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Embarrassing Squib Load Incident

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by rkulp89, Jul 29, 2020 at 5:54 PM.

  1. rkulp89

    rkulp89 Member

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    I'm not really sure what possessed me to make such stupid decisions but now I need some advise to prevent any more....

    The story:
    I bought a 686+ for my ol' lady to shoot who is very sensitive to recoil with the idea that 38 special wadcutters would be a decent round to practice with. Unfortunately I can't get my hands on any at the moment so after what I thought was fairly conclusive research was under the impression I could shoot 38 short colt from this gun...

    Well I went to the range today to shoot the gun for the very first time... with 38 short colt. Brace yourself for the stupidity. I fired the first round and I could hear the primer go off but there was zero recoil, and in the moment I just really didn't believe that any of the actual charge lit off. I held the gun in place for a few second and then tried to open the cylinder but it was stuck closed... I really shouldn't have gotten this far but without a doubt I should have at least stopped here.

    As I was messing with trying to open the cylinder it rotated and "click" into place. I thought maybe I just had an issue with it not being indexed correctly the first time and decided to try firing again. Same exact behavior, sounded as if only the primer went off with zero recoil. Luckily it didn't explode and I had half a brain to call is quits at this point. The range office took the gun back to the smith who was able to back the rounds out of the barrel and unload the gun.

    I was told not to ever shoot 38 short in the gun again but to take it home, clean it and come back to shoot with 38 special/357 next time... well I'm so embarrassed I don't think I'll be able to show my face in there again but I'm now curious if the gun is safe to shoot again?

    The only rounds fired through the gun were from the factory and the 2 discussed above. The barrel is not bulged or appears damaged in any other way but I did fire a 2nd round into the first squib. What would you do in this situation? Fire the gun again or send it to S&W?

    Also... I've read tons of posts about shooting 38 short in 357/38special and aparently it is common practice in ICORE. What the real story on this?
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  2. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I don't know about the ammo/gun combination you're referring to, but I'd be curious if the smith that removed the rounds from the barrel is a reputable smith? If so, and his recommendation was to only shoot the proper ammo, then he must feel the gun is safe to use...with the right ammo.

    But, everything I've seen shows 38 SC to commonly and safely fired from 38spl/357mag
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 8:21 PM
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  3. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Howdy, from Texas.

    Good thing you were not injured. Suggestion should something like this "zero recoil moment" should happen again; look to see if the projectile impacted the target. If not or in doubt, stop and check the barrel for an obstruction before lighting off another round.

    No need to be ashamed. Learn from the mistake, shake it off and get back on that horse.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You can absolutely shoot short colt in your gun. It works better if you put powder under the bullets though. ;)
     
  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Nothing is worse than pulling the trigger and hearing a POP rather than a BANG!!

    Well, to be honest pulling the trigger again is worse because you're now treading on very thin "about to cause injury to myself or the gun" ice, but you get the idea.

    Glad you're ok. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  6. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Things happen....I carry a solid brass rod in my range bag for such things.
     
  7. rkulp89

    rkulp89 Member

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    Well I feel better now because I just took 4 of the rounds apart that I was trying to shoot today and 2 of them had no powder in it. I can’t imagine much damage could have been done shooting primer backed bullet into the barrel.

    Obviously still a bone head move trying to fire after the first shot but I was think it was more of a misfire and no a squib.

    I’ll know better next time!
     
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  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Who loaded the rounds? If it was you you need to drastically update your quality check process. If it was someone else you need to drastically update your standards for purchasing ammo.
     
  9. rkulp89

    rkulp89 Member

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    A very reputable store in the area is where I got them from. I’ll be visiting them tomorrow and will have them pull some apart and see for themselves.
     
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  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Are they factory loads or “remanufactured”?
     
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  11. rkulp89

    rkulp89 Member

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    Remanufactured. Took them back today for a full refund. First time I've ever dealt with any of their reloads but it was the only thing that was available at the time.
     
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  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Figures. Avoid IMO
     
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  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Yuk! With the run on ammo going on I won’t be surprised if a lot of non reloaders end up going the remanufactured route. Hopefully that maker steps up their QC as 1Kperday noted earlier.

    Again, glad you’re ok. Any time something doesn’t feel or sound right it’s a good time to set the gun down to see what just went on :thumbup:.

    Stay safe.
     
  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Glad you're safe. I've had squibs where the bullet lodged in the barrel. The pfft sound and smoke coming out the cylinder gap was a dead give away.
    I bet you well never get caught off guard again.
     
    RetiredUSNChief likes this.
  15. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    I doubt that your barrel suffered damage based on what you have stated.

    To be sure a light shined "just right" along the barrel will pick up irregularities. Also shine the light inside the barrel this too will show irregularities.

    Next take an oiled, tight fitting patch and run it inside the barrel slowly at first. The resistance should be the same along the inside front to rear. It there is a bulge the resistance will change.

    I have a friend who likes extremely lite target loads and has stacked multiple rounds inside 2 M14 barrels! I have one of these barrels as a training aid when teaching reloading classes!

    Smiles,
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020 at 11:10 AM
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  16. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    You were very lucky the next round did not have a double charge, which is often the case when 1 has no powder. The out come would have been very different.

    Chock this up as learning experience where you got very lucky.
     
  17. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Good point.
     
  18. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    You can get three .25" brass rods at Ebay for about $12. I carry one in each of my two range bags and one stays in my tool box. I once needed one of these rods when I first found out FMJ .357 bullets were harder to push down a long bore than lead bullets.
    I have never again used one of these rods, but carry them in case some other shooter needs one.
     
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