Help me play "Find the Squib!"

Help me play "Find the Squib!"

This is a discussion on Help me play "Find the Squib!" within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I needed to load 200 rounds for a match last week. I wanted to do it early in the week but Stuff kept happening. The ...

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Thread: Help me play "Find the Squib!"

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Help me play "Find the Squib!"

    I needed to load 200 rounds for a match last week. I wanted to do it early in the week but Stuff kept happening. The night before the match I managed to crank them out, and it was probably the most miserable reloading experience I have had in about 6k rounds so far.

    It took me much too long to switch from 9mm back to .45ACP. I forgot to case lube the first group of brass, so running the machine (a Dillon RL-550B with carbide dies) was a pain. The shellplate bolt, despite cleaning, kept tightening as the platform turned, binding things up so I had to loosen it by hand. So on and so forth.

    Nonetheless, I finished with two hundred loaded rounds. I handed off the bucket of rounds to my girlfriend to case gauge and box things up for our match.

    In the end she handed me two rounds back. One was clearly not crimped. The other had the bullet sitting way too high, like it had never been set. My heart sinking, I looked through the boxed rounds. Sure enough, I found one with the old spent primer still in the brass.

    I must have double-turned the shellplate and forgot to run the handle on one go around. Now for the worst part---I had three of the affected rounds in my hand, but the fourth was unaccounted for, and that one had to be the one on the powder station. I have, with near certainty, one squib needle somewhere in the 197 round haystack.

    I shot my P239 in .40S&W the next day; the g/f dragged out some saved up factory ammo for her 1911. Now I have to find said needle in said haystack.

    Yes, I could run every round through the bullet puller; this idea appeals to me about as much as beating my head into a wall repeatedly for a couple of hours. I thought about weighing, but the problem is we are talking about 4.8gr of powder and I am pretty sure I get at least that much variation just in the empty shell weights. (My empty .45ACP brass seems to hover in the 86--92gr range.)

    Anybody got any bright ideas?

    Last question---how hard is it to remove a squib from a barrel? I've never had a squib before when shooting.

    Thanks for any help, folks.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.


  2. #2
    JD
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    Weigh all the cartridges, find an average weight, the one with the least weight will be light on powder.







    In theory.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Weigh all the cartridges, find an average weight, the one with the least weight will be light on powder.







    In theory.
    Ditto that, or start beating your head into the wall.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    too bad its not a rifle cartridge your looking for... if you shake rifle ammo most times you can hear the powder.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    It took me much too long to switch from 9mm back to .45ACP. I forgot to case lube the first group of brass, so running the machine (a Dillon RL-550B with carbide dies) was a pain.
    I have yet to use any lube with any pistol carbide die - in any of my three presses. If the cases are clean, no lube is necessary. If you need to lube the cases with the Dillon, something's wrong.

    The shell plate bolt, despite cleaning, kept tightening as the platform turned, binding things up so I had to loosen it by hand. So on and so forth.
    That's because you didn't lock the shell plate bolt in place with the lock screw in the side of the ram.

    As for all the rest - you violated the cardinal rule of reloading. You were in a hurry and not paying attention to what you were doing.

    Yes, I could run every round through the bullet puller; this idea appeals to me about as much as beating my head into a wall repeatedly for a couple of hours. I thought about weighing, but the problem is we are talking about 4.8gr of powder and I am pretty sure I get at least that much variation just in the empty shell weights. (My empty .45ACP brass seems to hover in the 86--92gr range.)

    Anybody got any bright ideas?
    Yea. Pull the bullets and do it all right this time.

    Last question---how hard is it to remove a squib from a barrel? I've never had a squib before when shooting.
    A hardwood dowel inserted into the muzzle and then tapped with a hammer will do it - assuming you don't take a second shot and burst the barrel when the two rounds collide.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Depending on the charge of powder you might be able to shake the bullet and hear the powder inside the casing. If not, then do what JD suggested and weigh each round to see which one is 5 grains too light or whatever amount of powder charge lighter than the others. If for some reason there are a handful that are questionable, then you only have to pull a handful of bullets instead of 200.

    Good luck. Makes me like my turret press a lot more when I hear stuff like this.

    As far as squib removal. Major's method will work. I usually carry my cleaning kit when I go shooting and have used a pistol cleaning rod to do the same thing with a squib round or a stuck casing.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I would just pull the bullets out and be certain. Who knows you may have done something even worse then undercharge a round...
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

    Honing the knives, Cleaning the longguns, Stocking up ammo.

  8. #8
    Member Array Tye_Defender's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to throw everything away and start over from scratch, only way to be completely safe.

    What I would actually do (do what I say, not what I do) is just shoot them. Can you double charge a 45 round and still get the bullet to seat? (If you can, then there should be more than enough room to shake it and hear the powder). A double charge is the only thing that would scare me. I have had 3 squib loads in my life, all with the same batch of reloads (that I purchased). The first one confused me because I didn't know what happened. I recognized it the second and third times. In my XD, a squib does not cycle the action so if you are paying attention (and shouldn't you be?) you will not have a problem of firing a second round with a squib stuck in the barrel. (If it makes a "Pop" instead of a bang, check the barrel.) Initially I did not want ot use any more of the rounds this guy reloaded but then I decided to go ahead and shoot them. It has worked out so far.

    As for how to get it out of your barrel. I took a wooded dowel and put it in the barrel. Covered the barrel with a thick hand-towel (so I didn't cut myself) and then grabbed the barrel and slammed the dowel into the floor until the bullet popped out. The second time it happened, I decided to put the dowel and towel in my shooting bag, since the second one happened 5 minutes into shooting that time and I had to just go home, because I couldn't fix it on site.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    How good is your hearing? Or do you have access to a Stethoscope? You'd have a much better chance of hearing the powder charge while shaking the case than measuring it by weight. You didn't mention what type of bullet you were using, but if you were loading cast lead bullets, between variations in bullet weight, lube weight, slight powder charge variations and variations in the weight of the cases themselves, it would be extremely difficult to find a cartridge off by only 4.8 grains. As others have said, a squib isn't a terrible problem as long as you don't fire another round behind it. Not that difficult to knock out, especially on an auto. What I'd be most worried about if you were that distracted during the process would be a double charged round. That could be a problem. If it were me, I'd pull the bullets. It's times like this that a single stage press and a Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller really pay for themselves.

    To address the problem of your shell plate bolt tightening -- did you secure the set screw? The only time mine has tried to tighten on it's own was when I forgot to re-tighten the set screw.

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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I could never find a squib by weighing anything,the brass can be heavier by as much as several grains,and when your dealing with 4 or 5 grains of powder it's virtually impossible,on some rifle rounds theres enough powder you can shake the case and hear it swish or feel it move
    I got a question,on the 550 how did the shell plate bolt keep tightening,did you tighten the allen screw that locks the bolt after you have adjusted it
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I would pull the bullets and start over.
    I do not have much confidence in weighing the rounds, as sometimes bullets and cases can vary enough to make it very imprecise in my view.

    To pull that number of bullets I would go to a die type, and not an inertia bullet puller.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  12. #12
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    " I forgot to case lube the first group of brass, so running the machine (a Dillon RL-550B with carbide dies) was a pain."

    Huh? The point of having a carbide die is so you don't have to lube cases.
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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    " I forgot to case lube the first group of brass, so running the machine (a Dillon RL-550B with carbide dies) was a pain."

    Huh? The point of having a carbide die is so you don't have to lube cases.
    Yup, I will use only carbide dies for that reason. And maybe you best bet is to listen to cvhoss about using a stethoscope.
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Do you have any kids/nieces/nephews that need to dump some energy in exchange for some ice cream?

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    the weighing drill might work. but for me i have tried once, it was a no go. so you could weigh them all, pull the lite ones. you could pull all of them. or you could go to the range and shoot one at a time. yes it will take some time, but use the time to polish your skills.
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