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Ultimately, the combination of hand size, gun and reload preference is unique to everyone. For shooters with smaller hands, reloading a magazine following some of the more traditional methods may prove to be difficult, especially in high-pressure situations.

Using the weak or non-firing hand to release the magazine is a great solution for those who might not want to change the grip on their strong hand as they execute reloads.

Athena Lee of Team Armscor shows off the method for making fast magazine changes in this short video (1:24).

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  1. I don’t compete, but I use a variation of Ms. Lee’s method. I don’t much like push button releases either; paddles are the way to go. I am also too cheap to have my mags bounce off the firing range bench and fall to the concrete floor frequently.

    So I punch the button with the thumb of my support hand while simultaneously cupping the fingers of my palm-up oriented support hand. The mag drops into the hand.

    Damn she’s fast! Probably not as fast as Jerry M.

  2. I have large hands and have to twist my grip on all but a few pistols.

    Depend on how your thumbs are shaped and the thickness of your palm.

    Good to practice different ways to change mags. But you definitely need to be able to,do ot ome handed as well.

    Lotta difference between game gunning and EDC.

  3. Those of us with larger hands have the same issue with the small “mouse” guns.
    I have to use my support hand to change mags in my LCP, and I would wager it’s about the same for other brands.

  4. Thankfully, due to this year’s Freedom Week back in March, many of us Californians now have 17-rd, 20-rd, 25-rd, and even 33-rd mags for our guns (a big thumbs up for the few diehards who were able to get drums).

    Fewer mag changeouts. My nightstand Glock has a 25-rd competition max to minimize the need to reload in any circumstance I might encounter in my home at 3am.

    Otherwise, as BusyBeef said above – p r a c t i c e

  5. I was taught to drop magazines by using the support hand thumb. The problem is that in the adrenaline dump of a gunfight, blood leaves the extremities, for the body core. Our instructor told us about losing coordination and feeling in his fingers, making a power thumb eject impossible. Support hand thumb works because you jam it straight in, using mostly hand and arm strength, and not finger strength. So, he had us practicing shoot 3-5, support hand thumb eject, reload, rinse and repeat.

  6. This is simply a muscle memory function drop empty mags on a pillow or your mattress, sitting or lying down on your bed. In the dark.
    But here’s the thing. Don’t know what kind of scenarios you all run through your minds, stateside I am not a spray and pray guy. Recon by fire either. Like the old highway safety ads used to say “Slow down and live.” I can’t forsee being attacked by more than nine individual’s and any firefight I can run through me little brain ain’t gonna be no long distance affair. It gonna be close, short, and deadly. I don’t anticipate missing a human sized subject. At least more than once. The flip side of this, since it’s a twoway street, might mean I been shot so I won’t need a mag change, just some dirt on me box. Time is short, better spent practicing putting your weapon into play ACCURATLY.

  7. I’m always in awe of highly trained professionals who make these drills look so easy! I can’t imagine how many hours of practice it takes to attain Ms. Lee’s level of skill.
    As a left handed shooter, I’ve had to modify or “invent” techniques for magazine changes, malfunction clearance, revolver reloading, etc. My most vexing problem is that the traditional magazine release button often interferes with my finger placement on the trigger. I would love to find a pistol that fits my (small) hand and has either a paddle release or a reversible button. Unfortunately, I’ve never found a Walther PPS to see if it fits my hand. Currently, I manage with a Kahr P9 with a “flattened” magazine release button.

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