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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prepping Magazines on the Run

The round count for the Zombie Destruction Run is a high one. It was done on purpose to give folks a chance to shoot more, and to realize that there might be situations where you have to shoot, and hit your target multiple times to insure your target is down and the threat is neutralized.
The crew prepping mags for the run

If you have enough magazines to carry 177 rounds of pistol ammunition and 150 rounds of rifle then you are good to go. If not, you will need to prep magazines on the run. I have done it on a number of occasions and it is not as hard as it seems. I kept a drop bag on my belt with lose ammo for the rifle or pistol I was using and just grabbed a mag, dug out a handful of ammo and started stoking mags as I went. I have done this before when I have run out the door with a shotgun and wanted extra rounds to have available besides the ones in the shotgun tube.

Another shot of the crew prepping mags
 I have practiced doing this with shotgun quite a bit recently as we have run "Fighting Shotgun" courses several times in the last few months. Anytime we have a new course I try to make sure I am running whatever firearm we are teaching on a regular basis in order to stay familiar it and to work out any thing which might occur in the course of using that particular firearm. I will grab the shotgun, grab two handfuls of shells and throw them in my two front pockets and drive quickly down to the range (1/4 mile) hop out and start running targets. Doing combat reloads and shooting and moving until I have expended the rounds in my shotgun and pockets.

I can carry about 25 rounds of 12 gauge in the two front pockets of my jeans without any trouble. I have never liked the carry belts, or the  belt shell holders. The carry belts that hold 25 rounds will get lose and dump your rounds after about six months of storing rounds in them, and if I am not going to store rounds in them, what use are they? The belt carriers have to be threaded on to your belt. There are some lose shell bags made by some manufacturers, or you can rig up one yourself. I have a small black canvas tool bag that I can put over my shoulder and across my body, or, just stuffing them lose in my front pockets.
Having the mag fully inserted

For the run, you might want to consider having a drop bag to hold your empty mags and another bag for carrying lose rounds and just reload the mags right out of the bag. I can put a round in a rifle or pistol mag about every three to five steps, retrieve another round in three steps and put a round in on three to five steps etc. until I have the mag prepped and back into the mag pouch.

You will have about 50 rounds per a rifle station to shoot, with no misses, and about the same for the pistol stations. So having enough mags to run a fifty round course should not be too much of a problem. I keep seven mags for each of my pistols and about 15-30 mags for my rifles. So I have plenty of mags to make the run. If you have buddies who are not coming to the run, ask them to loan you six or seven mags for your rifle or pistol. I am loaning out six of my XD 9 mags to a friend as he is running an XD9 for the event. With my six he has ten mags of sixteen rounds each. 160 rounds, so he will only have to prep two additional mags on the run as long as he stays on target with most of his rounds.

One at a time
And while we are talking about staying on target, I am sure I do not have to tell anyone that hitting what you aim at is the whole point of all this shooting business, right? Much better to have a slower time and all hits, than to have a lot of shooting with a lot of misses and reloads mixed in. In my opinion anyway. I like to see a slower, determined hit much better than a fast machine gun like rattle with hits and misses mixed all up together. It just seems more professional. That being said, having a really fast shooting speed and making all hits is definitely best of all :)

I have carried a bag with both my lose pistol and rifle rounds in the same bag. What I found was that the .45 pistol rounds migrated and stayed on the bottom while the .30 rifle rounds floated on the top. So when I needed to prep a pistol mag, I dug to the bottom and when I needed to prep the rifle, I grabbed off the top. This was my experience, you might have different results. Start working out the way you will prep mags on the run now.
30 New P Mags from Lanbo's Armory

You will have sixty days to work out your method, and since you do not have to carry a rifle, or fire any rounds to figure this out, you can do it while jogging down the street in your neighbor hood if you want. I do not think there are any laws against prepping mags in public yet, though with the recent high profile shootings, you might want to do it as discreetly as possible.

The bottom line is, there might be a day in your future that you will have to prep magazines while on the move, so maybe it is a good idea to learn how to do it while it is a silly Zombie Destruction Run you are attending, and not a real "end of the world" event where failing at it might cost you more than just your undead soul. :)

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