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Thread: Factory Squib Load

  1. #1
    Member jrt34's Avatar
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    Feb 2007

    Default Factory Squib Load

    I know this is a reloading forum but I thought I'd throw this out there and see if it's happened to anyone else.

    Not sure how common this is but I just had a squib factory round jam up in my 1911. I recently purchased a Springfield 1911 and I took it out for a run through several weeks ago. I brought several brands of factory ammo ( I think all were 230 grain fully jacketed rounds) wanting to see if the gun had any problems with any of the rounds.

    Sure enough, about ten rounds into a box of Wolf ammo I heard a fizzle instead of a resounding bang. Long story short, the bullet jammed in the barrel about an inch from the end. Apparently it didnít have enough velocity to exit the barrel.

    I just started reloading this last year and a lot of the literature out there addresses this scenario, so fortunately I recognized the situation and did not stack another round up in the barrel.

    What do you all suspect is the culprit? Bad primers or did the factory miss the charge? Kind of tugs the idea the hand-loading is a whole lot more dangerous the just buying factory rounds eh...

  2. #2


    I'd almost guarantee it's lack of powder, based on how far it went down the barrel. You didn't mention a bunch of unburned powder in the bore, which would be the case with a bum primer. And the poop of a primer is just about enough to push a bullet that far. I'm kinda surprised it cycled the action and would even allow the potential of a second shot.

    I've only seen this once in a rifle. Way back when I worked in sporting goods stores we had a guy come in with a partial box and THREE bullets stuck in the bore. Thankfully they were all squibs!

    I've seen it several times in handgun ammo, both in commercial reloads and in factory new. Probably do more to the larger number of handgun rounds fired than rifles in general, and the smaller charges involved.

    And yes, I've seen factory loads with primer problems. In all those it was a dented primer and failure to fire. That's really rare too, and more often is a result of problems with the gun rather than problems with the ammo.

    And for reloading, that's my hesitation in using my progressive reloader. I'm too much in the habit of inspecting a loading block full of charged cases BEFORE seating bullets. Can't tell you how many times over the years I've found a case that somehow failed to get its dose of powder.

  3. #3
    Member alaskamonte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default What Brownbear said-

    I keep a couple pieces of brass rod and a brass hammer in my range bag and regularly assist folks at the range with stuck bullets for whichever reason.

    Lemme think, I've had two Speer Lawman .44 Maggies fail and a couple Federal Premium .223s but those had no freaking flash holes!

    OBTW, had a S&W 629 last week that was having irregular ignition because he'd installed the new Power Rib mainspring, huge difference between shots velocity and sound.

  4. #4
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78

    Default Side note

    Don't use Wolf ammo... it's bad for most guns.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  5. #5
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Squib loads means some other thing than what you are referring to. Squib means explosive. Manufactures are using them for pressure testing, they also call them "blue pills".

    In Naval nomenclature, "squib" is always used to denote explosive, or rapid burning.

    The title of this post scared me off for days.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    They are actually quite common in factory ammo and I think in your case it was just a primer and no powder. The most common squib. Wolf ammo is not from the top shelf and though I rarely ever shoot factory ammo I don't think I'd ever shoot Wolf. I don't beleive it is possible to cycle the action of a 1911 with a squib load that sticks in the barrel. You would have to manually cycle the slide and load another round to shoot the second one.

    I have an old browning 1900 pistol that was given to me to rebuild/repair. It had three bullets stuck in the barrel and was bulged quite a bit. It had also been run over by a tank or maybe just damaged by someone trying to get the bullets out of the barrel, in any case pretty much destroyed by a squib load. I once had a model 10 S&W brought ot me with with six rounds in the barrel. It was fine after the bullets were drilled out.

    I believe the definition below is my own contributiion to Wikipedia.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A squib load, also known as a squib round, pop and no kick, or just a squib, is a firearms malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck. This type of malfunction can be extremely dangerous, as failing to notice that the projectile has become stuck in the barrel usually results in another round being fired directly into the obstructed barrel, resulting in an instantaneous and catastrophic failure of the weapon's structural integrity.

    Squib rounds are possible in all black powder and smokeless powder based projectile weapons. They are most often caused by negligence in the powder loading process (insufficient powder load), or a failure of the primer to ignite the powder at all. Other causes include deformed bullets and attempting to fire a bullet which is slightly too large for the barrel, although both of these scenarios would likely result in some variety of catastrophic failure instead of a squib.

    Signs that a squib round has occurred include: a much quieter or otherwise unusual-sounding discharge noise, lighter or nonexistent felt recoil force, discharge of smoke from the ejection port instead of the barrel, and a failure of the action to cycle (in semi-automatic firearms). That is why it is also referred to as "pop and no kick".

    This usage of the term "squib" is not to be confused with the small pyrotechnic charge used to simulate bullet impacts in the special effects industry.
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