clearing vs hangfire

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Gnocchi, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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    I noticed a lot of places teach if your pistol has a malfunction the first thing to do is tap the mag, rack and fire again. But if you have something like a hang fire isn't that bullet technically still live?
     
  2. RichardB

    RichardB Matthew 25:31-46

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    If you are not in a life or death gunfight, just wait and see.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
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  3. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    The odds of a hangfire are very small. Most shooters have never witnessed one.
    I've run competitions for 16 years and been around probably a million fired rounds. I have seen one possible true hangfire where there was a delay after the trigger pull and then the cartridge fired with no further shooter interaction.
    In competition or training, you tap/rack on a dud. Every time
     
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  4. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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    and you have no fear of that bullet being a hang fire and going off after its been injected?
     
  5. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    Nope. Once it's clear of the gun it's pretty harmless.
     
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  6. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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    so what causes a hang fire? I was under the impression it was the bullet "delayed" to fire.
     
  7. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    The bullet doesn't have anything to do with it. It's a delay in the ignition of the powder. There's probably a 0.00001 chance that a dud is a hangfire to begin with. Then there's a tinier chance that the hangfire lasts long enough for you to notice and start the tap/rack. Then there's an even tinier chance the cartridge could go off in the 1/4 second it's being ejected where it could possibly damage the gun or your hand. Once it's out of the chamber, if it goes off, it's a small pop and maybe a few brass fragments traveling at moderate velocity. They could cause minor surface scratches, but if you're wearing eye protection would be harmless.
     
  8. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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    didn't realize that, I was under the impression it would be almost like a live round but in the open
     
  9. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane

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    Put a bullet in a campfire, pointed in a safe direction.

    Disagree it's safe without the barrel.
     
  10. oldmick

    oldmick

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    Immediate Action Drills like TRB are reserved for defensive training. When shooting at a range and plinking or practicing marksmanship, the proper response to a “click” with no “bang” is to keep the firearm pointed down range for at least 30 seconds before attempting to clear the malfunction.

    I must admit I generally ignore that procedure, only because a hangfire is so rare. But I always teach it to any new shooters I help. They, of course, can do whatever they choose as long as they know the proper response.
     
  11. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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    From what I've seen, it looks terrifying
     
  12. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    It's not. The only thing that gives the bullet any velocity is the cartridge being contained in the chamber.
     
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  13. MajorD

    MajorD

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    What others are alluding to, the cartridge has to be confined to the chamber to generate pressure to propel the bullet with force and velocity. A cartridge out of a chamber will leak pressure at what ever weak spot it finds, generally the case wall. While I wouldn’t voluntarily throw ammo in a fire to see what happens, ammo that cooks off in house fires for example, if a bullet is launched at all is done so very weakly.
    These movie scenes where a fire causes high velocity bullets to fly off in all directions are for theatrical effect and do not represent the reality of ballistics

    Regarding hangfires they do happen, but after 40+ years of shooting the only ones I have seen were in old military surplus ammo from 3rd world countries.
    Again for the purposes of defense or defensive training clearing a malfunction and getting the gun back in action is the number one priority
     
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  14. Gnocchi

    Gnocchi

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  15. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    What exactly do you think it's going to do? A round going off outside the chamber isn't going to hurt you, as long as you're wearing eye pro.

    More to the point, have you ever seen a hang fire in real life? Heard of one from anybody who has seen one first-hand? I've done an awful lot of shooting with an awful lot of different guns and ammo since I was a small child in the '70s and I never have.
     
  16. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    You know that's meaningless, right? If that was a real cartridge, you'd be more likely to be hit by the brass flying backward than the bullet flying forward.

    A wood bullet (from a steel case full of matchheads") flies forward because it's light and not firmly seated and it breaks an egg because an egg is an egg. That has exactly nothing to do with how real ammo reacts. I spent a whole day shooting beside a fire with rounds going off in it. Not a big deal.

    It's even less impressive if not inside a pot - could give you a bruise.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ad9e0mO8Q4
     
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  17. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Without the barrel the bullet isn’t going anywhere. The case might act like a rocket but it weighs half as much (in the case of 9mm) and brass isn’t as dense as lead. I wouldn’t worry. As has been said, wear eye pro and the worst you will get is a scratch.
     
  18. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Yeah, the vast majority of the powder won’t even burn if not in a chamber. Total non-issue.
     
  19. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Think bad things can happen with a hang-fire if you just have the action open a little bit. The round would still be contained and if the bolt or slide is unlocked, there will be some action.

    If the bullet decides to go off while laying on the ground....not much of a problem.
     
  20. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

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    Train like you fight, a bad guy won't wait with you for 30 seconds while you wait for a hangfire to go off. Get that bad round out of your gun ASAP and chamber a fresh one.