Sunday, December 15, 2013

Firearm Forum Question: What is a Squib Round

Ask A Firearms Question:
What exactly is a Squib Round and what causes this to happen?
Thank you George Mulroon.

Here are some samples of squib rounds and firearm damage as a result of second round being discharged while the squib is still in the barrel:

Blog Administrator -
A Squib Round occurs when there is not sufficient energy to expel the bullet completely through the barrel. This can be caused by several things including bad powder, insufficient powder, worn out casing, bullet not properly seated into casing, wrong bullet size, an old primer, or corrosive ammo.
This has a tendency to occur in reloads, that is why I do not buy reloads from anyone I don't know. Older bullets may cause this. You should inspect your ammo before usage, and any signs that it has rust, corrosion, or is tarnished dispose of it properly and don't fire it. Yes, you can get a squib round from a new factory load. This is more likely to occur in ammo made outside the USA.
If you shoot another round when there is a bullet stuck in your barrel the results could be quite ugly. The first bullet could simply be pushed out the end of the barrel with the second round with no damage; The barrel could be damaged due to over pressures of a second round attempting to push the first round out the barrel, generally you end up with a bulged barrel; Finally it could go boom and parts fly off and cause you injury. 
So if it is a squib round clear the barrel immediately, the best method is a wooden dow rod the size of the barrel diameter, Home Depot probably can help out. This is why I always carry a dow rod with me when I shoot. The wooden down rod can also be used to clear a stuck round in the chamber caused by jamming.
Do not use a metal rod.
If there appears to be any damage stop shooting and consult an expert, i.e. a Gunsmith and have the weapon thoroughly checked and tested.
Unfortunate accidents involving a squib round usually occur is semi or full auto fire weapons. They can occur in revolvers as well. Accidents are often caused by not paying attention to the use of the weapon.
In modern weapons such as an AR15 most likely the damage will be to the breach or bolt carrier, this places the accident and damage to the firearm closer to your face, head, and hands.
I always wear gloves and safety google when I shoot, I recommend you do the same.

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