Veterans! AND thanks again for you reply to a certain quarterback and such! I encourage all who reads Clay’s blog, to search more on his website and see how much experience this man actually has in combat. I don’t think I could have performed in service, what he has gone thru, and seen the blood and guts thru his eyes. We look forward to your training as we also live in Idaho. Thanks for taking your time to post videos and talk about tips. Tell it like it is! Thanks again!

  • kherrick October 14, 2016, 7:23 pm

    THANKS … I lost the use of my left arm after a surgery to repair a disc …. I have left hand fingers which work some.
    Second week after surgery I was at the range trying methods of success … with my SIG SAUER 2022 Alpha SP which will rack to clear on my belt and with a mag grasped in my left side fingers I can reload and reacquire. ALL bullets hit the ground! somewhere. I have limited ability to rack my weapon so for trips to the ranch or to San Antonio I carry the Judge .45LC as my primary.
    Great Video it was sent to me by my bud who is still active with the goberment at 73!
    Keep them coming.

  • Daniel October 14, 2016, 5:14 pm

    Good video. I was injured overseas, the round clipped my brachial artery and the brachial plexus. Arm was completely paralyzed. I regained minimal use of the arm but I lost my right hand. These are techniques that I have had to do since getting hurt. My little piece of advice that I got from a sheriff is to get some skateboard tape and put it on the top of the slide. Trying to rack an auto can be difficult one handed, the belt might give a little, whatever. That tape will grip like crazy and I have had no problems racking. It’s cheap and if it starts coming off cut another small piece and replace. I sweat like a beast and after a few years I just recently had a little corner start coming up. It didn’t mess up the finish but it is my carry piece so I don’t care if it gets a deew scratches anyway.

  • DELL STEPHENS October 14, 2016, 4:30 pm

    I stopped viewing, very early in the video, when the term Mother-F***** was used twice in the same sentence. I may not be an old Redneck, but I am a tough old guy that thinks that part of our problem in society is “lack of respect” for others. This guy must not have any children, and if he spoke like that around my children, he would hear about it.

    I’m new to this forum, and I will remember that your videos may be a bit harsh, and I reserve the right to not view anything you offer, if I feel it may just fester me up.

    • RCinTX October 20, 2016, 12:11 am

      Oh so sorry Snow Flake, a fucking 3 tour Afghanistan Green Beret said “fucking,” and you have your wanker panties in a wad. Go put a scarlet “F” on your shirt and pound sand, you puritanical fuck.

  • Kevin October 14, 2016, 12:15 pm

    First of all, thanks for presenting and demonstrating these techniques.
    However, I disagree with some things in your video: You seem to think you need a reason to learn and practice something that could save your life, you don’t. As long as it’s done safely, learn, practice and improve dexterity and muscle memory…it’s all good. Knowing something that you might never use is not the point, being prepared is the point.
    * Last round fired should result in a slide-locked configuration and the demonstration should have been done in that manner.
    * You might have mentioned that spare mags should be carried somewhere that is accessible to either hand.
    * If you are in a fight for your life, what difference does it make where your empty mags land. If you’re worried about mag damage during practice, just take about three steps back and practice in the grass.
    * You left out one of, or maybe the most important survival tools that someone has in a gunfight: Maybe even more important than your skill with a firearm is the proper use of cover. This should be taught or at least mentioned in all firearms training scenarios.
    These are my thoughts and worth exactly what you paid for them.

    • Dan D November 19, 2016, 10:34 am

      Not all guns lock open on last round. Especially some of the popular small concealed carry guns.

  • Paul DeRidder October 12, 2016, 11:12 pm

    Wouldn’t have thought about the necessity of this until surgery earlier this year. Another great video.

  • Dave October 12, 2016, 10:48 am

    Clay, sorry to be chasing you through these different videos with my same question but I am curious about the handguard you have installed on the AR in the other videos. If you wouldn’t mind letting me know the manufacturer I would appreciate it. On another note, would be interested in seeing you do a video about shooting on the move and/or slings (2 point vs. 3 point).

    • clay martin October 12, 2016, 11:18 am

      easy day. I use the Barnes Precision Machine handguard most of the time, it is my favorite.

      I did one on slings back on my channel, I will ask the editors if they want to run it on Guns America.

      Shooting on the move, we can do. Easy day.

  • TXMechEngr October 12, 2016, 10:19 am

    Great video, thanks for the insight. I want to comment on the first method you proposed. When you fire your last round and you then proceed to holster the weapon, either IWB/OWB, the slide will be in the aft position and may not holster with ease. So to all the viewers and readers, please practice all 3 methods. Thanks again for the video.

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