NRA Publications is comprised of a group of people whose business is writing about firearms and shooting, thus there are a lot of discussions in the office on guns, tactics, ammunition and training. Often those discussions lead to very interesting ideas.
Recently, I was talking with our armorer about conducting malfunction drills without a training partner. The problem is that if you set up the malfunction, then you know when and how to conduct the drill, which eliminates the surprise factor. I’ve conducted malfunction drills by having a partner implement either a stove pipe or double feed and handing me the gun, and while this provides a level of surprise, it doesn’t allow the gun to go down in a middle of a shooting string. One way to implement that situation is by loading magazine with dummy rounds or empty brass.
For this drill you need three to four magazines, some ammunition in your caliber and a few dummy rounds or pieces of empty brass. Have a partner load the magazines, slipping in a “bad round” or two in an unknown location in each magazine. You can also load the magazines yourself, but be sure to randomly load the dummy rounds and the magazines to prevent prior knowledge of the pending event. Then simply run the magazines empty, clearing any malfunctions along the way.
Firearms are mechanical tools that can malfunction, and since things always seem to go wrong at the worst possible time, it’s prudent to know how to clear a gun quickly and efficiently. And realistic practice makes one better prepared.