So, you are in a fast and furious gun fight. How important is one round? Put another way, is it permissible to eject a live round as part of a technique or procedure?
Before we get to that, let’s address a common theory. That theory is you will become a bumbling idiot once the fecal matter hits the oscillator. No doubt there is some truth to this theory, but the real question is are you one of those folks who throws around their pooh? Hard question to answer, but here is something that will change the way you think about that question. How hard do you train, not necessarily what you train, but how hard do you train.
We are all a by product of our training so be careful how you interpret that comment. And while I believe that nobody will rise to the occasion they will instead default to their level of training, that training can be good or bad. As my good friend Tony Blauer puts it, “be careful what you practice, you can get good at practicing the wrong thing.” So very true.
In our classes we have run into some issues where upon inserting the magazine during an empty gun reload where the slide is locked to the rear it is possible the forceful insertion of the magazine can release the slide. I have seen this happen countless times and the problem with this situation is how some will interpret this as a good thing. Well, maybe. Maybe it is if it is something that can be reliable, but maybe it is not because I have yet to see it performed consistently when variables are introduced.
That’s the problem, as soon as variables are introduced things don’t always go as planned. It is one thing to develop a technique on the range, it is a whole other ballgame to see that same technique work in the real world. I can almost predict the movements when said technique will not work, move into a shooting position, or perform the technique while on the move and here is a freaky one, working the drill at night. I have yet to figure it out, but that seems to be an area where consistency is sorely lacking.
Our guidelines is if you did not physically cycle the slide, then it is a good idea to do so. Often times the shooter ejects a live round, but here is the kicker…not always. So, you can debate the merits of our guidelines all you want, but it rests on a simple premise. You personally did not run the slide. Other than that we don’t mess with it, but I have seen occasionally when a student is performing a tactical reload where they will run the slide and eject a live round. I will sometimes ask if they were aware and a lot of times they are not, the muscle memory is so parallel it literally kicks in. Maybe not a bad thing, but what if you purposefully perform said slide running as a default technique.
That is where I think some folks can go too far, but then again…it’s just one round.