What is it?
This malfunction is often described as a double feed. Basically, there is a mess of stuff going on in the gun. One round failed to extract, and another round was picked up by the slide and it tried to feed into the occupied chamber.
- Bad extractor
- Dirty gun or not properly lubed gun
- Magazine failure
Issue: This malfunction is unique because it involves the following multiple forces fighting each other:
- Magazine spring – The magazine spring pushes up on the rounds to hold them up in place. The top round is being pushed up against the top of the slide.
- Recoil spring – The recoil spring forces the new round forward using all its strength.
- Magazine lip – The magazine lip, is also involved as it is locking the new round in the magazine. While this isn’t true for all magazines, most magazines will still hold the round in the top of the magazine as it has not had a chance to be moved completely free of the magazine. The magazine is a major issue here as it can’t just be dropped, and it can’t even be ripped out in many cases.
So what do you do?
- Move! – You just experienced a malfunction, and you need to get out of the line of fire, preferably to some cover. While moving, you need more information, so you should be tiling up your gun so you can see if you can identify the problem.
- Lock – Lock back the slide. For most semi-automatics, we have to lock the slide back to relieve the pressure of the recoil spring. In this step, we make sure that the magazine is fully seated.
- Rip – Once the recoil spring pressure has been relieved, you can press the magazine release and rip out the magazine. It will, probably, not drop free by itself. You will need to use some physical force.
- Retain- Retaining the magazine saves critical time and the critical rounds that it holds. It is pretty simple to slide the magazine between the gun’s stock and your hand. Since so many people only carry the magazine in their gun, they don’t have the option of dropping the magazine. Of course, if the magazine is defective, it will still be a problem, which is the main reason to have another magazine available.
- Rack, Rack, Rack – Rack the slide, vigorously. You need to rack it multiple times to make sure that the round in the chamber is cleared. Keep the magazine in place as you rack the slide.
- Insert – Insert the magazine back into the gun. Better yet, replace the magazine with another one as the failure might be magazine related, and you will have the same issue.
- Rack – You need to rack the gun again, to feed a round into the chamber.
- Sight In – You need to get that sight picture and resume shooting if the threat still exists.
All steps should be performed at eye level so that you can continue to assess the target. The target may no longer be present or may have stopped because of previous hits.