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Old April 12, 2008, 03:23 PM   #1
Sigma 40 Blaster
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Had my second squib today

HELP!!!

I have loaded a total of 7000 cartridges in 9mm, .40, .380, and .45.

I had my second squib today, in a .45. It was during an IDPA match to make matters even more embarrassing and potentially more dangerous. Near the end of a course I pulled the trigger, no bang, no brass ejected. I dropped the mag, ejected the case, saw it was all black and knew what happened.

This group of rounds was at the very bottom of one my .45 ACP ammo can...so this was out of the first 100 I loaded most likely. I suspect I accidentally put my first "proof" round (I put one cartridge together with no powder just to test OAL and the diameter of the case mouth.

I will always put this round in my drawer in a box to serve as a reminder of exactly to what dimensions I load to. There is a chance I allowed it to fall into my cartridge bin...what other precautions can I take to prevent stuff like this?

If I am interrupted I make sure to:
Clear every station that does not already have a bullet seated
Dump any loose powder back into the hopper, and start feeding the primed cases from the powder drop station.
Continue loading as normal.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
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Old April 12, 2008, 04:15 PM   #2
DEDON45
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I mark my "dummy" rounds conspiciously, on the brass, with Black permanent marker; additionally, I never put primers in those rounds... the worst that can happen would be a click and nothing happens - no bullet stuck in the bore, etc.
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Old April 12, 2008, 04:22 PM   #3
Robert M Boren Sr
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Don't make dummy rounds I never do just for that reason.
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Old April 12, 2008, 04:48 PM   #4
Dilbert
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I don't put primers in mine, and to make sure I will never confuse them with live rounds I drill 2 holes in the case.
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Old April 12, 2008, 08:47 PM   #5
Sport45
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All my dummy rounds have a hole drilled crosswise through the brass.
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:20 PM   #6
DEDON45
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Good ideas here, w/ the drilling thru the case... though I do fine with with the markings.
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Old April 13, 2008, 12:46 AM   #7
20nickels
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Get an RCBS Lockout Die.

Does anybody use silicone or epoxy in place of the primers and how does it stand up to dry firing?
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Old April 13, 2008, 09:38 AM   #8
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
Does anybody use silicone or epoxy in place of the primers and how does it stand up to dry firing?
I use RTV 732. It's bright red and can't miss it if it ever gets in the mix of live ammo.

Sigma, I think you've performed one of the most important steps to keep it from happening: You sought counsel. The members here have given some sound advice. I myself drill two holes across the case.
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Old April 13, 2008, 01:49 PM   #9
Aquanewt
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All my 'dummy' rounds have a hole drilled through the case. I made up a box of .38's to show guys how to use speed loaders when we were still issued revolvers and they were all drilled through.
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Old April 13, 2008, 02:08 PM   #10
Sigma 40 Blaster
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Thanks guys, good ideas

So if I make any dummy rounds I need to clearly identify them...definitely render them un-fireable. I thought my organizational skills were just too superb to do something as goofy as I did.

I'm not going to sit here and say that my 550's powder measure is fool proof but I don't think it was a mechanical failure, it could have been a short stroke but I don't think so...not sure what else it could have been except a mistake on my part.

As far as the lockout die...not sure how I'd use that on my 550. Bullet seating on station 4 would be pretty slow and time consuming...can't think of where else to put it. Anyone use that die on a 550?

I am knocking on wood right now while I say I've never had a double charge. I guess I'm always more protective of having too much powder in the case instead of not enough. If anyone has any more ideas keep 'em coming. Thanks again.
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Old April 13, 2008, 02:17 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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A bright light aimed at station 3 and the fixed habit to look in each and every case as you place each and every bullet to be seated. It has worked for me for about 30 years since I got my first progressive pistol loader.

I have some dummies, but they were made up on the single stage and the cases drilled.
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Old April 13, 2008, 05:27 PM   #12
The Lovemaster
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I second that, Mr. Watson. I inspect EVERY case for powder charge before I seat the bullet. I have never had a squib or a double charge and really don't ever want to either.
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Old April 13, 2008, 05:41 PM   #13
IROCZ
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3rd Mr Watson,

I've only been loading progressive for about 22 years, Always a light onto the shellplate from the top, and a visual inspection before a bullet goes on. Never had a problem. (Except a fight with a dork at Gander Mountain that thought all progressives are dangerous!) If I make a setup round, I leave out the primer and mark it with a sharpie, No problems.
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Old April 15, 2008, 10:46 PM   #14
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I just write down the info in my log.
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Old April 16, 2008, 12:52 PM   #15
farnorthdan
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Single stage

This is exactley why I use a single stage press and charge each case individually prior to seating the bullet. This is a little slower than progressive but I'm OK with that, I reload for pure pleasure and its a hobby to me..I've loaded 10's of thousands of various calibers this way with great results. I like to do one last final inspection of the case prior to seating bullet.
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Old April 16, 2008, 02:10 PM   #16
armoredman
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I do exactly the same thing, triple checking powder, etc......and I had my very first squib today, after 5 years of perfection. No harm, but really irritating, 38 Special 166gr cast made it just far enough out of the case to tie up the cylinder, pounded back in the case with an aluminum cleaning rod. All good now.
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Old April 19, 2008, 04:06 PM   #17
MrApathy
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I have had some squibs myself all with titegroup oddly.

for dummy rounds I use no primer or a spent primer. live primer screams stuck bullet.

marking the dummy is good idea also.

good think you didnt tap rack boom as some like to without regard of bore obstruction.
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Old April 19, 2008, 05:23 PM   #18
bobotech
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I was having squibs with Unique and Red Dot (about 4 or so) in 38spl and 40s&w. I switched to win231 because it would meter MUCH better though my Dillon and Hornady. I was discovering that Unique in particular was causing fairly large fluctuations in powder levels. I tried cleaning the heck out of my powder measures and I still was having issues.

With Win231, I have nearly perfect flow and resulting cartridges.
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Old April 20, 2008, 01:58 AM   #19
Sigma 40 Blaster
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bobotech, I have recently made the same change. I will take the blame for the squib but have experienced some inconsistency with Unique in my Lee and Dillon powder measures. Usually it was only .1 or .2 grains.

With 231 I have no fluctuation out of the drops I actually stop to weigh. I love it. Not to mention how much less smoke and soot builds up on the gun itself.
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Old April 20, 2008, 03:30 AM   #20
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Yup. Totally agree with you there on the other positive aspects of the change as well.
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