First Squib Load In 35 Years Of Reloading [Archive] - Glock Talk

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JBnTX
11-11-2011, 17:46
I've been reloading since 1976 and never had a problem of any kind that I didn't
catch and correct before pulling the trigger.

While firing my Glock 21 today I pulled the trigger, no recoil and just a "poof"
of a sound.

I dropped the magazine, ejected the empty case that was still in the chamber,
and thinking it was just a malfunction I reinserted the magazine.

Before I could drop the slide and continue firing, a little voice inside me said to
stop. (I've learned the hard way to listen to that little voice.)

Further examination revealed a 230gr FMJ bullet lodged in the barrel just forward of the chamber.
Clearly a loaded round with no powder charge.

I have always used a single stage RCBS press and have prided myself on
checking and double checking each and every round for a powder charge.

I guess I'm getting senile because I know I checked those rounds for a powder charge.

Just a tap with a wooden dowel dislodged the stuck bullet which had barely
cleared the cartridge case.

The moral of this story is to check, double check, and check again your loaded rounds.

Glockdude1
11-11-2011, 17:49
Glad you caught the mistake!

:cool:

unclebob
11-11-2011, 18:19
Yep listen to that little voice. How many times on here have we heard that you cannot get a squib with a single stage press?

alank2
11-11-2011, 18:25
One thing I often do is post weigh my rounds. It may not be popular, but if you are loading the same headstamp brass, I find that the range will be +/- a couple of grains for all the rounds I weigh on the digital scale. Assuming the charge is 5 to 6 grains, it will be outside that range and caught. It takes a little extra time, but I case gauge check them at the same time and it gives me confidence.

I always check a case to see that it has about the right amount of powder by sight before putting a bullet on top too, but as we all know loading can get monotonous in the middle of a session.

Brian Lee
11-11-2011, 18:29
It's good to know that other people hear the little voice too. I thought I was going nuts.

fredj338
11-11-2011, 18:32
Yep listen to that little voice. How many times on here have we heard that you cannot get a squib with a single stage press?

Or an autoindexing press, seen it happen.:wow:
Assuming the charge is 5 to 6 grains, it will be outside that range and caught. It takes a little extra time, but I case gauge check them at the same time and it gives me confidence.
This is dubious at best. Even in same headstamp brass, depending on what bullets, you can easily be 5gr off either way. So when in doubt, pull em down. It's the only sure way to check.

WiskyT
11-11-2011, 18:47
All of this checking does nothing to ensure safety. You can check something 10 times, devise all kinds of schemes to "catch" yourself, even get out of bed at 0300 and check them again.

You charge the cases, and check them once. That's two checks in all. Concentrate on doing it correctly, not "more". Quality is everything and all the quantity of checks can't make up for poor quality.

unclebob
11-11-2011, 18:50
Or an autoindexing press, seen it happen.:wow:

Yep I have done it. Hopefully my one and only. Even with the powder check was going off and I was thinking it was the low primer buzzer. Hate it when I get distracted. At least I knew somewhere in the batch of 500rds I had a squib when I did a case gauge check and the bell was not removed on one of the cases. Just made sure I had my squib removal tool and hammer with me when I went to the practice range.
A squib on a progressive is easy to do if you are not pay attention. Double charge is a lot harder with an auto progressive press. With the Dillon Fail Safe system.

unclebob
11-11-2011, 19:07
All of this checking does nothing to ensure safety. You can check something 10 times, devise all kinds of schemes to "catch" yourself, even get out of bed at 0300 and check them again.

You charge the cases, and check them once. That's two checks in all. Concentrate on doing it correctly, not "more". Quality is everything and all the quantity of checks can't make up for poor quality.
I agree. When I was loading on a SS I had two loading blocks one was white and one was red. I put the case mouth side down in the white block. Pulled a case from the white block filled the case with powder and put the case in the red block. Checked the cases for powder and insuring each case had the same amount of powder. By going one row at a time, like reading a book. Using a good light. Later when they came out with a light with a magnifying lens. Then seated the bullet.

Breadman03
11-11-2011, 19:22
That little voice can sure help.

Flatulence
11-11-2011, 19:28
I am glad that voice told you to stop. I have had 2 squibs with factory ammo in the last 5 years.

Hear a snap instead of a bang, stop and check the barrel, every time.

PhantomF4E
11-11-2011, 19:38
Good job ! Smart quiet voice and good common sense. Might have saved you a trip to the ER. I praise you on your open honesty and humility, to first admit a failure and then again to share it with total strangers, the mark of a true gentleman.. *Salute* may your words save another ...

Kwesi
11-12-2011, 08:07
I'll fess up. Only been loading for 2 years in a 550. I've always taken this hobby seriously checking every powder drop or so I believed. Phone calls from clients or my wife walking in with a question & to my surprise I had 2 squibs on different outings. Both were 10mm. So I purchased Alan's Press Monitor & have not had one since. I still look into every case!

eracer
11-12-2011, 08:15
Reloading is one of those things where a single mistake can ruin your whole day (or someone else's.)

A friend had a .38spl factory load squib the other day. Bullet lodged in the forcing cone and prevented the cylinder from moving. I've often thought that pistol shooters are only a double-tap way from disaster.

ursoboostd
11-12-2011, 08:17
Glad to hear you caught it before you chambered another round.

norton
11-12-2011, 11:56
I hade a squib round
With new in the box Winchester White box-.45acp
It popped and cleared the barrel only to bounce off the ground about 10 feet in front of me.
Glad you caught yours before firing again.

HAMMERHEAD
11-12-2011, 17:25
I read this thread yesterday and was going to post about how it had never happened to me, but I had a weird feeling I shouldn't.
Today at the range the 7th round through my CZ 75 appeared to be a failure to fire, but when I looked down at the gun I could see a little smoke coming out of the it. Sure enough, an empty case came out of the gun and a bullet was stuck in the barrel, just forward of the chamber.

Honestly I thought it could not happen the way I load on my turret press, but the proof was right there in my barrel.

I couldn't find the right piece of brass at the hardware store, so I used the wooden dowel that I used once before to push a plated wadcutter out of a .357.

I didn't want the wood to split against the bullet's round nose so I cut up a copper chore boy into little pieces and stuffed them down the barrel and then tapped out the bullet.

The chore boy scraps worked perfectly, it formed to the shape of the bullet nose and there was no splitting of the hardwood.

Now I need to go back to square one on my loading techniques.

BK63
11-12-2011, 17:44
I have rarely ever had just a poof in my life pulling the trigger, but one thing for sure, it's not something to ignore.

HAMMERHEAD
11-12-2011, 17:52
I never heard the primer go off.

FM12
11-19-2011, 14:53
Only squibs I've had in 35 yrs of loading was when using H110 in .38 spl. Never would fire, only a pop from the primer and powder everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!

ColCol
11-19-2011, 19:12
Squibs can come from unlikely sources-like the factory, a place you'd never suspect such an oversight. I had that happen with a box of Federal 185 gr 45 ACP rounds. After over 40 years of reloading and shooting factory as well, this is the first time that happened and that was about two years back. First and last, hopefully.

wanderinwalker
11-19-2011, 21:20
Always listen to the little voice, yes. And when something doesn't sound or feel right, check the chamber and barrel.

I've had 2 bullets fail to clear the barrel. The first was when I first got a progressive press and was learning how to run it. The bullet stopped just out of the casing.

Number 2 was last summer with a .38 Special load. I had just started using Unique and noticed it likes to get "clumpy" if left in the powder hopper. This one cleared the barrel/cylinder gap and lodged forward of the forcing cone in my S&W. Took a little more force to get that one out. Now when I am done loading a batch, I return the powder to the sealed container, even if I plan on coming back in an hour or two.

unclebob
11-19-2011, 21:26
Always listen to the little voice, yes. And when something doesn't sound or feel right, check the chamber and barrel.

I've had 2 bullets fail to clear the barrel. The first was when I first got a progressive press and was learning how to run it. The bullet stopped just out of the casing.

Number 2 was last summer with a .38 Special load. I had just started using Unique and noticed it likes to get "clumpy" if left in the powder hopper. This one cleared the barrel/cylinder gap and lodged forward of the forcing cone in my S&W. Took a little more force to get that one out. Now when I am done loading a batch, I return the powder to the sealed container, even if I plan on coming back in an hour or two.
I take it that you don’t look inside each and every case for powder either none or too much? Or use a powder check die? Preferably both.

wanderinwalker
11-20-2011, 08:09
I take it that you donít look inside each and every case for powder either none or too much? Or use a powder check die? Preferably both.

Check each one visually, including watching the powder drop and seeing the case at the next station. The 9mm was literally in the first 50 rounds I ever loaded on a progressive. I suspect a light charge in the .38, a primer-only wouldn't have made it past the forcing cone, and I would have spotted an empty case or the powder drop not moving.

When I load rifle it's single-stage and I use a bright flashlight to verify each case in the loading block. I also use Varget in .223, so they're filled to the shoulders and easy to spot.

glockman97420
11-20-2011, 08:32
I hopefully taught a coworker to stop and check a firearm if something doesn't seem right. He was shooting my .44 and one of the shots sounded weird. He even commented on that, but was preparing to fire again. I told him to stop, and checked the barrel to find a bullet lodged in it. He said that he was glad he didn't pull the trigger because he would have ruined my gun. I told him the more serious side was more like a trip to the ER, and that a gun can be replaced. This was also with rounds loaded on a single stage press.

Jim Watson
11-20-2011, 09:15
I know I checked those rounds for a powder charge.

It ain't what you don't know that will hurt you, it's what you know for sure that ain't so.

I have successfully checked cases for the presence of one and only one powder charge since 1971, but I guess I could screw up tomorrow and stick a bullet. You just have to do the best you can.

Are the bad factory rounds described here a sign of lowered QC from earlier days or better reporting over the internet?

Skytow
11-20-2011, 09:26
Yikes...I swear its this thread...

I've been reloading since 1987. I've made at least tens of thousands of rounds, both rifle and handgun and never had a squib...until last week. (after reading this thread!!)

I just started loading .45 for a new to me Glock 21 and was simply setting up my progressive press AND I was out of my normal routine. So I go to the range and shoot a few of my reloaded rounds and the first thing I notice is a little inconsistency but not too much. Fortunately, my routine is to single load when I have a new recipe or load I'm trying out and to go slow. Thankfully, I did follow this habit. Well, here comes "pop" and some wierd smoke and no recoil. :wow: You guessed it! (and I immediately recalled this thread!) I carry a brass rod and small hammer and fixed the gun.

Like most accidents, there is a chain of events that lead up to the problem. In my case I had just changed from .223 to .45 and dumped the .223 powder out of the hopper and loaded up with Unique. Well, the first problem is that there was a bunch of rifle powder stuck inside the hopper spout partially blocking it. I failed to make certain it was clean all the way through! Next problem was that since I was just "setting up the machine" I didn't fill the hopper with powder all the way. (also out of my routine) Third was a small piece of ferrous material, almost like a very fine wire that was laying across the powder disk. (yes Lee) I have no idea where that came from.


So long story short, I found all of the above issues and corrected them. I've since shot about 500 trouble free reloaded rounds through the G21 with no problems.

My punishment for not thinking before reloading was to kinetic hammer ALL of the rest of my screw ups! I weighed the charges and found anything from about 1 grain to the intended 5.8 grains. I'm sure the squib had none.

Lets be safe out there!

JD

WiskyT
11-20-2011, 09:32
Are the bad factory rounds described here a sign of lowered QC from earlier days or better reporting over the internet?

I've been on forums for a long time. I used to see a factory squib complaint here and there. I don't know that I even believed the posters most of the time. In the last couple of years, it seems to be a constant complaint, and from posters that I either trust already, or are written in a way that I give them some crdiblity. To me, it seems that factory squibs are becoming a common problem.

One of the possible reasons for this is the fact that many known brands are farming out their bargain ammo production to foreign companies. There are some brands, like Monarch, that I don't even know who they are.

engineermike
11-24-2011, 20:29
Whew, thought it was only me. I had my first squib load the other day and when I went back and weighed the other 197 bullets I found 2 more with no powder in them. I will have to revamp my recheck system and yes I too load on a single stage press.
However it took a little more than a couple of whacks with a hammer and a dowel to remove the bullet. :faint: I also loaded some 9mm the same week I loaded the 40's so will have to wait and see what comes next. Guess I might need to buy a brass rod to extract the bullets if this is going to keep up.:embarassed:

Murphy's Law
11-25-2011, 14:15
You're doing good, it only took me 2 years before I had my first squib. Learned my lesson "not to be watching Judge Judy" while reloading. LOL

creophus
11-28-2011, 10:24
Thanks for being humble enough to share your story. Glad you are ok.

rpgman
11-28-2011, 12:20
I had one about a month ago, about 2/3 weeks into my reloading.

I squibbed a 9mm into a G17 and lucky I checked it, because the next round wouldn't fully close the slide. Any deeper and I might have not checked it.

Now, I know to check whenever that happens.