Ruger GP100 Squibs
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
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Default Ruger GP100 Squibs

I posted to this forum a while back after an incident which resulted with my Ruger GP100 being destroyed.

Just for informational purposes, I worked with the ammunition manufacturer and ended up sending them the weapon, Ammo used, spent cartridges, and a full detailed report on what happened and when.

They are replacing the GP100 for me. Their ballistics engineer called me and sent photos of the barrel after their machine shop milled it in half to see inside. My incident involved a friend firing two cylinders of .38 special ammo and then I loaded three .357 loads. The gun exploded on the first .357 shot sending parts flying and slightly injuring two people.

I was standing several feet away with ear muffs on as my friend fired the weapon. He commented he was not hitting the target but only make that comment once. Nothing flagged the situation for me and I am an experienced shooter. On the first .357 shot, I felt metal fragments hit me like pepper. The shooter actually tried to squeeze off another shot but the gun was destroyed and would not function. Shooter said besides not hitting the target, he did not know the gun had blown up. GP100 is a well built weapon.

It amazed me when ammunition manufacturer ballistics Engineer called me to tell me that there were 12 .38 slugs in the barrel. The .357 was only 1/4" into the barrel and the high powered round blew the cylinder and bent almost every part on the gun. A gun smith had to saw the gun apart to remove the two live rounds left in it before I could ship it.

I was not shooting the weapon but the buddy has shot high powered pistols before, but not a regular shooter. My brain was not processing that there was a problem and the shooter kept shooting. The gun reported on each shot. The only indication I had was that he commented he was not hitting the target. The ear muffs I was wearing, and not being the shooter, probably kept me from identifying the problem and the shooter failed to identify it either.

12 .38's in a 6" Ruger GP100 barrel and one .357 mag. Nothing bad happens until you deadhead the cylinder and then all hell breaks loose. Never happened to me before and I am 62 years old.

The ammunition manufacturer says they see more .38 cal squibs than ANY other ammo. When I asked him if he they saw .357 squibs, he said rarely. He said a new gun is more likely to squib a slug if its short on powder which can and does happen because the bore to slug fit is tighter. When asked what revolvers squib the least, he said any MAG's.

I will only shoot .357 ammo in the replacement Gp100. The chance of those loads squibing is magnitudes less according to the ballistics engineer.

Never stop learning, but this one scared the heck out of me not to mention my close friend and his wife who suffered minor cuts also. We were behind the firing line, two feet behind the shooter. Metal bounced off the frame and went out and back on both sides.

Hopefully this might be informational if not interesting.

Bob in Ga.


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Old 12-03-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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Squibs can be difficult to identify as the shooter, but the bystander should be able to easily distinguish the difference.

I destroyed a 41 mag Blackhawk with a bad batch of Bluedot. These things do happen.


Good thing no one was seriously injured.


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Old 12-03-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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I have had 1 old reloaded 357 stop down my barrel it shot but it blew alot of powder residu back into my face it only got about 2" down the 6" barrel
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugernut
I have had 1 old reloaded 357 stop down my barrel it shot but it blew alot of powder residu back into my face it only got about 2" down the 6" barrel
It's a good thing I notist it or it probably would have dun what yours did
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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Wow. Thanks for posting this. This is something I didn't know and will pay attention to when shooting my GP100.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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What exactly is a Squib? I've never heard that term used before .
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firearms4ever View Post
What exactly is a Squib? I've never heard that term used before .
Squib is a term normally used to identify a round that did not not enough power to get the bullet out of the barrel. This could be by not having powder (or enough, or the wrong powder) and the primer has enough oomph to push the bullet into the barrel.

I carry a cleaning rod to the range and have dislodged squib bullets in mine and others firearms.

If the sound is not "right" when the trigger is pulled, stop shooting, unload the firearm, and check the barrel. The cleaning rod allows you to check the barrel without looking down it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firearms4ever View Post
What exactly is a Squib? I've never heard that term used before .
What they are referring to here is actually a "squib load." That is where there is insufficient gun powder in a round of ammunition to propel the projectile all the way out of the barrel. That may be caused by defective powder (ie. powder that is damp during reloading), not enough powder, or no powder at all.

A "squib" is a small explosive used primarily for pyrotechnic special effects. In the movies, when you see the blood "explode" out of someone's chest after getting shot, that's done by placing a small explosive charge behind a "blood capsule", insulated from the actor/stunt man with heavier material so they're not harmed.

Speaking from personal experience, shooting someone in real life doesn't look like that... at all.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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Ah, thanks for clearing that up guys!
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #10
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I had someone bring me a .380 that was shot several times after a bullet stuck in the barrel. It was shot until there was not enough room for the next round to chamber. After I removed the bullets the gun was unharmed and was back in service.


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