NEWS | Nov. 18, 2019

Small Arms: Proper Handling of Malfunctions


Some of you aren’t taking the individual and crew-served weapon’s basic issue items (BII) with you when you go to the field or the range. Bad idea!

All weapons from .50-cal and below have BII. The BII is used to put the weapon into operation, during operation and for emergency repairs. 

So never fire a weapon in the field or on the range without having all the BII by your side.

Never fire your weapon without your BII nearby, including the TM

Remember, either the -10 or -13 TM, depending on the weapon, is part of the BII. Before you fire your weapon, you must complete the BEFORE checks in the PMCS section of the TM. And don’t forget to complete the AFTER PMCS when you’re done firing. With a correctly completed PMCS, you’ll know the weapon is in good working condition and ready to fire.

It’s been reported that malfunctions, such as stuck rounds, occur while firing in the field and on the range. If your BII is with you and you use the TM, the risk of malfunction is reduced.

The TM is written to ensure your safety and the proper operation of the weapon. And when it’s used along with a good training program and a range safety SOP, you reduce the likelihood of malfunctions and stoppages while firing.  

But if there is a malfunction or stoppage while you’re firing your weapon, open the BII, pull out the TM and follow the emergency or troubleshooting procedures. Then you can safely fix the issue and continue firing.

The key is leader involvement.  With proper training from competent NCOs, Soldiers have far less issues operating their weapons.