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  #1  
Old 11-14-2012, 1:13 PM
DrMoebius DrMoebius is offline
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Default Had my first Squib Load last week...

During fast 2+1 drills at the range with my .40 Walther PPQ using my own reloads.

When I got the misfire, I instinctively power stroked the slide to eject and load another round so I could proceed. And just as I brought the pistol back on target, something made me freeze. I didn't know why I froze, but my brain then replayed the seeing the pistol, pulling the trigger, and a "pffffttt!" sound (I was wearing foam inserts and cans)

My shooting partner leaned into view from the side to say "What do you think?". Pretty sure I mumbled "I think it's a squib". Which is kinda weird because I have never actually seen or heard one, let alone been near anyone else that had one. The term just popped into my head.

But, the other half of my brain was worried about a delayed discharge/hang-fire due to a bad, and painful, experience 30 years ago in high with a friend's beatup bolt action rifle. I got a misfire, waited ~15-20 seconds, and as I retracted the bolt the shell went off. It tore the hell out of my palm. I imagined the same thing happening as I racked the slide to eject the round.

Luckily, no such calamity and we were able to tap out the projectile. Bore looked clean, too. But, i have to admit I was rattled because I came so close to pulling the trigger again. The thought of catastrophic failure/Kaboom! kinda stuck with me for a while(actually days). Polymer gun w/o gloves seems like a recipe for reconstructive surgery. Needless to say, I switched to .22 for a while before getting up the nerve to return to .40

I feel extremely lucky and will pay far closer attention to my next batch of reloads. I will probably limit myself to doing <500 a session for long while. Nothing is worth the risk of that.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2012, 1:43 PM
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Glad to hear you made out ok Dr.

And I think I'll be waiting just a bit longer on those hang-fires.
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Old 11-14-2012, 1:45 PM
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I had one on my lever action 30-30 a few months ago. I pulled the trigger heard a bang and proceeded to load the next round. Thank god the squib prevented me from closing the action and loading the next round. There was a lot of firing going on around me so I didn't notice a different sound when it fired. I had always thought I was careful and tripled checked everything. I can gaurantee you now. If I ever question a round, I will definately check the barrel for a squib.
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Old 11-14-2012, 1:47 PM
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I don't really get the hang fires? How does that work? Isn't the hard/sudden impact of the firing pin the only way it goes off? How does the primer go off after being hit and sitting?
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Old 11-14-2012, 1:50 PM
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Very unusual for the bullet to get far enough into the barrel for the next round to chamber and the gun go into battery after you racked the slide. Maybe you had a little powder and not a complete missed drop?

Were you shooting lead or jacketed? Jacketed bullets can be a real tough one to pound out.
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Old 11-14-2012, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdsd731 View Post
I don't really get the hang fires? How does that work? Isn't the hard/sudden impact of the firing pin the only way it goes off? How does the primer go off after being hit and sitting?
My only experience is surplus .303 British that is Click................Bang, less than a second, but more than expected.

With all the rapid fire and reloading going on it is surprising to me that there are not more squibs followed by live rounds..........and disaster.
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Old 11-14-2012, 3:28 PM
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glad everything is ok with you.
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Old 11-14-2012, 3:48 PM
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Good to hear it didn't cause a real problem.

One change I did recently is added a USB snake-light-like light to my press pointing in to the cases so I can see every charge clearly. (I should probably just send the check-sensor back to Dillon as it was broke [quiet] upon arrival, but I am lazy.)
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Old 11-14-2012, 3:51 PM
DrMoebius DrMoebius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Steele View Post
Very unusual for the bullet to get far enough into the barrel for the next round to chamber and the gun go into battery after you racked the slide. Maybe you had a little powder and not a complete missed drop?
Maybe, what you say makes sense. The reloads were done using a Dillon 550B, and I have a hard time seeing how it would dispense a partial charge. We refilled the powder tube well before it got to the bottom. Although, I'm pretty sure that it there was only the primer ignition. Hard to tell, though, I was going through the drills pretty fast(for me) and completely focused downrange.

The squib was maybe 1/2 to 1" past the chamber. The Range owner was the who tapped out the bullet for me, so I am guessing from just looking at it on the way to the service room.

Quote:
Were you shooting lead or jacketed? Jacketed bullets can be a real tough one to pound out.
155gr Berry's plated HBRN(Hollow Base Round Nose)



Definitely a sobering experience. I will be hyper-vigilante from here out visually inspecting the charge on each reload. I am going to get an focused light that will be pointed directly into the casing in the charge position of the progressive press.

Last edited by DrMoebius; 11-14-2012 at 3:54 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2012, 4:00 PM
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Happens fairly often in competition. Once you have heard that sound you know what to do. Here is the 'Perfect Squib"

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  #11  
Old 11-14-2012, 4:18 PM
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My 7mm mag had hangfires a'plenty until I switched to magnum primers. That's one case where magnums were absolutely necessary. Not a squib, though. So far I haven't had to pound one of those out. Or tap, as you say.
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Old 11-14-2012, 4:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdsd731 View Post
I don't really get the hang fires? How does that work? Isn't the hard/sudden impact of the firing pin the only way it goes off? How does the primer go off after being hit and sitting?
I've had several squibs in the time I've been reloading. In my defense, it was my failure in setting up my progressive press and my unwillingness to throw away or otherwise dispose of 500 rounds of .40S&W which caused it. I figure... the best way to do this is just blow these rounds up while target shooting and knock out the squibs along the way. It actually made me a better shooter, since I had no idea if a round was even going to go off. I do NOT recommend this for anyone else.

I posted about my hangfire here. I was shooting a Mosin with surplus ammo. I was talking to a buddy of mine about how to load and fire it. I racked a round, fired it. Racked another round, pulled the trigger, click. I figured that maybe I hadn't loaded a round, but it felt like I had... so I opened the bolt. A round came out, so I grabbed it. I figured it was just a dud... which does happen (rarely) with this kind of ammo. I looked at the primer which had a firing pin dent and looked oddly bulged. I had time enough to say, "****" and point the primer away from me as it went "POP!" and bounced out of the back of the case. I guess it was just a bad primer which wasn't seated far enough? I'm glad it didn't go off like a regular primer, either... at least I assume it didn't. I've hit primers with a hammer before, and it seems like they have more power than that one. Seriously glad it didn't ignite the powder in the case. No idea why it didn't.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2012, 4:59 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoebius View Post
Maybe, what you say makes sense. The reloads were done using a Dillon 550B, and I have a hard time seeing how it would dispense a partial charge. We refilled the powder tube well before it got to the bottom. Although, I'm pretty sure that it there was only the primer ignition. Hard to tell, though, I was going through the drills pretty fast(for me) and completely focused downrange.

The squib was maybe 1/2 to 1" past the chamber. The Range owner was the who tapped out the bullet for me, so I am guessing from just looking at it on the way to the service room.

155gr Berry's plated HBRN(Hollow Base Round Nose)

Definitely a sobering experience. I will be hyper-vigilante from here out visually inspecting the charge on each reload. I am going to get an focused light that will be pointed directly into the casing in the charge position of the progressive press.
Berry's are fairly soft, maybe that is why it got so far into the barrel on the primer only. I had a jacketed squib which was a major headache pounding out of a Glock barrel.

Definitely an experience which burns caution into your routine. Tap, Rack and Shoot is not a drill to practice with iffy reloads.

Quite a while ago I got one of those snake neck LED desk lights from IKEA, $10. It works perfectly to shine down into the case. You cannot miss the powder in the deepest cases with that light. I never set a bullet without seeing the powder in the case.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2012, 6:36 PM
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Glad that you were able to catch it before you had a serious accident.

I unfortunately I too had a squib last night on my last stage with 4 targets to go. It sucks because you lose confidence in your rounds which effects your shooting. Lucky for me the RO caught it and my slide did not go all the way forwards cuz like you I did a tap rap and pulled the trigger. These were so older reloads that I loaded many years back on a reloaded that didn't have a powder check. I have since upgraded to a Dillon but nothing beats a visual check.
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Old 11-14-2012, 6:44 PM
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Welcome to the Club, OP!
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  #16  
Old 11-15-2012, 2:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Steele View Post
Quite a while ago I got one of those snake neck LED desk lights from IKEA, $10. It works perfectly to shine down into the case. You cannot miss the powder in the deepest cases with that light.
That's exactly what I imagined using. Thanks for telling me where to find one.
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Welcome to the Club, OP!
Yeah, my shooting partner who has decades of competing under his belt says it eventually happens to everyone who reloads. Just my luck, it happens in my first ever batch. I guess a close call and good scare early on saves on doctor bills later.
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2012, 3:21 AM
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Glad you're ok. Could have been disastrous.
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:09 AM
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This is why I don't let people shoot my reloads. If you want to fire my guns, you need to use factory ammo.

I had a 357 round squib once. I trained the person fairly well though. They stopped instantly and said it didn't feel the same as the last round can you check it out. Sure enough, one of my reloads squibed and a new rule was made. It was done on a progressive press and the load before it and after it were fine. I am not sure why the disk powder measure didn't drop the load. It still has me questioning that press and it has loaded 1000's of rounds successfully.

It was a FMJ and we couldn't remove it with a cleaning rod. It took some aluminum bar stock and a rubber mallet with a padded vise.

They will shake you up for sure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 9:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wtkaiser View Post
My 7mm mag had hangfires a'plenty until I switched to magnum primers. That's one case where magnums were absolutely necessary. Not a squib, though. So far I haven't had to pound one of those out. Or tap, as you say.
"Tap" was a bit of an understatement, on my part. It took him about 5 hits with a small mallet to break it loose.
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Old 11-15-2012, 9:31 AM
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OP what primers are you using?

I had a LOT of squibs on my first batch of .40. I was getting at least one every mag. Unfortunately I loaded 1K after getting the load right. I pulled 50 and they all had powder so I couldn't figure out why I was getting so many squibs. After a lot of digging online, I found that the wolf/TulAmmo primers that I was using were a lot softer than the other "more expensive" primers and are prone to being seated to deep or not deep enough by inexperienced reloaders like myself. I found that with a progressive, it was hard to tell initially how far to seat the primers.

I went through the bucket of rounds with a hand primer so I could feel how deep the primers had been set and tossed the ones that had been set to deep and finished seating the ones that had not been seated enough.

After doing that, I finished the 800ish rounds and went from a 10-25% squib rate to 0%. I kept shooting them for a bit because I didn't know any better at the time. Luckily, the squibs wouldn't let another round chamber so I didn't loose any fingers.

The moral of my screw up is that you can have squib rounds that are charged with powder. It might be a primer problem. My understanding is that if you seat the primers to deep, the anvil gets out of position and it won't ignite the powder very well. I now pay a lot of attention to the priming stroke on my press (550B) as well as visually checking the powder in all of the rounds and haven't had any more issues with squibs.

I consider myself very lucky that it was a relatively easy lesson to learn and I wasn't injured nor was my gun. I also will never let anyone else shoot my loads and probably never will. Good luck with your loading and above all else, stay safe!
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Old 11-15-2012, 9:40 AM
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Good to hear that your first Squib wasn't a disastrous one. As diligent as I try to be during my reloading sessions I'm still waiting for my 1st one
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Old 11-15-2012, 9:52 AM
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Yep, I'm part of the My Little Reload Squib Club as well.
Happened during a live-fire training class and the bullet stuck in the barrel of my XD-45 just far enough that I couldn't see it but the next round would not chamber.
Thank god.
I backed off the line, tore it down and found the bullet. No damage to the barrel, so I removed it, my instructor inspected everything, I reassembled, and I returned to the line. But if that bullet had made it another centimeter of so down the tube... BOOM.
Needless to say, I now pay even closer attention to everything...
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Old 11-16-2012, 5:41 AM
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Scary stuff, glad your safe!

The only time, I know of, that I missed a powder drop I got really lucky. It was in 30-06, I guess due to the large case volume the primer firing did not push the bullet out of the case, either that or my guardian angel was working overtime and that primer was bad too. I thought it was just a misfire until I pulled the bullet to scavenge the powder and found it empty. I took a moment and gave some thanks.
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Old 11-16-2012, 9:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootinMedic View Post
OP what primers are you using?
CCI 500 w/ Power Pistol powder
Quote:
I now pay a lot of attention to the priming stroke on my press (550B) as well as visually checking the powder in all of the rounds and haven't had any more issues with squibs.
I was also using a 550B. And this being my first time reloading, under my buddy's watchful eye, I had at least a few hesitant/incomplete lever strokes and forgotten projectiles.

This was the only squib load out of ~900 rounds loaded - thankfully. I tried to do the whole batch in one sitting, which is a recipe for disaster. I now appreciate that there is no room for fatigue, or lack of focus, in reloading. I will only do smaller batches stretched over multiple days.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoebius View Post

This was the only squib load out of ~900 rounds loaded - thankfully. I tried to do the whole batch in one sitting, which is a recipe for disaster. I now appreciate that there is no room for fatigue, or lack of focus, in reloading. I will only do smaller batches stretched over multiple days.

I know what you mean. I try and limit my reloading to 100 rds per batch, then stop to reload the primer tubes, then go on again.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:21 AM
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I haven't had any issues with my reloads yet, but i grew up shooting and hunting with flint lock muzzleloaders. Nothing hang fires better than a flint lock, and that's if it even goes off at all.
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