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First Squib Load In 35 Years Of Reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by JBnTX, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas
    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.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  2. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    Glad you caught the mistake!


  3. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    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?
  4. alank2


    May 24, 2004
    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.
  5. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Jul 28, 2008
    Up a tree.
    It's good to know that other people hear the little voice too. I thought I was going nuts.
  6. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Or an autoindexing press, seen it happen.:wow:
    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.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  7. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    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.
  8. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    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.
  9. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    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.
  10. That little voice can sure help.
  11. Flatulence

    Flatulence 5X EMU Champion

    Sep 30, 2007
    Overtaxed, CT
    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.
  12. PhantomF4E


    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    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 ...
  13. Kwesi


    Sep 23, 2006
    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!
  14. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    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.
  15. ursoboostd


    Jun 30, 2009
    Florence, Ky
    Glad to hear you caught it before you chambered another round.
  16. 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.


    Dec 20, 2002
    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.
  18. BK63


    Sep 15, 2005
    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.


    Dec 20, 2002
    I never heard the primer go off.
  20. FM12

    FM12 I need AMMO!

    Jun 17, 2007
    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!!