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First squib today ever...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Goosebrown, May 7, 2016.

  1. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    OK. So I have been reloading on and off for 30 years. Today I shot my first squib. It all turned out OK and I learned a lot from it so thought I should share the knowledge.

    I was shooting my 6mmBR for the first time in 3 or so years. I realized that I wanted to work up a real load and had 19 rounds left from the last reload spree 3+ years ago so I decided to unload them the fun way.

    On the 17th shot, I got a pop and no recoil and no hole in the paper. The pop was so quiet that I thought it might have been just the click of the firing pin doing *something* other than hitting the primer.

    I counted to 30 and then undid the bolt and ejected the cartridge and there was no bullet there. No smoke either but the primer had a good solid direct hit and was expended.

    I removed the bolt and looked from the breach down the barrel and there was no daylight so the bullet was there and the barrel was obstructed. I put the gun away to fix at home because I hadn't taken a cleaning rod to the range.

    What I learned:

    1. When you don't get recoil or smoke or noise, you need to wait a minute for a hangfire then remove the cartridge and check the barrel for obstructions.

    2. Bolt actions are nice because there isn't another one up the spout without trying to get one there. I know that without the recoil a semi wouldn't load another, but just having another round ready to go while you are trying to determine what is going on was a little intimidating.

    3. Don't leave old reloads around unless you know exactly what they are and they are marked.

    4. When you charge your cases, take the time with your flashlight or iPhone to look down EVERY neck EVERY time to be sure you have them all charged. (I have been doing this for the last 18 months as a good safety step but I wasn't religious about it before.)(Should have been... )

    5. Always a good idea to take a cleaning rod to the range for just things like this. Maybe a small mallet.

    6. The primer alone had enough juice to get the bullets into the lands, but it was REALLY easy to remove, It did not jam in tightly enough to be a problem at all for the cleaning rod alone without any hammer/mallet help.

    7. Be really careful reloading, handling, shooting, cleaning and everything else with guns. Be in the moment and focus. Gathering wool at any point can cause a problem down the road maybe months or years later.

    All in all I am really glad this happened as it did. It served as a reminder for #7 above and having had it happen now tells me what to expect and being forwarned is being forarmed.
     
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  2. Crohnos01

    Crohnos01 Washington Well-Known Member

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    Good information and glad you had the common sense to check the barrel. I almost always take a cleaning rod to the range with me just for these situations. If you find yourself without a cleaning rod, I have used whip antennas off vehicles before... of course that was back in the 70s and EVERYONE had a CB....also, sometimes just a good smack of the but of the rifle on the concrete floor will dislodge the bullet. Obviously, use good common sense and protect the rifle from damage by using a padded shooting rest and not an over the top amount of force while smacking... and also obviously remove any ammo from the magazine...
     
    Goosebrown likes this.
  3. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Good, useful thoughtful post. Thank you.
     
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  4. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I've never had a squib. I'd frankly like to have one just for the experience and the knowledge gained. Safely of course :)
     
    Goosebrown likes this.
  5. Fordcragar

    Fordcragar Renton, Washington Active Member

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    Good thread. I had a squib a few months ago, and used a cleaning that was in my range bag to verify it. The range that I shoot at has a gunsmith on duty that removed it for me.
     
    Goosebrown likes this.
  6. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    I've had a squib before and it's really is an odd experience. It was a 38 spc I was shooting in my Rossi 4" 357. Just enough umpf to get it into the barrel. Ended that guns day as I didn't have anything to clear it with and wanted to check it out thoroughly at home. Glad it went the way it did for you.
     
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  7. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Yes. That is how I feel. It was super good time to have one. Range empty. Not shooting with anyone. No guest. No pressure to do anything. It was actually good to have it and experience it because before it was a little fear that I might not notice and I now I am pretty sure I would.
     
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  8. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I had a squib ONCE early in my loading career, only since Dec 2011 though. It was .38 special and I was using the RCBS single stage, (still am). Like you said goose, just a pop, no recoil. The primer put the bullet just into the lands, far enough to barely keep from locking the cylinder up. The problem was, that powder that missed the squib? went in another case that was already charged! So I got the double the next range trip when I finished the box. I was shooting a good stout .357 so all I got was a good report and more recoil. But I knew something was awry for sure. The case was expanded pretty good and I needed to tap the ejector rod to get the offending cartridge out. The spent case has an unusual shape, the primer looks like it was poured into the pocket and the indent from the firing pin has a sharp little ridge around it. I keep that case on my small loading table in plain sight, and look at it often as a reminder.
     
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  9. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    No squibs for me yet, though I've seen it happen to someone else at the range. I'm new to reloading myself, so I'm just trying to be slow and methodical so don't do it myself. Always good to read about other's experiences for an opportunity to learn. Glad it worked out well.
     
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  10. pietro beretta

    pietro beretta Spokane, WA Active Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for sharing! Glad things went ok for you.
     
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  11. WillametteWill

    WillametteWill Willamette Valley Active Member

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    These are great reminders for us all. Thank you for sharing all the details and glad the outcome was not tragic.
     
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  12. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    me too! It was really educational in z good way especially if people read it and have a new tool to handle the unexpected.
     
  13. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had a round that had the potential to be a squib, but wasn't.
    30-06, 147gr FMJ bullet. Was supposed to be over 4831, I believe, only it was over nothing!
    The primer didn't move the bullet. I tried again. Nope, nada.
    Got home and knocked the round apart. I was surprised to find an empty case. I'd honestly believed it was a primer failure, which it wasn't as I could see soot from the primers ignition.
    I think this was from a batch of "practice" rounds I'd loaded up on a progressive press. My guess is the 30-06 case was just large enough to absorb the pressure from the ignition of the primer. In this instance it was a standard rifle primer.
     
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  14. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Hayden, Idaho New Member

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    That's interesting orygun. I wonder if the bullet had moved forward any at all with the primer force or did the case volume absorb it all. I don't reload rifle yet, only pistol. But great info and thanks to the OP for posting his experience!
     
    Goosebrown likes this.
  15. CLT65

    CLT65 Yamhill County Active Member

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    I had one many, many years ago, when loading a box of .357 mag rounds. The bullet stuck in the forcing cone and locked up the cylinder. I then remembered that I had been distracted when loading that box.

    The idea of getting a visual on the powder level in each round is an excellent one, very important. I typically load single stage, but when I do use my Dillon I have a light mounted above it that shines directly into the charged case as it passes by. Maybe that's overkill as I've never had a problem with the Dillon powder measure, but I feel better seeing each and every powder level.
     
  16. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The bullet didn't move at all, which is the reason I assumed it was a primer failure.
     
  17. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    This last round of reloading I added a new test. I weigh all the loaded cases on my chargemaster. It tells me how much they vary overall and if one is 44 grains off its an obvious problem.

    Thinking I may sort all the finished rounds by weight in the thought that regardless of cause for weight difference, the consequence might be pressure therefore vertical impact point might vary in accordance.
     
  18. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Yeah, I had one today too....

    Wasn't too thrilled about it. Lucky for me it came out easily with no damage.

    Previous subsonic round came out at 725fps. Following ones were fine when compared to their peers.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    .223 using 69gr SMK and 5.0gr of IMR-4227. The 5.5 and 6.0 loads worked fine. I thought maybe it was a no powder situation but that doesn't explain the blown out case and the gas that vented out the holes on the side of the receiver.
     
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  19. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When I read the first part of the post, and especially after seeing the pictures I wondered if you were using pistol powder. My guess is just a little too little powder to get the bullet out of the bore. Once the bullet stuck, that pressure (and heat) had to go somewhere. Right thru the case and out those wonderful little holes. The time it happened to me I was lucky enough to be shooting a revolver which has it's own style of vent.
    Are you using a powder measure and/or a progressive press?
     
  20. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Individual weighed. Working up a subsonic that's all. Just a low powder.
     
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