Bullet stuck in barrel.


sean eady
July 10, 2011, 09:48 PM
Had a bullet get stuck in the barrel of my Kimber Pro Covert II today. I have heard about this , but have never seen it happed. Thankfully is was shallow enough in the bore that the next round would not chamber to allow it to fire. What would have happened had it been able to ? Am I lucky not to be seriously injured ? assuming so... What puzzles me is that the round went bang and ejected the case like normal . The only reason I noticed the problem is that the next round would not fully chamber. After I realized what had just happened , I picked up the ejected case and found it was covered in black soot. Luckily for my gun a good tap of a wooden dowel popped the bullet from the barrel. I check every single powder charge i throw ( as I load single stage only) and check my weight every 10 cases.... I am still baffled as to what went wrong. Could it have fired slightly out of battery? Have to admit , it has put a little fear in me.....

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July 10, 2011, 10:06 PM
First of all, glad you're OK.

2 bullets in a barrel is a classic kaboom story. Could have been numerous things, but the fact that the slide went back means it wasn't fully in battery and locked up. Sounds as if your OAL or maybe the case on one round was a tad too long. What kind of OAL variation do you see on a lot of 50 and how far off the rifling is your bullet?

Ohio Gun Guy
July 10, 2011, 10:18 PM
its referred to as a squib. Yes you are lucky. I had one farther down the barrel. It ejected and chambered another. I was about to shoot again and the sound of the last round was off a bit and I though, I had better look.....GLAD I DID.

There have been some pictures here of slides that come back at the shooter or fracture. Scary stuff!

sean eady
July 10, 2011, 10:19 PM
These had a coal of 1.240 and were plated round nose. Not sure how far off the rifling they are. Only been reloading a little over a month. I have so far just taken an average of the published info I can find and try it out. The speer #14 manual seems to have been mis printed on the 45 auto info as the charge weights are way off. How would I determine how far off the rifilimg I am ? Of the few hundred rounds of 45 I have loaded all have shot amazingly well and very accurate. I am staying to the middle to low end of the recommended charges and am pleased with the results.The largest coal I have tried was 1.256 but had a few failure to feed's once the gun got dirty. ANy input is greatly appreciated.

July 10, 2011, 10:48 PM
• You shouldn't need to experiment with OAL since you're talking 45ACP in a 1911. All those OALs were standardized 60+ years ago for each bullet weight and ogive shape.

• When you use one of Speer's proprietary bullets, such as the Gold Dot, then use their loading manual. Otherwise get a Lyman #49 and go exactly by it. The 45APC is a well worn path. You don't need to be averaging anything.

• "Plated round nose" yes, but of what weight ? The bullet weight is everything.

• "...but had a few failure to feed's once the gun got dirty." Are we talking black and sooty with granules of powder sprayed all over the inside of the gun? Your powder is either too slow, or your load is far too low. The powder should burn completely, leaving a tan or gray color inside the spent case, and nothing much inside the gun. Shoot some factory rounds and compare. The load doesn't have to be "hot" or hard to handle to get an efficient burn.

Hope this helps!

sean eady
July 10, 2011, 10:58 PM
No powder grains , just real black soot like it was held over a candle. was not grity . I reffered to the gun being dirty , but thats from a couple hundred rounds . powder seems to be ok. To know exactly what the load was , It was a 230 grain plated round nose in a Federal case reloaded once. 5.5 grains of Hodgdon HP-38 with CCI large pistol primer. Coal of that round was 1.240 and all the cases were trimmed to proper length after they were once fired before being reloaded.

I am baffled by coal. In the hodgdon guide it showes to set it at 1.20 for lead rn and fmj fp , while my speer manual states 1.260 for a tmj rn. Is there a difference from a tmj rn and a plated rn ?

July 10, 2011, 11:05 PM
sounds like there was no powder in it. Thats what happened to me when the bullet only went in just past the chamber, and was full of soot. The primer has enough to push the bullet that far no biggy smack it out with a wooden dowel

EDITED after reading the single stage part. Sorry, but thats what it sounds like. Maybe you just accidently skipped one? just an idea sense you said others were firing fine?

July 10, 2011, 11:10 PM
That sounds amazingly close to Walkalong's favorite 230gr load, except he prefers 1.260". So your formula should be a very clean firing round.

Time to investigate your bullet diameter, case expander and finished taper crimp. If your bullets are loosely held, then lower pressure would develop. If your taper crimp were not correct, then the slide could be held out of battery. If your taper crimp were way undersized, then the grip on the bullet could be adversely affected.

The bullet should be .451 to .452". (.452 for plated only.) That places the expander at .449". The finished taper crimp should be around .470/.471". Can you push the bullet on one of your finished rounds into the case?


Jim Watson
July 10, 2011, 11:24 PM
A stuck bullet AND an action that cycles is very unusual.
I think it implies a tiny bit of powder because a primer only is not enough to drive the slide.
That will usually put the bullet far enough down the barrel for the next to chamber and bulge the barrel. Or split it if the next load is heavy enough.
So you were rather lucky in several ways. Just incautious. Whatever you think you do, you did not examine at least that one round closely enough. Did the powder omitted from that one end up in another as a near double charge? I don't know. You should.

"Out of battery" is the Internet Excuse equivalent to the old "I was cleaning my gun and it went off." Not possible in a gun in good operating condition. And in the rare case of a badly out of spec gun, it won't stick a bullet in the barrel with a full powder charge.

OAL is largely dependent on the bullet shape.
It doesn't matter a bit if Lyman says 1.275" and Hornady says 1.22" and Hodgdon says 1.20" and Speer says 1.260" if you are not using the same exact bullet they are.

If you can't find a "recipe" for your exact bullet in print (likely with bulk plated bullets) then you will have to graduate from reloading to handloading and apply judgement and empirical testing. Your OAL must fit the magazine, fit the chamber, and feed from one to the other. If it doesn't, it doesn't matter what anybody says it should be.

sean eady
July 10, 2011, 11:32 PM
No I can not push the bullet into the case the crimp is nice and I also use a lee case guage as my final check. I am not going to sit here for a second and say I am 100% positive i did not miss one charge. There is always that chance. When i say I averaged the data I read , it was just for the coal. I saw some as low as 1.080 but for the most part it was between 1.220 and 1.260 so i went middle of the road with the 1.240 and was happy with all but this one round. I am loading my rainer lead safe hollow points to 1.220 with the same powder , charge , primer and case. Very happy with their preformance thus far.

sean eady
July 10, 2011, 11:36 PM
I type slow .... Good info and I agree. I am having a hard time finding anything that exactly matches my components. Just getting close and working on it from there.

July 10, 2011, 11:38 PM
Could be no powder or contaminated powder,tumbling media jammed in primer pocket flash hole. Thankfully is was shallow enough in the bore that the next round would not chamber to allow it to fire. What would have happened had it been able to ? Brass would rupture and/or damaged barrel.:( http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_45lodgedbullet_1.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/?action=view&current=45lodgedbullet_1.jpg) http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_45lodgedbullet_2.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/?action=view&current=45lodgedbullet_2.jpg) Click photo for larger size. This shooter stuck a bullet in the end of the barrel.

July 11, 2011, 12:23 AM
How would I determine how far off the rifilimg I am ?

Use a "spent" unsized case and insert one of those specific type bullets in by hand--just enought to hold it.

With barrel removed, insert this dummy round into the chamber. Gently push the base of the case until it bottoms out on the case mouth. Now gently dump/pull the dummy rd out of the chamber and measure it. Do this with a couple more spent cases and bullets to get a consistent measurement.

This tells you that at the measurement you get, the bullet is contacting the rifling or the chamber wall.

Subtract about .015" from your measurement and that should be your "longest" safe oal for that specific type and brand of bullet in that specific chamber. Every gun and type of bullet will be different. As long as your load data gives you that or a shorter oal, you're good-to-go.

Hope this makes sense.

July 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
I can't understand this.

It had enough power to feed another round in but not enough to get the bullet out?

I have stuck several bullets intentionally & the slide quits functioning long before the bullet gets stuck.

July 11, 2011, 08:43 PM
A stuck bullet AND an action that cycles is very unusual.
I agree, as I have never seen it, and have doubts it could happen, but never say never I guess.

5.5 Grs of HP38/W231 will most definitely cycle the gun and get the bullet out of the barrel, every time, even with poor neck tension. There was no, or very little, powder in the case. In the last round (a squib) in my test linked to below, I used a case with 5 grains of W231 to shoot it out. No neck tension at all as the bullet was started in the bore.

Low Charge Weight Velocity & Cycling Test


July 11, 2011, 09:51 PM
The Kimber Pro Covert II ships with a 22 lb. recoil spring, so you had a partial powder charge. You should inspect the powder of each case using a flashlight to avoid squibs. You also mentioned that you trimmed the cases but that really isn't necessary with 45acp.

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