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Hang fires happen when the firing pin has struck the primer and there is a delay before the gun fires. This can occur for several reasons, such as a faulty firing pin or spring, defective primer, or other cartridge-related problems. A misfire is when the primer fails to ignite the powder. Hangfires and misfires can happen with any kind of firearm.

Always treat a "misfire" or a "hang fire" as if the firearm is going to discharge at any second and keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Leave the action closed and retain your shooting position. Most importantly, maintain safe muzzle control at all times. Failure to follow these safe handling practices could result in a tragedy.