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By John Farnam



Defense Training International, Inc

Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO --( Curious weapon stoppage, from a colleague:

“Last week, I was using my H&K MP5, with dummy rounds, while instructing students in stoppage-reduction. At the end of my demonstration, one dummy round was missing, and I could not find it anywhere. I gave up my search, assuming it would show up later.

Saturday I attended rifle competition, and used my same MP5. The gun was loaded, and I was ready to go. I stepped up to the line, and went to engage my first two targets. I pressed the trigger and nothing happened. No ‘ click!’ Just a slack trigger. I immediately ejected the chambered round and attempted to fire again. No discharge, just a slack trigger. I changed magazines and ran the bolt once more. Same result!

The referee stopped the drill and told me to check my gun. When I opened it up, to my astonishment, I discovered the ‘missing’ dummy round lodged in the trigger mechanism. It was preventing the hammer from falling normally. I haven’t the foggiest idea how it ever found its way in there!

I removed the errant dummy round, and the MP5 was instantly restored to normal operation.

I successfully re-did the drill, but, in a real situation, I would be either dead, or I would have transitioned to my pistol (which I wasn’t wearing for the exercise)

I never thought anything like that could happen!”


“When it’s least expected, you’re elected!”

I’ve personally never seen this particular circumstance, but it reminds us all that you never carry a rifle (or any longarm) and fail to carry at least one pistol too. Transitioning from rifle to pistol instantly is a critical component of all serious rifle training!


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 3 User comments to “When It’s Least Expected, You’re Elected…!”

    1. Always color-code your dummy rounds!
      I had some cheap practice rounds that didn’t cycle semi-auto (these were the German blue tip rounds)… I took a few of the last ones I had, separated the components, loaded into spent CCI alloy cases (distinguishable as well for their grey color plus I Sharpied the cases with “dummy” on the side) as dummy rounds. The blue-tipped black bullets are easy to spot in the grey cases with markings so no problems.
      Moral of the story: Just make sure any dummy rounds are highly visible and easy to distinguish even in low light conditions.

    2. boh todd on April 2, 2014 at 3:44 PM said:

      Next time clean your gun properly between uses and this wont ever happen again.

    3. Mike11C on April 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM said:

      “Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services” (PMCS) and “Pre-Combat Checks/Pre-Combat Inspection” (PCC/PCI) are used by the military for exactly this reason.

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