The most dreaded of malfunctions.

I am going to teach you how to Perform a Clearance Drill.

I learned these techniques while attending Thunder Ranch. It is an excellent school and I would recommend it to anyone interested.

First, let's review the basic clearance drill... Tap, Rack, and Bang.

When a pistol fails to fire, first you should…


Hit the magazine with the palm of your support hand.



Rack the slide with the support hand.

Do not use your thumb and first finger.

This is the weakest method.


Instead, use all four fingers and your palm.

This is a much stronger method.

Pull the slide fully to the rear and release sharply.



Fire the pistol.

If done correctly, this should be a circular motion with the support hand.

Practice it until you can "feel" the circular motion.


A doublefeed is a different story.

When you try to fire the piece, you will get a "Click".

Anytime you get a "click", immediately do a Tap, Rack, Bang.

But, if you have a doublefeed, this will not clear the pistol.

If this happens, you must do a more through clearance drill.


First, remove the magazine.


You may find that removing the magazine is extra difficult, as the pressure from the jam will make it harder to remove.

Pull it sharply.

This often results in the top round in the magazine falling out.


Do not discard the magazine.

There may come a time when you will be very glad to have those rounds.

Place the mag in your shooting hand's little finger.

Grab the slide with the support hand and rack the slide to the rear, 2 or 3 times, quickly.

Some people suggest turning the pistol over slightly to facilitate the rounds falling out easily.


Reinsert the magazine into the pistol.

Then, do the usual...

Tap, Rack, Bang.


A couple of reminders:
1. This drill must be practiced many, many times to become a drill that can (and will) be done without thinking.

2. Add it to every practice session. But do this only at the range, as it requires live ammo.

Thanks to Tman for taking the pictures.