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squib load experiences

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kellyj00, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    I've recently gotten into reloading. I have a lee 4 hole turret and bought a pro auto disk seperately. The pro auto disk came without the return spring...and it took about two weeks to get one from Lee. So, being impatient I decided it best to go ahead and just push the disk back into place after each load. Worked well in about 349 loads of .45acp, 1 round however...

    I got one squib load. the 230 gr lead RN stuck in the rifling and would not allow another bullet to chamber. It also took quite a bit of force to back the spent round out of the barrel.

    What are your first hand experiences with squib loads? Ever blown up your gun or injured yourself like I've heard? Just wondering if anyone has had any of these experiences first hand or if these stories are just stories.

    I'm not saying that sloppy reloading practices are excusable, and I'm a very careful reloader. Sometimes mistakes do happen, and I'm concerned that if this happens again, it may end up killing me (like the stories say) ...so I may as well just buy factory ammo in that case so at least my widow can collect some dough. ;-)
  2. greatgoogamooga

    greatgoogamooga Well-Known Member

    I've had 2 squib loads since I started reloading about 4 years ago. In both cases, they were .38 waddcutters from Rainier. I don't load those any more. I've found that a squirt of WD-40 helps free up the stuck round.

  3. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    It's mostly about feel and sound. If something does not feel right or sound right when the shot is fired, it's prudent to stop and check the barrel of the gun.

    I reload for 8mm Lebel, was using large rifle primers and working up my own load for H335 powder. I had 3 squibs, sounded just like a complete dud, only heard the click of the firing pin. When I opened the bolt, there was a mess of yellow gunk that looked like very old broken down styrofoam. Discovered the primer had almost failed completely to ignite the powder and the bullet was stuck just barely in the barrel.

    Switched to large rifle magnum primers and all is well. But with the .45acp sounds like you might have missed charging a round and you got the primer in an empty case. If the bullet was far enough into the barrel to allow a round to chamber and you fired that, you probably would have blown up the gun.
  4. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Don't increase your insurance just in case of a squibb load. :)

    The death toll from firing after a squibb and other detonations in handguns rarely result in really severe injury, and even more rarely in death. The injuries range from nothing to a bad stinging sensation to some moderate to severe hand injuries.

    Rifles exploding are far more dangerous because of where your head is when the explosion goes off, but even then, death is rarely the result.

    Squibbs can be caused by several factors, and almost all of them are controllable or foreseeable if you know what to look for. Most common is the no-powder-in-the-case squibb; the primer pushes the bullet into the barrel for a short distance. Sometimes a good load of powder fails to ignite, and again the primer does its thing.

    I've had one squibb to date. It was caused by a standard load of H110 failing to ignite all the way. H110 (and W296) are notorious for being hard to ignite and always need a magnum primer. I did everything right, except I think I had a particularly loose crimp on that round. That's supposition since the crimp disappears quickly when the bullet leaves the case. The bullet made it about 2" into the barrel which means a small portion of powder ignited, but not much, most of it was in the cylinder, the barrel and on the bench . All the other rounds in that batch worked as expected.
  5. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    Good info!
    Do yall let your youngens or the mrs. shoot your reloads?
  6. benedict1

    benedict1 Well-Known Member

    Of course my wife shoots my reloads--why not? I want her to have the best!:D

    She shoots two different .45 ACP guns, a Wilson and a Glock 21. In the past year, out of around 5000 rounds we have had zero squibs when loading on a Lee Load Master and on Classic Turret Press.

    I have had one squib with .38 Spec. when trying to load very light charges of Clays. It is a small flake powder and doesn't meter great. Hve to whack the Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure to make sure it flows and drops properly. Since I started doing that no more issues.
  7. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

    For those of you that remember the saying from being in the military, it was "pop and no kick". That was the saying to remember for squib rounds, if you got it you unloaded the rifle/pistol and checked it to be safe.

    This came back to me a few years after I got out of the Army. A friend that I reload with made a mistake while reloading and then made a bigger mistake by not correcting it. He thought it would be okay to just let some rounds go that he knew didn't get powder. Seeing how we reloaded a couple thousand 9mm he didn't want to break it all down and start over.

    So we're out shooting and I hear my dad and some friends laughing, someone said "the bullet is probably laying about 10ft in front of you". This is where my ears perked up and I asked what happened. My dad was shooting my SIG 9mm and just so happened to load up one of those rounds, got the pop and no kick. Now I'm up to speed and ask him for the pistol, drop the mag, rack the slide (round drops out) and take apart the pistol. About 2" down the barrel is a bullet and that's how I found out about what my friend did while reloading.

    Just a little something to help you remember what to do if you get a pop and no kick. Or if you over hear someone else that gets it and doesn't know what could possibly happen if they pull the trigger on the next round.
  8. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Hell yes wife shoots my reloads - that's the only way I can keep her fed! And she's great at testing unproven loads....:uhoh: I'll be the one standing behind the glass partition
  9. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    that's it? this is all the experience in the group?
    Nobody's missing a finger or lost a hand due to a squib load?
  10. mballai

    mballai Well-Known Member

    Squibs are more of an annoyance than a problem. Get them out and start shooting again. Double charging a case can lead to gun wrecking or permanent injury to a shooter. This can and has happened with commercial ammo. One of my bosses no longer shoots much due to permanent nerve damage from an overcharged round.
  11. benedict1

    benedict1 Well-Known Member

    I think you are worried about KaBooms, which are not squibs.

    If you have a squib with a semi-auto the chances are very, very small that anything is going to happen --

    First, you will know it was weird because there's no recoil; second, the action isn't going to eject the empty. You will stop and examine the thing.

    With revolvers it's a little more of a possibility to get into trouble because you may be firing rapidly and even though the squib is just a poof, the cylinder will rotate and you could pull the trigger on the barrel with a bullet in it. But again, there wouldn't be any recoil, or vastly reduced recoil.

    Pay attention to your weapon and it's behavior and you're not going to get into trouble.

    I also carry a brass rod and rubber mallet which I have used to get my one squib out of the barrel; others have used it at our range to do the same. I'm sort of the designated "squib rod carrier"
  12. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    i didn't know this....
    1993: Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop .44 Magnum gun while filming the movie The Crow. A cartridge with only a primer and a bullet was fired in the pistol prior to the scene Brandon was in; this caused a squib load, in which the primer provided enough force to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the barrel of the revolver, where it became stuck. The malfunction went unnoticed by the crew, and the same gun was used again later to shoot the death scene, having been re-loaded with blanks. However, the squib load was still lodged in the barrel, and was propelled by the blank cartridge's explosion out of the barrel and into Lee's body. Although the bullet was traveling much slower than a normally fired bullet would be, the bullet's large size and the nearly point-blank firing distance made it powerful enough to severely wound Lee. It was not instantly recognized by the crew or other actors; they believed he was still acting

  13. fecmech

    fecmech Well-Known Member

    Something else to keep in mind is that you may not hear a"pop" and the primer may still have put the bullet in the bore. If the slug is far enough down the pipe to chamber another round or you rotate to the next chamber on a revo things will get interesting. If it does'nt go bang and recoil always check the bore.
  14. herd48

    herd48 New Member

    As said earlier. In my autoloaders, a primer by itself will not work the actions. So no chance of another round being chambered, unless I do it myself. Revolvers would be a different case. Have to be on your toes. I utilize a Lock Out die from RCBS in all my pistol reloading. It physically prevents the press from moving if a no powder or double powder situation arises. BTW- I have never had a squibb, but I do carry a small hammer and wooden dowel in my range bag in case I need it.
  15. gaowlpoop

    gaowlpoop Well-Known Member

    I had a 9mm squib a few weeks back. I didn't notice a lack of recoil or only a "pop". I pulled the trigger again and nothing happened. The squib had enough energy to cycle the action and attempt to chamber another round but the bullet from the squib was stuck at the very start of the barrel and would not allow the next bullet to chamber properly. I have been wondering what would have happened if the squib had gone say half way down the barrel and I had actually fired the next round.
  16. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    gaowlpoop: from what I've heard, you die. There's a lot of horror stories about squib loads killing people or maiming them, but I really don't think it's as big of a deal as a lot of folks project.

    Just like getting the perfect amount of powder in a bullet.
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    A stuck bullet*, shot out by a live round, will seldom do more than bulge the barrel in a pistol, I have seen a number of them... although not with a maximum magnum, which might change things.

    A stuck bullet* followed by a live round in a rifle is a dangerous proposition, it will usually demolish the barrel and maybe the whole gun.

    You guys need to work on your QC.

    *I say "stuck bullet" because when I was coming up in shooting and reloading, a "squib" was an ultra light load normally made up for indoor shooting. Seems the language has evolved to where "squib" now denotes a screwup, but I will stay with it as I originally learned.
  18. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Well-Known Member

    "A squib load, also known as a squib round, pop and no kick, or just a squib, is a firearms malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck. "

  19. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    I wonder how many haven't posted a "no problem yet" report for fear of jinxing the matter.

    Not that reloaders are a superstitious bunch or anything...

    SAAMI's glossary definition of "load, squib" differs from Wiki's in that it may result in the projectile remaining in the bore.
  20. jashobeam

    jashobeam Well-Known Member

    This just happened at a local range

    A clerk was told by a shooter that the Glock 17 he had rented had failed to cycle after being fired. The clerk assumed that the shooter was limp wristing or guilty of some other user-error*. He took the gun, racked the slide, and shot a round to make certain that the gun was working properly. The gun fired but the slide locked up. There had been a squib lodged in the barrel. When the clerk fired a round the barrel bulged to the point of contacting the slide with sufficient force to prevent it from cycling. No injuries.

    *While working there I had made the same assumption many times, fortunately without incident.

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