one handed malfunction drill

I’m reviving this post because there was some interesting discussion in the comments regarding the necessity of practicing wounded rifle manipulation drills, the “transition as solution to ALL rifle malfunction” discussion and the reality of what sort of weapon you will most likely deploy in a defensive shoot.

While it’s all well and good to practice for TEOTWAWKI in your plate carriers and helmets, carrying a pistol as a back-up to your M4, I believe that in most “real world” applications you are going to have only one weapon on you. For many people that will be a pistol, but for others it may very well be just the rife or shotgun from under the bed. Practicing for transition as the solution to all long gun malfunctions may not be the best idea in all circumstances.

I’m trying something new. Video. My friend Paul is a photo/video/audio-phile so I thought that I would tap into his expertise (and gear) to help me make some content here. Fancy huh?

Todays topic is single hand carbine malfunction drill. I have been exposed to a few versions of this over the years but I am currently sticking with this one.

Let me preface this by saying that what you do when one hand goes down really depends on your situation. If you are at short range you would probably be better served with a transition to a sidearm vs trying to deal with a long arm one handed. But if the enemy is outside pistol range (or you know you just can’t hit him with a pistol at that range) or you have no other weapon available, you will have to deal with what you have. While this video shows the shooter standing in the open, that is for display purposes only. If possible seek cover before you take your eyes off of the fight to do something like this.

The technique shown demonstrates how to clear a basic Type 1 malfunction when you are down to one hand with a carbine. Just like a Type 1 with a sidearm, it’s a TAP RACK BANG process. Seat the magazine with your knee, secure the weapon between your legs and rack the action (don’t block the ejection port) then attempt to re-engage the target.

If the strong side arm goes down the process remains the same but you have to work in a hand switch. I really appreciate the single point sling for this sort of drill; but as you may see here, when I do the support side drill I had to reposition my hand around the sling because it is attached to one side of the stock resulting in a millisecond “bobble” as I re-shoulder the weapon. This is where an ambi sling attachment could help make the process smoother. Try to base your gear selection on what your training reveals to you I say.


Don’t try to learn from me. Some guy on the internet. Get qualified instruction.

SAFETY: NO LIVE AMMO IN THE TRAINING AREA! To make this drill work you will need either a polymer training magazine or use dummy rounds like I did. The magazine requires less down time while you police up ejected dummy rounds and reload.

Self-evaluation. I note that  I didn’t do a press check at the beginning of the video. I also didn’t show an obvious visual chamber inspection after the failure to fire. I will try to remember it the next time. If you really want to see some professionals at this sort of stuff watch the guys at Magpul Dynamics. Specifically The Art of the Tactical Carbine Vol.2.