If you’ve been around firearms for a while, chances are you’ve experienced some sort of malfunction with a firearm you were operating. At the range, it’s a great opportunity to recognize the malfunction and more importantly, know how to clear it.
This is where TAP, RACK, BANG can come into play.
Let’s assume that you are doing what you hoped you’d never have to do: draw your firearm on someone and pull the trigger. Chances are your firearm will perform as it should, but what if it doesn’t? Would you want to risk your life by assuming that it will work properly, or should you prepare yourself for this scenario to happen?
Tap Rack Bang (TRB) is the response to a failure to fire in a semi-auto firearm. It is a series of steps designed to offer immediate action of a failure without any investigation as to the cause.
1. Tap – to tap the magazine. This is to ensure that the magazine is properly engaged in the firearm so that it feeds properly. As typically taught in tactical firearms courses, the “tap” is considerably more than a tap and in the case of a semiautomatic pistol is usually accomplished by slamming the gun hard into the palm of the other hand, magazine end down.
2. Rack – operating (cocking or cycling) of the slide of the firearm. This will serve to eject a misfired round, which could be a possible cause of the stoppage, and chamber the next round.
3. Bang – aiming and firing the firearm again. (wiki)
The above will solve the majority of malfunctions you may come across, but will not solely fix a double-feed issue. With a double-feed, the slide will not move forward. To fix this, you will need to first drop the magazine and rack the slide back a forth to clear any rounds.
We recommend practicing this in a range environment to get a feel for the proper usage of this clearing method. Watch the video below for some great demonstrations of Tap Rack Bang in action.