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Went to the range today-had 2 squib rounds in one box of ammo

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by jacquejet, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Went to the range today. Stopped at Wal-Mart to get a box of .38 special among other things. Bought one box of Winchester white box 100 count.

    When it got time to shoot the .38, about 3/4 of the way throughout the 1st 50, I had a squib round. First time I've ever had one. Just like it is described, just a little "piff" sound. Managed to get the bullet out of the barrel. Told my son how rare something like this is and I was glad he got to see one for his future refence.

    Finished off the first fifty rounds and started on the second half. The first one I shot in the second set, same thing. That was it for the .38. First, the rest of the box was major suspect. Plus, in removing the bullet, I used an old cleaning rod and the side of my stapler to tap/ hammer it out and the barrel/ forcing cone moved rearward to the point that the cylinder won't go into battery. I didn't think I was hitting it all that hard (obviously wrong) and I didn't think the barrel would shift back like that.

    I was surprised at how tightly the bullet was seated in the barrel. My son was just as surprised.

    All in all, a real learning experience. Nothing broken (well not too much); no exploded gun and no one hurt, but a good lesson why you wear eye protection.

    I am going to contact Winchester tomorrow and see what they say.

    Have any of you had squibs and any comments on such a bad box of ammo?
     
  2. RVER

    RVER

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    Aug 3, 2004
    PA
    Thank God no one was hurt and GREAT job on being attentive. Over the past twenty plus years in LE I have had several rounds loaded out of Spec. I recall numerous Win STHP rounds seated too deeply into the case in the 80's, (1) Fed HSHP loaded backwards into the case, and (1) Fed FMJ with a primer loaded side ways. INSPECT WHAT YOUR LOADING.

    Thanks buddy, glad you and your son are OK.
     

  3. What firearm were you using?
     
  4. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    s&w 642

    What was really odd to me was when I removed the casing, it looked just the same as a normally fired round, in that the outside of the casing was just as powder coated (or mostly so) and dirty.

    Above, I said two squibs in one 100 count box. More accurate was 2 squibs in the first 51 rounds of a 100 count box.

    I could feel loose powder in a couple of other rounds. Should you be able to feel the powder shaking inside a factory loaded cartridge?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  5. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

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    Circling the wagons.
    The 38 Special cartridge is long enough that it wouldn't necessarily surprise me.
     
  6. AA#5

    AA#5

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    When I first got into shooting, I had one squib (no powder charge) with one handload a friend loaded for me (careless). I've never had any problems since I started handloading 33 years ago.

    I have had dead primers with factory ammo - two with Federal American Eagle 9mm & 40 S&W & Winchester 00 Buck. In both cases, a letter to the companies was answered with coupons for two boxes of free ammo.
     
  7. You might want to check the mainspring screw to make sure it's tight. One of the more common issues is that the screw can back out and lesson the tension of the mainspring causing light primer strikes.
     
  8. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Crap automatic!

    I'm surprised the barrel backed out of your pistol. Is something like that a thing you can handle, or are you going to need to find a gunsmith to fix it?

    I would definitely be blowing up Winchester's phone. I've got quite a bit of WWB in the stash.
     
  9. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    The primer had a firing pin strike identical to all the other strikes on everything else I fired yesterday, so I don't think that was the problem.
     
  10. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I called Winschester Ammo this afternoon. The guy I talked to wanted me to send him the remainder of the ammo and the box. He wanted the cases as well but I didn't think to save them (well actually I did, they are just mixed in with the 49 other spent cases). He also wants the bullets which I think I kept.

    I mentioned the gun and the barrel to him suggesting that Winchester might have some responsibility for the problems with it. He wants me to send the gun as well, so maybe I'll get some relief for that.
     
  11. bruzer

    bruzer

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    Glad you recognized it and no one was hurt. I've heard lots of stories about firing a round after the squib. No good for sure. Good luck,
    Mike
     
  12. Neither do I, but stranger things have happened. The powder could have gotten contaminated, or there might not have been powder in the cases. Good luck getting everything fixed.
     
  13. jpa

    jpa CLM

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    May 28, 2001
    Las Vegas NV
    LOL....so you sent them a letter that you had a problem with their ammo and they sent you....a coupon for more of their ammo? Gotta love that customer service. Granted you probably experienced a fluke with the factory ammo but still.

    I'd say send them all the spent cases and the bullets but take pictures of it all including the barcodes and any stamping/imprints on the ammo box. I dunno if I'd send them the gun, more than likely I'd send the gun to S&W and have the bill for any repairs sent to Winchester.
     
  14. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Minnesota
    They must make the 642 in a unique way. The S&W I have seen (basicly any revolver) the barrel/forcing cone/etc are one piece?? Its threaded onto "IIRC Crane?"

    Maybe they make them in parts now?

    Sorry to hear about your trouble.
     
  15. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004
    WWB ammo is frankly lousy ammo these days. I have been told, but have no conclusive evidence, that Olin subcontracts production of this budget ammo out and labels it as theirs.

    There are many reports across the Web of squib loads in the WWB caliber loadings.

    In the .38 Special loading, I would expect to hear powder rattling around in a cartridge case. Although I have been out of handloading for about eight years now. I cannot think of a smokeless powder that is bulky enough to fill a .38 Special case with a typical bullet weight loading.

    Firearm construction has nothing to do with squib loads. It is either a no powder or insufficient powder load in the cartridge case.
     
  16. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Some follow up on the incident with the squib rounds.

    A couple of days after the squibs, I contacted Wichester/Olin Corp and their technical section. They requested I send everything I had left (the box, unfired ammo, the squib bullets, the spent casings, and the gun). They provided UPS mailing labels and covered the costs.

    I got a letter from them last Wednesday saying that while a cause for the squibs could not be determined, they had sent the gun (S&W 642) to Smith and Wesson for repair at their expense and also sent me a coupon for $50.00 in ammo.

    All in all, I am well pleased at their response, and for me, at least, my experience with their customer service has been 1st rate.

    All I need now is my gun back to see how it fires.
     
  17. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    God Almighty they sent YOUR gun to a repair center without your consent? Shesh. Good thing you are a reasonable person.

    I'm frankly looking at all of my WWB as suspect. What I have on hand is for SHTF use only and is mostly 9mm and .45 ACP.
     
  18. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    Oct 18, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    When I originally sent the gun to them, I said I thought they has responsibility for the gun no longer working. I didn't care if they did the work or if Smith did it. As far as I am concerned, they had my permission.

    Besides, if I had sent the gun to S&W, I don't think the work would have been done for free.

    It will be interesting to know how much it costs to make the gun right.
     
  19. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    Glad no one was injured. It looks like great customer service from Winchester.
     
  20. AA#5

    AA#5

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    Nov 26, 2008