Can someone better explain how magazines and such work?

I started trying out the Bionic Sniper profession and I ended up running out of ammo to n my guns magazine. Since when you start, you seem to have extra in your chest rig, I figured all I had to do was press ‘r’ to reload.
Instead, I had to fiddle around with it as a zombie brute wandered ever closer.
Somehow I managed to figure it out in time, but I can’t even remember how I did it.
At one point, I seemingly needed to put away my gun to wield the magazine, but I was trying to put it in my inventory.
I couldn’t figure out any way to replace the magazine directly, but somehow managed to do something along the lines of ‘unload mag from gun, unload ammo from extra mag, reload ammo into gun’s mag, put it back inside gun.’
A really weird and round about way to actually get it to work.
I can’t even figure out how to do it again!

I blame Zombie Clause. Cuz reasons.

You are able to reload your weapon with magazines in a vest, chest rig, or inventory. Hit r to reload, it will begin reloading. If you have multiple mags in different places or different ammo types, it will give you an option to choose which one. After that, wait a second and it will give you an option where to store the magazine that was removed from the weapon. You can put it back into the vest, in you inventory, or drop it on the ground.

While reloading do not hit escape or try to do anything else as it will cancel your actions and time WILL have passed.

To manually put a magazine into or remove from a vest or something, you must activate the clothing item. If you take a magazine out manually, it will always go into your hand and you have to drop, wear, or store your weapon.

It should also be noted that to reload a magazine itself, you select it in your inventory, then press R or the reload option from the list

I already tried that first thing you mentioned and the game didn’t feel like giving me that option. I can try that all again, since there is this thing called ‘human error’ after all.

I did that, that’s how I managed to reload the magazine itself in the end. Other stuff was rather wonky though.

did you maybe reload your weapon with an empty magazine?

No, no, no, it didn’t give me an option to do that.

Save the game in a different location and try to re-install it? Perhaps it is a glitch. Sometimes the game glitches and the answer is hard to pin down.

Okay, so I made a new character and tested some things out, here’s what I discovered:
-I need to 'a’ctivate my chest rid to take out ammo, which forces it into my hand.
-When trying to reload, it says I don’t have any 8x40mm FMJ to reload my RM11B scout rifle.
-The magazine that I took out of my chest rig is a RMGB50 8x40mm magazine which doesn’t fit into my gun
-If I unload the incompatible mag it gives me the required 8x40 FMJ
-I can reload my gun with that ammo and the game says ‘you reload the RMGP10 8x40mm stick magazine’
-Unloading my gun gives me said mag with the ammo still in it
-When 'e’xamining the gun, it says it can hold RMGP10 8x40mm stick magazine and RMGP25 stick magazine

What seems to be happening is that I start with a magazine that is incompatible with my gun, but the ammo inside of it is. So that mag is basically just mass storage for the rest of my ammo.

And then I had this test character commit suicide since he was no longer needed.

Well. To make a guess. This sounds like a conflict of gun mods that use same name items. One is saying you have X and the other mod doesn’t care. I could be wrong. But…

The gun can only accept a certain type of magazine, but I don’t start with that kind. I don’t think I have any mods that ad guns other than Ascension, which I assume adds some.

A strange thing you got happening. Perhaps too something is interfering with what is suppose to work? Sometimes I reshuffle my load order and put all items up top with all critter mods low in the order. Sometimes just a reshuffle works out a conflict.

Now that I figured it all it isn’t all that big of a deal. It may have actually been on purpose for the ‘mass storage’ idea that I mentioned earlier