Stove Pipes and Double Feeds:  Is it your grip? 

  As a Range Safety Officer, and Firearms Instructor, I see a lot of malfunctions that shooters believe are gun related.  However, many times it is due to an improper grip that is easy and free to correct.  So, before you go out and spend money having your gun looked at, try this simple solution.

IMG_5007.JPG   Two of the more common malfunctions I see at the range are 1: the semi-automatic not ejecting rounds properly, possibly causing stove pipes, and 2: failures for the gun to load a new round successfully, possibly causing a double feed.   Both can be related to the gun itself, but it is always good to check your grip first.


There are many reasons to use the right grip, and proper gun function is very high on the list.  After all, if you are shooting for competition or self-defense, it is extremely important for the gun to function correctly.

The simple solution…

Be sure you are gripping the pistol high in the back-strap and in line with your forearm.  By placing the hand high on the grip and keeping the top of the slide in line with the forearm, you will ensure that the lower receiver/frame of the gun receives the right amount of resistance so the slide can come back to its full potential which is what it will need to cycle correctly.

If you do this and the gun still fails to perform as expected, then check to make sure the load you are shooting is recommended for the gun (for example, the Kimber Solo likes a specific range of projectile weights), and some internal parts such as the ejector and extractor for which you will want to contact a competent gun smith.

Have fun shooting and come see us at Point Blank Range.

By Troy Perry

Troy Perry is an active NRA Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer, NC Concealed Carry Instructor, and a full time Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing Analyst in the financial sector. With over 15 years of teaching all manor of students, he is always willing to help anyone get better.

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