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Old June 20, 2014, 03:28 PM   #1
HungryHunter
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Training to clear a malfunction

Hi all. I know the four main malfunctions of a semi auto pistol and how to clear them in the appropriate "workspace" while maintaining awareness. My only dilemma though is that I mainly "practice" with only two of my pistols. The rest are just fun guns so to speak. The two pistols I train with are both Sigs. A P2022, and a P220, my primary carry guns.

I know this may sound hard to believe or slightly boastful, and I suppose I'm just lucky but I can say without exaggeration I have ran at least 5k rounds through the 220, and 1k through the 2022 and over the years I've never had a malfunction. I've heard of mixing in a Snap Cap or two, or a empty case in the magazine but am somewhat hesitant of this. Not sure why. .. Just seems unsafe, though I have no logical basis for that. I often purposefully buy the cheapest ammo I've never heard of but it fails to malfunction. Like I said I guess I'm just lucky because I figured the numerical probability of at least getting a bad primer would happen but not so. Any ideas? Should I shoot on blissfully, I feel like I may be slowing down on a perishable skill. Hope this doesn't sound dumb. Thanks all.
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Old June 20, 2014, 03:55 PM   #2
Spats McGee
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I don't understand why you'd be hesitant to put a couple of snap caps in the mag. That's what snap caps are made for. A number of folks (all of whom know considerably more about shooting and guns than I do) have all recommended that I practice with snap caps. I've got some, just haven't practiced with them yet.

As for the empty case, well, it doesn't sount "dangerous," but I'm also not sure how well it would work. Maybe someone who has done that can chime in on that.
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Old June 20, 2014, 04:06 PM   #3
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryHunter
I've heard of mixing in a Snap Cap or two, or a empty case in the magazine but am somewhat hesitant of this. Not sure why. .. Just seems unsafe, though I have no logical basis for that.
Like Spats said, there's absolutely no problem with using a snap cap, it's completely, 100% safe. In fact, it's safer to use snap caps than live ammo; live ammo can cause a squib or a kaboom in rare cases, whereas a snap cap cannot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
As for the empty case, well, it doesn't sount "dangerous," but I'm also not sure how well it would work. Maybe someone who has done that can chime in on that.
I've used empty cases to simulate stoppages before when I didn't have snap caps. Sometimes they feed properly and work just like snap caps, sometimes they mis-feed and stovepipe (or worse), which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It mostly depends on the gun; some will usually feed empty cases, some will sometimes, and some never will.
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Old June 20, 2014, 04:14 PM   #4
Slopemeno
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A bad primer is the least of your worries. The usual culprit in my experience is an unsized bullet that simply won't chamber- though this is uncommon in factory ammo.

Tommy Campbell from Team Smith and Wesson ran into an unusual ammo failure back in the 80's in a well publicized match- a round where no flash hole was ever drilled in the case. And that was new factory ammo.

My suggestion is to join a league, and compete. Have someone on your squad load your mage for you and have them put a snap cap in one of your mags…or not.
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Old June 20, 2014, 04:45 PM   #5
HungryHunter
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Okay awesome. Thanks for the replies.
Spats, I'm not sure why I thought it would be dangerous. I knew logically it couldn't be but read an article several years ago by a prominent gun writer about the evils of snap caps being mistaken for live rounds and negligent discharge. I know the two don't correlate and either could be mitigated by common sense but I was left kind of wary , my fault .I also had a bad feeling about an empty somehow bending a magazine lip not feeding correctly but once again logically wouldn't. I just needed a conformation it was ok. Thanks.

Theohazard thanks for the info. I will be more inclined to try a case now knowing it will possibly provide a wider variety of malfunctions. Hopefully my pistols will oblige.

Slopemeno that is a way cool story. Very curious. I'd love to join some kind of shooting club but unfortunately there literally are none in my area. Unfortunately due to time constraints (dogs, kids, old lady, broken down motorcycles and the VA) I often shoot alone and at sporadic times. I will definitely bear in mind though if it becomes a possibility.
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Old June 20, 2014, 04:57 PM   #6
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryHunter
. . . .Spats, I'm not sure why I thought it would be dangerous. I knew logically it couldn't be but read an article several years ago by a prominent gun writer about the evils of snap caps being mistaken for live rounds and negligent discharge.
If that's a concern, buy brightly colored snap caps.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/190...ap-cap-polymer
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/521...-package-of-24
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/592...d-package-of-5
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/Produ...px?catid=10064
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...p-prod247.aspx
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:09 PM   #7
HungryHunter
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Spats, HAHAHA! Very nice! I saw that one coming bout a mile and a quarter out! Nicely done, touché.
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:16 PM   #8
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungryHunter
I knew logically it couldn't be but read an article several years ago by a prominent gun writer about the evils of snap caps being mistaken for live rounds and negligent discharge.
That shouldn't be an issue at the range, but it could be an issue with home dry-fire. It definitely helps to get brightly-colored snap caps like Spats said, but this just emphasizes that everyone should always be dry-firing with a safe backstop, even in their home.

If you're dry-firing in your home without a safe backstop, then you're not following all the safety rules. A safe backstop can be a bookshelf (it usually only takes a few books to stop a bullet), or a gun safe (depends on the quality of the safe and the angle that you're facing it), etc. I dry-fire in my garage: The back wall of my garage is concrete, and my house is on a hill so that wall is actually underground. So the only worry is lead or concrete fragments coming back at me, which is why I have several layers of plywood set up on top of the concrete.

I don't plan to ever actually shoot at my garage wall/plywood setup, but a lot of my dry-fire practice involves drawing from the holster. I carry my EDC gun all the time in Condition One (even in my house), so I worry that someday I'll have a complete brain-fart and accidentally fire a live round when I'm dry-fire practicing. But, thanks to my setup, if that happens nobody will get hurt and I won't have stray rounds going into my neighbor's house; I'll just have ringing ears and an angry wife.
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:38 PM   #9
jglsprings
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Watch Clint Smith's youtube video on "tap" "rack" "bang"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJaQvV6q-D8&feature=kp

It is an exceptional instructional video and will also show you how to set up malfunctions for drills.
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:40 PM   #10
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Ringing ears AND an angry wife....aren't those synonymous??
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:41 PM   #11
jglsprings
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Quote:
Ringing ears AND an angry wife....aren't those synonymous??
Wow! I thought I was at a family reunion there for a moment...

Return to normal broadcasting.
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Old June 20, 2014, 05:48 PM   #12
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbite
Ringing ears AND an angry wife....aren't those synonymous??
Haha! Yeah, that's usually the case, but I suppose the hearing loss from the gunshot would make dealing with the wife a little easier!
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Old June 21, 2014, 07:32 PM   #13
Glenn E. Meyer
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It is a thing worth doing. Today, at a match, my 1911 decided to generate two nasty double feeds. Thanks to a class from Tom Givens, I know how to clear 1911 jams pretty well. Cost me a ton of time but I could still run the gun.

However, my carry is a Glock. Not that it hasn't jammed.
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Old June 23, 2014, 01:44 PM   #14
Derbel McDillet
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Quote:
I know this may sound hard to believe or slightly boastful, and I suppose I'm just lucky but I can say without exaggeration I have ran at least 5k rounds through the 220, and 1k through the 2022 and over the years I've never had a malfunction.
Injury; fatigue from grappling/fleeing; cold, wet, muddy or bloody hands, etc., can all produce an unexpected stoppage with an otherwise reliable pistol.
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Old June 23, 2014, 03:46 PM   #15
zombietactics
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Quote:
... I know this may sound hard to believe or slightly boastful, and I suppose I'm just lucky but I can say without exaggeration I have ran at least 5k rounds through the 220, and 1k through the 2022 and over the years I've never had a malfunction. ...
I don't find that difficult to believe at all. Most modern guns are pretty reliable, and a lot of it depends upon how you are training, at what pace, and under what conditions.
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