explosive ammunition items, warheads, missiles, and rockets during normal handling, maintenance,
storage, transportation, and tactical deployment. Not included are accidents and incidents resulting
from negligence, malpractice, or unusual situations such as vehicle accidents or fires.
Malfunctions are divided into three classes: A, B, and C.
Class A malfunctions are those that result in death or major injury, and those that have adverse
Class B malfunctions are those that result in damage to major equipment that cannot be
repaired at unit level, and those that result in an ammunition suspension that significantly
impacts readiness or training.
Class C malfunctions are those not included in Class A or Class B.
The types of malfunctions are described as follows:
A misfire is the complete or partial failure of the primer or propelling charge of a round to
A hangfire is an undesired delay in the functioning of a firing system. A hangfire for a rocket
occurs if the rocket propellant is ignited by the firing impulse, but the rocket fails to leave the
launcher within the expected time. (Applies to HYDRA-70/2.75 inch rocket.)
A dud is an explosive munition that fails to arm as intended, or fails to explode after being
armed. Avoid the common tendency to refer to all malfunctions as duds.
Suspended munitions are ammunition items withdrawn from issue or use, with or without qualifications,
due to a suspected or confirmed unsafe or other defective condition. Suspensions result directly from
malfunction reports, field reports, and surveillance function testing. They may be either temporary or
permanent. A temporary suspension is an interim order prohibiting the issue, movement, or use of an
item due to an unsafe or defective condition that is unconfirmed. A permanent suspension is a
permanent order prohibiting the issue, movement, or use of an item when an investigation confirms an
unsafe or defective condition.
Malfunctions may be caused by defective ammunition, defective weapons, or malpractice.
Some examples of ammunition defects that can cause malfunctions are: a wet propelling charge, a
damaged rotating band, and a fixed round with a loose projectile. Improper storage of white
phosphorus (WP) ammunition can also cause a malfunction.
A serious defect is one which, as a result of improper design, manufacture, handling, or storage, could
cause a malfunction when ammunition is handled or fired.
Defective weapons can cause ammunition not to function as intended. A weapon is any device used to
launch a projectile, a rocket, or a guided missile. Examples are rifles, cannons, rocket launchers, and
mortars. Some defects are as follows:
A damaged or missing firing pin.
A faulty safety and arming mechanism.