Do you Practice for Malfunctions?


If you’re into precision long range shooting or hunting, you might want to listen to this guy. He’s a former USMC sniper. The following is an excerpt from Caylen Wojcik while he was on a training shoot, he shares with us malfunctions that happens while you’re in the midst of shooting and goes over on what you can do about it.

This was an awesome stage, and I thought it was well thought out. This one involved 4 targets: 2 on the north side of the firing line, and 2 on the south side of the firing line. Targets on the north were 200 yards and 530 yards. Targets on the south were 300 yards and 690 yards.

There’s a lot going on here, and I made some mistakes, namely a shooter-induced double feed malfunction.
This begs the question: do you practice for malfunction clearances?

For me, it’s pretty much second nature. If the bolt doesn’t go all the way forward, there’s clearly something wrong. What’s the answer? It’s simple, unload, then reload. If for whatever reason, there’s any chance that there’s a cartridge in the chamber, it’s good practice to go through a full cycle of operation with the bolt to clear that case before you shove a fresh magazine in there and cause the same problem all over again.
In this case, I knew that I had short-stroked the bolt and that all the junk was going to fall out as soon as the magazine was gone.

Something else that got me on this one was forgetting that the second target on the north side only needed 2 rounds, and I chambered a third, which I needed to eject. I took it with me just in case I had another malfunction to deal with.

We should always have, at a minimum, two magazines with us at all times for situations like this. We can save an immense amount of time by going to a fresh magazine in the event the one in use becomes fouled, and not mess around with the one that just caused you problems.

This a pure training point; knowing how your rifle feels when things don’t go as planned and having the experience to know exactly how to fix the problem.
With this sound advice you can apply this into your shooting regimen. Whether you compete, hunt or just like shooting long range. Knowing how to clear your malfunctions should be ingrained into your muscle memory.

Training snippets by Caylen Wojcik
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