Do You Practice For Malfunctions?

    Dan Dolbee, over at The Shooter’s Log, wrote an article about Immediate Action Drills. Immediate Action Drills is practicing to clear a malfunction. There are times when the unexpected happens and only a few can rise up from a fall like this woman.


    However how many runners practice falling, getting back up and winning a competition? How many of you out there practice shooting with an unexpected malfunction?

    Back when I helped to RO my NY Club’s USPSA pistol matches, I saw many shooters have mental break downs when something unexpected happens. You can just see it. They just stop everything and crickets are chirping. It magnifies 1000 percent when shooting in the dark.

    Dan Dolbee discusses the simple Tap-Rack-Bang. However he discusses a few other ideas that may be new to some of you. The pros and cons of using snap-caps. Sure it is great to simulate a malfunction with a snap cap however he mentions that a snap-cap malfunction can be simply solved by racking the slide. A solution that doesn’t address an improperly inserted magazine.

    Dan proposes wrapping some tape (I would use blue painters or masking tape) and wrap the bottom of your magazine. Test fit the tape and insert the magazine into the pistol. Try to find the sweet spot where inserting the magazine wont seat all the way but a good tap will properly seat the mag.

    Back in NY, before I got my pistol permit, I was using my KRISS Vector at the USPSA matches just to get some practice and trigger time. The Vector had frequent malfunctions. However I did not look at it as a negative. I took it as another training aspect. Use the malfunction to my advantage. I would get wicked fail to extract malfunctions but every time I got one I got better at clearing that malfunction. The first time it happened it took several minutes to debug the problem. After a few more instances it was a rather simple fix that took a few seconds to clear.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]