This was my third trip to a range, and went fairly smoothly, except for one thing.
I had my first misfire.
Now that alone wouldn't be too troubling, since, as I've been told by knowledgeable folks, .22 ammo is prone to misfires, but the bullet would not come out of the barrel. I pulled the slide back as Uncle had shown me, and shook the gun, but the bullet stayed put. I tried prying it out with my fingernail, but had no luck.
I had a small dilemma on my hands. I didn't want to carry a loaded gun out into the shop area to ask for help, nor did I want to leave it unsecured on the range. So I asked a guy who was waiting to shoot what I should do. He came over to my lane and checked it out.
"First," he said, "you want to let it sit for a bit to make sure it isn't a hang fire."
Then he worked the slide to see if it would come out. Next, he pulled out a small pocket knife and used it to gently pry the bullet out of the chamber.
"Be careful when you do this," he said. "Make sure you get the knife underneath the rim of the bullet and away from the primer are."
Once the bullet was loosened, it dropped right out, and I went back to shooting.
- Bring a small pocketknife, or something similar, to the range with you to help clear stuck misfires.
- .22 ammo is not the highest quality in the world. Expect some bad rounds even from name brand ammo. These were Remington Thunderbolts.
- According to the guy behind the desk, it is possible to refire a dud by turning it slightly so the hammer falls on a different area. I didn't try this.
- When in doubt, ask somebody. Don't be embarrassed to admit you're ignorance. It;s the only way to learn, and on something as important as shooting, what you don't know can kill you or somebody else.