Dud. What to do?


September 8, 2008, 06:23 PM
Today I had a .38 special round fail at the range. Newly purchased Winchester ammo too! That was a more LOT uncomfortable than when a 22LR fails.

After about a minute of holding the barrel down range, I removed the dud round from my revolver and set it on the table at an adjacent lane. {no one else there at the time}

My question; Is there some official reccomendation of how to safely deal with a dud?

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September 8, 2008, 06:25 PM
Officially, you did what you were supposed to do.

Except... there ought to be a "bad ammo bucket" at your range someplace. Round should go in there.


September 8, 2008, 06:28 PM
Sounds like you did about right to me!

Beginners luck, or good common sense? :scrutiny:

It really doesn't matter because you handled the situation very safely.


September 8, 2008, 06:36 PM
...or good common sense?

That's my bet. ;)


September 8, 2008, 06:40 PM
I would have given it another shot. If it fires, then, it is not live. If not, you haven't lost anything by trying.

September 8, 2008, 06:46 PM
But, he had to wait before taking it out of the cylinder to make sure it wasn't a squib with a stuck bullet in the bore.

He could have tried it again.

But only after he did the drill, unloaded it, and could see the bullet was still in the case.


September 8, 2008, 06:47 PM
I usually try them a couple of times to make sure it's not just a hard primer (making sure it wasn't a squib), then toss them into a bucket we have at the range. This bucket is filled with used motor oil.

They say that over time the oil will seep in and neutralize the powder. Sounds believable anyway.

September 8, 2008, 06:50 PM
I don't shoot at a public range so I sometimes try shooting it again, but more often than not i wait about 30 seconds to make sure it doesn't go off then remove it from the chamber and throw it as far as I can.

September 8, 2008, 07:03 PM
Officially, you did what you were supposed to do.

Except... there ought to be a "bad ammo bucket" at your range someplace. Round should go in there.

+1 especially on the bad ammo bucket

September 8, 2008, 07:07 PM
This thread made me suddenly think of something...

In an auto, rapid fire isn't an issue. Doesn't go bang, you stop. But with a revolver, if you're someone like Miculek who can crank out six in 2 seconds, what happens if one is delayed? Next pull turns the cylinder and BANG!

I bet that'd be ugly.


September 8, 2008, 07:08 PM
make sure you contact them about it... They will ask you things like lot numbers from the box and etc.

They will be very intrested.

Snapping Twig
September 9, 2008, 02:02 AM
On the rare occasion it happens, I count to ten slowly. then I retry the round after verifying it isn't a squib. After that, I take it home and disassemble it and donate the powder to the vegetable garden.

Bullet pullers (impact) are cheap.

September 9, 2008, 02:31 AM
Next pull turns the cylinder and BANG!

That has happened to me. Removed a hunk of lead from between the cyl. and the frame.

September 9, 2008, 02:37 AM
I hate to be like this, but... I train and shoot at the range as I would expect to react in a defensive situation.

I try again, and if the gun truly didn't fire the first time (which, it sounds like, it didn't, no squib) it either goes bang or doesn't work and I go from there.

September 9, 2008, 06:35 AM
If it doesn't go bang after a couple of clicks, I throw it in the garbage can. We aren't talking a thermonuclear device here, guys. There are cleaning products and combustibles that shame a dud, but go in the garbage every day.

September 9, 2008, 07:33 AM
The "party line" as per the S&W manual is ten seconds, then unload.

Since I buy used revolvers, I"ve been up close and personal with molested springs and strain screws. If I get a "click", I give it a "two count" and continue through the cylinder. The worst example thus far lit two out of six in a total of 18 tries.

I'm reasonably confident I can tell a light strike from a squib. I'm of the opinion "hang fires" are very rare with modern ammo so I shortcut the 10 seconds. I believe 30 seconds was once the common recommendation.

Clicking through a six round cylinder 3 times in the manner I do is probably a bit chancy and I wouldn't recommend my behavior to others. I do avoid the common "just pull the trigger again" mantra.

September 9, 2008, 10:22 AM
I shoot at Nat. Forest public ranges, so there is no container to dispose of a dud like that. So, I keep a bullet puller in my bag (the cost less then $20). I've never had a dud yet, but figure if I do, I can pull the bullet, dump the powder and keep everything safe that way.

September 9, 2008, 10:51 AM
If you don't have a "bad ammo can" and you're worried about it, just pull the bullet and dump the powder on the ground before tossing the brass.

September 9, 2008, 11:03 AM
I would have given it another shot.

While a common reply, trying again couldn't be done without rotating the cylinder and moving the round away from the only location where it could discharge safely. At least for 10 seconds... But once I've gotten that cylinder open I don't really want to mess with that bad round any longer.

This time the round was in a moon clip which maximized the time I spent handling the dud. :(

On yet another hand, I carry a revolver because my most likely defense situation would be against a large predator. In a dud-round situation I'd only have to pull the trigger again to get to the next round. At the moment, I think that would be less risky than having to release my grip and pull the slide on an autoloader. At worst the explosion would kill me before the bear or cougar got a chance. :p

September 9, 2008, 11:14 AM
In the military we were taught to wait one minute for a possible hang fire. I neglected that rule in pistol matches but shooting an Enfield with surplus ammo, I had a misfire and the training kicked in. I waited and it took several dozen seconds before the shot broke.

Out of the chamber it would not have been able to build up a lot of pressure but a premature and over-anxious inspection might not have been fun.

evan price
April 7, 2009, 03:03 AM
Actually, I've had squibs in factory ammo resulting from the primer not being seated deep enough, also seen it in handloads. The first strike seats the primer and then the second strike sets it off.

Whenever I go to a range with a squib can I usually empty it into my range bag to get the bullets & brass (with the RO's permission of course).

Amazingly, I often find stuff that is not a squib- obvious very light primers strikes- and those are able to be shot. Also stuff that was just set back. Those rounds can be repaired.

At any rate, the squib bucket is a good source of components- but I would never use someone elses' squib reloads. Those get broken down.

The Captain
April 7, 2009, 06:01 PM
I usually toss them in the urinal. :what:

Kidding. Sounds about right.

April 7, 2009, 06:05 PM
You did the right thing.

Wait for a while with the gun pointed in a safe direction.

I know a guy who nearly shot his foot off with a hangfire. He did injure a nearby shooter with concrete shrapnel when the gun went off, pointed down.

Then, open the cylinder.

A regular .38 primer with a really solid crimp on a lead bullet may not budge it, and a failed primer won't do anything.

But a magnum primer, a copper jacket bullet, etc. could easily result in a bullet that's lodged in the barrel.

Check the round to see if the bullet is still in the brass, before doing anything else. If in doubt, put a rod or pencil down the barrel to make sure it's unobstructed. You don't want to blow up a gun.:)

Nobody ever ended up hurt or killed by being too careful at the gun range!

Ky Larry
April 7, 2009, 10:57 PM
I had some CCI shotshells in .38Spl for copperhead control around the farm. Some of them had primers in upside down. I sent the package with lot # and a letter of explination to CCI. They sent me a coupon for a box of shot shells and a coupon for a box of Blazer ammo (IIRC). Ammo companies take thier quality control very seriously.

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