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Malfunctions with the Primary Weapon

After a long hiatus due to setting up the 82nd Airborne Division Enduring range, we are back to regular posts. 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 overcome the malfunction, the Paratrooper must first avoid over analyzing the issue. The Soldier must train to execute corrective actions immediately without hesitation or investigation during combat conditions.

There are two general types of corrective action, they are:
Immediate action – simple, rapid actions or motions taken by the Soldier to correct basic disruptions in the cycle of function of the weapon. Immediate action is taken when a malfunction occurs such that the trigger is squeezed and the hammer falls with an audible “click.”

Remedial action – a skilled, technique that must be applied to a specific problem or issue with the weapon that will not be corrected by taking immediate action. Remedial action is taken when the cycle of function is interrupted where the trigger is squeezed and either has little resistance during the squeeze (“mush”) or the trigger cannot be squeezed

No single corrective action solution will resolve all or every malfunction. Paratroopers need to understand what failed to occur, as well as any specific sounds or actions of the weapon in order to apply the appropriate correction measures.
Immediate action can correct rudimentary failures during the cycle of function, these are the most common that can be corrected by immediate action.

Failure to fire – is when a round is locked into the chamber, the weapon is ready to fire, the select switch is placed on SEMI or BURST / AUTO, and the trigger is squeezed, the hammer falls (audible click), and the weapon does not fire.
Failure to feed – is when the bolt carrier assembly is expected to move return back into battery but is prevented from moving all the way forward. A clear gap can be seen between the bolt carrier assembly and the forward edge of the ejection port. This failure may cause a stove pipe or a double feed.

Failure to chamber – when the round is being fed into the chamber, but the bolt carrier assembly does not fully seat forward, failing to chamber the round and lock the bolt locking lugs with the barrel extension’s corresponding lugs.
Failure to extract – when either automatically or manually, the extractor loses its grip on the cartridge case or the bolt seizes movement rearward during extraction that leaves the cartridge case partially removed or fully seated.

Failure to eject – occurs when, either automatically or manually, a cartridge case is extracted from the chamber fully, but does not leave the upper receiver through the ejection port.

So to sum up, we’ve discussed what malfunctions are, what the two types of actions are to deal with malfunctions and the most common places in the cycle of function that they take place at. Next week, we will continue our discussion with a more in-depth look at remedial action, the most common types of malfunctions that require remedial action, and what the Paratrooper needs to do to train for them.

Raymond Miller

82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.


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