As more hunters begin to use AR-style rifles, they’re discovering they need a new skill set to clear a jammed rifle. One common type of jam is when the rifle fails to cycle properly after the initial shot. In most cases, this can be corrected through a simple three-step procedure easily remembered as tap-rack-bang. Knowing these steps can mean the difference between a fast follow-up shot and a lost animal.
1 -Tap the Magazine
Keep your head on the stock. Now, with the heel of your support hand, push against the bottom of the magazine to make sure it is seated firmly and correctly in the receiver.
2 – Rack the Charging Handle
Using the support hand, firmly grasp the charging handle, pull to the rear and release, allowing the full power of the buffer spring to send the bolt home with authority.
3 – Bang
In a tactical setting, this means immediately fire. Hunters must first reacquire their target—then fire. At the range, try keeping your head on the stock and using only the support hand to tap and rack.
Illustration by Chris Philpot.