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Squibs with Hornady Lock-n-Load

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I recently had a run of squibs. Out of about 1000 rounds I had six. I ended up just using all 1000 for practice, so I’m fairly accomplished at removing stuck bullets from the bore.

 

I was running 124 grain bullets with Titegroup. I initially thought that I had powder contamination from case lube, because I look in every shell to confirm powder. (30 years and more than 100k loader rounds) However, I found no unburnt powder in the barrel... so much for visual powder checks.

 

I am now convinced that the powder measure moved up over time until the powder measure was no longer making a complete stroke. At the top end of the rotation, the exit port was partially occluded. A small amount of bridging or insufficient vibration and I got little or no powder.

 

I installed a RCBS lock-out die. It appears to easily detect no powder and double powder conditions. I also moved the powder measure down until it very nearly bottoms out (at the top) on the stroke.

 

In case anyone is curious a coated lead bullet will go 3” down a CZ barrel. Copper plated bullets go just past the chamber.

 

 

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Ohhh man yea thats a bummer. But lesson learned man. Glad you're aware and everything survived. Also good info about the coated bullet travel distance. Which brand were you using? I use Blue Bullets and just from handling them they feel slicker than HiTek coated. The finger pressure to pick them up causes them to spit out if my fingers, kinda like pinching a watermelon seed haaaha.

I've thought about running the rcbs die. Glad to see it works. So these dies can catch no charge and double, but they don't catch minor difference right?

But glad everything is good and thanks for the info.

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Ohhh man yea thats a bummer. But lesson learned man. Glad you're aware and everything survived. Also good info about the coated bullet travel distance. Which brand were you using? I use Blue Bullets and just from handling them they feel slicker than HiTek coated. The finger pressure to pick them up causes them to spit out if my fingers, kinda like pinching a watermelon seed haaaha.

I've thought about running the rcbs die. Glad to see it works. So these dies can catch no charge and double, but they don't catch minor difference right?

But glad everything is good and thanks for the info.

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I was using a no-name local bullet companies coated bullets to see if I liked them. (Nothing remarkable, don’t think I’ll buy in volume).

It seems to lockout at about +/- 2.5 grains of Titegroup. I am currently set up for 3.3 grains of TG and a 147 grain bullet. It certainly works with no powder and double powder conditions. Probably still room to get a squib or blow up a gun.

Note: if you repeatedly test the RCBS Lock Out die on Titegroup, it will compact the powder into the case. This will not come out without vigorous tapping. Could make for a spicy load if you didn’t catch it.


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If the base of the bullet is blackened/dirty with residue, there was no powder.  The residue is from the primer.

 

If the base of the bullet is clean, there was powder.

 

 

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How often do you check the powder drop to ensure it's throwing consistent loads? (Before the squib) With all this pandemic crap going on, shooting matches had been non existent.  When I'm loading ammo for practice and I haven't loaded in over a week, I pull the first ten cases out after the powder drop and measure the powder to ensure I'm getting a consistent drop.  

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I had an issue with mine where the powder drop would turn or twist slightly causing light or no powder throws. Fixed by using zip ties so the drop assembly could no longer turn. Not fancy, but it got the job done.

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Thanks for posting the info about the distance... confirms the benefits that manufacturers claim about coated

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I had an issue with mine where the powder drop would turn or twist slightly causing light or no powder throws. Fixed by using zip ties so the drop assembly could no longer turn. Not fancy, but it got the job done.
I had this problem and a few other minor ones with my hornady over the years. I ended up selling her a few months ago and getting a Dillon's 750. The dillon is problem free and the best reloading decision I have made.

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How often do you check the powder drop to ensure it's throwing consistent loads? (Before the squib) With all this pandemic crap going on, shooting matches had been non existent.  When I'm loading ammo for practice and I haven't loaded in over a week, I pull the first ten cases out after the powder drop and measure the powder to ensure I'm getting a consistent drop.  



I’m probably about the same. First 5 or 6, then once every 100 or so. This works fine for drift. Not do well for random failure to drop a full charge.


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So I’m assuming that even though the bullet traveled further down the barrel, the load still didn’t cycle the gun or even recoil at all correct? And the distance was purely because the coating helped the bullet slide down the barrel easier?


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So I’m assuming that even though the bullet traveled further down the barrel, the load still didn’t cycle the gun or even recoil at all correct? And the distance was purely because the coating helped the bullet slide down the barrel easier?


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No, the gun did not cycle, no recoil, nor was it even audible. I have to admit, it will be a long while before I’ll mindlessly cycle my action to clear a malfunction in a match... I’m remarkably attached to all of my fingers :)


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No, the gun did not cycle, no recoil, nor was it even audible. I have to admit, it will be a long while before I’ll mindlessly cycle my action to clear a malfunction in a match... I’m remarkably attached to all of my fingers default_smile.png


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IV only had one squib, and luckily I was using played bullets because like you said the bullet was stuck right in the chamber and wouldn’t let another round chamber. I say luckily because I was a new shooter, had never had a squib, or knew what a squib was like, and the ROs for the stage didn’t notice anything and didn’t say anything until I had already tried to chamber 3 or 4 other rounds. So, after that happened, every time I have a ftf of any kind, I slow way down and make sure I watch the shell eject as I rack the slide and make sure the round I’m ejecting still has a bullet in the case. This is usually an unnecessary waste of time and I get some weird looks when I’m running a stage and do this, but like you said, I also enjoy my fingers and would rather lose a couple places on the stage than have an explosion. Glad to know I’m not the only one lol


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I also noticed the LnL has a tendency for the powder charge to twist and after a while, rise up when attempting to charge. If you don’t watch you could have several with no charge. I have found myself really tightening down the quick release in the body of the reloaded. Seems to work


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You can wedge a small piece of wood between the powder die and the die next to it to stop the rotation.

 

I recently had my very 1st squib.  I have a powder check die and visually confirm powder before placing bullet.  I am baffled by how one got thru...but I have it on video and it clearly had no powder.  CZ Shadow and Blue Bullet 147 gr got stuck close enough that next round wouldn't chamber luckily.  Even after the RO stopped me and mentioned it could be a squib...I didn't believe it.  

Sure enough...that thing was lodged in there hard.  Banging a squib rod on the table about 30 times and it didn't budge.  It took a bolt and a big rock (couldn't find a hammer at the match) to finally get it out.  I made a short vid if you want to see

 

 

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Take it you're not using the PTX? Incomplete/nonexistent flair is a good indication something moved.

 

Have my measure in position 2 it hits the primer mag if it rotates which stops it without issue. Only low/no charge has been from the die bushing moving letting the whole measure rise, very obvious.

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My first progressive was a Hornady LnL AP.  I've had three of them pass through my hands.  The first time I loaded on a Dillon 650 I was sold.

 

I got rid of the Hornady presses and bought a second 650.

 

It seemed with the Hornady presses I was always spending more time fiddling with the presses than reloading.  Those die bushings were always working loose on me.  Thankfully my RCBS Lock-out die caught those problems.

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On 7/28/2020 at 1:31 PM, Beef15 said:

Take it you're not using the PTX? Incomplete/nonexistent flair is a good indication something moved.

 

Have my measure in position 2 it hits the primer mag if it rotates which stops it without issue. Only low/no charge has been from the die bushing moving letting the whole measure rise, very obvious.

This is what I was going to suggest. Using a PTX, if the bushing shifts, allowing the powder measure to become loose, you will stop getting flares on your cases. That should be immediately noticeable. Plus, with the powder measure in station 2, and a powder cop die in 3, my powder measure hits things before it can come out. I have to take out the powder cop die before I can remove the powder measure. This keeps it from being able to loosen up enough to become completely loose.

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Hornady sells a little LED strip that you can put on the underside of the dies for under $15. It helps quite a bit on visual inspection before the bullet gets put on. 

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