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Technical Tuesday: MR918 vs Squib Load

Our first Technical Tuesday in a while, we’re taking a look at a customer’s gun that was damaged by a squib load. We’ll first talk about what a squib load is and how to identify it when you’re shooting and then we will take a look at how the gun held up to being blown up.

First how did this happen? The customer was shooting some rather light ammunition–it was factory ammo, 147 grain, subsonic. He had a magazine with about four of those rounds followed by a defense load duty ammo. What the customer did not notice was that one of the soft load bullets was a squib load. What is a squib load? It means there was no powder. The primer has enough oomf to push the bullet partially down the barrel but not enough for it to fire out of the gun. So the squib load traveled partially down the barrel and stopped. The customer then fired a defense round. This caused the gun to burst right in the middle of the barrel, because one bullet was obstructing the bore when the other was fired causing the gun to blow up.

So how did the MR918 Elite handle being blown up? The frame actually remained in quite good condition, with the frame rails still intact. Our rails are some of the toughest in the industry. Really the only real damage the frame endured was a crack along the serial plate. We use a glass-filled, high-strength polymer for our frame, and that is why it was tough enough to survive. Most of the other internal parts sustained minimal or no damage, with the locking block remaining intact. The barrel and slide are completely ruined and nearly fused together, with the bullet still stuck in the barrel.

Our warranty does not cover this type of customer-caused damage, however, we pride ourselves on standing with the customer to do our best to fix issues even when they aren’t product flaws, so we are repairing this customer’s gun for a very nominal cost. Each of these issues is handled on a case-by-case basis, so give us a call if you have an issue and we will do our best to help! 469.458.6808

2 Replies to “Technical Tuesday: MR918 vs Squib Load”

  1. Ron Heltsley says:

    What type of ammo do you recommend using? Can I use steel case ammo?


      Ron, we normally do not recommend steel case ammo. It tends to be a little rougher on the extractor and have more friction during extraction from the chamber. A lot of the steel case stuff tends to be a little under powered too. With that said, there is nothing inherently wrong with it, just keep your expectations reasonable on reliability and performance. Outside of that, I’d stay stick to to name brand American, brass cased ammunition. Most of our testing is done with 124 grain Federal, CCI, etc. Good luck!

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