Click, no boom, how long do you need to wait??


December 24, 2008, 03:25 PM
Ok, I am firing some military surplus rounds out of my BOHICA upper and had one not fire. It fired on the second hammer strike.

My question for the experts how long does it take for a typical hang fire (if there is such a thing) to fire? I waited for a couple of minutes before I re-cocked the hammer, while keeping the round in battery. I am not looking forward to having the round discharge while I am rotating the upper and lower apart to re-cock the hammer, probably would be a bad thing:uhoh:

I do have an extra power hammer spring to help eliminate this issue. May have to get a heaver hammer if problem persists.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas:)

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December 24, 2008, 03:30 PM
A couple of minutes is not too much.

It probably won't discharge after 10 seconds, but why take any chances?

At a range where I was on the board, we had a regular shotgun shooter and long, longtime member who was the local go-to guy to have your shotshell reloader tuned or repaired.

I'm not a fan of progressive shotshell reloaders, and he and I did disagree about some things regarding reloading, but he was far from incompetent.

He pulled the trigger, nothing happened. He waited a few seconds, and pointed the gun down in order to break it open and put in a new round. It went off, narrowly missing his foot, and spraying shot and concrete bits on the guy next to him. They were injured, fortunately not severely, but he could have lost his foot.

Patience is a virtue.

December 24, 2008, 03:34 PM
At an absolute minimum 30 seconds.(Does not apply to self-defense situations). Waiting more is probably safer, and with military surplus ammo, you might want to change the minimum form 30 to 45 or even 60.

December 24, 2008, 03:41 PM
Waiting? I always run the bolt immediately (while maintaining muzzle control) when I get a dud. Yet another reason I wear eye protection.


James T Thomas
December 24, 2008, 03:44 PM
My recent S&W manual; reviewed by Corporate Lawyers, recommends ten seconds for revolver "misfires." Oh yea, and then, safely disposing of the live round.

If your firearm is particulary hot, as from intensive shooting, I would wait longer than ten seconds though.

At the range and with others around, it would be considerate to openly announce "Misfire," loud and clear.

December 24, 2008, 03:46 PM
briansmithwins wrote:
Waiting? I always run the bolt immediately (while maintaining muzzle control) when I get a dud

Probably not a good idea with the 50BMG, I think it would cause a little more damage than a typical 5.56 if it goes off not contained by a chamber and barrel.

Thanks guys, I wait at least one minute probably more. So I should be good with at least 60 seconds.

December 24, 2008, 03:46 PM
Depends on the round type. Most won't go off after 10 seconds, although there's always exceptions. The round should always be kept pointed downrange, though. Shotgun shells, in particular, need to be left in the gun until you're sure they're safe. These rounds can cause extreme damage with little or no barrel due to the husk forming a guide.

Be particularly wary of any WWII surplus .45 ammo you might happen to dig up. This particular ammo did not age well and tended to have extended hangfires.

In your case, you did not get a hangfire, just a primer that was too tough for your hammer spring. If it doesn't happen again, I wouldn't worry about it. If it does, install a better spring or a heavier hammer.

December 24, 2008, 04:32 PM
Thats covered in our firearms licencing course and is a rule at all ranges here. 60 seconds, holding downrange after calling a missfire. Regardless of caliber.

edit: At the range the rounds are then dropped into a can of penetrating oil located every other bench. When out in the field the round should be burried in the dirt.

December 24, 2008, 04:33 PM
Most ranges that have such a rule do seem to have a 1-minute rule. I think I remember one that was 2 minutes.

The point is, waiting "too long" never got anyone hurt.

Dean Williams
December 24, 2008, 07:52 PM
My question for the experts how long does it take for a typical hang fire (if there is such a thing) to fire?

In my experience a hang fire usually happens in less than about three seconds from pulling the trigger. Doesn't mean it cannot happen a minute later, I guess.

I had an '09 Argentine that was a good shooter. Norma ammo was the only stuff available for it at the time from any commercial manufacturer, and it was pretty spendy. I came across a bunch of surplus 7.65 ammo, and first time firing it got a hang fire after just a few rounds. That stuff went off with a delay of about a second. Just the amount of time it took from pulling the trigger to full realization of what had not happened, then... Bang! A second, maybe. I disposed of that old surplus stuff.

I've seen a few in other rifles where the shooter had just removed the firearm from his shoulder and... Boom! So, maybe two to three seconds.

I'd still give it a minute before opening the bolt, breech, slide, whatever.

December 24, 2008, 11:50 PM
The owner's manuals for all my guns say to wait half a minute, but I give it longer. No point in being hasty about that.

December 25, 2008, 12:03 AM
I usually give it 5-10 seconds and then fire it again. I know this might make go against what some people said, but oh well. Maybe I will give it more time in the future...

North of 49th
December 25, 2008, 12:21 AM
I would defiantly wait at least 45 if not 60 sec. In this case it is always a good thing to take a bit more time and not have yourself or someone else injured.

December 25, 2008, 08:12 PM
If you can re-cock the hammer/striker w/o taking the bolt out of battery (like the SMLE or NEF's), I'd recock & pull the trigger immediately. Otherwise, wait for at least 60 seconds before unchambering the round....

December 26, 2008, 01:15 AM
the protocol at my local range is count to 60 then dispose of the dud in a steel "safety" tube

December 26, 2008, 06:53 AM
2 minutes on my Military Surplus firearms. 2-5 minutes on Blackpowder. I'm not in a rush. Cool down time gives the gun a break anyway.

December 26, 2008, 09:06 PM
I have never had a hangfire/misfire. My plan has always been to keep the firearm pointed safely downrange for at least one minute.

December 26, 2008, 09:23 PM
You definitely do not want to open up an AR-15 to recock the hammer if you think you might have a hangfire.

99% of the time it will be a hard primer. If it is a hangfire, and it goes while you have the rifle apart, the bolt carrier is going to fly out violently when the bolt unlocks.

It is not worth it to save one round. Eject the round and maybe try it again later.

December 26, 2008, 09:30 PM
If it doesn't go off, I immediately take a looooong, hard look down the barrel, from the muzzle end. Jevver notice that staring at something long and hard enough, you can almost always figure it out? :evil:

Best regards, Rich
Darwin Society Member Emiritus 1956-2008 (and counting) :)

December 27, 2008, 01:47 AM
good one orionengnr
ive never had a hangfire but id want to wait at least 2 or 3 mins just to be safe

December 27, 2008, 01:55 AM
i do the 30 secs

December 27, 2008, 02:02 AM
I think longer is better, but I was taught to wait 30 seconds when I took rifle merit badge a while back at scout camp. I've had duds before that I wait probably 20-30 seconds on. They have all 22lr so if they are just sitting there after I eject and they go off it's not going to do more than some nasty bruises.

December 27, 2008, 03:03 AM
I've never actually had a hang fire. Usually if I misfire I keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction while I mull over all the possibilities that may have happened. By the time I get to hang fire, its usually been 30-60 seconds, I dump the round. Then I make sure the round is in a safe position (buried, in a safe tube, etc.) and keep shooting.

December 27, 2008, 03:13 AM
I had a guy on my trap team always get misfires and he would always wait 20-30 seconds.

One day, the gun actually went off! Happened in about 3 seconds from when he pulled the trigger.

December 27, 2008, 07:44 AM
for me, it is one minute. if it hasnt gone off by then, i really doubt it is going to. as for ejecting the round immedeately, son, you are looking for a heap of trouble! and i certainly dont want to be near you when you pull that little trick!

December 27, 2008, 07:54 AM
NRA protocol is thirty seconds with barrel pointed downrange.

December 27, 2008, 10:48 AM
Thanks guys,

I've found that part of the problem was not the ammo, but firing pin not hitting the primer. There is a condition on the BOHICA where an E clip gets mispositioned in the bolt assembly and caused the firing pin to not hit the primer. Once I figured it out, and got a new clip, it seems the problem is solved.

But sometimes it seems like a long 60 seconds holding something you think might go off:uhoh:

December 27, 2008, 03:59 PM
Had an old .303 round fire some 2 minutes after waiting 30 seconds before unloading.
Luckily I had jammed the round into the turf pointy end down so when it went off the cartridge case went straight up and left a small hole about a hand span in diameter. Never did find either part. Wonder why??

December 27, 2008, 05:38 PM
After 10 seconds I carefully jack it out,on the ground.
I might wait longer on shotgun ammo,since many here seem to think that's a good idea.
(I wear shooting glasses,without glasses I'd go ahead and give it a minute,eyesight is one of those things I can't do without)

December 27, 2008, 06:36 PM
I was always taught to keep the gun pointed downrange and eject the round after 30 seconds.

Over nearly 25 years of shooting, I've had my share of duds, but never an actual hangfire. But then I don't shoot any ammo that's been sitting in a humid South American storage depot for 60 years, either. I suspect hangfires are more common in old-as-dirt milsurp ammo and very, very rare in ammo less than a couple decades old that has been properly stored.

One observation---when shooting pistols and small- or intermediate-caliber rifles either in training or in IPSC/IDPA style shooting, a failure to fire on the range is commonly going to be met with an immediate tap-rack-bang or other failure drill rather than waiting for 30 seconds. But I suppose ejected hangfires aren't as big a deal with small calibers as they are with large calibers or shotgun shells, or in revolvers (a hangfire that occurred after the cylinder had rotated 180 degrees would wreck the gun and probably your hand).

Claude Clay
December 27, 2008, 06:37 PM
i hand it off to my daughter and let her wait

after she asks me the second time if it is ok i will kindly take it back.

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