Almost a .41 Mag disaster


December 30, 2005, 08:38 PM
Finally got a squib load after about 20 years. Went to the range tonight with my kids and was shooting my Blackhawk in .41 mag with a mild load of 2400 behind a 215 gr Lasercast semiwadcutter when I got a dud primer or so I thought. Oh well, just wait 'till it comes around again and see if it fires right? Try it again still nothing, now I'm a bit miffed at the primer so I decide to unload it and I'll take it apart when I get home. Stuck, hard stuck, tried popping it out with my pen to no avail (pen is now jammed) tried to pop it out with my Swiss Army knife to no avail, nice fellow in the lane next door lent me a cleaning rod that I should have had anyway to no avail so I figure Ok I'll put it away until I get home and can do this properly. Fellow next door asks if it's a reload, then asks if it's my reload to which I'm thinking, no way is it my load, I've been doing this for many many years and have never, ever had a squib. Well folks, I had a squib load and I'm really bummed, but happy as heck I didn't destroy one of my favorite guns. Take heed, experience will not save you from the dreaded squib.

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December 31, 2005, 11:12 AM
Im sorry,I dont understand. So, there's a loaded cartridge stuck in your revolver's chamber, but the cylinder is able to turn?

Highland Ranger
December 31, 2005, 11:32 AM
Squib = round that doesn't fire properly, a less than full powered load.

Typically that means that the round fires but leave the bullet in the barrel.

Danger is if you fire the next round, you will get a bulged barrel if not an exploded barrel.

In this case, based on the description, I'm not sure if the cartridge fired at all . . . . . which I guess is a misfire?

December 31, 2005, 04:15 PM
A cartridge with no powder, I reckon. The primer alone will push the bullet just far enough so it will enter the forcing cone but not completely leave the cylinder throat. That locks the cylinder up so it will not revolve and will not swing out. It is range rod time!

Squib loads in my mind are rounds with not enough powder or ones where the powder didn't fully ignite for some reason. Often the bullet will come to rest inside the barrel.

I've seen a few police service revolvers with ringed barrels. A squib wadcutter load would lodge a bullet in the barrel and another one would be fired in behind it. I once saw a picture of a sectioned Dan Wesson barrel with six wadcutters lodged in it.

Of course a high-pressure loading fired right after a squib blockage can blow a nice pistol barrel and maybe some other parts to pieces.

December 31, 2005, 11:21 PM
Round had no powder in it at all and the ower of the primer alone made the ullet jump crimp but still was in the cylinder. Turned freely but was stuck in the cylinder but good. Sorry if I wasn't more clear. I guess with the shooters around me in a crowded range and wearing good hearing protection I didn't hear the primer go off so I thought it was a dud round.

December 31, 2005, 11:34 PM
Don't feel too bad. I did the exact same thing with my SP101 a couple months back. Loading on a single stage, yet I still somehow missed getting a powder charge in one case! Just calls for a review of loading practices. You've been doing it awhile, and have gotten comfortable with it. Probably had a mild distraction like radio, kids, dog, phone call, etc that caused you to miss a step.

Good thing the bullet didn't make it further into the barrel, allowing for another round to be fired, that could get hairy...

January 1, 2006, 01:39 AM
Yes, I think experience caused me to go on autopilot and let one slip past me. I've reviewed my techniques and put that squib round right in front of my press as a reminder to pay attention. Very lucky indeed not to have screwed up a gun or even worse myself.

January 1, 2006, 04:53 PM
This reminds me of something my flight instructor said back in my flying days. I'll modify it to fit here.

There are two types of Reloaders:
Those who've had an accident, and those who will.

I am meticulous on my reloads. I routinely pull rounds because I get paranoid thinking I missed a charge or doubled a charge. Yet, I still messed up.

But, the important thing to remember is that it happens, and happens to everyone! Just review your practices, and continue on. As the cowboys say, Get back on the horse! Which you have done. I'm just saying all this more for others.

Ben Shepherd
January 3, 2006, 11:04 PM
I have not had one(yet, knock on wood). But I've seen one just like the one you did. Dad had a 245 swc in his SBH 44, primer only, same result.

My closest call was a primer with NO compound in it.

Admiting it's a little therapuetic though, eh?

Thanks for reminding us all to be very careful.

January 4, 2006, 11:57 AM
Well, your not the only one, as I am sure your aware. I had one this year in my .45 ACP. It was the last round in the clip and I wasn't counting the rounds I fired, so I thought I was out and that my slide had just not locked back. I pulled the clip and the slide back and there was a fired shell in the chamber. I thought that was odd also, but still didn't compute it was a squib load. I loaded up the next clip and stuck it in, released the slide and the first round wouldn't chamber. This was starting to piss me off, I ejected that cartridge, and tried the next one. Still wouldn't chamber. I took out the clip and looked in the back end of the barrel and OMG there is a bullet in there. It was relatively easy to get out, thank the powers that be it didn't go in any further then it did. Someone was watching over me, as I was bound and determined to blow myself up. I also have been reloading for a while and it never entered my mind before this that I could possibly have mis-loaded a round. Guess, this will teach me :) at least I hope it dose.
Anyway good luck and heres to hoping the first time is the last time for both of us.

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