This method, which is sometimes called the emergency reload, recharges a gun that has been shot until empty with the slide locked back. There are five steps:


STEP 1: When you reach the point at which the slide locks back after the final shot, press the magazine release button. This can be done with the shooting-hand thumb (right-handers) or the trigger finger for southpaws. Simultaneously tilt the magazine well 45 degrees inward to the side that the new magazine will arrive from. If the gun is a drop-free magazine design, let it drop. If not, or if it instead uses a European-style release on the heel of the pistol, the support hand must linger to strip the magazine from the gun.

STEP 2: Once you have the empty magazine clear of the gun, bring the gun arm’s elbow down until it contacts your torso with the gun held just below eye level. This will create a repeatable position that lets you see both the gun and your target.

STEP 3: Grasp the new magazine in the support hand with the bullets facing forward. The pointer finger is placed along the front of the magazine with the tip contacting the bullet, the remaining three fingers along the outside, and the thumb locked onto the inside. With your index finger in this position, guiding the magazine into the pistol will occur more fluidly and easily.

STEP 4: Insert the magazine into the gun and then follow it upward with the heel of the hand to forcefully seat it. This puts the thumb of the support hand into a perfect position to activate the slide release to chamber a round into the breech.

STEP 5: Activate the slide release, roll the support hand back to its shooting grip, rotate the gun to vertical and drive it toward the target. A skilled shooter makes the entire reloading process one fluid movement that can be accomplished in under 3 seconds.