Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

The Empty “Empty” Reload

You’re engaging the threat, firing accurate rounds with your pistol while moving to create distance and searching for cover. You find cover and slip behind it for protection. The threat is still up. You shoot again and your pistol runs empty. Immediately your support hand drops down to the mag pouch, only to discover it’s empty. You have no more ammo. What next?

Option 1: You hesitate, a wild look of panic in your eyes. The threat sees all this and smiles. This option has a bad outcome.

Option 2: Dump the empty mag, just like you always do, grab a pretend mag, shove it into the pistol and cycle the slide aggressively. The threat saw you run empty and then reload. He hesitates and ducks behind cover. This creates an opportunity for you to tactically retreat, and escape the situation. Or your partner/teammates arrive. Maybe you remember the revolver on your ankle. This action results in a good ending.

“But you’re bluffing,” you say. Yes. Anything, even bluffing, is better than quitting and giving up. But this means you have to have a combative mindset. An attitude that says, “I will win no matter what may happen.” An approach to fighting that will not allow you to stop fighting until winning. Regardless of what the odds are, the weapon you have, or how much it hurts, you never stop.

In feudal Japan there was a warrior monk named Benkei, who was the only one still standing to defend his lord Yoshitsune during an attack. Alone, Benkei charged against the enemy, taking hit after hit from samurai archers. Finally, surrounded by the enemy, his armor full of arrows, he stopped moving. None would approach him. After time his opponents moved close enough to determine that he was dead. He never fell, and even in death his enemy was too scared to attack.

I have a clipping in my collection about a young mother who was attacked in her home by a violent threat, who was covered in blood and looking to escape the law. Two children, both young, were also in the house. She fought him. She grabbed a knife off the counter and cut, then managed to get her two children into a bedroom and lock the door. The attacker started working to get the door open. She opens the window, drops the kids out, and escapes with them just as the law arrives. There are shots fired, and the responding deputy is hit by her car as the threat escapes. In the article she says, “My kids are my life,” adding “I am hellbent we’re going to make it.”

Few of us can devote our lives to the pursuit of the martial arts. We’re lucky to be able to attend a class every once in a while and then practice our skills as much as possible. Yet every one of us can cultivate a combative mindset.

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October 10, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15, Auto Pistol, Defensive Mindset

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