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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the range yesterday practicing with my XDs. I've only been carrying a couple of months and the XDs is my first semi-automatic so I was just practicing grip and shooting without using the sights.

I was running through a box of Remington FMJ, everything was going OK, except I was shooting low, which I'm working on, when suddenly, the gun just went click.

I froze, I had no idea what to do, yeah, I know about smack and rack but did I remember that at the time? No, I just stood there looking stupidly at the gun wondering what had gone wrong.

I did know that training would probably be a good idea, yesterday bought home to me how absolutely necessary it is.
 

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Bad primer?
that's what you described anyway. you did all you can do. keep gun pointed in a safe direction and wait a few moments. eject the shell and keep shooting.
 

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first time it happened to me was last week. For some reason I assumed something broke on my glock, lol, ridiculous. I didnt know how long I should keep it pointed down range. It was 115 grain fed. 9mm.
 

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... when suddenly, the gun just went click.

I froze, I had no idea what to do ...

I did know that training would probably be a good idea, yesterday bought home to me how absolutely necessary it is.
Malfunction/clearing drills are very important. You can poke around on Youtube and find a few good examples of the basic drills, and it's easy enough to keep practicing such techniques each and every time you're out shooting.

Most folks don't work nearly enough on these things. Me included.
 

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That mistake would be deadly had you been involved in a self defense situation. Look for a good combat firearms training course in your area.
 

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Be careful, lots of things I might do in this case would not be considered "range etiquette". Happens to all of us eventually. Its like OMG what happened, first you want to look down the barrel and see whats up but not a good idea. Hopefully you stand there in indecision for long enough that your bystanders think you are holding for long enough to safely decide round is not a "hangfire" and will not go off ( seriously keep it pointed downrange for at least a minute). Clear the round...there should be a bucket of water around a corner and well away from the people for just such things ( I now look around a bit so I know where it is w/o having to ask), gingerly drop offending round in bucket. Check weapon for issues, reload and try again.
Funny as a youngster I never recall having any misfires but I didn't shoot as many rounds as now and I have had a couple in last few months. I wonder how much the increased incidence is related to the manufacturers going full blast 24 hours a day or could it be related to the number of rounds coming off the lines or is it one in the same?

I bet you did exactly what I'm saying you should do but took a bit of thinking, I know some things are better trained to the point of doing w/o a thought but I prefer a man that thinks myself. Any sort of clearing drill would be seriously frowned on at most ranges I frequent so I would do those at home with maybe snap caps or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Malfunction/clearing drills are very important. You can poke around on Youtube and find a few good examples of the basic drills, and it's easy enough to keep practicing such techniques each and every time you're out shooting.

Most folks don't work nearly enough on these things. Me included.
This evening my wife and I decided that next time we are at the range we will load each others magazines, and every now and then load a random snap cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That mistake would be deadly had you been involved in a self defense situation. Look for a good combat firearms training course in your area.
Exactly, this is a self defense gun, I realized I need the training and muscle memory to make clearing it automatic.
 

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This evening my wife and I decided that next time we are at the range we will load each others magazines, and every now and then load a random snap cap.
I do this too, its good training.
 

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I agree with latentcarry. I believe tap-rack-bang is an emergency-only thing you want to practice with snap caps, not with an actual failure on the range. A hangfire is not the most common thing, but it would suck for the cartridge to detonate right when it's traveling past your face. Also, if you have a squib, the LAST thing you want to do is try to fire another round without thinking.
 

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This evening my wife and I decided that next time we are at the range we will load each others magazines, and every now and then load a random snap cap.
I do this, but we set up a misfire drill sequence. For some reason, perhaps leftover habits from the military, if I'm in a combat/defensive fire mode, I can do the clearing drills. If I'm in a "range" mind set, I default to "diagnosis" mode. I want to know why I had a failure.
 

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Try competing. That is how I got to the point of quickly recognizing what type of jam I had and if necessary do the tap, rack, bang drill quickly as the clock was running. Not all jams can be cleared with the drill so you need to be able to glance at your pistol and determine if the drill will work or if you have to drop you mag to clear a stuck round. This is why I always preach to carry a spare mag. Not for the ammo but for those jams that require you to remove the magazine to get the stuck bullet out.

Competing it also excellent to learn to manipulate a manual safety quickly and without thinking about it. When I stopped competing I used to swipe non existent manual safeties off of all my guns that did not have them. That is how automatic it can become when you compete every weekend. :)

Otherwise practicing the drill once in a while is not going to help much. Repetition until it becomes automatic is the only way to go and you can pay money for training every month or get into one of the many gun competitions in your area. My favorite was Steel Challenge as it is pure draw and fire with any hit counting.
 

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Funny as a youngster I never recall having any misfires but I didn't shoot as many rounds as now and I have had a couple in last few months. I wonder how much the increased incidence is related to the manufacturers going full blast 24 hours a day or could it be related to the number of rounds coming off the lines or is it one in the same?
+1, quoted for truth. It seems like in the effort to improve volume of manufacture, QC has fallen off a bit. Understandable but not good in a product that's inherently [marginally] dangerous to begin with.
 

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Anyone remember "Shake your ammo". I learned about that from a YouTube video. Apparently HiPoint had a flyer inside the box for some of their pistols telling the owner they should shake the ammo to prevent hang fires. ...

In the video, they call up customer service to inquire about this directive. ;)


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Yes, I even ran it back through and it failed to fire the second time too.
Good, because the next thing I would have wondered is if you accidently put lube in the firing pin channel.
 

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I agree with latentcarry. I believe tap-rack-bang is an emergency-only thing you want to practice with snap caps, not with an actual failure on the range. A hangfire is not the most common thing, but it would suck for the cartridge to detonate right when it's traveling past your face. Also, if you have a squib, the LAST thing you want to do is try to fire another round without thinking.
If the click is something to be taken care of, and we are training ourselves to do action on the gun when we hear it, then it doesn't matter where it happens. This is not a two way street. Either the gun has to be taken care of in a defensive manor, or the OP should resign himself to target shooting. I fully understand range rules and etiquette, but we are talking about a "time is life" type of drill...
 

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If the click is something to be taken care of, and we are training ourselves to do action on the gun when we hear it, then it doesn't matter where it happens. This is not a two way street. Either the gun has to be taken care of in a defensive manor, or the OP should resign himself to target shooting. I fully understand range rules and etiquette, but we are talking about a "time is life" type of drill...
If it were just a question of hangfires, I might agree. However, the possibility of squibs makes it too great a risk IMHO, etiquette aside. Imagine practicing rapid fire: bang bang little-bang (oh that's weird) click because the action didn't cycle (okay I know what to do) tap-rack-KABOOM! Burned hands if you're lucky, shrapnel embedded in your face (or that of the shooter in the next lane) if you're not. If you're going to do this, you better be VERY sure that you can recognize a squib and cease firing when it happens.

A better approach would be to load a bunch of snap caps at home. Click tap-rack click tap-rack. That can build muscle memory much more reliably than the rare real occurrence at the range (and if the real thing happens often enough to build muscle memory, you need a new pistol). I'm all for practicing realistically, but we don't have someone shooting over our heads to simulate combat stress, or stab ourselves in the arm to practice one-handed reloading when in great pain. If feed jams worry you enough to risk injury in training to clear them, better to just get a revolver and avoid the issue.
 
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