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The Pencil Trick

Function Test: The Pencil Trick.
Function Test: The Pencil Trick.

This is an old trick I have had in repertoire for more than 2 decades. The Pencil Trick. 

In short, how do you confirm or tell that the very last step in a pistol’s firing process is happening? Without actually firing the gun? Stick a pencil in the barrel and test it. 

Why would you want to do this? 

  1. You have reassembled a work pistol in a place you cannot actually function test the gun. 
  2. Someone swears up and down that a particular gun is not capable of firing. 
  3. Diagnostic testing. If a gun physically fires a round or doesn’t, that is a binary measurement. The pencil test can give the user a lot of data across a range of spring ratings. 


This isn’t something you should need or want to do frequently. It’s merely a creative option to answer a question should the question arise. Think of it as a tool in the tool box. Nothing more. 


Because the world is a village and every village has at least one idiot; I need to say don’t ever put a bore obstruction in a loaded gun. And most certainly don’t ever, ever discharge a weapon with a bore obstruction in it. Even something as simple as a pencil! 

If you do, the village will be looking for a new idiot, Idiot. 






“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

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