Handgun Malfunctions 401: Broken Guns

By on September 24, 2014

In Handgun Malfunctions 101: Tap-Rack-Bang we talked about immediate action and what you should do if you think your gun should fire but it doesn’t.  In Handgun Malfunctions 201: Intermediate Action we talked about what to do if Tack-Rack didn’t work.  In Handgun Malfunctions 301 we talked about a couple oddball gun malfunctions that you can fix; today lets talk about a broken handgun.

In a tactical situation (i.e. gunfight) I’ll make this supper simple: If Tap-Rack or intermediate action doesn’t work, then forget about the gun.  The gun is broken and it’s time for “Plan B.” You just have to except that the gun is broken and move to something else.  Guns break.  It happens, and if it happens to you in a gunfight it’s going to suck, a lot!  Trust me.

During the initial invasion in Iraq I was in the Marine Corps at the “Tip-of-the-Spear” going up to take out Saddam.  Only in good Marine Corps fashion they gave me a rifle that didn’t run.  So I found out in the first gunfight that the thing was a single shot rifle.  I would have given my left arm for a back-up gun.  Luckily I had a full squad of Marines with me to pick up the slack and save my but.

At home you don’t have the option to wait for someone else.  There is no one to pick up your slack.  You are it.  If your gun breaks what are you going to do? Do you have a plan B?  Have you ever considered carrying a second gun?  Carrying any other weapon as a back up?

My personal experience says you should carry an extra gun and I do all the time.  It’s rare for me not to be carrying two guns when I’m out.

Carrying a second gun is not just incase your gun breaks on it’s own.  I’ve seen a bunch of documented gunfights where the gun takes a round and no longer works.  Then what?   You kept your gun perfectly oiled and in perfect running condition, but even a Glock doesn’t run so well after being shot.  Then what are you going to do?

How about in the middle of the fight you simply fall or get knocked down?  Your gun goes spilling from your hands as you bobble it.  You know from countless instructors and training sessions that you shouldn’t ketch the gun but let it fall, so you let it hit the ground and watch in horror as it goes skidding underneath the car you where trying to take cover behind.  Do you really want to get down on your belly in the middle of the gunfight and try to retrieve it?  Maybe? I like being able to pull my second gun and continue to fight.  I’ll get the first one back if possible, but go with the second if I have to.  A second gun gives you options.

Before you go out the door with your gun today, what would you do if that gun quit working in the middle of a gunfight?

Stay Safe,


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  1. Handgun Malfunctions Bonus: Is it a Broken Gun? | Modern Self Protection - […] other posts first (if you haven’t, read Immediate Action, Intermediate Action, Advanced Tricks, Broken Guns: What to Do, or …

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