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What does the term "stovepipe" mean?


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  • What does the term "stovepipe" mean?

    I've read a bunch of threads that refer to a "stovepipe". Most of these refer to "limp wrist". I take it that by not holding the firearm securely enough ("limp wrist"), it recoils back enough to affect the cycling of the action, and this leads to the "stovepipe", but what exactly is that?
    From the Republic of Alberta, on the western border of Canada.

  • #2
    A "stovepipe" occurs exactly as you stated. The ejected case does not clear the ejection port completely before the slide cycles forward, resulting in the empty case being caught in an upright position in the ejection port between the slide & barrel.


    • #3
      Thanks Groundhog!

      So the empty case sticking out of the ejection port would have a whisp of smoke coming out of it, hence the "stovepipe" term.
      So when this happens, has the gun managed to load the next cartridge from the magazine, or does this situation result in a jammed gun?
      From the Republic of Alberta, on the western border of Canada.


      • #4
        Yeah, that's pretty much it. The case is sticking up like a chimney.
        Since the slide is unable to go all the way forward, it doesn't strip the top round off the magazine and chamber it. Your gun is jammed and must be cleared, usually just by wiping the upright case off or pulling the slide back to release the stuck casing.


        • #5
          Stovepipes and follow ups...

          Like the Officer said, stovepipes are a usual product of "limp-wristing", but can also be found as a result of any poor gripping practice, and/or an improperly seated magazine.
          The pipe can be easily seen, but if you're in the middle of a problem you might notice first that your weapon refuses to go "bang" when you ask it to do so..
          You may have heard of the "Tap, Rack, Bang" Drill. It's easy enough that you don't need to practice doing it. You can even perform the drill at zero-dark-thirty hours without a lot of extra lost moves.
          If you have a failure to fire and either see or don't see a "stove pipe",
          TAP: the bottom of the Magazine to be sure it's seated properly in the weapon.
          RACK: the slide while holding the weapon muzzle up or to the side (down range or in any safe direction) to allow a piped hull to clear if it's there, feeding the next round from the magazine into the chamber.
          BANG:That speaks for itself.

          If you get the "Tap" and the "RACK" done and still don't get a "BANG" be sure you are working with a magazine which still has rounds to feed. And repeat the steps above. At this juncture I personally think that if I get a Tap and Rack and no Bang I'll drop the magazine from the weapon and go to another magazine and chamber a round, then go "BANG". If you'll think your way through this when you have a free minute then your mind will have it loaded and ready IF you ever need it.
          I hope you don't, but I try to practice for the worst and hope for the best where my life and my partner's is in the equation.
          Before using this or any other suggested drill make sure it's part of your department's and/or Firearms Instructor's list of good things to do.

          This isn't an "approved" or "certified" game plan. It is what I feel works for me and I don't suggest that any Office rtry this based on what I say. Decide for yourself or get your department's gunwise guy to advise you.


          • #6
            aryfrosty - I couldn't have said it better myself. In qualifying we had to be able to clear a stovepipe with the use of both hands, stong hand only, weak hand only and daylight or night-time.

            The term we used was "TAP - RACK - READY", just because every time you pull or clear the weapon does not mean you will make it go "BANG". Same concept though and it worked like a charm on the stovepipe evertyime I did it, and they made us do it A LOT!
            She wants someone to call her angel, Someone to put the light back in her eyes...

            In honor of: Cpl Chad Powell USMC Killed In Action Fallujah, Iraq June 23, 2005


            • #7
              Crappy ammo can cause it as well...

              When I go shooting on my own, I buy Wolf ammo and that stuff is sometimes a hit or miss if my gun likes it or not.


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