MRPC Newsletter 6-5-18


Tomorrow—Wednesday Afternoon 5pm

$5 fee includes targets and range fee


This week’s distance is 500 yards

22 Rounds with 2 Sighters

All center fire rifle shooters welcome!


Jackson County Sports Park Historic Military Rifle Range!

Go thru White Steel Gate off Kershaw Rd. and follow road

Range is just East of Dragstrip


Mt. Shasta Gun Club

is hosting a 300 yard Bench-Rest Match

this Saturday June 9th,  Sign In is 8- 9am

with 5 classes of rifles to be used.


Followed by a 100 yard rimfire benchrest match

with 2 classes of rifles.


If you have questions, contact Brad Eslinger,

Secretary & Treasurer Mt. Shasta Gun Club

                   @ 530-926-2319


Editor’s Note—Sounds fun, but I can’t find the address or directions to the range.

    No promises, but if you wish to explore– it looks like you might:

Take the W. Lake St. Exit on I-5, and go right/west to S. Old Stage Road. 

Then turn left, and go south to where W.A. Barr Road veers off to the right. 

Stay on this road, aka Road #26, passing Mt. Shasta Resort, Box Canyon Dam

and Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort.  Range should be on the left about ½ mile further??


If you find or know where this Range is located, or heaven– forbid you find

these directions are not correct, please let me know.   Have a good trip






Fast and Furious Pistol Shooting

MRPC Presents

June 2018

Steel Challenge

Reserve and Competition Ranges at the Sports Park

Sunday June 10th  Sign in about 8:30am




See attachment for June MRPC Pistol Matches

They include Steel Challenge, USPSA &  IDPA Matches.





Revolver Malfunctions: Tips & Troubleshooting

by George Harris – Monday, May 28, 2018

Revolver Malfunctions: Tips & Troubleshooting

Revolvers have a reputation for perfect reliability, but this is not always the case. As with any other firearm, taking the time to implement routine inspection and maintenance practices will prevent revolver malfunctions when your wheelgun is needed most.


Until today, I carried a stainless steel .44 Mag. revolver loaded with Alliant 2400 and a cast Keith-style bullet as my go-anywhere, do-anything gun because it had always functioned fine and was totally reliable. It usually rides in a holster mounted to the door of the truck I drive to check cows and mend fences as well as anything else that needs to be done on the place. This morning, while making my rounds, I spotted a mangy coyote that wasn’t in a good way and gave me an easy shot to put it out of its misery. When I leveled down on it with the .44, the trigger was so hard to pull in double action that I had to help the cylinder turn to cock the hammer to single action before I shot the sick animal. After that, I couldn’t turn the cylinder at all and had to go back to the house to get another gun. What do you think happened and what should I do to restore the reliability of my old standby?
R.A. Maltz, Oklahoma City


Unfortunately, it appears that you have fallen under the mistaken assumption—as have many others—in believing that a stainless steel revolver won’t rust and doesn’t need a little maintenance every once in a while. My guess is that a thorough cleaning along with a little lubrication would put your revolver back in reliable working order. However, there are a few other factors to consider, too.

Aside from being dirty from the environment, the ammunition could be a contributing factor as well. A high primer would cause hard rotation of the cylinder as the cartridge entered the recoil-shield area to align with the firing pin and barrel. Firing that cartridge with a heavy charge of Alliant 2400 could have easily caused the primer to flow back into the firing-pin opening, making the cylinder even more difficult—if not impossible—to rotate without extreme force. On the other end of the cylinder, a bullet may have come loose or been loaded too long, thereby protruding just enough to exceed the barrel/cylinder gap and bind on the forcing-cone end of the revolver’s barrel.

Since Alliant 2400 is a fairly dirty-burning powder, often leaving unburnt powder particles in the gun after firing, it is not unusual for a few of these particles to find their way between the extractor and the body of the cylinder. The presence of these particles will not let the extractor seat properly and causes excessive friction against the frame, making the cylinder hard to turn.

To get your revolver back into operation, you have to get the cylinder open and unloaded while keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A little tap or two on the cylinder with a rubber mallet while applying maximum pressure on the cylinder release might be necessary to free it from the frame. Again, it is important to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and fingers away from the trigger, particularly if there is live ammunition in the gun. Once the revolver is open and the ammunition is removed, it would be appropriate to check under the extractor for powder particles, spin the cylinder to see if there are restrictions, then close the cylinder and check the double- and single-action trigger pulls. If the problem went away, most likely there was something under the extractor not allowing it to seat or the quality inspector in your ammunition-loading process needs to do a better job with primer and bullet seating.

If the problem persists, it usually means the inner workings of the revolver need attention. That’s where a gunsmith might need to take a look at the revolver, unless you are comfortable with detail disassembling and reassembling the pistol. After cleaning it, I recommend lubricating the moving parts with a dry lube, such as Sentry Solutions Smooth-Kote, to help reduce friction without collecting dirt.


Once back together and function-checked, the revolver—coupled with quality ammunition and periodic maintenance—should be as reliable as it ever was.



4 Handgun Malfunction Causes & Clearance Drills

by Chris Christian – Wednesday, May 30, 2018

4 Handgun Malfunction Causes & Clearance Drills

Modern semi-automatic handguns are remarkably reliable tools. Still, they’re mechanical devices made by man and can suffer breakage that renders them totally inoperable. Or, more commonly, they can suffer a temporary stoppage rendering the gun inoperable for that often crucial moment. Most shooters have likely experienced a malfunction at some point, and a lot of us may cuss the gun itself. But such blame may be misplaced. The gun is only part of the operational equation.

Reliable semi-automatic operation depends not only upon the gun working correctly, but also upon properly functioning magazines to feed the firearm, ammunition loaded within the range of pressure levels required to operate the action and loads that feature the correct length and bullet profile to feed smoothly from magazine to chamber. If any leg of that gun/magazine/ammunition triad fails, a malfunction can occur and temporarily stop the operation.

Operation can be quickly restored if the shooter recognizes the type of malfunction that has occurred and takes the correct Immediate Action (IA) to restore the gun to proper operation. Then, the shooter should analyze the specific malfunction to determine the cause and take corrective action to prevent it from happening again. Here’s a look at the four most common malfunctions.

The nose of the bullet of this dummy round is jammed against the top of the barrel hood—typical of tip-up malfunctions.

1. Tip-Up Malfunction

This is one of, if not the, most common malfunctions in a semi-automatic pistol. It is characterized by the round feeding from the magazine, but failing to enter the chamber—instead having the bullet’s nose lodge up against the barrel hood above the chamber and locking up the action.

The immediate-action (IA) drill for a tip-up is to strip the magazine from the gun, rack the slide to clear the action, insert a new magazine and rack the slide to chamber a fresh round. If the round is jammed up tightly, simply hitting the magazine release may not drop the magazine. The support hand should move to strip it out of the pistol. 

Some shooters may try to retract the slide, turn the gun onto its side and jiggle the loose round out. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it makes things even worse.

Diagnosing the exact cause of a tip-up malfunction can be frustrating. It requires a methodical approach, because it could be magazine-, ammunition- or firearm-related. Determining when and where the malfunction occurs will help in discovering and correcting the problem.

If the gun is at slide lock, a new magazine is inserted forcefully and hitting the slide release results in a tip-up malfunction, the cause could be worn magazine feed lips. If the lips are not holding the round securely, the nose can bounce up and take an upward—and incorrect—angle into the chamber.  It could also involve a weak magazine spring that allows the leading round to bounce. See if you can duplicate the tip-up with other magazines using the same load. If other magazines function properly, you have isolated the cause to that specific magazine.

If you can’t duplicate it with other magazines or if the tip-up occurs while the gun is cycling during firing, it’s time to look at the load. Not every bullet profile will properly fit every barrel’s feed ramp. Some guns just will not feed certain loads. This is not uncommon in 1911-pattern guns using John Browning’s original feed-ramp design. That system was created to shoot 230-grain ball loads, and may not readily accept some other profiles. Gunsmiths have learned how to throat the barrel and alter the 1911 ramp to feed other bullets, but the incompatibility problem is not confined to the 1911. I have a Smith & Wesson M&P45 that will not feed factory 185-grain wadcutters. The short bullet nose hits low on the feed ramp and bounces above the chamber mouth and up into the hood in a classic tip-up. Loads with a short overall length can also cause tip-ups.

If the failure occurs with certain loads, the cause has been found. If the malfunction occurs with a variety of different loads and through different magazines, the feed ramp is the likely culprit. It may be damaged or just out-of-spec from the factory. This happens, and requires the attention of a gunsmith.

Two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time, but occasionally cartridges try to in the chamber, resulting in a double- feed malfunction.

2. Double-Feed Malfunction

This malfunction occurs when one round from the magazine is properly fed into the chamber, but the following round in the magazine jumps out from behind and tries to join it. The result is a chambered round with a second round jammed up against its base, stopping the slide from going into battery.

The IA drill for a double feed is the same as for the tip-up—strip the magazine from the gun, rack the slide to clear the chambered round, insert a fresh magazine and rack the slide again to chamber a new round. This is the only way to clear a double feed, and again, don’t count on the magazine dropping freely with a push of the magazine-release button. The second cartridge will normally lock things in place. You must hit the magazine release and then slide the support hand down to physically strip the magazine from the gun. It may take some effort because the second cartridge will likely have jammed things up tightly.

This is definitely a magazine-related malfunction. Like any part on the gun, magazine components can wear out. Worn feed lips are the most common culprit. But if it occurs from slide lock, you may also have a weak magazine spring that allows the round to bounce through the worn lips. In either case, this magazine needs attention.

Double feeds are one reason savvy shooters put an individual identifying mark on each of their magazines that allows them to quickly determine exactly which magazine is causing problems. This failure is also the reason experienced shooters always carry a spare magazine. Some may think the 16 rounds in their 9 mm carry pistol should be more than enough to handle any situation, but unfortunately, some common semi-automatic malfunctions require the magazine in the gun be quickly removed. If a second magazine is not at hand, things can get ugly.

It’s easy to spot a stovepipe jam and also easy to understand how it got it’s name.

3. Stovepipe Malfunction

This malfunction occurs when the fired case does not fully clear the gun after being extracted from the chamber and ends up trapped within the ejection port by the returning slide. When trapped in an upward-facing position, it looks very much like a little smokestack sticking up.

The IA drill for a stovepipe is to maintain a firm grip on the gun with the firing hand while slipping the trigger finger into the register position (finger out of the trigger guard and pointing forward along the frame above the trigger guard). The support hand then slaps onto the top of the slide and corrals the trapped case, while sweeping rearward to clear the empty case and cycle the slide to chamber a new round.

This malfunction most often occurs because there was insufficient force to drive the slide fully rearward while slamming the extracted case onto the ejector with enough force to expel it cleanly from the gun. This could be a gun-related malfunction caused by a worn out recoil spring. Many manufacturers recommend recoil springs be replaced every 5,000 or so rounds, but I have gone more than 30,000 rounds with a factory recoil spring without problems. Still, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s advice.

(l.) Clearance of both tip-ups and double-feeds begins with forcefully stripping out the magazine. (r.) To clear a stovepipe, the support hand covers the ejection port and grabs the offending spent case while racking the slide to the rear.

An extremely dirty, pitted or corroded chamber could also be the culprit causing a stovepipe. If it impedes the clean extraction of the fired case, the recoil spring force—even on a properly functioning spring—can be restricted enough to prevent the proper ejection cycle. A damaged ejector could also cause a stovepipe. Any of these factors would cause the fairly frequent stovepiping and would indicate it’s time for a trip to the gunsmith.

Another common cause is shooter-induced: a “dry gun.” Steel parts moving against one another require lubrication. Some gun owners, especially new ones, neglect to properly lubricate their firearms.

However, if a stovepipe occurs only rarely, it’s likely an ammunition issue involving underpowered ammo. This can happen with factory loads, although it is rare. It’s far more common with handloads. Many competitive shooters “load light” to reduce recoil, and if they go too light and don’t install a lighter recoil spring, stovepipes can occur.

Stovepipes are the one malfunction where the magazine is not a likely culprit, with one exception. If, when clearing a stovepipe, a second live round is also present within the operating action, it indicates the round released early (worn feed lips) and contacted the fired case during the ejection cycle, which prevented it from clearing the gun. In this case the IA drill is the same as with a tip-up or double feed—strip the magazine, rack the slide to clear the loose round, slam in another magazine and rack the slide to chamber a fresh round.

4. The Click

You bring the gun onto the target and press the trigger. But instead of a bang you get a click. The IA drill here is the “tap/rack.” Tap the magazine baseplate forcefully to assure the magazine is properly seated, then rack the slide to clear the chamber and cycle a new round.

(l.) If you hear a click, smartly slap the base of the inserted magazine to be sure it’s seated. (r.) Rack the slide to extract and eject the previous round, and to chamber a fresh one from the magazine.

This is most likely a firearm or ammunition issue, but in one case it could be magazine-related.

If the click occurred after the gun was at slide lock and a fresh magazine was slammed into the gun with enough force to send the slide forward, but a round was not chambered, it indicates a weak magazine spring. The leading round bounced back into the magazine and the carrier overrode it and did not chamber the round. Anything else indicates gun or ammunition failure.

A defective primer is a common cause of the dreaded click, and this can occur with factory or handloaded ammunition—especially if the handloader did not fully seat the primer. If the anvil is not in firm contact with the bottom of the primer cup, the firing-pin blow may not ignite it. It merely sends the primer forward, and that may seat the anvil and allow a second strike to ignite it. Some guns have a second-strike capability, but the tap/rack is still the surest solution to the problem, since you do not yet know precisely what caused the problem.

A weak firing-pin strike to a properly seated primer is another possibility, and that is gun-related. It’s rare with guns using an inertia firing-pin system where the firing pin is driven by an external hammer (1911, CZ 75, Browning Hi Power, etc.). If the hammer sends the firing pin forward, then a broken or damaged firing pin is the likely cause, although a broken firing-pin spring that impedes the firing-pin strike could also be the culprit.

If you suspect a magazine may be the culprit, check the feed lips and the spring tension. Replace an old, weak spring with a new one.

Striker-fired guns are a different story. They require spring pressure, not a hammer blow, to propel the firing pin, and those springs can weaken. I was once involved in an IDPA match with a 9 mm striker-fired pistol that had seen a lot of use. In that match, I had five misfires out of 90 rounds, and got plenty of practice with the tap/rack drill. After replacing the striker assembly, that gun has gone another 15,000 rounds without problems.

If this malfunction seldom occurs, then it is likely ammunition caused. If it happens with any frequency, your gun needs professional attention. See a qualified gunsmith.

There is one major caveat to the tap/rack remedy. You must hear only a click. If you get a pop or a poof instead, it means the primer did ignite, and that bullet may be lodged in the barrel (a squib load). If you rack the slide and an empty case comes out, you also have an ignited primer and possibly a lodged bullet. Do not chamber and fire another round! Stop and inspect the bore. Firing into an obstructed bore can result in serious damage to both the firearm and the shooter, so be extra careful if you think you might have had a squib.

Despite what you might read online, any semi-automatic handgun can malfunction. Those who can execute a quick and positive IA drill will get the gun back into action quickly and be better prepared to defend themselves and their loved ones. Practice your IA responses, and you’ll be prepared for most any failure.




Learn these techniques and more by attend MRPC’s FREE firearm training classes


Go to WWW.MRPC.INFO to find out more about the Club’s training classes





This information is provided to our members solely as a service. 

The opinions expressed are not the official position of MRPC, its Board, Officers or Directors. 

Each member is encouraged to conduct their own study of these matters.


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