Mark Hatfield submitted this article.
This week while working at an outdoor range, a shooter approached me stating that his rifle had malfunctioned. It had ‘doubled’ (fired twice with only one pull of the trigger) then stopped working. Taking it apart, he found that a critical metal part had broken. The rifle was a semi-auto AK-47, often claimed to be the most reliable, unstoppable rifle in the world. It was still fairly new having been fired only 200 to 400 shots.
They all break sometimes. ‘Big name’ manufacturers sometimes produce defective parts or even whole guns. I have had defective new guns from Glock, Remington, Walther, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, and Ruger. The greatest number of parts failures I have had comes from a major company which proudly advertises its product as ‘Perfection’.
Some defects are immediately obvious, others may not become apparent until you operate the gun. Some may not occur during the first few times you use the gun. It can happen, it can happen to you, and it can happen at any time. Be thankful if it happens during a practice session instead of during a fight for your life.
It is not unusual that during a fight, if a weapon malfunctions or the user drops or loses that weapon, they become mentally stunned and freeze. They may flounder trying to recover it when they should be attempting some other attack, counter, or escape. They may simply stop fighting. As has been said before, your weapon is between your ears, everything else is hardware and most of that is replaceable. Never be too dependent upon any one tool. Be flexible with mind, your skills and be ready to adapt to situations which may be rapidly changing.