Quick Range Report/Range Exam

Hey gang,

I got to spend most of the day at the academy’s shooting range today, though most of it was lecture. We covered the different types of auto pistol failures, like Failure to Eject, Failure to Extract, Stovepipe, Failure to go into Battery, “Squib” rounds, Failure to Feed (where the round jams before it can be fed, there were 3 variations of this), and different type of magazine issues. The mag issues were bad mag catch, bad mag spring, and last shot lock failure (slide locks open on last round).

Now, to simulate the different issues, the instructors had an army of Glocks, each one with the different issue. They allowed us to clear and fix each issue, so we could get used to how to do it.

After a couple of minutes, the instructors declared the range hot, so we could shoot with our regular pistols (academy issued Glock 17) if we wanted to. I helped out one of the other cadets who is having trouble with his accuracy (he has really weak wrists and hands). After a while, the instructors disappeared with the army of failure Glocks, and everyone started shooting.

Well, one by one, an instructor chose a cadet, and said cadet went down to the private lane. Occasionally, we’d hear a couple of shots from the private lane, spaced out over a minute or two.

After they were done, they would leave the range and go back to the waiting area.

After a majority of the cadets had been called, it was my turn. We were having a test on our ability to clear a failure, and then our ability to accurately shoot the unjammed pistol. The catch, is the failure was unknown until we fired the pistol. We had to do this for 3 pistol failures and one magazine failure.

I drew 3 slips of paper while blindfolded and handed them to the instructor.

The first was stovepipe, which was easy, and scored max points with no problems. First the first round, and it stovepiped. Quick action on my part and I fired the remaining round.

I caught the second,  fail to battery, because the slide wasn’t all the way foward. I was deducted points because I didn’t follow proper procedure (rack the slide which ejects the old round and and load a new round while maintaining a firm grip on the pistol). Instead, I saw the slide wasn’t forward, checked the breech, saw the issue, and did ye olde “firm tap the back of the slide”. While the “firm tap” is quicker, the instructor said they don’t recommend it for the reason of headspacing. The failure to battery might be from an improperly made round that doesn’t quite headspace properly, and the firm tap then pulling the trigger might make the improperly made round explode and damage the pistol. Anywho, fired the first round, saw the slide wasn’t all the way forward, so I did the check and “firm tap”, and fired the remaining round.

The jammed round against the feed ramp was another easy one, for my last pistol failure, in which I scored max points. I fired the first round, saw the issue, racked the slide,  it went in all the way, and then fired the last round.

I did the same routine above for the mag failure. Blind fold, gave the instructor the slip, and prepared.

I drew the easiest one, which was bad mag spring. I fired all 5 test rounds successfully with no jams for the highest score. It even locked open on the last shot, so I guess it wasn’t too weak.

I had my camera and was hoping to snap a few pictures, however, cameras apparently are forbidden in the “restricted access” areas, which included the range.

Next week, we are supposed to be shooting revolvers. I haven’t shot one in many years, so it’ll be a nice refresher.


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