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Old 08-01-2020, 01:53 PM
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Default How do YOU Clear a Squib? Bullet stuck in barrel.



Hope all is well wherever this message finds you.

I try to teach new shooters about squibs and delayed reaction on primer fires. These are two topics in our shared hobby that I feel do not get mentioned enough, although they are uncommon.

In another thread, I posted that I personally have used a wood dowel and if it was really stuck, some sort of metal rod; generally, a cleaning rod, which is on hand conveniently when at the range.

I am happy to be educated.

What I personally was taught was to use a wood dowel, so as to avoid scratching the rifling. To give it a good smack, firm (with purpose) and if this did not work, then to rig up a jig to clamp a tool to remove it.

My experience has only been with lead wad cutters and 22s and am not sure how jacketed would impact this. I was taught and have done on the few instances this occurred in countless rounds to push the bullet back out of the forcing cone and only remove via forward out the barrel if it is near the end (this was with a 22 round).

I genuinely wish to learn; as well as, bring this topic up again because there has been an uptick in new firearm owners.

Please share.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:12 PM
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You can buy "squib" rods from Brownells or Midway, mine is brass.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:14 PM
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I carry an old brass shotgun cleaning rod and a old brass cleaning .22 rod with a small brass headed mallet just for cases stuck in chambers and slug stuck in barrels. This set up has been used at the range by me on other folks gun and worked every time.

Worst I have ever seen was a friend forgot to put in powder in some .38 Special 148 gr WC's and then let another friends wife shot them. She did not figure out something was wrong until the cylinder would not rotate. When the gunsmith finally got it apart there were 6 slugs stuck in the barrel and cylinder. Thank God not one of the following ones had powder in it..........
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:44 PM
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I've been fortunate to have never experienced a squib load (*knocks on wood*), but I also know that means I'm lacking in proper tools and experience. I've been told a pen could work as a field expedient tool, but all my pens are too thick. A wooden pencil could work, but I don't carry them with me.

The closest I've been to a squib load was some defective ammo. The cases ruptured and got stuck in the chambers of my snub. I was able to remove them using the small pliers in my keychain multitool, but a squib rod would've been beneficial.

Off and on I've searched for a Monadnock D-Jammer, which is a keychain mounted rod, but with no success. Every vendor I've seen that listed them were out-of-stock. And I'm not handy enough to make one. I want something I can keep on me, in my pocket, rather than something to keep in a range bag.

But seeing this thread inspired me to search again. I found a vendor that seemed to have good reviews, listed the D-Jammer, and didn't say it was out-of-stock. Didn't say it was in-stock, either, but it let me order one. Hopefully it works out and I'll get it in the mail before too long, and not get an email saying it was out-of-stock. *fingers crossed*
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:33 PM
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You can’t get better than hardwood dowel but it must be bore size. Smaller diameter will have room to flex and break. Jacked bullets are worse if wrong diameter rod is used first. I’ve never run across a squib I couldn’t knock out easy if right size rod is used. Unfortunately they only show up after Bubba and all his range friends try everything they can fit in barrel. Using steel rod can damage bore, using undersize rod will end up trying to go between bullet and bore, sticking in worse. In general a 3/8ths brass rod will handle 38 to 50 cal handguns. Don’t peck when taking out squib
hit it smartly.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:41 PM
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i have been fortunate and have never had a squib load. people who know me know i do light work on guns.

a friend brought me an inexpensive .22 revolver with a bullet stuck in the barrel. i told him i couldn't do it now but if he left it with me i would see what i could do.

of course the stuck bullet wouldn't budge. ended up driving and i do mean driving the bullet out. when i got it out it was a them. 3 slugs which were bonded together came out but it was no easy job. cleaned it for him.

my normal fee for such precision gunsmithing is a 6 pack of my favorite beer ( miller high life). i had to up my fee to a 12 pack. my friend was happy with it. him and i drank up that 12 when he came to get his gun.

that is my only squib experience and i hope it stays that way. kenny
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:16 PM
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Either a Brass or hard wood dowel. MAKE SURE gun is unloaded!! Even though to most that's obvious, in the heat of the moment some might forget.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:14 PM
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I have one in my HK45, was amazed how much energy it took to drive the bullet out.
Since that day I have a plastic remover rod in my range bag that hopefully will never use.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:17 PM
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Default Squibs

I've cleared a few but mainly for others. I either use the largest dowel that will fit the bore or a brass or aluminum rod that is softer than the bore itself. With auto loaders, I disassemble the gun and drive the bullet to whatever end is closest. With revolvers, you really have no choice but to drive the offending bullet from the muzzle to the open action.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:43 PM
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I live about 2 miles from one of OnlineMetals.com locations. I just ordered a 1' long 3/16 brass rod, and a 2' long one, and a 3' long aluminum 1/4" rod for centerfire above .223. Dirt cheap for store pick-up. I also have a 1' long 3/16" aluminum one in my pistol box for when I have my bullseye gear with me. You can whack the end with most anything. Last time was a wooden door stop.

It happens, especially with bulk .22LR
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:54 AM
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I bought a brass rod from Ace Hardware that was 3 feet long. I then cut into rods for my revolvers. Yes, I've had a few squib and so has my shooting partner. Using brass and a brass hammer it has never been a problem pounding out a squib be it lead or jacketed.

I would never use a wood rod. I've seen them brake while I was a range officer at one of the largest shooting ranges in the country.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:28 AM
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Also a squirt of Kroil down the bore a few hours beforehand will help.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:56 AM
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Back in the 80's I build a squib rod, actually 2, one for 38's and one for 45's. Brass rods and attached a large round wooden knob. Make sure the rod is longer than the barrel it is intended for. It has been used maybe 4-5 times over that 40 years. Always put a couple drops of oil or Kroil down the bore and let soak a hour or so before banging it out if you have the option.

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Old 08-02-2020, 10:24 AM
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I bought Brass and Aluminum rods in 8’ lengths. Had a big market for ram rods for 45 & 50 cal muzzle loader when we got state wide season. Sold some as simple as concave end and D&T other 10/32. Others turned rode to accept Uncle Mikes fittings. There is really no reason that wooden ram rod isn’t ok but hundreds of 1st time ML hunters broke a lot of rods. I still have full length Aluminum rod. Making ram rods for mostly TC Hawkins and Renegades left me with plenty short pieces for squib rods for revolvers.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:06 AM
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HARDWOOD dowel from Home Depot.
Yes, they break and mushroom, but that's why you buy a 3' length.

Last edited by max503; 08-02-2020 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:09 PM
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I always carry a brass rod for my 38/357 but on my 45ís I have a couple of oak 3/8Ē dowels that I chucked up and sanded down to about .357. Wood dowels are not precision so itís easy to find undersized .360Ē dowels. Anyway I push a 38 Special case on the tip of each end ( snug fit ) that fits the 452 bore close enough and prevents the dowel from splitting or mushrooming. One is 6Ē the other 8Ē as you donít want wood dowels too long. I suggest removing the cylinder when doing this as there are just too many ways to damage the gun. I like oak dowels as the grain is longer and takes abrupt impact better. Use brass and not nickel cases.

Lots of ways to do this unsavory job but this works for me on revolvers

Rick
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:54 PM
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A brass range rod of appropriate diameter is my choice... actually, a good solid one about .300” would be OK for everything I shoot from 32 S&W up to 45. I’m kind of ambivalent about 22s, but would probably use a brass or stainless rod a few thousandths under bore diameter, perhaps with a wrap or two of tape to protect the bore finish.

Fortunately, I haven’t had to use one on my own guns lately, usually it’s to “rescue” someone else.

Froggie
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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Default Squib rod

I shoot quite a bit of competition, so I can't always wait to get home to remove squibs. Even if I'm out practicing, I want to get back in action, rather than wait to get home to deal with the problem. I have only ever had 3 or 4 squibs, but all came out quite easily using the squib tool sold by Revolver Supply. The Squib Tool - The Revolver Supply Company, LLC There may be others who sell this tool as well. This tool works on both pistols and revolvers. The part that goes in the barrel is a piece of brass rod. This tool also includes a piece of brass hex stock which acts as a hammer for pounding out the squib. It works quite well but is a little on the pricey side. I have several friends who purchase the brass rods from Brownell's and keep a hammer in their car for pounding out squibs. Neither my friends nor I have had much luck using a wood or aluminum rod to remove squibs.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:13 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
Back in the 80's I build a squib rod, actually 2, one for 38's and one for 45's. Brass rods and attached a large round wooden knob. Make sure the rod is longer than the barrel it is intended for. It has been used maybe 4-5 times over that 40 years. Always put a couple drops of oil or Kroil down the bore and let soak a hour or so before banging it out if you have the option.

Thee OP here has it correct. Although no knobs, I have two rods for this operation. One in brass the other a dowel. Have never, yet had a problem with a 22 but there have been others. Shooting with a hunting buddy one time we were out in the back forty some where. He was standing right next to me, better hearing in those days,:rolleyes his newely acquired classic MDL 29 just went sort of 'pop' he had picked up some reloads somewhere and the Red Gods were not happy about it. as luck would have it I had my repair bag in the truck and fixed the problem straight away.No Krpi; in those days but 3&1 oil and a good smack popped the bullet right out He trashed the rest of the box and his lesson of not using someone else's reloads was firmly implanted. CLP will work in a light pinch but more than one bullet I dont know. Have no idea how I would clear a 22 from the breach end if a revolver. I have to assume a BRASS rod of the correct size and length would work with plenty of oil. All this saying putting the gun in a tight clamp would be best if you can. I also have an old vise I use to use that attached to my trim bench when working on doors that helps if you can clamp it to something.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:01 PM
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I have seen people use a steel rod but they used a brass case over the end so that the brass contacts the bullet and bore. With a steel rod a smaller size can be used for .38 and .45.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:36 AM
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A bullet can be stuck tight, wooden dowel sometimes isn't strong enough. I had a squib with a plated wadcutter, powder didn't burn, it was very hard to knock out.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:05 AM
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For muzzle loaders a screw that bites into the lead bullet is widely used. A clamp around the rod for a good grip. In RevWar reenacting removing a stuck cleaning patch or other implement is a two man job. One holds the musket, the others the rod and they pull in opposite directions. Seems to me something similar would work on jacketed bullets.
My one squib was one of my reloads in my S&W M-57, wedged in the forcing cone.
I like the rounded handles, for a very stubborn squib placing the handle of the rod on a level flat surface then pressing down with body weight should do the job.
Recently I have been shooting my Browning High Power and Colt Mark IV with Ciener conversion units, they are pretty ammunition sensitive, for failures to extract I made a "range" rod, 12" brass rod sunk 2" in a large wooden dowel grip, 5", painted yellow, resides in my 22 box. Will make one for my center fire semi autos,

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Old 08-03-2020, 01:19 PM
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As Pistolpete mentions plated bullets can be a real problem. I was talking with an old gunsmith buddy last year and he told me about stuck plated bullets. They arenít truly jacketed just thin copper plating and they upset or obturate to a degree in the barrel. He told me they were sometimes impossible to drive out. So when he runs into one like that he plugs the barrel and pours some copper cleaner like Sweets with lots of ammonia in the bore. After a long soak the ammonia eats up the jacket and out comes the slug. Thought Iíd mention it

Rick
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
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As Pistolpete mentions plated bullets can be a real problem. I was talking with an old gunsmith buddy last year and he told me about stuck plated bullets. They arenít truly jacketed just thin copper plating and they upset or obturate to a degree in the barrel. He told me they were sometimes impossible to drive out. So when he runs into one like that he plugs the barrel and pours some copper cleaner like Sweets with lots of ammonia in the bore. After a long soak the ammonia eats up the jacket and out comes the slug. Thought Iíd mention it

Rick
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzShooter View Post
I bought a brass rod from Ace Hardware that was 3 feet long. I then cut into rods for my revolvers. Yes, I've had a few squib and so has my shooting partner. Using brass and a brass hammer it has never been a problem pounding out a squib be it lead or jacketed.

I would never use a wood rod. I've seen them brake while I was a range officer at one of the largest shooting ranges in the country.
Got mine from ACE too. You can get just about any diameter you need.
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:33 AM
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A brass rod that closely fits the bore, and a strong wack with a hammer will do the trick without damaging the bore...
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:33 AM
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Welding Supply shops usually have big selection of brass brazing rods. I haven’t got any small enough but Stainless Steel would also make good squib rods. My dad use to carry a piece of 1/2” brass round stock in his vest pocket. It was only about 3” long. He used it to slide down shotgun barrel to knock out stuck cases in shotgun while using handloads. It occurred enough shooting trap or he wouldn’t have carried it in his pocket.
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:46 PM
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Wooden dowels from the Home Depot stores aren't the same cut as a muzzle loader ram-rod.

Those DIY dowels have grain run-out in them. It's just the way they are manufactured. A slender rip sawed piece of wood run through a plug cutter type of set up. The grain can be anything from lengthwise to crosswise.

Ramrods are split down to the small square size needed before either hand shaping or machine cutting to round. The grain has to run lengthwise or you can't split them w/o them 'running out' and ending up with short pieces.

What this all means is that grain run-out and the possibility of the Handi-Store dowel cracking and splintering into a couple pieces or more is likely to happen while its' down in the bore and you are hammering on it to move the stuck bullet.

If that happens, and even if the dowel is near bore size, the cracked/split dowel can separate and wedge one or even both pieces in the bore as the long cracks do act as over riding wedges.
You then drive the wedges together to further tighten the dowel in the bore.

Now you've got a real interesting problem.

Don't get me wrong,,a dowel can very often work to remove a stuck bullet in a bore.
But, if the bullet resists just a bit more than you may expect and you decide that maybe a couple extra wacks of maybe a little extra effort will do the trick,,you might very well end up with the whole package wedged down in there. There'll be no warning that it might happen. It just will.

Better to use a brass rod or aluminum IMO.
Even then careful use is needed. I've seen brass rods put a mark in the bore of a bbl if they make a glancing blow off the tip of a bullet.

A customer had a pristine .310Martini Cadet one time and decided he needed to shoot it with correct ammo.
First thing to do he figured was to slug the bore. He got his lead slug about half way down the bore and stuck. He pounded it out w/a brass rod.
He got his measurement OK,,but left a nice dent in the bore where he went after the stuck slug a bit too heavy handed.

No matter what rod you use, you have to decide when to stop if the bullet isn't moving and rethink things.
You can just rivet/expand the bullet tighter into the bore than it already is by hammering the rod into the bullet and not have it move at all.

Pointed bullets,usually in rifles, can present a problem as they can deflect a rod if the face is too small and drive it along side the bullet.
A large face rod can sometimes just push the tip of the bullet down and expand like it's designed to do on game.
Pushing spire tip bullets out are usually a safer bet going at them from the base. No sharp tip to deal with and the metal jacket is thicker generally at the base.
But some gun designs aren't very helpful in allowing it w/o some extra work.

Removing a stuck bullet is one of those little jobs that can go very smoothly and quickly with the simplest of tools
Or it can turn into a very big cluster in a hurry if you're not careful. ...and sometimes even if you are careful!
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Old 08-14-2020, 04:56 PM
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I've had 2, both with the same batch of factory reloads.

This one was exposed enough to remove with pliers:



This one, I used a dowel and a mallet.

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Old 08-14-2020, 05:02 PM
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I forgot I did buy 8’ of 3/16th” brass rod to make a couple ram rods for TC Cherokees 32cal MLs. I sold my Cherokee but still have the ram rods. I have 12” for 22s but forget Dia. My Dad liked to make stuff out of brass and made ram rods for all our friends. The only downside is the weight. He made me a ball starter of solid brass, just like TC wood one. You had to have a box of Wheaties for breakfast just to tote gun and accessories made of brass.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:32 PM
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In my range bag, I carry hardwood dowels of several different diameters and lengths, and a small brass hammer. Has worked so far.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:16 PM
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I got one of these a couple of weeks ago. It is a first class tool and less than $10.00. However, the shipping is steep. I have used it a couple of times as I had a bad batch of 38 reloads.

Squib Rod - stuck bullet removal - Deep River Customs, Inc
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:19 PM
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I made a brass rod for my key chain after a (dept supplied) reload squib during training that I paid for out my own pocket.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:54 PM
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I use a wood dowel with a spent 30 carbine cartridge on one end. Keeps the wood from splitting. Unfortunately, I know it works.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
Off and on I've searched for a Monadnock D-Jammer, which is a keychain mounted rod, but with no success. Every vendor I've seen that listed them were out-of-stock. And I'm not handy enough to make one. I want something I can keep on me, in my pocket, rather than something to keep in a range bag.

But seeing this thread inspired me to search again. I found a vendor that seemed to have good reviews, listed the D-Jammer, and didn't say it was out-of-stock. Didn't say it was in-stock, either, but it let me order one. Hopefully it works out and I'll get it in the mail before too long, and not get an email saying it was out-of-stock. *fingers crossed*
Quick update:

It arrived! I had my doubts because package tracking took over a week to update. From the packaging it definitely looked like new, old-stock. The plastic wrap looked like it had been in storage somewhere for several years. But it looks pretty good. Checked the length, and it works with all my guns. Added it to my keychain, and surprisingly wasn't obtrusive at all in my pocket. Considering ordering a second one as a back-up. Hopefully I'll never need it.

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