Issue 09 Preview – Stoppage Mike Seeklander Photography by Henry Z. De Kuyper Guns are Machines. Machines Break Down. Know What It Takes to Get Yours Running Again. A jammed gun can be a pants-soiling experience if you’re a competitive shooter in a match, but can be a matter of life and death if you’re a good guy put in harm’s way — whether on the battlefield or at home defending against an intruder. So knowing how to clear a malfunction is as essential as knowing how to restart your engine when your car stalls. Fortunately, malfunction drills are not rocket science. There are several straightforward steps to deal with a jacked-up pistol and get it back into action. Read on for the lowdown on simple methods to clear the most common malfunctions with semi-automatic handguns, as well as ideas on how to prepare for the worst-case scenario: an actual defensive encounter in which your handgun stops working. Then practice these scenarios until clearing your gun becomes second nature. Work Stoppage First, let’s define a malfunction: it is any stoppage of the handgun, except for when you’ve run out of ammunition (which is sometimes acted upon like a malfunction). With this in mind, it makes sense to eliminate as many liabilities as possible ahead of time. If rule No. 1 of gun-fighting is to bring a gun, then rule No. 2 should be to bring a gun that works. My personal requirement for firearms, especially the ones I might carry for self-defense purposes, is that they should never malfunction. The bottom line is that a well-made factory firearm with good magazines and quality ammunition should almost never fail. I typically shoot 200 to 300 rounds per practice session on the range, and I expect to be able to shoot my handgun in numerous sessions without any problems. I have several handguns that I use only as teaching guns on which I have purposely skipped any maintenance (except for oiling). I’ve shot each for well over a year without a single malfunction. For the rest of this article, subscribe digitally here: RECOIL Issue 9 Explore RECOILweb:AfterSHOT: High Threat ConcealmentPOF RevolutionLiberty Suppressors’ Mystic XNC Security Guard Apparently Murdered for his Gun NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!