And more importantly, how to fix them?
Viking Tactics takes us through the “3 Little Kittens” malfunction drill with live demonstration. Training to deal with malfunctions is a critical component of any firearms training system. How do you train malfunction drills?
Does anyone have an actual experience with a malfunction during a training scenario or real life scenario? If so, please share below.
Before our fireteam ever ran “hot” we use the proven crawl, walk, run methodology. This translated to running the shoot house scenario with no ammo, just using our voices (“Bang, Bang”), blanks with blank firing adapters on our weapons and finally with live 62 grain M855 5.56 ammunition. My weapon was an M4 with M203 attached and 4×32 TA01NSN Acog. Everyone else in my team ran a standard M4 with an M2 Comp Aimpoint. The scenario consisted of 2 hallways and 3 rooms. The ground was basically sand and it was difficult to use anything but rudimentary footwork (ie. never crossing your feet).
All in all, we ran the scenario 6 times with half of it in daylight and the other half in pitch black using our tac-lights. During one of the of the scenarios, I had a malfunction on the second room with my target still standing a few feet from me. Our targets were “little man in the woods” with a balloon tied to a rope behind them. As the balloon was shot which was non visible and center mass behind target, the target could fall to the ground. This is an excellent, cost effective training measure for reactive targets.
When my gun failed to fire, I immediately yelled “Bulldog,” our battalion SOP for a malf, and went to a knee. The private in my team behind me, took over my lane of fire and took down the target. As I cleared the malfunction I saw that it was a double feed. Back then, it wasn’t as common knowledge, but this is an inherent issue with older aluminum mags. I knew right away that “SPORTS” (The Army equivalent of Tap, Rack Bang) would not fix the issue, so I immediately stripped the mag and performed “remedial action.” Gun was back up.
You’ll notice in this training video that stripping a double-fed mag is not the same as removing the mag when the gun is working properly. The second round is usually jammed up in between the bottom of the bolt and the rear of the round is still usually between the feed lips. This pressure causes the magazine to be stuck in place. You have to really get full leverage on the body of the magazine and yank downward while ensuring your finger is kept on the mag release. Many new shooters index fingers tire easily after depressing the mag release for just a few seconds, so it’s important to treat the gun like a tool and man-handle it when seconds count.