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Magazine leaving the gun early

August West

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Starting up with seven rounds in the magazines this past match, we saw shooters drop their magazines early,  and we saw shooters who's magazines fell out of the gun when it was racked for the first shot (magazine release failed to latch when magazine was initially inserted).  We got our money's worth in entertainment, if not shooting enjoyment, that's for sure.


How do the rules affect recovery from these two situations?


Since this hasn't happened in a while at any match I've attended, I'm fuzzy on how to handle the situation.  My recollection is that the rules apply to 'Reloads' and, that, inserting, or re-inserting the original (starting) magazine does not constitute a 'reload'.  Therefore, the pistol does not have to be at slide lock for the reinsertion.  In other words, this situation is handled -- on the clock -- in the same way a pistol that was not charged before coming to the firing line would be: by shoving the magazine into it and carrying on.


But, I'd like to get a refresh on that understanding.


Thanks for clarifying!

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As one who has done this many times, here is my call as the rules stand today. The only time you can insert a loaded magazine in a pistol with the slide down is when the slide fails to go to slide lock on an empty mag.  I.E. a slide lock failure.  All others you must lock the slide back first. If the shooter catches it before it leaves the mag well and pushes it home it is a no call.


The only exception would be if the pistol is shot first, the shooter racks the slide and the mag falls out. At that time the clock hasn't started and the shooter simply starts over.  If you are on the clock, lock the slide back before inserting a magazine.



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With 7 rounds in the mag, it will now take a more SOLID slap on the bottom of mag to seat the mag, compared to 5-round mag loads.  Because the mag spring will be under more compression (as well as the loaded mag being heavier). 


I predict we will see more palm bites as an unintended consequence, until folks "shape up" their 7-round reloading skills.


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