By Josh Crosby
When a shooter, regardless of level of instruction, experiences a simple malfunction, she or he should go through standard correction steps. These steps are simple and effective, and above all, the safest and fastest way to put the gun back in battery. Just as you know your firearm safety laws, you should know your rapid malfunction steps.
The TAP-RACK-BANG drill, also known as the immediate action drill, is a simple process to effectively deal with a minor malfunction, such as a fail-to-eject or failure-to-feed. TAP-RACK-BANG has three steps, covered below:
- TAP – The “Tap” is hitting the bottom of the grip to seat the magazine. A failure-to-feed is possible when the magazine was not securely seated into the weapon when the chambered round was fired and ejected. The next round in the magazine is too far below to be fed into the chamber, so the slide closes on an empty magazine. “Tap” the weapon by firmly gripping the frame in shooting grip, indexed trigger finger, muzzle down range. Using the heel of your support hand, pop the magazine base plate with a firm, solid strike ensuring the magazine locks into the frame.
- RACK – The “Rack” is exactly that. Pull the pistol back into your torso and canting slightly inboard, still in a firm shooting grip, with your trigger finger indexed. Firmly grip the slide with your support hand, four fingers on the outside of the slide and thumb on the inside. Using a push-pull method, quickly push the frame with your strong hand and pull the slide with your support hand to fully rack the slide. Hopefully with the magazine seated, you have now chambered the round that the slide missed before and the weapon is back in battery. *NOTE – DO NOT RIDE THE SLIDE. LET IT SLAM HOME!
- BANG – The “Bang” is the bang. Assess that your gun is in battery and safe to fire. Keep your firearm extended with a solid, forward-leaning stance and proper grip. Take a sight picture, focus on the front sight post, and complete your trigger press.
TAP-RACK-BANG works to clear malfunctions, such as stove pipes, missed empty cases, failure to feed, light strikes, etc. It will not clear a double feed; however, when you release the slide on the “RACK” you will notice the slide is not fully locking or “short.” At this point, you can lock the slide to the rear, observe the jam in the chamber, drop the mag, clear the round, and reset the magazine. For more serious malfunctions, such as a squib round, do not use this drill; it is important that your training includes assessing malfunctions so that you can quickly and appropriately manage any problem.
While not a fix-all for every problem and aside catastrophic failure, the TAP-RACK-BANG is the easiest way to get your weapon back in battery and get you back in the fight.
SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/tap-rack-bang/