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500 S&W factory squib load almost got me!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AKMac, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. AKMac

    AKMac Member

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    Yesterday I became the proud new owner of a slightly used .500 S&W Magnum. I've been dreaming about owning one of these for quite some time, and yesterday was the day. I picked it up for what I think was a fair price. In addition to the gun it came with 60 rounds of factory ammo (20 round lots from 3 different manufactures)

    Well today I had a few work related issues to deal with, but I was able to sneak out in the afternoon for an impromptu shooting session to test my new toy! I decided to shoot my .44 Magnum to work my way up to the .500. After throwing a few cylinders of some hot .44 hand loads down range, I decided it was time to unleash the mighty 500.

    Having never fired a .500 before, and watching a few videos of people accidentally touching off 2 rounds from instinctively gripping the trigger during recoil, I decided it would be wise to only load 1 round at a time. I touched off my first round and was surprised at how much of a blast came from the gun, but also relieved that the recoil wasn't unmanageable for me.

    Next I decided to try one each of the 2 other boxes of ammo I had with me to compare the recoil. Although I would doubt my accuracy would win any competitions, I was begging to settle into my new toy and enjoy it. After firing the 3 rounds, I decided to try a full cylinder from one of the ammo manufactures. Rounds one and two went off just fine. When I went to fire shot 3, I heard a click but no BANG! After waiting a few seconds for a hang fire, I went to open the cylinder to but to my surprise it was jammed.

    At this point I was thinking that the stupid S&W lock had turned itself on from excessive recoil. After packing up my stuff, and swearing at S&W and their stupid locks, I went home with three live rounds still in the cylinder.

    Once I got home I inserted the stupid lock key to see if it had indeed locked itself. Unfortunately it hadn't. Next I took a flashlight to look at the cylinder gap and could see a sliver of copper shining back at me. It was a squib. After grabbing a hammer and cleaning rod I pushed the bullet back into the case, thus freeing up the cylinder to move.

    It appears that the primer did ignite and pushed the bullet just enough to engage the rifling but not enough to travel down the barrel significantly. The powder appears to be partially burnt as well. I can only imagine the outcome had the bullet traveled down the barrel, became stuck, and then I fired another round of full house .500 S&W Magnum! :uhoh: :eek:

    Moral of the story? Always, Always, Always check the gun after a misfire!

    Now the big question, what to do with this batch of factory ammo? Contact the company to see if they will make it right?

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  2. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

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    Yeah that is not good. Crappy factory ammo. I hate the stuff. When I got mine I bought a box of 350 grain factory loads. It had a nice boom to it. When I loaded up some of my own it was a different gun. Much much bigger explosion. Really good stuff. It would be seem to be easy to notice a squib with the ones I made. I will probably never put factory ammo in it again.
     
  3. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    yeah i only shoot my own handload
    i dont trust factory
     
  4. dawico

    dawico Member

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    I am not sure there is anything the factory can do. There is obviously powder in the case, it just didn't burn. I guess give them a shout and see what they say.
     
  5. shotgunjoel

    shotgunjoel Member

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    From the picture it looks like the powder was wet and clumpy, not partially burnt. I would guess that that is your problem.
     
  6. AKMac

    AKMac Member

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    I don't use factory ammo, but it seems like a waste to pull the bullets when it's perfectly shootable.....or should be.

    It's possible it's wet, but to me it's almost melted looking. Really odd.
     
  7. AKMac

    AKMac Member

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    I forgot to mention that the ammo in question was still factory sealed in a clear bag when I received it. I highly doubt that it could have gotten wet, or that someone else's handloads slipped in.
     
  8. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I don't know about anyone else, buuuuuttttttt to my naked eye it looks like there are 2 different types of powder that came out of the case!! A sperical ball and a flake type powder. Nice Smiths BTW, Thank God nothing real bad happened!
     
  9. evan price

    evan price Member

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    "Factory sealed in a clear bag"??

    All the factory ammo I EVER bought came in a box.
     
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Many times factory loads are made with a proprietary mixture of powders. But then since some of it is half burnt, it's hard to tell.


    Same here...and the bullet looks to be a plated bullet or FMJ, something you generally don't see in this caliber in a factory loading. Gun show loads maybe?
     
  11. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    Sure doesn't sound like factory to me....sounds like handloaded stuff.
     
  12. dawico

    dawico Member

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    I have to agree with them being handloads. There is definitely two different types of powder there. Also, I have never seen factory ammo in a bag. What brand are they supposed to be? What is the headstamp on the case and bullet weight?
     
  13. joeq

    joeq Member

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    I have never bought any caliber of ammunition that came in a sealed plastic bag. I'm with everyone else, I think those are most definitely handloads.
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    You will see bagged ammo coming from such places as GA Arms. They are in fact a commercial entity.

    I am still puzzling over the title to your thread?

    I will agree with that. Glad the situation was such that you couldn't have fired another round as that could have been very harmful to your health and anyone else's standing nearby.
     
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