Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

clearing squibs

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gutterman, Sep 11, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gutterman

    gutterman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    East Texas
    I've been reloading on and off for about 15 yrs. So far I've never encountered a squib. Exactly what does it do to your handgun, and if it does occur , what is the best method for clearing one?
     
  2. possum

    possum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,942
    Location:
    Concord, N.C.
    i have had 2 squibs, both were loaded by my dad. when the primer went off there was either no powder or not enough. i fired, and thought all was fine, however i went to fire again and the trigger felt the way it does when you have a type 3 malfunction(the slide wasn't all the way foward) so i tried to clear it the way that you do for a type 3 reinserted a fresh mag and the slide still didn't go all the way into battery. then i knew something was wrong. i cleared it, and took it apar't t and there the bullet sat just far enough down the barrel that it wouldn't allow the next round to fully seat, and man i am glad that ot worked out that way. if it would have been a little farther down the barrel i would have had trouble on my hands and in it literally.

    it took some pounding with a cleanning rod and it came free. the best way i have found is to insert the cleanning rod from teh chamber side, and beat/push it out going with the grain of the riflings out the end of the barrel.
     
  3. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Like Possum said, it is either a load with no powder or not enough. The primer has enuff power to drive the bullet part way into the barrel. If you don't catch it and fire another round it will blow up the barrel or severely damage it. Most of the times the sound it a very quiet "POP". If this happen stop immeditely and check the barrel. To clear the barrel on the few squbbs I have had over my shooting career I use a piece of aluminum rod, 3/8" for larger than 40 caliber or larger and 1/4" for smaller calibers. You need a fairly large hammer ( 16 oz.) and some hard wacks. I keep a short handled hammer in my box for just such an emergency. When shooting ALWAYS pay close attention to the sound of the gun firing. I would always rather stop and find out that all is okay than have the oppisite happen.:what:
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,011
    Location:
    Great state of Indiana
    Squibs? This is one way barrels get rings in them. If you're lucky no one is hurt.

    The first bullet is a barrel obstruction.
     
  5. atbarr

    atbarr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Nicholasville, KY
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,673
    A squib creates a bore obstruction that can then result in a ringed or burst barrel if another round is shot behind it.

    I've had exactly one squib in over 30 years of reloading in a round I loaded and stopped a friend from fireing the next round when he had a squib using one of his reloads and I heard the light report. Both these cases where in .357 mag revolvers and a wood dowel inserted from the muzzle and a few taps from a mallet drove the bullet back out of the barrel.
     
  7. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    I had a series of squibs in a batch loaded by a friend of mine.... I got used to beating them out with a brass rod.... you don't need the hammer, just beat it out whichever way is the shortest by putting the rod in the barrel and slamming down on the rod on a hard surface.

    A squib makes a distinctly soft sound.... once you've heard it, you'll notice it from then on... I caught one in a gun someone else was shooting at a USPSA event.... knew right off what had happened....
     
  8. jcwit

    jcwit Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,011
    Location:
    Great state of Indiana
    Classic example as to why to only shoot your own reloads, not someone elses. What is you would have lost 3 of your fingers on your hand or worse?
     
  9. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Well, I would have pointed the finger at myself.... wait.... no... I couldn't do that could I?

    I guess I should be a little more clear.... I was teaching him to reload on my equipment.... I guess I didn't stress enough how important it was to have powder in each and every case... lol.... the powder measure was acting goofy, but he should have been checking either way... I had picked a load that would not allow a double charge, not to mention the unlikely chance of that happening in a progressive...

    After that event I shot up all of that ammo with confidence that it was unreliable, but not dangerous....

    But you are right.... the only ammo you can really trust is your own... which is why I don't rely on factory ammo for SD.....
     
  10. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    627
    Location:
    Nacogodches, Texas
    What is a squibb" has been explained.

    What happens next can get interesting.

    I was shooting course of fire for which final score was based on speed knocking down bowling pins. I was wacking them at a pretty good clip and did not notice the reduced recoil of the squib. Next shot pushed the squib out and acorned the barrel. $300 damage as I had to cut off the slide lock, get a new barrel, and have the barrel "fitted".

    Could have been much much worse.

    I never will buy reloaded ammo again. Factory or roll my own. That's all.
     
  11. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    Stumptown
    I've tapped two out of my barrel backwards with a dowel. Both times the bullet did not go far enough down the barrel to successfully chamber another round, thankfully.

    Root cause - I used a setup bullet that I had put a primer in and they got tossed in with live rounds because they looked the part, rookie mistake. This changed my routine to only make setup bullets WITHOUT primers or WITH powder. If my setup round gets mixed in with live rounds ever again, it'll either fire or be primerless. I now save them and toss the primerless/powderless setup round in with my die boxes for quick and easy setup between caliber switchouts on my press.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Just a strong suggestion.

    Use a bore size brass or aluminum rod for stuck bullet removal.
    Any decent hardware store sells it in 12" & 36" lengths.

    A wood dowel rod may suffice for most pistol bullets, cause they ain't that hard to remove and they are unsually fairly large diameter.

    But for pointed rifle bullets, or soft lead .22 bullets, NO WAY!

    You ain't lived until somebody brings you a rifle to repair with a stuck jacketed spitzer bullet and a splintered & broken wood dowel rod wedged in beside itself several inches from the bullet.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  13. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I had a couple earlier in my reloading career (and my "career" is only 12 months old!).

    After the first I bought some hardwood dowels to make sure I could get a squib out. As you suggest, RC, doesn't work well.

    I ended using the cleaning rod (with the plastic "T" handle) for running jags and brushes through a barrel. It's brass, and just tapping on the "T" handle worked pretty well.

    The squibs were a nice warning to a new reloader who was starting to think he knew what he was doing.
     
  14. ChefJeff1

    ChefJeff1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Mountains of Idaho
    I had a squib in a snubnose 38 revolver and tried the dowel thing and it wonldn't budge. I banged hard enough to knock the crane assembly out. I sent it back to S&W and they fixed it. Measure once, check twice from now on.
     
  15. mulh222

    mulh222 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I am embarassed to say that on day last summer at the range, my friend and I were both shooting our 1911's in 45acp after reloading the day before. Well, we were probably too busy talking and though every round was loaded properly-shame on us! Next day, after many rounds had been fired by both him and I, his gun seemed to jam-the slide wouldn't return to allow another round to chamber properly. while he was inspecting his firearm, mine did the same thing! We both had the same condition only seconds apart and out of a box of about 500 rounds! Clearing the barrels waited untill we got home where we could use a wooden dowel so there would be no barrel damage removing the slugs. It may not sound so bad unless you consider that another few mm's or so and the next round would have chambered! I still shudder to think about it and needless to say that now when reloading, our conversation is kept to a minimum!
     
  16. mulh222

    mulh222 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Oh, by the way...I'm sure we missed the power charge and fired the round with only the primer. At least that seems like the most likely senario.
     
  17. ar10

    ar10 Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,356
    You should be able tell if you have a squib. Fire the gun and nothing happens or you hear a "pop" and gun doesn't muzzle flip like it should then you probably have squib. I've seen it more than a few times at the range, and not all of them are reloads.
     
  18. Beelzy

    Beelzy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Cen-Cal
    "You ain't lived until somebody brings you a rifle to repair with a stuck jacketed spitzer bullet and a splintered & broken wood dowel rod wedged in beside itself several inches from the bullet."

    That's sig material right there.......LOL!
     
  19. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,925
    Location:
    Cornelia, GA
    Video of squib

    IME when there is no powder present and the bullet does not exit the barrel, the primer does not have enough pressure to seal the case against the chamber. So a great deal of smoke exits the gun at the rear of the chamber and this is accompanied by a very light report.

    Here's a video of a squib. My son was shooting his new PA63 Mak using factory Winchester "white box" when we captured this....

    Click Here


    Sqibs in autos can usually be easily cleared using the wooden dowel inserted down the front end of the barrel and tapping the dowel against a solid surface. Squibs in revolvers can be more difficult, especially if they keep the cylinder from dropping free.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  20. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    3,526
    Location:
    Ky
    I had one years ago. It was caused by my own stupidity. I loaded a batch of .357 Mags and was shooting them in my S&W 686. The bullet was stuck in the forcing cone just far enough to let me open the cylinder. A few taps witb a brass rod and the bullet came out. I had loaded this batch without a charging tray. I just dropped the powder out of the dispenser and seated the bullet.Now I charge all cases and place them in a charging tray. When I have 50 cases charged I seat the bullets. The powder charge gets checked 3 times: when I drop it, when all cases have been charged, and when I pick up each case to seat the bullet.
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Squibs are best avoided all together.

    If you have a round with too little powder to get the bullet out of the barrel,
    How do you know the next round you loaded doesn't have the missing power in it, plus a normal charge?

    Loading blocks, visual inspection, and set the bullets in the cases before you remove them from the loading block to seat them.

    Then if you drop one picking it out of the tray, the spilled powder doesn't end up in the rest of the charged cases.

    rc
     
  22. twofifty

    twofifty Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,611
    rfwobbly, in that video, your son sweeps his left hand while his finger is in the trigger guard - this while adjusting his shirt sleeve.
    That boy needs remedial training.
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,311
    The best method is to make sure you don't have one by looking at your powder charge and have a check/lockout die. If one gets past the old mark I eyeball and you don't have a check die the best thing that can happen is you catch it and have to drive it back out with a brass rod. On the bad side is you don't catch it and put a non squib behind it and things come apart. It saves time and money to not have them.
     
  24. ar10

    ar10 Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,356
    Generally nothing if you're careful and paying attention.
    1. The the first thing you'll hear is "pop".
    2. At the same time you won't feel the muzzle flip (recoil).
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger.
    4. Wait for about 5 seconds with the gun pointed down range.
    5. Drop the magazine.
    6. Pull the slide back and lock it. (Some guns allow you to engage a safety. If so flip to safe.), If there is a live round it will usually eject when you pull the slide.
    7. Lay the gun down pointing down range with the ejector pointing up. Sometimes a live round is stuck on the feed ramp. If you turn the gun over it will usually fall right out.
    8. Look at the chamber and see if a case is still in there, you should see a primer strike.. Most of the time the slide will go part way back and the case is still in the chamber.
    At this point generally try to disengage the slide like you normally do when field stripping the gun. I use a small screw driver and pull the case out. It's not too hard to do because the case hasn't swelled up against the wall of the barrel. Once it's out I use a section of a 12ga cleaning rod with female end pointing toward the bullet. from the muzzle end I hit the rod a couple of times and the bullet will back its way out. Depending on how far the bullet is lodged in the barrel dictates how hard I hit the rod.
    I like to use aluminum rather than steel or brass because it's less likely to scratch/mar the barrel.

    If you're not comfortable doing it yourself take to barrel to a gunsmith and have him/her do it for you.
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Brass or polished steel rods will not harm the barrel.
    They make best quality cleaning rods out of both!
    And brass or steel rods are heavy enough that they are often all that is needed to tap the bullet back out of the barrel.

    IMO: Pounding on an aluminum rod with a hammer is more likely to damage the barrel.

    rc
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page