Malfunction with a Primary Weapon Part 3
For Manual Monday, we are continuing our discussion on Control. Specifically, we will continue our discussion on malfunctions as we address when in the cycle of function immediate action will correct the malfunction, and the rules of correcting a malfunction, which is a specific part of the shot process that was not addressed under the fundamentals. Our reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017.
To refresh our memories, Remedial action requires the Paratrooper to quickly identify one of four issues and apply a specific technique to correct the malfunction. Remedial action is required to correct the following types of malfunctions or symptoms:
Immediate action fails to correct symptom – when a malfunction occurred that initiated the Paratrooper to execute immediate action and multiple attempts failed to correct the malfunction. A minimum of two cycles of immediate action should have been completed; first, without a magazine change, and the second with a magazine change.
Stovepipe – can occur when either a feeding cartridge or an expended cartridge case is pushed sideways during the cycle of function causing that casing to stop the forward movement of the bolt carrier assembly and lodge itself between the face of the bolt and the ejection port. Picture two illustrates what this looks like.
Double feed – occurs when a round is chambered and not fired and a subsequent round is being fed without the chamber being clear. Picture three illustrates this.
Bolt override – is when the bolt fails to push a new cartridge out of the magazine during feeding or chambering, causing the bolt to ride on top of the cartridge. Picture four shows us how this presents.
Charging handle impingement – when a round becomes stuck between the bolt assembly and the charging handle where the charging handle is not in the forward, locked position.
Although there are other types of malfunctions or disruptions to the cycle of function, those listed above are the most common. Any other malfunction will require additional time to determine the true point of failure and an appropriate remedy.
To perform remedial action, the Paratrooper must have a clear understanding of where the weapon failed during the cycle of function. Remedial action is executed when one of the following conditions exist:
-Immediate action does not work after two attempts.
-The trigger refuses to be squeezed.
-The trigger feels like “mush” when squeezed.
When one of these three symptoms exist, the Paratrooper looks into the chamber area through the ejection port to quickly assess the type of malfunction. Once identified, the Paratrooper executes actions to “reduce” the symptom by removing the magazine and attempting to clear the weapon. Once complete, visually inspect the chamber area, bolt face, and charging handle. Then, complete the actions for the identified symptom:
Stovepipe – the Paratrooper must remove the magazine, clear the weapon, confirm the chamber area is clear, secure a new loaded magazine into the magazine well, and chamber and lock a round.
Double-feed – the Paratrooper must remove the magazine, clear the weapon, confirm the chamber area is clear, secure a new loaded magazine into the magazine well, and chamber and lock a round. Picture three illustrates this.
Bolt override – the Paratrooper attempts to clear the weapon. If unsuccessful, apply the mortar technique to clear the round out of the weapon.
Charging handle impingement – the Paratrooper attempts to clear the weapon. If unsuccessful, apply the mortar technique to clear the round out of the weapon. Picture five illustrates this.
Note. The “mortar” technique requires instruction to perform correctly without damaging the weapon. This technique is specifically not illustrated due to the potential to damage equipment and personnel. If required during combat, Paratrooper must announce the malfunction to the team and seek cover as the tactical situation permits.
Picture five provides a simple mental flow chart to rapidly overcome malfunctions experienced during the shot process.
So to sum up, we’ve discussed malfunctions, we’ve finished discussing what immediate and remedial actions are, and we’ve discussed what the Paratrooper’s mindset should be. Next week we will wrap up our discussion on control as we address cook offs and transitioning to a secondary weapon.
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