Training for jams?

Training for jams?

This is a discussion on Training for jams? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In the thread about the dog attacks someone mentioned that the guy may not have known how to clear the jam and therefore needs to ...

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Thread: Training for jams?

  1. #1
    Member Array HKing's Avatar
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    Training for jams?

    In the thread about the dog attacks someone mentioned that the guy may not have known how to clear the jam and therefore needs to train for that.

    My question (and a newbie one I'm sure) is how do you train for jams? I've only really had a couple and to say the least it was more than a couple seconds for me to clear them. How do you simulate them enough to be proficient at clearing them quickly rapidly?

    Thanks guys


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    There are a number of ways. At home you can use snap caps to simulate double feeds and work with them. Close the slide on a fired case to simulate a stove pipe and work clearing that. Load snap caps random at the range to simulate FTF. Use your imagination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    There are a number of ways. At home you can use snap caps to simulate double feeds and work with them. Close the slide on a fired case to simulate a stove pipe and work clearing that. Load snap caps random at the range to simulate FTF. Use your imagination.
    What Guantes said and find a good trainer.

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Basically, you train for jams on the range when they occur. If you've got some tools that are likely to jam on the range....then fix them before it happens. Your tools are important, and thinking about when, if, and how your tools might fail you takes away from the proper use of your tools. If you feel your tools inferior for the job, then choose different tools.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I think just the opposite, learning to deal with a failure is a HUGE part of training for many people and very valid. I think to truly know your gun is to know how to handle it in all situations.

    First off, I carry only the most reliable guns.... But, things can go wrong, many times user error, not mechanical. Support hand shooting, angles you're not used too, etc. I want to be able to clear a jam in just a little more time than it takes me to do a reload. I should be able to clear a double feed to 5 or 6 seconds....in a stress-free environment. I've seen guys fiddle with basic failure for a minute or two.

    I know I made a big point of that in that thread. I think it's the mark of a serious shooter, knowing how to handle your weapon, no matter what it does. Training is a must, but there's some things you can do.

    My biggest thing is watching these guys at the range shooting well, but then their gun has a failure and they just go blank, like someone punched them in their stomach. I hear guys all the time say, "I had a jam on round 72, in mag number 3, 2 rounds in", etc. Clear the darn thing and keep shooting, that's the key, but you have to train to know how to do it when it's time.

    Snap caps help. Load a few into your mags here and there then load a mag and shoot. When you get a "click", clear it and go. There's a video floating around of a store owner getting shot, and killed, because the gun he pulled jammed. I may not make it home from the next defensive situation I'm in (God forbid), but it won't be because I couldn't clear a jam...or at least not because I didn't know HOW to clear a jam.

    I'm ALL about training....good training.... but there's other resources out there if you don't have the time or money for training right this minute. There are drills and DVD's available that will at least get you started and headed in the right direction, even though they're no substitute for hands-on training. One of the best so far that I've found is the Magpul Dynamics Art of the Dynamic Handgun. There's a disc in the 4 disc set dedicated to drills, and a big part of that is failures. I've been incorporating failure drills into my training for a number of years - though I don't really enjoy it all that much - and I still learned quite a bit from the DVD's.

    Here's a trailer on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTr8x...ext=1&index=62

    Magpul Dynamics Link - http://store.magpul.com/prod_detail_list/76
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  6. #6
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    You can load some snap caps into your mags to simulate FTF. Otherwise you can get a Jennings.
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  7. #7
    Member Array ramrunnr's Avatar
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    I use snap caps, but what I do is I have my friend shooting with me load the mags and I load his. Sometimes he won't put them in and sometimes he will put five in a 19 round mag. Since I didn't load my mags I won't know when or how many to expect. We usually load up to 10 mags and we also short load a few. Only putting 10 instead of 19, or whatever. Helps to simulate a stuck mag. Find what works for you.
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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    IMO, only a minor jam can be cleared fast enough to save your bacon in a gunfight/defense situation. If it jams and you can't clear it in about 2 seconds, go for your backup or get the Hell outta Dodge. If neither is an option - flip'em a bird and die like a Viking!

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    Senior Member Array C Bennett's Avatar
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    Snap caps...this is how I knew/know people are not ready to or should NOT be carrying a semi auto..I take their magazine and load it up I slip in 2-3 snap caps at random spots...if the person shooting gets to the snap cap and has no idea whats wrong or how to fix it they need NOT to be carrying a semi auto OR they need to train to be able to know what to do without a second thought. I did this to my wife with the Glock 23..she was great with it when working 100% but when it just went "CLICK" she had no idea how to fix it what to do and if that had happened say while i was at work at night in a home invasion scenario..she would be DEAD because of it..she no longer gets to use the Glock she gets the Taurus CH85 revolver..why...because she does not want to or like to go shooting nor is she willing to train with the semi auto to figure out how to really use it correctly/when its not working 100%.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Bennett View Post
    Snap caps...this is how I knew/know people are not ready to or should NOT be carrying a semi auto..I take their magazine and load it up I slip in 2-3 snap caps at random spots...if the person shooting gets to the snap cap and has no idea whats wrong or how to fix it they need NOT to be carrying a semi auto OR they need to train to be able to know what to do without a second thought. I did this to my wife with the Glock 23..she was great with it when working 100% but when it just went "CLICK" she had no idea how to fix it what to do and if that had happened say while i was at work at night in a home invasion scenario..she would be DEAD because of it..she no longer gets to use the Glock she gets the Taurus CH85 revolver..why...because she does not want to or like to go shooting nor is she willing to train with the semi auto to figure out how to really use it correctly/when its not working 100%.
    I have to disagree with you here. I struggled with the same thing with my wife with her LCP. I doubt she can clear a jam, and she does not have the time (2 kids) or desire to practice much. She tried the revolvers, and hated them. My reasoning is that there is a 99+% chance than the pistol will function just fine, and I rather she has 7 shots in a gun she can shoot, than only 5 in a gun she hates.

    Your Glock 23 is as reliable as your revolver. You're sacrificing a lot of capacity for the very unlikely scenario that she would have a jam with the Glock.

    Maybe get her 2 revolvers for home defense? Or - load the Glock with FMJ, which reduces the chance of a jam to darn near zero.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by 10thmtn; September 29th, 2010 at 10:19 AM. Reason: added info
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    It makes a lot of sense to carry a second gun sometimes. If you're not going to train to the point that the remedial action is second nature, you're better off dropping the gun that won't run and pulling the other one.

    That said, there are essentially two methods of getting the semi auto back into action.

    First is "Tap, Rack, Reassess". Or, as I like to say it - "Whack, Rack, Reassess". Tap implies a gentle movement, IMHO.

    Whack - give the bottom of the magazine a SOLID blow to ensure it is fully seated.
    Rack - Firmly grasp the rear of the slide, without covering the ejection port, and pull it HARD to the rear (like you were trying to tear it off). Let it slam forward on it's own.
    Reassess - if there is still a need to shoot, shoot and assess the result.

    In a double feed or failure to extract situation, you'll need to go a bit further. If the above fails to get the gun back up on line:

    Firmly lock the slide to the rear.
    Eject the magazine - pulling it out of the gun if needed.
    Rack the slide (as described above) 2-3 times.
    Insert magazine (preferably a different one than you removed, if you have a spare)
    Rack to load
    Reassess

    You can practice this at home with snap caps.

    Here is a pretty concise explanation of remedial action for a semi-auto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpohvlt3-uk

    Matt
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Using snap caps at the range is about the easiest you can get, but it's only one type of failure. I personally prefer Azoom snap caps (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=642438) since they tend to last. I carry a pack of five in each range bag and randomly insert them into mags while practicing. I don't bother trying to remember which mags were loaded with caps and being that they're inserted randomly, I really don't know when there's going to be a failure. I know it's recommended to train as you would fight, but I do look to see if it was a snap cap or a live round that was ejected. If a live round were ejected, I'd want to know why such as a light primer strike. Better to learn of an issue like this at the range.

    If you're able to change your pistol's recoil spring, go to a much higher spring weight that causes stovepipes. When it comes to Beretta/Taurus 92s, my handloads are so weak that they'll stovepipe with the factory spring. That's an easy way for me to practice stovepipes since I just mix my handloads with factory ammo.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Bennett View Post
    Snap caps...this is how I knew/know people are not ready to or should NOT be carrying a semi auto..I take their magazine and load it up I slip in 2-3 snap caps at random spots...if the person shooting gets to the snap cap and has no idea whats wrong or how to fix it they need NOT to be carrying a semi auto OR they need to train to be able to know what to do without a second thought. I did this to my wife with the Glock 23..she was great with it when working 100% but when it just went "CLICK" she had no idea how to fix it what to do and if that had happened say while i was at work at night in a home invasion scenario..she would be DEAD because of it..she no longer gets to use the Glock she gets the Taurus CH85 revolver..why...because she does not want to or like to go shooting nor is she willing to train with the semi auto to figure out how to really use it correctly/when its not working 100%.
    I agree with you and I did the same thing with my wife. If a person has trouble racking a slide or has trouble clearing a failure, then IMHO, a revolver is best. You have to factor in the adrenaline dump, the fear, the shaking, the possibility of limp-wristing out of doubt, them not wanting to shoot, etc. and then consider whether a semi-auto or a revolver is better. While a semi-auto is better when everything is 100% meaning the weapon AND the person are in good condition, a revolver isn't as picky.

    For my wife, we started with a Springfield XD9, but that was changed to a Ruger SP101 with Crimson Trace grip. Reason: she heard a loud noise one night when I was in Iraq and later told me she had trouble manipulating the slide because of everything going through her head at the time. She had the Ruger about a week later. That was roughly six years ago and she hasn't been to the range since (another factor to consider). I go, if not every week, every other week and I invite her, but she just doesn't want to go.

  14. #14
    Member Array Pioneer's Avatar
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    Until you can find an instructor, there are videos that may help.

    Plan A: Go to; http://www.guntalk.tv/site.php Click on "Instruction" then use the search feature to find "malfunction." On that page, find the free video entitled "tap rack." There are others, but they require membership.

    Plan B: Go to You Tube and search for "gun malfunction."

    The videos will give you the basics, but it is very important to spend a few Obama Bucks to get professional training. It may save your life.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    You don't even really need snap caps, just load an empty case into your magazine. Some guns will chamber it, some won't. You can also load an empty case backwards into the magazine so that the extractor can't grab it. Best of all they're free. Same trick works for a revolver, we've done it for years to spot flinches in new shooters.
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