MODULE 7.2: Trouble Shooting

Immediate action drill

If the same problem persists after performing the Action Drill and you are 100% certain that your batch of ammunition is not faulty, then the problem points to a mechanical malfunction in the firearm.

How to deal WITH A” DELAYED DISCHARGE”

At this stage of your training, it is important to be aware of a specific rare condition that is a high Safety Risk — for yourself and others. This condition is known as the so-called “Hang-Fire”. The fact that this condition is rare doesn’t mean that it will never happen to you. Many unexplained shooting accidents have occurred. Due to this condition.

What is meant by “Hang-Fire?”

A Hang-Fire occurs when you pull the trigger and there is a mysterious time-delay before the firearm discharges. The delay could be as long as 10 seconds or more.

The important aspects to remember when a “Hang-Fire” occurs are as follows:

  • Stay calm.
  • Keep the firearm still.
  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction – as the shot could go off at any moment.
  • Wait at least 20 seconds.
  • Warn your Range Officer and other shooters around you.
  • Unload the firearm with extra caution – keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.

What is meant by “OBSTRUCTION IN THE BARREL”?

A bullet obstruction in the barrel can occur when sub-standard ammunition is fired and there is insufficient pressure to force the bullet out of the muzzle of the firearm.

Prevention is always better than cure. If you want to avoid a bullet obstruction in the barrel, follow these few steps:

  • Acquire a good-quality firearm
  • Always use quality ammunition.
  • Stick to the same brand of ammunition.
  • Take good care of your firearm and ammunition.
  • Clean and inspect your firearm regularly.
  • Check for any barrel obstructions before using the firearm.
  • Know your firearm inside-out and become accustomed to the feel of its recoil during shooting exercises.

A sudden difference in recoil during shooting exercises will be a signal that something may be wrong.

MECHANICAL MALFUNCTIONS

Immediate Action Drills for – Mechanical Malfunctions

If a mechanical malfunction occurs while in the middle of a shooting exercise:

  • Unload the firearm.
  • Wait for the Range Officer’s inspection and verbal declaration that “The Range is Safe”.
  • Inform the Range Officer that your firearm has possibly suffered a mechanical
  • If the problem cannot be corrected – withdraw from the exercise.

USER MALFUNCTIONS

User malfunctions refer to specific malfunctions that may occur with the user, i.e., the shooter, — or person handling a firearm.

Bear in mind that in a tactical situation the civilian-user seldom wears protective equipment such as eye or ear protection, or a bullet-proof jacket. This aspect alone, particularly with a user who is inexperienced in the handling and use of firearms can cause serious problems from the moment the first shot is fired. One important aspect to remember in a tactical situation is that you should do your very best to always remain in control of your firearm whenever you experience some sort of setback or hindrance, even if it means using your weak hand to control or fire the weapon. The second aspect to bear in mind (i.e., for the civilian who is not operationally or tactically trained) is that avoidance is the safest route to take – Rather flee than fight and avoid getting hurt in the process!

For purposes of this Module, we will focus on specific conditions that may occur on the shooting range during training/exercises/assessments.

In many cases user malfunctions occur due to negligence, —– for example, not wearing ear or eye protection. You cannot always rely on the Range Officer to warn you. Beginners are vulnerable to this type of carelessness; therefore, it cannot be stressed more why Safety Rules and Safety Drill Procedures should be practiced to the point of excellence and perfection.  However, one should always be prepared for the occasion such as a painful insect sting or a sudden medical emergency.

Immediate Action Drill – User Malfunctions

  • Unload the firearm.
  • If you are incapable of unloading the firearm, put the firearm down with the muzzle pointing in a safe direction.
  • Wait for the Range Officer’s inspection and verbal declaration that “The Range is Safe”.
  • Inform the Range Officer what has happened
  • In the case of an injury get medical help.

CLEARING OF MALFUNCTIONS

If you experience a malfunction of any sort, use your common sense and the knowledge gained in this Learner Guide to determine what type of malfunction occurred. Through practice you will know what to do in a tactical or operational situation. On a shooting range, perform the following Action Drills:

  • Tap
  • Rack
  • Check
  • Clear
  • Continue

DO NOT PERFORM THIS ACTION DRILL IF YOU ARE CONVINCED THAT THE FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS DUE TO A MECHANICAL FAULT. SEE MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION BELOW FOR ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES

Trouble Shooting / Fault Finding Guide:
Fault Possible Causes
Failure to fire Magazine not locked in position Misfire Trigger action faulty Firing pin broken or damaged Firearms dirty
Firearms will not eject Cartridge Rim broken Extractor broken
Action will not close Obstruction in chamber Extractor jammed Accumulated dirt obstructing bolt movement
Inaccurate firearms Problems with fundamentals of shooting Incorrect sight picture  
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