Gun Safety: Misfires and Malfunctions

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What should I do with my rounds if my gun jams?

Gun Safety: Misfires and Malfunctions

When using a shotgun, pistol, or hunting rifle, at some point you may encounter a misfire, jam or other mechanical malfunction. Those who teach gun safety recommend you stop firing immediately and clear the firearm by ejecting the bullet in the chamber, and observing the barrel to check for obstructions. In the case of a mechanical malfunction you may be able to charge the firearm and begin again, but if there is an ammunition-related problem, it's important to pay attention to the rounds themselves.

Never try to re-use a round that appears to have a a defect preventing it from being fired, or one that has visible damage from a malfunction. Ammunition involved in a misfire or jam should be viewed as suspect; it's safer not to use that round and dispose of it properly than to take a chance and fire once more. You may not need to dispose of a round involved in a simple jamming problem, but if it has been damaged or compromised in any way, don't use it. When in doubt, consult a firing range official or more experienced shooter and ask how to dispose of rounds that may be defective or damaged.

   

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