Auto-Forwarding, do you practice it?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by indyfan, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. indyfan

    indyfan New Member

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    I didn't find out about Auto-Forwarding until I purchased an M&P handgun a couple weeks ago. I had no idea what it was at the time and I just assumed it was a malfunction. My Glock never did this, nor did my Beretta M92.

    If you don't know what Auto-Forwarding is, it's when you slam in a new magazine into your handgun and the slide stop drops by itself and slide moves forward, loading a new cartridge into the chamber.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4uyFOZY3bg]YouTube - ‪S&W M&P45 Slide Drop Debate‬‏[/ame]


    I personally called Smith and Wesson customer service and I was told that this is intentional and it is used for "Tactical Reloading". I talked to my friends and they agreed, they told me that their guns do it as well.


    So do you practice this Auto-Forward technique when reloading your handguns?
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    My definition of a "Tactical Reload" is one where I don't shoot the weapon dry.

    Shooting the weapon dry and locking the slide back means you are out of ammo. In a combat situation, where a "Tactical Reload" would be necessary, it would be prudent NOT to have an empty weapon in my personal opinion and those that I have taken some training from.

    In the video I noticed that when the XD on demonstration was banged on the back of the slide, it dropped off lockback. Not ideal in my opinion and to have a feature built in to automatically drop on a loaded mag isn't really a feature I would embrace for my own personal carry weapon.

    I saw that if inserted without duress that the weapon remained locked back, but if slammed home it automatically dropped the slide. I can see how that would be beneficial to some lines of thinking. However I would honestly like to look at the specs of how much pressure it takes to automatically drop the slide.

    Over-exuberance of a new shooter could easily lead to a hot weapon pointed in the wrong direction.

    It's an interesting concept, but not one that I would personally put forth or choose for myself.

    As a direct answer to your question, it would be no. I don't practice it, because none of my weapons automatically drop on a loaded mag on their own. If they did, I would create a workaround for that feature or dump the weapon altogether.

    JD
     

  3. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    I like this feature on my M&P. It took minimal training to determine how much force to apply when inserting the mag - weather I was doing slow reloads or was doing 'tactical reloads'. The force required is very deliberate. In fact in the first couple of months I owned my M&P when they first came out, I was unaware of this feature until I was doing drills - thought it was a malfunction and contacted S&W about it.

    In my opinion, every bullet counts and I'm friggin out of my mind if I'm going to count how many shots I've taken in a high stress self defense shooting situation - I'd end up dropping a mag with three perfectly good rounds in it :rolleyes:. This feature takes one more movement out of a reload which can be very precious.
     
  4. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    I prefer consistency. The one time you expect your pistol to do that, and it doesn't, is the one time you will left standing there confused.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    You'd be surprised how much clarity takes over when you are concentrating on what you are doing.

    In some of the training at Valhalla where we were doing escort and protect drills I went through several mags dropping with only one round or on the magic number as we made our way through different rooms with unknown "adversaries".

    There were also times when I dropped two or three rounds, but a full mag before I went through the next door made a difference on what I found on the other side.

    If the feature works for you, that's great. Use it!

    For me personally I will stick with the Riddle of Steel and a positive release on a locked slide. ;)

    JD
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    My opinion its a major design flaw gunmakers are attempting to call a "feature" in order not to have recalls.
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    If my 1911 did that, I would disqualify myself from the competition.

    I should control the slide.
     
  8. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    With all due respect JD, you are absolutely correct about the undesirability of shooting a gun dry BUT sometimes you HAVE to. Please know that I'm not trying to be contentious, just relating what I have been lucky to learn from folks that are on the cutting edge of modern combat training (guys that are writing the new manuals). This is not from a shooting school, this is from active duty personel that are ventilating bad guys as we speak. Please know that I'm not putting down your training in any way shape or form. Valhala was a fine training center.

    Moder training is shifting away from the term "Tactical Reloads" swiftly which is fine by me, I HATE that term. The terms most commonly used now are "reload" and "magazine exchange" which is kind of nice since they address the situations and nessesary actions in plain English.

    In the scenario that you described where you clear one room and you have a natural pause with a lower threat level it is indeed wise to exchange mags so you go into the next scenario with a topped off gun. The same if you actually shoot a bad guy and the threat is basically over. You would scan the area and if no other perceived threat is there you then swap the mag for a full one so again you have a fully loaded gun at your disposal.

    But in a scenario wher multiple threats are coming at you (just one example)and the shooting is fast and furious it is faster to reload a dry gun than to stop to do a magazine swap. It is not good for your health to stop shooting to exchange mags when you can just reload on the run. So in summary, if there is still shooting to get done, you shoot to dry and reload. If there is a pause in the action, specially when cover is available it is wise to swap mags.

    Now on the subject of "auto forwarding" my HK P2000 and P2000SK both do that and I was surprised the first time it happened a few years back. Then I spent some time with them training and was informed that it is on purpose (hummmm). Never knew there was a name for it. The jury is still out on whether it is a design feature or an inevitable manufacturing defect. The problem is that if you make a slide locking mechanism that is strong enough to hang on to a slide while a double stack mag full with heavy ammo is driven home with authority you also will have a slide lock that is hell to disengage with just your thumb.

    Now I'm sure some folks will say that if you reload a gun correctly you will NOT be using the slide locking mechanism to release the slide. Well folks you'll be happy to know that even within the elites there is a division of opinion on that subject but that is not for this thread.

    I just got off the phone discussing this very subject with someone who trains some very cool folks that use the H&K USP as their standard sidearm which has the same tendency to slam the slide home when you smack a mag into the well. He actually discourages this for a different reason. His research has shown that if you are slamming the mag that forcefully home then you are not doing it in a smooth fashion which means you are loosing time on the reload. He would rather make the motion of inserting a mag smoother and then sweep the same hand over the slide and bring it home. If done correctly and smoothly the slide will NOT unlock when you push the mag home. But by the way other folks that I also respect a LOT have learned to live with the "feature" and have decided to use it in their training with great success.

    Hey as long as you can get the shots out to the targets fast and accurate does it really matter how you get it done :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    See, invariably someone uses that phrase and then contradicts it. :p


    There are a LOT of opinions out there and there are a LOT of people out there that have spent time in real shooting situations. A lot of them are opening schools based on their "experiences". Some are good schools, but be careful you don't get the guy who got half his team killed in an ambush in the sandbox, then opened a school based on his "experience" where he featured having students stand downrange during live fire exercises.

    Rob Pincus and his crew at Valhalla were absolutely great trainers and safety was number one. Rob is a member here and currently heads I.C.E. (another quality training outfit). I have also spent time with the types of folks you describe and there is always a difference of opinion on the topic because no two ways of approaching a shooting situation will be the same.

    Okay.....

    :confused:

    1) How many civilians do you know that have been in MULTIPLE threat shooting situations with a pistol? For that matter, how many police officers have engaged MULTIPLE threats with a pistol??

    If you are in a multiple threat shooting situation with a pistol, your tactics suck. :p

    2) Gonna have to disagree with you. An empty weapon is an empty weapon. Once you have officially shot it dry, you then have to process that fact and be moving to change the magazine. With the thought of changing magazines during a shooting situation the weapon is still hot and allows you to fire and move.

    As evidenced by the North Hollywood Shootout. The police officer that was caught in the middle of the street, I forget his name, shot his sidearm dry and was changing magazines when he was hit with AP rounds from the gunman. He was the guy who was rescued by the guys who commandeered the armored truck. Now you can say the guy would have ended up getting shot anyways, and you might be right.

    The other side of that coin is that Shooter #2 shot his handgun dry (Beretta 92 just like the police officer), was reloading and got hit with a near fatal round from another police officer about the same time he allegedly reloaded and shot himself under the chin.

    Look, if you find yourself in the middle of a football field with 5 targets to engage, you are probably going to die even if you have 100 rounds at your disposal.

    Okay, that is now two weapons that are offering the "feature" so it leads me to believe this isn't a manufacturing error and someone thought this through. Leads credit to the fact that this may indeed be a forthcoming training type, mindset or "manual of the moment" dictate.

    I don't use the slide release. Used to use it exclusively. Spent some time shooting with some folks who don't use it and why they don't. Their training stuck and I don't use it either now. To each their own.

    Which is what I said above. If it works for you, that is the most important feature the weapon can provide. Does it work for you? Great, use it!
     
  10. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    Thanks for taking my comments in the light they were offered. Healthy discussion on these subjects is nessesary for folks to see different points of view and evaluate/try different things and see what works for them. I agree with your point of the likelyhood of encountering multiple targets but I have been told that if you train to the worst possible the normal will seem like a walk in the park. That has served me well.

    In any case I also mentioned that multiple targets was only ONE scenario that shooting to slide lock applies to. Think of a guy high on the exotic drug of the day, still coming at you while you empty your 1911 into him. At which point do you stop (while you still have ammo in your mag) to do a magazine exchange? But in any case we can just agree to disagree on this one point.

    Your point about choosing "schools" is absolutely right on the money. Any idiot can hang a shooting instructor shingle and get someone to pay for their "services". Even when you pick the right school you still have to deal with the lowest mouth breather in the class slowing things down too. I've been very lucky that my training is (and has been over the years) one on one at the hands of good folks that are the top of their field.

    Anyway thanks for the lively exchange.
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Ah Wambli, I love you brother and good, intelligent, real world discussion has always been what's healthy about FTF.

    Other forums would have members banned over disagreements like these, but that does NOTHING for the forum to grow.

    In the case of shooting someone high on the drug of moment. Combat Focus stresses you shoot until the threat has ended. Period. There is no middle ground or second guessing.

    So I have 8 plus one most of the time I carry. 7+1 when I carry my smaller pistol. That is truthfully not a lot of rounds if I am facing The Terminator. :eek:

    But with good shooting there is opportunity for good movement. There is nothing confining me to a space where I am stuck and SuperHigh The Reality just gets to keep coming forward. :eek:

    Just like chess, you move, I move, you move, I move.

    If an opportunity presents itself to empty my weapon and end the threat, that is the primary response. If I see a moment where I can "hot reload" I am going to take it and I am going to worry about how many rounds I left in the mag I dropped later.

    That was one of the most beneficial things, for me, about my time running through Rob's clever "real world" up in Colorado. The targets were different size and it took a different amount of "impact" to release it from it's cable/harness.

    Some targets took one well placed round, some took 3 or 4, and some where just paper pops ups that would take one "kill" as judged by your trainer/principle.

    If there is one thing that I would encourage everyone it is to train with as many people, safely, as you can. The more exposure you can have, the more experience you gleen, the more you will be able to form "your own system that works for you".
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    ive always thought a tactical reload was reloading during a break in the firing pocketing the semi-empty mag and hoping its actually over and the shooting doesnt start back up...
     
  13. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    See, in reality we have no disagreement then. We were just peeling the apple from different directions. Like you I'll take any chance I have to do a mag exchange. I just wanted to emphasize that shooting to end the threat is the primary concern of the moment

    And I agree that you should train with as many as you can. You never know where you are going to find that nugget of knowledge that will be your next "Wow now I get that! moment. After many years I still get those all the time.
     
  14. indyfan

    indyfan New Member

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    I've figured out how much force it takes to do it, the only question is, is it bad for your gun?

    I can see problems arising from doing this too much.
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i would say more liekly to cause a jam than anything. repeated smaking of plastic bottomed mags can possibly break something inside at the wrong time. and the time it happens is when you REALLLLLLY need that reload.

    my opinion: bad habit; big design flaw
     
  16. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    I don't know if it's a design flaw or intentional, I tried this on my M&P 45 and it takes a lot more effort than one would use even in a stress situation. The concept of reloading is to seat the mag, it doesn't take a lot of effort. I can make it happen on my pistol but it takes a hard strike to the bottom of the mag, not something I would do if I was trying to stay on target while reloading.
     
  17. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I would really like to see Yunus weigh in on this one, as he and I shared some range time today and he has both a Glock and a Taurus PT-1911, but today he shot the Super Taurus, a Sig Sauer P-229, and the Nighthawk AAC.

    Yunus?? You out there??

    JD
     
  18. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    Personally I think the key is consistency. Knowing what your gun will do when you do X is a why the pro's train. I tend to shoot as a recreational shooter and use the slide release to lock the slide forward. If it goes forward when I lock the mag in place it would surprise me and cause me to think WTF just happened. Shooting on a range, no big deal, but in a real life situation your weapon causing you to think twice is HUGE problem.

    I just don't see the advantage over manually racking the slide because you have to make sure you insert the mag with enough force or you end up delaying your reload. I would add the consistent .25 seconds of racking a slide over a potential 2 second thought process of WTF happened if you unintentionally insert the magazine with to little force or at a bad angle and have to manually rack the slide when your not expecting to.

    I know my 1911 doesn't auto forward, I'll have to double check but I don't think my Glock does either, if it does I have not inserted a magazine hard enough to notice and that is something I would notice since it puts a live round in the chamber without my expectation.
     
  19. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I agree. I'm not a major fan of unproven improvements.

    Maybe that's why most of what I shoot are relics...