Pffft. Show off.
This is the fun aversion or supplement to the Bottomless Magazines
trope. Sometimes the gunslinger has to have a cool (if not practical)
way of reloading to show how badass
Usually the Unorthodox Reload
involves a lot of unnecessary and complicated choreography. In others, it involves incredible, mostly impossible, feats of physics that if attempted in reality, would either not work, jam the firearm in question or result in grievous bodily harm.
Reloading a firearm is actually a deceptively complex procedure, and must be done carefully. If done improperly the gun may jam or malfunction. At worst you could hurt yourself.
See also One-Handed Shotgun Pump
, Unorthodox Sheathing
and Unorthodox Holstering
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Anime & Manga
- Alucard from Hellsing uses his teeth to pull back the slide on his pistol and chamber a round (either one) after setting in a magazine. Don't try this at home, kids, unless you have jaws of steel.
- In the finale of TV series he also used telekinesis to pull a magazine from across the room. He didn't catch it - it went straight into the gun.
- Yukimi from Nabari No Ou also does this once. It's justified, though, because he only has one arm and can't reload his gun any other way.
- Rushuna Tendou from Grenadier stores extra bullets in her considerable cleavage - when she needs to reload, she somehow manages to eject the exact number of bullets from there and then scoops them out of the air with her revolver. While spinning! And she isn't the only character able to do that!
- While spinning and performing Gun Kata to dodge bullets. As in forty villains, all firing at her with modern rifles.
- Rally Vincent in both the Manga and Anime of Gunsmith Cats has at least one scene in either version of the series in which she reloads her CZ-75 pistol by dropping a fresh magazine onto her foot (a necessity in the manga, with one broken arm as the result of an accident) and then kicking it up into the magazine well of the gun before popping the slide release to chamber a round.
- Worth pointing out that the anime version had her balancing an empty mag on her foot that she'd ejected. She just caught it with her off-hand after flicking it back up and tucked it into her jacket - presumably because it was cheaper than leaving it behind and buying a replacement.
- In Appleseed Ex Machina, the cyborg Briareos stores spare magazines inside his cybernetic forearms making reloading his Guns Akimbo a trivial matter.
- In one episode of Black Lagoon Revy reloads one of her pistols by loading a magazine into it using her teeth.
- While still firing at her opponents with the other one. Now that is Badass.
- Signum of Lyrical Nanoha casually flicks a Cartridge - basically something that resembles a bullet but is just storage for an extra burst of magic - into the chamber of her weapon in the second episode of the second season.
- Guido Mista of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fame reloads his revolver by tilting his head down. The bullets come out of his hat. Oddly enough, he doesn't do this in the games - he just reloads by hand.
- Train Heartnet in Black Cat is probably the epitome of this, in that he throws bullets up into the air, cracks open his revolver, so that the handle flips back (its a custom weapon in this case, so at least that bit is somewhat feasible) then times a hand flick so it snaps back into position with the bullets grabbed in the revolver chambers.
- Blush from The Western manga Et Cetera can fire his guns so fast that it seems it all came from a single gunshot. In fact, characters claim to hear only one gunshot even though as much as 12 shots can have been fired. Because he uses all of his ammo in an instant, he carries pre-loaded cylinders on his belt, and simply pops the empty ones off and "reloads" entire cylinders to use.
- Swapping cylinders was a reasonably common way of reloading at some points in history, for those gunfighters who could afford spare cylinders. Particularly those who favored the Remington 1858 New Army. Clint Eastwood reloads that way in Pale Rider (using an aforementioned 1858, albeit one converted use cartridges). Probably the fastest way to reload a six-gun until the invention of the speedloader.
- Used in one chapter of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, when the titular character's father Genji attempts to "rescue" his son, hauling away his son in one hand while blasting away at the masters of Ryouzanpaku with his shotgun Rotowski. When weapons master Shigure gives chase, she notes that Genji won't be able to reload his weapon singlehandedly. A single panel later, he does exactly that.
- Jo's mechanical holsters in Bakuretsu Tenshi also double as magazine dispensers.
- Mana Tatsumiya from Mahou Sensei Negima! does a magic reload.
- Subverted by Kanna, of Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, who dual wields revolvers, and reloads using speedloaders.
- In the first episode of Mazinkaiser SKL, Ryo throws two fresh magazines towards the enemy, where they stick into the groundnote . Then he reloads normally, charges the enemy while firing, and as soon as he's out of ammo he ejects the spent mags and dives to the ground, reloading using the mags he threw there earlier.
- In The Rundown, the character played by Dwayne Johnson flips two shotguns up-side down and backwards and then snaps them between his arms and torso to pump them in an instant. Earlier in the movie, he inverts this by ejecting a magazine to make his target slip on the floor.
- Bullet Proof Monk plays with this trope, using the unorthodoxy as a combat technique in and of itself. Chow-Yun Fat empties two pistols, ejects the magazines, and spins to kick the empty magazines at some Mooks.
- Equilibrium: Preston has spring-mounted magazines in his sleeves that automatically reload his weapons. He also has bottom-weighted mags that he tosses into the middle of a group of enemies. After charging into them and emptying his magazines, he ejects the empty ones and slams the guns down into the mags on the floor.
- Ultraviolet takes this even further, instead of mechanical devices the main character has little wrist-mounted portals to pocket dimensions that feed bullets into her guns.
- The T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day would cock a lever-action shotgun by flipping it over his fingers while using the other hand to handle a motorcycle. You can tell they used two different props for that scene: one with a larger loop to flip and another with a regular sized loop to fire with. In real life, flip-cocking would snag the wielder's fingers and probably break them (this almost happened during filming, when Arnold Schwarzenegger grabbed the standard-lever prop for a flip-cocking shot), though it's obviously not a problem for a Hollywood Cyborg with a titanium steel endoskeleton.
- John Wayne flips his weapon when cocking a Winchester lever-action rifle in several of his Westerns, notably in his very first scene in Stagecoach (1939); in the climax of True Grit he combines this with Guns Akimbo on horseback. He actually had a Winchester custom made (with a larger loop and shorter barrel) to facilitate this.
- In Bram Stoker's Dracula (the movie with Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing and Gary Oldman as Dracula) Quincy P. Morris the Texican cowboy stereotype flip-cocks his rifle in much the same manner. One handed. While riding a horse. Then again, he IS from Texas!
- Ramón Rojo in A Fistful of Dollars casually does the half-cycle spin at the beginning of the final showdown.
- The One-Handed Shotgun Pump is parodied in Hot Shots! Part Deux: Ramada pumps and shoots her shotgun with one hand. When she pumps it for the third time, however, the gun rips off the grip and conks a mook in the head. She then tosses the grip at another mook, knocking him out, too.
- During the hospital shootout in Rush Hour 3 Zhang Jingchu picks up a magazine and somersaults over a mook to give the magazine to Jackie Chan who then jumps on and rides on a cart in order to load the magazine into Chris Tucker's gun.
- In the film Tomb Raider, Lara Croft has magazines strapped to her thighs by their bases, allowing her to simply swing her guns down onto them , and a special backpack that lowers them behind her in pairs, allowing her to just jam the guns behind her back and presto, instant reloads.
- In Lucio Fulci's The Beyond, a character can be glimpsed dropping a bullet down the barrel of his weapon. This was, however, a joke by the actor which slipped into the final cut.
- Check out this over-the-top scene from the Swedish action-comedy Kopps, justified by the fact that it is a day-dream sequence.
- Two characters do this in Pom Pom And Hot Hot, an unusually titled 1992 Hong Kong film. Shooter Yin, the boss of the two leads, does near magical reloads on two separate occasions. On the first, he empties a revolver of spent shells, than grabs six loose bullets and throws them all at once perfectly into the chambers. Later on, he has a gun magazine knocked out of his hand, so he flips his leg sideways and kicks it back up - straight into his pistol. A villain in the film manages to SPIT a bullet into the chamber of his revolver at another point in the film.
- Expert marksman and Gun Fu practitioner Agent Zero from X-Men Origins: Wolverine solved the dilemma of reloading while dual wielding by tossing up his two pistols into the air from behind, then pulling out two magazines and simultaneously catching both pistols onto them... IN SLOW MOTION.
- In Zombieland, Tallahassee prepares an unorthodox technique when luring zombies to a kiosk for his last stand. He stands all his pistol magazines up on a counter, then reloads when necessary by slamming his pistols onto the counter.
- In Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, while fighting in a corridor, throws two new magazines out in front of her, then, while running, and slides her pair of guns over the new magazines that are more-or-less hovering in the air and happen to have rotated perfectly to be pointed to lock into place. The move was done for real, the only trick being a disabled magazine-lock in the SIG P232, as this pistol usually has a magazine release on the heel of the grip, making one-handed reloading impossible. According to Miss Moretz she exercised the move for days, and got it right on the fourth take.
- In Hawk the Slayer, the character Ranulf loses a hand, rendering him unable to reload his crossbow in a normal fashion. He compensates by using a self-loading crossbow with an entire magazine of bolts. This isn't your garden variety (i.e. real world) repeating crossbow though, this is your terrible B-movie repeating crossbow - basically a submachinegun that fires arrows.
- Once Upon a Texas Train has a scene where Cotton and his gang of Young Guns are standing in a line, waiting for the combined force of retired outlaws and Rangers to make an appearance. As the camera pans across them, each one flip cocks his Winchester in turn.
- Played for Laughs and taken to the extreme in Top Secret when Chocolate Mousse front-loads an assault rifle. Yes, he pours gunpowder down the barrel.
- Unusual variation in New Police Story: Jackie is in a Gun Stripping competition with the Big Bad, as a Call Back to one he failed in the beginning of the film. While his opponent is still faster, Jackie is able to cheat by popping a round into the chamber directly while assembling his gun, allowing him to skip loading the magazine. His opponent sees this happen, but since he's just a bit faster, it's too late for him to try the same trick, forcing him to finish assembling his gun before he can load it.
- In The Quick and the Dead, Herod's guards have a habit of spin-cocking their Winchesters.
- In The Boondock Saints, Don Yakavetta can be seen loading a revolver before flipping his wrist to cause the cylinder to snap shut. While common in movies, doing so in Real Life will warp the arm holding the cylinder and eventually cause a misfire due to the gun being misaligned.
- In The Expendables: Played with - Barney reloads his M1911 normally, he just does it incredibly fast. With enough practice, any experienced shooter can do it, too. Now, doing it while being shot at by fifty men with assault rifles in the open...
- Roland Deschain can (or at least could) reload one of his revolvers with one hand while firing with the other.
- This is theoretically possible if you drop it into a hip holster that can hold a break-top revolver while it's open. If anyone's Badass enough to do that while under fire without dropping rounds everywhere, Roland probably is. We should assume this is maybe the most efficient way to reload a revolver, but takes maybe 20 years of obsession to be able to learn.
- Subverted in Nation when Mau takes note that Cox must reload with two hands.
- Prince Roger in David Weber/ and John Ringo's We Few does a quick reload in a hyper-real MMFPS that fools his potential allies into thinking he used a cheat. Actually he palmed the replacement magazine.
Live Action TV
- In "The Big Bang Job" episode of Leverage, Eliot secures the magazines of his twin pistols by pressing them against his hips and pulls back the slides by holding one pistol upside down over the other so he can hook the rear sights together and pulls the pistols in opposite directions. This example is made even more interesting by the fact that Eliot Doesn't Like Guns.
- Steve McQueen would frequently flip-cock his "Mare's Leg" (a shortened 1892 Winchester rifle) in the Western TV show Wanted: Dead or Alive.
- Chuck Conners used the flip-cock method for his rifle in The Rifleman. The rifle had a custom, circular loop to facilitate the flip-cock.
- In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, the "Two-fisted shooter" feat allows you to, among other things, reload a hand crossbow with one hand, solving the Guns Akimbo problem. Exactly how you do this is never explained, and left up to the player's imagination (perhaps using the rest of this page for inspiration).
- It is technically possible to do this in 3rd edition as well, with two feats (rapid reload and quickdraw). According to a literal interpretation of the feats, you put one crossbow away, reload the other, put that away, take the first one out, reload it, and pull out the second crossbow. All in the time it takes to discuss combat tactics.
- The Master Chief in Haloid kills a group of Elites with a shotgun, mixing fancy pumps of the shotgun with martial arts.
- This particularly unorthodox reload has to be seen to be believed.
- Slugterra: Diablos Nacho reloads his blaster by slamming it against the bandolier of canisters on his chest.
- Samurai Jack: X9 and the other assassin robots from his era had small little claws under their sleeves. After they'd empty a cartridge, they eject, and the claws come from under the sleeves and put in new ones.
- As demonstrated in this video, lots of competitive shooters are focused on speedy and efficient reloads of their weapons. A lot of range exercises and competitions score on both speed and accuracy, and feature more targets than can be accounted for in a single magazine. An extra .05 on the clock could mean the difference between first and second place.