Learn these different shotgun reloading techniques and find yourself in an advantage whether it's a tactical, competition, or an emergency situation.
In this article:
- Reloading Under Fire
- Tactical Reload (Multiple-Round and Single-Round)
- Emergency Single-Hand Reload
- Competition Reloads (Support Hand Double Load and Dominant Hand Single Load)
Shotgun Reloading Techniques | How to Be Quick on the Reload
Reloading Under Fire
Here's a big “no duh” moment for you: A shotgun is powerful stopping device. And when you have time or just a single target, your reload speed probably isn't that important.
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However, if you are under fire and under duress, it can be a complicated weapon to reload without ample practice.
These techniques for loading a shotgun will show you how to keep your shotgun primed and ready without wasting valuable seconds; seconds you might not have if your home is invaded and the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling with shells.
An easy way to vastly increase your chances of survival is to be quick on the reload. And there are many factors at play here: loading with the dominant or weak hand, pulling from multi-round caddies, belt vs. chest rigs, or just shucking shells from an arm sleeve.
The reality is, most shooters use all of these techniques at one time or another, and you need to be well-versed in all of them so you can handle any reload situation. The boys over at Polenar Tactical have a real nice round-up of how to load a shotgun fast that we suggest any smart shotgun owner watch.
Tactical Reload (Multiple-Round and Single-Round)
Tactical or combat reloads are performed in a way the shooter still maintains control over the area and is able to engage threats that occur during reload. You can study the stance, the control, and the speed you need to aspire towards.
You don't need to be in military or law enforcement to recognize how important all of these shotgun tactics are.
Emergency Single-Hand Reload
Emergency one-handed reload is used in a rare situation when one of your hands is injured and you are unable to use it. Ask yourself, could you operate your own shotgun with one hand?
Could you easily stay in the game even if your dominant arm was injured? These are all very real-world considerations for all of us.
You don't want to prepare for the ideal situation, you want to prepare for the worst!
Competition Reloads (Support Hand Double Load and Dominant Hand Single Load)
Competition reloads revolve solely around speed and efficiency of loading, and are obviously practiced in controlled environments. But that speed and practice could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
Clay pigeons don't fight back unless your idiot cousin launches one into your face.
Watch a reload with quickness using the dominate hand with the gun resting on the shoulder. Now reverse it.
The first time we tried this with our left hand we looked about as graceful as a drunk sumo wrestler on a tightrope. Let's keep that between us, shall we?
Check out this video about reloading techniques using a shotgun from Polenar Tactical:
Just imagine how cool it is if the shotgun is your favorite weapon of choice, and you have mastered these reloading techniques. This weapon has great stopping power, but things can be difficult in a gunfight.
You have to learn how to reload even when someone's firing at you. Have fun learning these reload skills!
What do you think of these shotgun reloading techniques? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 18, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.