My first big OOPS! moment with my gun

I went shooting at the range today and after I’d reloaded got the following results from pulling the trigger: <BANG!> <BANG!> <phssft>.

phssft? That’s not right.

Safety on; eject magazine; rack slide. Empty case comes out. I break down my gun until I can look into the barrel from the breach end. No light visible.

Fucking-fuckity-fuck! A slug wedged in the barrel. I pack up and leave the firing line, then show the barrel to one of the guys at the gun store (it’s a combined range and store). He’s able to drive the slug out the muzzle with a rod and hammer. This was what they call a “squib round” he explains to me. And he tells me it’s a very, very good thing I noticed the misfire and did NOT try to shoot another round, or most likely the gun would have blown up in my hand.

The ammo in question is a reputable brand (Remington), so he advised me I can shoot the rest of the box, just be careful in case it happens again. All’s well that ends well I suppose, but guns are not something you want anything going wrong with.

Whew! Glad to hear you’re ok!

I’m glad you did the safe thing, and there were no major disasters to report.

Holy crap! Be careful, okay?

By “squib,” do you mean the kind of special effects thingie they plant in walls, clothing, and other stuff to simulate a bullet strike, or do you mean a dud bullet?

And how does a bullet get to be a dud, anyways? Not enough powder?

Eesh. At any rate, this was not an “OOPS!” moment, as that implies you made a mistake. You didn’t. You followed the rules of gun safety and were very, very smart.

I’m glad you’re okay, you smart person, you.

Yeh, squib as in goes phssft instead of bang, like a dud firecracker.

On checking Wiki: specifically “Squib load, a firearms malfunction in which a bullet becomes lodged in the barrel”

Squib as in damp ~, I expect.

Just out of interest, what was the rod (for driving out the bullet) made of?

Wood, or maybe brass. I’ve used a wooden dowel to clear barrel obstructions before, caused by the same thing Lumpy encountered.

A ‘squib round’ is one that fires, but without enough pressure to propel the bulled from the muzzle. A common cause of squib rounds is forgetting to put powder into the case. The primer has enough power to get the bullet into the barrel, but there it stops.

Mangetout mentions ‘damp’. If the powder gets wet, it’s still possible that the primer will fire though the powder is not ignited. There are three ways to get we powder: A poor seal between the case and the bullet, a poor seal between the primer and the case, or you put wet powder into the case when making the round. Bullets generally fit the case pretty tightly, as do primers. AFAIK, most ammunition manufacturers apply a sealant to the primer; but don’t cite that as fact. It’s pretty rare that moisture will get into commercially-manufactured ammunition, but it can happen. If the powder went in wet, why only that round? Ammunition is produced in batches, so if it was the powder then I’d expect more failures than just the one.

I actually meant ‘damp’ as in damp squib - it’s an idiom relating to situations of anticlimax generally.

I hadn’t heard that idiom. Still, damp powder has been a problem from time to time.

That’s not really an “oops” moment, since you did everything correctly. Good job.

I fired one which I had found lying in the woods. It went off with a feeble pop and the shot pattered out a few feet away. The wad remained in the bore.

My husband had a similar event, except it was with a revolver, and it was entirely his own fault! He hand loaded some rounds and went to the range to try them out, only with one he missed putting in any powder! :smack:

So when he pulled the trigger, the primer blast was enough to force the bullet out of the casing and partway into the barrel, leaving a part in the cylinder. The gun still had two rounds in it and since the cylinder was blocked it could not be removed to unload the gun. So he took the revolver to a gunsmith who put the gun in a vice used a wooden dowel to force the bullet back into the cylinder.

So it ended well, but it goes to show that you can never be to careful when handling a gun. Also in the twenty years since that happened, he has never made that mistake again. He still shoots, most recently teaching our 8 year old how to shoot, and still hand loads his own rounds but has thankfully not had that happen again.

:confused:Wait I’m confused, never fired a gun in my life(not common here). You need to put powder in the gun?
I thought you just put it the bullet, hit it with the hammer, and the bullet shot out. I thought there was powder in the “round”

A friend once fired a shotgun that had an obstruction near the end of the barrel, unknowingly of course, and was quite fortunate not to have been blinded or worse. He’s not sure what was in the barrel end but when he aimed and fired there was a flash of light, he was peppered with shot and near had the gun torn from his grip.

He showed us what was left after the fact. About 8 to 10 inches from the end, the barrel ballooned out like a Blunderbus, except it also separated in half inch strips alligned parallel to the long axis of the gun. These then arched back in and came together again and the last inch or so looked relatively unaffected.

He knows he didn’t let it get pushed into dirt or mud but something of indeterminate size must have become lodged and caused it to explode in what turned out to be perpendicular fashion before reaching the muzzle.

Agreed that you did the right thing, Lumpy, and thank goodness!

I just found this through a quick search… not good.

A round comprises the bullet (projectile), primer (ignition), powder (fuel), and case (holds it all together). Someone has to put the powder in the case. Usually people buy manufactured ammunition, which has the primer, powder and bullet all put together. But many people hand-load their own ammunition. This is usually less expensive than factory-made ammo, and the hand-loader can make custom rounds for more power or less power, better accuracy, purpose of shooting, or whatever.

Sometimes a hand-loader might miss the putting-the-powder-in step for any number of reasons. It’s possible something could go wrong at a factory too.

Yes the powder is in the round, the proper name for the round is cartridge. If you look at the cartridge that goes in a modern gun, you will notice the bullet (the part that comes out of the barrel, in front and at the back, in the center of the round, is the primer. Inside the cartridge is the powder. When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin strikes the primer, the primer reacts to the strike by igniting the fulminate of mercury contained in the primer. A flame is ejected from the primer and into the cartridge which ignites the powder. Once ignited the powder causes an increase in pressure in the cartridge that forces the bullet down the barrel and out.

So when a cartridge is prepared, first you take the brass case and insert a primer at the back, then put a measured amount of powder in the case, and then the bullet is forced into the front of the cartridge, making for a self contained unit. What my husband forgot to do was put in the powder, and then loaded a bullet into the front of the cartridge. So when the firing ping struck the primer, the primer blast was enough to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the throat of the barrel, leaving part of the bullet in the cylinder. For more info there is a great deal of info online about hand loading your own ammunition.