This malfunction is somewhat uncommon, and therefore it is somewhat rarely discussed. My first time experiencing a “brass bungle” was during a major competition. I was pressed up against a wall in a narrow space and experienced the same problem twice, jamming my gun. Hot in the moment, I didn’t recognize what was happening.

Brass bungles are tricky like that. As a shooter, there will be a time you shoot near a vertical surface – the wall at the range for example. But it could also be in a tactical situation inside a house or during a competition against a barricade. The close proximity will cause spent casings to bounce off the surface and actually lodge in the ejection port before the gun has fully cycled. That's a brass bungle.

To save you from this, let’s talk about how to avoid the brass bungle and how to clear it.


Sometimes you find yourself shooting up close to a wall or barrier. You can't always choose where you shoot. But be aware of it, and try to change your angle or placement. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Clearing any Type 1 Malfunction involves tapping and racking the gun. These malfunctions happen if the gun has failed to feed another round into the chamber or has failed to fire. Tapping the magazine ensures it is fully seated and can load the next round, and then racking the gun should clear anything that might be causing the malfunction. Everyone should train to tap and rack if they experience a malfunction. In the heat of the moment, it should always be the subconscious first response.

We published an article about how to clear a '"stove-pipe" type malfunction a few years. You can see that article and video here.


Believe it or not, an empty shell casing can bounce off the wall or barrier and back into your action and cause a jam. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Being situationally aware is key, plan for potential malfunctions and set yourself up for success. Now that you understand this malfunction and are aware it can happen, it is important to understand how to avoid the brass bungle. If you are viewing this from a tactical mindset, perhaps hold your firearm further away from walls. The wall might be serving as cover, but you need to ensure you are respecting the level of cover you are trying to achieve and work within that space. Just being six inches versus four inches away from a wall can make the difference. Of course, there are plenty of other variables, for instance, surfaces like stone will deflect brass quicker than wood.

As a competitive shooter, it is important to plan for potential trouble spots that might induce a malfunction during a course of fire. See if you can set up in a different spot or find another angle. Again, holding your arms out or even going into another position can help. This all involves proper planning and taking the possible variables into account.



The resulting stove-pipe jam requires the tap and rack method to clear it. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Shooting is not always perfect. Just as a skydiver trains for malfunctions, shooters should too. One of the biggest steps is being aware of what is possible so it can be avoided or addressed. Set yourself up to avoid potential malfunctions and understand how to clear them.

Check out our other videos with “Tips and Tricks with Taylor” on different malfunctions and training.

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