Revolver malfunctions, Part Three – user induced problems.

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There are really only two “malfunctions” that can be attributed to shooter technique, and they’re both easily avoided.

The first is a failure to properly reset the trigger. This is especially common with autoloader shooters who pick up a Ruger revolver: used to resetting the trigger until they hear or feel a “click”, they do the same on their revolver and…the trigger locks up! The trigger won’t compress until it’s allowed to travel all the way forward, to its rest position, and then the trigger stroke may be restarted.

This is simply a case of bad habits. The correct way to use a revolver’s double action trigger is to let the trigger return completely before commencing another shot. There is no such thing as “riding the sear” or “catching the link” with a revolver; trying to do so will simply cause the gun to not function in the expected manner. It’s a user problem, not a revolver problem.

The second user induced malfunction is a case caught under the extractor (star). This is generally attributable to bad reloading technique. The muzzle of the gun really needs to be vertical when the ejection stroke is started, and the ejector should be operated one time only. Violating either of these dramatically raises the chance of a case being jammed under the star and tying up the whole gun.

This isn’t to say it’s impossible to happen with the right technique, only that making sure the muzzle is vertical and slapping the ejector rod once dramatically lowers the chances of it happening. This is why I teach the reloading method I do: it guarantees that the muzzle is going to be completely vertical when the ejector is pushed, which is the key to avoiding this dreaded jam.

On Wednesday I’ll look at the final type of revolver malfunctions: mechanical or design failures.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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