Lets talk prone reloading

View Latest Activity

Home Forums Tactics & Leadership Lets talk prone reloading

  • This topic has 36 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Max. This post has been viewed 82 times
Viewing 36 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #72785
      Corvette
      Participant

        I would like to discuss the different techniques and gear set-ups for reasonably efficient reloads from the prone. For simplicity’s sake lets assume everybody is a right handed shooter.
        Things I have found:
        Chest rigs suck when all the mags are under your body.
        Mag pouches on the hips seem to work best for keeping the lowest silhouette possible.
        I find it very difficult to support-hand reload from the left side while trying to keep low and keep my gun off the ground.
        Right hand reloads seem to work great for staying low but hitting the bolt release takes some technique.
        Here is a vid of what I’m talking about. It is old school.
        http://youtu.be/goE_tJaSplk?t=30m40s
        Lets lump mag retention into this also.
        So what are YOUR set-ups and techniques for reloading prone without looking like you’re buggering mother earth?

      • #72786
        Corvette
        Participant

          I mostly agree with your approach.

          still refining my own setup too just discussed this very subject with max yesterday in regards my Chestrig.

          luckily my chest rig is set up so my mags hang more to the sides for prone changes..so its less of an issue but I continue to make mods.

          I dont really want to go to the tacticool GWOT style bungee style of mag holders because when you lowcrawl in the dirt you will likely det your mags dirty and then that dirt gets into your weapon when you load.. or even lose mags..
          So I still run pouched with tabs but may switch my left Blackhawk 6 Mag pouch, to a Army issue 3 mag with the fast flaps

          I noticed a lot of folks these days are influenced by standup SWAT PoU from tacticool classes and run what are essentially competition type set ups with little secure holding of mags.

        • #72787
          DuaneH
          Participant

            1.Chest rigs suck when all the mags are under your body

            Depends on what type of chest rig you are running. If you can, run your chest rigs high on your chest. Kinda like a man-bra.

            2.I find it very difficult to support-hand reload from the left side while trying to keep low and keep my gun off the ground.

            I would have to see you doing it to understand your dynamics.

            3.Right hand reloads seem to work great for staying low but hitting the bolt release takes some technique.

            Under optimal circumstances, you may save some time by using the bolt release; however, that assumes that the bolt is actually locked back, you are reloading with the left hand, the bolt doesn’t need that little bit of oomph you get from pulling back the recoil spring some more and that you didn’t accidently cause the bolt to go forward while reloading.

            I am not an advocate of using the bolt release at all, on any rifle. I recommend using the charging handle only. It is part of non-diagnostic weapons handling. You do the same thing every time. That way you don’t have to figure out where the bolt release is, figure out whether or not the bolt is actually held back. It doesn’t matter which hand you are using to do the mag change as a charging handle can be used from either side. Even on AKs and M14s.

            As we are not the Ranger regiment, we can use whatever gear we like, in any configuration and whatever techniques we like so it boils down to works best for you.

            Me personally: My chest rigs are run high so I don’t have to dig for the mags. Maybe it sacrifices getting lower a little bit, maybe it keeps my butt from getting in the air if I carried around the waist.

            In prone I pull the rifle stock back towards me with my trigger hand to get the magwell closer to me. At the same time I am grabbing a mag with my support hand. As the mag goes up to the rifle, I eject the spent mag with my trigger hand and insert a new mag. Then with my support hand I rack the charging handle. This works either left or right. While I am right handed, I have taken a few classes in left hand configuration. In which case my trigger thumb does the mag release vs the trigger finger.

            For AK’s and M14s it is a little different. With my support hand (with new mag in hand) I strip the old mag out using the new mag and reinsert a new one. Still use the charging handle, just throw my hand over the top of the rifle to actuate it.

          • #72788
            D Close
            Moderator

              I run a three mag single stack on the front of my pc. I also run an inverted single on the rear I can reach with my support hand. I’m currently running a battle belt with two double stack flap covered pouches, aft of my hips. The front pouches are bungeed. This setup is relatively fast from the front, even prone and allows a flat profile. As always, a work in progress.

            • #72789
              Max
              Keymaster

                This (OP) needs fixing. There is wrong information here. We teach reloads/malfunctions and there is a way of doing it that works (a more efficient way). When I get a moment, I will post, or get Aaron (the new manipulations AI/SME) to comment. I’m at CRCD teaching this right now!
                There are options and different ways, but some ways are mechanically unsound and may induce stoppages.
                BTW, I use the bolt release catch! Under stress, in combat, riding the charging handle forward will screw you up

              • #72790
                DuaneH
                Participant

                  For clarification:

                  I agree that riding the charging handle forward will screw you up and that was not what I was trying to convey.

                  *Disclaimer: This is Max’s forum and his way/style is king here.

                  This is pretty much how I run my guns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLUoNyO52XI
                  I realize that tacticool stuff frequently is not appropriate for infantry style, but this has worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

                  If anybody has any arguments as to why this is not a good way to run your guns, I am open to them. I do not have my ego tied up in this.

                  I am always open to new techniques and the next time I come to MVT, I will take the weapons manipulation class. I always try to go to class(es) with the intent of doing it the way the instructor wants me to do it

                  In my previous post when I state I use the charging handle instead of the BHO, that assumes that I am using it like it is supposed to be used: Pulling it back and letting it slide through your fingers.

                  Something I picked up from Tactical Response and I.C.E. Their theory is that the last little bit of spring travel (from where you pull it back) gives more power for the spring to push the bolt forward. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t but I have never used the forward assist.

                  The big reason I do it is so I don’t have to figure out if the bolt is closed or not. It always is on the AK, but even sometimes on the AR or the M14 it doesn’t hold open due to bad mags, bad ammo, or the rifle getting bumped.

                  My own personal style is a work in progress and influenced by every school I have been to. Even Rob Pincus’ Combat Focus Shooting has influenced me.

                • #72791
                  JustARandomGuy
                  Participant

                    …In my previous post when I state I use the charging handle instead of the BHO, that assumes that I am using it like it is supposed to be used: Pulling it back and letting it slide through your fingers.

                    Something I picked up from Tactical Response and I.C.E. Their theory is that the last little bit of spring travel (from where you pull it back) gives more power for the spring to push the bolt forward. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t but I have never used the forward assist….

                    I do this with a handgun (and prefer it), because the slide release can be hard to get to with gloves on. Generally use the bolt release paddle on the rifle though (obvious caveat, unless I’m clearing a malfunction). It’s just faster and more intuitive for me, since my hand is already there after reloading.

                    1.Chest rigs suck when all the mags are under your body

                    Depends on what type of chest rig you are running. If you can, run your chest rigs high on your chest. Kinda like a man-bra.

                    This. It’s not a belly band…plus if it’s worn that low on top of your hips, it makes bending and moving really suck. If a CR is being worn that low, why not just run a battle belt?
                    It’s even more confusing to me when I see people do this with plate carriers….No, I’m not joking… :wacko:

                    …I dont really want to go to the tacticool GWOT style bungee style of mag holders because when you lowcrawl in the dirt you will likely get youyr mags dirty and then that dirt gets into your weapon when you load.. or even lose mags…

                    Well, I’m going to take issue with this a little- I too prefer flapped pouches just because I’m paranoid about having the extra security, plus I find bungee pouches a pain to insert a mag into on-handed. However…. Open top (Kywi/Taco) or bunge retention pouches work just fine to retain your mags *as long as* they are worth their salt. There’s way to much halfassed gear out there that looks good imitating something that works, but doesn’t work as good as the thing that is actually designed right… For open top pouches I wouldn’t trust anything other than the two I listed. I’ve seen people dump mags out of the Tacos, BUT it was likely because they didn’t have them cinched tight enough.
                    Plus open top or bungee retention mag pouches can have a unique place in that it allows you to mount a second pouch to the front if side space is an issue.

                    As far as dirt being an issue, I don’t see it. The only part of the mag the counts is the 3 or 4 inches at the top where you insert it into the magwell. The rest of the mag can get caked with mud and it won’t matter. So again, the caveat is *if the pouch is worth its salt* . If you have some crappy floppy pouches that don’t fit well around the mag, then yeah, you’re going to get dirt in there. This isn’t so much an issue with the Kywi/Taco open top pouches as they fit pretty tight to the sides of the magazine, but bungee pouches are a fine mix between snug magazine fit, and ability to easily insert/re-insert. Takes a little know-how to find decent ones, but they are NOT some horrid floppy POS like this:
                    http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880×660/alt1/595/595084.jpg

                    See all the extra space on the side there? Of course it’s going to act like a shovel, and not retain well!
                    Correct bungee pouches look like this:

                    Borrowed MAX’s rig, but between the two pics here you can see how “square” and how much tighter the pouches are around the magazines.

                  • #72792
                    DuaneH
                    Participant

                      http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880×660/alt1/595/595084.jpg
                      Appears to be an AK mag pouch. AK mag pouches don’t do tight due to the way ak mags are designed.

                    • #72793
                      DiznNC
                      Participant

                        Chest rigs: I have found that reloading prone from a chest rig works great, if you wear it on your chest. Think about your height off the ground, with a 30-rd mag. You’re not low crawling here. You have plenty of room if the top of your mag pouches are above your nipple line. It’s easier to work off your centerline than your beltline, IMHO.

                        The old school right hand reload comes from the KD range days when we were “slung in” on the left side, therefor had to roll left and use the right hand to reload. I’m sure it’s leftover from the M-1/M-14 days as well, when the charging handle was on the right side of the rifle. It is still a viable technique, but you have to consider whether you want to have a different technique for prone, from kneeling and off-hand. As someone mentioned, it’s a good idea to keep things as non-diagnostic as possible. And as Max mentioned, if you use the charging handle to release the bolt, make damn sure you don’t ride it forward. It’s pull to the rear, and release, like a bow. (You sometimes have to stow the handle.)

                        Mag retention. Been covered somewhat already. Reload with retention when at all possible. Speed reload when you need to. Buy lots of spare mags. I would say 30-40 would be about right.

                        My technique for reloading prone. At the present time, I rock slightly right, dropping mag with trigger finger release, and grabbing mag with left hand. Stuff mag behind chest rig, grab ready mag from chest rig, insert into mag well, push/pull, hit release paddle with left thumb. My prone position is more squared up behind the gun these days, rather than bladed off to the side. So I am trying to work off the centerline “in my office space” the same as kneeling or off-hand. In this way the reload is the roughly the same, regardless of position. Less to think about.

                      • #72794
                        Max
                        Keymaster

                          As a lefty I always have to slow down and visualize whenever I read descriptions of what the other 90% is doing.

                          There are some odd things those of us of the wrong-handed persuasion have had to learn to do over the years and I’ve found that we all seem to come up with our own unique solutions.

                          [Sidebar/rabbit hole: For the record, in my experience, if your AR (and this only applies to AR/M16/M4 since I don’t know squat about AKs) is running as it should, you should only have to touch the charging handle twice: when you pick it up and lock the bolt to the rear before loading that first mag and when you clear it. Every reload thereafter should either require the bolt release to load on an empty chamber or simply slapping a fresh mag in if you have the luxury of a tactical reload. If there is a hiccup, you apply SPORTS (or Tap/Rack/Bang) and if that doesn’t work, remedial action. There are lots of techniques out there, but that is what works for me. As always, YMMV.

                          Now, I realize, that is not the cutting edge of technique and severely dates me, but I’m too old to change my ways and I still base most of what I do off of what I learned long ago at Ft. Benning’s School for Wayward Boys. Any adaptation to what I do is basically a riff off of what I learned long ago with an M16A1 and a dude in a Stetson screaming at me.]

                          As for my reloading from the prone technique, it’s not too terribly different from what Diz describes, just a mirror image and I use the index and middle finger of my left (firing) hand to hit the bolt release (hand still partially gripping the pistol grip). With my personal weapon as opposed to my issue M4, I drop the empty mag as I am reaching for a fresh mag because I have installed an ambi mag release, but on my issue weapon (no ambi controls), I strip the mag using my support hand thumb to activate the mag release, stow (or drop) the empty or partial mag and reach for fresh mag, then insert mag and rock on.

                          As for mag pouches, I just use the the two types of USGI MOLLE mag pouches: two each of the 3 mag shingles with the snap tops across the front of my FLC with 3 or 4 of the flapped, expandable double mag pouches layered on top of the shingles. The whole mess is centered and symmetrical. I don’t like lopsided rigs. I find that this provides ample protection and retention for the mags as well as flexibility based on mission: I can carry up to 12 spare mags this way, though normally I’ll only carry six or seven on the FLC which keeps the front streamlined. Those double mag pouches also work great for smoke grenades (as well as concussion and thermite grenades). I keep my FLC rigged as a chest rig and it rides high to keep my beltline clear and mags pouches high where I can get to them. All pouches are positioned in such a way as to keep both firing and non-firing shoulder clear and to interfere as little as possible with rucksack straps and warbelt if I’m wearing one.

                          Damn, that was a long post. How the heck did that happen? :scratch:

                        • #72795
                          Scott G
                          Participant

                            Damn, that was a long post. How the heck did that happen?

                            Sharing greatness ain’t easy! LOL

                          • #72796
                            Max
                            Keymaster
                            • #72797
                              JustARandomGuy
                              Participant

                                http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880×660/alt1/595/595084.jpg

                                Appears to be an AK mag pouch. AK mag pouches don’t do tight due to the way ak mags are designed.

                                D’oh! My bad.
                                AK mag, AR mag… all start to look the same inserted in a pouch sometimes… :scratch:
                                Either way, my point being, your AR magazine should not look like that in a pouch. ;-)

                              • #72798
                                DuaneH
                                Participant

                                  Sorry. Point taken. Sometimes I get focused on the details a bit much.

                                • #72799
                                  Corvette
                                  Participant

                                    Part of me wants to delete this entire post but I think this is still salvageable. I’ll address a few issues from the various posts.

                                    1. If you are right handed you should be performing ALL of your reloads with your left hand unless you are wounded or temporarily firing from your support side. The 95% solution is left hand reloading.

                                    2. If you’re using your charging handle during a reload you are wasting time and introducing variables that can cause a stoppage. If you feel you need some more spring tension to load your weapon you probably are outside of the correct operating specs and need your weapon serviced. Or you may have mild OCD and need a doctor. Depending on the specs of your bolt carrier, spring, buffer and buffer tube you MIGHT get 1/4 inch of additional travel but in such a long spring the factors are such that the extra force is negligible at best and again unnecessary.

                                    3. You should be performing 2 types of reloads. Emergency/speed and tactical. Emergency reloads with retention are the bastard child of a poor understanding of combat and bad training.

                                    Magazines are not worth your life. Perform emergency reloads correctly. If you have time to pick up the magazine so be it. There is NO GOOD REASON NOT TO INDEX A FULL MAGAZINE FIRST. NONE. This goes for tactical reloads as well. When you begin to perform a reload if you’re not reaching for a fresh mag FIRST you are wrong.

                                    4. Its important to understand your type of gear and mission profile. The combination of magazine types, mag pouches and placement will introduce all kinds of variables. Bungee vs. flap will change your indexing speed while pmags vs. USGI will/can influence the size of your pouches. The key is correctly identifying what your MISSION is and then tailoring your gear to that mission. If you’re running alice gear for urban combat you’re going to have a bad day. If you’re low crawling with bungee retention mag pouches bullets up your going to have a bad day. You need to identify a 95% solution that works.

                                    5. You don’t need to keep your weapon off the ground. Its a good idea and you should to every extent you can but you’re not going to hurt it. You can let your muzzle fall into mud, water, dirt etc and it will still work. They see a lot worse shit in combat. Clearing a bolt over ride actually necessitates this. Its a gunfight and that weapon was designed for it. I’m not advocating it just saying that shit happens and you shouldn’t waste time picking leaves and mud out of your fancy brake when some one is shooting at you. Fire your weapon, all that mud will disappear. I promise. If it doesn’t feel free to email me after your shootout.

                                    While combat is more art than science there are still right and wrong ways to do things. Everyone here needs to know that Max Velocity Tactical will not advocate inherently flawed techniques or give them refuge.

                                    Aaron

                                  • #72800
                                    Seth
                                    Participant

                                      EXACTLY what Aaron and Diz said… saved me the effort and trouble.

                                    • #72801
                                      Max
                                      Keymaster

                                        So as to not quote the entire post I’ll just say ditto pretty much to what Diz said as far as how I do it. Just a couple of notes….
                                        Over the years I’ve went from using the bolt catch on reloads to using th charging handle back to the bolt catch.
                                        Chest rigs should be worn on the chest not the stomach/belly area.
                                        I retain my magazines on reloads unless it I absolutely can’t. The circumstances/situation will dictate if I can’t.

                                      • #72802
                                        JustARandomGuy
                                        Participant

                                          Sorry. Point taken. Sometimes I get focused on the details a bit much.

                                          No- it’s no problem. I honestly didn’t even notice til you pointed it out. I really don’t know how I missed that… :wacko:

                                        • #72803
                                          Corvette
                                          Participant

                                            Circumstances will not dictate how you conduct an emergency reload. If they do you’ve not reached a level of subconscious competence.

                                            You’re training will dictate how you conduct a reload. It will be automatic and reflexive.

                                            Speed reloads with retention are dangerous in that they take longer. If you don’t have the time to perform it you may likely die. If you do have time to perform it why not just perform a correct speed reload and and retain your mag after. No one is saying you have to always leave your magazine but one way is inherently more dangerous.

                                            There is a reason we at MVT teach the correct way. Again if you think you can just change in the middle of a shootout you haven’t done it enough, have a poor understanding of training or both.

                                            This technique was the product of instructors not wanting to pick up mags after an evolution and passed of as a solid technique. Later we as an organization (Army) discovered it was getting people killed and stopped it. For the most part anyway. It is not advocated by MVT and is not accepted as a valid technique.

                                            Of course you’re free to make your own decisions.

                                          • #72804
                                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                            Moderator

                                              I was never taught to retain Magazines in a speed reload, only a tactical one.

                                              Now that I am retired from military and no longer have its supply chain, it is easy to see why many people want to hang on to mags.

                                              I have considered trying to retain them if possible, although it is really just academic in my case.

                                              After decades of dropping them in both training and combat, what are the odds that when under fire I am suddenly going to try to retain them? Something I have only done on limited square range training.

                                              Whats the saying? A thousand repetitions to make a habit, ten-thousand repetitions to change a habit.

                                            • #72805
                                              DuaneH
                                              Participant

                                                Aaron, thanks for taking the time to discuss this.

                                                If you would, tell me the faults in my line of logic for the following:

                                                I use the charging handle instead of the BHO. I used the BHO/slide lock for 15 or so years until I went to Tactical Response in Camden, TN and was taught non diagnostic weapons handling. I also have recently transitioned to using an AK for training. For the record: I do not like the AK very much, but I bought the ammo for it when it was 15 cents/round. And I go to classes now to learn tactics.
                                                “A warrior should not have a favorite sword.” Musashi, Book of Five Rings.

                                                Reason:
                                                1. It works for all weapons that I use(AR, AK,Pistol) Ak is self explanatory, pistol is because I can’t reach the tiny slide lock on a GLock. I don’t have to have a different manual of arms for AK vs AR or AR vs Glock.

                                                2. It eliminates the need to decide what I am going to do. Tactical reload, emergency reload or rifle stoppage drills (for me RSD is tap/rack/bang and if it doesn’t work then strip the mag/tap/rackX3/bang)
                                                As you know under stressful situations the ability to decide (or see) what to do can cost a lot of time.

                                                3. I do the same drill for tactical reload, emergency reload and malf clearance which allows me to get more proficient at one thing.

                                                4. In an emergency reload, it eliminates the need to assess whether or not the slide actually locked back. To me personally, I have had it happen that the slide hasn’t locked back on an empty mag or bumping the rifle causes it to go forward. As a student, I have seen it several times and as an Appleseed Instructor I have seen it alot (albeit mostly on .22s)

                                              • #72806
                                                Seth
                                                Participant

                                                  I was never taught to retain Magazines in a speed reload, only a tactical one.

                                                  Now that I am retired from military and no longer have its supply chain, it is easy to see why many people want to hang on to mags.

                                                  I have considered trying to retain them if possible, although it is really just academic in my case.

                                                  After decades of dropping them in both training and combat, what are the odds that when under fire I am suddenly going to try to retain them? Something I have only done on limited square range training.

                                                  Whats the saying? A thousand repetitions to make a habit, ten-thousand repetitions to change a habit.

                                                  A simple solution to this is dry-fire. It takes me 30 minutes, tops, everyday for my necessary dry-fire. I think Mosby has a recent one out on it. Later…

                                                • #72807
                                                  Corvette
                                                  Participant

                                                    Ill skip over TR training and get to the heart of the issue but first these things are not swords. They are much more complicated than that and so YES there is a reason to pick a rifle and train with it the majority of the time. You should have familiarity with all weapons but even an 18B likely wont run a FAMAS as well as his issued M4A1. If you want to use your AK then use it but don’t think its the same. If you want to talk tactics we can and if you want to talk weapons manipulation we can but they are not the same so lets stick with WM for the here and now like you asked. So………..

                                                    1. The manual of arms does change for weapons handling. Its just the nature of the beast. Paddle release for AK mags button release for AR and thumb release for your Glock. If you’re performing a reload on an AK you should be reaching under the weapon. Also not the same. You’re not doing anything the same way no matter how much you might think you are. So since that’s the case why not do it the right way?

                                                    2. Again its not the same. If you have to lock the bolt to the rear to clear a double feed it is NOT the same mechanics as using the charging handle during a reload. Its also not for clearing a bolt over ride. Also you shouldn’t be touching the charging handle during a tactical reload at all. Again since its not the same why not do it the right way?

                                                    Also yes deciding what to do takes time (OODA loop). Which is why you should train the roll to observe. You will then perform 1 of 4 actions depending on what you observe in real life AND training. You’re not deciding. The visual information given by the status of the bolt initiates your automatic response. Those 4 action are an emergency reload, TRB, double feed clearance or bolt override clearance. If you just TRB you may make a situation worse or skip a reload (didn’t feel the bolt lock back or hear the spring) which will take even more time. ALL of these issues can be corrected with training and dry fire. Remember were going for the 95% solution because no 100% solution exists.

                                                    3. I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself. If your tactical reload looks like a malfunction clearance you are doing it wrong or don’t know what a tactical reload is. And again the steps for each are a little different and certainly different across platforms. As an example you’re not tapping the bottom of your magazine first during a reload but you do in TRB.

                                                    4. Your bolt should lock back on an empty magazine. If it’s not then you have issues with your magazine (and should toss it) or bolt catch (get it fixed). I’m not going to talk about .22s as that is not relevant being a different weapon in a disguise as an AR and you should not be using it for combat. If this happens in a gunfight (this is the 5% but likely less than that in actuality) then you treat it like a FTF and roll, observe, TRB (this is all automatic if you’ve trained it) That clearly won’t work (you’re out of ammo after all) and should lock the bolt to the rear in which case you emergency reload. If it doesn’t lock a second time you have a significant problem either with your magazine or your weapon which its important to note is not considered a normal malfunction that an other wise serviceable weapon can have. In this case you’ll probably figure this out and reload and continue the fight if you’re still alive. If the issue was your magazine the problem should have been identified in TRAINING and the mag fixed or thrown out.

                                                    The key to all of this is TRAINING. When you train you discover these issues. You should STUDY your weapon and its operation to understand how it functions so you have a greater knowledge base and when the 5% happens then you know the WHY and the HOW and can fix it under stress.

                                                    Yes we go into lizard brain but lizards still do some pretty amazing shit, especially if they have been trained. You have the capability to be better than what you currently are. Strive for perfection even if you don’t attain it.

                                                    Aaron

                                                  • #72808
                                                    DuaneH
                                                    Participant

                                                      So, my take away from this discussion is that a person should have a level of competence to where they can think and assess when the bullets are flying and not just go on instinct and training.

                                                    • #72809
                                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                      Moderator

                                                        I have never met Max Velocity, but because of his writing (two of his books and the blog) and positive feedback from others. I believe he is good to go for training this material. His program is relatively new and his targeted audience is untapped. Obviously he needs to be careful who he brings on board with MVT. So I believe he chose Aaron based not just on his skill at manipulations but also as an instructor. So if I believe in Max’s qualifications I should also believe in Aaron’s.

                                                        <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>G.W.N.S. wrote:</div>
                                                        I was never taught to retain Magazines in a speed reload, only a tactical one.

                                                        Now that I am retired from military and no longer have its supply chain, it is easy to see why many people want to hang on to mags.

                                                        I have considered trying to retain them if possible, although it is really just academic in my case.

                                                        After decades of dropping them in both training and combat, what are the odds that when under fire I am suddenly going to try to retain them? Something I have only done on limited square range training.

                                                        Whats the saying? A thousand repetitions to make a habit, ten-thousand repetitions to change a habit.

                                                        A simple solution to this is dry-fire. It takes me 30 minutes, tops, everyday for my necessary dry-fire. I think Mosby has a recent one out on it. Later…

                                                        I agree with dryfire training, however I will not be taken the time to unlearn dropping magazine during a speed reload. Aaron/Max have convinced me that in this case I wouldn’t be solving a problem.

                                                      • #72810
                                                        Max
                                                        Keymaster

                                                          So, my take away from this discussion is that a person should have a level of competence to where they can think and assess when the bullets are flying and not just go on instinct and training.

                                                          Not stepping into Aaron’s lane here, just making a general statement about light infantry operations (and combat in general): if you aren’t thinking and assessing, you are wrong.

                                                          Here’s an example: during the Civil War (and every other war fought with muzzle loading weapons) it was common to find rifle muskets with several Minie balls jammed down the bore because the soldier did not assess that his weapon failed to fire the first round and he continued to mindlessly execute the drill of loading and firing.

                                                          This idea that somehow we can simplify an action down to gross motor skills and muscle memory to eliminate the need to think under stress is dangerous and will (and probably has) get people killed. Turning your brain off is never a good plan, and even more inappropriate when people are trying to kill you.

                                                        • #72811
                                                          Corvette
                                                          Participant

                                                            So, my take away from this discussion is that a person should have a level of competence to where they can think and assess when the bullets are flying and not just go on instinct and training.

                                                            Yes and no. Some things will be automatic like loading, clearing malfunctions, taking cover etc. The rest you will have to think about. Chuck is right. It’s all about solving problems. Like driving. You have to think about where you’re going but not about using the gas or brake.

                                                          • #72812
                                                            Daniel
                                                            Participant

                                                              Aaron,

                                                              You said, “If you’re running alice gear for urban combat you’re going to have a bad day.”

                                                              I was hoping you could elaborate a bit on this. I’m a small business owner in a downtown area and I live ten minutes away from there. All urban-suburban and that’s my AO. My kit is old ALICE. When it goes hot I fully expect to have a bad day but I wasn’t expecting ALICE to have a part in making it worse. Straighten me out, please…

                                                            • #72813
                                                              Corvette
                                                              Participant

                                                                Aaron,

                                                                You said, “If you’re running alice gear for urban combat you’re going to have a bad day.”

                                                                I was hoping you could elaborate a bit on this. I’m a small business owner in a downtown area and I live ten minutes away from there. All urban-suburban and that’s my AO. My kit is old ALICE. When it goes hot I fully expect to have a bad day but I wasn’t expecting ALICE to have a part in making it worse. Straighten me out, please…

                                                                Daniel,

                                                                By its nature urban combat is a very fast paced, close and vicious fight. Its a meatgrinder for real. As such the mission is very different from the kind of fighting that was expected when alice gear was fielded.

                                                                In an urban fight you’ll want to be able to integrate your armor package and your fighting load either by attaching pouches directly to your armor or using a chestrig or FLC set up. You wont find yourself prone very often as the combat and shooting is generally within 200m and typically just past your muzzle. You’ll want to stay indoors as most casualties are taken on the streets or outside of buildings. Youll want something that works when youre sitting in a vehicle.

                                                                Alice gear is not conducive to speed reloads which in the urban fight is the order of the day. It does not integrate well with body armor and sitting down with a buttpack and canteens is not easy. First aid pouches are also not really good so youll need something molle.

                                                                I would suggest a good plate carrier with plates and some mag pouches you can reload from quickly as a good start. Throw an IFAK on it and maybe a water source. the FLC is not a bad choice if youre on a budget and spray paint will fix the terrible camo pattern. Fighting in a house or on a street is different from being out in the woods. The principals are the same but the tactics take some tweaking. Understanding your tactical environment and mission will allow you to really evaluate the gear you need.

                                                                All this is to say that alice gear still works but its been made obsolete by better more modern gear. If its what you have then fine but you’re better off understanding its limitations at the very least. In everything that requires skill you eventually get to a point where your gear inhibits your ability to perform. Think of the lengths athletes go to just to get lighter, more aerodynamic gear.

                                                                I hope that answered your question. If not feel free to engage again!

                                                                Aaron

                                                              • #72814
                                                                Daniel
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Good points and well taken. Thanks.

                                                                • #72815
                                                                  Submariner
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Fighting in a house or on a street is different from being out in the woods.

                                                                    Is this analogous to keeping kosher and having two sets of dishes, that is, having two sets of gear depending upon the environment in which you intend to operate on a particular mission?

                                                                  • #72816
                                                                    Corvette
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Submariner,

                                                                      Not necessarily. You’re looking for the 95% solution. If your gear works the majority of what you expect to encounter then that’s fine. Just keep your expectations grounded in reality. That’s the hard part.

                                                                      I’ve gone to a more modular approach. A battle belt, lightweight slick plate carrier and a full chest rig. I can wear any combination of the three and be good in 95% of what I anticipate my threats will be and I can adjust accordingly.

                                                                      I just wish I had all the money back that it’s taken me to get this far!

                                                                      Aaron

                                                                    • #72817
                                                                      Submariner
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Thanks.

                                                                        lightweight slick plate carrier

                                                                        Which one?

                                                                      • #72818
                                                                        Corvette
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Sorry it took so long. Ive been out of touch.

                                                                          Your plate carrier is really a personal choice that should be given by your mission. Im a fan of Crye, Tactical tailor and LBT.

                                                                        • #72819
                                                                          Max
                                                                          Keymaster

                                                                            I run two taco pouches on my left hip on a battle belt. First mag out on contact is dropped and I reload from the taco pouches. I got rid of my rigs that had mags on the front and low. My chest rig now runs mags above my sternum.

                                                                          • #72820
                                                                            Corvette
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              My experience on prone reloads during fire and movement drills have made me adjust how I reload prone. First off, in very dirty environments, like sand for example, you are gonna get dirt in EVERYTHING, including your rifle. So it will cause friction on your bolt carrier group, which means anything will cause it to not go in battery. And sometimes using the bolt release is not the best option because of the issue mentioned above. The rifle won’t go into battery when dirty. So the answer is to use the charging handle when reloading. But in a prone position using you support hand can cause a short stroke and rifle won’t go into battery. I found that running a PC or chest rig, when I’m prone, my support hand hits my rig when charging the bolt and causes a short stroke. May be because my arms aren’t long enough, don’t know. But my solution when prone is to load my mag with support hand then charge the rifle using my trigger hand so I get a good full stroke on my charging handle.

                                                                            • #72821
                                                                              Max
                                                                              Keymaster
                                                                            Viewing 36 reply threads
                                                                            • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.