While browsing the internet. I found this little tidbit of information that better explains how procedural penalties are earned when loaded magazines are dropped during a COF. The COF example uses was the IDPA classifier Stage3 string1
Here is the scenario: Stage three, string 1 of the Classification Match. Shooter is suppose to draw and fire 2 rounds at T1-T3 around one side of a barricade, do a Tactical Reload and fire 2 shots at T1-T3 from the opposite side of barricade.
While doing the reload, shooter drops his magazine. Instead of picking up the dropped magazine, he goes to his belt and loads from the spare magazine allowed on his belt. IS THIS A PROCEDURAL ERROR? Is the shooter allowed to utilize all allowed magazines or must he retrieve and utilize only the magazine he started the reload with?
This is Robert Rays response: EDIT: This clarification is old. There is a rule change to the ammedum that supersedes this response. The change is that any loaded magazine that is dropped as a result or your reloading the gun, that magazine must be properly stowed before the last shot is fired. Reloads that require retention still remains the same. Reloads with retention (RWR) still require that during a RWR any magazine with ammo if dropped must be stowed before the next shot is fired.
There are really three separate parts to this question.
Using the example of the classifier. If the shooter is making a RWR or tac-load and drops the partially charged magazine he must pick it up before firing his first shot as per the rule book on page 41. Failure to do so would result in a procedural. The ammo specified that must be retained is the ammo coming out of the gun. It has to be picked up or else you will have shooters going OOPS, I dropped it and essentially doing a speed reload.
Using the same example of the classifier. If the shooter does a RWR and properly stows a partial magazine then while drawing the full magazine drops it, he may go to his belt for another magazine with out incurring a procedural. He has not left that position of cover and there for not left ammo behind. That being said, if a shooter moves to another position he/she must pick up the magazine. This is covered in the rule book on page 39. Ammunition carrier notes: 1. A three second PE will be assessed anytime a loaded ammunition feeding device is dislodged and falls out of the carrier during a CoF. Dropping a loaded ammunition feeding device during a reload is not a procedural as long as the competitor does not leave ammunition behind. The first part of that rule is referring to moving through a CoF and knocking out a loaded ammunition feeding device, either by yourself or against a prop, but not while reloading. The second part refers to dropping a magazine while reloading.
The last is partially covered above. If a shooter is moving through a CoF and by any action, other than reloading, dislodges a loaded ammunition feeding device and it falls out of the carrier then he/she will receive a procedural regardless if they pick it up. This is also covered under page 39 Ammunition carrier notes: 1. A three second PE will be assessed anytime a loaded ammunition feeding device is dislodged and falls out of the carrier during a CoF. Dropping a loaded ammunition feeding device during a reload is not a procedural as long as the competitor does not leave ammunition behind.
You are correct in your understanding of the rules in this regard. I hope that this letter helps define the rules a little better for you and your fellow SOs and I will notate this for possible clarification in future issues if the rule book.