Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Look at this squib


Recommended Posts

After my wife had a squib in her pistol some of the more experienced cowfolk told me that I didn't put powder in that one, and not to worry because it happens sometimes.  That didn't sit right with me.  I'm using a progressive loader (Dillon SDB).  It's hard to miss a step on just one cartridge. 

Anyway, I took it apart and found two things of interest.  First, there was indeed powder as I suspected.  The pic below shows the second thing.  On the left is the primer from a successful shot, and on the right is the primer from that squib. 

Any thoughts?PXL_20210323_040721778.jpg.ffb4428a4f797cca1281e7eb98b5649a.jpg

Edited by Fretless
Link to post
Share on other sites

For one thing, the primers are not the same type or brand.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Eyesa Horg said:

For one thing, the primers are not the same type or brand.

Good eye! I didn't notice that. The primer on the right looks a little bit smaller?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

First thought would be some sort of powder contamination. How do you clean your cases? 
 

Was there a lot of unburned powder in the gun? If you had a squib with powder in the cartridge, there should have been unburned powder all over the gun. 
 

Even with powder, an ultra-light charge can mimic a squib. It’s possible your reloaded threw too light a charge for some reason. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

For one thing, the primers are not the same type or brand.

Good point.  The one on the right, the squib, was (or should have been) a remington primer.  The one on the left I pulled out of my depriming cup expecting the same brand since I was near the end of the brick

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

First thought would be some sort of powder contamination. How do you clean your cases? 
 

Was there a lot of unburned powder in the gun? If you had a squib with powder in the cartridge, there should have been unburned powder all over the gun. 

I clean with dawn water and vinegar, followed by a hot rinse, and dried in a convection oven to make sure the primer pockets are dried out.

 

The bullet never fully cleared the cylinder.  A rod was used to push it back down in order to unload and inspect the pistol.  As a result the powder was contained, and the rest of the gun was clean.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok.  Here are three more examples of the same type of primer as the squib.  All of these were successfully firedPXL_20210331_130534256.thumb.jpg.2e69469d7a10ffda9da4cfe86c6909c7.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd guess that one of the primer pockets somehow managed to get through your oven with some moisture in it, perhaps there was something stuck in that pocket.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Fretless said:

I clean with dawn water and vinegar, followed by a hot rinse, and dried in a convection oven to make sure the primer pockets are dried out.

 

The bullet never fully cleared the cylinder.  A rod was used to push it back down in order to unload and inspect the pistol.  As a result the powder was contained, and the rest of the gun was clean.

That brings it back to powder contamination. I would expect you make sure the cases are thoroughly dried, which then shifts the thought to contamination by case lube, or by something in the powder measure or in how the powder was handled or stored. 
 

Any other rounds from that batch feel under-powered?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you tumble the empties in corn cob or walnut media? I decap my cases before cleaning in a wet pin tumbler. Then after drying I run them through a vibratory cleaner with corn cob media and some waxy polish. I check the pockets as I am priming them and usually have some media in primer pockets that I have to pick out of them.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the problem with an experienced shooter suggesting you might not have got powder in the case?  And you took umbrage at his suggestion?  Did you just wake up one day and find that you load perfect ammo and have done for years?   :rolleyes:    (Actually none of us do.)

 

What's the load?  I'd guess it's black powder or a sub since you are cleaning with soapy water.  If you are washing with water and it's a smokeless load, don't.  You are wetting the cases for no good reason.

How cold was it when shooting?

 

But yeah, a plugged primer flash hole or some water or oil that got into the case during loading.  OR a clog in the powder measure that greatly reduced the weight of powder in that one case.   Again, what powder are you loading, and how are you measuring it, and what is your powder volume check method (mark 1 eyeball, or a powder lockout die or ....)   And what exactly is your cleaning regime?  Have you told us the whole story?

 

Something a lot of black powder/subs shooters do is deprime cases before a water wash cleaning.  This lets the cleaning step have a chance to work on the fouling in the pocket.

 

good luck, GJ

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

What's the problem with an experienced shooter suggesting you might not have got powder in the case?  And you took umbrage at his suggestion?  Did you just wake up one day and find that you load perfect ammo and have done for years?   :rolleyes:    (Actually none of us do.)

 

 

I did read he checked that and found powder still in the cylinder after pushing the bullet back far enough to turn cylinder and unload. 

 

I go with blockage of primer.

 

Smokeless or BP?

 

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Any other rounds from that batch feel under-powered?

not a one.   The squib was singular.  I did have one primer from that same box fail to fire at all. ( I have not had any light strike issues outside of that

 

3 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

What's the problem with an experienced shooter suggesting you might not have got powder in the case?  And you took umbrage at his suggestion?  Did you just wake up one day and find that you load perfect ammo and have done for years?   :rolleyes:    (Actually none of us do.)

 

What's the load?  I'd guess it's black powder or a sub since you are cleaning with soapy water.  If you are washing with water and it's a smokeless load, don't.  You are wetting the cases for no good reason.

How cold was it when shooting?

 

But yeah, a plugged primer flash hole or some water or oil that got into the case during loading.  OR a clog in the powder measure that greatly reduced the weight of powder in that one case.   Again, what powder are you loading, and how are you measuring it, and what is your powder volume check method (mark 1 eyeball, or a powder lockout die or ....)   And what exactly is your cleaning regime?  Have you told us the whole story?

Umbrage is far to strong a word...point taken though.  The logic just didn't seem right given the number of loads without problem and the method of loading.  It sounded like I was being told to disregard the issue and not try to fix something that could be in my control. (read as - something I am doing wrong)

 

38 special, 105 gr poly coated TCFP, 3.3 gr of CleanShot powder (smokeless).

If I should not wet the cases, should I just go completely old school and simply wipe them out/off?  I do not have a tumbler.  I thought I was washing off the soot and any oils picked up or burned on from the gun.

 

It was chilly that day (in the low 40s I think)

 

I'm using a progressive loader (Dillon Square Deal B), which has a powder measure/dispensor at step 2.  Every 100 or so rounds I pull a case off the loader and dump the powder out to weigh it.  So far (a little over 2000 rounds) it has been spot on every time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Some kind of "spooge" in the primer pocket.

I think you nailed the technical term.  What struck me was the odd burn pattern on the squib primer.  My first thought was that it was defective (and I was told by other shooters that they have more problems with Remington primers than with other brands), but it seemed prudent to examine other possibilities that might be in my control.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3.3 grains CleanShot with a light bullet means you are at low chamber pressure.  I am not aware of how cold weather affects CleanShot.  Many pistol powders when loaded in a light load (bottom of recommended range) will get very weak and inconsistent on their burn in cold temperatures.  There's only a few powders I know of that have higher pressures in cold weather - Winchester WST is one.  And Clay Dot is pretty insensitive to cold weather.

 

So, you aren't going to prove EXACTLY what happened to cause that one squib round.  But you've got some great things to improve your loading techniques already.  I would not continue to water-wash your brass.   If you want to clean off the soot, take an old bath towel, sprinkle a couple of caps of paint thinner on it, dump a hundred pieces of brass on it, and roll the brass in the sagging towel (like bowling balls are cleaned). 

 

I would not load ammo without my vibratory bowl case cleaner loaded with walnut hull granules to clean up the brass. I sure don't want any range dirt/sand getting into the die bodies and scratching up all my brass.   But the vibratory bowl gets dry cases cleaned up in about 30 minutes- I add a little bit of paint thinner and a used dryer sheet to the bowl to better pull out the soot from cases, and to reduce the amount of dust generated.  Run the bowl at least till all the paint thinner dries up and the media separates cleanly from the brass. 

 

What you see in the spent primer is, I believe, some unburned powder.  When the primer fired, it generated enough pressure to blow the bullet out into the forcing cone of barrel, and that is enough to force some of the unburned powder back into the primer.  Don't blame the primer - it fired.  Rem primers are just about as easy to fire as Winchester primers.   I think this squib was either a very light powder weight fired in cold weather, or some of your cleaning solution wet down the powder right by the flash hole.

 

Too bad you are using a Square Deal loader.  It means you cannot put on a low-powder-throw lockout die (like the great one that RCBS has).  I have one of those on all three loaders I run, and those dies have found a light powder drop randomly over the last few years, maybe 1 in every 200 loads.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Those primers are the classic worst I have ever seen and definitely are coated with contaminated powder.

So, IMO, the squib was due solely to a cleaning process that left moisture in the case that contaminated the powder

If the spent reload primers were removed before the liquid dunking - were perfectly day before putting in the cleaner, the primers would never look like the ones in the pictures.  Ergo, all points to operator’s methodology  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Fretless we all want you to be successful at this game so please dont get upset as we try to help. I have been reloading for 35 years, own two SDBs a 550 and a Dillon sl900 SG loader and I still look forward to hearing what others have to say. I pay extra attention when Garrison Joe has input, I still learn a lot.  I would suggest that you reconsider a wet tumbler or vibratory  tumbler. Washing doesnt get into the inside of the case well enough, some folks deprime before tumbling. I think that is the best method but I am lazy so I just tumble. The cost is not very high and makes the process easier and less hassle with the SDB. 

 

Imis

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

How are you lubing the cases for resizing? 

OLG 

The Square Deal B has carbide dies.  It is my understanding that case lube is not needed for that reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Fretless said:

The Square Deal B has carbide dies.  It is my understanding that case lube is not needed for that reason.

Some folks still lube for ease of loading. I do.

OLG 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Fretless said:

The Square Deal B has carbide dies.  It is my understanding that case lube is not needed for that reason.

.38/357 and smaller not necessary to lube, for larger.44 and .45 every other case make it smoother. Carbide grinds any surface contamination into the brass.

 

Imis

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Loading .38s I put a piece of old fluorescent light ‘egg carton’ grid in the bottom of an old cake pan and shake the cases into it after cleaning. Most drop in base down; after I flip the few that don’t I can look directly down into each one to check for debris, and look across them to weed out any stray .357 cases. 
 

Then I lift the grid out and even though I use carbide dies I spray Hornady One Shot obliquely across the cases. The little bit of lube on the outside helps with the ‘feel’ of the reloading stroke (that helps catch any problems) and the little bit that gets on the inside of the case mouth helps with the expander die (it also helps that I chucked the die up in a drill and used a little polish to slick up the plug). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to deprime and run a tool through the primer pockets but found (for me) that was not necessary, as it really never showed any improvement and now I just clean in a vibratory tumbler before deprime, then run through the deprime/prime station and the rest of the stations. No problems ever. (well, hardly, but not with primer pockets). I found (and still do with my BPCR cases) that if I deprime and then clean, media always gets stuck in the flash holes and I have to poke it out. I suspect your issue was a blocked flash hole, but IDK.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

 . I found (and still do with my BPCR cases) that if I deprime and then clean, media always gets stuck in the flash holes and I have to poke it out. I suspect your issue was a blocked flash hole, but IDK.

Yep, which is why i changed to wet tumbling with stainless media. I never have that problem any more. Much faster too, although more hands on work. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

I used to deprime and run a tool through the primer pockets but found (for me) that was not necessary, as it really never showed any improvement and now I just clean in a vibratory tumbler before deprime, then run through the deprime/prime station and the rest of the stations. No problems ever. (well, hardly, but not with primer pockets). I found (and still do with my BPCR cases) that if I deprime and then clean, media always gets stuck in the flash holes and I have to poke it out. I suspect your issue was a blocked flash hole, but IDK.

I agree. If you deprime before tumbling the flash hole can fill with media. The depriming pin insures the flash hole is clear in the loading process. Personally, I don't have time to inspect each piece of brass and I let the press do it's job. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure how your presses work, but even when I de-prime and then tumble, when sizing the depriming pin still pokes through the primer hole, knocking out any media.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

Not sure how your presses work, but even when I de-prime and then tumble, when sizing the depriming pin still pokes through the primer hole, knocking out any media.

Why waste time depriming before tumbling when you deprime on the first station of a progressive press? Sounds like additional work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

 I found (and still do with my BPCR cases) that if I deprime and then clean, media always gets stuck in the flash holes and I have to poke it out. I suspect your issue was a blocked flash hole, but IDK.

If using walnut media, try Lizard Litter Desert Blend. I very, very rarely have any media problems in flash holes.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.