Reloading skills can take one of several forms; Skills that develop familiarization with the weapon, Skills that develop tactical awareness, Skills that develop self defense competence and, Skills that develop range competence. Most reloading skills blend two or more of these attributes. As a general rule I try to avoid any reloading skill that is predominately a range competence skill.
A classic example is the traditional reload where the shooter takes a 1/4 step to the rear before he unloads the revolver. The usual rationale for this 1/4 step is to ensure that the revolver’s muzzle remains pointed down range. This is all wonderful on a static range but what does this 1/4 step have to do with self-defense?
Do you want your shooter to take a 1/4 step away from cover during a gun fight? Are there not equally safe range-reloading mechanics that don’t leave “training scares?” How many old style reloading drills required the shooter to catch his empty brass in order to avoid having to police the range at the end of the training?
Even Bill Jordan in his text No Second Place Winner recounted an incident where a long time reloaded had unconsciously stuffed spent brass into his pockets during a gun fight, an unconscious result of catching spent brass rather than training to let it fall to the ground. I have no qualms with any reloading drill as long as it has some passing relevance to a weapon familiarization, tactical awareness or self-defense skill. The following reloading skills are a case in point.