When loading a semi-automatic handgun, point the muzzle in a safe direction, keep the finger off of the trigger and activate the magazine release button. Make sure there isn't a round in the chamber when loading a semi-automatic handgun with advice from a gun store owner in this free video on handguns.
How to load and unload a semi-automatic hand gun. This particular gun is a nine millimeter Springfield XD nine. It's a double stack magazine, so we'll show you how to take care of that, unload it and how to unload it safely. To begin with, point the muzzle in a safe direction, keep your finger off of the trigger, and activate the magazine release button. In this case it's the button directly behind the trigger guard. You push it straight in, it drops the magazine out. This is our magazine right here. We're going to set this guy to the side and just as a double check, let's open it and make sure it doesn't have a round hiding in the chamber. Set him aside. Now this is our magazine as I said, it's double stack, fairly wide. And if you look at those holes you can see that indicates we've got rounds on each side of the center line of the mag. We're going to open up the box of cartridges, and to start with it's probably easiest if you set it on a solid surface. Get a good hold of it, take out the first round, and put the back end flat into the first round about a third of the way back in the center line of the magazine. Push down on this black piece, which is called the follower. That's spring loaded so there's going to be some pressure. Push down, then push that round all the way back to the back. You're going to put it in just part way, push it down and then slide it to the back. Second round, very similar except it's easy if you use your thumb to start that magazine spring down. Some people put it in straight like this, I find it's a little easier, especially when you're starting, to have a little angle on it, like that. Still you have to keep it in front of these rounded portions of that lip. Push down, push it straight back all the way to the rear. And you just continue to repeat, begin with your thumb with a little pressure. Put it perhaps at an angle, push it down, allow it to rotate, and go back in like that. As you do that one after the other, one after the other, you'll begin to see when you get down to a certain point you can look in the back of most of the magazines and you'll begin to see those cartridges show up in these holes. These are your witness holes that will help you determine when it's all the way full. When it's completely full you'll be able to see a cartridge in each one of those holes, just a little bit of it. But you'll see it there. The more you get in, remember, the stronger this spring is going to be against you. So if you're a little bit weak, it takes a little practice, but each time it's just repetition of the time before. Don't got too far back, you can't push it down, make sure your far enough forward, start it down, push it in. Once it gets back it's difficult for you there's a device called a magazine loader. This helps as you can see depress those cartridges, makes it much easier to start the cartridge back. Now what you have to remember is once you've started it, the magazine loader has to be pushed up. Because right here there's a straight shaft and that's what depresses the rounds. Start it in, push this guy up, push that round back in. Makes your life so much easier. There's even a place back here for your thumb, you can do it just like that. Push it up, push it in, much easier. Once it's loaded you'll be able to tell, look in the back, and you'll see it. When you're ready to insert it in the firearm make sure the pointy end is forward, towards the barrel of the gun. Point the gun in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger, insert the magazine in, and make sure it locks in with an audible click. Not real loud but you can tell, and you can tell it's there because you can't pull it out. When it comes time to remove it, again the button here, this particular one is even ambidextrous. You can use your finger or your thumb on this side. To remove these, take them out like that. Little downward pressure, just a little downward pressure, and them move them forward. You can if you want to use something plastic that's not hard enough to set it off on the end, and push them forward, just like that. That's the idea, just keep taking them out. Now it's empty. The firearm's empty, put the empty magazine back in the firearm. Set it aside and for some reason you didn't shoot them all put them back in the box. I'm going to show you now what do you do with these once you loaded the magazine. We'll put two in here, as I showed you the magazine is locked into place. Guns pointed safely, finger off the trigger. In order to make this firearm ready to shoot you need to pull this slide all the way to the rear, and release it. Don't baby it forward, let it do it's job. There's a spring in there, it's a particular spring for that job. I find the easiest way is to put the heel of your hand on the top, all four fingers on the other side, and then push it opposites. Let it go when it's ready to go. All the way back, puts the cartridge right in place, then let it go. Once you're done that, you'll see there's only one round left in the magazine. There is also one round in position in that firearm. When that's fired, automatically this slide top portion is going to go to the rear at a high rate of speed, going to kick out the empty, pick up the next one. We'll do this in slow motion for you. If it goes bang automatically this is going to kick to the rear, charge it with the other one, the magazine is now empty, the round is now in firing position.