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Squib Resolution

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jech, Aug 6, 2010.

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  1. Jech

    Jech Member

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    Last night, I hit the range with a friend of mine to test some new loads with my SA XD45, my friend with his Glock 23. I was focusing on a benchrested group while he was practicing his draw from concealment over at the steel plates when I heard, "Uhhh dude, that one didn't feel right" (paraphrased to be family friendly :p)

    A quick fieldstrip clearly showed a bullet stuck about a quarter-inch into the rifling of his barrel. Thanks to Mr. Murphy we forgot the ususal cleaning rod for the range bag that night. However, we had some Squib-B-Gone stashed away in a ziploc baggy in my range bag. These were sized/primed/charged cases but with no seated bullet. We stuck an upside down RN bullet in the mouth to hold the powder in and scotch taped it together for emergency use.

    My friend being ex-Army was game for anything that could get him blown up but give a good story to tell so we popped off the scotch tape and looked for safe cover. We found some 55gal steel drums, ducked low, chambered the case with the muzzle to the sky to avoid a spill, then he fired into the berm. Not knowing what would happen, he was hiding everything but his wrist holding the gun, further away, I was watching cause I'm too damn curious.

    There it went though clear as day, a clear poof of dust on the berm confirmed the bullet was dislodged. Granted this doesn't seem like the safest way to clear a squib, but when you're in a pinch it sure worked like a charm. His barrel looked fine after the discharge :p
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    I keep a 1/4 inch extension rod, pliers and screw drivers in my range bag. When I experienced squibs (it's been a long time for me, but have used it several times for other shooters), I insert the 1/4 inch extension rod from barrel end and tap with the plier towards the chamber end.

    If the bullet was pushed just past the chamber, stuck bullet usually comes out with a few taps. If the bullet was pushed deeper (probably got little bit of powder in the case), you may need to spray some penetrating oil (or drip some oil from your car's dip stick) to help it out with more aggressive tapping.

    If a rod was not available, perhaps a hard plastic pen may work as a rod and tap with something or anything else near by (rock, etc.) or even the bench you were shooting off of.

    I am not sure about using a charged case (even without a bullet in the case neck) as you may not know whether the particular charge of powder would be too much for the weight of the bullet stuck in the barrel (say, if your powder charge was for 155 gr but the stuck bullet was 180 gr). I would recommend the rod and tapping or wait until you got back home.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Every range bag should have a brass range rod, at least 1/4" in diameter and slightly longer than your barrel, for just such occurances. I haven't needed it for my own rounds, but I've sure used it for other's rounds in their guns over the years. I also keep a small brass hammer in the bag for such use, along with drifting dovetailed sights.

    That was certainly an inventive way to resolve the issue, but it wouldn't be one I would prefer, especially if the firearm involved belonged to me....

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  4. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Not sure about the safety of the technique, but the name "Squib-B-Gone" sure needs a copywrite !!
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My practice for the last 48 years I have reloaded is to not be prepared to remove a squib.

    My practice is to never ever have one in the first place.

    In your instance, the problem is not so much that one round didn't have powder in it.
    The problem is, did another round have a double-charge in it?

    What you need to do, rather then carrying around charged cases to blow squibs out of barrels, is to refine your reloading safety checks so it can't possibly happen in the first place.

    rc
     
  6. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Definitely not the safest way to clear a squib. I had 3 squibs about 2 months ago. The first one I was at the Sheriff's Dept range taking an NRA class. So the range master (also a gunsmith) cleared it for me. The 2nd & 3rd just waited til I got home.

    I had to pull 2 boxes apart to check for more & found 1 more.

    Someone (who shall remain nameless) put an almost finished round in the powder hopper & it worked it's way down to the throat so it stopped dispensing. When I say almost finished - it had no primer & was spilling the powder. That's why it was put in the powder hopper.

    It was supposed to be disassembled immediately, but was forgotten until it caused a problem. :(

    But I guess it's a lesson learned & no damage was done to the hopper or the guns.
     
  7. Jech

    Jech Member

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    We found a .223rem case in one of the refuse buckets and taped it with a rock to see if there would be any play. I wasn't surprised when the .223 case got mashed before the bullet budged.

    My buddy Rob was a helicopter engine mechanic 101st AA...he's a bit reckless to say the least. The .40s&w he was putting down range that day he loaded himself with all his own components but on my lee classic turret press. I wasn't immediately supervising him when he loaded it...in the event of an injury I suppose there could have been some level of liability on my part :confused:

    I'm fairly certain the problem was the ACB measuring powder from the autodisk pro. Sometimes when I've set it to sub-5gr/Unique charges and didn't swab everything with a used dryer sheet, the Unique flakes will align in a way that blocks more powder from dropping into the aperture.

    When it comes to my own ammo, I'm a bit more meticulous...I use a 36 lumen LED headlamp while I work for easy positive powder drop verification.

    Fortunately, the "Squib-B-Gone" he used was the same primer/headstamp/powder charge combination that the rest of his loads were made with...sans bullet of course.

    I thought I read once somewhere on THR of someone using this technique to dislodge a squib.
     
  8. Barr

    Barr Member

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    I read an article by Elmer Keith once that describes that when some cartridges are loaded with too little powder they can also cause a phenomenon he termed "detonation" where it actually acted similar to a double charge.
     
  9. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Blowing out squibs with a blank cartridge....sounds like an excellent way to get banned from the range.
     
  10. Jech

    Jech Member

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    Good thing it's a private range then :p

    I'd be really interested to read that...more oriented towards my .357mag but that's sidetracking :p
     
  11. OYE

    OYE Member

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    "My practice for the last 48 years I have reloaded is to not be prepared to remove a squib. My practice is to never ever have one in the first place."

    Yes, RC, It's nice to hear that for a change. Never had a squib load. Can't imagine carrying a rod in a range bag to knock one out. If anyone is having squib loads, you're doing something wrong.

    Would like to see a thread title "THIS WAS MY LAST SQUIB LOAD !!!!" instead of the too often title of " My first squib load ".
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Hatcher did a lot of work with barrel obstructions like stuck bullets and jammed cleaning jags and found that in some cases they could be blown out as described. And in other cases, they couldn't.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have done a lot of testing with loads with the powder forward to see how position sensitive a powder is. My brass rod in my range bag has come in handy a time or two. The last time I had one was testing how low I could go and cycle a 1911. The last one stuck in the barrel just forward of the chamber. I had brought an extra primed case with a full charge of W-231. I shot it out with that.

    Unintentional squibs? Nope, I eyeball every powder charge.
     
  14. floydster

    floydster Member

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    :)54 years of handloading and never a squib load, but I still carry a brass rod in my range bag.
    Floydster
     
  15. Barr

    Barr Member

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    Please reference The ABC's of Reloading 7th Edition page 32. Section titled "Other Factors Affecting Pressure Reduced Loads".

    In a nutshell it says that small loads of slow burning powder well below min listed charges have been known to generate very high pressures. Called detonation, they compare it to a log jam where the position of the powder can drastically change pressures. The powder in the rear of the case ignites propelling it forward into powder caught in the neck of the case (log jam).

    If the powder is completely in the rear of the case the pressure is quite high, if the powder is completely in the front of the case the pressures can be quite low (as much as 50%) lower.

    "Thus, it is prudent not to experiment below the starting loads listed in the manuals."

    The people writing these manuals with load information are pretty smart folks with strain gages, PhDs and the like. Even they have blown up a few guns developing the data. Kind of makes the $20 or so for a loading manual seem like a real steal. Let them have the catastrophic failures, use the load data listed.
     
  16. Barr

    Barr Member

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    I would not be using blank charges to blow out bullets, a $2 dowel rod and a hammer are much safer.
     
  17. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    The 'Squib-Be-Gone' as the OP describes it, would offer a vastly lower Loading Density, and hence, vastly lower pressure, than the regular Rounds they were firing.

    Hence, to my mind, would be entirely 'safe' to do.

    A 'Blank' in the usual sense of being a commercial product with no 'Bullet' proper, would indeed likely blow up the Gun if used as a 'Squib-Be-Gone'.


    We must not confuse these two very different Animals!!!


    But, as RCModel reminds -


    If you get a "Squib'', the next question is, "Where then is the possible Double Charge?"


    Not a happy question to have to ponder.
     
  18. Win1892

    Win1892 Member

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    Put a 9mm squib into an AR15 years ago. Because that rifle has a very heavy barrel, I loaded up a 1/3 normal powder load, topped with dacron and wax. Bagged the weapon and fired it with a string, from cover.

    The projectile exited the barrel and went through 5 phone books, about 9" of dry paper.

    Would never consider doing that with a handgun. Bought brass rods from Brownells the next day.
     
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