New York Firearms Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Saw this thread on another forum I frequent, and thought it might be worthwhile to share here. Here is the relevant piece from the original post:

I was at the range today with my brother with my springfield loaded with a new kimber conversion kit. We shot a good bit and I was shooting the converted Springfield at the time. I was trying to count my rounds since the slide doesn't lock back. I went through a magazine when the gun went click and I dropped the mag. I walked back to the shooting table where brother was standing. I laid the gun on the table, hammer forward and no finger near the trigger. I will be honest, I "thought" the gun was cold. I laid it on the table, then the gun went off. After the fact I retraced the scene to the best of my ability. I had a range bag on the the table. the bullet went into the side of the of the bag, bounced off a full coke can in the bag, then hit the zipper of the bag and turned almost a 70 degree angle & then entered my brothers arm. the bullet stopped at the very edge of his elbow.

So, the obvious things to be learned here are 1) gun points downrange at all times, and 2) make the gun safe before setting it down (slide locked back). These are certainly excellent points and it never hurts to be reminded of them. However, my thought when reading this was different.

When I took Defensive Pistol 101 from Rochester Personal Defense, we were taught malfunction clearing. If you pull the trigger and the gun doesn't go bang, you immediately smack the magazine upwards into the gun, rack the slide, and pull the trigger again, commonly known as "tap-rack-bang". Those of you familiar with this idea know that it will fix most common feeding issues, and it is easy to ingrain in your muscle memory. I regularly practice with dummy rounds mixed into my magazines, both to ingrain this behavior as well as to detect if I am flinching.

The relevance here is that if the shooter in the above post had practiced with TRB, and hadn't been trying to count rounds (another tactical bad idea), there would have been a safety benefit as well. The shooter would have pulled the trigger, *click*, and immediately tap-rack-banged. The ejected hangfire would have hit the ground, gone off, and likely not have injured anyone.

In fact, I even remember asking the instructor what would happen if a hangfire was the source of the malfunction and now was on the ground at your feet when it went off. The answer was that without the pressure of the chamber to direct the explosion, the bullet would likely only move a couple of inches, and if anything would only maybe cut your ankle a little, which sure beats not having a functioning weapon during a critical incident.

So, in conclusion, in addition to being tactically beneficial, ingraining proper malfunction clearing into one's training regimen in this case would have also prevented a tragedy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,749 Posts
When I took Defensive Pistol 101 from Rochester Personal Defense, we were taught malfunction clearing. If you pull the trigger and the gun doesn't go bang, you immediately smack the magazine upwards into the gun, rack the slide, and pull the trigger again, commonly known as "tap-rack-bang". Those of you familiar with this idea know that it will fix most common feeding issues, and it is easy to ingrain in your muscle memory. I regularly practice with dummy rounds mixed into my magazines, both to ingrain this behavior as well as to detect if I am flinching.

The relevance here is that if the shooter in the above post had practiced with TRB, and hadn't been trying to count rounds (another tactical bad idea), there would have been a safety benefit as well. The shooter would have pulled the trigger, *click*, and immediately tap-rack-banged. The ejected hangfire would have hit the ground, gone off, and likely not have injured anyone.
For combat scenarios, which is what I expect was being taught in RPD's Defensive Pistol 101, TRB is certainly an appropriate response. But, as you point out, it is probably not the best response for range shooting ("likely not have injured" is not good enough in a non-combat scenario, IMO).

I've been taught that in range shooting hangfire scenarios, the gun should be kept aimed downrange for at least 30 seconds before ejecting the round. If I recall correctly, this is part of NRA basic pistol instruction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
Wouldn't a tap-rack-bang blow your hand off with a squib load though?

Sounds like he had it pointed down range but it bounced around inside his range bag and hit his brother (thank god it was his brother, anyone else and he would be looking at felony charges) either way he should have made sure to clear it after dropping that magazine if it didn't lock back, just like an AK, it doesn't lock back, on the last round you rack the bolt once, then pull it back a second time a actually look inside the chamber, close it up and put safety on, only then is the rifle "safe"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I suppose that depends on your purpose in shooting at the range. Mine is primarily to build and maintain proficiency and my ability to responsibly concealed carry. I don't recall any range rules either way on the subject, so I'll continue to train this way. I've never experienced a hangfire, but if I did, that is what I'd do. It isn't the desired range behavior, but I think we can agree having separate range mindsets and combat mindsets is asking for trouble. What you train to do is what you will do when it counts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Wouldn't a tap-rack-bang blow your hand off with a squib load though?

Sounds like he had it pointed down range but it bounced around inside his range bag and hit his brother (thank god it was his brother, anyone else and he would be looking at felony charges) either way he should have made sure to clear it after dropping that magazine if it didn't lock back, just like an AK, it doesn't lock back, on the last round you rack the bolt once, then pull it back a second time a actually look inside the chamber, close it up and put safety on, only then is the rifle "safe"
A squib isn't a "click." A squib is something went off, at least enough to get the bullet into the barrel. The primer alone with no charge is still LOUD. I would not advocate a tap-rack-bang if there was any kind of noise other than click.

And the way I picture it, the table is behind the firing line (since he walked back to it), so even if the gun was pointed down range, people can/are walking in front of it.

At my range, taking a gun to the back table is not allowed, guns are brought to and from the firing line cased. During special events there is a special table in the back where you can handle your gun, but it is pointing in a "safe direction", towards a bullet-proof area of the wall. However, I have been to ranges where his behavior is allowed, and in retrospect its kind of scary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
A squib isn't a "click." A squib is something went off, at least enough to get the bullet into the barrel. The primer alone with no charge is still LOUD. I would not advocate a tap-rack-bang if there was any kind of noise other than click.

And the way I picture it, the table is behind the firing line (since he walked back to it), so even if the gun was pointed down range, people can/are walking in front of it.

At my range, taking a gun to the back table is not allowed, guns are brought to and from the firing line cased. During special events there is a special table in the back where you can handle your gun, but it is pointing in a "safe direction", towards a bullet-proof area of the wall. However, I have been to ranges where his behavior is allowed, and in retrospect its kind of scary.
Yea a table behind where people are standing holding firearms is never a good thing, no matter what direction you point BEHIND the firing line everything is dangerous.

Not all squib loads are loud, I had one happen to me with my Enfield rifle and if I didn't noticed powder falling out of the casing as it hit the ground (thank god there was still some show out) my friend was all set to close the bolt and try the next round, we heard no sound at all, and my ear protection allows in the quiet sounds but blocks the loud ones, so you can talk to me in a normal voice but once you start shooting I'm still protected, luckily I had a weird feeling and told him to stop, unloaded it and looked down the barrel and sure enough, no light at the end, I used the cleaning rod to my Mosin Nagant I had with me to knock it out of the chamber gently. Anyways yes not all squib loads are very loud, just friendly advice, check out this video:

Text Book Example of a Squib Load - YouTube

the camera didn't pick up much more then the hammer click and the guy on that pistol didn't notice a thing, he went for another round and it could have ended badly. Unless you are in a situation where you don't have time to check, whatever that may be, I would just be sure there is nothing in your barrel after you hear a click, wouldn't want anyone to ruin their hands or face while enjoying their hobby, be safe.
 

·
Occupy NYF JBT Tank Operator
Joined
·
2,322 Posts
A bit off-topic

It's being taught as Tap-Rack-Assess now. The threat may have stopped while you were clearing the malfunction and it would be bad if you got into the habit of pulling the trigger after a malfunction. Something that may not require ventilation anymore could get holes in it out of habit. If you practice this on the range I would consider 50/50 fire/not firing while running this drill. Always remember to scan before reholstering. Always draw as fast as YOU can and reholster as slowly as needed, there's no hurry to put the gun away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,952 Posts
I've experienced failure to fire with my .308 a couple of times, and it's nerve-wracking when you hear the click but no boom. I leave the rifle pointed down range at the target for at least a few minutes before ejecting the round and throwing it into a metal can where it won't do harm or damage if it explodes. I guess it's just a habit to look down the barrel from behind the stock even when there is no bang. You never know for certain whether you're dealing with a complete non-firing round or a squib that wasn't audible through ear protection.
 

·
Postmaster General
Joined
·
23,073 Posts
You never know for certain whether you're dealing with a complete non-firing round or a squib that wasn't audible through ear protection.
This. I always check the rounds that don't fire for me to make sure it still has a bullet in it.

As for rounds that go off outside of the chamber of a firearm, not that dangerous. Sure it might be more safe to not TRB in a range situation, but I think you'll be just fine if you do because a round that goes off on the ground just pops and fizzles a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
This. I always check the rounds that don't fire for me to make sure it still has a bullet in it.

As for rounds that go off outside of the chamber of a firearm, not that dangerous. Sure it might be more safe to not TRB in a range situation, but I think you'll be just fine if you do because a round that goes off on the ground just pops and fizzles a bit.
In the very slight chance that it lands primer side down on the ground though it now has something to push off of and it would actually fire wouldn't it? Or no because the gas would disperse too quickly?
 

·
Postmaster General
Joined
·
23,073 Posts
In the very slight chance that it lands primer side down on the ground though it now has something to push off of and it would actually fire wouldn't it? Or no because the gas would disperse too quickly?
It doesn't matter what sets it off, be it the primer or *ahem* a campfire, a round outside of the chamber isn't all that dangerous. Just ask mythbusters. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
It doesn't matter what sets it off, be it the primer or *ahem* a campfire, a round outside of the chamber isn't all that dangerous. Just ask mythbusters. ;)
I did see that episode but I had an experience with a campfire and a box of 12 gauge buck (and a 12 year olds common sense) that could have seriously injured me and my friends lol, at least I dont feel as bad for my bad habit of immediately ejecting misfires in my semi auto rifles and resuming fire (once I'm sure the other bullet still has a slug in it)
 

·
Postmaster General
Joined
·
23,073 Posts
Mythbusters - Bullets Thrown Onto Campfire - Are They Lethal? - YouTube

There it is.

Lots of calibers and even the high-powered rifle cartridges won't even break skin. The bullets don't even really move much, the casings fly but don't have the mass to cause much harm. Still they warn not to throw a bucket of cartridges into a campfire, to which I would agree. xD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,445 Posts
NRA training states to keep the gun pointed downrange for a minimum of 30 seconds in the event the gun goes click instead of bang to determine if it's a dud or a hangfire.

As for tap-rack-bang... I can usually tell from the sound of the rack whether or not I loaded a round in the chamber after inserting a full magazine - the few times it sounded different - and it's a subtle difference but you know after a while what it should sound like, I'd do a visual inspection before firing.

As for that squib load video, the old guy shooting should have dropped the magazine and visually inspected what was ejected when he racked the slide first. Lucky his friend stopped him in time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
NRA training states to keep the gun pointed downrange for a minimum of 30 seconds in the event the gun goes click instead of bang to determine if it's a dud or a hangfire.

As for tap-rack-bang... I can usually tell from the sound of the rack whether or not I loaded a round in the chamber after inserting a full magazine - the few times it sounded different - and it's a subtle difference but you know after a while what it should sound like, I'd do a visual inspection before firing.

As for that squib load video, the old guy shooting should have dropped the magazine and visually inspected what was ejected when he racked the slide first. Lucky his friend stopped him in time.
Yea that was my point, he did a tap, rack and almost a boom, not bang. It was a very quiet squib load for sure, he didn't even notice. Unless the situation really calls for it I would always visually inspect myself before I feel comfortable firing another round.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top