null Skip to main content
Fix the Most Stubborn Double-Feed Problems Like a Rifle Pro

Fix the Most Stubborn Double-Feed Problems Like a Rifle Pro

Posted by Warrior Poet Society on Jul 2nd 2024

If you’ve never experienced a gun stoppage caused by a double feed, either you’re super lucky or you haven’t shot enough rounds—and I (John Lovell) don’t actually believe in luck. Given enough time and experience, the double feeds will come, and when they do you’ll be ready with the kickstart, row, and mortar techniques. 

If you spend enough time on the rifle range, Murphy’s Law will pay you a visit in many annoying ways when it comes to the safe, reliable operation of your hardware. Among the first will likely be the bullet jam. This can result from poor maintenance of your weapon, of course, but the most common scenario is the dreaded double feed of rounds into the chamber. 

This precision engineered portion of your rifle has a low tolerance for such traffic jams, so you’ll need to develop your own disciplined response. 

It’s important to master your double-feed clearing discipline on the range. Otherwise this common mishap will master you when it really counts—out in the wild when you need the gun and bullets to work together in millisecond moments of decision. 

PRO TIP: If you want to train and drill on rifle jam scenarios, you can do that without the rifle actually jamming. Just pretend. And your immediate response on the range (and in the field) should be to find cover and switch to your secondary until you can fix the problem.

What Creates a Double Round-Feed Scenario on the Range

There are some typical causes of double feeds in rifles—some maintenance related, some hardware related, some related to the type of rounds you’re using. 

If you’ve got all the right springs, well-fitted magazines, and you’ve taken care to keep your parts oiled down appropriately, then your likely culprit are the rounds you’re shooting. Jams happen pretty frequently in lower-caliber rifles, such as .22LR rounds, using poorly constructed magazines. 

The magazines can cause the rounds to feed out of sync. And those weaker-powered projectile configurations can create difficulty with consistently clearing the chamber between rounds. If this continues to occur after all your first level attempts to correct it, a quality gun shop or gun smith might be your best option for diagnosis.

Clearing a Gun Jam: The Basic Idea

Typically, when working with a double feed, you want to relieve spring tension. This means locking back the bolt carrier group. You pull back your charging handle until the assembly locks back.

After this, you can then try to work on fishing out the trouble. RELATED | Rifle Sights: Lower Third vs AbsoluteDe-Dorkify Your RifleWhy Rifle Slings Matter

A lot of guys will strip the magazine and rack the charging handle multiple times. Others will strip the magazine and begin fishing with their fingers until something falls out. Either of these methods works for the typical scenarios. But then there’s those times when the common approach just won’t work. This usually means you can’t even get the charging handle to budge.

Three Approaches to Clearing the Most Stubborn Rifle Jams

So what if you can rack it back to access the chamber? This requires some more advanced and harsher approaches to your stubborn problem. If you can’t get the charging handle to the rear and strip the magazine to access the chamber, you’ve got a few options. 

Here are three: 

1) Kickstart Your Rifle. This isn’t my favorite, and it kind of looks like what it sounds like, and though I’ve broken at least one (cheaply made) charging handle doing this, it can get the job done. Even if you look a little goofy doing it. 

It does require that you grip the barrel (with barrel facing away from you of course… please… and anyone else). If you’ve been shooting a while that day, and especially with suppression, the barrel and accessories could fry your hand so be careful. 

You’re literally going to (keeping your head and others' out of the way) use your foot to “kickstart” the charging handle, similar to how you would a motorcycle clutch. 

2) Rowing Machine Your Rifle. This requires butt to butt positioning and potentially a touch of religious sentiment. You’re literally going to sit on the butt of your rifle to keep it still and then yank with all your might to unjam the problem. You’re going to row machine that charging handle to see if it’ll come loose. Preferably you’d shout “Help me, Jesus!” Though that’s optional, it’s what I’ve done. I believe it helps, especially if you mean it. 

3) Mortaring Your Rifle. My Favorite. And out of all the three, this is my preferred. First, collapse your buttstock so you don't break it. Second, grab that charging handle. Third, with rifle butt in the dirt and barrel pointed skyward, use your bodyweight and arm strength pull downward on the charging handle. 

Just like a mortarman, clear your head and look away to protect your crown and eyes. This is done with great and abrupt violence. 

One of those three options should work. Pick one. Familiarize yourself with all three. Chances are good that you’ll need one or all of them sooner or later if you spend enough time on the range. Train Hard. Train Smart. Live Free. Repeat.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe via Email >