An obstruction from a stuck bullet can occur if

• The cartridge has been improperly loaded with insufficient or no propellant powder, or the propellant fails for any reason to ignite. (Ignition of the primer alone will push the bullet out of the cartridge case but usually does not generate sufficient energy to drive the bullet out the muzzle), or

• The bullet is not properly seated tightly in the cartridge case. If such a cartridge is extracted from the chamber without being fired, the bullet may be left behind in the bore at the point where the rifling begins. Attempting to chamber another cartridge may push the first bullet ahead into the bore (or telescope the second bullet rearward into its cartridge case), making room for the bolt to close. If this cartridge is then Fired an explosion will almost certainly result.

If you have any reason to suspect that a bullet is obstructing the barrel, immediately unload the firearm and look through the bore. It is not sufficient to merely look in the chamber. A bullet may be lodged some distance down the barrel where it cannot easily be seen.

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