Hypothetical question; if you and I were in a gunfight at mid-range and I had to do a rifle mag change from behind cover and then move behind you with a ‘hot’ gun, would you want my rifle to be on ‘Safe’?
There is only one correct answer. It would be negligent to move in close quarters with another with the rifle on ‘Fire’.
Therefore, when we practice mag changes, whether on a bolt lock or tac reload, we should throw the rifle on ‘Safe’.
This should be a subconscious level driven task. It should be rehearsed in training for the appropriate amount of meaningful repetitions to the point of ‘automaticity’.
When I hear guys say that it is not necessary to throw the weapon on safe during a reload, I am hearing them say “I am fucking lazy.” “I do not want to perform the proper amount of repetitions to ensure that this is an intuitive level task.”
Putting the rifle on ‘Safe’ during a reload, when done right, will not slow you down so it won’t become a disabler. This can only be an enabler.
SGM, US Army (Ret)
Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.
His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.
While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.
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