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Clearing Handgun Malfunctions

Aaron from Sage Dynamics covers the two most common handgun malfunctions, and clearing methods for both. In my opinion, if you carry a gun, you should practice clearing malfunctions regularly.

3 Responses to Clearing Handgun Malfunctions

  1. Al Cohol June 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Great info!

    Not to take away from what Aaron is teaching, but I figured I would share an experience I had recently. I got about 4 or 5 double feeds on my M&P Shield recently in a defensive handgun class and I used a method (that I think) Stephen Pineau teaches and it worked flawlessly every time. Its useful for those that don’t carry spare magazines because it doesn’t rely on dropping the magazine and putting in a different one. To clear the double feed you press the mag release button and rip the mag out. The slide will drop. You seat the mag back in and rack the slide and done. It worked for me every time without a hiccup and was very fast. I only mention this to open up the discussion with Aaron or whoever might know why this may or may not be a bad idea, as it seems to work great but I’m curious if there is any issue with training with this method. I don’t always carry a spare mag, especially in the hot summer months so this seems like a great option to not build a habit of getting rid of my mag every time I experience this type of malfunction.

    • Brandon June 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

      Thanks Al, I’ve been in classes where different variations of that method were taught too. Glad to hear you train, and thanks for sharing!

  2. Perry June 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    I agree with Al and have a few additional pointers:

    a. Always bring your gun close to your face and to the side to see the malfunction. Israeli operators do this whenever they return their weapons (whether pistols, SMGs or rifles) to the ready position and train their eyes to quickly glance to see if the slide is properly closed (in addition to ‘feeling’ the gun’s action).
    b. when racking the slide in order to clear a malfunction do it with force and snap your wrist to the side (right handed individuals to the right and vice versa) to eject anything caught in the gun using the centrifugal force. When you’re left handed and cocking the gun the port faces the ground and that’s fine but it you only cock it without the added force to the side when you’re right handed you get a gun that’s facing left and whatever was stuck in your gun stays stuck because the closed part of the port is now facing the ground.
    c. Since most individuals are right handed it’s best to move to the left when clearing a malfunction because you can expect return fire that (along with the very well known flinch) is expected to hit (you guessed it) your right side because right handed people hit the lower left part of their targets when they flinch and most people do, especially in a gun fight.
    d. perhaps it’s a good idea to mention why malfunctions occur and avoid them all together when possible: fingers on the mag release, safety and slide stop account for many malfunctions. I’ve seen someone create a double feed by pressing on one side of the extractor causing it to lift off the cartridge on the other. and a weak hold on the weapon with result in stovepipe malfunction.

    Thanks for the video!