Yankee Marshall Explains why Officer Wilson’s Gun Didn’t Go Bang

Politics of the incident aside, gun guys have been seizing on the testimony that Officer Wilson’s sidearm had two “clicks” before the gun detonated as designed. Some have been assuming that it was light primer strikes or even a bad primer. By the Marshall’s explanation, its something even simpler… the handgun was not in battery.

I hope that no one is ever in a self-defense situation in extreme close quarters (or even a situation to begin with), but it emphasizes the need for training and understanding of your firearms and their operation in the case of stressful encounters.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • noob

    has anyone made a completely shrouded slide defensive ultracompact pistol with a non-reciprocating charging handle?

    sort of like how an uzi has an enclosure over the “telescoped bolt” which is actually sort of like a slide.

    that way you could ding your compact pistol around, have dirt get on it etc, but the slide will stay clean and in battery.

    you’d probably have to chamber a small round so that the slide wouldn’t be so massive that the enclosure around it makes the weapon have a total width so large as to be impractical.

    maybe 22lr? it’s on the tip of my tongue. I’m sure I’ve seen something that fits the bill.

    • Zebra Dun

      Yes, it’s called a two shot derringer.

  • gunsandrockets

    Sounds plausible.

  • USMC03Vet

    Nothing political about attempted murder and justified use of deadly force for self defense.

  • AUGrad06

    I’ve seen this option stated a bunch recently. I think it is probably the most plausible thing that occurred during the incident.

  • losermagnet

    I think a 357 or 44 mag pump, with a tube load with a gate, would sell. Then you got pretty nice rifle, with pretty light ammo that packs a punch. That could be reloaded fast, and then you could carry a nice 357 or 44 mag pistol for backup.

  • dan citizen

    except that you can stop a revolver from functioning by grasping the cylinder (used to be taught in self defense classes, may still be)

    Also you can get the web of your hand between hammer and frame. I believe lee harvey oswald did this

    • Zebra Dun

      Oswald didn’t do that more than once.

      • dan citizen

        As I recall, things didn’t work out very well for Mr Oswald.

        Also, now that I think about it, I believe on of the officers did it to Oswald, rather than the other way around.

  • Nicks87

    I agree I think he makes some of the worst videos on youtube. I dont get the humor in being overly sarcastic.

  • Not from our viewpoint or area of interest.

  • Scott

    He’s a complete moron. I wish he’d just ban me from his channel so I wouldn’t have to see his videos in the “recommended for you” section.

  • Paul Epstein

    Name one person who would have been able to observe the action of the firearm inside the car who contradicts Wilson’s testimony as to what happened. In addition, the perceived issue with Wilson’s story works AGAINST him in court- there would be no reason for him to make it up, it is effectively an admission against interest.

    The video presents a plausible explanation for what occurred based on all available evidence. If you don’t think plausible explanations based on available evidence matter, then you’re basically rejecting all science ever published.

  • Zebra Dun

    No, this is weapons handling using an example of how it can and does occur.
    The training that teaches not placing the barrel of an semi automatic hand gun directly against a prisoner or targets skin due to failure to fire by disconnect is valid and not political.
    The fact that many self defense revolvers are made without hammers due to the chance of a thumb or material jamming the action.
    This merely shows the weapon and it’s ammo functioned flawlessly and the reason the weapon did not fire was due to the perp being so close and in direct contact with the piece with his hand or arm the dis connector was engaged.
    Proof the perp was attempting to disarm or turn the weapon on the Policeman at danger close range.
    There is nothing political about a discussion of why a weapon failed to fire twice.

  • Zebra Dun

    a pistol disconnected far enough will begin to extract the loaded round and the round can jam in the receiver in a half extracted attitude, holding the weapon in disconnect mode by friction and angle of round, then with a hammer blow or a good slap on the rear of the slide go back into battery and fire.

  • Zebra Dun

    He extrapolated, tested and demonstrated his thoughts on what may have occurred.
    The odds of a failure to fire because of a bad round are there but so is the fact that the only other plausible scenario was a disconnect and out of battery slide.
    The weapon did fire we know at close range and did strike the perps hand because there was blood spatter inside the vehicle, the why the weapon was not emptied into the perp was because the pistol failed to fire as many times as the trigger was actuated.
    Forensics gives a better view of what happened and forensic investigators were not there also.