T Nation

Slam Fires in Rifles

Being new to the rifle world, this is a new and quite concerning issue for me. I have read about some rifles firing unintentionally when the lever is pulled back to chamber a round. So far, I’ve read about SKSs and Diamond Back AR-15s doing this. Has anyone else encountered this phenomenon? How common is it? Aside from the models I’ve mentioned, are there others that are known to have a problem with it? Are there models that we can be certain would never have this problem?


I don’t think anything mechanical is ever 100%, but you probably increase your odds of failure by buying a less expensive firearm. As always, follow the basic 4 rules of gun safety, especially “never point your firearm at anything you wouldn’t want to kill or destroy” and nothing too bad should happen.


I have heard of some old rifles that use firing pins that are designed for cartridges that use military grade primers, that can slam fire because the pin protrudes too much for more sensitive modern and civilian cartridges.

More of a potential problem for second hand or surplus guns. A decent gunsmith should be able to remedy that situation by using go-no go gauges and changing or modifying parts or deepening the chamber slightly.

Research the model of gun you like on the net, and you should quickly find if there are any common issues and what the remedies are.

You could probably slamfire any rifle whose pin isnt under spring tension, but it would be pretty difficult in most cases. I have plenty of experience with both the sks and AR, mechanically it’s hard to do. An AR pin isnt all that heavy. The sks probably a little easier to make slamfire. But like others stated, dont point at anything you dont intend to destroy. There’s no such thing as an accidental discharge, just a negligent discharge.

1 Like

In 4 years with the Marines I saw many different weapons malfunctions, but never a slam fire, and that’s being around many different rifles in many different conditions and firing god knows how many rounds. We were told about it, and it can happen, but it shouldn’t be concerning at all to you, because you’re not going to point your gun at anything or anyone that you don’t want to shoot, and you’re certainly not going to do that and THEN rack a round.

Now, a runaway gun on a belt-fed MG, where the guy shooting freaks out and tries to let go of the gun and stand up? That’s a fun malfunction.