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Where's the squib?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MoreIsLess, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. MoreIsLess

    MoreIsLess Member

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    I was loading a batch of 230 gr 45acp this afternoon on my Dillon 550b. After about 20 rounds I looked over at my scales and lo and behold there was enough powder for about one round. I thought, that only means one thing, when I was performing random powder checks (about 1 out of every 10-15), I forgot to dump the powder back in the case after weighing it. That also means there is a squib in the batch somewhere. Short of breaking them all down to find it, what would you suggest doing.
     
  2. bds
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    bds Member

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    There's too much variation in bullet+case weights by several grains ... I would pull the bullets and start over with a new QC (like a simple card sign that shows "Scale Pan Empty" hung in front of the press that's flippped whenever you check the powder charge.
     
  3. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    only 20 rds? pull them

    or just keep them separate and be sure to take a dowel rod with you to the range the day you decide to shoot them. a squib is only dangerous if you send another bullet down the pipe behind it.
     
  4. cja245

    cja245 Member

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    Weigh them or pull them. If its really obvious that one weighs 6 grains less than the others pull that one. If you can't tell, pull them all
     
  5. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    Pull 'em.
     
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I did that once.

    Once was enough.

    Since, at the time, I loaded (on my progressive) in batches of 50, i only had to break down 35 rounds to find the 12 I had loaded under an empty auto-drop powder measure.

    Lesson learned.

    No, there is pretty much no way to be sure.

    Some people might suggest weighing all the completed rounds to find the one that is lighter than the rest by the amount of the (intended) powder charge. This is only practical if your brass, primer and bullet do not vary in weight.

    Or, you could shoot them one at a time. Just be sure to bring tools to remove the stuck bullet.

    Kinetic bullet puller is only about $20. I had one for years before ever using it. Good investment.

    RCBS's instructions say to whap it against concrete, but I use the end grain of a short 4x4 timber. I find the rebound helps. I hold the handle lightly (it is aluminum and if I grip it hard, it develops a bend eventually). I bring it down smartly on the wood and let it rebound freely. Two or three raps is usually all it takes.

    It should only take you 10-15 minutes. You can probably re-use the powder. Probably the bullets, too, but since (especially if they are cast lead) they have been swaged a little by the seating/crimping process I would not expect them to be super-accurate. Measure their diameter carefully. Also, test them for cycling setback.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  7. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    Try this.

    If you're positive it's just one, weigh all the rounds. If one stands out as being lighter than the others, pull the bullet. If it's the squib, great. If not, pull all of them.
     
  8. higgite

    higgite Member

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    Put the rounds in a loading tray. Weigh each round in sequence and record its weight. Start pulling one at a time, starting with the lightest one, until you find the squib. Or just pull them all and lesson learned. ;)
     
  9. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    Hold each round up to your ear and shake. Unless you're running 100% full/compressed loads, you should be able to hear the powder shaking in the case. If there is one that you can't hear, there's no powder. If there's any doubt, pull 'em all.
     
  10. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    Just wondering....does the powder throw on your 550 drift enough to warrant checking a round every 10 to 15 cartridges. Not saying it's not good to verify what it is throwing, just wondering if you've had issues with it being too far off when you did check it.
     
  11. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Member

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    Like stated first shake them, if you can hear the powder then shake to find the no powder one. If you can't hear the powder then pull the one that weights the less.
     
  12. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    i can't hear 5 grains of W231 shaking in a .45 ACP case
     
  13. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    I've done the same thing. Like has been said, make the room quiet as can be and shake them against your ear. I'll bet you'll find it.

    Good Luck
     
  14. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

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    Pull 'em.... you don't have to dump the powder when you pull them, just set them aside in the loading block. When you find the empty one, charge it, and reseat the rest provided you have a collet puller.
     
  15. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    Shake them. If there is enough space between the bullet and the powder you will hear it move.

    But if you seat your bullet deep or or fill the case to almost capacity, weigh them. Find the lightest (by a significant amount) and that will probably be your squib. Depending on what powder you use, that could be 4-6 grains lighter than the full ones in the batch.
     
  16. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    What powder are you using on the 550?

    FWIW, I've found Bullseye meters excellent, it's VERY consistent even when the powder measure is damn near empty.
     
  17. dpollard

    dpollard Member

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    Pull the bullets. I once pulled 350 bullets for this same reason. It's not worth the risk. Someone once told me a saying that I agree with: Never load more rounds than you're willing to pull.
     
  18. jeeptim

    jeeptim Member

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    Shake Shake Shake if you can get it quiet with out question I can hear it.
    When doing rifle rounds thats my last safety check unless its a compressed case.
     
  19. Jhass

    Jhass Member

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    Shake the cases by your ear. If u hear a difference pull it.
     
  20. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    As chris in va said. Always start with the easiest thing first.
    Doesn't take much time to see if there is a difference in weight and pull the light one. This, and weighing bullets, is about the only thing I use an electronic scale for.
    It is pretty hard to save the powder with a kinetic puller, and it is pretty hard to pull a pistol bullet with a colett type puller.
     
  21. rondog

    rondog Member

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    There's NWIH I could hear powder shaking inside a cartridge, not now. Once upon a time I could, but the tinnitus is too bad now.

    Lots of good advice here. If you do decide to shoot them, just be careful and pay attention to each round fired. A stuck bullet isn't the end of the world, unless you fire another one into it.

    I turned my Lee powder measure "off" once, and my grandson decided to "help me out" and make a couple of rounds for me when I wasn't there. I didn't pay attention to the sound of the rounds I was firing, and didn't notice the difference. Thank God they were just very light target loads. Still cost me two barrels, and on the same day. Made my butt red. Started putting a bike lock cable around the press after that.

    See the bulges? When the barrel bushings hit those bulges, the pistol slides locked up tight. Had to use a plastic mallet on the backs of the slides to knock them loose.

    DSCN1784.jpg
     
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