Tap rack bang
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Tap, rack, bang (TRB) is Marine Corps jargon for the emergency corrective procedure for a semi-automatic firearm or an automatic firearm after a failure to fire ("stoppage"), which usually gives an audible "click" as the firing mechanism fails to fire a round. Military personnel are trained to take this sound as a cue to commence the corrective procedure, unless the operator knows the magazine is simply empty. The procedure is effective for most common failures, such as defective ammunition or improperly seated magazines. In military parlance, these drills are called "Immediate Actions".
- Tap refers to the first action; that is 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.
- Rack refers to operating (cocking or cycling) of the slide of the firearm. This will serve to eject a miss-fired round, which could be a possible cause of the stoppage, and chamber the next round.
- Bang simply denotes the action of firing the firearm following the first two steps.
While the "Tap, Rack, Bang" is effective in the vast majority of cases, it is not effective in all cases. Some failures, such as a case becoming lodged in the breech or breakage of the firearm, require more complicated maintenance or even attention from a gunsmith. However, under emergency conditions (such as combat) it is still the first procedure followed. It rules out most simple cartridge-related failures of the weapon and should be done before field-stripping the firearm to gather further information.
While Tap, Rack, Bang clears some common malfunctions, it does not resolve a double feed malfunction. In addition, if you mistakenly employ tap, rack, bang on a double feed, you will continue to make the stoppage worse. Tap, rack, bang should be used with caution in both recreational and tactical environment. It is best to understand your weapon, and the reason for the stoppage. Different stoppages have different fixes. There is no general rule.