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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What would happen to a handgun if you fired a cartridge that was primed but had no powder? Revolver or semi auto.

Would the bullet be stuck in the barrel?
If the bullet is stuck, would it take a gunsmith to remove it?

What would happen if you cycled the action and fired another live round?
 

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Welcome to the Forum! If you haven't yet, stop in our "Introductions" area.

Now, back to the question.
The bullet may get stuck, or go through.
It does not take a smith to clear only one bullet should one get stuck. It is called a squib load and there are rods available to purchase (everyone should have one).

If a live round is fired when the barrel is obstructed by another, the barrel may bulge, the barrel may split, the firearm will have to be checked out by a smith before anymore shooting takes place with it.
 

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It happens. Known as a squib load. Nasty. Primer will usually drive the bullet out of the case, onto the start of the rifling. If a bit of powder burns, will push bullet into barrel.

What happens next? Depends. In some cses, you will burst the barrel with a second shot. In others, you will create a "wedding ring" bulge- a raised ring all the way around the barrel just before the obstruction. In a few cases, nothing happens.

How do you get a stuck bullet out? Padded vise, brass rod, hammer. Warming barrel with a heat gun can help it expand just a smidge, can loosen the bullet just a little.
 

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If the primer is powerful enough, then yes, the bullet will become lodged in the barrel.

Once upon a time, I saw a revolver fired with no powder. The bullet protruded from the cylinder just enough to lock it up. It was taken to a smith, but with the right tools, this can be handled in the living room.

If a bullet becomes lodged in a barrel, due to insufficient charge (known as a squib round), do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to fire another round. Hi ho, hi ho, off to the smith you go. Unless you can get behind the bullet and push it on through with a rod. Then check for damage, which is another job that is well to be left to a smith considering the circumstances.
 

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Ha! This time you beat me to it! Wanna go another round? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, here is why I asked. I had an idea of the answer.

Why not take thousands of rounds of this ammo with no power and scatter it in gang banger territory? Surely they wouldn't take their gun to a gunsmith.

I have a devious mind.
 

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I had a round barely enter the barrel of my 8mm mauser. There was powder in the case but it did not burn. Old WWII ammo. I was able to gently tap it back to the reciever with a cleaning rod and a piece of wood.
 

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Did you notice how all the great minds think alike?

Then Rick comes in with the easy fix. (j/k)
 

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I had it happen once in my 629. A .44 special with large pistol primer pushed the lead bullet into the rifling of the barrel. Just far enough past the cylinder. I used a wooden dowel and a hammer and it came right out.
You know right away. Luckily brain got message to finger in time. As previously described a second shot very bad news.
 

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Had this happen more than once with a batch of bad 9mm ammo. When the case was empty, the primer just popped. One had a dash of powder in it, just enough to send the bullet about halfway down the bore and cycle the slide. Fortunately, it sounded odd enough I checked the bore before touching off another round.
 

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I've had this happen on several occassions. The round was charged with powder but the primer did not ignite the powder. Drove the bullet partially into the barrel and compressed the powder into a cylindrical pellet. I was able to remove the cylinder on one occassion, but had to drive the bullet back into the cylinder on another. Near as I could figure, it was a combination of very cold weather conditions, slow burning powder (H110) and limp crimp.

I have kept a steel rod, wrapped in plastic tape, on hand for such situations. Said rod is also useful for seating recoil plates in Ruger revolvers.

Bob Wright
 

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And, further~ While I was at Ft. Ord, California I examined a Colt M1917 revovler that had had three squib loads lodge in the barrel. The fourth fired with full force, splitting the barrel for about an inch and a half along the right hand side.

I asked why the shooter didn't stop when he didn't see bullet holes in the target. His reply was he couldn't hit the paper at that distance, which was fifty feet.

Bob Wright
 

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Many years ago I had a guy bring me a 380 that he said would not chamber a round. It had 5 or 6 bullets lodged in the barrel! There wasn't room for a live round to chamber. Caused no damage though. It was a foreign brand which I can not remember right now.
 

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i had that happen once. think the shell dident have power in it. i just used a wood rod and gently hammered the bullet out of the barrol it was 9mm federal ammo
 

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The problem with using a cleaning rod and hammer is that, unless diligent care is used, the cleaning rod could (even though it is normally softer metal) disfigure the lands of the barrel.
 
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