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Old January 2, 2020, 07:27 AM   #1
Ninjaman
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Question on squib loads

Been reloading 124 fmj 9mm for a while now. When I started out I had 3 squib loads and ended up chucking the whole batch of 100. Then I got serious and measured powder more accurately, checked casings, used the proper COL. Etc and haven't had an issue since.

Keep thinking back to those squibs and from what I understand it's generally either a bad primer or not enough powder charge that causes squibs, but I was curious is a loosly seeded bullet could cause a squib load as well? Wondering if anyone has had any experience with this? Thanks in advance!
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Old January 2, 2020, 08:14 AM   #2
AgedWarrior
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Typically a bad primer results in a failure to fire (FTF), and less than likely a squib. Failure to measure appropriate amount of powder has caused many a squib and/or damaged guns and missing fingers etc. Too little powder can result in a squib; too much powder can quickly ruin your gun and your day. A squib can be really nasty if another round is accidentally fired into the stuck bullet. Boom!

A loose bullet seating is problematic also, and can cause overpressure if it gets pushed further into the case when chambering.

All in all, after reading your post, I would say you are blessed to have had nothing worse than a few squibs considering your admitted poor attention to detail initially. I have never had a squib in 45 years of reloading a wide variety of cartridges; I attribute that at least in part because I have always paid close attention to details when loading. Hopefully you will do likewise in the future.
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Old January 2, 2020, 08:48 AM   #3
Ninjaman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgedWarrior View Post
Typically a bad primer results in a failure to fire (FTF), and less than likely a squib. Failure to measure appropriate amount of powder has caused many a squib and/or damaged guns and missing fingers etc. Too little powder can result in a squib; too much powder can quickly ruin your gun and your day. A squib can be really nasty if another round is accidentally fired into the stuck bullet. Boom!

A loose bullet seating is problematic also, and can cause overpressure if it gets pushed further into the case when chambering.

All in all, after reading your post, I would say you are blessed to have had nothing worse than a few squibs considering your admitted poor attention to detail initially. I have never had a squib in 45 years of reloading a wide variety of cartridges; I attribute that at least in part because I have always paid close attention to details when loading. Hopefully you will do likewise in the future.
Yeah. When I initially started I was pretty lax in how I measured and am thankful that nothing more serious happened. I guess to follow up though, If the bullet was loosely seeded, and after the primer goes off, (understanding that if the bullet was pushed in further it could cause overpressure) can that in effect cause a squib since there wasn't enough pressure to start off with? My initial thought was no, thinking about muzzle loading and black powder guns. The bullets doesnt have a case, and the bullet fires just fine...that being said it was still unclear to me because while it's an example, a black powder pistol is still a totally different game than a modern day pistol.
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Old January 2, 2020, 08:58 AM   #4
TJB101
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I bought some Xtreme FMJ (not plated) 115’s and ended up pulling 50 due to the projectiles being undersized. This was after a bullet popped out of the case while chambering a round in my CZ scorpion. Heard a poof and had a bunch of unburnt powder behind bullet slightly stuck in the barrel.

Ever round I produce today is put thru a ‘U’ Lee 9mm sizing die now.
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Old January 2, 2020, 09:09 AM   #5
Ninjaman
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That's good to know. Do you by chance remember the diameter of the undersized bullets?
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Old January 2, 2020, 12:20 PM   #6
TJB101
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That's good to know. Do you by chance remember the diameter of the undersized bullets?

Sure don’t ... I remember posting a thread and several folks who took advantage of the Xtreme FMJ sale also measured and summarily started a return. I tossed the 50 or so of the pulled rounds and can’t recall how many others were relegated to the casting pot. The U die helped a lot and is used exclusively now for all reloads.
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Old January 2, 2020, 02:50 PM   #7
nhyrum
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The primary cause of squibs is not enough powder. Some powders are fine with low case fill percentage, others, like h110, have go basically be compressed.

Also, as for under sized bullets, bullets falling out if the case. Over doing the case flare will cause the case to not grip the bullet, and using the Lee factory crimp can actually swage the bullets.

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Old January 3, 2020, 09:40 PM   #8
Grey_Lion
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Lack of distraction and good process is key.

In my experience those who use powder throwers / powder dispensers make more ( not a lot - but more ) squibs than those who weigh out each powder charge. I don't use them.

I like the phrase - Automation allows us to make more mistakes faster -

I like to weigh out each charge on a digital scale and I complete each round on my turret press one at a time. After thousands of rounds I am acutely aware of exactly how the charging handle feels in each operation. Something feels off and everything stops and gets inspected. My process is slow but is filled with solid process.

In my reloading "zen" - I reload as if I am defending my family with each round.

There are those who reload for quantity to make as much plinking ammo as possible.

That's not me.

My 2 cents worth.
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Old January 5, 2020, 12:52 PM   #9
totaldla
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If you are loading on a single-stage press, you've got to devrlop process to ensure the powder charging is safe.
For example: (1) don't use small charges of soot colored pwders in large cases. (2) use a powder bulky enough for the charge weight that you can spot a double-charge.
Etc, etc.

So for me personally, I won't use Titegroup unless on an auto-indexing progressive. I use Hodgdon Clays when I need a fast powder because it is large, fluffy, funky-green flakes that are easy to see. I tend to use the slower powders because the charge bulk makes a squib or double easy to spot - and a double with some spills out of the case.

Last edited by totaldla; January 5, 2020 at 12:58 PM.
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Old January 5, 2020, 02:53 PM   #10
T. O'Heir
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"...ended up chucking the whole batch of 100..." You could have pulled 'em and started over.
"...measured powder more accurately, checked casings..." That's the fix. Squibs are usually about not enough powder. Very rarely are primers 'bad'. And oil doesn't guarantee their death. Water does nothing at all.
A primer alone will send a bullet, even a crimped bullet(no crimps on match grade ammo), into the barrel. That's not a big deal unless you didn't catch the odd sound and check the barrel before firing another shot. Doing that will cause a bulge in the barrel. Only fix is a new barrel.
A loosely seated bullet is not a squib in the making.
"...loading on a single-stage press..." The type of press makes no difference. Loading on a single-stage press is about technique. Visually checking the cases for powder is one such technique.
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Old January 5, 2020, 03:01 PM   #11
SIGSHR
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My one squib was my reloads in my 4" S&W M-57, the bullet wedged in the forcing cone tying up the revolver. No powder.
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Old January 5, 2020, 08:28 PM   #12
totaldla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
"...ended up chucking the whole batch of 100..." You could have pulled 'em and started over.
"...measured powder more accurately, checked casings..." That's the fix. Squibs are usually about not enough powder. Very rarely are primers 'bad'. And oil doesn't guarantee their death. Water does nothing at all.
A primer alone will send a bullet, even a crimped bullet(no crimps on match grade ammo), into the barrel. That's not a big deal unless you didn't catch the odd sound and check the barrel before firing another shot. Doing that will cause a bulge in the barrel. Only fix is a new barrel.
A loosely seated bullet is not a squib in the making.
"...loading on a single-stage press..." The type of press makes no difference. Loading on a single-stage press is about technique. Visually checking the cases for powder is one such technique.
To be clear, the type of press DOES matter. It is much easier and safer to make ammo on an auto-indexing progressive.
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