10 Apr 14
“The secret of a good sermon is a good beginning, and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.”
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.