It isn’t often that you run across a double feed malfunction when shooting your favorite pistol.  When you do, they can be a bear to clear if you don’t follow some simple steps to get your gun up and running.

Description:  A double feed is when you have one round in the chamber and another round is released from the magazine in order to feed.  Now you have two rounds trying to get into one chamber.

How does it happen?  You put one round in the chamber manually with the slide locked back, and then inserted the magazine and released the slide.  Or, you had round not fully seat in the chamber and didn’t fully extract it with a power stroke of the slide.  When you pulled back the slide, it didn’t get rid of the round and released another from the magazine to feed.

Get it cleared!  Step one: Lock the slide to the rear.  Step 2:  Dump the magazine.  Step3:  Rack, Rack, Rack the slide.  Step 4:  Lock it to the rear and visually inspect the chamber to make sure there is not anything left.  Step5:  Insert new mag and release the slide.

There are several things to consider with this type of malfunction that might save your life if you are ever presented with this scenario in real life.  First, carry a gun with a slide lock.  This past weekend one of our students had a double feed with a Walther 380 that didn’t have a slide lock.  He couldn’t get the malfunction cleared because he had to hold the slide back, release and strip the magazine all at the same time.  I was able to clear it for him, but it was much more difficult.

Second, carry a spare mag if you run an semi-auto.  Many of our police readers know that you get a little lazy off duty and just go with the mag in the gun.  Life is much easier if you have a spare mag for this type of malfunction.  In fact, life is just easier with a spare mag.  It will fix most of your issues.

Finally, practice this malfunction with dummy rounds.  Load a dummy round manually in the chamber while the slide is locked back and then insert your mag and release another dummy round.  Practice clearing it with the above procedure.  You will find that if it ever happens you will be better prepared.