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How to Safely Unload & Clear the Four Most Common Rifles


Hi, I’m Ian McCollum from Ares (Armament
Research Services) and today we’re going to take a brief look at the four most
common rifles that you’re likely to find in an international conflict zone now
this video is intended primarily for folks who are going to be in those areas
and not dealing directly with firearms people like journalists or aid workers
who may come across firearms in the course of their business in a conflict
zone and need to have the ability to safely unload and clear those firearms
without being weapons experts themselves so we’re going to take a look today at
the four most common types of firearms you’re likely to encounter in these
sorts of areas Middle East North Africa pretty much actually anywhere in the
world and those would be the m16 or ar-15 platform the ak-47 / ak-74 /a km
platform the Kalashnikov the g3 rifle made by heckler koch hk416 them there
the most common things you’re going to run into all right let’s get right to
work will start with the ar-15 / m16 rifles now the weapon that you find in
the field may not look exactly like any of the ones that you see today in fact
the chances are it won’t look exactly like any of these however what you need
to be able to do is identify which family of rifles the one you have found
belongs to and if it is any of these for that we’re going to go over you’ll know
how to unload and clear it what we have to do is remove the
magazine and then open the bolt this ensures that there are no cartridges and
feeding mechanism and then that there is no cartridge chambered and ready to fire once you’ve done that the weapon is safe
now in general we want to do these perform these operations with the safety
of the rifle engaged and on most of them that’s possible although there are
exceptions with the ar-15 m16 pattern of gun the safety is something that we can
engage while we’re doing this unloaded clear so first engage the safety next remove the magazine there’s a
button located right here when depressed that allows the magazine to either drop
free or allow you to pull it free we’re going to do that without touching
the trigger so push the button and remove the magazine next we want to open the bolt the bolt
handle on the ar-15 style or family of weapons is located here on the back of
the receiver grasp this make sure to depress the locking spring-loaded
planter and then pull the bolt open this will require some force but once it’s
open and hold it there and look inside the chamber to ensure that it’s empty if there is a round chambered in the gun
when you do this it should automatically eject when you open the bolt however this isn’t guaranteed if the gun
is not in good mechanical condition you may have a cartridge that’s stuck in the
chamber so you definitely want to visually inspect to make sure that the
chamber is empty at this point once you’ve confirmed that the magazine is
removed and the chamber is empty you can close the bolt and know that the rifle
is unloaded safe and clear you may encounter an ar-15 with a dust
cover that is closed like this in this case you apply exactly the same
procedure when you open the bolt the dust cover will automatically open like
that next up we’ll take a look at the
Kalashnikov family of rifles we have an AK 74 this is a more modern style of AK
and we have a very cobbled together the equivalent of a craft produced AK here
now these are both going to undergo the exact same process we’re going to take
the magazine out open the bolt and ensure that the chamber is clear in the
case of the AK we have to do this with the safety off because the safety
prevents us from opening the bolt so the safety on the AK is this lever here this
is disengaged that is the engaged position so first we will disengage the
safety we will then remove the magazine using this spring-loaded catch under the
trigger pull that catch forward rotate the magazine out and remove it from the
weapon with the magazine out we can then grab the exposed bolt handle here pull
the bolt back and visually confirm that the chamber is empty even on a case that look dramatically
different this procedure is exactly the same i’m
going to disengage the safety going to put my thumb on this spring loaded
magazine catch pull the magazine out of the gun and then pull the bolt handle back so i
can visually inspect the chamber now let’s take a look at the Heckler & Koch
g3 also known as the hk91 model alright i’m sure you know where we’re
going by this point we’re going to engage the safety of the rifle which is
located right here on the left side of the gun above the trigger going to push
it up into the safe position now we can remove the magazine there are two styles
of magazine release on this family of gun some guns will have only one some
guns may have both of them so you’ll have to figure out which version begun
you find has one of them is a button located right here this is very similar
to the release on the m16 series of guns you simply push in and pull the magazine
out the other style of release is very similar to an AK platform it would be
located right here and it would be a paddle just in front of the trigger
guard this particular rifle is an americanized civilian version of the g3
that does not have a paddle magazine release now that the magazine is out we
need to open the bolt the bolt handle on the g3 series of rifles is rather
different from most others that you will encounter it is a lever located here up
on the front end of the rifle this pattern of rifle requires a little bit
more strength to open than most others what you need to do is grasp the handle
pull it open and then pull the handle all the way back now you may encounter
other versions of the HK type of rifle this is a Spanish rifle which are
probably not going to encounter but you might and it’s a good example of the
same family here you can see we have a button magazine release we can remove
the magazine from the rifle and then looking at the left side of the gun we
see the same style of forward-mounted pop open charging handle as on the g3
this tells us that this is how we’re going to open the action on this rifle
pull back and last but not least the FN FAL the FN FAL will follow the same
pattern we’re going to remove the magazine and then open the bolt to
visually confirm that the chamber is empty on the fal we are able to engage the
safety while we do this process on the FAL rifle the safety is located here on
the left side above the pistol grip is a small lever and we’re going to push it
up into the safe position now with the rifle unsafe we can remove the magazine
there’s a small lever located right here in front of the trigger guard we’re
going to pull that lever forward and rotate the magazine down out of the gun
with that done we can then graph the bolt handle pull it back and inspect the
chamber on this side you are now capable of safely unloading and clearing the
four most common rifles or types of rifles that you’re likely to encounter
in an international conflict zone today hopefully you learned something useful
hopefully you’ll never have to use this information but if you do it like that
you are able to put it to good use so thank you for watching and good luck
and stay safe

100 thoughts on “How to Safely Unload & Clear the Four Most Common Rifles

  1. I firmly believe that this sort of thing should be mandatory in in school by the 8th Grade (Or whatever comparable level is cleared by 13 years of age). A LOT of panicking done by people in the presence of a gun stems from ignorance of both what guns can and cannot do, in addition to lack of understanding how to render a gun safe.

    3 points of potential critique about this otherwise very good and informative video:
    1. I feel the demonstration would have had slightly more impact if Snap Caps or equivalent had been employed to give a clearer understanding of what a proper ejection of a cartridge looks like.
    2. I know you know more about the anatomy of a firearm than just about anyone I know, You could have easily removed the ejector on at least one of those rifles, and going back to the first point, showing what to do if the ejector is broken would behoove the intended audience.
    3. Lastly, I feel that including basic pistol types would also be good.

    These are not demands, I do not expect you to act on my mere suggestions, I feel the video was quite good as is.

  2. Forget fiddling with the safety catch. Remove the mazine or belt and work the action until things stop coming out the sides.

  3. Please ensure that the weapon is pointed in a safe direction. Down at soft ground ( NOT AT ANOTHER PERSON, CONCRETE, ASPHALT).
    AR15/M16 platforms may or may not go on safe.The others I have limited experience with.
    ALWAYS Attempt to place the weapon on safe before dropping the magazine.
    ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER .
    Best bet if you have no experience and you do not have to clear the weapon. Leave it alone and alert authorities. It will not go off on its own.

  4. I'd never trust a safety on any gun, if my finger stays out of the trigger guard and the gun is pointing in a safe direction, I don't need the safety.

  5. Brilliant as always Ian, Great advice for some ppl! only thing is it would be better for the unskilled to also use training rounds. You sir are brilliant Ian!

  6. If you are a citizen of a 3rd world country the procedure is simpler. Step 1, put weapon safety on Fire. Step 2, point barrel to sky. Step 3, pull trigger rapidly until it stops making the bang noise.

  7. soooo what do i do if i yank the bolt open and the round doesnt eject ? slowly lower the bolt and find a stick to pust it out with ?

  8. I get the point about why you would want to take a ak of safe first before removing the magasine, personaly I would might think for this audience that it would be safer to make the weapon safe first then remove the mag wouldnt that decrese the risk of a ND? Second point. The pushbutton mag release is there on all g3s even the onces with the tangent release so no need to know two diffrent versions. You can press the magrelese button on all of them.

  9. If an AK is on SAFE, and you pull the charging lever, it will eject the loaded round, but will NOT load another. So you keep the safety on, at all times if you wish to make gun safest possible.

  10. This would be an excellent video for people like clergy & psychologists who respond to calls of potentially suicidal people.

  11. Good video but the safest option is to never touch enemy weapons – they're common objects to be booby-trapped with either a grenade or a mine underneath.

  12. I would have specified where in the chamber to look for a cartridge. As in, not just sitting behind the big door, but in the front, where the barrel starts, and that you might only see its rear end.

  13. Only thing you missed Ian is that you cannot engage the safety if the AR style rifle isn't cocked. Still great vid though.

  14. On the AK you can check to see if it's loaded with safety on as a matter of fact. It will open just enough to see a round or an empty chamber. For an expert you should know that.

  15. It's a shame this only has ~80k views. This should be on the national news for public education on how to safely operate a firearm.

  16. I showed my wife. It's how to run these types of rifles video. And at the end of each section we added put a fresh magazine back in and run the bolt take the safety off and aim. Great video We are not going to be in any "conflict zones" Unless you count, Memphis, Chicago or Washington. It's great information to have if you find a gun and NEED to get in running right now.

  17. Great video. Should be standard viewing for reporters, security guards, maybe more.
    Shouldn't it be part of the how does it work series?

  18. Not really a gun person (apart from watching stuff on youtube), but was surprisingly put in a position where i needed to clear some rifles recently. Managed to do a fairly confident job of it from watching ians videos, nice to see here that I think i did it right

  19. This video assumes way too highly the intelligence of the average journalist/peace corps volunteer. You may want to tell people what different terms like "safety", "muzzle", "chamber" and "trigger" are considering we live in an age where some elected officials believe a flash hider completely reclassifies a weapon.

  20. 2 things more you must add here, Ian.
    1. Do not touch the trigger for any god-damned reason and especially when you rack back the bolt or pick up the rifle…( Or just never)
    2. Point the bloody rifle in a direction where there are no friendlies… preferably, at a garbage heap, a mud wall(not highly recommended), a water drum or at a sand dune(worst case scenario: at an already dead body) with the barrel pointed downward.
    Had a narrow escape once….got handed a rifle barrel first with the idiot grasping the pistol grip and his finger resting on the trigger…. upon inspection, it was on safe but…there was a round in the chamber. Not funny.

  21. This is one of those videos that seems kinda out there but could affect dozens of people and might have the chance of saving a life.

  22. Safety is a social construct – most modern journalists believe that men should be taught not to shoot – so a safety catch is superfluous!

  23. As someone who worked in an NGO, in some of the nastiest places on this globe, the highest danger situations were landmines. Unmarked, forgotten, or just plain planted in the wrong places landmines are still the gravest hazard.

  24. Bwahahahaha… Sorry, but we watch Ian BECAUSE we love guns… Nevermind, if you need this, shut up and pay attention! Idiots are dangerous…

  25. Finds AKM
    Drops magazine to find cartridges loaded
    Chamber check results clear
    Racks rifle with right hand as dramatically as possible
    Shoulders rifle and whispers “hell ya”

  26. This is a great resource. Too bad most people who would benefit probably will never think about this or want to learn this information.

  27. Ian is in a word "pro"..however..if this scenario were to play out in a combat zone..some of us define a "combant" as a person holding a firearm..suppose I happened across a "journalist" picking up a firearm thru my scope..

  28. might want to mention you cant go to S if the weapon is not cocked , many troops carry an empty chamber and springs released !

  29. It should be noted that it is imperative on all detachable magazine fed weapons to remove the magazine before you manipulate the bolt/slide to clear the chamber, because if you leave the magazine in the weapon and the magazine has ammunition in it, then manipulating the bolt/slide will remove the round currently in the chamber, but will also feed a new round from the magazine into the chamber. This is how Mr. "I Am The Only One In This Room Professional Enough" DEA Agent shot himself in the foot. I know you show the magazine being removed first, but someone not familiar with firearms may not understand how important it is to do this step first to properly unload and show clear.

  30. Dear Liberals: This is how to keep the scary pieces of metal and plastic from jumping up off the table and attacking you.

  31. why disengage the safety on the AK before pulling the mag? Especially on a hog-pog, wouldn't you want to remove the magazine first before you take off the safety?

  32. Great video. Anyone who would be headed to any combat zone or area near a combat zone should watch this video for the safety of themselves and those around them.

    But sadly a video like this will most likely not be shared around the communities which would benefit most from it, like journalists, medical professionals and aid or refugee workers.

  33. A Video Showing how to disable these firearms so no one else can use them to kill anymore. Such as Removing the bolts and discarding them elsewhere, and bending the barrels if possible.

  34. DONT INSPECT THE CHAMBER BY LOOKING DOWN THE BARREL!!! Lol I thought that should be a good addition since this is very basic info.

  35. Can you make a vid on how to safely unload and clear the MA5 series of rifles? I've been wanting to get one for them pesky Squid Heads in their fancy floating tanks and such.

  36. This should be shown in schools. People are so afraid of firearms today that they refuse to even talk about them. They're taking the stick your fingers in your ears and hum approach. Whether they like it or not, firearms exist. Everyone should know how to safely handle a firearm.

  37. The AR-15 safety mechanism is kinda counter intuitive because the small arrow pointer is to insignificant and the bigger side tends to be more noticeable. For beginners, it's really easy for them to put the gun into full auto rather than safe. Seen it happen before.

  38. On the AR, you can't always engage the safety. It won't rotate if it's not cocked. At least on a semi-auto fire control group.

  39. I would have liked it better if you had showed how to lock the bolt open on each one too, as standard procedure is ACTS Assume every firearm is loaded Control the muzzle at all times Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard See that the firearm is unloaded PROVE it is safe PROVE Point the firearm is the safest available direction Remove all cartridges (remove magazine and rack bolt open) Observe the chamber (leave it open so others can see it is empty) Verify the feed path Examine the bore We run a rod (brightly painted) down the muzzle to the bore and leave it there.

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