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I just had a reminder today of the importance of training. I was shooting up some old 38 Special ammo, and had a bullet lodge in the barrel. Instead of going BOOM, it just went pop, and I didn't feel a recoil. I laid the pistol down for half a minute, before clearing it. Thank goodness for training!
The bullet was stuck about halfway down the barrel. I had to beat it out with a hammer and punch.
What would have happened if I had fired another +P with that thing lodged in there?
This is the first hangup of this type for me, even though I have fired many thousands of rounds in my life.
What would I --What should I have done if this had happened in an emergency situation?

Fill us in......what do mean "Old 38 Special ammo"? Old as in hasn't been used in years?? Stuff You found? After clearing the barrel, did You check the barrel; bullet case for any obstruction/s? Something made it get stuck in there. Did You fire anymore rounds without any problems? Gun and type of ammo You were using??? Questions, questions, questions............
I wouldn't want to know what would have happened if you shot another round through it while one was lodged in there. Emergency situation? Throw the gun at em and run!
Hopefull You'll find the error and fix the problem, whether it's the ammo or the gun (or something else??) Maybe look into a BUG.
Give us somemore info.
Misfire: Round does not fire. A dud.

Hangfire: Round is delayed in ignition and discharge but eventually fires.

Squib Load: Round fires but doesn't have enough energy for the bullet to clear the muzzle.

You did exactly the right thing. You had good training.
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Old. I loaned the .38 SPL. Off Duty CHARCO, Inc., (Ansonia, Conn.) pistol to my pa-in-law with this ammo about 8-10 years ago. Ammo and revolver is 10-12 years old. I (sadly) got it all back when he passed away. The gun is in almost perfect condition. The ammo looked okay, too, so I left the R.P Hollowpoint +P cartridges in it.
At this point, I suspect the round was faulty somehow. The pistol was cleaned about a month ago, and the rounds were visually inspected at that time, with no defects noticed. The casings and bullets had the appearance of stainless steel, with the bullet nose machined away, to make the hollow point, leaving the lead exposed. The original bullet container is long gone, so I am not sure where it was purchased. These 5 were the last of the batch.
I wanted to use these old rounds up. The first shot was the dud. The hammer strike was normal, slightly off-center as usual (firing pin is made onto the hammer). No obstructions were present anywhere.
When I opened the pistol up, I noticed a couple of grains of grayish stuff ('powder'?) fall out. These grains were long, maybe 1/8 inch long. Could water have gotten inside? I wish I would have taken more time to keep the evidence! The casing has some powder stuck on the outside, as if this route was the path of least resistance for the pressurized gas.
After removing the stuck bullet, I shot the four remaining ones. They seemed normal in everyway. All four would have gone thru the same hole at 10 feet away, if shot at the same target. I intend to shoot about 50 tomorrow.
OldOwl, thanks. I may be older than you, I couldn't remember the terminology of misfire, etc.:laugh: It was a squib load!
HangFire and Squib Load are new to me. If That was the poblem (Squib), then I guess You now know the problem....along with good trianing.
had it happen befor with old shotgun shells they just went pop and the shot just went a few feet out the barrell,figured it was from dampness and being old.havent had that problem with surplus even back from the 40s,but there kept in military ammo cans.
Thanks, all. I fired the remaining dozen or so old rounds today without incident (all these were ball ammo), plus nearly 50 new bullets. I feel confident the pistol is okay, we just had a bad round.
I am sorry about a mistake I made in an earlier post:"I wanted to use these old rounds up. The first shot was the dud. The hammer strike was normal, slightly off-center as usual (firing pin is made onto the hammer). No obstructions were present anywhere." (end quote) The firing pin is not made onto the hammer! I was thinking about another pistol I used to own! (Possibly insignificant in this discussion, but still embarrasing).
In case somebody doesn't know, if you ever hear a pop instead of a BOOM, especially with practically no recoil, to immediately suspect squib fire! Wait 20 or 30 seconds before ejecting the shell (you don't want it to blow up in your face!). Remove the shell from the chamber, and check the barrel for a bullet stuck inside. (Sorry about the long post)
Don't need to apologize, Everyone is here to learn (well, I know I am) and the more information; stories, the better I say. :yu:

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