Remember the #1 rule of a gun fight? Kill the enemy. #2 rule is…Don’t get killed killing the enemy. And a good guideline, either fixed position or patrol, is always have a full mag in your weapon. I want to take a minute and talk about removing an empty magazine from your weapon and replacing it with a full magazine…reloading. That gives you a higher degree of ability to kill the enemy before they kill you.

For this conversation I am referring to a “reload” as a magazine swap…empty one in your gun swapped for full one from your mag pouch. While some folks can talk about four kinds of reloads, I have narrowed it down to just two. There are two basic “reloads” in combat; 1) tactical, 2) speed. A tactical reload is slower and generally used where you have cover and time. A speed reload is very fast in a firefight where you have to put rounds down range quickly. So the situation you are in dictates which reload you do…fast or faster.

Tactical Reload

Tactical reloads give you the opportunity to swap a magazine while cover protects you and you have a little more time to get he swap done. This would normally occur when you have others around you to keep rounds going down range. The standard “reloading” yell should be used to make sure that someone is still throwing lead while one or more people reload. Tactical reloading can occur when you are completely empty or partially empty. The idea is to get a full magazine in your weapon and return to the fight.

Speed Reload

Speed reloads give you the opportunity to get ammo back in the gun and rounds headed down range as absolutely quickly a possible. Additionally, the shooter’s eyes never leave the target. Hence, you don’t lose track of the enemy who is trying to kill you. And the mag swap is done completely by muscle memory and feel. If your unit has trained to do so, you implement the standard “reloading” yell to make sure that someone is still throwing lead while you reload. This reload is commonly done only you’re your weapon is empty. Since you have no cover to protect you…your rounds heading down range become your cover. The goal should be…Get your cover headed back down range as fast as possible!

Speed reload can get you shooting again in under 3 seconds!

Here is a great example of speed reloading from a professional…

My Gear/Equipment

I normally, almost always, wear tactical gloves while shooting. Also, I use only double magazine pouches (see note below). They have the stretch/snugging material on them to keep a single mag from moving around or dropping out. I use covered mag pouches due to the dirt and sand where I live. I primarily use only Pmags. I only load each mag with 28-rounds (see note below). I place them into my mag pouch with the front mag slightly taller than the rear mag. The lip on the bottom of the Pmag is the guide for keeping the front mag taller. I am right-handed so I reload with my left hand manipulating magazines. Since I wanted to use a consistent system I use my mags from left to right on my vest. I also use the front mag first.

When my mag is empty I either drop it to the ground (for speed reloading) or I place the mag in my drop pouch (for tactical reloading). I’ve been known to occasionally shove an empty in my back pocket or the lower left knee level cargo pocket on my pants. Speed and convenience requirements determines if I break my routine. I try not to break my routine.

Drop Pouch

Now for the question of “drop pouch” usage. There is a case for both using a drop pouch and not. The US military uses drop pouches. Not that they can’t afford to buy more magazines, it’s just a good idea for individual soldiers to maintain their own supply of magazines without depending on resupply. This is especially true while engaging the enemy and a resupply would put others at unwarranted risk. The case against using a drop pouch is fairly simple…no time to put your mag in the pouch. This means you have to get more rounds on target faster. Taking the time to place a mag in the drop pouch would eat up a second or two…that’s 3 – 10 rounds not heading at the enemy. This means that using a drop pouch during a speed reload shouldn’t happen…it just takes too much time.

As a prepper after the SHTF you really want to maintain your supply of magazines if at all possible! Otherwise…where are you going to go buy replacements.

No Drop Pouch – Mag Pouch Only

Now, there is a line of thought against using a drop pouch at all. It calls for you to put your empty magazine back into the mag pouch that it came out of. I think that is a sure way to die, or at least give the enemy an upper hand, when it is totally uncalled for. Think about it…if your life is on the line, you have no cover (other than your own rounds), do you really want to take the time to put a mag back into your vest pouch? Notice I haven’t even touched on whether it is even possible to do or not.

Let’s think this through…You have three double magazine pouches on the front of your vest and you have one mag in the gun. Time for a reload!

You pull the new mag out of your vest pouch, you grab the empty pouch that is in the gun with the same hand you are holding the new mag, you press the mag release, you remove the mag from the gun, and manipulate the new mag into the gun, place the empty mag in the mag pouch, hit your bolt release, and continue the fight. Does that sound like something you want to do?

OK, try this…

While your left hand is retrieving your new mag, (your right hand index finger is already indexed and the mag release is at your finger tip) you push the mag release button with your right index finger while giving the gun a counter-clockwise flick, you place the new mag in the gun, hit your bolt release, and continue the fight. It is all one seamless motion.

That’s right…you got the empty mag out of the gun while you were retrieving the full mag. You also have full control of your full mag since it is the only mag in your hand. And you are not fumbling around trying to put an empty mag back into your vest pouch.

I know the second method (drop the mag) can be done in about 2 – 3 seconds. What about the first method? I can’t even imagine how much longer it would take. My guess…”a lot, too much!”

So now here is a monkey wrench in that whole thing…I don’t know many folks who don’t wear tactical gloves. Using the “return empty mag to mag pouch” method with the empty mag in your hand, can you find the empty mag pouch with your glove covered fingers? What if you can’t? Do you have to look down to see where the empty mag pouch is? Now…as you looked down you just lost track of the guy(s) that were shooting at you.

OK, try this…Using the “return empty mag to mag pouch” method you are prone, you pull out the new mag, and now you are trying to put an empty mag back into a pouch while lying on the pouch. How’s that going to work for you?

And here is the worst scenario using the “return empty mag to mag pouch” method …You are doing a reload and you reach to your mag pouches on your vest, you grab a mag that you are going to place into your gun…and the mag is empty!!!  That is the fatal flaw with that methodology…knowing for sure which mag has ammo in it and which do not. Don’t fall into those traps. Only use systems/processes that make sense and actually work in the field under extreme stress.

Now, in all fairness the guy that I watch demonstrate this particular reload methodology (all empty/full mags in mag pouches on the vest) sells a product that keeps a mag pouch mouth open. I’ve never used the device he is selling so I can’t comment on how effective it is. But, I can tell you that only using single mag pouches is NOT a good idea in my opinion. And even with his product that he is selling…this methodology is still a very poor idea…at best.

So please, stick with what has proven over and over again to work…use double mag pouches, use a drop pouch to place your discarded mags in, unless you are doing a speed reload. Stick with what the gunfighters do…anything else is a recipe for disaster!

Here is another great example of speed reloading from someone who knows what they are talking about…

Restocking your magazines from your drop pouch

So now…what about those partially empty mags in your drop pouch? Dah…get them back into the action!

I learned to handle those drop pouch magazines. It is a simple process. When you have the time, it is safe, and your buddies are aware of what you are doing, do the following:

  1. Move your full mags to the left most mag pouches.
  2. Retrieve your partially full mags from the drop pouch one at a time pulling the heaviest out first.
  3. Place the mag in the left most empty pouch.
  4. Repeat until all the mags in your drop pouch that have ammo in them are now in your mag pouches on your vest.

There is an alternative to the above process…the “lunch.” I call it that because it does take some more time and you need to be in a safe location to do it (i.e. safe enough to be eating your lunch):

  1. Move your full mags to the left most mag pouches.
  2. Retrieve a partially full mag from your drop pouch. Make sure it is usable.
  3. Retrieve another partially full mag from your drop pouch.
  4. Whichever has the least amount of ammo in it, remove the rounds and place those rounds into the mag with the most rounds in it (the other one that you retrieved from the drop pouch).
  5. Continue to do so until you have topped off a mag (28-rounds, see note below).
  6. Place the topped-off magazine in the left most empty mag pouch on your vest.
  7. Repeat until all mags in your drop pouch no longer have rounds in them.
Fixed position magazine usage

I want you to think of something for a minute…

If you have a fixed fighting position that presents itself as being suitable…Does it make sense to have a cache of full magazines there? Think about it for a second…Would it be nice to have more magazines available during a firefight…without having to stop and reload those magazines while rounds are coming at you?

In my opinion…If you are in a suitable fixed fighting position (foxhole, guard house, etc.) there should be a cache of loaded ammo magazines there. They should in a safe, readily available location, in a container that keeps the mags and ammo clean and dry. In a firefight you should try to use those mags first before you start taking them out of your vest pouches.


Example #1: You are in a fixed fighting position in a firefight. You have been using your mags from your vest pouches. You are forced out of your fixed fighting position. How much ammo do you have left on your person?

Answer: Who knows…maybe some, maybe none.

Example #2: You are in a fixed fighting position in a firefight. You have been using the mags from the cache in your fixed fighting position. You are forced out of your fixed fighting position. How much ammo do you have left?

Answer: Your full battle load, on your vest.

You may or may not want to drop magazines while in a fixed fighting position. Remember, it is about the presence of cover and how much time you have to get back into the fight and start shooting. If you need to get rounds down range…drop the mag and get shooting. If you have cover and time…drop the empty mags into a protected, easy to use container.


Take enough ammo into the fight. Running out of ammo is a real downer when the other guy is still shooting at you. Be fast in reloading your weapon. Speed matters, micro-seconds count. Train, train, train…your muscles will learn what to do with enough training. When the stress goes through the roof and it is hard to think…your mind/muscles will remember what they need to do if you have trained enough. That frees your mind up to pay attention to your SA…and good SA helps keep you alive.

I am very serious…practice both the tactical and speed reloading methods. Of course you would do it with dry (unloaded) mags unless you are in a safe location. Practice reloading your magazines from your drop pouch. Let your fingers learn what it feels like. Find flaws in what you are doing while you are training…not while you are fighting for your life.

Your mind is a powerful tool that runs your weapon systems. But your mind will only do what it has been trained to do. Train your mind!

Let me know if you have great ideas you want to share!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Warning! : Don’t let someone sucker you into thinking incorrectly about when to speed reload or not. Speed reloading is done when you have to get back into shooting as quickly as possible. That is when you drop your mag to the ground and not waste time putting it into a pouch of any kind. You might be out in the open or you might be in a fixed fighting position…it doesn’t matter where you are! What is important…and the only important thing…is the presence of cover and the amount of time you have to get back into the fight.

Note #1: I only load my mags to 28 rounds. Why? I don’t want to stress the lips for one. But…WAY more importantly I learned a lesson the hard way during a very stressful training session. I had a mag with 30 rounds in it. I tried to place it into my weapon with the bolt carrier group closed. It wouldn’t seat correctly. It would fall out. I just couldn’t get the top round in the magazine to depress enough to allow the mag to seat correctly. Bummer! Never again, I go with 28 rounds giving magazine plenty of room to depress and seat…and it is easier on the lips as well. Yes, I finally flipped the top round out of the full mag with my thumb and the mag seated and I was back at it.

Note#2: For long term storage of my Pmags that have ammo in them I use the Pmag Impact/Dust Cover Gen M2 MOE. It keeps the top round off the lips relieving the stress. It also keeps dirt, sand, and junk out of the mag. When needed I remove the cover from the mags before going operational. But, should you forget and go into action with the covers on, not to worry…they flick off easily with your thumb as you take them out of the mag pouch.

Note #3: Here are the mag pouches that I like:


Condor M4 single Magazine Pouch




Condor M4 double Magazine Pouch




Condor M4 double Magazine Pouch


I tend to go with the individual single pouches, three on my vest. I think using individual pouches gives  your vest a little more flexibility than a double or triple pouch set-up. But that is only my preference.

Note #4: The magazine drop pouch that I prefer is the Condor roll-up mag drop pouch (MA36-008 : Roll – Up Utility Pouch – MultiCam).

Condor MA36-008 : Roll – Up Utility Pouch


Condor MA36-008 : Roll – Up Utility Pouch


Note #5: In any fixed fighting position you have control of make sure that you maintain a cache of loaded magazines. The mags should be fully functional and loaded with quality ammo. The mags should be stored in such a way that they stay dry and clean and readily accessible. Periodically swap them out with other mags. That way they will allow the springs to relax and you can inspect them for damage…good idea to clean them periodically as well. I would also seriously consider using the Pmag Impact/Dust Cover Gen M2 MOE for cache mags.

Note #6: Should the last two or three rounds in a mag are tracers? Well, I have no opinion of if that is a good idea or not. There is a case to be made either way. If you are in a gunfight and you see tracers headed down range that is a clue to reload vs. waiting for the bolt to lock open. On the other hand…if the bad guy doesn’t know exactly where you are and they see your tracers…well, they now probably know exactly where you are. So it is a personal preference thing. I personally don’t use them that way.




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without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Konus SightPro 7216 Red Dot Optic

Konus SightPro 7216 reviewLet me start off by saying I love my Aimpoint Micro-T1 red dot optic. That thing is one of the best pieces of glass I have ever used. That Aimpoint optic is built like a tank while being light as a feather. I absolutely love it! But this article isn’t about my T1, it is about the Konus Sightpro 7216. But I had to start off the article referencing the Aimpoint. Wihtout owning and loving the Aimpoint I would have never bought the Konus.

Do I have you total confused yet? I hope not. Well, actually, I do…just a little bit.

Bottom line is…I would love to own all first-rate optics, but they are expensive. My Aimpoint Micro-T1runs over $600 and that is without a mount and riser. So, $750+ is easy to have tied up in an Aimpoint. The Konus I bought was under $80.00. The Konus normally run $125 – $135 on the Internet with the quick-detach mount and riser. So I got a

Aimpoint Micro T1

Aimpoint Micro T1

great deal to start off with.

My hope was the Konus would be as good as the Aimpoint. Well, maybe I was hoping it would be “good enough” would be more like it. But before I give away my opinion I need to relate the “mission” of a red dot optic for my use –

Provide clear sight picture for close quarters battle (CQB) carbine in any light conditions in a lightweight and rugged short to medium range optic.

So here are the technical specs on the Konus Sightpro 7216 –

  • 20mm Objective lens
  • 2.5″ Length
  • 6.5 Ounces
  • 3.5 MOA Dot
  • Integral picatinny base
  • Quick release riser mount
  • Matte black finish
  • Adjustable brightness(off plus 11 brightness settings)
  • Tube Style
  • 1X Magnification
  • Aluminum Housing
  • CR2032 Battery
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Now let me make this really simple…the Konus is no Aimpoint. Come on…you already knew that was coming. The price alone would tell you that. The Konus is at least 1/5th – 1/9th the price of an Aimpoint. You already knew that a $80 optic isn’t going to equal a $750 optic (with base and riser). That is a no brainer for sure. But, that being said I like the Konus. I think it is a very viable entry level red dot optic. It is lightweight, rugged, and the glass is pretty good all things considered.

KonusSightPro7216-002No, it doesn’t have multiple nigh vision settings but do you honestly have night vision to shoot it with? And no, I wouldn’t submerge it like you can an Aimpoint. But, are you really going to go all SEAL on me in the field?

There is no positive stop on the brightness knob. There are markings; “0” for off and 1 – 11 for the brightness settings. But, the knob will just keep going right past the “off” setting. Not really a big deal, just look at the knob and set it to “0” when you want it off.

The windage and elevation knobs were clearly marked and worked like you would expect them to. The protective caps actually had a very decent quality feel to them. They snugged up nicely to a rubber “O” ring at the base of the threads ensuring that water and dirt would not enter the optic. But, like any “O” ring, they will eventually need replacing…so buy extras.

The protective rubber lens covers looked and felt exactly like the Aimpoint counterpart. But, rubber is rubber. The quick-release lever was not fun at first. The little locking lever on the release lever that actually unlocks the release lever to function is small for my big fingers. It was also really tight at first, making unlocking it a bit of a pain. But, I would rather be a little difficult to unlock than sloppy. The first time I installed it on a rail I had a heck of a time getting it to release to take it back off. Oooooppppsssss…my bad! The locking lever isn’t made to “depress,” it is made to “slide” back away from the pin and then the quick release level moves without any problem. That little tidbit of information isn’t in the instructions.

Konus Sight Pro 7216 When I got it on the rail it was a really sloppy fit. But, using the quick-release adjustment screw on one side, and pushing the on the locking lever, I was able to adjust it to the proper fit. I locked it in place on the rail and it was a solid tight fit.

adjusting Konus Sight Pro 7216Sighting it in is just like any other red dot optic, windage and elevation. At 100 yards each “click” moves the dot 1/2″. The adjustment screws are clearly marked and easy to work with. The adjustment screws have a high-quality feel to them as they turn, and they have a distinctive “click” as you pass each 1/2″ adjustment.

The red dot itself is crisp and clear. My eyes are not what they use to be, but I started checking the quality of the dot at the “1” setting, it was nice and dim, but the dot was clearly visible and the edges were not blurry at all. At “5” I started to see the starburst effect around the red dot, but you will get that on any red dot that I have ever tested…including my high dollar Aimpoint. But, it really doesn’t affect the sight picture. When you have to use the high brightness setting you are outside in full sun and the starburst effect is almost invisible.

Here is my one negative…and it is a fairly small one. At the base of the windage and elevation knobs there is a sliver of shinny metal visible, maybe .7mm thick. Why is that an issue? Come on…think about it. I am a nutcase of tactics and life safety. For some weird reason I imagined a little light reflected off that sliver of metal and giving away your position. Yeah…that is the only negative I came up with. So, my OCD self could easily take a small artist brush and dab a little black paint on it…bingo, no more negatives.

Konus Sight Pro 7216I read the reviews on Amazon and found some problems with some of the reviews so I put my two cents in there. I think the two bad reviews came from people who didn’t know what they were doing. You should see my response in there if you are interested.

Now, I will tell you that I haven’t ran it on my AR-10, a shotgun, or punched hundreds of 5.56 rounds using the optic so I can’t verify that it will hold up to a sustained usage. But, based on everything I have seen about this little beauty, and some range time, I think it will be just fine!

For the money I think it is a great little red dot optic that will do the job for you. So I am giving the Konus Sightpro 7216 conditional “buy” based on –

  1. You can’t afford a $750+ Aimpoint Micro T1 with mount and riser.
  2. You need a compact and lightweight red dot optic
  3. You will be using it for CQB since it only has a 1x magnification. Or you will use a flip-away 3x magnifier if you are going beyond CQB.

Nice little sight, I am glad I have it. I like it and I will use it!


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No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Aimpoint Micro T-1 Red Dot Optic

Aimpoint MicroT1 opticIt just doesn’t get much better than this optic!  The Aimpoint Micro T-1 is an extremely good option for your close quarters battle (QCB) rifle/carbine. You can pick up a target quickly with the large field of view and shoot with both eyes open. This optic is amazing to use in the field.

So let me backtrack now to the “mission” I had defined for anAR-15 optic.

Mission –

Provide clear sight picture for CQB carbine in any light conditions in a lightweight and rugged short to medium range optic.

Requirements & Restrictions:
  • Must be lightweight.
  • Must be military grade.
  • Must be NV compatible.
  • Must be no larger than 2 – 4 MOA dot size.
  • If it uses a battery, battery must be good for at least 1+ years minimum.
  • Fully adjustable dot brightness for use in low-light or bright desert daytime.

I did my research and came up with the Aimpoint Micro T-1 optic in the 2MOA version. The Micro T-1 also comes in a AimpointMicroT1-2AimpointMicroT1-14MOA version. I shopped around and got the best deal I could for two since I had already made my “buy” decision. The day they arrived on my doorstep I was giddy like a little kid at Christmas, and for good reason.

A.R.M.S. #31 Base

A.R.M.S. #31 Base

I had also ordered one A.R.M.S. #31 quick release mount along with a LRP mount so I could try both styles/types.  Since these T-1’s were going on AR-15s with the fixed blade front sight I also ordered two high micro risers/spacers (39mm) to enable co-witnessing.



39mm Riser Spacer

A.R.M.S. Spacer

I assembled the two different optic packages with ease and quickly. Anyone, even a novice, can assemble these packages with not problems in minimal time. Just follow the instructions carefully and don’t get in a rush.

I installed each optic on its respective AR-15 and was very impressed with their “look.” What I am saying is they looked as if they belong on a solid battle platform. Now it was off to the range. But, before going I had taken initial steps to sight them in using a bore sight system.

Once at the range it took me no more than six rounds to “dial-them-in” with no problems of any kind. The windage and elevation is easily adjustable with either the special tool that comes with the sight or the turret caps. I tried a number of different dot light settings and found almost all of them perfectly usable in bright desert conditions. That was two years ago. We’ve have punched about 3,000 rounds through each AR since then and have never had to re-sight the Aimpoint.

And here is a real test of the entire optic package – I took the optic off the weapon and then reattached it. It maintained its “zero” perfectly. I have done that maybe 3 times over the last two years and it has maintained “zero” with no problems and no adjustments.

I am not easy on my weapons, I train with them just as I would fight with them. It has taken some bumps, bruises, and a drop. That optic never even blinked! This thing is rock solid and ready for the field; it can handle anything I can do to it. It is lightening fast picking up targets. I used this carbine and optic in a tactical carbine class a year ago and I was amazed at how easy it was to acquire, track and maintain your target picture. This ultra-compact optic is ultra-rugged as well.

A comment about weight – I custom built two AR’s for my wife and I. I built them as light as possible, and I mean light, super-light. Why? Well, if you have ever had to carry an rifle for any length of time you will come to appreciate “lightweight.” Wearing a full kit and battle load of ammo can be daunting and physically demanding. I wanted two rifles that would be as least taxing on my wife and I as possible. The Micro T-1 weighs just 3ounces by itself, under 4ounces with the highrise and quick-release mounting base. Now that is light!!

Suitable for use on:

  • Rifles
  • Carbines
  • Shotguns
  • Sub-Machine guns
  • Handguns

Note of particular interest – the Micro T-1 has been adopted as the primary optic by USAF para rescue jumpers and Dutch KSK special forces.Aimpoint Micro T-1 with the Aimpoint 3xMag magnifier on the Aimpoint TwistMount Many US Army units have adopted them as their optic of choice as well.

You can also pair the Micro T-1 with the Aimpoint 3xMag magnifier on the Aimpoint TwistMount.

So here are some technical details and information on this amazing piece of weapon’s gear.

The Aimpoint Micro T-1 is ideal as a standalone sight, and can also be piggybacked on top of larger magnifying scopes, night vision, or thermal imaging optics.   The performance of the Micro T-1 is optimized for use with all generations of Night Vision Devices (NVDs), but is ideal for 3rd and 4th generation night vision technology.

Aimpoint Micro T1Aimpoint’s unique coating on the front lens reflects the dot’s selected frequency of red light at near 100% efficiency to give the highest possible dot brightness with the least amount of energy while other wavelengths in the visible and near-infrared part of the spectrum pass with a minimum of reduction. This provides the clearest, brightest image possible when used with a 3rd generation Night Vision Device (NVD).  With 4 NVD-compatible brightness settings and 8 daylight settings including one extra-bright setting, the Micro T-1 is ready for round the clock use.


Aimpoint Micro T1Technical Information –

  • Length – 2.4”
  • Width/height sight only – 1.6” x 1.4”
  • Width/height including mount – 2.4”x 1.6”
  • Weight sight only – 3oz
  • Weight sight with integrated mount – 3.7oz
  • Dot intensity settings – 1 off, 4 NV, 8 daylight
  • Battery – CR2032 3V
  • Battery Life, continuous use – 50,000 hrs (over 5 years)
  • Material housing – Extruded high strength aluminum
  • Surface finish – Hard anodized, matte
  • Color housing – Black
  • Adjustment 1 click – 1/2” at 100yds
  • Operating temperature range – minus50° – +160° F
  • Water resistance – submersible to 80ft.

Additional Features:

  • Unlimited field of view
  • Parallax-free and unlimited eye relief
  • Unaffected by extreme weather conditions
  • Rugged, durable construction
  • No hazardous materials
  • No laser emission that could be harmful to your eyes
  • Mechanical switch for speed and reliability
  • Field of View: Unlimited
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Magnification Range: 1x

If you want a solid CQB optic that will take whatever field conditions you can throw at it…
If you want an optic that is crystal clear and bright…
If you want proven quality…

Aimpoint Micro T-1 is the optic for you!

A solid “buy” recommendation!



2009 - 2019 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.