There are a number of malfunctions that can happen at the range, and the odds are that if you like to practice shooting regularly, you’ve already run into a few of them. Failures to feed, stovepipes, and other common handgun malfunctions can solved easily enough by the tap-rack-bang drill, but not this one. No, this rarely-seen malfunction has the potential the blow up your gun—and take your hand with it.

It’s a squib.

A squib is what happens when the round does not have enough powder to propel the bullet out of the barrel. There is still a pop when the trigger is pulled and even a puff of smoke, but th e bullet is now lodged inside your barrel instead of speeding towards your target. At this point, chambering another round and firing it will collide it with the bullet already in your barrel, leading to a catastrophic failure.

Luckily for this shooter, an attentive range officer caught the malfunction just before he was able to get another round off, likely saving him from a broken gun and painful injuries to boot. Footage of the shooting begins at 1:16 and the squib occurs at roughly 1:38.

Image is a screenshot of video by ONE on ONE Firearms on YouTube

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  • Chuck Wagon

    Wow! BRAVO to the attentive Range Officer!!! But that man a beer!!!! ….or Three

  • John CG

    VERY GOOD safety reminder, although I am skeptical that this all was not set up in advance (the shooter just happened to be wearing a head-mounted camera and everything). But still, a good refresher course.
    As a shotgun shooter almost exclusively, we are reminded to look down our barrels each time we shoot to be sure that a shot cup is not lodged in there. It happens. Not feasible with anything but a break-action shotgun, I know, but still a good idea.

  • Tom ard

    the more dangerous squib is a delayed fire. The shooter hears the cap pop with no shot, then looks down the barrel just in time for the round to fire and hit him in the head.. NEVER look at the hole!

  • That’s the RSOs job, luckily it didn’t occur during a rapid fire drill otherwise he couldn’t have saved the day. Our league RSO has caught numerous squibs as have I as a marksmanship instructor in the USMC for 16 years. Indeed we need more RSOs of this caliber. Great job.

  • Old Shooter

    Had to handle two of these squib fires in just a couple of days. Hand loaded .380s (by the same guy) in a Sig P238 and a Ruger LCP. First lady initially had trouble getting the Sig to go into battery. Found that the reloader had both 9mm and .380 acp in the same box. Separated the rounds and reloaded her mag. First round went fine, second was the squib which fortunately only went down the barrel a very short way and the third round couldn’t go into battery. Managed to clear the weapon for her. (Did make some disparaging remarks about her friend, who was present, reloading skills. A couple days later she was back with a friend who had just purchased a Ruger. First shot out of this gun was the squib. This bullet was a jacketed hollow point which I had her take back to the shop and have it drilled out. Guess who she got her rounds from. Same dude who told her there might be a few under powered rounds but the bullet will just fall out of barrel. Another shooter had a box of 9mm that this same guy had loaded. They wouldn’t go into battery. Told my buddy that those 9s looked just a tad too long. They worked fine once we went to my place and reseated them to the correct size. Handloads are great but you really have to keep your head in the game.