Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols

Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols 

                       SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOLS

Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols. This section covers the physical aspects of the semi-automatic pistol along with the care and proper handling for the Statewide Firearm Class G License.

This section need be taught only if the student will carry a semi-automatic pistol in the performance of his or her duties.

 Outline of Lesson:

  1. Types of semi-automatic pistols
  2. Nomenclature
  3. Firearms Conditions
  4. Cycle of Operation
  5. Work space
  6. Loading
  7. Reloads
  8. Malfunction Types
  9. Care and cleaning of the Semi-Automatic Pistol

Armed Security Training


Single Action Only (SAO) – The most common single action firearms are the 1911 style semi-automatic pistols and the Browning Hi-Power. In the case of both, the trigger causes one action and that is releasing the hammer to make contact with the firing pin.

Double Action (DA) – Many semi-automatic pistols, such as the Beretta M92 and CZ-75 are considered double action. The term double action refers to the triggers ability to cause two actions. The first of which is cocking the hammer (or pulling the hammer back), the second is releasing the hammer.

Double Action Only (DAO) – Smith & Wesson, as well as Beretta offer all double action models. These firearms require a long consistent trigger pull after each shot. Unlike other pistols, they are never cocked. Like all double action pistols, the trigger both cocks, or pulls the hammer back, and releases it allowing it to make contact with the firing pin.



Semi-Automatic with Internal Safety

Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols

Semi-Automatic with Safety/Decocker

Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols

Semi-Automatic Pistol Magazine

 Armed Security Training-Semi Automatic Pistols


  1. Magazine Inserted/Round in Chamber. Weapon is LOADED and Ready to Fire!
  2. Round in chamber, hammer is not cocked
  3. Magazine Inserted/No round in Chamber
  4. No Magazine in Weapon/No round in Chamber



  • Feeding
  • Chambering
  • Locking
  • Firing
  • Unlocking
  • Trigger Reset
  • Extraction
  • Ejection



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  • Manipulate the handgun from the high ready position.
  • Allows easier manipulation under stress.
  • Eyes up continuously scanning.
  • Applies to loading, Speed Reload, Retention Reload, racking the slide, and locking the slide to the rear.



Loading steps:

Loading always begins with an unloaded handgun. Make sure you verify visually and physically that the chamber and magazine well are empty.

The G License course has our students dry fire practice with practical exercises loading and unloading to fine tune our students skills.

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  1. Apply the two safety checks and engage safeties: Grip the pistol properly, use the two safety checks, trigger finger and muzzle discipline, and activate any de-cocking devices and safeties if required.
  1. Insert a magazine: Firmly insert a FULLY loaded magazine into the magazine well

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  1. Chamber a cartridge: Pull slide completely to the rear and fully release it to chamber the first round from the magazine. Do not ride the slide forward as this may cause a malfunction.

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  1. Holster: Use one hand to holster and secure the handgun.



When to Reload

The goal is to reload when you want to, not when you need to. A Retention Reload is an option when there is a lull in the action, the officer is preferably behind cover, and there is no immediate threat.

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This is a good time for the instructor to mention the difference between “drop free” and “non-drop free” magazines.

Retention Reloading provides options

  • A fully loaded handgun gives the individual options to continue the encounter, defend from cover, or exit the area. An empty handgun greatly reduces the options.
  • It is important that shooters practice Retention Reloading often. It should be done as one fluid movement.
  • Retention/Tactical reloading originated and is intended as a CQB (Close Quarter Battle) operation.
  1. Remove the magazine and retain it:
  2. Retain magazine in available pocket:
  3. Acquire a full magazine
  4. Insert full magazine

Speed Reloading

  • In this situation, either the shooter was forced to fire until the pistol was completely empty, or allowed it go empty. The shooter must perform a Speed Reload as fast as possible. Shooters should seek a covered position if not already there.
  • Hence the word SPEED RELOAD you went dry and need to get back into the fight!
  1. Release the magazine
  2. Acquire a full magazine
  3. Insert full magazine
  4. Reacquire sights

Administrative Reload: Conducted just before duty

Safety procedures and precautions should be exercised at ALL times

  • Ensure firearm is safe and empty (no round in the chamber, no magazine present)
  • In a safe direction, draw firearm at full speed and attain a good sight picture (good practice)
  • Insert new magazine
  • Rack the slide ensuring that a round has been loaded into the chamber
  • Safely, holster the firearm and make certain it is secure (If there is a safety make certain that it is engaged).



  1. Misfire – A misfire, as defined by the NRA is “the failure of a cartridge to ignite when the primer or case rim is struck by the firing pin”. This can be caused by a defect in the firearm and/or the cartridge.
  2. Stovepipe – A stovepipe malfunction is a failure of the casing to completely eject causing it to get stuck in the ejection port (usually protruding significantly). This is mostly caused by a dirty firearm or a weak and improper grip.

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  1. Out-of -battery – The slide fails to lock forward and will not fully seat the round in the chamber.
  2. Double Feed – A double feed occurs when the round in the chamber is not completely extracted and the firearm is attempting to chamber a new round. Due to the two rounds trying to enter the chamber the slide cannot lock forward and the firearm is no longer operable.


Immediate Action is Required!

  1. TAP the Magazine
  2. RACK the Slide
  3. ASSESS – Re-Acquire the sights, Follow Through

If you observe 2 rounds stuck in chamber (Double Feed) perform:

Remedial Action

  1. Bring handgun back into work space (area pictured in the reloading section)
  2. Lock the slide to the rear
  3. Rip the magazine out and discard (if another is available, if not retain)
  4. Rack the slide 3 times (clearing the chamber)
  5. Reload


  1. Field stripping procedure

Every armed security guard should know his or her service weapon inside and out. It is important that the student know how to field strip their firearm. The student should also note that field stripping the firearm is not just for cleaning the firearm, but for inspecting it as well. Routine inspection will allow the student to diagnose current and / or future problems that may present themselves when they are least desired

When breaking down the gun for inspection or maintenance it is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact model of firearm that is being used.

The following is an example and applies to some semi- automatic pistols.

  1. Remove magazine from weapon.
  2. Lock slide to rear and inspect weapon to make sure it is
  3. Allow slide to go
  4. Pull the slide to the rear until the slide stop notch is aligned with the forward end of the slide Holding the weapon in this position, depress the right side of the slide stop with your finger and withdraw the slide stop from the receiver on the left side.
  5. Pull slide forward off receiver, gripping recoil spring to prevent
  6. With slide upside down, compress recoil spring and lift out recoil spring and guide
  7. Remove barrel bushing (if present) by rotating bushing counter clockwise as

viewed from the muzzle and drawing forward out of the slide.

  1. Remove the barrel by lifting the rear end up and
  1. Cleaning
  1. Brush barrel bore with brass or stainless steel Using a cloth patch, swab bore with solvent and oil lightly. Work from chamber end.
  2. Clean bolt face with fiber brush and
  3. Brush rails on slide with solvent and
  4. Brush rails on receiver with solvent and wipe off entire
  • Reassembly
  1. Install barrel in
  2. Install recoil spring guide assembly, making certain that the guide bushing of the assembly is engaged in the small radius cut in the barrel lug and is properly
  3. With hammer forward, replace slide on receiver, depressing ejector, sear release lever and firing pin safety lever in turn so that the slide will travel over them to the When slide stop notch on slide is aligned with slide stop hole in receiver, insert slide stop and allow slide to move to its forward position.
  1. Lubrication
  1. One drop of oil on barrel
  2. One drop of oil near end of barrel (pull slide to rear).
  3. One drop of oil at each rail position on receiver
  4. Work slide back and forth to spread oil and wipe off
  5. De-cock
  6. Wipe off magazines with lightly oiled

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