Combative Pistol 2 – How to fix a double-feed

I spent October 23-24, 2010 with Tom Givens of Rangemaster taking his Combative Pistol 2 course, hosted at KR Training. While my general AAR is here, there were some things that came up in class that I wanted to speak about in greater detail. What follows is inspired by something Tom said or we did in class, but is ultimately my take on things and how thoughts gelled in my head. I would encourage you to train with Tom Givens, if you ever have the chance. Reading my blather is no substitute.

How To Fix a Double-Feed

Malfunctions should be rare, but they can happen.

When they happen, you need to address them.

When the gun goes click instead of bang, you give it the old “tap, rack, bang” drill. When there’s the old stovepipe malfunction, give it the “tap, rack, bang” drill.

But what about a double feed? That’s a lot more involved. First reaction should be to tap, rack, bang, but it’s only going to fail again, so now you have to lock the slide back, rip the magazine out, rack rack rack, then seat a fresh magazine, rack the slide, and back into the fight. Wow. That’s involved. That’s slow. Givens was able to do that in about 4.5 seconds, and that wasn’t counting doing something like moving to cover before dealing with this involved malfunction. He was able to shave almost a half second off by skipping the lock and just ripping the magazine out… possible, but can be harder to do if you don’t have the grip strength.

The reality? If we consider the average gunfight of 3 shots, 3 feet, 3 seconds well… 4.5 seconds to fix a malfunction (and that’s by a very practiced and skilled individual), that’s still too long.

So you want to know the fastest way to fix a double-feed?

Drop the gun on the ground and draw your backup gun. (Givens was able to do this in about 2.5 seconds, from his ankle holster).

You do carry a backup gun, right?

6 thoughts on “Combative Pistol 2 – How to fix a double-feed

  1. Nope, Don’t carry a back up gun. What you think I’m paranoid 🙂

    Would I like to carry a back up gun? Yes but in the mean time there are kids to put through college, high school senior year — Oh Man is that ever experience (especially the third time through), and even mouths to feed.

    Can you believe the family expects to eat every night instead of buying me a pocket .380?

    I have started carrying a spare mag most of the time with the Taurus. Need one for the pocket .25 that I have not but I’m trying to find one that doesn’t cost almost as much as the gun itself.

    This is a case of prioritization and risk assessment to me.
    Probability that I am likely to ever need to pull the firearm I carry for safety? Low
    Probability that I will need to fire the firearm? Magnitude lower
    Probability that the firearm will malfunction? Another Magnitude lower.

    Risk Assessment — over all low although a double feed failure could have catastrophic consequences.

    Summary — until I can afford a Back up gun, keep primary will maintained and practice clearance drills. Hey, it isn’t like I couldn’t use the practice anyways.

    I do agree with you about the time difference, just unfortunately it isn’t the only factor 😦

    • Having a spare mag is certainly good, since the most likely failure point is going to be ammo or magazines.

      But you know, if you have 2 guns there (the Taurus and then a .25) well, what’s the problem? The Taurus as the primary, the .25 in the pocket for a backup. Or… did I misread your comment?

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