Remedial Action (R)


RIFLE DRILLS - 14 REMEDIAL ACTION What we are going to cover next is the remedial action malfunction clearance. Remedial action is that action we take after our immediate action has failed to clear the problem.

The equation would read as follows: Gun doesn't shoot = immediate action, gun still doesn't shoot = remedial action.

Or even more simply: No bang = immediate action, still no bang = remedial action.

Because of the time involved to execute this malfunction clearance, it is usually best to have a plan B, such going for a backup weapon (your handgun), if close enough - muzzle punching, or at least seeking cover while you fix this. Since giving up in not an option, having a workable plan is a good idea.

The remedial action malfunction feels just like your Type-2 and Emergency Reload (no "bang" a dead trigger, and bolt not going into battery). Much like the type 1 and type 2, this malfunction is generally induced by the shooters improper application of immediate action; however, it could also be caused by other factors such as bad magazine retaining lips.

Again, when it happens to you, you don't particularly care why it happened; you just want to fix it right away.

In order to set this up we would simply start with an unloaded rifle. Like before, present out like you mean it, and you can either unload or stay unloaded (if you are not yet unloaded); regardless, we begin with a chamber check and mag check to ensure we are indeed unloaded. If you have any doubts, go back to chapter 10 and review.

01 Setup - To setup the Type 3 Malfunction, start with an UNLOADED rifle.

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Now leaving the bolt locked to the rear, point the muzzle downward, being careful not to cover your own body (nor anyone else's for that matter). Now insert a round (not a piece of brass - as it will stick in the chamber) into the chamber.

02 Keep Muzzle Down - While keeping the muzzle pointed downward insert a round into the chamber.

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While keeping the rifle pointed downward (allowing gravity to help you), insert a partially filled magazine; you don't want a filled magazine because you are going to violently strip this magazine out and you can unnecessarily damage it with the extra weight of a full magazine

03 Muzzle Down - Continue to keep the muzzle down, and pointed in a safe direction while inserting a partially filled magazine.

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Next, with the support palm down, pinch the charging handle latch, pull back on the charging handle just enough to disengage the bolt lock and then ease the bolt forward, causing the round in the magazine to feed up the feed ramp, stopping at the base of the inserted round in the chamber (see inset).

04 Ease Bolt Forward - Next, with your support hand over the top, grip the charging handle, pull back, and then ease the bolt forward.

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Now that you have the remedial action malfunction set up, point in a safe direction (either downrange or at your designated and safe dry practice area) and press the trigger as if you were attempting to shoot.

When you press the trigger you will notice that the trigger feels just different than the previously experienced type-1 malfunction clearance. In this case the trigger feels mushy or simply "dead" (no mechanical resistance but spring tension), just like a type-2 malfunction. This malfunction, the type-2, and the empty gun reload will feel identical. So instead of that bang you wanted, or that click that you heard and felt with the type-1, you will now feel mush, or nothing... that dead trigger mentioned above.

05 Pointed In - Start at the pointed in position.

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In real life, may you be able to tell that you have a something other than a type-1 malfunction? Sure, you may be able to feel the bolt not go back into battery, but under the stress of a real life fight for life, you may very well miss this subtle nuance. Additionally, the bolt not going into battery feels very much the same for both the type-3 and the empty gun reload we will explain shortly.

So without looking into the chamber there is no real way to diagnose this malfunction.

What to do?

Simple: the way we will approach this malfunction clearance is from the worst case scenario, you fail to feel anything significant and you will immediately proceed to the an immediate action malfunction clearance. So the previous formula of "no 'bang' = immediate action" is still valid.

Could you look to see inside the chamber to identify? Yes, with sufficient RBT training and enough lighting, you can.

However, if you remember the thing about most lost gunfigbhts, you realize that most gunfights take place in no/low light... which makes it tough to identify what's tin the chamber.

And if you are a new shooter, or a veteran shooter, until you have had enough RBT experiences to learn how to become more stressful to your adversaries than to yourself, it behooves you to continue to practice the fundamentals until they are ingrained deeply enough to become reflexive.

Now, because it will take longer to fix than an immediate action, you will want to immediately begin moving towards cover/concealment as you begin to work on clearing the malfunction, or you begin moving towards cover/concealment as you transition to a backup. However for our purposes (for now) stay put while you work this malfunction clearance.

To begin fixing this malfunction, simply start by making your trigger finger go straight back to its tactile reference point, while keeping the rifle pointed in the direction of your target. As your finger goes straight, support hand first slaps and tugs the magazine, then activates the charging handle with a rack/flip, and you attempt to fire again.

06 Immediate Action - Just like before, finger straight, support hand first slaps the magazine and then racks the charging handle while you flip the rifle.

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At the point of the rack/flip, you may or may not realize that your bolt is not going home, if you do realize this, simply forgo to the rest of the immediate action drill (pointing in and attempting to fire), and skip ahead to the remedial action portion of the drill.

If however you don't catch the fact that the bolt is still stuck out of battery, it's not a problem, simply continue as you normally would (pointing in and pressing) and once you realize that the rifle isn't functioning as desired (still no "bang") you will execute an remedial action drill (as the inset photos above show).

So once your immediate action fails to clear the malfunction, the next step is remedial action with an what is essentially an unloading and reloading of the rifle.

To fix the malfunction simply strip that magazine out of the magazine well. If you find that you have any trouble extracting the magazine, see if locking the bolt to the rear before you attempt to strip the magazine out works better for you.

Once you have the magazine out of the well you have two options available to you. Discard (if a faulty magazine), or retain (if it's either your only magazine, or shooter induced and you feel you can trust the magazine.

If you pull that magazine out and a round is stuck in the magazine that you can't clear easily, rounds shoot out of the magazine or otherwise you have some other gaggle going on that isn't natural, feel free to discard... unless of course it's your final/only magazine. In which case it behoves you to fix the rifle if at all possible.

To retain the magazine after stripping simply place it between the ring and pinky fingers of the firing side hand, or any other place that offeres immediate access after the clearance (unloading) portion of the Remedial Action drill.

08 Strip - Depress the magazine release button, strip the magazine out, and either discard it (if you have spare) or retain it if you don't.

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Re-orient your muzzle in a safe direction and then once again grasp the back of the bolt charging handle - palm down, using your support hands trigger finger and thumb pinching the charging handle latch - and vigorously "rack, rack, rack," the bolt to the rear three times.

Doing this helps to clear any obstructions from the chamber area.

If you feel a "crunch" instead of a rack you should lock the bolt to the rear and insert your fingers into the magazine well/chamber area in order to loosen any double fed rounds/rounds stuck on the feedramp.

If no "crunch" is present rack the bolt a total of three times to the rear to clear any obstructions. 

09 Rack x3 - Now while keeping the rifle up, and without letting go of the charging handle, rack three times.

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Note: Make sure that you don't impede the forward movement of the bolt, if you do, you may not clear the malfunction.

As soon as you have accomplished the racking of the bolt three times, properly index a fresh (or retained) magazine and insert it the way you have been taught (fast to the magazine well, slow insertion, fast seating, with a tug to finish it off).

10 Insert New Magazine - Next properly index and insert a fresh magazine as previously described.

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Now we have a filled magazine inserted in the rifle, but no round in the chamber, to fix that, do what you have been doing all along... Support hand palm down, pinch the charging handle latch as you authoritatively rack the charging handle to the rear and flip the rifle on its side, just like in your loading procedures and immediate action drills.

11 Rack/Flip - Finally chamber a round by once again using the palm down method with a rack/flip.

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CAUTION!!! At the end of this drill you will end up with a LOADED firearm (if you conducted the drill correctly), and while you do need to finish this drill with your finger on the trigger and ready to shoot (just as with the empty gun reload you will shortly learn), we strongly advise you NOT to make shooting after clearing a malfunction a reflexive habit.

If you are back on target, you should be back on the trigger, slack out and ready to fire if needed.

We want to once again make it perfectly clear that at this stage, just like before, we don't want you to shoot at this point. But you need to be ready to with your finger on the trigger and slack out. You need to understand that shooting is an intellectual decision that you must make, not a reflexive one.

11 Finishing Up - Finish up as you began, pointed in, with your finger on the trigger and the slack out.

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As always weapons clearances should be reflexive, but shooting is not. Shooting is an intellectual decision that must be reached, so don't press the trigger unless you mean to, and unless you can do so safely.