View Full Version : removing multiple squibs

December 18, 2004, 11:31 AM
I have a Colt 32-20 revolver. I was shooting soft handloads with JHP's. I know, I know, I know- bad idea. I thought I would be very careful, and get by with it. The first round seemed very soft (gun barely moved-like a bb gun), but I checked downrange and there was a hit on the target. Another, and I had a hit on the target. I felt safe. Shot 3 more times. Those didn't come out.

I have 3 bullets stuck in the bore. I don't think a squib rod would get them out. Can I get them out by heating the barrel? Bear in mind they're jacketed.

It's an old and dinged up, worn finish in places. I'm guessing about a $150 gun. I can't see taking it to a gunsmith and spending $200 to fix it.

December 18, 2004, 12:16 PM
Whenever I see someone post that they don't see how someone could leave several bullets squibbed in the barrel, there doesn't seem to be anyone with sympathy. Lol - now I know someone who will have some. ;)

Think you'll still have to drive them out, same as with a single bullet - it'll just take longer and be harder. If you use a wooden dowel and soft hammer it shouldn't hurt the gun, heat just may... :( Lube the barrel ahead of the first slug for easier movement once it reaches that point.

December 18, 2004, 03:35 PM
Patience ! Put a penetrant such as WD-40 into the barrel and let soak over night.Then try a rod, if that doesn't work then you have to try other means. Take a long drill and using a guide so as no to cut into the barrel drill a hole through the bullets.Then use a suitable sized threaded rod and screw that through the bullets and pull out.

Sir William
December 18, 2004, 10:21 PM
There is no such beast as a $150.00 Colt in 32-20. I too think that I would insert the revolver in a padded jaw vise. Barrel up. I use Marvel Mystery Oil (red) for lube. Fill the barrel up and leave for a couple of days. The oil should eventually begin seeping through. Insert a wooden dowel and gently tap. Patience. My 32-20s are fine with commercial SAAMI pressure levels. If you check around for Ultramax or Black Hills CAS ammunition then you will be well within safe pressures.

aussie bob
December 19, 2004, 06:26 AM

I have to disagree with some methods listed. I would take a brass rod close to bore size and poke it down the barrel from the muzzle end. Support the barrel in some way then belt the brass rod with a hammer. The gun takes a heck of a wallop when it fires so you belting a brass rod down the barrel will not hurt it so long as the barrel and/or frame are well supported. I would definitely not drill down the barrel unless I had a very good set of metal working tools and the knowledge on how to use them. Oil may or may not contribute to removing the slugs. Three bullets touching each other are just like one slug. If they have passed the forcing cone then they are already formed to barrel dimension so you are dealing only with the friction from the barrel/projectile interface.

My ideas work for me. You have to make up your mind if it is right for you.

Cheers from down under
Aussie Bob

December 20, 2004, 07:19 PM
Got it! Thank God. I really like this little gun, and didn't want to mess it up. Bore still looks like new.

As soon as I got the first post I tried soaking the barrel in penetrating oil to no avail. After two days, the bullets still didn't want to tap out.

It made me sweat a little (nervous), but I tried the drill and threaded rod method. I used plastic tubing as a guide. I removed the first bullet (closest to the muzzle), then cleaned and lubed the bore again, and the two remaining bullets tapped out.

I'll try it later this week and see how it shoots.

December 20, 2004, 08:42 PM
:) :) :) :)

4V50 Gary
December 20, 2004, 09:57 PM
Is the bore OK or do you "feel" any bulges?

James K
December 21, 2004, 02:11 PM
DO NOT EVER use a stick or a wooden dowel to drive out a stuck bullet. The wood will almost invariably split and you will be in worse shape with not only the bullet(s) in the barrel but a piece of wood as well. Aluminum rods might work, but usually bend or give and then they also can become stuck.

Use a brass rod of as close to bore diameter as you can get. If a brass rod is not available, use a steel one and radius any sharp corners to prevent scratching the bore. If a full length rod is not available you can weld two rods together or use one to drive the other, making sure that there is not enough space (bore diameter, remember) for one to wedge under the other.


December 22, 2004, 10:29 PM
4V50 Gary:

How exactly do you feel for a bulge?

I ran a tight patch down the bore and it felt the same all the way through. The outside of the barrel looks ok.


Ditto on the brass rod.

I used aluminum because that's what I had at hand, but it bent a lot. I taped it to fit the bore and that helped, but I don't think it would have worked well on anything but a pistol barrel.

One of these days I'm going to look around for somebody locally with brass rod and stock up on some different sizes.

4V50 Gary
December 22, 2004, 11:45 PM
Put a little oil on your fingers and run your finger up and down the bbl. It doesn't always work, but one time I noticed something wasn't "right" so when I looked down the bore, opps. Anyway, that barrel got replaced. Visual inspection works just as well.

December 27, 2004, 02:24 PM
I came in a little late on this issue, but I'll throw in my 2 cents. I would pack the gun in a plastic freezer bag and put it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. The coefficient of expansion/contraction between the material the bbl is made of (steel) and the lodged bullets (JHP) is probably such that the bullets will contract at a greater rate than the bbl. Then use Jim's brass rod method and I bet they just pop right out.