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Malfunctions (also, erroneously, known as "jams") are a way of life in semi-automatic

handguns. Though most modern guns are relatively reliable, it is always a good idea to be
prepared, because malfunctions seem to happen at the most inopportune times. This article also
covers reloading, which is not a malfunction, but is yet another reason why your gun may not
fire when you want it to. There are two types of reload situations. One, you've fired all your
rounds, and the magazine is empty with the slide or bolt locked back. This is called an
Emergency or Normal Reload. The second, is a "tactical reload", where rounds have been fired,
but the weapon still has only about a round or two in it. You can use this opportunity to drop
your nearly empty or empty magazine and load a new one.

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EditMethod 1 of 5: Emergency Reload

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1.

1
Identify the need. An emergency reload is needed when you have spent all the rounds
from your magazine and your slide is locked back.

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2.

Grab a fresh magazine (likely from a magazine pouch). This happens after the slide
has locked back on an empty magazine.
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3.

Move the fresh magazine toward the gun, as you do this...


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4.

Eject the empty magazine. Be sure not to lose your old magazine, and bring your new
magazine into place below the magazine well. (they should essentially pass each other
during the drill).
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5.

Insert the magazine. Place the rear of the magazine against the rear of the magazine well
of the gun, align the two, and with some force (though there should be little resistance)...
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6.

Seat the magazine using the heel of your palm. Give it a light tap, you should feel it
click into place.
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7.

Roll your hand over the top of the slide and pull it back toward your chest. Be sure
not to put your fingers in the slide opening, or anywhere else they might get caught.
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8.

Release the slide, so it can go forward with full force. This will seat the next round in
the chamber, preparing it for discharge.

EditMethod 2 of 5: Tactical Reload


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1.

Determine if it is safe to perform a tactical reload. Only execute this if you encounter
a lull in the gunfight and are able to place yourself behind cover. You know you have
spent some rounds from the current magazine and want to prepare for whatever may
come next.
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2.

Reach to your magazine pouch (or other magazine holder and a pocket maybe;
make sure you have a full magazine).
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3.

Move back to the gun and eject the partially depleted magazine into your hand.
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4.

Put the magazine in your pocket (separate from fresh magazines).


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5.

Grab the fresh magazine you touched earlier and insert it into the gun in the same
fashion as the emergency reload, but this reload doesn't require manipulation of the
slide.
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6.

Practice at the range. You should be able to feel and react immediately when the gun
does not fire. When you pull the trigger, if you feel a "click", execute a malfunction type-
1 clearing. If there is no click, look at the malfunction and act accordingly (remember it
may be an empty magazine too). After shooting for some time you should be able to feel
when the magazine is depleted, allowing you to execute emergency reloads very quickly.
Over time you will begin to notice that the weapon will feel and sound different after
firing the last round.

EditMethod 3 of 5: Type-1 Malfunction


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1.

Identify the malfunction. Often a type-1 malfunction is a misfeed, in which a round was
not loaded into the chamber (e.g. you didn't rack the slide after you loaded a magazine, or
the magazine wasn't seated enough to load a round).
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2.

Make sure the malfunction is not a "squib load". This is a relatively dangerous
malfunction where there is not enough force to propel the projectile out of the barrel. In
semi-automatic pistols, a squib is often easily noticeable, as the slide will not cycle and a
new round will not be chambered. If a squib load happens, remove the magazine and
clear the obstruction immediately.
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3.

Make sure the malfunction is not a "hang fire", in which the burning of the
cartridge's propellant is delayed. Only attempt to immediately clear the malfunction
during a live-fire, real confrontation. This is due to the risk of the round eventually firing.
If you experience a hang fire, keep the firearm pointed down range for at least 10 seconds
before attempting to clear.
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4.

Correct the Malfunction. The quickest way to do this is through immediate action. With
a semi-automatic pistol, pull the slide back, ejecting the last round. Observe the ejection
and the round. If the lead is still on the bullet, you know that the round didn't fire. If the
lead is gone, it may indicate a weapon malfunction. Observe the chamber. Check for
double feeds, or things that don't belong. Release the slide, seating the next round.
Deactivate the safety and attempt to fire the weapon. If it still fails to fire, remove the
magazine and eject the current round, and turn the weapon over to a gun expert for repair.
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5.

Practice:

o Load a full magazine into the gun with an empty chamber.


o Point at the target, pull the trigger, feel the "click".
o With the heel of your palm hit the bottom of your magazine (with some fervor;
this is the "tap").
o Then twist your gun 90-degrees to the right (so the ejection port is down) and...
o Rack the gun by pulling the slide straight back and letting go; do not ride the
slide forward, let it slam (this the "flip" and "rack" part of the drill). This will
drop a possibly dud round out of the chamber and load a new round into the
chamber.
2. Rack the slide and flip the gun to the right.
1. Tap the bottom of the magazine firmly.

EditMethod 4 of 5: Type-2 Malfunction

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1.

Identify the malfunction. When you pull the trigger, there is no "click" (or "boom").
Sticking out the chamber is visible brass. This brass is what gives the type-2 malfunction
the name "the stove pipe". It is also known as a failure to eject.
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2.

Fix the malfunction. The solution is the same as a type-1 malfunction: tap, rack/flip.
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3.

Practice:

o Pull back the slide to expose an empty chamber, lock empty brass so it is sticking
out of the chamber.
o Load a full magazine into the gun.
o Point at the target, pull the trigger, take note that there is no "click".
o Visually see the brass sticking out of the chamber.
o With the heel of your palm hit the bottom of your magazine (with some fervor —
this is the "tap").
o Then twist your gun 90-degrees to the right (so the ejection port is down) and...
o Rack the gun by pulling the slide straight back and letting go; do not ride the
slide forward, let it slam (this is the "flip" and "rack" part of the drill). This will
drop the brass out of the chamber and load a new round into the chamber.
0. Setup the stove pipe 3. Rack the slide and flip the gun
2. Tap the bottom of the to the right.
malfunction.
magazine firmly.
1. Point the gun up to see the
"high brass"

EditMethod 5 of 5: Type-3 Malfunction

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1.

1
Identify the malfunction. The fired casing does not get pulled out of the chamber and a
new round has now being loaded into the breech. This is known as a double-feed and a
failure to extract.

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2.

Fix the malfunction:

o Grab the slide and Lock it back (optional)


o Press the magazine release and (while your magazine may fall out on its own
normally, a type-3 will prevent it from doing so now) strip the magazine from the
gun.
o You have an option here. Either you drop the magazine, or practice retention
where you hold onto the magazine to continue to use it.
o Grab the slide again and rack it hard three times.
o Reach for a fresh magazine (or use the one in retention), put it in the gun (same as
the tactical reload) #*Rack the slide one more time to load a round into the
chamber.
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1. Point the gun up and 3. Strip the magazine from 5. Load fresh
see all the brass in the the gun (throw it to the magazine or the one
0. Setup the double chamber. ground or use retention and you held.
feed malfunction. 2. Lock the slide back. hold it in your hand). 6. Rack the slide to
4. Rack the slide three times. chamber a round.

Edit Video

How to make a good video in 5 steps.

So sorry if this is bad it's my first time

1. Include all details ECT.( if your making a video tutorial do it step by step.) 2.Talk in an
organized way. ECT.(say what you plan to say.) 3.stay on topic ECT.(don't go off telling a story
when you are doing a nail tutorial) 4.Plan it before you make it. ECT.(don't just turn it on. It can
take a month to get an idea 5.DO NOT be nervous!!!!! ECT.(talk high, don't b shy!

Hope this helps


Edit Tips
 Ideally, whether on the range or not, you should purchase extra magazines devoted only
to practice or shooting-skills development and mark them accordingly (a color-coded,
yard-sale type sticker on the end of the practice magazine works great for this purpose).
This will help you avoid any damage to the magazines that you carry for use for self-
defense caused by "dumping" them on the ground, stepping on them, etc.
 Along with empty brass, to help alleviate the possibility of a negligent discharge, the use
of inert training "ammunition" or "dummy rounds" is absolutely essential for reloading
and malfunction-clearing practice when not on the firing range. Dummy rounds have a
distinct appearance so as to make them harder to confuse with live ammunition.
 The more you practice, the better and quicker you will get.
 Practicing reloading and clearing the malfunctions is a key part of tactically training with
a handgun and should always be done on a firing range or in an otherwise safe location.
 Police yourself (and any partner) for live ammunition before entering the SAFE ZONE.
This must include the clearing the weapon, emptying all magazines and the emptying of
all of your pockets to check for live ammo. *Store live ammunition and loaded
magazines in a secure area nowhere near your SAFE ZONE practice area and remember
to repeat the above process if you leave and return. (Many law enforcement officers have
incurred a negligent discharge after leaving a SAFE ZONE, reloading their weapon and
then returning and forgetting to clear their weapon or magazines of live ammunition.)
 Improper reloading or malfunction-clearing practice can result in a negligent discharge -
that is, having the pistol fire a round when you did not intend for this to happen. If you
are on a firing range a negligent discharge may result only in a scary learning experience;
negligent discharges off the range and some on the range can result in property damage,
injury or death and civil and criminal charges.
 It can be argued that even when on the range there is no legitimate need to practice
malfunction clearing with live ammunition; and for less experienced persons, setting up
these conditions with live ammunition can be a recipe for a negligent discharge that has
the potential to endanger others on the firing range.
 For practice sessions off of the firing range when you intend to use only empty brass and
dummy rounds, set up a SAFE ZONE for your practice sessions. LIVE AMMUNITION
MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE SAFE ZONE!
 Ultimately, some of your practice sessions should include a partner to set up the various
malfunction conditions for you using empty brass and dummy rounds. This will help add
stress and sharpen your ability to quickly identify the type of malfunction and to execute
the action required to clear it.
Malfunction clearing drills

When engaged in combat shooting, sometimes cartridges do not feed into the chamber properly.
These jams must be cleared quickly so that firing can be resumed. There are variations of
malfunction drills, including the two most often required in competition: clearing a cartridge that
fails to fire, and clearing a double feed malfunction.[1]

1.) User Error: Magazine improperly seated, bullet is not loaded upon racking of the slide. 2.)
Stove pipe: Spent round does not fully eject and is often seen standing upright in the ejection
port appearing like a "STOVE-PIPE". 3.) Double Feed: Spent or unspent round remains in
chamber while another round also try's to load into same space.

2&3 are often caused by a weak grip, or less often a mechanical issue.

FIX 1 & 2 Hold the weapon in the working zone (about eight to ten inches from the body),
firmly smack the base of the magazine to verify seating. Slightly roll weapon to the right
exposing ejection port to additional gravity and rack the slide. Fire or effect!

3 Eject the magazine and retain between the ring and pinky finger of the strong hand, rack the
slide three times, reach for a new magazine and if one exists, load the weapon and drop the
magazine between the ring and pinky finger. If you are holding your last magazine, insert it, then
rack one more time to load, then fire for effect.

What do you do immediately if you have a weapon


malfunction?
The tried and true drill that fixes most malfunctions is the
Tap-rack-assess drill.
Tap: your magazine upward at the bottom to make sure it is
seated. Many weapons malfunctions in semi-autos come
from magazines not being fully inserted and dropping out of
battery. If that is the case, a good, stiff rap at the bottom can
clear it up.
Rack: the slide with feeling rearward to eject a
malfunctioning round and seat a new one. Your round may
not have ejected fully or properly and cycling that action in
a good hard and fast way can strip it away and out of your
life for good. When the slide is all the way rearward, let it
fall forward-- do not use the slide stop lever or even worse,
ride it forward. Try to perform this with the weapon canted
at 90-degrees or more so that the pull of gravity can help
strip out that bad round.
Assess your threat. Come back on target with a firearm back
in the fight using your proper grip and sight alignment.

Many veteran military, protective forces and law


enforcement officers remember a very similar version of this
drill as the old 'slap-rack-bang.'

While the slap/tap and rack parts are the same, you need to
remember not to train to automatically pull the trigger once
the firearm malfunction is cleared. In a world of civil and
criminal liability, the last thing you want is to fire an extra
round when not needed. Remember, every round fired ends
up in court. Tap-rack-assess is the motto. If upon your
assessment once you get back in action that further
engagement is warranted, by all means, meet a threat with a
threat, but assess rather than recon by fire.

How to practice

Knowing the drill is only the beginning, you need to practice


it and be able to perform it in a second or less. A good way to
accomplish this is with the use of snap-caps.

Sold in sporting goods stores everywhere as well as online,


snap caps are a cheap (about $15 for 5) and safe way to
practice dry fire, weapon reloads, and other manipulations.
Best of all, you can load them with live ammunition in a
magazine and they will chamber just like any other
cartridge, but of course not fire or cycle. I like to take two
snap caps and insert them randomly into three identical
magazines, and then conduct a course of fire. When I hit the
snap cap, tap-rack-assess gets me back into the fight. Then
after the line is clear, pick up the two ejected caps, wipe em
off, and pack em away for next time.

This will simulate a hang fire, misfire, failure to extract, or


failure to breach firearm malfunction very nicely.

Failure to feed drill

Sometimes the tap-rack-assess will not work to clear your


malfunction, such as in a double feed or failure to feed
situation.
In those, drop the magazine, rack the slide hard three times
(not just once), insert a new magazine (if available),
chamber, and get back in the fight.

This can be simulated by loading a spent or unloaded shell


casing of the same caliber into your magazine at random
alongside live rounds. When the live round fires and ejects,
the spent casing will begin to cycle, almost certainly catch in
the chamber, and jam up pretty good. If you are using a
brass casing this should not harm the firearm and simulates
the type of malfunction well.

Want a blast to liven up your training at the range? Take


three mags, load a spent casing somewhere in one, a snap
cap somewhere in another, and top off the rest with live
ammo and be ready.

*A note about squib loads and hang fires on the range- squib
loads, or rounds that do not fully fire can foul your barrel.
They make a distinctive, muted, and sound. If you hear
something that just does not sound right, and your shell casing
does not eject but the bullet is gone from it, you may need to
disassemble your gun and check the barrel. Likewise, on a
hang fire, if you pull the trigger on a chambered round and
hear a click rather than a bang, wait ten seconds with the
barrel pointed downrange before clearing. In a gunfight, these
rules are modified.