Some points to state right off the bat.
1). We do not multi-task very well under normal conditions. Under physically stressful conditions even less. That is not say we get stupid, but the more one task demands of you, physically, or with regards to attention, the less likely it is other tasks will be successful.
This is not the case in controlled situations, but when there is a loss of control of outcomes, there is great difficulty in dividing up your focus and degree of attention to details not pertinent to the primary situation.
In such situations, the simpler and more "caveman" the execution, the better. Thus we default to gross motor skills as much as possible and eliminate the need for analytical solutions dependent on fine motor dexterity as much as possible.
2). Although not as bad the third or fourth times out, the first time at the gunfight is generally quite spectacular. Adrenaline will be flowing and the easiest tasks will be difficult.
And understand what I refer to as a "gunfight". I refer to the one that happens when you were not ready. There are proactive ambushes with a handgun, but that is for another time. Again...why we opt for simpler rather than complex. Not everyone understands this, but anyone that tells you about this not being important, I would question their actual experience with reactive unexpected gunfights.
3). We divide weapon manipulations into two groups: Proactive and Reactive. First we discuss the proactive.
Proactive Manipulations involve making certain the weapon is loaded, and keeping it loaded during the event. There are no points for style, and no clock is running. Simply do it. Included in this realm are Weapon Status Checks (making sure your weapons are loaded prior to going out), and keeping it loaded as the events unfold. This last one seems to create all manner of consternation in tactical types, but conceptually it is very easy.
If there is one round in your pistol (or rifle) and there is one adversary standing there, your thought will be to kill him, not to reload. When the needs of the event exceed your ammunition, you enter the reactive manipulations realm. But we will discuss that momentarily.
Pistol gunfights will not go on incessantly for weeks. Rather they are characterized by sudden violent action of a few seconds, afterwhich one or both parties are dead, or have left the battlefield for cover or a better position. It is this "intermission" that some people call "the lull".
If you believe the fight is over because nobody is shooting at you any longer, and you have no other targets to shoot at, you may be right to think the fight is over, or you may be in the intermission. regardless, this is the time to be loading. We process this information during the After Action as a part of safety assessment and then weapons assessment.
Here is how I teach it: The fight appearing to be over, find cover. Then extract depleted (not necessarily empty) magazine from the weapon and stow it. Stow it in your pocket, in your pouch or down your shirt. Replace it with a fresh and full magazine and stand by for further action...admin or tactical. That is all.
One magazine in the hand at a time...only. The guys that want to juggle two magazines during the proactive reload are welcomed to it at this stage. I have my preferences here and I really have no desire to argue about dead horses at the edge of the watering hole. Reload as you please but if you f*ck it up, don't come crying to me.
Reactive problems manifest themselves as the weapon not working when you need to kill the man who is presently trying to kill you. (Either due to an actual malfunction, or due to having exceeded your ammunition capacity). As you can imagine, there is a high degree of urgency and apprehension. This is best prevented by careful ammunition selection and in weapon and magazine purchases. Regardless, while it is done artfully on the controlled and safe shooting ranges of America, this is a difficult thing to overcome mid fight.
Here is how we do it: Keep the mission in mind. Mission - Kill The Bad Guy
Gun does not fire: This could be due to one of five situations. There could be a failure to fire, a failure to eject, a failure to extract (also called a double feed by untrained), an empty weapon that did not lock open, or a weapon where something is broken.
You do not have the time to decypher the "why" at this point, only to keep the mission in mind.
Initial Default Solution: Tap-Rack-Shoot (obviously if it was fixed, the "shoot" would represent it. If so, continue with the mission). That will fix the Failure to fire, as well as the failure to eject during the time most guys are still analyzing the problem.
If that does not not work, you branch immediately to the Secondary Default Solution. You may have an empty weapon, or a failure to extract.
Secondary Default Solution: Physically pull out the on-board magazine and discard it. That very action will clear out most failures to extract and will prep the weapon to receive the fresh and full magazine. Insert the new magazine, work the slide once...briskly, and begin shooting again.
Tertiary Default Solution: If the previous two did not get you back into the fight, it is likely due to sub quality parts, magazines, or ammo. Nonetheless, take out the magazine and either hold on to it, or secure it in your belt or pocket. Rack the slide several times...in essence totally unloading the weapon....and then reload...and shoot. Thus totally unloading and then reloading.
These are done in a flow chart process rather than an analytical method requiring sight and thought during a time when your life is being sought by an enemy.
That is how I train and that is what I and my people teach. It may not be as clever as what others do on the range, but I don't care. I know how the mind and body work in a reactive gunfight and if a technique doesn't fit into that matrix of nature, what so-and-so teaches, or what the "Ninjas" are currently doing is irrelevant.
Fads come and go, but how your mind works in a fight remains constant.