Squib loads

Squib loads happen - pay attention, especially with manually operated firearms such as revolvers

view down hand gun chamber open and empty
Squib load in revolver barrel

Squib rounds are a real concern! A squib is an underpowered cartridge were the bullet either fails to leave the barrel or barely clears it. In a revolver the bullet may barely exit the case and remain in the cylinder. It may also extender slightly into the barrel and will bind up the cylinder, becoming stuck between the cylinder and forcing cone which will prevent the cylinder from turning. A more dangerous situation is the one that I observed today, where the bullet cleared the forcing cone and became lodged in the barrel, which would not stop the cylinder from turning or another round from being fired into the obstruction. The pictures show a squib load which occurred today during a LEOSA qualification with a retired officer - fortunately it was caught before damage or injury occurred.

Revolvers remain an extremely effective defensive tool, and are highly recommended. However, they do have distinctive characteristics that must be considered if used in this manner. One of the more positive aspects is the double action revolver's ability to feed a wide range of ammunition. In fact, if a round fails to fire the user simply presses the trigger again - no need to clear the action like you would have to with a semi auto. This will cycle to the next round, keeping the user in the fight. However, it is critical that the user pay attention to each round. Where a squib round will often fail to cycle a semi-auto, thus alerting a shooter to a problem, a revolver user who presses the trigger again can cause a catastrophic failure - which can result in serious injury or death to the user. If a bullet is lodged in the barrel and a second cartridge fired launches that bullet into the first, the gun can burst apart. Pay attention to your firing - especially with reloaded and practice ammo, where quality control is not as strict. This is a concern with all firearms, however of particular concern to manually operated systems such as revolvers, slide action, bolt action, lever action, etc. Contact First Circle Safety on how to identify a squib round and for proper training.

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