Video: Clearing Pistol Malfunctions And Stoppages On The Fly


Addressing pistol malfunctions and stoppages on the fly is a must if you want to keep your gun in the fight.

Stance, grip, sight picture… there are a number of common fundamentals you must master no matter your handgun choice. Unique to pistols, managing malfunctions.

While revolvers do malfunction, the occurrence is rarer and in many instances more catastrophic. A pulled bullet, for instance, relegates a wheelgun to a hunk of steel, until it spends a couple hours under the studied hands of a gunsmith. Pistol malfunctions and stoppages, however, are a fact of life. Luckily they are also much easier to address. Develop a proper understanding of what they are and how to clear them and you’ll keep your gun in the fight, even under great duress.

Starting from the start, and in the simplest terms, there are four primary malfunctions and stoppages:

  • Failure To Fire
  • Failure To Feed
  • Failure To Extract
  • Failure To Eject

It almost goes without saying, but if you keep your pistol cleaned and well maintained the chance of these occurring is greatly reduced. But if you’re in a life-or-death situation and you encounter a malfunction or stoppage, solving it is usually as simple as tap, rack and bang. That is, firmly tap the magazine to ensure it’s fully seated, rack the slide to clear the action of any obstruction and to put it back into battery, and bang… well, that should be the ultimate result in addressing the issue.

Learn How To Run Your Defensive Pistol:

Richard Mann goes a step further in the above video, suggesting you initiate a full reload or at least take the magazine out when you clear your pistol. The reason being, the magazine might be the issue, not the pistol. Either routine, learning to address pistol malfunctions and stoppages are a must if you want to keep your gun running.

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