What Is Wrong With This Picture?
Got it yet?
I share this picture and accompanying story to serve as a reminder for those of us who send lots of lead downrange as well as those shooters who are new to shooting sports. Knowing how to recognize a squib load and what to do about it is a necessary fundamental of safe firearm handling.
I have only encountered a couple squib loads in my lifetime; this is the first time one has resulted in plugging my barrel.
On the 5th shot of a rapid-fire, double-action string, the sound and recoil resulting from pulling the trigger of my Model 19-3 were substantially different. Substantially different. The bang was more like the weak "pop" of a cheap firecracker, and the recoil was practically non-existent. Fortunately, and likely due to my having taught about squib loads and their potential hazards so many times in NRA Basic Pistol course, I didn't fire that sixth shot.
I was shooting .38 Special, 158 gran SWC Factory Reloads from The Outdoor Marksman.
It turned out to be a great object lesson for my two sons and wife who were watching. Being able to open the cylinder, see the slug lodged in the barrel, and to talk about what would have happened had the sixth shot been fired was a terrific object lesson.
I'm going to make a color copy of this picture and share it with my future students when talking about the various types of ammunition malfunctions. Feel free to share these pictures if you think anyone you know could benefit from them.