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vca2004

Handling Misfires

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Wasn't sure where to post this, so I figured I'll put it here.

I've tried to read up on all sorts of range rules and range commands and have a couple questions. I've read that other shooters need to be alerted to any misfires one has, one should keep the gun away for 15 to 20 seconds, and misfired rounds should be disposed of in an oil-filled canister labeled for that purpose. Is this all correct and if yes what's the reasoning behind it?

I haven't had any misfires yet, but then again I also haven't shot a whole lot yet either.

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I've had misfires before, I chambered them again and they fired. Supposedly you keep the gun pointed downrange for 30 seconds or whatever in case it's a hang fire. Personally that's bad training, gotta clear the malfunction and get back in the fight.

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I agree. I've had many misfires, but never a hangfire. Not to say that it can't happen, but I believe that 30 second rule is left over from cordite or even black powder days. When hangfires actually did happen.

I have fired some really old .303 British loaded with actual cordite. I wouldn't call it hangfires, but it seemed like all rounds suffered from slow ignition. There was a noticeable lag between striker fall and firing.

With modern ammunition, I train to clear the bad round and shoot again.

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If I have a misfire I almost always clear it immediately, especially if it is with my EDC gun. Anything you do builds muscle memory and it is that memory you revert to in times of stress. So I train as I fight. I may go back and inspect the round when I get a chance but not AR the time of the malfunction.

On my personal range at home I generally just leave them on the ground. Because I mostly shoot rimfires they will deactivate in a few days of wet.

Dolomite

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Thank you guys for clarifying that! I'll work towards a fast clearing of any misfires so I can be prepared for something like that in a self-defense situation.

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if no one said it, supposedly oil (almost any sort?) kills the primers.

I try them again. If they do not fire the second time around, I toss them in the range can. Lot of times, a misfire will shoot the second try, esp rimfire.

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If you haven't had any professional training, I recommend it heavily. I'm not sure what the status of CIS is, their schedule doesn't look so hot. I really don't want to shoot at cameramen at Tactical Response. Is there anyone else giving quality training in the Mid TN area?

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For rimfires I throw them in the mkIII. gets them nine out of ten times. Centerfire just goes back into whatever spit it out the first time, if that doesn't work hand them off to range officials or try them again later.

I try to wait the recommended 30 seconds when I'm just casually plinking, clear and continue if running myself through an exercise.

Not sure any old oil will really degrade a primer. I seem to remember something, an article or video that debunked that to a certain extent.

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Jonnin, thank you for explaining that.

Jeff, I just started shooting less than a month ago. I will take the carry class in two weeks and then other classes after that. I've heard good things about the Guns and Leather training classes in Greenbrier. So I'll start off with those and later might see if there are any specialty courses offered for more in-depth combat shooting techniques. I definitely won't stop after receiving my carry permit.

TrickyNicky, thank you. I was wondering if it would be OK to try the misfired round again in some circumstances.

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Jonnin, thank you for explaining that.

Jeff, I just started shooting less than a month ago. I will take the carry class in two weeks and then other classes after that. I've heard good things about the Guns and Leather training classes in Greenbrier. So I'll start off with those and later might see if there are any specialty courses offered for more in-depth combat shooting techniques. I definitely won't stop after receiving my carry permit.

TrickyNicky, thank you. I was wondering if it would be OK to try the misfired round again in some circumstances.

I've shot a lot of rounds over the years and have had countless misfires. I have never had a "hangfire", as is described by striking the primer and there being a discharge of the powder later on. The closest I've had to a hangfire is what was described above using some old ammo for a mauser, which had about 1/4 second between primer strike and discharge, if that.

I the primer doesn't set off the cartridge immediately clear the malfunction and continue to shoot. Afterward either dispose of it or try to fire it again.

Edited by TMF 18B

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Tap/rack/bang for any misfire unless its a squib load. Beware of the squib!

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Just to expound on what TMF is saying. In modern times the rounds will either fire immediately or they will not fire at all. I shoot a LOT and I have never had a hangfire from modern ammunition, ever. Only misfires. And yes some will go off if tried again but for shooting that should never be immediately. You need to clear the malfunction and continue oterhwise you will find yourself trying that misfire a second time during a firefight. And the odds of having two bad cartridges in a row are astronomical, as in buy a lottery ticket astronomical.

Modern ammunition is a lot more resilient than in the past. They are able to endure harsh enviroments and still work great. Just to give you an idea of how resilient ammunition can be. Almost every time the clothes are washed my wife brings in a few rounds that have went through the washer and the dryer. Now most of the are rimfire but even with that they almost always fire, 9 out of 10 will. And with centerfire they ALWAYS fire even after a wash and dry cycle.

If you are at a range and want to get rid of unwanted rounds then drop them in the dud box. I have never seen a commercial range that didn't have one.

Dolomite

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@Dolomite: Wow, I guess that's what you call a clean shot. -Sorry, couldn't help it.

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Just to give you an idea of how resilient ammunition can be. Almost every time the clothes are washed my wife brings in a few rounds that have went through the washer and the dryer. Now most of the are rimfire but even with that they almost always fire, 9 out of 10 will. And with centerfire they ALWAYS fire even after a wash and dry cycle.

Dolomite

I thought I was the only one this happens to. My wife gets soooo mad when she finds rounds in the dryer!

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WD-40 sprayed directly inside a primer does not 'kill' it. Neither does a drop of motor oil. I would not expect an oil bath to do any good.

If you are just target shooting or plinking, keep the firearm pointed at the target for about 15 seconds. Clear the weapon gently as it is possible that a spark which did not ignite the powder can set it off when it's jostled. Place the defective round behind a barrier or inside a large metal container. When you are finished shooting, destroy the cartridge. I usually just break it down for usable components.

In a tactical situation, clear and drive on!

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Not sure any old oil will really degrade a primer. I seem to remember something, an article or video that debunked that to a certain extent.

I have no idea --- I sort of agree with you which is why I said supposedly. My thoughts on it..

1) the primers SAY to not touch them, as body oils in your hands can supposedly (there is that word again) kill them.

2) Modern ammo is pretty tight. The primers are jacked in under force, the bullets are jacked in under force --- the bulk of this stuff is waterproof (as others who like to launder their ammo have noted) and therefore mostly oilproof. Kroil or something might get in there, but most water and oil cannot. Maybe if you took it apart and doused the primer directly.... and some makers (and reloaders) seal their ammo on top of the friction seal which is already pretty good.

3) I think most primers have a light seal to protect them --- think about electronics, most electronics are splash proof (rain, etc) but few can be submerged to 20+ meters for very long and continue to function. Think of primers as splash protected, but I am not 100% sure about that.

4) Someone did do a test, I forget now... most of the primers were neutralized but some fired, so whatever oil he used (and it was directly on the primers, not assembled ammo) was not 100% sure to work. Given that, and the above comment on ammo being pretty tight, and the odds of a complete round being neutralized by oil is slim. Maybe given time to soak in.... but I doubt it.

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I thought I was the only one this happens to. My wife gets soooo mad when she finds rounds in the dryer!

Heh... that's happened to me too. My wife walked out of the laundry room and handed me a .45 round and said "You might want this back, it's nice and clean now. Should I be scared?" It took me a minute to realize I'd been shooting several days before and obviously left it in my pocket. I don't really know why I put it there in the first place. I assured her that the dryer doesn't get nearly hot enough to cook off a round. I put the round back in the box and it must have fired, because I don't recall having a dud in a long time.

My pistols all have "2nd strike" capability, so my reaction to a misfire is simply to pull the trigger again. I can only recall that happening once with some old milsurp ammo. It fired the 2nd time. If it still doesn't go off, I'll eject the round and carry on. I've never experienced a hangfire.

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Heh... that's happened to me too. My wife walked out of the laundry room and handed me a .45 round and said "You might want this back, it's nice and clean now. Should I be scared?" It took me a minute to realize I'd been shooting several days before and obviously left it in my pocket. I don't really know why I put it there in the first place. I assured her that the dryer doesn't get nearly hot enough to cook off a round. I put the round back in the box and it must have fired, because I don't recall having a dud in a long time.

My pistols all have "2nd strike" capability, so my reaction to a misfire is simply to pull the trigger again. I can only recall that happening once with some old milsurp ammo. It fired the 2nd time. If it still doesn't go off, I'll eject the round and carry on. I've never experienced a hangfire.

I think so far of all the washed and dried ones, there was only one I had actually thrown out because it did soething to thelead in the front.

Whats funny is if he leaves his Foamies in there.. you ever seen a foamy after a washcycle.?? they are HUGE?

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I've shot a lot of rounds over the years and have had countless misfires. I have never had a "hangfire", as is described by striking the primer and there being a discharge of the powder later on. The closest I've had to a hangfire is what was described above using some old ammo for a mauser, which had about 1/4 second between primer strike and discharge, if that.

I the primer doesn't set off the cartridge immediately clear the malfunction and continue to shoot. Afterward either dispose of it or try to fire it again.

Had an old 44 mag round that was a bit delayed and way underpowered. Thought I might have had, and probably almost did, have a squib. Scared me a bit.

Tap/rack/bang for any misfire unless its a squib load. Beware of the squib!

Yep. I've shot some practice reload stuff made locally and have had a few of those in the XD. Tap/rack/bang and keep on moving.

Edited by db99wj

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Sort of on topic, has anyone actually experienced a squib round using modern factory ammo? I bet I haven't put as many rounds down range as some of you but I never have. I don't even worry about them anymore, should I?

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Sort of on topic, has anyone actually experienced a squib round using modern factory ammo? I bet I haven't put as many rounds down range as some of you but I never have. I don't even worry about them anymore, should I?

Yes. I saw one about 2 months ago, fellow shooter at the range. Thankfully it did not cycle the gun and someone else noticed before he fired again. This is the first one I have seen in several years from factor ammo, though. I would not worry about it in general, but as a rule of thumb, if you are not in a firefight, if a round fires but does not cycle your gun and does not make a hole in the target, take a look. At least he said it was factory ---- I did not get much of a look. I do not remember the details, just remember them tapping it out of the barrel.

Edited by Jonnin

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So what would happen if one doesn't notice and fire off another round right behind that? Could the gun blow up in your hand?

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That's something I'm not sure of either. I seem to recall (once again not sure where/when) hearing or reading about a squib load getting stuck in the barrel and the shooter shooting two or three rounds after with all three to four rounds jamming up the barrel something awful but no explosion. I think it was a heavy duty long barreled revolver, not sure what would happen with an alloy or pot metal barrel.

If I had to guess, I'd say it just depends but that would be just a guess.

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Firing a round after a squib can definitely blow up your gun. Not saying it will 100% of the time but it is highly likely.

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