Two weeks ago, I wrote about Handgun Malfunctions and how you can fix them with a simple Tap-Rack-Roll to the Right. If you haven’t read it, go read it first. There are a couple of safety considerations that should be looked at before trying to learn the next step in clearing your handgun (if you don’t know what a squib round or audible pop is, go read this first).
If Immediate Action (Tap-Rack-Roll to the right) doesn’t work, then what? I normally do it again. My experience with handguns is that if it doesn’t work the first time, it’s not going to work the second time, but with rifles it does about half the time. I’d like to claim commonality of training, but in reality, my brain is trained when the weapon doesn’t fire, do Immediate Action. So it takes me twice before my brain engages and I think to do something else.
That something else is Intermediate Action. The military has taught some version of SPORTS (Army Version: Slap the Mag, Pull the Slide back, Observe the brass coming out, Release the slide, Tap it forward, Shoot; Marine Corps: Seek Cover, Pull Slide to the rear, Observe for Brass or Obstruction, Release the Slide, Tap it forward, Sight in and attempt to fire… I had to pull my Green Monster for that one). All are just crap. It takes too long and you have to figure out what happened and then, how to clear it.
Here’s a sure fire way to clear your weapon without looking or knowing what’s wrong with it. I got the technique from Bill Murphy at Firearms Training Associates and the song to describe it from Suarez International.
After trying Tap-Rack-Roll go for Lock-Rip-Work-Reload and don’t look at the gun.
Step by Step:
You can do this in seconds and it will fix almost any problem you have with a handgun. There are only a few things that this won’t help to clear your problem, but we’ll go over that in the next post.
To set up a drill to practice, the easiest way is to create a double feed. To do that, lock the slide to the rear, insert a magazine, with the slide still open, drop a loose round (of the appropriate caliber) into the top of the gun and hit the slide release. Both rounds will try to get into the chamber and create a mess. For bonus points before you start, smack the back of the slide forward to get everything stuck. This will force you to run the gun with some authority to clear it.
After creating the mess, try Tap-Rack-Roll, sometimes it works. If it doesn’t, Lock the slide to the rear, Rip the magazine out (I like to retain it just in case it’s my last one), Work the slide three times hard and fast, Reload the gun with a new magazine if you have one and then work the slide one more time to chamber a round.
You can do this drill live fire on the range or use dummy rounds at your home. Either way, do this a lot until it becomes automatic and you’ll be on top of 99.9% of all malfunction issues.