AR15 Magazine Change Techniques and Drills

AR15 Platform Magazine Change Techniques and Strategies 

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Learning the fundamentals of shooting your AR for home defense is just as important as choosing to take the fate of your life and those of your loved ones into your own hands. In the case of running out of rounds, a spare magazine (or four) and time is imperative. It's necessary not only to learn how to effectively change out your empty magazine with a new one, but also build up the gross motor skills needed to do quickly. These are some of the techniques you can train to equip yourself with for a magazine reload on any AR platform. 


  • Quick and Dirty: Drop the magazine, maintain the straight orientation of the firearm at your shoulder, let it drop to the ground without hesitation and bring up a new magazine straight into the magwell. 

Pro: Quicker/ time effective  Con: Magazine alignment not always the easiest 

  • Angled Quick and Dirty: Drop the empty magazine straight to the ground by pressing the magazine catch, angle the firearm to the side you're bringing up the new magazine, look down to visually see where the new magazine and the angle of the magwell align, click in and get back on target. 

Pro: Maximizes smooth alignment 

  • V-Shape Mag Change: After the mag runs empty, grab your new magazine and bring it parallel to the one still seated in the magwell. Separate the two with your index finger, take out the empty mag, seat the new mag and disperse of the old mag. 

Pro: Ensures smooth reload, keeps your mag in your possession  Con: Time sensitive 

  • L-Shaped: When the mag runs empty, grab the new mag, cup the bottom of the two mags to be shaped in an L, release the old mag, turn the orientation of the L-shaped magazine coupled together, bring the new mag in, disperse of the old mag. 

Pro: Ensures smooth reload, keeps your mag in your possession  Con: Time sensitive 

  • Flicker: After running empty, angle the firearm to your right side, push the gun down hard to the left causing the magazine to drop, at the same time grab your new magazine and insert into magwell. 

Pro: Time effective        Con: Doesn't guarantee a mag drop 

Find three strategies that work best and practice, practice. ALWAYS have the safety selector switch on until in firing position and put back on when done firing. Selector switch should only be moving when in firing position. ALWAYS assume a firearm is loaded. ALWAYS have your finger OFF the trigger until you're ready to fire. ALWAYS have your firearm pointed in a safe direction.  



-Load 1-4 rounds into each mag. 

-Have spare mag in your pouch, chest rig, back pocket or table

-Fire off all rounds in one mag

-Reinsert new magazine based ontechnique of your choice

FREE TARGET: B29 Shooting Target (Red Center) - Adapted by Targets4Free