34 thoughts on “Reload time

  1. What is our primary point though? Is it that we don’t need standard cap magazines, or that they are essential to self defense? Seems to me our main point is that what we decide to carry, or to buy, or to sell, in the way of personal arms is none of government’s business because it is an enumerated human right.

  2. Reloading from slide lock isn’t that important. If you can count reasonably well then you can do “just in time” reloading.

    The primary point is that those advocating for magazine restrictions are doing so from a position of ignorance or opposition to legitimate self-defense. Neither of which meet the “standard of review” necessary to restrict a specific enumerated right.

  3. And why should we ever let public policy and our Constitutional Rights be dictated by the acts of a violent madman? That’s a weird perspective on American Exceptionalism that only a Statist could embrace.

  4. I don’t think it is ignorance at all. I think the opposition is just trying to add further restrictions. So what they do is they restrict you to 10, then when the next incident comes along and the 10 rounds wasn’t a problem they say well we need to restrict semi-automatic as there is no sporting purpose. Then when the next incident comes along they come after everyone’s .30-06 deer rifle because it will penetrate soft body armor so there goes the bolt guns or they come after pump shotguns cause that is the fastest thing after semi-auto is gone. Then you have your over under shotguns left and maybe bolt action .22lr. I think they are just playing the long game towards total confiscation, which is why we can’t give any ground at all. It is easier to just say that there are plenty of gun laws now, you can’t outlaw crazy and we will go no ground. There is no “common sense” solution to this problem. Bad things happen to go people, it is sad, but nothing the legislature can fix.

  5. “…I think they are just playing the long game…”

    That’s Progressivism. The Communists want to take it all at once in a violent revolution. The Progressives want to play the long game, taking it in progressive steps. The two are often at odds, hence the rioting in Europe. The possibility of such violence exists here. It’s what they’re hoping for, and if the conservatives won’t cooperate by throwing the first punches, the communists will start it. That’s how they operate. One could make the case that this shooting is of the latter type of violence.

    Top down, bottom up, inside out.

    Our job is to stay calm and work within the system, and Man, how the left hates that. They want SO much for us to get violent that they’ll blame us when it was one of their own. I think the first amendment is as much at risk in this situation as the second. Look for it.

  6. I’d like to see the same video but with two shooters: One who has one magazine with 30 bullets and the other who has 3 magazines each with ten bullets. I would then like to see the two shoot all 30 bullets and compare the time it takes for both of them to do it.

  7. @ubu52:

    WHY? I know that facts are somewhat difficult to accept sometimes, but as far as I know, nobody claims that ARITHMETIC is subjective.

    Joe provides quite clear OBJECTIVE evidence that a single reload takes two seconds or less. He even does it more than once, just to show that the first time was not a fluke. There are MANY people that can achieve those times or better – some can even do it with a revolver.

    Surely nobody is prepared to claim that the answer to the word problem (3 X “time to shoot ten rounds”) + (2 X “time to reload”) depends on the political affiliation of the person running the calculator.

    I’ll give you a hint: Thirty aimed shots takes about four seconds longer with two reloads rather than none. This is not subject to the distortion of politics. In this and any other universe, the answer will ALWAYS be the same.

    If you are unable to estimate how long four seconds actually is, then I’ll give you a second hint: Breathe deeply in, then out – there you go, four seconds.

  8. Those are kinda slow, Joe 😉 BTW, in practicing slide-lock reloads I found that the difference was something like .2 seconds which was the same as the difference between the front mag pouch and the furthest one back.

  9. Sendarius,

    Why? Because visuals are strong. I want to see what 4 seconds looks like in shooting time. Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers would never tell someone to “do the math.” Make the movie!

  10. Sendarius,

    I was going to give essentially the same answer without quite as much sarcasm.

    Although there have been times when ubu52 deserves that much sarcasm this probably wasn’t one of those time. I don’t have a major objection to it in this instance but it did cause me to raise my eyebrow some.

    ubu52,

    I don’t think you are asking quite the right question. The proper question is, “Could the reload time be used by the victims to stop the attack?” The answer is that it takes time for the human brain to respond–for unplanned, unprepared for, action the minimum is about 2 seconds to just make the first hint of moment to execute an action. So in the case of someone being surprised by the start of the shooting it will be at least two seconds before they can take deliberate action (as opposed to a reflexive “duck”, “run”, or some such thing) to stop the shooter. If that action is to “attack the shooter when they stop to reload” they then have to determine when the gun is empty and the reload is in progress all the while they need to stay within two seconds travel time (actually less, I’ll get into that later) of the shooter and not get shot in the process.

    The recognition of a reload in progress is going to take time even for an experienced shooter. The time to recognize it and begin to act is going to be on the order of 0.1 seconds under the best of circumstances–that is when the shooter runs out of ammo with the gun visible to the “hero” of our story. In the video the time from last shot with one magazine to the first shot of a fresh magazine is right at 2.0 seconds. But that first shot with the fresh magazine is on a target 15 feet away. If the shooter sees the “hero” approaching the can point the gun at the “hero”, or retreat, as he approaches and can even fire the last round in the gun before the fresh magazine is seated. Even if the gun was run completely dry and the fresh magazine is required to fire the next shot the time to have the run ready to fire at a victim only a few inches to a few feet away is significantly less than the 2 seconds in the video. It’s closer to 1.0 seconds.

    So if the “hero” is thinking clearly and comes up with a workable plan to stay safe until the shooting pauses, then recognizes the shooting has paused, they have something on the order of 0.9 seconds, at BEST, to travel the distance from relatively “safe” position to the shooter, who may be moving behind obstacles or simply increasing the distance, and either incapacitate them or neutralize the gun in some way.

    0.9 seconds to accomplish that is “optimistic”. More realistic is the hero will arrive at the shooter about 0.5 seconds too late.

    A far, far, better solution is for the “hero” to have their own gun, draw, and fire upon the shooter. This takes on the order of about 1.5 to 2.0 seconds and can even be taken as the “hero” is retreating to a safer position or simply retreating to make the shot harder for the perpetrator.

  11. Joe,

    Without really aiming at a small spot, how fast can someone shoot 30 bullets in a magazine? How fast can you pull the trigger?

    I’d like to see one person doing that, and another person doing the same thing but reloading after every 10 bullets.

    I’m not really thinking about this the way you are — I’d just really like to see the visual of it. I’d just like to see how much extra time the person reloading takes over the person who doesn’t have to reload. To say “4 seconds” just doesn’t cut it. (What else takes 4 seconds? Can the phone ring four times in 4 seconds? Can I fill a cup of water in 4 seconds? Can you flush the toilet in 4 seconds? Can you roll a car in 4 seconds? You see what I’m getting at?)

  12. Speaking of which, have you seen David Brin’s disgusting attack on gun owners? Somebody needs to organize a boycott of this faux libertarian extreme leftist Stalinist creep.

  13. Joe,

    Keep in mind, I don’t know nuthin’ about guns but I found this on the internet here: http://www.remtek.com/arms/glock/model/45/30/index.htm

    “After a little warm-up all of the shooters could fire with split times between shots of less than 0.20 of a second. That speed will deliver six shots in one second and that’s more than satisfactory in my book. My pal Richard Daniel, who’s fast and accomplished with the Glock short trigger reset, was able to get split times down to 0.14 second. That corresponds to a rate of fire of eight rounds a second!”

    So, based on this, one second is six shots and two seconds would be 12 shots and 4 seconds would be 24 shots. Right? (Of course, this is internet “information” so it’s probably incorrect.)

  14. Ubu52,

    That is about right if you are putting all your bullets into the same large and/or close target.

    Given those conditions I don’t see where you are going with this.

  15. ubu52,

    If you’re local to the Washington DC area, I’ll happily arrange a demonstration of what is possible in four seconds. When I shooting weekly I used to practice rapid reloads. I’d draw from the holster, fire 8 rounds, drop the magazine while I came to one knee while my free hand was pulling a second magazine free from my belt holder, insert, release the slide and put the pistol back on target.

    Done regular, I routinely performed all of this in 4-5 seconds. This isn’t the careful fire that Joe is demonstrating to prove a point but done more from a combat perspective. Magazine is falling free rather than pocketing it. Not using the sights but doing instinctive point shooting. My 8 rounds would all be in the 8 inch circle at 21 feet and the second set would be on the way in similar fashion from a kneeling position.

    2.5 seconds to fire the rounds and another 2.5 seconds to drop, reload and reset, pistol up on target. When you’re firing 500-1000 rounds per week for 6 months, this quickly becomes muscle memory and reflexive.

    That’s from a factory Sig P220 in .45ACP.

  16. If those numbers are correct, it would be an interesting video.

    It would take roughly 5 seconds to shoot 30 bullets in one magazine (or as little as four seconds if you’re the guy who can get off 8 shots per second). The other shooter would shoot for a second or two then have to do a two-second reload — and by the time he is on his second magazine, the other guy is already done.

    Seeing it visually gives people perspective.

  17. ubu52,

    And what could be accomplished with shooting all the bullets at same large and/or close target? It’s a meaningless demonstration. Reality, in the context of the Tucson shooting, is many moving targets. And unless you have someone defending the victims with a gun the difference of needing to take time to reload is insignificant in terms of the number of victims.

  18. The shooter could also have bought three 9 shot 22LR revolvers and then do N.Y. reloads. The 22LR is what killed Jack and Robert Kennedy (my wife happened to be at Robert Kennedy’s assassination). But all of this is silly gun talk.

    I do feel terrible for the family’s of these victims, having lost my cousin to murder (he was flying coach on Flight 11 on 9/11, his plane was first to hit the WTC) I know how devastating it is to those left behind.

    But let me be clear if you give any gun control group an inch they will take a mile. I live in CA and on February 1, 2011 I will have to be finger printed and show ID etc just to buy Ammo. That little road block means that I am not allowed to purchase any online Ammo. Where I live ammo is sold at about double the online price. Really just as a convenience to shooters. Walmart does not sell any ammo here in the Bay Area.

    The only rational reason for the above law, that I can figure is that the anti gun people just hate the gun culture. They want to put the sport out of business. So going to the range will only be for the wealthy.

    The right to bear arms is just that, a right. If some crazy person attacked women for voting, would we then hear this outcry that women should just stay at home and not vote. NO because it is their right.

    Sorry if I ranted a bit. But its hard to be a small time gun nut if you live in CA.

    Thanks Joe for the great demo video.

    M.D.

  19. Joe,

    First, I was just trying to come up with something visual that showed bullets, shooting, reloading and time.

    In retrospect, I realized that the pro-gun crowd will always claim that loading/reloading takes almost no time at all. (I was also reminded of the videos of unloaded open carriers going to shooting mode in two seconds.)

    On the other hand, you said that the numbers I quoted above (from the link) are correct and that means, in two seconds, a gunman can shoot between 12 to 16 bullets with a semi-automatic handgun. If this is the case, two seconds is a lot of time. In two seconds, someone can move from an uncovered to a covered position. In two seconds, an unloaded OCer can load. A speedy runner can run almost 20 yards away in two seconds.

    So, what does all this mean? This means it isn’t really dumb to ban magazines that hold over 10 rounds. There are tons of videos from the pro-gun side showing that reloading is never a problem. Maybe some of you should slow down and show how painfully hard it is to reload so that it would seem logical to keep high capacity magazines?

    You can’t have it both ways: It’s easy to reload, it’s too hard to reload.

    This kind of reminds me of the “box” gunnies found themselves in after the judge ruled on Peruta here in California. She basically ruled that UOC is good enough for someone desiring armed self-defense in California. (It’s a “box” because it isn’t really what anyone wanted.)

  20. ubu52,

    Either you have a reading comprehension problem or you don’t want to acknowledge what I have said. I have told you twice now that the speed at which a shooter can pull the trigger is meaningless unless those bullets hit a target. 0.2 split times (which is 5 rounds per second, not 6) are not achievable unless you are only shooting at a single, relatively large, stationary target.

    “A speedy runner” cannot run almost 20 yards away in two seconds in street clothes from a standing start. A 100 yard dash in 10 seconds is tough even with starting blocks, cleated shoes, ideal ground conditions, and wearing loose fitting clothes that only weigh a few ounces. And that is only possible because they are running faster than 10 yards per second at the end of the sprint. And in the shooting scenario they don’t, as I explained earlier, have a full two seconds.

    You have all the data you now need to construct a complete scenario where a reduced capacity magazine makes a significant difference to the premeditated killer and not to a self-defense shooter. So either do that, which I don’t think can be done, or admit that the magazine restriction accomplishes nothing but making self-defense against multiple attackers more difficult.

  21. Limiting the capacity of semi-auto magazines will not change the problem. If the nut-job was across the street on the roof or 2nd story window with a hunting rifle what would you do. You’ld have to make hunting rifles illegal. Now nut-job shows up with a shot gun. Make shot guns illegal. Knife, same thing. Home made bomb, now you have truck loads of things you have to outlaw. Any loss of life is tragic. Humans are imperfect. There will probably always be people with mental problems. The weapon being used is not the problem.

  22. Heck even with a CA-limited ten-round magazine and a “bullet button” I can dump (assuming as Ubu does, no aiming required) ten shots from my AR and reload in the same time a handgunner does it. Reducing capacity does nothing to timing, really – it’s not a bullitus-interruptus kind-of mine’s-bigger-than-yours compensation thing.

  23. It’s a bad debating strategy to get into the argument over magazine capacity with antis. No matter how good you are at reloading, it’s time spent not aiming and shooting. Obviously, if you are trying to hit a lot of targets in a short space of time, a bigger mag is better. The Tuscon shooter was stopped when he tried to reload. If he had a 50 round mag, more people might have died, if he had a 10 round mag fewer might have died.

    I’m with Lyle, it’s not the government’s business to decide on magazine capacity. Gun control has no effect on criminals’ capabilities, it only reduces the capabilities of LACs.

  24. Let’s put it this way:

    Suppose you are trying to perpetrate a mass shooting, and you want to take out as many people as possible before the police snipers arrive and lodge one right between your eyes. You have unlimited ammo, already charged into magazines.

    You have found a suitable crowd of people. You could shoot wildly into the crowd, but some–probably most–of those bullets will miss and you want to be remembered for a huge body count. A more effective way to do this is to take aim and fire at as many individuals within the crowd as possible. It doesn’t do to shoot anyone much more than twice. Also, for the sake of argument, assume everyone is catatonic–i.e. not moving.

    Here’s the thing: there is no need to shoot anyone more than, say, twice. Then you have to draw a bead again, on a different target. This is a matter of shifting your body position, possibly even including your feet, and lining up the sights again prior to pulling the trigger. This takes time, perhaps a second or two, depending on how far you have to shift and how well trained and practiced you are. When you run out of ammo and have to change mags, you do so at the same time as you are shifting your point of aim to a new target. Yes, it will slightly increase target acquisition time by a few tenths of a second–but this is why the effective difference between using large-capacity and standard-capacity magazines is so small as to be negligible.

  25. Of course, add to this implausible scenario the difficulty of taking aim at moving targets, some of whom may be fighting back, and the difference becomes even more slight.

  26. Publius,

    Thanks for spelling it out in such detail. I didn’t want to spend the time doing that. I figured ubu52 would be able to connect the dots on her own but either I was mistaken or she had no desire to arrive at that conclusion. I think she has moved on now. She commented on another post after I pushed on her a little bit with my last comment here.

    Rather than admit defeat it appears she just wants to change the subject.

  27. Admit defeat? I still think my idea provides a better visual.

    I’m not arguing magazine capacity because it’s irrelevant here in California. (See Dirtcrashr’s post.) However, I did read a couple of articles yesterday on gun control and they stated that someone (Senate? Congress?) was planning to bring up a bill to limit magazine capacity. That should be of interest to a lot of you.

  28. I have a bit of experience reloading in a two-way shooting range, back in 2005, Near Baqubah, Iraq.
    1. You have the rest of your life to reload.
    2. It doesn’t matter how much ammo is in the magazine, as long as you have a steady supply to reload.
    3. It only takes roughly six seconds to reload a belt fed medium or heavy machine gun. A pistol or rifle? as fast as you can press a button and insert a new magazine, as slamming the magazine home has the added benefit (on a slide-locked weapon) of riding the slide forward into battery.
    4. It only takes an experienced loader four seconds to load a 120mm round into the breach of an abrahms tank, which involves removing the ordered ammunition from the ready rack, rotating the 80-pound, 39″ round 180 degrees, placing it in the breech, raising the breech, arming the the gun, and giving the command of “UP!” to the Gunner. All this is done in a space not much larger than a hall closet, and while bouncing across country.
    5. In crowds, aim is only important if you are only trying to kill specific people; otherwise, volume of fire takes its own toll.
    6. Making Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, Meth, Alcohol, Speeding, pirated MP3s, foreign campaign contributions, and fireworks illegal has certainly stopped their use–why wouldn’t making magazines with more than 10 round capacity stop their use?

  29. Worst viral video for a first-person shooter video game ever. Everybody KNOWS you reload by pointing your gun off-screen and pulling the trigger. And you don’t carry reloads, you loot them off the zombie corpses.

  30. ubu52,

    A “better visual” of what? What you propose does not relate to the questions at hand. Those questions are, 1) “Can a restriction on the size of firearm magazines increase public safety?” and 2) “If so, then under what circumstances?”

    A bonus question is, “Assuming restrictions on magazine capacity improves public safety what is the optimal restriction to maximize public safety?”

  31. Joe,

    Per my post above “First, I was just trying to come up with something visual that showed bullets, shooting, reloading and time.” That visual.

    As to your Question #1, I think ChuckZ answered that in his #5: “In crowds, aim is only important if you are only trying to kill specific people; otherwise, volume of fire takes its own toll.”

  32. ubu52,

    After 10 rounds from a single shooter the crowd is moving in different directions at relatively high speeds.

    Show us the data which shows 10 round limitations on magazine restrictions improves public safety or else you fail to pass both intermediate and strict scrutiny required to pass constitutional muster for this restriction on a specific enumerated right.

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