‘Jam’ Is Something I Put On My Toast

By John Farnam

Glock Stove Piping
Type II – Stove Piping – Vertical or Horizontal. Stove Piping is often a bad ejector or an interruption in the cycle of operation.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “The secret of a good sermon is a good beginning, and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.” ~ George Burns

Per George's advice, I'll try to be brief!

We hate surprises! When fighting for our lives, surprises generally represent bad news. Modern, well-maintained, military small-arms seldom fail to function as advertised. On those rare occasions when they do fail, we need to react immediately, precisely, and appropriately with a well-practiced sub-routine.

The term “jam” is bandied about by pretenders, and the uninformed in general, in a lame attempt to communicate the fact that a gun is not firing when it desperately needs to be!

Like all vague, weak, and emotional terms, “jam” is stirring, but non-descriptive, and thus non-helpful. When a student says, “My gun is jammed,” or “My gun keeps jamming,” that provides me with scant useful information!

By contrast, Operators use specific terms, designed to convey specific information and precisely describe particular circumstances. “Jam” is conspicuously absent from our vocabulary!

Guns can experience “stoppages” and “malfunctions.” In normal use, malfunctions are extremely rare and usually involved a broken part. Conversely, stoppages are more common and merely an unscheduled interruption in the normal “cycle of operation” of an autoloading firearm. The pistol or rifle can thus usually be restored to normal functioning quickly, and by the shooter himself, while not necessitating that he withdraw from the fight.

Accordingly, knowing what to do when a stoppage occurs is an important curriculum item during our training Courses.

You can find a continuation or this discussion, and in far more detail, in an excellent, and well-illustrated article on Robar's Web Page, written by my friend and colleague, Freddie Blish.


Recommended reading!


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: www.defense-training.com

  • 7 thoughts on “‘Jam’ Is Something I Put On My Toast

    1. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
      jam verb \ˈjam\
      a : to become blocked or wedged
      b : to become unworkable through the
      jamming of a movable part

      Therefore, a “Type IV – Failure to go fully into battery” is technically a jam.

    2. I have been handling guns since I was 9 years old; now at the age of 88 I have heard it all when referring to firearms. It never is a bother to correct a person on proper names of guns {firearms}and accessories or parts, Stop being an ass when someone un familiar with our business and our tools, mispronounces Something. Simply and politely; explain; Oh yes I am a Dealer; WWII vet ; collector;and un politically correct USA born Texas Citizen.

    3. Until you have credentials that designate you Official U.S. Firearms Language Nazi, just keep quiet. You sound like a puffed up gun counter commando, arrogantly calling anyone who doesn’t talk like you ignorant. You’re the kind of guy who breaks out in a rash when someone uses the term “clip” to mean “magazine”, or “gun” instead of “firearm”, or “bullet” when they mean “cartridge”. If you can’t deal with variations in common language, don’t pretend to be an instructor. Get over yourself.

    4. Get over yourself. While a general malfunction call out and raised hand by a student or shooter on the firing line is preferred by me and thats what I tell and show them to do. I honestly dont care what they call it so long as they acknowledge it and safely handle it or safely handle the gun and alert the RSO or instructor.

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