How to Reload Semi-Auto Pistols Rapidly & Safely

In this episode of Smith & Wesson's GUNSMARTS, pro shooter Julie Golob teaches the secrets to a safe rapid reload.

posted on October 5, 2021

Have you ever watched a pro shooter like Team Smith & Wesson's Julie Golob swap out her magazines on the fly and thought to yourself, "If only I could do that"? The fact of the matter is that you can! Although Golob is a world-class shooter with a roomful of trophies who can reload almost quickly enough to fool the eye ... she was a beginner once herself. 

Changing the magazine on your semi-automatic pistol from empty to full is sometimes called "swapping mags" or "reloading." (Don't confuse that use of "reloading" with the practice of handloading your own ammunition ... they're very different.) It's an extremely useful skill even if you are not a competitive shooter; self-defenders are often called upon to change magazines that are low or out of ammo. What's more, it's a useful skill that you can perform safely and quickly.

This episode of S&W's GUNSMARTS series has some terrific common-sense advice that both new shooters and women with some experience under their gunbelts can use. The secret, as Golob explains, is to break down the motion into a series of efficient and easily repeatable steps. Over time, you can build muscle memory such that these efficient steps blur into one smooth, safe reload. 

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