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Old 06-22-2010, 17:27   #1
ColCol
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Clearing Jams

Most of you may have seen this before but it's new to me. Excellent video on clearing jams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfyULpEhmug
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:48   #2
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Clint Smith is one of my favorite teachers! Thanks...Bru
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:11   #3
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Rhode scholar malfunction conference.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:46   #4
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The best of all worlds is to use only guns and ammo that you "know for sure" aren't going to jam. I always get rid of any gun/ammo that causes even one jam after break-in, even if I have to take a loss. Always!

When the SHTF you don't want to be worrying about whether your gun is going to work or not.

However, good training is a fine way to be double-sure.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:13   #5
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Nothing manmade is perfect. I don't care how well the gun/ammo performs, you'd better know how to clear malfunctions.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:30   #6
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The best of all worlds is to use only guns and ammo that you "know for sure" aren't going to jam. I always get rid of any gun/ammo that causes even one jam after break-in, even if I have to take a loss. Always!

When the SHTF you don't want to be worrying about whether your gun is going to work or not.

However, good training is a fine way to be double-sure.

Well, my crystal ball had a FTF and is now unable to tell me ahead of time what ammo it "know's for sure" will work... I think I just I'll continue to practice my drills...
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Old 06-23-2010, 15:42   #7
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The best of all worlds is to use only guns and ammo that you "know for sure" aren't going to jam. I always get rid of any gun/ammo that causes even one jam after break-in, even if I have to take a loss. Always!

When the SHTF you don't want to be worrying about whether your gun is going to work or not.

However, good training is a fine way to be double-sure.
Wow....you must get rid of a lot of guns and ammo. Get rid of them after one jam or malfunction? Bad primer, broken spring in a gun???

I can see getting rid or a problematic gun.

Do you also get rid of your car if it doesn't start one time?
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Old 06-25-2010, 16:26   #8
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The knowledge and skill to recognize and quickly, safely & effectively resolve stoppages and functioning problems is deserving of attention, granted.

No make, model, or caliber of handgun is advertised (to my knowledge) as being guaranteed to be immune from shooter, ammunition, maintenance, environmental or even an occasional gun-related problem.

I've seen at least my fair share of folks experience stoppages and functioning problems when using the major brands of handguns commonly seen in LE/Gov service (which includes a fair number of Glocks of various model/caliber).

A couple of the most recent incidents involved a fellow inducing his own feeding problem with a CZ P01 by failing to fully insert and lock a magazine into place during a reload. The mag shifted down enough under recoil to fail to feed a subsequent round at one point during a course of fire, after which it fell naturally released and fell into moist sand before he could recognize what was happening, requiring the fellow to retrieve it (since it was apparently his last loaded mag at that point) ... which caused him to lose his balance and fall ... and when he managed to retrieve his clogged-with-sand, partially loaded mag and use it to reload the gun, he got off 1 round before the gun locked up and wouldn't cycle any more (perhaps not liking the introduction of a wad of sand).

The other incident involved a highly trained 'special' fellow qualifying with his issued Colt 1911. He experienced a double-feed during a course of fire. Hey, it can happen. Going to a kneeling position (at close range to the threat target ) he managed to remove the affected mag and clear loose rounds from the gun, only to insert his last spare mag and then seemingly induce yet a second double-feed when manipulating the weapon. Talk about bad luck ...

I remember the first time I had to use a Sig modified for use as a Simunition gun. It got off 1 shot and had a nasty double feed ... while I was trying not to get shot by 2 attackers in a large room. I ended up diving under a table and rolling on the floor while clearing the stoppage (which I'd seen and recognized in that syrupy slo-mo time in which I was falling to the floor) ... and getting the gun back into the fight, hitting one attacker twice and forcing the other one to remain behind cover until the scenario was called to a halt. Oddly enough, I wasn't hit once, while my partner had taken multiple hits while standing still and trying to engage the attackers.

I know a fellow who had his issued .45 repeatedly experience a feeding problem during an actual shooting incident. Luckily, he was not alone at the time. I later learned from a training unit supervisor for that agency (who called to discuss the incident in regard to the gun problem) that the .45 used had demonstrated similar feeding problems during post-shooting testing at a lab, using the agency-provided ammo ... but what was really weird was that the .45 had been a 'loaner' given him because his issued .45 of the same make/model had exhibited what was described as a similar feeding problem before he had been involved in the shooting. What are the odds?

I could list a number of shootings where guns of various make/model/caliber exhibited normal operation & functioning during shooting incidents, and that's obviously what we'd all like to be able to rely upon, but as an instructor I feel it pays to have folks familiar with some of the more likely feeding & functioning problems that might arise, as well as how to resolve them safely, quickly & effectively.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:09   #9
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Back years ago when I was an RO for a combat shooting club, there were malfunctions during virtually every match. The guns malfunctioning were almost always Colt 1911 45's. But that was back when the Colt factory was having problems, which I think were later corrected.

Now days, almost all major brands are 100% mechanically. However, you can still experience shooter, ammo or magazine induced malfunctions. So practice in clearing jams is essential.

To answer a question above, yes I got rid of some guns I wish I hadn't. I had two P-7's that were constantly malfunctioning so I got rid of them cheap. Later it turned out that P-7's had a history of not functioning with Blazer aluminum case ammo, which is the ammo I was using at the time. All my other 9mm's functioned flawlessly with the Blazer, so I mistakenly thought the guns were at fault. And they were at fault, because they didn't like aluminum cases. Had I switched ammo I would have realized the problem was the aluminum cases, but I didn't and got rid of two fine pistols at a loss.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:53   #10
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I am closer to MTPD on this than anyone else. In a face to face gunfight - that is not as part of a police team from ambush - there is not time to clear a jam. If you have a jam you will be shot too many times before you can clear it to have any reasonable chance of survivial. Two things follow from this.

The first is not to have a jam. If any carry pistol jams more than one shot in 500 or perhaps 1000 get rid of it or fix it. At that low frequency, the chances of getting a jam in an actual fight as opposed to training are so low compared to the other risks of a gunfight that it is not worth worrying about. The sensible strategy is to invest in minimising the risk of a jam rather than in fixing one if it happens. In real life the nastiest jams, type threes, tend to be the result of a breakage which needs gunsmith attention. Spending time to try to fix such a jam in the middle of a fight rather than changing to plan B is a realy good way to get shot more often than you might be.

The second, which is a follow on from the first, is that it is not worth spending significant training time on malfunction drills. Lots of other skills have much higher priority.

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Old 06-27-2010, 08:09   #11
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The second, which is a follow on from the first, is that it is not worth spending significant training time on malfunction drills. Lots of other skills have much higher priority.
Tap and rack....how much time is significant? Pull a mag, tap and rack, not a lot of extra practice needed. You can do this with every reload. Stop using your slide release and get use to racking your slide. No time wasted. Easy and usable training aid!
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:28   #12
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The second, which is a follow on from the first, is that it is not worth spending significant training time on malfunction drills. Lots of other skills have much higher priority.

English
Interesting food for thought, hadn't heard anyone advocate that before. My take is that if you carry a backup, it might be worth a tap/rack attempt before going for the backup, or not, depending on how accessible the backup is, whichever would take less time would be the best choice. Pocket backup might be slower to extract than a tap/rack attempt.

However if you only carry one pistol, I'm inclined to think malf drills are worthwhile. If you're moving, you may take hits while clearing, but as long as they're not fatal, at least you end up with a functioning weapon at the end and have a chance to finish the situation in your favor. If the other guy can make good hits, you're already in trouble just trying to draw from concealment when he has the advantage.

Also, doesn't take much training time to practice malfunctions. If it was super secret highly skilled ninja skills involved, I might agree, too much time invested for too little reward. But given it doesn't take a lot of skill or time to master, and given that I've had malfunctions on my Glock (extractor broke once during a class, considered myself pretty lucky, great practice for malfunctions, by the way) I think its worth the effort.

Between the odds of a) gunfights b) glock malfunctions, its awfully unlikely to be needed. However the same can be said of the odds of a) gunfights alone. Yet we practice for that.

Randy

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Old 06-27-2010, 10:23   #13
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AZBru88 and steveksux,

A tap rack bang does not take long and I don't know how long it actually is. I would guess that it is at least three quarters of a second, not counting reaction time. In that 3/4 second I can fire 3 to 4 good shots. Each of those has a good chance of hitting and making the 3/4 second a lot longer. If this was not the cause of the problem, you have totally wasted 3/4 of a second plus the time to aim and pull the trigger to produce another click but no bang. There goes another 3/4 second and you must now decide what to do next.

That is just for the simplest clearnce drill and the tap is a wasted 1/4 second if it the probelm is not an improperly positioned magazine. So the first step is to get into the habit of always giving the magazine a tug to make sure it is in place after an administrative load.

Because a malfunction can be lots of things other than a misplaced magazine many trainers advocate an habitual upturned rack in case there is an empty in the port and that takes a little longer. The alternative is to look down at the port to see if there is a stovepipe or other obstruction, then taking appropriate action. Looking and deciding takes a remarkable ammouint of time!

Some trainers go further and say that a major weak point of the auto pistol is the magazine lips so take no chances of continuing to use what might be a faulty magazine. Lock the slide back, drop the magazine and replace it with the spare and you should be 98% good to go. 1.5 seconds plus time to re-aim and fire? I don't know because I haven't timed it but it is a long time in a gunfight! Probably 15 shots worth!

Then there is the dreaded double feed! Lock the slide back. Rip out the magazine. Rack rack rack with pistol port down. Replace with fresh magazine. Hope the cause was not a broken ejector. Aim and fire if you are still able to do so.

If you carry only one pistol I don't see anyway out of this mess that is significantly worthwhile compared to doing your utmost to make sure you do not have a malfunction. Even if you carry two pistols the time taken from recognizing the problem to completing the draw of the other pistol is still too long.

If you really want to cover the malfunction possibility you need two pistols which you draw effectively simultaneously and shoot simultaneously. This is admitably extreme but it is a skill which can be developed and it has the extra advantage that usually it will result in your opponent dropping in less time when both pistols are working. if you are up against multiple opponents it is even more useful. I am not saying i would do it but it is worth contemplating.

If the probability of failure of one pistol is 1 in 1000 the probability of both failing is 1 in 1,000,000. The probability of one failing during ten sequential shots is 1 in 100,000.

With my own Glocks I have had three failures - all in a G20. One was a broken ejector which a malfunction drill would not do much for. Two were over length case in Remington factory ammunition and a simple rack cleared both. As it happened they were one behind the other so that was puzzling for a time. That is in more than 14,000 rounds. Apart from that I have fired another 8,000 or more with borrowed G19s on courses in the USA with no failures.

If you think that a high round count for a civillian gunfight would be 10 shots that equates to one gunfight in 1,100 gunfights with a malfunction that is fixable with a simple malfunction drill. With no malfunctions at all, what are your chances of getting through a gunfight unscathed? You would have to be very good and very lucky to make that, say, 29 out of 30. So the ratio is way over 36 to one and so I repeat that it is not worth training for malfunctions because you will die so much more often from other things and malfunction drills will not greatly reduce that probability of you dying when you do have a malfunction.

Learning to draw a tenth of a second faster will be more useful. Learning to get off the X as you do so and make hits at a full run will be enormously more useful. Learning to point shoot will be much more useful. Learning to point shoot at odd angles without the need to turn first will be more useful. Learning to shoot effectively weak handed will be more useful. Learning to swap hands when it is better to shoot with the other hand is more useful. Learning to shoot effectively in the dark or in dim light will be much more useful. And so on.

English

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Old 06-27-2010, 10:39   #14
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There is something I should have added. Auto pistols are much easier for most women to learn to shoot, but many advocate revolvers because they are simpler and do not need skill at malfunction clearance and reloading.

Using the argument above, new students and new women students in particular should not be taught clearance drills at all. They are very hard on nail polish and finger nails and little will put off most woment faster than that. Apart from that, an auto pistol will usually have more rounds and reloading is much faster and easier under stress than it is with a revolver. Teaching that skill to the great majority of women is easy enough and using the correct technique most are physically capable of it.

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Old 06-27-2010, 11:11   #15
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English great explanation, again how are you wasting training time, by slapping your magazines home each time you make a reload and racking the slide shut?????? This is a function of reloading, no other training really needed! In other words stop using your slide release and just rack the slide....it also would be helpful in a battle field situation when picking up a strange pistol. Racking the slide reloads every thing I've ever touched in semi auto pistols. Just because there is a 1/1,000,000 chance in something never happening doesn't mean I don't want to know how to cure the problem.
Thats like saying there is 1/1000000 chance of never having your hand hurt in a gun fight so why practice weak hand shooting.
Training is what its called. How much time you personally spend on any one part of your own personal training is 100% up to you as an individual. Why would you try and convince someone not to train for something there is a chance they might encounter (be it a slim one). Are you under the assumption that people only spend X amount of time on training period??? That they can't take an extra 10 minutes and practice, something different? All the other things you mention are very useful to learn too, plus many more. But again its training, why limit ourselves to how we train.
Honestly have you ever carried a chair to the practice range and practiced drawing and shooting while seated? I have. I've shot from the ground, sitting in my pick up, from cover, on the move, target moving. Thats why they call it practice, I don't want to eliminate anything, I want to try new training methods and improve on old one's. I average about 3000 rounds a month through my Glocks. More through my other pistols and rifles. I love to train, try to shoot at least twice a week. That being said thats not the end of my training. I practice my CCW holster draw and dry firing at home all the time. Love my Crimson Trace for dry firing in the house. Pick a spot on the wall, if the laser moves, more trigger work needed.
Again why eliminate when you can add more to your training?
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:34   #16
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I didn't make it through the whole video. He started talking about eggs bacon and cheeseburgers and fries and I got hungry and left.

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Old 06-27-2010, 13:31   #17
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Thanks, English, great food for thought.

As an aside, not to start another fight, but it certainly takes a bit more time to clear a malf than the nearly identical operation of racking the slide when carrying without one in the pipe, and lots of people ARE heartily opposed to that practice (as I am one) I need to reconsider your position on malf clearance with that in mind...

Either the delay is too much, or its not, but seems my position (malf clearance = ok, empty chamber not ok) is a bit contradictory.

I sometimes carry only one pistol, and never planned on drawing 2 at once (I'll think about that as well), so I'm glad I had the ejector failure at the one class, got more malf clearance drills than I dreamed of doing on my own, with double feeds, until it was pretty much reflexive. Still, doubt your estimates of 3/4 second can be beaten, and I do not doubt that could indeed be a lifetime in a gunfight. Literally.

Randy

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Old 06-27-2010, 14:57   #18
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I didn't make it through the whole video. He started talking about eggs bacon and cheeseburgers and fries and I got hungry and left.
I had that problem initially and put it on pause while I raided the cupboard for a bag of Doritos and a Coke.

From what I read here, I may as well just forget the auto pistol and just get myself a 12 gauge Remington 870. Kind of hard to tuck that in your britches, though.
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Old 06-27-2010, 16:38   #19
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I suspect that trying to postulate an 'average' length of time needed to resolve a typically 'simple' feeding stoppage is about as possible ... and relevant ... as trying to determine an 'average' shooter's skills and responses when encountering an unexpected stoppage of this nature.

I can think back over a number of shooting incidents of which I've had access to reading, discussed it with the surviving cop or criminal suspect afterward, or was briefed on it because of my job in some manner.

The only thing I can say for certain is that more firearms in the hands of criminal suspects have exhibited malfunctions and stoppages in those shootings than those in the hands of LE. An interesting side topic in its own right, but not really relevant to this thread, I'd think.

There have been functioning problems experienced by some LE, though.

Now, being in the midst of an attack offering the immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death is probably going to occupy the attention of the victim (LE) to a greater extent than dealing with a simulated 'threat target' on a training/qual range. My point is that the victim shooter might be slower to recognize a problem with his/her weapon when focused on the threat of the attacker's weapon (not unexpected when you take threat focus into consideration).

On a range, when the targets aren't capable of shooting back, a surprising number of LE shooters are still not as quick to become aware of a stoppage, let alone its cause, when they're expecting something else to happen, like their weapon to fire.

"3/4's of a second" is a very charitable, and optimistic, estimate to attribute to the average shooter when it comes to both recognizing and resolving a stoppage. Having watched a LOT of shooters over the course of my career I've not often seen many folks able to recognize and properly resolve a truly unexpected malfunction/stoppage and get their weapon back running is so little time. And that's when they're on a range and aren't thinking about performing other tasks, and being distracted by them, in their 'real' world from one day to the next.

Sure, it's one thing when a special scenario is set up which makes them demonstrate one or another such response and skill, and they enter the qual/training situation knowing in advance to expect such a problem to occur at some point ... even if it's 'random' because one or more dummy rounds have been loaded into one or more magazines prepared just to induce this problem.

When it happens unexpectedly, though? Awareness and recognition usually take longer that that, by a noticeable margin, and then trying to multi-task by resolving the problem while trying to maintain awareness of the threat (shift to a physical defense if close to the attacker, move to cover in not, kneel, etc) seems to slow execution even more.

Now, add normal reaction and response time, like that involved with drawing, presenting and getting off a first shot before a malfunction can have the opportunity to occur ... and the time frame of vulnerability can become even longer.

I've consistently demonstrated I can make between 3-5 accurate hits on a threat target within close range (3-7 yds), 1-handed, while moving, within 1 second. Pushing it I've made 13 accurate consecutive hits (emptying that pistol), again 1-handed, while moving, within less than 4 seconds. (There are any number of folks who make me seem slow, too.)

Now, could I do it for real? Who knows? I'd like to think so. I'd like to think the training time might pay off if ever called upon. All I can say for sure is that it did when my Sim gun had that double feed during an ambush shootout in a scenario. I did, however, have one unplanned advantage which was probably responsible for my success. Both 'attackers' thought I'd been hit by their Sim fire when I threw myself to the floor and rolled under a table, and was acting according to the rules of taking myself out of the fight.

They were caught completely by surprise when I started firing from under the table (after resolving the stoppage), out of their sight, hitting one of them with solid hits before rising and taking the fight to the remaining attacker. When the trainers running the exercise examined me for signs of being hit by the several rounds that had been fired at me, however, everyone was more than a little surprised that I hadn't been hit by one Sim round (which I already knew). That's what they got for making the mistake of missing me and then not making sure I'd been hit and 'stopped'. Could I count on that series of lucky breaks in a real event? Who knows?

The thing is that I was able to very quickly recognize and resolve the stoppage while diving to the floor and rolling on the floor, and I had the gun up and firing very quickly. Luck? Maybe. But I'd also been working under a senior instructor for several years who was a real task master in making me adjust to all manner of malfunctions and stoppages which were able to be resolved in action and was always slipping in some time to make me practice and demonstrate them.

Could we subject the rank & file to this sort of continual training? Not really. Not with the limited time and resources available to us. Other skills demanded the bulk of the available time. I had to devote extra spare time to working in satisfying the instructor's requirements that his junior instructor & training staff were more fully trained and capable than was actually required to do the tasks. I thanked him after that one Sim training exercise, though. It made me suspect that the annoying amount of extra time I'd spent to trying to satisfy him regarding potential problems and their resolution might actually have some application in an unlikely real event someday ...

And then several years later I found myself being involved in studying a shooting situation in which one of the LE seemed to have experienced at least 2 similar stoppages during a shooting incident. It would seem that it was fortunate for that cop that another cop had also been present and had been able to engage and hit the attacking armed suspect several times while the cop resolved his stoppage problem.

What's it all mean?

It means I don't pretend to have the definitive answers.

I do, however, suspect that it isn't a simple black & white situation when it comes to deciding whether or not training someone to resolve certain problems, and that if someone makes the effort to become knowledgeable and trained to resolve such problems that they may not have wasted their time.

Now, with the last current statistics for the possibility of LE using their weapons over the course of their careers being approx 3%, it makes it seem unlikely that we're going to see a lot of emphasis on more than very basic malfunction clearance drills being incorporated into a lot of LE firearms training. There are a LOT of other things that are going to take up that time and the available training dollars.

It doesn't mean I'm not willing to work with an occasional person who comes to me and asks for some help in deciding how to prioritize their training when it comes to malfunctions and stoppages, and doing it on their own time, just because they want to work toward maximizing their skillsets (and we'll slip in the mindset development at the same time ).

The thing is that for all the folks who post on public forums like this one ... folks who have never, or hardly ever, experienced a malfunction or stoppage of their own, or witnessed it occur to someone else, at some range, training venue, etc ... I can think back to many examples of seeing it happen over the years to folks under training conditions, or learning about it happening in the course of an actual shooting. Not a lot, but enough to get my attention.

Shading training toward the percentage of the types of problems and situations anticipated is what we all do as trainers. We prioritize training to develop the skills most likely to be needed in the most likely or anticipated situations and circumstances. Sometimes these things are event-driven, too. We're called upon and directed to devise training which meets and satisfies administrative demands and/or any policy restrictions. Then there's no shortage of court cases which have set training standards with which LE training must (or is strongly encouraged to) comply, too.

You get debriefed on enough shootings ... you listen to the survivors (both LE, victim and criminal suspects) of enough shootings ... you attend enough training centered around enough shootings ... and you realize that you're never going to have all the answers. You're probably not even ever get to hear all the possible questions, either.

One last comment. I remember going through an instructor update class within the last few years. There was a portion of 1 day where the instructor students were called upon to demonstrate their skills with some various malfunction/stoppage clearance skills in some drills. Not everyone had apparently been trained, or was in agreement, with all of the skills and techniques involved. I was somewhat appalled at the performance of most of the instructors. Hard to teach some things if you can't do it yourself.

Now, let's think about emergency preparedness for a moment. There are lots of things that aren't likely to happen when it comes to medical procedures. Do you want a doctor or surgeon who has only trained to function well in the most commonly occurring problems, especially when a moment of crisis occurs and there's not time to call in someone else?

Training, preparation, skills maintenance and mindset. Only you can decide to what extent you're willing to bet your life when it comes to knowledge, training, experience and skillsets ... and how far you're willing to go, or not go, when it comes to knowledge & skills development.

With such responsibility and decision-making comes the possibility of accepting the consequences.

Just my thoughts ...
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Old 06-27-2010, 17:12   #20
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My short synopsis of this all is simple. Regardless of the time it takes to clear a malfunction whether at the range of in an actual gun battle whether it takes 100 nano seconds, 15 milliseconds or a full 3 seconds what are your options? You either clear it or through the gun at them and try to run, duck for cover or reach for another weapon be it another gun, baseball bat or 2x4. If you don't do something you're soon going to be dead meat. I'm all for practicing clearing that malfunction and being able to recognize in a split second what it is and how to clear it.

Look at those two guys in CA who held up the bank with AK-47's. One had a stove pipe jam on his rifle and threw it down in favor of the Beretta he was carrying instead of spending a second clearing the AK. The fight could have went worse and for longer for LE had he done the former.
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Nov 11, 2013 at 16:42