Ruger GP100 Squibs

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by gacannon, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. gacannon

    gacannon New Member

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    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.
     
  2. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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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.
     

  3. rugernut

    rugernut New Member

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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
     
  4. rugernut

    rugernut New Member

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    It's a good thing I notist it or it probably would have dun what yours did
     
  5. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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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.
     
  6. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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    What exactly is a Squib? I've never heard that term used before :eek:.
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     
  8. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

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    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.
     
  9. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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    Ah, thanks for clearing that up guys!
     
  10. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    My buddy told me he saw something,maybe online somewhere,where these guys were testing S&W and a Ruger revolvers with intentional squibs.I guess the Ruger did blow up very quickly but the S&W did not.The S&W just shot the squib right out with the next round.This is why I bought a S&W,I think Rugers are fine guns but S&W may be just a little better.I should ask him for a link and watch & share it,I just took his word for it.
     
  12. rugernut

    rugernut New Member

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    My uncle has a six in smith and had a bullet stop down the barrel it can happen with any body's gun
     
  13. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    thankyou for posting this, I have the predecessor to the gp100, the Police Service Six, and ive been loading .38 for practice, and have had squibs, had 1 where the bullet only traveled 3 of the 4 inch barrel, luckily i noticed that the bullet hadnt left the muzzle. I have never heard that before about the .38's, always heard that yeah its safe, gonna try loading 357 now and see how well it goes [was wanting a light target load though, maybe switch to magnum primers? i was using 6 grains of hs-6, cci 500, win brass, and ranier 125 gr copper plated flat point, suggestions?]
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have a problem with your hand loads. Could be contaminated powder. Other possibility: 6 grains of HS-6 is a very light load and you may not be getting proper ignition. The Lee book lists 7.3 grains as the low and 7.8 grains for the max for jacketed 125 grain in 38 spl with a minimum OAL of 1.425. I know you are supposed to use lead loading data for Rainier but I would go to at least the minimum of 7.3 grains. Double check the data as I have found the loading data varies considerably. You could also google rainier loading data for a proper load.
     
  15. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    Thank you, yeah when i was loading 7 grains i wasnt having squibs, but the loads seemed dirty, though reliable, i chose hs6 to try to be an all around powder, but for light loads i should maybe find a different powder, what would you suggest if i wanted to load it down to say, the equivalent of a 38 long colt?
    Any experience with hp38?
     
  16. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    In 30 years of loading I had this happen exactly one time. I once inserted a bullet into a .45acp brass that had no powder in it. The force of the primer going off was just enough to barely push the bullet into the barrel. I had to touch the bullet with a cleaning rod just slightly to remove it. I didn't have to worry about another round chambering because there was not enough pressure to move the action.

    I have a question about the people who fired multiple rounds into an obstructed barrel. Come on, couldn't they tell that the bullet didn't hit anywhere or anything when they pulled the trigger? Handguns are usually used for targets at closer distances.
     
  17. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    for me that would fall under the rule "after an abnormal discharge, immediately unload and check for bore obstructions."
     
  18. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Exactly! Why would someone try to keep shooting when something like this happens? I would not want to be shooting with someone who did this.
     
  19. Jeepergeo

    Jeepergeo New Member

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    Probably lack of experience. Everyone starts with their first round fired and gain experience from there. Some get the benefit of shooting with a skilled mentor, others don't. Some shoot a lot, some don't, so the time to get the experience can differ greatly.

    When reading some forums, you'd think everyone was born an experienced marksman and philosopher. Not.;)
     
  20. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I agree, but we are talking about a potentially explosive situation here and careless actions can easily hurt or kill people. Beginner shooters really should get assistance from the experienced ones.