Safely extracting a misfired rimfire?


May 4, 2011, 10:15 AM
Ok they didn't exactly cover this back when I took an RSO class last year because of liability purposes. I recently got an auto-loading pistol and have discovered a new type of firearm malfunction which is when a rimfire misfires and sometimes just because it dislikes you on that day, the gun doesn't extract it when you rack the action. Now normally on a centerfire I wouldn't feel too bad using a knife blade or flathead screwdriver to wedge the casing out a little so I can grab it but with a rimfire I am not so sure.

So what is the best way to remove a misfired (still potentially live) rimfire round from a gun when it is still in the chamber with the action open?

(lets throw liability to the wind for the sake of argument)

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May 4, 2011, 10:29 AM
cleaning rod

May 4, 2011, 10:30 AM
I just make sure I have on my eye protection and go at it with a knife blade or, on one of my guns that's hard to get to the chamber with a prying too, I use a rod down the barrel. Just don't use any "sharp" movements. Rimfire isn't all that sensitive. (I've yet to have one go off just from dropping it on concrete or whatever in the last 60 years or so...))
The next thing I do is figure out why the extractor won't pick it up.

May 4, 2011, 10:30 AM
Drop the mag and rack the slide again. Often the reason for a misfire/failure to extract is that the lockup wasn't complete and the resulting excessive headspace caused a light hit by the firing pin.

If that doesn't work, prying it out is not going to subject the rim to enough pressure to fire the round assuming you don't go all Incredible Hulk on it. If the round is stuck in the chamber after clearing the chamber you need to clean your chamber.

If the round is really STUCK and you got a good firing pin strike, then it is time to remove the barrel, sandbag it in a padded vise and carefully back the cartridge out with a cleaning rod using slow steady pressure.

May 4, 2011, 10:45 AM
It's probably not gonna go off, unless you use a really ridiculous amount of force. A cleaning rod works from the barrel, most of the time I use the can opener on my Leatherman, or the tip of a knife. It hasn't been said yet, so make sure before you remove it you keep the gun pointed down range for a t least a slow ten count.

May 4, 2011, 10:45 AM
Wow, must be a tight/short chamber if the round doesn't just fall out. Cleaning rod & rubber hammer would be my choice. You can't push the bullet into the case like you can with center fire so one light smack should pop it out.

May 4, 2011, 10:54 AM
I'd be very leary of prying an already-struck rimfire cartridge out by that same rim unless it's extremely loose.

Cleaning rod (and/or straight coat-hanger section) from the muzzle would be my very strong suggestion.

May 4, 2011, 11:22 AM
cleaning rod Bad idea.
And it violates all gun safety rules concerning getting body parts in front of a loaded gun.

And what if the round does somehow go off with a cleaning rod plugged barrel?

Just use your fingernail or a pocket knife blade and flip it out.
It ain't rocket science.
And it ain't gonna go off.

On the otherhand, if you are getting that many misfires?
I'd change ammo brands.

And then get the dang gun fixed to it will extract loaded rounds like it is supposed too.


May 4, 2011, 11:28 AM
RC took the words out of my mouth. ;)

May 4, 2011, 12:09 PM
Fingernail, small flathead screwdriver or knife blade. Zero chance of you causing it to go off.

May 4, 2011, 12:39 PM
This only happened once. It happened because I had a round that really wouldn't fire after 3 attempts. When I racked the slide back on (pistol) it didn't pickup the round and pull it, probably because the rim was bent up from previously being hit a few times. For some reason I have never had that happen on my bolt-gun.

This isn't a common occurrence, just once but I wanted to know what you would do if it happened again.

May 4, 2011, 01:11 PM
I had one a couple of weeks ago that just wouldn't agree to come out with a prybar without gouging up the barrel seat, so I went to the rod.
As far as having body parts in front of the muzzle, even I know enough to keep it pointed downrange and hold the rod between my fingers, not in my palm. Anyway, if the round did somehow go off, with the breech open and a slug in the barrel, plus the rod obstructing the bore, about all that would happen is the case would be ejected rather rapidly out of the chamber.:D

Besides, if you can't pry it out and can't poke it out, what are you supposed to do, buy a new barrel/gun??

May 4, 2011, 04:21 PM
Sometimes they just stick. I found some PMC Scoremaster last year, forgot I had it. I decided to shoot it up, believe it or don't, but it actually jammed a bolt action. At first they would just stick in the chamber, after 20 shots, I had to use two hands and pry the bolt open.

May 4, 2011, 08:38 PM
I reiterate the recommendation not to fool with the rim of an already-struck rimfire unless already extremely loose. For one thing you may have sensitized the primer compound that you are prying around. For the other, you necessarily have your eyes on/near that open breech/cartridge.

Using a cleaning rod minimizes any interaction with the rim, keeps your face about as far as it go be away from the breech, and ensures that if something does go off (however unlikely), the relatively massive cleaning rod may bloop out of the barrel, while the very (very) light case is going to exit very (very, very) fast from the breech -- but nowhere near your face.

May 4, 2011, 09:14 PM
There is no "safe" way to approach this.

You wither mess with the rim, which is a live primer (all kinds of bad) or stick stuff in the bore with a live round (again all kinds of bad).

To me, it falls down to "which one is poking the bear" which case I'd say primer-play is. Cleaning rod and hammer it is.

If done right, getting a hand in the damage zone isn't required for anything but rod insertion.

May 4, 2011, 09:33 PM
Slightly off topic but have any of you ever used an original Lee Loader? The primers were seated with a hammer and rod. I had a batch of 45AR that had the tightest primer pockets I'd ever seen. About every 4th of 5th primer would go off while being seated.
The biggest pain was chasing down the seating rod across the room.:cuss:

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