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1st squib experience

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Astroangler, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    Well, had my 1st squib yesterday in my 357 ruger Blackhawk. I knew instantly something wasn't right. Brought it home and got it out, but wondered why I had one in the 1st place. I was using a 158gr JSPS under Lyman's starting load using Bluedot. Bluedot was a hot load in my 40 so I decided to give it a try in my 357. I did notice that my cases we a bit over flared. I thought I had rectified that situation and had a decent crimp as well. Any thoughts? Thanks
     
  2. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    Good guess would be no powder...
     
  3. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    There's always a chance of human error. Would a primer have enough power to send it about 1/2" into the barrel?
     
  4. winkzoot

    winkzoot Member

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    Yes the primer will send the bullet into the barrel. The good news is you were smart enough to realize that something was not right and stopped shooting! If not the outcome would have been much different.
     
  5. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    You can tell when a round only had a primer and no powder. It makes a relatively quiet "pop". If there's any amount of powder, you will likely be able to clear the barrel.

    The check system I use to guard against squibs is a powder cop die from Hornady, and in the case of pistol loads, I look into the case before putting a bullet on top. The rest of what's going on is unimportant, powder presence is all I'm watching for.
     
  6. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    I typically look into all of my cases once I loaded them, but there's always a chance of missing one. I think I'll do the shake test to be sure there is powder in the rest of them. Hanos guys
     
  7. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    The important thing is you caught it, and everything is ok. Now....I hope this was a learning experiance for you. I know it was for me back in 2008 when I started. I had a squib in my first 50rnds while working up my load. Over 80,000 rounds later I still remember that day, and check every case.
     
  8. homatok

    homatok Member

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    Depending on the reloading set up used you may want to consider the possibility of another case with a double charge.
     
  9. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I mounted a small, bright, halogen desk lamp with a flexible gooseneck right next to my press, so I can see inside cases as I go. For rifle cases I use a bright penlight to eyeball them while they're in the loading trays.
     
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Would a primer have enough power to..." Yep. You didn't visually check for powder.
    "...the shake test..." Doesn't always work. Use a loading block after charging and look.
     
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    A weak crimp will not create a squib. About the only thing that will happen with a weak crimp is the bullet will jump out of the case mouth prior to approaching battery. If that happens, you would have had powder all over the place, and the likely hood of the bullet making it out of the cylinder is slim to none, because it's not in the case mouth where the pressure is initially generated.

    Nope, you missed a charge and are simply fortunate to not have pulled the trigger on an obstructed barrel. Make it a no exception step to check every single cartridge for a proper and existing charge before seating a bullet. I check twice, once while in the loading block, and then as I put it in the shell holder to seat the bullet. I have never had a squib or double charge in 30+ years using this method. And I most definitely would have experienced one or the other, and on multiple occasions, if not for that no exception process.

    GS
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I see every powder charge I seat a bullet over. That is one thing I like about my LNL, as the seating goes on up front and to the left of the post where I can see in the case.

    When using a single stage use load blocks and eyeball every case after filling them all.
     
  13. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Next time bring a brass rod and hammer with you to the range. You can easily drive the bullet out or with a revolver, back with a few light taps and no harm done.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Except.

    If one round didn't get any powder, or enough powder to get the bullet out of the barrel?

    How the heck do you know for certain another round didn't get a double charge???

    Quite simply, You don't!!

    A squib, if I ever had got one in the last 50+ years, would be time to pack up and go home.

    And spend some quite time with an impact bullet puller.
    Pulling everything else I reloaded at the time!!!

    It's the only prudent thing to do.

    rc
     
  15. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I've had a 9mm squib that travelled all but 3/4" of a 4.72" bbl and cycled the slide and fed the next round. It was firing the first shot at a double-tap target. I caught the sound difference and so did the RO when I froze.
    I believe it was light powder drop, but no way of knowing for sure. Never before or since.
    Got my attention. I have a focussed AC-Powered light on the case powder drop and still check every drop like it IS a blood transfusion that I WON'T need.:uhoh:

    Be thankful you caught yours too.
     
  16. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    Pulled them all apart and measured each one. There was some powder fluctuations of about .6 below starting charge. I typically look each case over, but human error is always a possibility. Reworked the primed brass and checked each case and my powder drops multiple times to be sure. I am bringing a rod with me in case something like this happens again, but hopefully and intentionally it will not happen again. Just glad I didn't do much reloading when I loaded these. Thanks guys
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well there's your Problem.

    If you can't hold +/- .2 grain below or above the starting load.

    1. Fix your powder charging technique.

    2. Or don't use the starting load of Blue Dot, which must have been very light to start with.

    However, #1 would be the part I would put the most effort into correcting.

    Because it most definitely needs correcting before you reload anything else.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  18. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    Astro what powder measure are you using? I have never used BlueDot powder so I can't say how it measures, but you should be able to throw your charges +/- .1gr.
     
  19. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    Blue Dot doesn't perform very well at low charges. Needs to be closer to the maximum listed charge or you're likely to have more bloopers or squibs. Also you need a firm roll crimp and good bullet tension in the case even with Blue Dot. I'd suggest Accurate #9, 2400, H110, or Win 296 in a 357 Magnum with a magnum primer. Only thing I recommend for Blue Dot is heavy shotgun loads and as you might notice I'm not a fan of Blue Dot powder. Have used it in the past but didn't like my results.
     
  20. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    I'm using the powder dispenser in the RCBS Rock Chucker kit. I think I've figured out a little technique I can do that will help my powder drops to be more consistent. If when I take the handle up and down I give it a double tap, it will be a lot more consistent. I tried it last night re-reloading these rounds and it showed only a +/-.1 variance even at the very end. Once I go through this bottle I hope to go back to Unique and Bullseye. Those powders seemed to work better in my 357.
     
  21. Joe's

    Joe's Member

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    Astroangler,
    It sounds like you have figured out a very good way of keeping your powder drops consistant. The RCBS UniFlow should allow you to throw charges +/- .1 gr. The only time I have trouble with mine is with stick powders. It throws accurately enough however I can feel grains of powder being cut!

    The best suggestion I can give is to buy a Powder Baffle, or better yet make one out of old pop can aluminum and use it.

    Be Well,
    Joe's
     
  22. Astroangler

    Astroangler Member

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    I had to look it up to be sure I knew what you were rendering to as a baffle and found a great article, instructions and template PDF on it. Do you think that will help with the flow of my powder dispenser we if it is flake like powder? Thanks for the advice!
     
  23. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I watch my old shooting buddy experience a squib with a .38 spl revolver. The primer 'poofed', he stopped, we opened up the gun and large quantities of HS-7 poured out of the gun. The lead bullet was lodged in the barrel just past the forcing cone.

    He had no previous experience with revolvers, and insisted on using the slow HS-7 that he had bought in bulk, standard primers, and he just didn't have enough crimp. A stiff crimp solved the issue. He still uses the HS-7 because he is such a tightwad.
     
  24. Joe's

    Joe's Member

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    The Powder Baffle should help achieve consistant throws with any type of powder, stick or flake.

    Joe's
     
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