what causes squibs?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by phildenton, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

    So, using same cases, treated the same way, same powder, same primer, same bullet, same everything and all from same batch, what might cause 1 round in say a test batch of 24, to be a squib, that leaves a bullet lodged 3/4 of the way down the barrel? [.38 spc, win brass, 6 grains HS-6, CCI 500 small pistol primers, 125 grain Rainier copper plated Flat point] all weighed, exact same charge, so what happened, why?
  2. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

    No two things are exactly the same, not even identical twins.
    The best any scientist can do is to refer to the numbers.
    First, measure everything and establish the baseline.
    If everything measured is within tolerance, then check for barrel obstruction.
    Since a loader cannot determine a faulty primer, a weak primer could be suspected.

    Then there is moisture; one case may have the presence of an unacceptable level of moisture.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    The human factor cannot be disregarded. We all have lapses. There is always the possibility one of the cases did not get sufficient prowder.
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    It MAY have been light powder charge, but poorly burning primer is also a likely suspect. Be very careful in handling primers once they are out of the package- sizing lube will degrade or completely kill a primer. With a bad spark plug, powder does not get lit properly.
  5. mtbfarms

    mtbfarms New Member

    I have a dillon 650 that will give me a case with no powder in about 1 in 2000. Nobody can figure out why. "Murphys" enforcement teams keep a close eye on amunition loading also I guess
  6. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

    im using lee loader in .38, and a lee safety powder scale to measure each scoop to be certain, i dont have case lube, and i only load rounds up to a week before i use em.... someone else here pointed out that the suggested starting load for hs 6 is around 7 grains, so thats probably my problem, tried to use the powder in a way that is less than designed, my own fault i guess, gonna go back to 7 grains and see, i remember it being reliable, just dirty
  7. scottybaccus

    scottybaccus New Member

    With small powder charges, any deviation is major, by % of change. My machine operated powder measure has a practical tolerance of +/- .1 grn, so when I am loading at 4.0 grns, a deviation of .1 grns is 2.5%. This is noticeable enough that I can feel and here it in my 1911.
    My load range in 3.7-4.2 for a 200 grn bullet in my .45, using VV N310. That's a total range of 10-11%. You are changing 14% by dropping to 6 grns from 7 grns.
  8. noylj

    noylj Member

    I have never seen a squib load that had unburned powder in the chamber/case.
    Some have reported powder contamination, but I have never seen it.
    Thus, it is almost always due to NO powder or just a few kernels (operator or measure error).
    The solution is to use an RCBS Lock-Out Die and inspect the inside of each case before seating the bullet.
    One problem people have is admitting that they may have made a mistake and will blame any thing but themselves.
    I had one KB. I load test rounds on my Dillon 1050. I have station 6 set for expand/powder charge, with station 5, the standard powder drop station, empty.
    I raise the ram and then pour the powder into the case. Lower the ram, inspect the powder charge, put a bullet on the charged case, and raise the ram--so I can charge the next case.
    Once, I lowered the ram and, getting out of rhythm (never get out of rhythm), I poured the charge into the PTE die and poured powder over the case and shell plate. I cleaned off the shell plate, emptied the case, and continued. I had a KB. I assume that some powder got into the empty case in station 6 and I did not inspect it. I thought I had, I am "convinced" I did, but that is the only explanation I can come to.
    Thus, now, my rule is if any thing "funny" happens, I clear the shell plate, fix the problem, inspect every case, dump out any charged case(s), and work those cases through singly--knowing that they are out of process and must be treated individually.
  9. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    Be careful with stuff like WD40 on your firearm or around your ammo. It will trash your ammo.