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Clearing Light Strikes During A Stage


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Not sure if this is the right place for this post.

 

What is the best practice for clearing a light strike? Does it matter if it's the first shot of a stage? During the middle of the stage? Noobie here.

Thanks

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Tap Rack Bang drills. Sometimes the mag is not fully inserted or you have a light strike etc. Slap the mag on the bottom to check that it's seated then rack the slide to clear the chamber and reset a new bullet. Fire. Just be careful to listen for a squib. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35fz5j9LiX0

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On 2/27/2021 at 10:09 AM, Youngeyes said:

Tap Rack Bang drills. Sometimes the mag is not fully inserted or you have a light strike etc. Slap the mag on the bottom to check that it's seated then rack the slide to clear the chamber and reset a new bullet. Fire. Just be careful to listen for a squib. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35fz5j9LiX0

Im just getting into the sport but I have been shooting for about 22 years and I have never had a squib. I was talking to my friend that's a competitive shooter and he mentioned squib loads and gave me a brief description so I researched it a bit. My question is, how can you tell that it was a squib? Can you hear it go off with ear protection in or does it just depend. I know just shooting in the back yard if I was to run into an action not cycling I would take my time and investigate, but in competition training to rack a new round as fast as you can and keep moving seems like its gonna end badly. If there's somewhere on here I would see info like this im sorry. im new to this forum and haven't figured it all out yet.

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Most important long term is to determine the cause of the light strikes.  It's between the gun and the ammunition.

 

Does factory ammunition work in the gun, or still deliver light strikes?  It the factory ammunition gives problems, it points to the gun.

 

Areas of the gun to examine include teh firing pin, the firing pin spring and tunnel, the hammer (or striker) spring and any firing pin block if present.

 

Fort the ammunition (assuming reloaded) the primer is likely not completely seated.  Look for primers that are above the case.  This can be felt, or put them on a flat surface and see if they rock (they should not)

 

Do any of the cartridges that failed fire if you try them a second time?  The only time such would occur is if the primer was high for the first strike.

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11 hours ago, carolina_boy1990 said:

My question is, how can you tell that it was a squib? Can you hear it go off with ear protection in or does it just depend.

I've had two squibs over the years and both made just enough of a 'pfft' to get my attention and investigate further.  Some make more noise and others not so much, so YMMV.  Your being new, I'd suggest you take the time to slow down and see what pops out of the gun when you clear it.  Complete cartridge, no biggie.  Empty case, danger Will Robinson.  

 

If this is occurring more than once every 2-3k rounds (picking an arbitrary number), I suggest spending some time on identifying the root cause versus how to clear.

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Sometimes it's just a feeling that something is wrong. Sometimes the RO will catch it. Sometimes you see an empty case being ejected and ask yourself why would you have loaded an empty case. Sometimes(if you're lucky) the next rd won't chamber because the squib is stuck too close to allow another bullet in the barrel. As far as going fast in competition, there is such a thing as going too fast. Being nervous about a squib is good. It should motivate you to be very careful when loading. Stay safe. 

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On 2/28/2021 at 9:31 PM, carolina_boy1990 said:

in competition training to rack a new round as fast as you can and keep moving seems like its gonna end badly.

 

Well, you're free to take as long as you want investigating why your pistol stopped working but know this: you get no do overs or alibis.

 

You fix it on the clock and the longer it takes you the worse your score will be.

 

For what it's worth, no one who has more than a passing interest in this sport stops to see if a pistol didn't go bang because of a squib.  It's tap rack bang ASAP

 

FWIW I'm lucky that I shoot CZs.  Their short throats make it nearly impossible for a round to load in the chamber if a squib round preceeded it.

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I have seen bullet in bore (BIB) squibs that left the bullet closer to the muzzle than the chamber.  I've seen others that would not let the next round chamber.  There is no "one way" for a BIB.

 

I once witnessed a GM have a squib on the first shot of a course of fire on a 2-3 yard target.  He stopped and inspected the gun, noting that the bullet was not in the barrel, reloaded and proceeded with the course of fire.

 

It depends on how much you value the gun and the potential for injury.  Fortunately, pistols are held away from the face and tend to blow up (and down), so severe injuries are not common.

 

Overall, I would recommend stopping if anything is "off" about a shot.  I also recommend electronic hearing protection to better hear if anything is not right.

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Tap, rack, bang drills using snap caps when ammo is plentiful. Put one or a couple random snap cap in place of live ammo in a mag or two. Then mix the mags up. Shoot the course of fire and as the snap cap comes up it requires you to make a corrective action (Tap, rack, bang). As of now due to ammo shortages, it would make more sense to dry fire that drill. 

 

I have had two squibs. Both times I knew immediately to stop shooting. The gun acted different as well as described above it made more of a pfffft sound than a bang. Admittedly I do wear active hearing protection so maybe that helped in regards to sound. More so, I think my body reacted to the gun not recoiling properly. Luckily the squib would not have let another round chamber so I was not really in any danger if I would have pulled the trigger. 

 

I have ave also seen a Master level Carry Oprics shooter stop in the course of fire thinking he had a squib because the sound was not quite right from his gun. He was trying to figure out if he had a squib when he realized he just needed to look at the target that was close enough to see two A zone hits on the target, so he reloaded the magazine and continued the course of fire. 

 

Not saying detonations of firearms do not happen because of squibs. I am sure they do. I think it’s super rare as mentioned above or most of us would all have stories of seeing them happen or at a minimum hearing a story or two of them happening. I hear more issues with double charges damaging guns than guns going off with a squib stuck in the barrel. 

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I had one squib that I almost didn't catch. I think the recoil and noise felt normal, but I was probably wrong. My next shot went click. I racked the slide and out came a case covered in black soot. I thought this was odd, then decided to carry on. But at the last moment, I thought I'd better check the barrel, and I'm glad I did. The bullet far down the barrel enough to allow another round to chamber. I inspected case, and the primer strike mark was very shallow. I'm still not certain what caused the squib, but I suspect the case wasn't fully resized, the bullet might have come loose, and so the ignition didn't generate enough pressure. Hence the very sooty case.

 

Now had this have occured in a match, I almost certainly would have sent another round down the barrel. I would've just assumed the case didn't eject for whatever reason, but wouldn't have had the time to look closely at the case. My gun is a Shadow 1, but I can't remember if the hammer was fully cocked. Definitely seems strange if the gun cycled enough to cock the hammer, but didn't eject the case.

Edited by Blackstone45
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My buddy had one in the 12ga during a match. 

 

I heard it but he nor the Ro did. He just kept shooting 4 or 5 more shells before I could get him stopped. It blew out the barrel just in front of his hand. Banana. 

 

I don't shoot gun club in my semi anymore. 

Edited by Rjz5400
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On 3/2/2021 at 8:57 AM, BillChunn said:

PCC guy was persistent....

 

BC

GMR-15-9mm-with-24.jpg

I did that once at the State Championships with my Revolver.  Didn't notice hits on a popper and kept shooting.  Even the RO thought I was just missing.  When I went for my reload I saw the bullet coming out of the barrel and stopped.  Later one of the guys asked for the gun.  There were six shot stuck in the barrel.  

 

By the way, it wasn't a squib.  I later found out that the new bullets I was trying (Jacketed) shouldn't have been used with a minor power load.

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Light strike . . . just tap, rack, and move on. 

 

Just make sure that it is an actual light strike and not a squib. I haven't experienced one (a squib) yet but in the event you just make sure you actually stop. Instead of the tap, rack, bang procedure. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Generally a squib will leave a sooty case and a puff of smoke out of the chamber when you open the slide but not always. Always figured those couple of seconds it takes to double check are better than going home early with a ruined gun or worse. 

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I have had a few light strikes with one of my open guns, I just reached up and cocked the hammer again.  That said my new Dawson Hyper firing pin came in the mail today.  I thought it already had one, all my other guns do, and they ran the same ammo 100%.

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