Got a Squib load stuck


November 9, 2006, 08:21 PM my stainless Rossi .357 revolver. Jacketed hollow point ammo. Stuff happens, I guess. The range guy got the lead part out fairly easily, but the jacket seems to be welded (galled) to the inside of the barrel, and isn't moving despite what efforts I've been willing to expend. I'm being cautious here, because up to this point, there seems to be no damage to the barrel. Copper solvent has been suggested, but this is a lot more copper than one usually sees. Still, if a long soaking and regualr changing would work, that would be great.
This may sound extreme, but the stainless barrel will resist most acids, while the copper is realtively soluable in any of the more common ones.
The range guy told me of a similar occurance that was cured by removing the barrel and heating it to sofen the copper jacket. The gun in question was an automatic, which made getting the barrel off considerably easier.


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November 9, 2006, 08:34 PM
I would suggest a 13/16 brass rod, just about an inch longer than needed and drive it from the muzzle end.

November 9, 2006, 08:36 PM
Stick in the freezer.

November 9, 2006, 08:50 PM
Dribble copious amounts of a good penetrating oil in the muzzle and stand it up for a few hours to let it leech past the plug. Kroil is good, if you can find any. Try a hardware store. Lots of penetrating oils available.

Brass rod...hammer...elbow grease, and patience. Tap tap tap with the hammer instead of WHAM! If you break through the base of the brass, you'll be in deeper than you can dig out of with household tools.

November 9, 2006, 08:54 PM
maybe a blank to push it out, but i dont know if that would cause further damage

November 9, 2006, 10:36 PM
maybe a blank to push it out, but i dont know if that would cause further damage

As long as you aren't pointing it at a movie star (, that should work fine, assuming you dind't get it MORE stuck by now.

November 9, 2006, 11:08 PM
Several good ideas here.

Chewbaccer: 13/16 would probably not fit the barrel. 22/64 maybe, otherwise not a bad idea, in conjunction with 1911Tuners suggestion. Please note, guys, that the lead center came out fairly easily. The copper jacket is all that remains.
A friend of mine had a trick that works for devolvers, being the preparation of a blackpowder load under a paper wad. Popped out his squib, and bled a good deal of pressure out the cylinder-barrel gap.
Too late for that now.

November 10, 2006, 01:20 AM
"...maybe a blank to push it out..." Absolutely NOT! And your 'range guy' didn't do you any favour. He buggered it up. Like 1911Tuner says, a bit of oil and tap, I say again, TAP, the jacket out with a 1/4" brass rod.

November 10, 2006, 03:23 AM
plug the barrel with a rubber cork or something liquid tight. fill the barrel with sweets 7.62 bore cleaning solvent and let stand. sweets solvent attacks copper. it should eat away at it enough for you to push the offending jacket out with a jag and patch after a good overnight soaking.

just my .02 cents.

November 10, 2006, 01:12 PM
I know that squib loads are pretty rare and I have been told that they most commonly occur when a handloader messes up. But my question is how would a person no. Does the gun act significantly different. I assume if I were shooting a semi auto and a squib happened if would fail to cycle. I guess what I fear is shooting, getting a squib stuck and not knowing it. I know how dangerous squibs can be so I wanted to know what you noticed different that made you notice there was a squib. I assume the recoil would feel VERY different.

November 10, 2006, 01:28 PM
The sound is wrong, no barrel flash. Human nature being what it is, folks go "weird..." - then pull the trigger again.

November 10, 2006, 08:57 PM
We have a winner! :D
1911Tuner wins the cigar for the oil suggestion. Many thanks.
I soaked a patch in Mobil 1, and left the cleaning rod in the barrel to the appropriate depth for 24 hours, and the offending bit came out with almost no effort at all. Barrel looks fine.
As to squibs, I haven't had one in quite a while, and I imagine they're a lot more common among handloaders than over-the-counter shooters. When I reload, I not only look into each round for powder, I have a pencil, the kind with a metal cap instead of an eraser, on which I have scribed with 2 marks, one for an empty case, and one for the correct amount of powder, in my case, 4.3 gr of Titegroup. This amounts to only 20% of the capacity of the cartrege, so the marks are close together. The batch I got the squib from predates this technique, and I haven't had one from a recent batch.

k7nqb: Yes, the gun goes "poot" instead of "BANG". This is the red-flag signal to stop shooting. As Marvin says: "Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom."

Friend of mine got one in an automatic once. The bullet cleared the barrel, and fell to the floor just in front of him, much to everyones amusement. Ah the joys of a multi-station progressive reloading press. Pulling the handle and watching the ammo come out, ka-chunk,ka-chunk,ka-chunk,ka-chunk, untill you notice that the powder resevoir went dry an indeterminate number of ka-chunks ago.
He found _most_ of the powderless rounds.

November 11, 2006, 04:59 PM
Midway sells an RCBS powder checker. (See the link, below.)

I took a chance and ordered one to use with my 4 position Lee Classic turret press. It works great with it! I always have an extra hole in the turret so I use either the powder checker or the Lee factory crimp in it.

The text in the Midway entry says its for a progressive press, but it works well in a turret press too and really speeds things up while indicating immediately an under or over charge (or just right charge).

The times I need the powder checker the most is small caliber cases that are too hard to look down into for powder level - This is where I use the RCBS powder checker.

On larger calibers, I have no problem looking in and use the hole for a factory crimp die instead. This has worked out well.


November 12, 2006, 09:19 AM
To take this squib thing a bit a warning to all.

A squib will sometimes cycle the slide far enough to eject the brass and strip another round. If it also has enough oomph to drive the bullet far enough down the bore to let another round chamber...and you don't catch're about to take a trip down the Highway of No Return.

I had heard of it, but had never seen it until just recently. I was looking straight at a shooter who had a squib during a warm-up before a plate match.
A lady who had come to the match with her husband was taking her turn while I was behind the line shootin' the bull with her other half...and we were watching her run at the plates...when I heard the squib. No plate fell and no bullet strike in the dirt told me what it was. The empty ejected, and the gun went back to battery. I yelled: "WHOA!" and before I could add: "STOP!"
She fired, and the gun locked up solid.

I was able to pry the slide back far enough to see the fired case in the chamber, and closer examination revealed that the barrel had split at 9 and 3 from the forward lug to the muzzle. Expensive barrel. Expensive gun. Dead in the water. She said tat she noticed that the rocoil and report were both a little different, but blew it off as a light load.

Tommy Abernathy had built the gun. Tommy is a builder of fine pistols, and he ain't cheap. Expensive lesson. Pay attention to the gun. If a shot sounds or feels the least bit suspicious...stop and look!

Another experience with a friend and a revolver was pretty scary.
He was on the firing line with a .357 magnum, and firing top-end
125-grain ammo, loaded on a progressive loader. Olin 296...a smooth metering powder if there ever was one. Powder bridged and didn't drop, and left an empty case. (Later examination revealed that it occurred in 10 out of 200 rounds.)

He pulled the trigger and nothing happened. Thumbed the hammer back for another shot, when I screamed at him to stop. I had heard the
primer fire. He didn't. Opened the cylinder and saw the base of the bullet sitting dead flush with the rear face of the forcing cone. The primer had driven it just far enough to allow the cylinder to turn freely.
I don't even want to think about what would have happened if he'd dropped that hammer again.

November 12, 2006, 09:50 AM
What is that and how can I watch for it? By checking each cartridge after the powder step for an empty case?

November 12, 2006, 10:09 AM
adweisbe, that happened with an older progressive loader. The new ones have a warning feature that alert you to a low or missing powder charge.
Just an example of how squibs can ruin your day.

The one that blew the ladie's pistol was loaded on a state-of-the-art loader anything is subject to happen. The last line of defense is to heed the warning that the gun gives you.

November 12, 2006, 10:40 AM
The lack of normal recoil is the major clue. Anything less than experienced with the round before calls for a quick check!

I've been fortunate to have never had a squib leave the bullet far enough down the bore for the next round to chamber or let the cylinder rotate, but I've stopped and checked the bore a fair number of times after a weak round. I try to avoid letting my wife or inexperienced shooters use reloads unless I'm watching them and not shooting.


November 12, 2006, 11:02 AM
wally wrote:

>The lack of normal recoil is the major clue. Anything less than experienced with the round before calls for a quick check!<

Amen to that! The problem is that sometimes it's not so easy to catch...especially in auto pistols that cycle the slide, and double the chance if the shooter has it happen during a fast string. Too easy to miss the low recoil and pull the trigger again. A lot of the felt recoil comes from the slide's movement and impact with the frame. Easier with revolvers, but some people assume that it's a misfire and try again without checking to see what went my ol' pal mentioned above.

November 12, 2006, 11:03 AM

A powder bridge is when the grains sort of lock together and the powder will fall out from under the locked grains leaving them sort of stopped up.This will prevent them from falling into the actual measure cavity.

Hope that makes sense.

Yes,visual inspection is recomended if at all possible.
I have detected minor charge variations by visual inspection after charging.

If you are using a manual powder measure,a light tap at the top and bottom of each stroke will prevent it most of the time and keep the charges more even.
I usually give it a slight lift and second tap at the bottom to help keep the powder flowing evenly.

A tap to the side of the hopper with your knuckles will help also.

Powder bridging may get worse with more powder in the hopper (more weight means more pressure downward making the grains lock together).

another okie
November 12, 2006, 06:49 PM
I stuck a jacketed one like that one time and the gun smith melted something which I suppose was lead and put it down the barrel, creating a solid surface with the jacket that I could use to drive the whole mess out.

Lead bullets I can usually get out pretty easily with a wooden rod.

November 23, 2006, 11:38 PM
I am about to get into reloading, possibly using a Lee Classic Turret and their Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure. I plan on inserting a simple wooden dowel, marked for the appropriate powder depth, into each case immediately after charging with powder and before placing a bullet atop the case to be seated. This may add a little time to the reloading process, but I think it will be a simple and effective way of finding loads that are off enough to cause a squib.

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