What is a squib load? You may wonder the question when encountering this term. It is a common malfunction that every year-long gun user will experience.

There are many cases where firearms malfunction and cause damage to the users. Knowing about squib load allows you to learn to deal with it effectively.

This post tells you everything about squib load, from its causes and effects to preventative measures. Let’s scroll down to read more information!

What Is A Squib Load?

Squib load or squid round is a type of gun malfunction. It happens when your firearm doesn’t generate enough power to shoot the bullet. 

As a result, the pellet cannot exit the gun barrel and stay stuck inside. 

This phenomenon is commonly known as no kick, squid round, pop, or a squib. 

Squib load is extremely dangerous, especially to beginners who don’t have much experience dealing with this malfunction. 

Therefore, knowing about the causes and methods to handle this situation is critical. Now let’s discuss the potential risks and dangers of squib load. 

What Is A Squib Load
What Is A Squib Load?

Why Is Squib Load Dangerous?

Firing another bullet when getting a squib load is the most critical mistake many people make. When encountering squib load, the inexperienced gunners will get confused and fire another bullet. 

The new bullet will hit the obstructed pellet in the barrel directly, which will likely destroy or ruin the firearm’s inner structure. If you are lucky, the firearm barrel will get destroyed or broken with no further damage. 

In severe cases, the pieces of the broken cartridge will explode and fly in multiple directions. These pointy cartridge pieces travel very fast and can cause fatal damage to the humans nearby. 

What Causes Squib Load?

This phenomenon can happen in all types of firearms, regardless of their quality.

The common cause is an insufficient load or lack of gunpowder. Sometimes the primer of the gun may fail to ignite the powder and generate the shooting force. 

If there is insufficient or no gun powder at all, the primer still generates force.

But it is just sufficient to push the pellet up to the barrel. If you keep firing a gun with empty gun powder, the rounds will pile up in the barrel. 

For the gun with weak barrels, the piled-up pellets will destroy its shape and structure. Squib load commonly happens with inexperienced and new reloaders who don’t check the gunpowder before firing. 

However, firing a too large or deformed cartridge can also cause a squib load. In this case, the damage is even more catastrophic than the lack of gunpowder. 

A Squib Load Definition
Insufficient Gunpowder In The Cartridge Can Cause Squib Load

How To Detect A Squib Load?

The apparent factor you should pay attention to is the shooting noise generated.

When squib load happens, you will hear a much quieter or strange noise in the barrel. It’s more like a “pop” or “ping” rather than a loud “bang.”

In addition, the recoil is much weaker, or there is no recoil at all. Recoil results from the powerful force generated when shooting. Another obvious sign is no pellet exiting the barrel, only a small fire ray or discharge. 

The insufficient burned powder will lead to smoke venting through the barrel ejection port. Squid load stops or fails the reloading cycle if you are using automatic and semi-auto firearms. 

Squib Load Definition
Notice The Recoil When You Shoot

How to Handle Squib Loads? 

Properly handling squib loads is critical as it protects both your firearm and your well being. When you notice one of the mentioned signs, unload your gun. 

The important thing is knowing when squib load happens. If you panic and fire another round, it will lead to catastrophic consequences. Carefully unload and disassemble the gun if you can. 

What Is The Squib Load
Quickly Disassemble The Gun If You Can

If you don’t have experience disassembling the gun, just leave it and let the gun fixers or professionals handle the task. Now check the barrel if there is obstruction, but don’t put it too close to your face. 

If a pellet is stuck inside, take a wooden or metal stick and carefully push it outward. Don’t ever use your hand to handle the obstructed cartridge. When performing these steps, remember to point your firearm in a safe direction. 

If you are handling a large or auto gun, don’t get in its shooting direction. The obstructed large cartridges can explode at any moment, bringing potential harm to the nearby people. 

If you want more detailed instructions, consider watching the video below. 


So that is the basic information on the causes, effects, and preventative measures of squib load. If you want to understand more about this malfunction, the answers provided in this section will come in handy. 

How Common Are Squib Loads?

If you use modern ammunition, squib loads rarely occur. 

The ammunition produced nowadays is thoroughly checked and filled with gunpowder using machines. 

However, it’s still a possibility, and you should be extremely careful. 

Is It Ok To Fire Again After A Squib Load?

The subsequent pellet will get stuck behind the obstructed cartridge in the barrel. As a result, it will ruin the barrel structure. In severe cases where the pellets explode, it will cause fatal damage to the gunners and nearby people. 

What Is A Double Feed?

Double feed happens when the two cartridges get removed from the magazine at once. They will get stuck in the firearm chamber and cause malfunction or damage to your weapon. 

Should You Oil The Inside Of A Gun Barrel?

Yes. You should maintain and lubricate the gun barrel to ensure it functions properly after a long usage period.

However, don’t use too much oil as it could impede the firearm and affect your shooting experience. 

Final Thoughts 

Though squib load is not a common malfunction, it can cause severe damage to the gunners and firearms. It’s critical to identify and handle squib loads properly.

I hope that the information provided in this post can satisfy you. 

Thank you for reading!

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