removal of bullet stuck in barrel


October 19, 2003, 05:27 PM
It finally happened to me -- I stuck a bullet in my barrel. It is a Berry's plated HBWC .312" in a 7.62 Nagant revolver.

I think the round had no powder loaded and the bullet was propelled by the primer only. All the other shots I'd fired before this went thorough fine. I was using 2.7grains of W231 which is light, but not too light a load for this 83g plated HBWC

Would any of you light load revolver experts explain the best way to remove my bullet?

It is stuck forward of the forcing cone, and I was unable to budge it by pressing from the muzzle end with a small round wooden paintbrush handle. I was able to move it just a bit forward by pushing with the paintbrush handle from the cylinder end. But the frame of the revolver is in the way to get it out all the way pushing from the rear, even though I've removed the cylinder.

I haven't slept on my problem yet as it just happened this afternoon. But I was wondering if any of you could pass on your wisdom to me on this subject.

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Black Snowman
October 19, 2003, 05:40 PM
I've done this with light lead .38 loads in my .357 Mag. I used the thickest cleaning rod that would fit with no tip on it. Worked ok pushing through the muzzle end.

October 19, 2003, 05:49 PM
Would you ever tap it lightly, or do you just push it?

Black Snowman
October 19, 2003, 05:57 PM
Now that I think of it, after breaking the rod pushing on it I think I used a hammer. . . Ya, I'm pretty sure a hammer was involved. And a rag to keep the hammer from damaging the crown.

On mine the bullet was litterally half way down the barrel. It got harder as I backed it out and the bullet deformed.

Tom C.
October 19, 2003, 06:02 PM
I carry an aluminum rod for that. It should fit the bore fairly closely, if possible. Then a hammer, or field expedient rock can do the trick.

October 19, 2003, 06:06 PM
Had to do this twice , once with a 22 , once with a 38. Get some wood dowel rod thats almost as round as the bore , secure gun , small mallet , tap it out the back. Case

J Miller
October 19, 2003, 06:08 PM
I have read on another forum that you need to use a rod of brass or aluminum, or a wooden dowl just small enough to fit in the barrel.
And put the gun in the freezer. Supposedly the lead in the bullet will contract more than the steel in the barrel and make it easier to drive out of the barrel.
I haven't had the need to test this, knock on wood, so I'm just forwarding information I have read.
Hope it helps.


October 19, 2003, 06:29 PM
I have done this a NUMBER of times in both rifles and handguns (I like to play around with super light rifle loads). In fact I have loaded progressively smaller powder charges until I stuck a bullet to see just how far down I could go. If you are using a real light load, it is certainly possible to stick a bullet as the bore gets dirty. Especially in some of these milsurp guns with rough bores.
It is no big deal at all. Spray some WD40 down the bore behind the bullet and stand the gun up so the oil can soak down around the bullet. Get a dowel rod, insert though the muzzle end and tap the bullet out with a mallet. The bullet may just push out with a rod. I have tapped a bullet out using a stick and a rock and just kept on shooting. The WD40 isn't nessessary but in a bad case it might make things easier.

Vern Humphrey
October 19, 2003, 08:09 PM
Here's the trick -- remove the cylinder first. If you swing it out, it acts as a mass that will be affected by tapping the rod, and may throw the gun out of time.

Jim K
October 19, 2003, 08:26 PM
Removing the cylinder is a good idea if you are trying to drive the bullet back out of the bore, but I don't think you can swing out the cylinder of a Nagant.

BTW, I reamed one of those .32ACP Nagant cylinders so it takes .32 H&R Magnum. Accuracy is fair (i.e., no worse than original ammo) and the gun can now use .32 ACP, .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, and .32 H&R Magnum.


October 19, 2003, 08:30 PM
It is useful to have a suitable length of hardwood dowel rod or - even better - brass rods .... real close to cal ...... and use these.

I prefer to have an ''assistant'' if possible ... that way with a revo .. they can hold the frame and cradle the cyl ... whilst you give short, sharp whacks to rod ...... bit by bit it will shift and as long as rod close to cal .. the bullet should not ''spread'' enough to matter.

If doing it on one's own then ... remove cyl is good idea and .. make sure butt is on something firm but soft enough also to avoid damage to grips etc.

October 20, 2003, 12:48 AM
Sometimes freezin the gun will aid in getting the stubborn ones out.


October 20, 2003, 10:29 AM
Thanks, folks. I'm going to visit my local machine shop and have him turn some brass rods for my barrels.

"I don't think you can swing out the cylinder of a Nagant."

The Nagant's cylinder does not swing out, but removal and replacement is very easy, being a single action revolver.

October 20, 2003, 11:59 AM
Thirties no offense intended, but I think you are getting a little bit extreme here. Honestly, this is a job that should take two minutes. It happens and two minutes later you are putting rounds back down range. There is nothing complicated or difficult about it. There is no danger of damaging anything if you use wood.

Machine Shop ? Again, not trying to be a jerk, but this is like hiring an electrical engineer to change a lightbulb.

October 20, 2003, 03:25 PM
It does sound like getting an electrical engineer to change a light bulb. This "machine shop" I'm going to is a very small one-person home town kind of place where the guy can turn things on a lathe for me (I don't have a lathe). The whole job may cost me some hand loaded ammo if I'm lucky.

I'll get him to do me one for .38spl, and one for my Nagant.

October 20, 2003, 03:25 PM
Thirties no offense intended, but I think you are getting a little bit extreme here. Honestly, this is a job that should take two minutes. It happens and two minutes later you are putting rounds back down range. There is nothing complicated or difficult about it. There is no danger of damaging anything if you use wood.

Except the wooden dowel! :eek:

It would seem a bit much if this were the only time he would get a bullet stuck in a barrel.

Could be he's having some made up for any future use. Could be he's having a machinist make them so he can use brass so he can make them last longer. Wood does tend to wear out a little more quickly.

October 20, 2003, 03:39 PM
"It would seem a bit much if this were the only time he would get a bullet stuck in a barrel.

Could be he's having some made up for any future use. Could be he's having a machinist make them so he can use brass so he can make them last longer. Wood does tend to wear out a little more quickly.'

Exactly right. The whole reason I reload revolvers it to make light loads for targets. Several loading books, in particular the NRA volume, recommend lightening the powder charge until you stick a bullet in the tube, and then increasing a bit.

I expect this to not be the last time I have a bullet jammed in there. The brass rods will last me and not swell, chip or break.

I admit this is not absolutely necessary, but otherwise I'd have to hunt for some rock maple or other hardwood and a different guy to turn it for me. And, after all, we like to spend some money on our beloved hobbies, right?

I mean the whole idea of shooting sports is totally unecessary if you are honest about it. Some things we just do for the sheer enjoyment of doing them.

Even reading and posting messages here is not really important in the greater scheme of things. But we carry on 'cause it amuses us. I am not ashamed to say so.

But please feel free to jump on me anyway. That's also part of the bargain here. Let's admit that as well.

October 20, 2003, 03:50 PM
Hey , you can get brass ones cheap more power to ya , they can double as a range rod for checking out a revolvers timing and lockup. Case

October 20, 2003, 03:50 PM
Right, don't get me wrong, having the brass rod would be nice. I just wanted to make sure you realized that this was no big deal and could easily be fixed, and you don't need to pay anybody to fix it, etc................................ I see that is the case so maybe I oughta just stay out of it.

October 20, 2003, 03:53 PM
Okay, I'll pass along my newly found bit of insanity.

Go to the hardware store and buy a 1/4" bolt at least an inch longer than your barrel. The less threads the better, but don't fret it. Then go buy some Plati-Cote. This is the stuff you dip tool handles in to put a plastic handle on them. Dip the bolt in the plasti-cote until it's just a smidge smaller than the bore and push the bullet out. It won't bend and it won't scratch the bore. I just did this with my .44 revolver.

October 20, 2003, 04:06 PM
Plastic dip coating is a good idea (I've used it on other projects), but I'm going to go for the turned brass. At the end of the day, I'll have spent less time and maybe a bit more money on it. But I'll have a good tool for the future.

Thanks all. Please 444 don't feel like you have to quiet down. I never took offense and never got you wrong. I don't have a lathe, and it's just as far to go to this guy who'll make me two brass rods as it would be to go to the lumber yard for the dowels. The dowel I have is just too large for the bore. As it is, I use that wood dowel to remove fired cases from my Nagant -- much easier than the ejection rod on the gun.

I mostly wanted to know which direction was best to drive out the bullet, and any sure-fire ideas anyone had. Thank you all. I'd buy a six pack and share them with you all if you were here...

October 22, 2003, 12:23 AM
Home Depot (or probably most general hardware stores) have threaded brass rod in various diameters. They are a couple bucks each.

You'll have to do your own math, but the sizes are proper for most calibers. Probably a special one for 22s, one for .358 that will also serve for .452. Anyone have a .32?

Cheaper than a friendly machinist, usually.

Oh. Hold the barrel in your hand and whack it (the brass rod, that is) with a solid club or hammer. That way you won't overstress the frame or screw up the grips.

October 22, 2003, 03:50 AM
used a pencil. Just whomped on the eraser end with the palm of my hand.

October 22, 2003, 07:37 AM
Ace Hardware's, Home Depot, Lowe's, and even craft/hobby stores often carry displays of brass/steel/aluminum rod in 3' lengths. A 3/16 " brass rod will work for .223 up. I cut ~ 9" off, leaving that longer piece for my rifles. When you whack the malleable brass, it will swell on the whacked end, eventually necessitating a bit of reshaping. It is best to 'continue the path' by pushing the bullet out the muzzle - so much for theory - I always have had to push them backwards.

The short rod has reseated balls in my Ruger Old Army as well as bullets in my M10 - both cap/primer only shots. It is always in my range bag. Sadly, I have to go back to the hardware store - my 27" 1/8 " rod doesn't work well as a cleaning rod in my new CZ-452 'Ultra Lux' and it's 28" barrel!


October 22, 2003, 08:00 AM
Thanks, guys. My machinist is making me two rods. One for .32 and one for .38, sized appropriately smaller based on his measurement. Twenty bucks is what he will charge. I've got him working on it.

G. Glock
October 22, 2003, 11:20 AM
Some good advice here. Now you tell me, afer I've lost three fingers, my left arm, a foot, and one eye. Guess I should quit using a magnum round to blow these squib loads on out the barrel, especially since it never seems to go well for me.

November 24, 2003, 03:09 PM
I got my brass rods from the machine shop, one for .32 and one for .38 calibers. They cost me $20 for the pair of them.

I worked on hammering the stuck bullet out of my Nagant revolver, and it would not come out, althought it moved a little.

So I poured some CLP Break Free down the barrel from the chamber end with the gun pointing muzzle down, and left it there for a week. The liquid did not run out, but stayed at the same level the whole time.

Today I drained the oil and tried whacking the rod again (from the muzzle end). At first, nothing. Then I finally got the bullet out. Took about four or five whacks with a plastic hammer.

Inspected the barrel, and there is no damage or sign of anything unusual -- just a shiney bore (after running a bore snake through it.

So, those two rods were a good investment. A gunsmith would have charged at least $20 just to remove one bullet from one gun. Now I have a rod for each of my two calibers. I'm glad I didn't get wood ones, as the brass seems to be the perfect material.

Next time I have the problem, I'll use the rod and hammer right way, before the lead has a chance to cool. It should come out much more easily.

Thank you all for your help!

November 24, 2003, 05:10 PM
Glad you have a good result!:) before the lead has a chance to cool. Just a point .. the higher the temp of the lead the more expanded it will be!!! Shrinkage occurs with cooling!!

November 25, 2003, 05:27 AM
I'll use the rod and hammer right way, before the lead has a chance to cool. What makes you think the lead was hot?
If there was no powder there was no heat generated. The primer won't heat the lead.

Yes it taks a few smart whacks with a hammer & rod to drive a bullet out of a barrel. There's a lot of friction involved. It takes thousands of pounds of pressure just to get the bullet through the barrel.

Remember it's a gas tight seal. Oil won't penetrate past the bullet.

November 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
You don't need to freeze anything. Use Al or brass so it doesn' t bugger up the barrel and bash it out. No oil, cryogenics, teflon coating, magic or anything else required. If it near the breech end, put the barrel into a vice padded with leather and bash it out from that end.
Steel is harder than brass or Al. It'll never be bothered by either. This shouldn't cost you more than $5 or so. Into a metal convenience shop and buy a hunk of bar stock. Cut to length and you're set.

November 25, 2003, 03:40 PM
Before you do anything...Spray lots of WD-40 in the muzzle and point the
gun muzzle up to let it work its way around the bullet. Let it penetrate
overnight. Get a wooden dowell rod as close to bore diameter as you
can find, and drive it out with the rod and a hammer. Use a long enough
rod to keep the hammer from hitting the muzzle crown when the bullet turns loose. Putting the gun in a freezer for a few hours may also help.

Good luck.


another okie
November 25, 2003, 07:58 PM
I probably should start another thread on this, but I also jammed a bullet in a barrel, a jacketed .45 ACP round. When I drove the bullet out it left part of the jacket behind. What's the best way to get the jacket out?

I feel really stupid and think I must have loaded one with primer only.

November 25, 2003, 08:15 PM
Altho it might take some whackin ..... a soft lead slug (as you'd use to slug barrel) ..... and using a well fitting hardwood dowel ... could drive the jacket out ahead of it .... the copper is quite thin but of course is already engraved with rifling.

To do it chemically might need rather an excess of time with ''nasties'' in the barrel.

November 25, 2003, 08:36 PM
Folks, I'm kinda surprised that no one has mentioned the best thing to use for help in freeing REALLY stuck bullets--good old Kroil.

You can get it from most any hardware store.

Most of the time, use of a non-marking rod and a hammer will get the stuck bullet out. However, if you can't, then:

Point the muzzle upright.

Squirt some Kroil down the bore. You don't have to wait long--about 10 minutes.

Place the rod down the bore, and lightly tap. The bullet will come forth.

If you have a jacket stuck, try the bore brush trick. Run a bore brush in, then back out. It should pull the jacket with it. If not, repeat the Kroil operation, and try again.

November 27, 2003, 12:23 PM
i keep a few dowels around in various diameters and legnths for drivin' out stuck bullets. but, i like the brass rod idea. would be cheaper in the long haul. what grieves me, is that somehow, on occasion, i end up with powderless rounds in my reloads. i have people bring me their own stuck bullet guns too, cause i am a bit of a shadetree gunsmith.

December 1, 2003, 06:26 AM
I didn't mention price in my earlier post... $1.99 for the 1/8 " and $2.99 for the 3/16 " 3' brass rods at the local Ace Hardware. It was a Sunday PM when I bought the last one - it came in a tube with a replaceable cap - it resides in my 28" barrel CZ-452 'Super Exclusive' case... a short length is always in my range bag... and a pair of slip-joint pliers for 'impact' assistance. Worth their weight in gold when you need them!


Jim Watson
December 1, 2003, 08:14 PM
A friend of mine carries a 7" stainless rod with a 3" knob on the end in his ammo box. He can drive a LEAD bullet out with just a palm whack. A jacketed bullet will take a mallet. He has made a lot of friends on the range with it. He once stuck a .38 wadcutter during a PPC match. Drove it out, reloaded, and finished the string in time.

A jacketed bullet will take a brass or steel rod as large as the bore will pass and a hammer. I have seen it recommended to use a HEAVY hammer so a long slow swing with a lot of momentum will drive out the bullet where a series of sharp raps with a light hammer will upset the bullet tighter. I haven't had to try that. Yet. But I am just studying subsonic rifle loading and will have to have the possibility in mind.

December 5, 2006, 09:33 AM
I had my first squib last night in a 9MM 226. I am gonna go with primer only, the bullet is stuck an inch or so from the chamber, bullet is lead. I ordered squib rods ( and a nylon hammer ( from Brownells. Which direction should I push the bullet out? Muzzle or chamber?

December 5, 2006, 10:16 PM
adweisbe ,

Drive it back towards the chamber for two reasons,

It's a shorter distance,and the bullet will already be sized to fit that part of the bore(just in case there is a tight spot further down the barrel).

If it was an inch from the muzzle,I'd drive it on out that way,since it is the shortest distance.


I see things all the time where one heavy hammer blow would have started it moving instead of several small whacks that just upset it as you noticed.
A sudden swift blow will start things moving that a 30 ton press wouldn't budge(like king pins on a Ford truck axle).

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