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  #1  
Old 08-03-2020, 11:43 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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After action report-Squib Ka-Boom

So it seems there are a lot of new shooters these days. Many who do not know what a squib is or even how to identify that you have one.....until its too late. Those of us that have been fairly well seasoned with firearms have undoubtedly experienced or witnessed it and immediately recognize and know instantly how to handle it. When you have a discussion with any shooter about safety, don't forget to mention squibs and how to deal with them. Its surprising how many people know nothing about them.

These photos are of an AR15 (Bushmaster) that a customer brought in to me. He asked me what might have happened. Fortunately the only thing he needed was a change of underwear, as he was otherwise unharmed. I dissasembled the rifle for him as we both wanted to know. I immediately suspected a squib. He was shooting an unknown manufacture of Military M193 55 gr ammo. I can not tell from the head stamp as its not complete and he didn't save any of it.

Upon first inspection looking in the end of the flash suppressor a bullet was sticking out. Once the flash suppressor was removed the bullet wiggled out with very little coaxing and had the lead core of a second bullet imbedded in its rear end (so it appeared). The Jacket of the bullet was stuck in the barrel close to the gas port, and I imagine that is where the collision took place.

I was amazed that there are only three parts not salvageable. The upper receiver, The extractor and the Bolt Carrier. There is no bulge in the barrel, gas tube is not damaged and the bolt doesn't have a scratch on it. I checked headspace with it in a new barrel and its perfect. The dust cover was bent, but easily bent right back. Now, Im not going to recommend using any of it, and the customer has ordered a new complete upper, and gave me this to use as an example of what a squib can do if your not aware of the dreaded "Pop and no Bang". (or using the wrong ammo)

One of the most interesting things was how the cartridge case appeared telescoped into itself and looked just like a 300 BO. My second thought was he tried to fire a 300 BO in a 5,56 chamber. And that actually may be what happened. So, the two takeaways from this are, Know what a squib is, and be sure to use the correct ammo.
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Last edited by M-Peltier; 08-03-2020 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:52 AM
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Speaking as someone who's experienced not one but three instances of squibs in the past year I can say that the danger is real. Especially now with the ammo panic going on there is a lot of poor-quality ammunition floating around out there.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:26 PM
1911_Bandit 1911_Bandit is online now
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Would a .300 BO even make it to the 5.56 gas port, let alone the flash suppressor? I think it wouldn't even get past blowing up in the chamber.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:28 PM
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Ouch!

Glad nobody got hurt!
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:16 PM
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No way is a .300BO round going to squeeze its way through a 5.56 bore. They will chamber though, which is why you have to be REALLY careful not to mix the ammo and mags if you own both calibers.

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Old 08-03-2020, 03:27 PM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Well......Until I saw this with my very eyes and looked closer at the evidence, I too thought it couldn't happen. But I am certain that the pressure of firing a 300 BO in a 5.56 chamber did indeed swage that 30 cal bullet down and forced it "almost" all the way thru the barrel. This photo is the actual bullet and cartridge next to a loaded 300 BO cartridge and a 5.56 cartridge. as well as a 75gr and a 55 gr canallured bullet. Note the location of the canalure on the stuck bullet and lack of canalure on the piece of jacket removed from the barrel. I should note also that the break line of the jacket on the tip and the loose piece of jacket is a perfect match. THIS WAS ONE BULLET. I was clearly mistaken when my first assumption was two bullets stuck together.

The other piece of the puzzle: On closer examination of the case, I don't believe there's enough brass to have telescoped its length to be almost a perfect match to a 300 BO. How would pressure collapse the case and pull down the mouth of a case, rather than just blow out the base? I don't think the pressure could do that.

Share your thoughts guys.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:28 PM
jasonj jasonj is offline
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Lots os 5.56/300 blkout pics out there. That’s what happened.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:12 PM
Tarmy Tarmy is offline
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Thanks for posting this OP...very interesting breakdown...and sleuthing.

And...a good reminder that stuff happens...and sometimes it ainít good.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:12 PM
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So a .300 Blackout bullet WILL make it (at least partway) down the bore of a 5.56... wow. Not that it really matters because the end result is still the same.

Of course the unfortunate AR owner claims he was only shooting M193 ball. Methinks he brought a box of .300BO with him in his range bag and didn't want to own up to it. By the way, I'm not sure I'd want to trust that barrel now. It may look okay on the outside but it must have taken some damage. When I had a squib in my .45 Schofield the barrel seemed fine afterwards, but running a tight patch down the bore proved that there was a slight bulge in it.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 08-03-2020 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:55 PM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
So a .300 Blackout bullet WILL make it (at least partway) down the bore of a 5.56... wow. Not that it really matters because the end result is still the same.

Of course the unfortunate AR owner claims he was only shooting M193 ball. Methinks he brought a box of .300BO with him in his range bag and didn't want to own up to it. By the way, I'm not sure I'd want to trust that barrel now. It may look okay on the outside but it must have taken some damage. When I had a squib in my .45 Schofield the barrel seemed fine afterwards, but running a tight patch down the bore proved that there was a slight bulge in it.
I think he did too. He swore up and down that's all they were shooting. But did say he owned a 300 BO.

As to the barrel, I have pushed a few patches down there as well as the actual bullet that came out. It feels uniformly tight the entire length, and a fresh new bullet will not pass. The gas tube (witch is far weaker than the barrel) is completely undamaged. My theory is that the bulk of the pressure simply exited the back end of the gun as it swaged the bullet into the chamber. Thats why the upper and bolt carrier are toast. by the time the bullet was swaged its now nothing more than a 5.56 bullet but longer, and all that excess pressure exited the back end, there wasn't much left to push it further than 16". Any damage should be obvious and right at the chamber. It looks perfect. I have a new M4 upper on its way. I already have enough spare parts to fully build this into another AR. I will of course pay special attention to how everything fits and check for proper head space. I will post back after its together and tested if all works ok.......if it doesn't, well........
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:21 PM
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What was the approximate weight of all the elongated bullet pieces ?
After weighing them, ask the owner what weight of bullets are his .300 blackouts. I’ll bet They will be close. He will be shocked that he took mixed Ammo to the range, and didn’t notice the difference when loading the magazines. And I’ll bet he stores his Ammo loose in Ammo cans.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:22 PM
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Though I'm not a prolific shooter, I've been very lucky. In over 50 years of firing weapons, I've never had a squib round.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:08 PM
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I've had squibs in the past with dud .22LR rounds, but they were usually pretty obvious as you'd get a click instead of a bang, yet an empty case came out. My first centerfire squib was with a .300 Blackout, but it was an AR in that caliber so it wasn't my fault. The weapon went pfff instead of bang, and when I ejected the empty a bunch of unburned powder came out as well. Long story short, I think the combination of a rough feed ramp and incompatible mag caused the bullet to telescope into the case during chambering so the round failed to go off the way it was planned.

My second centerfire squib was a lot more embarrassing. Having just fired a .44 Magnum I switched to a .45 Schofield, and noticed the recoil was much lighter. I also wasn't hitting the paper target. By the third round I felt something was wrong, and sure enough the bore was dark. I took the revolver home, and after much effort managed to dislodge no less than THREE bullets out of the barrel. Yikes!



Subsequent analysis of the unfired ammo revealed a super-light powder charge in all of them. The barrel was also slightly bulged, but fortunately Uberti took care of me and made my Schofield better than new.

My most recent squib was again a .22 rimfire. This time I was smarter and immediately suspected something was up. The annoying thing was, I had just gotten to the range with only this pistol and this was the second or third round fired. Made for a very short range visit and a very long ride back home, fuming all the way.



Now I keep a set of dowels in my range bag so that I might be able to clear a squib the next time it happens.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:16 PM
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Yep. Dowels are useful.

#3son did that double-stack in a revolver: we were using my Dad's handloads up after he died, and apparently he had been on a "less powder is better kick" - managed to jam a slug in the barrel of the 357 - and then stack ANOTHER in there..

Much panic and moaning - but, I told him it's a revolver: drive the damned thing out, cuz the gas exited the cylinder and vented from the bbl. Anything softer than the barrel would work.

A few days later he'd solved it caveman style and it was shooting perfectly well.

Lesson Learned: when you inherit ammo from someone known to be a trifle wonky - strip that stuff down and recycle the components properly.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:24 PM
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Well, in my case it was new ammo loaded by a small local company. Never trust reloads other than your own, never trust ammo loaded by a tiny one or two-man shop, never trust re-boxed or re-labeled ammo, never trust anything made and sold by somebody at a gun show, and yes, definitely don't take ammo from strange people. That last one is the gun-lover's equivalent of never taking candy from strange people at Halloween.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:27 PM
bbqncigars bbqncigars is offline
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Yet another instance of what can happen when you have 300BO ammo in the same house with regular .223/5.56 guns. A tiny loss of concentration leads to a KB. Like many AR shooters, I avoid this problem by avoiding 300BO. There are no such problems possible with any of my 6.5G ammo in any of my ARs.
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Old 08-04-2020, 01:21 AM
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Will 6.8 SPC chamber in a 5.56 gun?
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:33 AM
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Wow, thanks for posting...

Best way to lower risk of happening might be to buy only brand name ammo of the top-tier variety. But there is always some risk..I do get that reloading save a lot of money, just not something I'm interested in doing for a variety of reason's.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:29 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steam Boat View Post
What was the approximate weight of all the elongated bullet pieces ?
After weighing them, ask the owner what weight of bullets are his .300 blackouts. Iíll bet They will be close. He will be shocked that he took mixed Ammo to the range, and didnít notice the difference when loading the magazines. And Iíll bet he stores his Ammo loose in Ammo cans.
Thats an excellent question. I had not even thought of that.

It weighs exactly 149.5 gr.

So. It could not possibly be two 55 gr bullets as he claimed to be shooting that day.

It is the perfect weight for a single 150gr 300 BO.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:34 AM
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Very interesting, and, I think, conclusive.
I would not have thought that possible.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:47 AM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is offline
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That's a classic 300 BO in a 5.56 firearm.

NEVER use wooden dowels to remove squibs. If you jam that wood in there and it breaks you've tripled your problem.

Get some brass rod and use that. https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...1251-4412.aspx

Or this. https://www.uniquetek.com/product/T1287
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BrokenGrunt View Post
That's a classic 300 BO in a 5.56 firearm.

NEVER use wooden dowels to remove squibs. If you jam that wood in there and it breaks you've tripled your problem.

Get some brass rod and use that. https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...1251-4412.aspx

Or this. https://www.uniquetek.com/product/T1287
This, for sure. Cheap insurance. I've had a handfull of squibs, but all were expected. A very good buddy loaded a batch and somehow figured out there were some missing powder. I (foolishly) helped him shoot them up. I think we had 6 or 8 out of his 50 round box. They all pushed out of the barrels pretty easily with a brass rod.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:49 AM
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I pay close attention when charging the cases. By hand I never had a problem, with the progressive presses we need to be extra careful.

Note, no one is allowed to talk to me or bother me when I’m reloading. I had a squib once handloading in a rcbs press. Someone was talking to me. That was 40 years ago. Before I set rules. Distractions are no good.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:18 AM
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With my .300 BLK pistol I made sure to mark both the gun and mags to hopefully prevent any mix-ups. The dust cover says ".300 AAC" in big letters, the dedicated mags I use are all Magpul's .300BLK-specific mags, and I even labeled them. Furthermore I keep my .300BLK ammo stored in a separately-marked ammo can.



While it is still possible to have a mix-up someday so far I have never put the wrong caliber ammo in a magazine when at the range, so hopefully my way of doing things will keep me from blowing myself up.
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:06 PM
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I used matching gunskins decals for my 300 carbines and magazines.

I also never shoot both at the same outing.
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