Squib Removal from a Revolver

Does anyone have a suggestion for removing a really, really stuck squib bullet from a revolver?

I’ve had squibs before in semi-autos and removal was fairly simple using a rod or wooden dowel. However, I have a S&W Model 66 with a squib stuck midway down a 3" barrel. I tried wacking it out with a dowel and brass cleaning rod. No luck. I tried drilling into it and inserting a screw to wriggle it or pull it out. The screw broke off making matters worse.

Now, I’m waiting for some 8mm brass rods that I can use to fabricate into a home-made press to attempt to push the bullet forward from the rear of the barrel. It’s now soaking in penetrating oil in hope that that will make it easier to push the stuck bullet.

Ideas anyone?


Brass rod seems to be a best option.
You can use “home made” tool - get 5/16" bolt (long enough) and cover the thread with shrinking tube.
Use gunsmith hammer to tap it out. I usually go from the muzzle end.

Next time you got squib… do not use anything that goes inside the projectile. You only expand it and make things worse.


@Mark697 Are you able to redrill from the opposite end of the bullet to drill out the included broken screw? Then, if you successfully drill all the way thru, leave it hollow til you get your 8mm brass rods.

I’m curious right now…
What is a purpose of drilling the projectile stuck in the barrel?

It’s nothing really complicated to use proper rod and tap the bullet out (the best from muzzle end).
The projectile stopped in the barrel ONLY because it had no enough energy to go out. So it is obvious, the simple way to remove it is to give it the energy by tapping it out.
Simple physic. Why complicate simple things? :thinking:

You really don’t need this :point_down:

Screenshot from 2023-10-01 20-34-14

to fix the simple issue…


That has nothing to do with an obstruction in a cylinder.
It is simpler than that, P1 × V1 = p2 × V2
p2 = p1 × V1 / V2 or p2 / p1 = V1 / V2


A squirt of WD40 cannot hurt.


Get a BFH


That would be a smart choice to remove .357 Magnum projectile…



The problem I’m facing is that I cannot wack the bullet out of the barrel from the yoke end and if I wack it from the muzzle end, I drive the screw deeper into the stuck bullet (which I was unable to remove with a hammer and a dowel in the first place, hence the attempted removal with a screw).

I’m puzzling over how to build a jig or press to push the bullet forward far enough to allow me to grasp the broken screw and remove it before resorting to pounding with a hammer (which did not work to begin with). Hence, my request for ideas. So far, all I’ve gotten are (1) hit the squib with a dowel (good luck doing that from the yoke end of a revolver, and doing that from the barrel end will just drive the broken screw in further) and (2) try some penetrating oil before hitting the squib. A new barrel may be in my future.


Once the bullet was expanded within the barrel and a screw was placed in the way of dowl rodding the bullet back from whence it came, to me, it’s professional gunsmith territory


The picture made it clear… :wink:

First time I read the post I thought “squib stuck midway down a 3” barrel" meant somewhere in the middle… :grimacing:
Anyway… definitely the smart move to remove it is to work from the cylinder end… so good luck with it.
I think, instead of spending time and thinking what to do… I’d suggest to give it to gunsmith and safe your money you may need to renew the revolver… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Apply just enough heat to soften the lead, not melt it. That will not affect the barrel as steel has a far higher softening point. Pure lead has a melting point of about 620°F, though it will begin softening before then. The guys that do bullet-casting could give you a better idea of the temp needed.


@Mark697 By looking at your photo, now, not knowing what’s in your tool box, BUT I KNOW WHAT’S IN MINE, if I faced this squib problem following all the problem solving up to the point where you are at now, looking at the front of the barrel with the broken screw sticking out BUT not ENOUGH BITE to lock in a long nose vice grip pliers as tight as it can lock to unscrew that screw, this is the next step I would try. (1) on the circumference of the gun barrel (not the housing of the barrel frame to AVOID NICKING it), place a 5/16" or 3/8" socket that is closely the diameter of the barrel with front end of the socket facing over the screw at the front of the barrel, turn the gun upside down over the socket. (2) on the yoke end, drop in a (metal) dowl (may have to cut to length size), that will stick out maybe 1/4"? or so out the back side. (3) Place a flat square solid 4" length X 3\8" or 1/2" bar (you may have to improvise) over the dowl. (4) If you have a tie rod end removal tool (you may need a 2nd set of hands to help hold the gun stable), place the U shape tool over the 4" bar, that sits on top of the dowl that sits inside the barrel from the yoke end, which the gun is held firmly upside down, with the front of barrel with the broken screw sticking out, resting on top of the socket, and with a hammer firmly but not too hard, hit the tie rod tool. You’ll have to take it from there to see if it pushes the squib outward enough to grip that screw with the vice grip pliers to unscrew the screw. IF THE SCREW is successfully removed, just take the drill and drill thru that bullet to WEAKEN the DAMN thing, then finish doweling it out. :sweat: Oh, by the way, SAFETY FIRST :point_up: Wear eye protection. There’s no guarantees this would work. Maybe, just have a gunsmith take a look at your gun, and go from there.


Thanks, that’s helpful. I had not thought about inserting a socket into the barrel over the broken screw. I’ve tried a brass dowel (from a cleaning rod) inserted in the rear of the barrel and using C clamps to squeeze the dowel against the dowel, but I can’t get enough pressure and the crown end of the clamp keeps rotating. And the cleaning rod dowel embeds itself into the rear of the bullet. I have 8mm rods coming via Amazon tomorrow. I live in the sticks, so a trip to Home Depot is a 3 + hour round trip drive. Not a good description, but the socket in the barrel over the broken screw end may provide a way forward. Thanks again for the idea.


I do have a propane torch and considered using it to melt the lead and may get to that solution if other things don’t work. My concern is whether the molten lead will adhere to the interior of the barrel. Thanks for the suggestion.


My suggestion is not to melt it, but soften it, but no, the melted lead would not adhere any more than residual lead would. Lead does not bind with steel.


@Mark697 When you get the 8mm rods, retry the c-clamp method like you did before, just add that socket up against at the front of the barrel over the screw on the swivel portion of the c-clamp, and the other end onto the 8mm rod at the yoke end, and tighten up the c-clamp with as much pressure as you can, watching that the swivel head end of the c-clamp doesn’t slip off the socket. Hopefully you have the type of c-clamp that screws inward, and not the type that is by hand squeeze to tighten. Maybe trying both methods, c-clamp tightening while heating the barrel as Dave17’s suggestion.


I am in no way suggesting that my idea will work, as I have never encountered this issue, but just another approach. I feel bad for you that you are having this issue. I know I would be quite upset, too, especially as all my efforts to date have failed. I wish you success, as I am sure there is a solution, though that may be just sending it back to the manufacturer. I have heard stories about manufacturers going well beyond their warranties to make things “right”.

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Thanks for the idea, tho’. It’s my own fault (HP-38 is not the best 357 mag powder as 7gr does not fill much of the case and even a magnum primer may not ignite it uniformly, BTW), so I’m just working to fix it.


Liquid nitrogen would shrink the screw away from the barrel, and at the same time shrink the barrel away from the screw. You may then be able to drive ir out from the cylindar end.