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  1. #1
    OldJarhed is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Choctaw, OK
    Posts
    3

    Monarch 38 special "squib warning"

    My adult son Mike was shooting my S&W M&P last Sunday at the local indoor range introducing a friend to handgun shooting. He had taken his carry pistol, a Star PD and the Smith to give Micah a chance to shoot both revolver and auto. He stopped by Academy for some ammo, "CCI Blazer 45 ACP" for the Star and "Monarch 38 Special jacketed flat nose" (PPU brass case) for the M&P. They shot all of one 38 box and most of the 45 ACP ammo and Mike said one more cylinder in the Smith and we need to go. When Micah (the new shooter) was firing his last 6 rounds in the Smith he commented that the recoil felt light and his shot wasn't even "on the paper". Mike looking at the revolver figured it was just the contrast to shooting the Star 45 that they had just fired, it can be a handful with hardball ammo. Micah finished the cylinder and gave it to my son who reloaded it with no indications of a problem and fired one shot. He thought it really felt strange so he brought the pistol down to check it and noticed the barrel was split on both sides and the spent bullets jammed in the barrel were exposed on the right side. In his words he "nearly soiled himself". When I inspected the brass later I found one with no powder residue and several with pressure signs on the primer (imagine that). I'll send the pistol to Smith & Wesson for repair. Mike tried to give Academy a heads up about this ammo failure by talking to the store manager, but he was indifferent. I don't know if Monarch is loaded by Prvi Partisan or is just their brass. My experience with all Prvi loaded ammo has been very good. So...if you shoot "Monarch" ammo be alert for misfire etc., if this had been 357 or even 38+P I think the results wouldv'e been immediate and very violent! I have pics on Photobucket for anyone interested.

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  3. #2
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,373
    he's lucky there wasn't more damage to the weapon AND himself. I have not used the ammo you mention but I hate any type of light loads. I'm glad the boys are OK. I'll bet both will be a little more attentive to loads that don't feel quite right from now on. It only takes seeing something like that once to really get your attention. I was shooting with a guy that was using some of his hand loads and for some reason was loading light. He had a squib and was about to fire again when several of us about dove on him. I've been around for a couple KB situations and hope to never see one again. Whenever I hear about one it makes me take pause.

    Again. I'm am happy to hear the guys were not hurt. Shooting is a great sport/activity. But we have to be careful and always pay attention. I hope that thew new shooter was not put off by the experience.

  4. #3
    OldJarhed is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Choctaw, OK
    Posts
    3
    I haven't fired any of this particular ammo, but I don't think it is a "reduced" load. When my son Mike explained the incident I understood Micah was comparing it to the Star PD or even the previous box of this same ammo. It seems that as a new shooter he at least recognized a difference in how the gun felt when it "squibbed" and then began to stack slugs in the barrel, but in his inexperience didn't know what to make of it. And my son didn't see any obvious problems with the pistol and assumed the same. I began shooting in 1958 and reloading in 1995, and I've had a couple of "duds" and "squibs", usually in cold (<30 deg.) weather. In every case the firearm was checked for bullet in barrel and cleared if needed. But, this is the first I've actually seen with factory ammo, except old rimfire and it typical doesn't fire at all. In our club's last "military bolt rifle match" I was using for "fowlers" some lead bullet ammo that I had loaded to check accuracy and one failed to fire and left the bullet and unburned powder in the bore/chamber of my Mosin when I extracted the case. I punched it out and kept on with the match. My son Mike was also shooting the match and I took a second to show Him the mess and warn about the danger of this very thing.

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