How do I know if I just fired a squib round?

This is a discussion on How do I know if I just fired a squib round? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just like the title says, what are the symptoms of a squib round? I think I had one today but I'm not sure. The bullet ...

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Thread: How do I know if I just fired a squib round?

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    Member Array razorhead's Avatar
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    How do I know if I just fired a squib round?

    Just like the title says, what are the symptoms of a squib round? I think I had one today but I'm not sure.

    The bullet hit where I aimed but the case did not eject. And I felt some crud hit my face, which I think was unburnt powder.

    The sucky thing is that it happened on my first shot and I'd been carrying that round in the chamber or at the top of my mag for a few weeks!

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razorhead View Post
    Just like the title says, what are the symptoms of a squib round? I think I had one today but I'm not sure.

    The bullet hit where I aimed but the case did not eject. And I felt some crud hit my face, which I think was unburnt powder.

    The sucky thing is that it happened on my first shot and I'd been carrying that round in the chamber or at the top of my mag for a few weeks!
    I may be wrong, but I think a squib is defined as a round so underpowered that the bullet doesn't leave the barrel. If the bullet hit something, it probably doesn't qualify - but I'd disassemble the pistol and look down the barrel to make sure nothing is stuck there before firing again, if you didn't keep shooting already, that is.

    Did the recoil or sound of the gun seem weaker than normal? This would be the easiest way to tell if it was an underpowered round, as opposed to the slide just locking up for some other reason.
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    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    if the bullet left the barrel it`s not considered a squib. it may be under powered but not a squib.

    a squib is defined as a round that have either no powder or the powder fails to ignite properly(pop and no kick), in which case the primer pushes the bullet into the barrel but lacks the pressure to push it out. the bullet is then left lodged in the barrel and may cause a Ka-Boom when the next round is fired.

    how many times have you chambered and un-chambered the same round? repeatably cambering the same round can cause problems from a shattered primer causing a failure to fire to dangerous over pressure condition due to bullet set back. it`s not common but it`s possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by technomonster View Post
    if the bullet left the barrel it`s not considered a squib. it may be under powered but not a squib.
    I don't think the definition of a squib is quite that rigid. In the action shooting sports, a squib is essentially a round that's too underpowered to reach more than a few feet from the shooter. In any case, a squib is an underpowered round, and the way you detect one is by your sensory perceptions. If most rounds go 'bang' and this round goes 'pop', suspect a squib. If most rounds generate a healthy recoil in your and and one feels like a rimfire, that's probably a squib. If you see your shots hitting the target at 7 yards and you see the dust pop up halfway to the target, suspect a squib. (Leaving out the sense of smell and taste - not real helpful for discerning a squib round.)
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Did the case rupture? What did it look like when you removed it from the gun? It's not a squib if it hit the target. What was the recoil like? Was the primer pierced? That can send gas back in your face, as can a ruptured/split case.
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    What brand and type of round was it? If you can rule out yourself as a contributing factor (like you didn't repeatedly re-chamber that round or didn't grossly overlubricate it or something) then send an email to the manufacturer. Include the lot number if you have it. They may have sent iut a bad lot of ammo and maybe they will initiate a recall if they get reports from users. You may also get a free replacement box of ammo out of it too. In my experience the ammunition companies are very responsive to situations like this.
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    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    I've personally only experienced one squib in 40+ years of shooting. (That I remember)

    It was the first round of the day and I don't recall too much difference the the sound. But, when the round didn't hit the target 10' away, I knew something was wrong. I found there was nothing stuck in the barrel. But, a search discovered the round had only went a few feet before it fell to the ground. One reason I believe there wasn't much difference in the sound was the fact I was using a revolver and a small split was discovered in the spent casing.

    I have witnessed numerous squibs that stuck inside the barrel and the subsequent fired round damage the firearm. I've also seen the next round push the squib out without damaging the firearm. But, the possibility of dangerous squibs is the reason we do not like to see "rapid" or "bump" fire at the range.

    I've seen barrels bulged, dust covers destroyed and actions busted because of squibs, setbacks & overcharged rounds. I've also seen people cut & burnt by powder & debri. (It pays to be more careful!)


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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I don't think the definition of a squib is quite that rigid. In the action shooting sports, a squib is essentially a round that's too underpowered to reach more than a few feet from the shooter. In any case, a squib is an underpowered round, and the way you detect one is by your sensory perceptions. If most rounds go 'bang' and this round goes 'pop', suspect a squib. If most rounds generate a healthy recoil in your and and one feels like a rimfire, that's probably a squib. If you see your shots hitting the target at 7 yards and you see the dust pop up halfway to the target, suspect a squib. (Leaving out the sense of smell and taste - not real helpful for discerning a squib round.)
    I agree. I once fired a light hand loaded .455 round off over the chronograph screens and, while it exited the barrel, it was so slow that it clobbered the second screen, knocking it off the stand with the same force as if the bullet had been thrown. The screen was uninjured but my cousin who was watching, injured my pride with his derisive laughter at my Webley.
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    ...I once fired a light hand loaded .455 round off over the chronograph screens and, while it exited the barrel, it was so slow that it clobbered the second screen, knocking it off the stand with the same force as if the bullet had been thrown. The screen was uninjured but my cousin who was watching, injured my pride with his derisive laughter at my Webley.
    Isn't that normal for a Webley?
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    [According to SAAMI, “A cartridge or shell which produces projectile velocity and sound substantially lower than normal. May result in projectile and/or wads remaining in the bore.”] [Emphasis added]
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    The following is what I posted about my one and only squib back in 2011.





    Last week I experienced my first squib at the range.

    I was shooting my old Ruger P90 with Cabela's Herters 45 ACP (probably rebranded Tula or Wolf ammo). I have shot a lot of this stuff through my P90 because I can't afford to shoot more expensive brass ammo through my 45. I also have figured that the P90 is such a tank that it can handle the steel cased ammo.

    I had fired off 41 rounds and then I heard that weird shot sound. Something automatically sounded wrong, I can't really explain the sound but for those who have experienced a squib, you know what I am talking about.

    I dropped the magazine and locked the pistol open. Because of the lighting and the angle in the indoor range, I couldn't fully tell if the barrel was obstructed or not. I tried with my finger but couldn't determine whether their was an obstruction or not. I thought about just continuing on firing, but I just had a bad feeling about this one.

    I quickly field stripped the gun, pulled out the barrel and there it was, a 45 bullet firmly wedged in the chamber. My next shot probably would have gotten me a place on that Ka Boom photo gallery. Thank goodness I was smart about it and didn't carelessly carry on shooting.

    I did right by being safe and not harming myself or my pistol, but it is still a great reminder to always follow basic gun handling rules and to stay safe.

    The guys at the range were able to force the bullet out which I will now keep as a reminder for gun safety (and using better ammo).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    Isn't that normal for a Webley?
    Hah, more derision hurled at the hapless Webley.




    I don't know. Maybe there's something to this Webley feebleness. Here's another instance of playing with over-light handloads and an almost-but-not-quite-nearly squib. Berry's plated 185 grain SWCs and not enough Red Dot being the culprit here. In this instance it was my brother-in-law who laughed derisively as he snapped this photo with his cell phone.


    The .455 is actually a rollicking good revolver round and can be handloaded to appealing performance levels on the order of the .45 ACP only with heavier bullets, making it a great stopper. The experimentation with light handloads represents an effort to provide fun plinking ammunition that is gentle on the old 1899 Boer War vintage revolver. One doesn't know just how light he can effectively go until bullets begin to stick. An ear, along with a feel for the gun's shooting characteristics are necessary when playing with handloads that might have a inclination to produce the odd squib.
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    Member Array thephanatik's Avatar
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    I had that happen maybe a year or so back with a couple Winchester White Box rounds. I loaded up a magazine, a couple shots in and the shot wasn't powerful enough to eject the brass. I found the easiest way to check if there is a round stuck in the barrel is to lock the slide back, point the tip towards a light source in a safe direction (the sun or a flashlight if you have one) and check for daylight inside the barrel. Here's a photo showing what I mean:

    IMAG06672.jpg

    I ended up having a couple light rounds in that one magazine and the rest of the box was fine.
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    [QUOTE=bmcgilvray;2813966]
    QUOTE]

    Now there's a "gut-gun" for you!
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    I've had a few squibs in the past,I clear the gun remove mag lock slide to rear make sure chamber is empty then look down the barrel to make sure it's not obstructed.If there is no round/brass in the chamber the gun won't go bang.If there is a round stuck I pull out a brass rod and punch it out,reload and keep shooting
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