A squib load
, also known as a squib round
, pop and no kick
, or just a squib
, is a firearms
malfunction in which a fired projectile does not have enough force behind it to exit the barrel, and thus becomes stuck. This type of malfunction can be extremely dangerous, as failing to notice that the projectile has become stuck in the barrel may result in another round being fired directly into the obstructed barrel
, resulting in a catastrophic failure
of the weapon's structural integrity.
Squib rounds are possible in all black powder
and smokeless powder
based projectile weapons. They are most often caused by negligence in the powder loading process (insufficient powder load), or a failure of the primer
to ignite the powder at all. Other causes include deformed bullets and attempting to fire a bullet which is slightly too large for the barrel, although both of these scenarios would more likely result in some variety of catastrophic failure
instead of a squib.
Signs that a squib round has occurred include: a much quieter or otherwise unusual-sounding discharge noise,
lighter or nonexistent felt recoil force, discharge of smoke from the ejection port instead of the barrel, and a failure of the action to cycle (in semi-automatic firearms). That is why it is also referred to as "pop and no kick"
This usage of the term "squib" is not to be confused with the small pyrotechnic
charge used to simulate bullet impacts in the special effects
industry nor should it be confused with "blank" charges used to imitate discharge of a weapon but lack a projectile. Such blank loads are nonetheless dangerous as the explosive escape of hot gas from the barrel can be devastating at short ranges.
Images of a textbook squib load in a Sig-Sauer
- Gun Tests Magazine, "Reloading Safety, Equipment and Procedures: Part 1", Belvoir Publications, Inc, 1997. Accessed May 10, 2007.
- Everything2.com., Performing combat S.P.O.R.T.S., Accessed June 3, 2007.
- Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI), "Glossary of Industry Terms, L", Accessed May 10, 2007.