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Squib load

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ER_STL, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. ER_STL

    ER_STL

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    This was 3.4gr of 231 behind a 158gr Rainier flat-point bullet.

    [​IMG]

    Three questions:

    1. Do I just hammer it back down the barrel with a wooden rod of some sort?

    2. Does this ever happen with a powder charge (and not just with a primer and an empty case)? I *thought* I was pretty careful in ensuring that all rounds were charged but it's tough to see down into the .38 case. I'm assuming I just missed a charge when I was fumbling around with teh configuration.

    3. How important is crimp in a revolver? I followed Lee's instructions for setting the Factory Crimp die and the crimp adjustment is almost all the way to the bottom of the die in order to contact the loaded round (as they suggested). When I first started loading I could take the loaded rounds and setback the bullet by pushing it into the table. I slowly adjusted the crimp setting until I couldn't do that any more.

    This was my first batch of .38 loads. I made 50 with 4.2gr of 231 behind a 125gr bullet and 50 with 3.4gr behind a 158gr bullet. I noticed that some of the loads felt lighter than others (within the same bullet weight). I have a variety of brass that I used for loading and some of the brass was smooth through my press while I had to fight with others. In one particular brand (haven't IDed it yet) is almost impossible to fully seat the primers.

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  2. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

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    Yes I do. I carry a 3/8's oak dowl rod about 8" long and a hammer in my range kit. Out of 4000 rds of testing reloads it has happened to me 3 times. Felt like a double dumb *** but fixed it in 30 seconds. Don't tell anybody. :embarassed:
     

  3. BK63

    BK63

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    That bullet is close to being out so I would try and put a small rod of some sort in from the other end if you can and try and tap it out. Either way you need to tap it out one end or the other. The roll crimp in a revolver is to keep the bullet from backing out thus making it longer and jamming the revolver. The roll crimp should be into the crimp ring in the bullet. You should not be able to setback the bullet by pushing on it. Should be firmly in place. When you flare the case make sure it's just flared enough to start the bullet. If the case is fully resized and the flare is right you should have no problem. If some rounds feel lighter than others how are you charging the casings? They should all feel about the same.
     
  4. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Crimp is important in revolver rounds for two reasons;

    It ensures against bullet creep. Unlike semi rounds that are susceptible to bullet 'set back' under recoil or repeated chambering of a round, revolver rounds are susceptible to 'bullet creep', the bullet moving forward under recoil... the end result being that the nose of the bullet ends up forward of the cylinder face and jamming the gun when it rotates into the forcing cone.

    The second reason for a firmer than normal crimp is when using very slow powders, the added tension of the crimp helps the powder reach designed operating pressures.

    It's more than likely you had either no powder or a greatly reduced charge. The primer will certainly propel the bullet that far. If you had been shooting lead it may have not made it quite that far since the bullet would have been slightly larger.

    No harm, no foul... this is not the last time you're ever going to get a squib load. Simply use what ever you have on hand, a stout cleaning rod, a wooden dowel, a brass rod, (don't use anything steel).

    Put some masking tape or electrical tape around the edges of the muzzle (crown), or use a muzzle protector if you have one, (you should) so as to not damage the muzzle. Spray some oil in the barrel from the breach end and tap the bullet back out the back of the barrel. No big deal.

    There's only two types of loaders... those who have had a squib... and those who are going to have a squib. Good luck.

    Jack
     
  5. ER_STL

    ER_STL

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    Great - thanks for the feedback. One more additional question, risking looking like even more of a dummy: should I be using regular small pistol primers or magnum? I'm using regular (Federal) and I notice a lot of unburned powder when I unload the empty brass. I noticed it with factory Magtec ammo too so I figured that was just normal when shooting these loads through a very short barrel.

    I'm using Lee's powder disc measure, which is usually very consistent. My throws are always as expected when I stop to measure. It was just that a few of the loads felt very light. I actually experienced this with the last batch of WWB factory ammo prior to starting to load 9mm last year. I started a thread on it here:

    http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=907921
     
  6. srd

    srd

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    I aree with Jack that your load was just a primer and no or very little powder. NO you dont want to use mag primers with what you are playing with, thats another can of worms. I have loaded litteraly thousands of .38's , its one of my favorite cartridges to play with. Thats what convinced me to buy my M52 S&W. I have had squibs also so welcome to the crowd. You will find that the primer pocket can very from manufacturer to another when it comes to pockets. You will learn in time which ones to stay away from as you have discovered.
     
  7. ER_STL

    ER_STL

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    Ok, thanks. I used part of an old brass cleaning rod to hammer out the bullet.

    The 125gr Rainier seems like a decent enough bullet for .38 practice. While the 158gr is definitely softer I'll be fine with the 125gr. I'll continue to use the Winchester 231.

    The little S&W 442 is a hoot to run. I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I might prefer it over my Glock 19 or M&P9. The recoil can be stout in the little revolver with hotter loads but it exhibits very little muzzle flip and instead transfers most of the recoil to the strong hand. I don't know why but the heavier DAO trigger of the 442 tends to help keep me from flinching (which I sometimes do with my G19 and M&P9).
     
  8. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    If that is the case. Install a New York trigger in your 19.
     
  9. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Okay, I don't agree with Jack:wavey:

    A primer only will stick it right in the forcing cone. Your load is too light. If you want to shoot under powered loads, use lead bullets. Plated and jacketed bullets have a higher coefficient of friction. Combine that with too light a load and a little extra barrel to cylinder gap and you will get a stuck bullet.

    158 grain plated or jacketed bullets aren't even listed in many of todays manuals for standard 38 loads. They are a +P or not at all proposition.

    Shoot those bullets with a max load of 231 from an older manual where they list data that will actually get the bullet out of the gun.
     
  10. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    Just a primer well send a bullet anywhere down the barrel. Not just in the forcing cone. It would be nice if that were all the further down the barrel that it well send it. But it can go any distance. Even in some cases out of the barrel.
     
  11. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Look at that... a really, really old guy came to my rescue. Now I have to hang my head in shame... the horror, the horror of it all. :crying:

    I do have to agree with unclebob, though. I've had way more than my share of squibs in my short, (well, compared to a Redwood it's short), loading career and more often than not the bullet makes it well past the forcing cone.

    Keep this a secret, I don't want to admit one of my many shortcomings but I did have a squib out of a 2 1/2 inch model 19 where the bullet actually fell out of the barrel and drop just in front of my feet. (If I ever hear this mentioned again I'll deny it.)

    Jack
     
  12. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    Ijust know some how you well get over it.:tongueout:
    Even though 3.4 grs. of 231 is a light load. Unless he had a primer flash over. 3.4 of 231 is plenty of powder too send a bullet down the barrel. I have shot rounds that were why under even the minimum charge. That had fantastic accessory but would not cycle the Glock.
     
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    The minimum load of 231 for a 158 jacketed bullet in my older Hornady manual is 3.7. That gives a muzzel velocity of a whopping 650fps in a 4" model 10. That means the OP's load is lucky to be doing 600fps. Keep sending long jacketed slugs at less than 600fps and see how it works out.

    The standard military ball round went ot 130 grains when they switched to a jacketed bullet for this very reason. They were getting bullets stuck in the barrels with 158's loaded at standard pressures. 158 jacketed and plated bullets are for +P and magnum loads. Use cast bullets for light loads or continue to wear out your mallet.
     
  14. ER_STL

    ER_STL

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    Rainier says to follow powder recommendations for lead. Hodgon's load data for 231 for 158gr lead was 3.1 to 3.7. That's why I was using 3.4.

    I put about 40 158gr rounds through the gun without a problem prior to that. I'm sure they were bunny-fart loads but they were running fine. Nevertheless, I was going to order 1000 rounds of the 125gr anyway, which worked fine. I was using 4.2gr of powder for those bullets but can certainly bump it up if needed.

    Do you have a charge recommendation for the Rainier plated bullets?
     
  15. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Two things, Hodgdon data sucks, it is too low. Second, I don't buy the whole "treat plated bullets as cast bullets". What they ought to tell you is the truth. Plated bullets have the friction of a jacketed bullet but should not be loaded to max magnum velocities.

    So, a 38 special jacketed load is not a magnum velocity load. My Hornady book shows 4.4 of 231 with a 158JHP for standard 38spl load maximum. For +P they show 5.1. So the bad advice given to you has you dicking around and getting a bullet stuck in your barrel. You did the right thing, but a combo of bad advice stacked up to snafu your good practices.

    Find a Hornady or other good manual. Pick out the max load for a 158JHP and use that. The data I gave you is good, but you need to check it on a printed manual since my typing is beyond bad. A decimal point or some other screw-up on my part could mess you up, so verify my numbers elsewhere.
     
  16. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    Now I could be wrong, but the last time I checked Rainier bullets are copper plated. So you use the loading data for a lead bullet. Not a jacketed bullet. Some of the books I have even list a load at 3.0 for a 158gr. Lead bullet with 231 powder.
     
  17. njl

    njl Crusty Member

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    I don't have any experience with 231, but if it's like Universal Clays, at lower charges / really low pressures, you won't get complete combustion of the powder. That could be why some of your shots felt much lighter than others...so your 3.4gr may have effectively been less than 3.4gr by varying amounts depending on how much of the powder actually burned in each shot. You did mention you were seeing unburned powder left in the brass.
     
  18. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    Could it be he is using too slow of a powder too be used in a stub nose revolver?
    All I’m saying is that he had a squib load because all he had in the case was the primer. If he had 3.4 grs. Loaded in the case. That would have been enough powder too expel a copper platted bullet, unless he had a primer that went off and the spark went over the top of the power without igniting the powder. I do not have any 231 powder too see how much of 3.4 grs. of 231 well fill a 38 Spl. case.
     
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    The treat plated as lead advice is standard, in that respect you are not wrong. I just think it is bad advice. The goal is not to treat plated as lead, the goal is to keep velocity within the limits of what a plated bullet can handle. Plated bullets are not slippery like lead. The have the friction of a jacketed bullet.

    My Hornady manual lists 3.0-4.4 with a lead bullet. That's fine with a slippery lead bullet. If you want a light load like that, use a lead bullet and I'm sure it will be fine.

    As far as the incomplete burn thing, 231 is not 296. It burns well at low load density/light charges. It is very much like Bullseye and is a good powder for light target loads. You just need to use enough of it for a plated/jacketed bullet to address the higher friction and longer bearing surface of a 158.

    Using 4.2 should put him well within the 38 range and still be far below the +P range. If his 442 is newer, it is designed for +P so pressure won't be an issue. It is not safe or economical to use a load that sticks a bullet in the barrel. The OP was observant otherwise he could have sent another bullet right into the one that was stuck.

    Speer #13 manual details the issue of heavier jacketed bullets in standard 38 loads. They no longer list jacketed 158's with 38 data and they may even include +P in their admonition. I loaned my #13 out and probably won't get it back. It is a pretty meow manual and I don't miss it. Anyone who has access to the #13 should read the 38spl section and see what it says about jacketed 158's.
     
  20. ER_STL

    ER_STL

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    Good additional feedback.

    I'm not necessarily looking for a light load. I'm looking for the cheapest way to put a lot of rounds through the 442. Rainier sent me a trial pack of their 125gr and 158gr bullets and I used Hodgon's data to put together a load. I'm fine with the 125gr bullet and if bumping up the charge from 4.2gr is safe to do then I will.

    4.2 gr of 231 in a .38 special case only fills it up about 1/4 of the way. It's tough to even see the charge from where I'm standing and I can see now why RustyFN added his additional light onto the press. I'm usually very careful about ensuring that cases are charged before seating the bullet but I found that loading .38 wasn't nearly as smooth as 9mm. The varied brass didn't always want to resize or accept primers, I was shaving lots and lots of brass during the crown and crimp stages, etc, etc. The press wasn't running half as smooth as it does when I load 9mm.

    Thank God I was slow-firing when I squibbed. Prior to that I had been running the gun at maybe 3-4 shots a second and wouldn't have picked up on the light recoil until after I had blown up my gun. :wow: If it's even remotely possible for a primer to go *over* the powder and not ignite it then I need to pick another powder that fills up more of the case...