Muzzle direction durring emergency reload

#1
Everything that I've ever been instructed on until now says that during an emergency reload you bring the pistol, rotated in a way that makes reloading natural into your "workspace" or "box" (abouts where you like your phone to be), reload, rotate, send the slide home, and get on with it.

Recently in an instructor class I was told that this is unsafe because it brings the muzzle into the air; pointing upward. Not at anyone, but upward. that this is an unsafe condition and that I need to bring the gun down some, parallel to the deck and point it at the berm.
Ok thought I, I suppose that makes sense. It's a home range, houses are around, maybe up is an unsafe condition in this setting.
I was then told that teaching "my" method is unsafe in any setting because up is never safe. That bringing the firearm down, parallel, and at the berm is industry standard, and is..... The most safe way of instructing.
I would like to say that this instructor has been very good. He hasn't pushed anything (NRA, USCCA etc) or any particular technique. The only reason that this seems to be a sticking point (along with pulling the slide back from the front, which I do almost all the time) is that it can ingrain unsafe habits in students.

The long and short of the question is:
Is he right about those two things, and I've been taught wrong? The last thing that I want to do is teach an unsafe method.

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#3
My totally unprofessional opinion based on what I have been told by instructors I trust, and what works for me.

First, when I do a reload (and I’m talking at the range probably in a training class) I want to move with as much efficiency as possible... to save time. That means staying on/near target as much as possible. That’s a kind of low ready for me, but as close to my chest as I can make it, not extending the weapon. Probably more close to horizontal than down, but well aware of the muzzle direction.

Now, I have also had instructors request that we keep muzzles below the top of the berm due to houses or other concerns within the distance we can send a round.

Further, up may not be safe for a reload if there is physical space above that could be occupied by people, and the barrier could be penetrated by a round. Down may not be safe for the same reason inside a structure, and down in an urban area creates the concern of riccochets. All of this I’ve heard during training from instructors.

I’m definitely curious what people with a lot of practical experience say, and what others with much more training experience say as well. It’s a good discussion.

Barry
 
#4
@Barry B What you posted is a great way to explain it and I should have taken the time to do the same thing.

The 4 firearms safety rules as nerdy as that may sound are your best answer to any situation you may use a firearm. We generally have to violate 2 of them at the same time to have a problem.

Certain ranges may have range specific requirements but the instructor teaching at them should be able to delineate the difference and explain that to their students.

Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction is my number one followed by know you’re target and surroundings.

The muzzle being pointed over the berm is only a problem when an ND happens. And the same goes for muzzle down on a second story residential.
The ND is the problem. And holding a the firearm in an inefficient manner complicating the natural way your body wants to move can contribute to it.
 
#6
So I've been doing a fair amount of thinking on this since it happened. I've come up with several thoughts on the matter:

The "workspace" method seems to be the most efficient/fastest method for me. Giving me the fastest reload.

Having the firearm orientated toward the berm, and necessarily lower/out of your workspace unless you bend is, in this case, safer but also slower; thought not by much.

The lower reload may not be much safer in a practical application than is having the firearm orientated up. If you respond to a shooting at your mall for example, the firearm being level with the deck may cause you to flag someone running around.

If you're in a situation where an emergency reload being a tenth or two faster is going to save your life in a civilian setting, your tactics, or your situational awareness is lacking (I definitely need to take that advice myself) We too often think about closing distance with a target, when we should be (all other moral, safety and tactical considerations permitting) engaging at a longer distance, almost with a counter ambush mindset. That should give us the time to safely perform a tactical reload.

So I guess I'm back where I started, not really sure which option is better. Thought I've now put a lot more thought into the subject.

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#7
These hard statements appear from time to time- and about the most concrete rules anyone can preach are the 4 Basic Safety Rules. Now the big thing that applies to every situation thereafter is.....

“Well, It depends.”

The ability to discern what technique applies to a given situation is what you want in any competent shooter. My advice- dont overthink it, just reload the gun, and move on with business. Do so while applying the 4 Basic Rules, and everyone will be fine.
 
#8
I thought the "can't fail"... gotta over-hand grab the slide all the time cause using a slide stop will "get you killed in da streets" fine motor skill dogma was stupid. The "most safe way" berm-centric square-range protocol for gun handling is even worse.

Vet those instructors, kids!