Drills: Reloads, Coupled Mags and PMAG 17 GL9 Mags

Some days you’re on, some days you’re off.  This past Monday, July 2, felt like an off day.

After my daughter had a catastrophic allergic flare up, I bailed on the Canada Day Monday Action Shooting League 3-Gun event.

My wife wanted me home in the afternoon to cook and care for the kids.

We were able to rastle up help in the morning, giving me a quick window to hit up The Shooting Edge to shoot some drills.

Over the previous week, I had drafted up 30 sets for all 3-guns to work the basics.

I only recently coalated my previous 5 months of drill data into a single spreadsheet and noticed an interesting trend I wanted to verify.

It’s a work in progress, but check it out here.

These are all my findings from this weeks drill session:

Pistol: Coupled Magazines Are Awesome, PMAG 17 GL9 Mags Not So Much

With my past handgun 1R1 drills, my top scores were with reverse coupled, Magwedge couplers.  Out of 31 drills prior, 8 of my best 10 sets (5 reps per set, 1 reload per rep) were with the MagWedge coupled mags.

My top score was from April16 was a standard belt reload, with a total of 14.15 seconds, average time of 2.83 seconds, min/max of 2.47/3.32 seconds.  96% points scored with 9A1C, and a hit factor of 3.392.

I beat that record twice this last range session.

My new second best set was with a total of 14.73 seconds, average 2.95 seconds, min/max 2.66/3.40 seconds.  100% scored with 10A and a Hit Factor of 3.394.

My best set was with a total of 13.53, seconds, average 2.71 seconds, min/max of 2.55/2.87 seconds.  96% points scored with 9A1C and a Hit Factor of 3.548.

Here was my best set or 1R1 coupled mag reloads (5 reps, followed by 5 reps of belt reloads): https://youtu.be/08qzRlJyLmg?t=7m49s

Now with 48 sets of pistol reload drills, 14 of my top 20 were with Magwedge couplers.

It makes sense why this is the case.  It is a huge motion to take the support hand down to the 10 O’clock position, retreive a mag, and return it to the magwell.  It involves a lot of hand-eye coordination to get it right, and there is more room for error, which would throw off sight alignment, sight picture, and situational awareness.

Conversely, a coupled pistol mag change sees much less movement of the support hand, which reduces time to perform the action, less movement of the strong hand and, with minimal practice, can be done consistantly.

Going by the data, it’s clear that these devices give an edge in both speed and accuracy.  Even though this past session felt like an off-day, I was still able to outperform my previous 8 sessions.

The only mention in the 2018 USPSA Multigun rulebook about coupled magazines is a prohibition against them for PCC.  If such couplers are considered “Speedloading devices,” they are fair game in every division other than PCC.

When I start 3-Gunning again, expect to see me running coupled mags, unless I can seriously step up my game with my standard belt reloads.

One other interesting observation I had was that doing reloads with uncoupled, Magpul mags, I was getting a lot of stoppages.

Initially I thought it may have been because I had not cleaned the gun in about a month, but after a quick cleaning job, it was still having stoppages.

Eventually I figured it out.

The spring tension of a fully loaded, 10 round (stock, not a 17/10) and the angle of the 10th round make it such that when inserted with some force, the slide was being knocked out of battery.  This was causing the stoppages.

See the stoppages here: https://youtu.be/08qzRlJyLmg?t=5m4s

I think this is only a problem with my Fauxland Special configured Glock 19, with a 13lbs. recoil spring.  With a stronger spring, the gun can’t cycle factory loads but it became clear after this drill session that slide lockup is an issue.

I did not experience this problem with older, worn in factory Glock 10 round mags.

Hopefully those Magpul mags lighten up in time.

Rifle: Coupled Mags are Inconclusive

Paradoxically, my drill data for rifle reloads don’t yield the same results as with pistols, although admittedly, I have less data to go buy (with only 28 sets worth of reloads).

Regardless, the same pattern with pistol’s doesn’t seem to hold true with rifle.  Even after this past range session, where I did 2 sets of coupled mag reloads, only 2 of my best 10 scores were with couple mags.  Neither were from this last range session (although admittedly, I was REALLY off with rifle).

My Hit Factors for my coupled mag reloads were 92.71% and 94.94% of my best coupled mag reloads, but my best was only 87.62% of my best belt reload.

It could be that I have much more practice with belt reloads, it could be the ergonomics of my Modern Varmint don’t make it condusive to doing inverted coupled mag reloads well.  I don’t know.

Regardless, I’ll still collect data in future range sessions to see if my couple mag reloads improve with rifle, but at this rate, I’ll still stick to belt reloads on the clock.

Shotgun: Compensator and MagFed Shotgun Reloads

Last range session, I mounted a collossal compensator.

I wasn’t too impressed with it initially, although thinking about it, I did note that it completely eliminated all muzzle rize.  Instead, the muzzle drifted sharply to the right.

I wasn’t too impressed with this initially, although I’m willing to give it some time.

From a stage planning perspective, I could see that being advantageous, in that given a horizontal array of targets, if I engage the left most target, the right directed recoil could speed up target acquisition.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a baseline of shotgun data to make a solid assessment and have to gauge by gut feel.

Here were my shotgun sets: https://youtu.be/08qzRlJyLmg?t=2m9s

I was pleased that doing 4 sets of reload drills (and one fun mag dump) I experienced zero stoppages.  That’s 60 shells fired across 8 different mags.

With the MKA 1919, and I think the Derya (or other similiarly configured shotguns), one source of reliability issues is barrel and piston nuts coming loose.  After 50-100 shells, these need to be tightened, or else a gap forms between the barrel and receiver, causing feeding or extracting issues.

I’ll have to tighten up mine before the next range session.

One thing this range session highlighted, validating my decision to run a box mag fed shotgun is the importance of keeping the buttstock of both the rifle and shotgun on the shoulder when performing a reload.

A bad habbit I developed somewhere was the tendency to take the buttstock off the shoulder when performing a rifle/shotgun reload.  This is a necessity when performing quadloads (another reason why I hate quad loading), but adds time and loss of situational awareness.

Compared to tube fed shotguns, detachable magfed shotguns may be functionally gimped in Canada due to capacity, but at the very least they reinforce good habbits when reloading rifle.  Have to celebrate the small wins, I suppose.

Next week, if I don’t get back into ASL, I’ll do a comparison of my C8 Franken-rifles and my Modern Varmint.

Here’s the full drill session from start to finish:

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