“How do pistols work?”

“What is the difference between double-action and single-action guns?”

“How do you clear common pistol malfunctions?”

New shooters ask pressing questions when starting their concealed carry journeys. In this video, U.S. Concealed Carry Association Director of Content Kevin Michalowski demonstrates the mechanics of how guns fire, the four different action types and how to clear common pistol malfunctions to keep your gun in the game.

Each step-by-step answer illustrates how pistol parts interact, how common malfunctions happen and what to do to fix the problem. Kevin stresses that simply owning a gun for self-defense is not enough. Your life depends on knowing how *your* gun works and how to quickly resolve mechanical problems.

Timeline of This Handgun Instruction Video for Beginners:

00:12 Introduction

00:57 “Having a gun does not mean you are prepared for armed self-defense.”

01:11 1911-style handgun

01:42 Basic pistol parts: frame, slide and magazine

02:22 What is a single-action pistol?

03:30 How does a double-action pistol work?

05:22 Some guns are double-action/single-action (DA/SA).

06:20 The most popular type of handgun today is striker-fired.

08:55 Introduction to common pistol malfunctions

09:22 Start by knowing how auto-loading pistol mechanisms work

11:46 Common handgun malfunctions and how to correct them

12:01 What causes a “stovepipe” malfunction?

13:55 What is a “double-feed” malfunction and how do I clear it?

15:38 Brief recap of the types of pistol actions and common malfunctions

17:45 An important warning about proper grip and “slide bite”

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