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Malfunction Clearing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by allaroundhunter, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Okay, you are doing defensive training with a handgun with a magazine capacity of 15 and the following occurs:

    You pull the trigger and hear a "click". You think that you have fired about 10 rounds from the current magazine.

    What course of action do you use to get the gun firing again? For your response use the manual of arms that you wish, preferably that of the gun that you use for defense.

    I will go into why I am asking this after a few posts come in.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    I take it you're talking about SA/DA pistols. If 10 jumped to mind on the round count after the click, I would use a DA pull for a second strike on the primer. If it's a SA or striker fired pistol, Tap, Rack, Bang. ;)
  3. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    A "click" signifies to me that this is a misfire and not a squib.

    For simple target shooting, all the training I ever had with this involved waiting about 30 seconds with the gun still pointed in a safe direction. This is to see if there is a delay in firing, so don't shirk this time delay.

    After 30 seconds, and while still maintaining the weapon pointed in a safe direction, eject the failed round.

    Personally, I would unload the weapon and inspect it for the reason(s) why it misfired. It may be the ammunition or the pistol...usually an inspection of the cartridge primer will give you a good clue.

    Sometimes you may find that, for whatever reason, the weapon did not chamber a round. And sometimes you may find that your count on the actual number of shots fired is woefully inaccurate and the gun slide simply didn't lock back on the last shot.

    Now, I suppose a key point here is your pointing out that this is "defensive training" with the handgun. Meaning, the training is supposed to be with some sort of realistic defensive scenario, not just paper-punching target shooting.

    Personally in this scenario, if it's a double action pistol, pull the trigger again while maintaining your site target.

    I've seen some defensive training still having you wait 30 seconds. Tap the magazine to verify it's fully seated. Roll the gun to the right about 90 degrees. Rack the slide to eject the round and chamber another. Immediately access your target again.

    Some defensive training does not have you waiting the 30 seconds...because in a real defensive scenario, you cannot afford that time. So you train like you fight so you will fight like you train.

    I'll leave it up to discussion here as to other recommendations.
  4. thefish

    thefish Well-Known Member

    We are assuming that:
    1. The 15 round mag was loaded to capacity?
    2. the slide on this does indeed lock back on the last shot?
    3. This is a gun we are familiar with it's operation?

    If so, I'd go with Chief so far. 2nd pull, then rerack.
  5. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    1) That the magazine was loaded to capacity
    2) The firearm is one that you are familiar with (so if your firearm typically locks back on an empty mag, then yes)

    Also remember, I did not say you know you fired exactly 10 rounds. "You think you have fired about 10 rounds".
  6. thefish

    thefish Well-Known Member

    OK, so if this is truly a defesive situation, I would *edit*, swipe safety, pull again. If no fire, move, tap, rack, and shoot again.

    Or if carying another mag, move and reload.
  7. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Well-Known Member

    Depends on the situation. There may be time to wait, tap rack, use the pistol as as a striking tool, evade with the muzzle on target or reach for a back-up gun. A lot to consider in a split-second or so. I was always taught to wait and probably do not practice malfunction tests as rigorously as I should.
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I tend to stick with the advice contained in the following clip. Your main focus should be on training how you fight. I suppose if I carried a DA gun I might get in the habit of a second trigger pull. I just don't see it happening very often that if the firing pin hits the primer once, and it doesn't detonate, and you hit the same primer again with the same pin in the same spot, it WILL. I really think it's better to jump to the rack. Note that Clint puts the emphasis on not overthinking it. It's not like you're going to have time during a gunfight to go through a multi-tiered process to decide WHICH action you want to take. He also places the emphasis on making sure that through the process you follow all safety rules.

    I feel like I should add, the most likely reason for a malfunction is that someone or something nudged that mag release. Tap, rack, bang.


    VINTAGE-SLOTCARS Well-Known Member

    Tap/rack/safety off/ bang
  10. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    I use a nondiagnostic approach to clearing malfunctions. It's faster than examining the pistol and attempting to diagnose the problem and then making a decision about which technique I should use to clear the specific problem. I perform the following immediate actions in the order listed:

    1. Tap, Roll & Rack. (This immediate action will clear the majority of malfunctions. In addition I "roll" the pistol to the right about 90-degrees simultaneously when I rack the slide so I can use centrifugal force and gravity to help clear the action.)
    2. If Tap, Roll & Rack doesn't get the gun running then I immediately attempt to perform a Combat Reload.
    3. If, while attempting to perform the Combat Reload, I can't put the fresh magazine in the magazine well, then I immediately place it between the ring & pinky fingers of my firing hand, lock the slide open, rip the "depleted" magazine out of the gun, rack the slide quickly three times, then finish the Combat Reload.

    I can perform these immediate actions in total darkness without the need to look at the pistol. I can also perform them while on the move (such as moving to create distance, moving to cover, or just moving to make myself a moving target, and not have to look at the gun while I'm moving.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  11. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Well-Known Member

    Oh, I hope the threat hasn't stopped by the time you get to bang. How about Tap-Rack-Ready and if the threat still exists then bang.

    Back to the OP, are we assuming we have another 15 round mag at our disposal? If so, wouldn't it be more prudent to do a mag change if the top 2/3rds have been expended?

    My biggest question is why have you fired 10 rounds and still having to fight? Need more practice? :what:
  12. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't bother with two different techniques because it increases your decision-making under stress and the chance you'll make the wrong decision.

    I suggest Tap/Rack for both pistols. Pressing the trigger a second time when the problem won't be solved by a second strike doesn't get the gun running as quickly as immediately performing Tap/Rack. Remember, Tap/Rack solves MANY problems. Whereas pressing the trigger a second time may solve ONE problem.
  13. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    Just eliminate "bang" altogether. The immediate action is "Tap/Rack" (or for a pistol with slide mounted manual safety "Tap/Rack/Safety Off"). It takes about a second to perform when you've instilled it as a conditioned response.
  14. Double Vision

    Double Vision Well-Known Member

  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Shawn's got it!

    1) Tap, Rack, (reassess the threat), "BANG" as necessary.
    2) If the "Rack" step does not clear the empty case (misnamed "double-feed" jam), lock back the slide, rip the mag, rack to clear, insert fresh mag, rack slide, reassess the threat, etc.
  16. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Tap, Rack (assess), Bang

    If that fails,

    Rip, Strip, Reload
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    It just so happened I had this happen to me several times at the range yesterday. Since I demand my firearms used for SD/HD go bang every time I pull the trigger my main concern was why it occurred, not what to do after it occurred.

    When my gun went click I kept the gun pointed down range for several seconds in case it was a hangfire. I then ejected the round and inspected the primer. I then rechambered and fired it a second time.

    I didn't do a second hammer strike without inspecting the offending round first as safety and preventing damage to the gun are my primary concerns. Until I positivity identify the cause of the ftf's (which I am focusing on a weak hammer spring for now) I will not use this gun.

    I know some owners consider failures to feed/fire/eject as part of the nature of the beast with semi-autos. IMHO a properly tuned semi-auto matched to ammo that has proven reliable in it should be as reliable as a revolver.

    I suspect this is not the answer you are looking for but I put safety and avoiding damage to my gun as my top priorities.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    And that's a very tricky issue. When shooting in a defensive situation, safety and avoiding damage to your gun are clearly not at all your top priorities.

    And you should certainly "train like you fight" and vice-versa.

    However, there is often a reluctance to risk the damage from firing a round after a deep-seated squib so that can be a distraction from realistically effective training.

    Obviously, if in a gun fight you experience a malfunction, the LAST thing you want to be doing is standing there peering at your gun wondering exactly why it didn't go "BANG."
  19. otasan56

    otasan56 Well-Known Member

    I'd go with post #2.
  20. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    There are several scenarios where you might get a click instead of a bang, not all of them involving failure to fire the cartridge in the chamber. There may not be a cartridge in the chamber, for example. In the middle of a gunfight you don't have time to diagnose what happened. So immediately go to the "Tap-Rack-Assess-Bang If Necessary" drill. Tap the magazine by striking it with the heel of your hand, to be sure it is still seated. (A loose magazine might have caused a misfeed.) Rack the slide, to (hopefully) feed a new cartridge. Assess the situation (quickly!). Firing the gun should be a conscious decision for every shot, not automatic or reflexive. Bang (fire again) if the situation still warrants it. Unless the gun is actually empty or has suffered a mechanical failure, this drill will take care of everything but a failure to extract. If it still fails to fire after all of this, reload the gun. Of all the arguments to carry a spare, loaded magazine, this is near the top, second only to actually running out of ammo.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

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