Bullet stuck in barrel?


February 4, 2003, 11:39 PM
Has anyone had this happen? I've run into this before. Just wanted to see if others have had this happen.

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Johnny Guest
February 4, 2003, 11:59 PM
Uh, yes.

Stephen A. Camp
February 5, 2003, 12:32 AM
Well, yeah, but just once. Taught me to NOT use reloaded ammo from just anyone!


February 5, 2003, 12:40 AM
Yes. Several times including last week. I loaded cylinder full of ammo in to my M27. I had a dud and then two rounds later, a squib. Based on that, I must have gotten some bad primers.

February 5, 2003, 12:46 AM
Yep. Done it enough to become quite proficient at getting them out.

Freedom in theSkies
February 5, 2003, 02:19 AM
So, I got one of the machinists I work with to build me a bullet removin' rod out of aluminum rod...
Works great.

February 5, 2003, 02:25 AM
Would a wooden dowel work well enough to get one out? Or would a poor sap like me who is barely getting started in hand loading (got my work bench/desk!) be better off taking it to a gunsmith? And how do you actually do it anyways? Any special method?

February 5, 2003, 06:51 AM
I went hunting with a friend and noticed he had a wooden dowel strapped to his holster, I asked why, he said a bullet had gotten stuck in the barrel of his 44mag. The primer had enough energy to push the bullet into the barrel but not ignite the powder. It was a bad batch of primers. So yes a dowel will do it . If you're in the field if simply pushing it isn't enough then push the gun against a tree or whack the dowel with a rock. But if you have a bad batch of primers dump them !

February 5, 2003, 06:56 AM
Been there, done that.

I used (only one time, so far) a ram rod from a muzzle loader (wooden dowell w/brass tip). Was shooting a .357magnum, bullet entered forcing cone and stopped there.

February 5, 2003, 07:58 AM
Had a doozy once, trying to shoot low low power rounds in the basement, 170 gr lead bullet center os my 30-30 barrell. Shatered the wood dowell, had to go buy a brass one.

February 5, 2003, 08:16 AM
Yes, a wooden dowel will usually work fine. Don't get the idea that this happening is common. But it can happen. It isn't like handloaded ammunition makes this an every day occurence. I have been handloading for over 20 years and the bad primers I had the other week were the first ones I had ever had. And it is possible for you, the end user to damage the primers yourself such as exposing them to oil.
Most of the time I have had a bullet stuck in the bore was from trying to shoot very light loads. For example I actually stuck a few bullets in rifle bores on purpose. I continued to reduce my power charge until a bullet stuck in the bore. Then I knew approx. the minimum charge possible, added a little bit to that, and had a very light load that made very little noise and had almost no recoil essentially transforming a centerfire rifle to something akin to shooting a .22lr or less. I also once shot some very light handgun loads that were loaded by a friend for cowboy action shooting. They worked fine out of a 2" barrel, and they worked fine out of a 4" barrel. However when I tried to shoot them out of a 6" barrel, appearently the friction of the bore was too much and resulted in a stuck bullet. Of course it is also possilbe to forget to put powder in a case. This is a handloading error and there really is no excuse for it. You should be paying close enough attention and not be in so big of a hurry; but it happens. I make it a point to check each case for powder. If I am using a single stage press, I put all the cases in a loading block, charge all the cases with powder, then examine the loading block to ensure that all the cases have powder and all the powder charges seem to take up the same amount of room in the cases which is a safeguard against both not charging a case, and double charging a case. With my Dillon 550 progressives, the powder charging stage is right in front on the left. Before turning the plate to the next station, I look in the case to ensure that it has powder in it, and it appears to have the same powder as the rest of the cases.
What I have done in the past is to spray a lubricant down the bore in the direction I am going to push the bullet. In the case of a revolver you have to go backwards. In a bolt rifle or an autoloading handgun, you can go either way; I go from the breech end to avoid the possibility of damaging the muzzle crown. Once you get the bullet moving from the point it came to rest, it comes out very easily.
The real bear is when you are not paying attention and you load a muzzleloading rifle without powder. The barrel is only open on one end, so you have to screw a jag into the bullet and pull it out. If you are using the ram rod that fits under the barrel, your hand slips off of it. You have to use something like a range rod with a knob on the end of it to hold on to. Black powder fouling in the bore also is a lot worse than smokeless powder and may impede the progress of the bullet, so you might want to swab the bore out with a cleaning patch ahead of the bullet to make things easier. I have only done this once and ended up putting the rifle in a vise. Again, once I got the bullet moving, it came right out.

February 5, 2003, 09:07 AM
Worst one I had was a 148gr 9mm hollow point. Squib load sent it half-way down the barrel of my Ruger P95. Tried the wooden dowell, only succeded in splintering the dowell & expanding the nose of the bullet. Had to take it to a 'smith. He told me when I picked it up that what he does is soak it in Kroil penetrating oil overnight and drive it out with a nylon rod.

Bottom Gun
February 5, 2003, 09:17 AM
There are certain powders which are coated and require a heavy crimp in order to ignite the powder.
H110 is one of them. I couldn't believe a case full of powder would not ignite if you didn't crimp the case, until I tried it. I had four bullets stick in the barrel of my 629 out of a dozen rounds. I took the remaining cartridges home, put a heavier crimp on them, and they worked OK after that.
I have since switched back to Unique and have never again had a squib load.

February 5, 2003, 11:15 AM
soak it in Kroil penetrating oil "

and a hard wood rod, works great.

February 5, 2003, 11:30 AM
Another removal method for one that just won't come out it to use a drill press, provided you have some machining skills. You have to be very careful to not damage the barrel. Put the gun in a padded vise and use a very small drill bit to run a small hole through the center of the bullet. Gradually increase the size of the bit, thus increasing the hole in the bullet. This removes some of the pressure to bullet is exerting outward on the barrel and allows it to be pushed out fairly easily.

I would not try this with a normal variable speed hand drill. With a drill press and a vise, the bit and the barrel are locked in place, reducing any chance of slipping and allowing the bit to touch the barrel.

February 5, 2003, 06:08 PM
A drill press in the center of the barrel... scary. :what:

Just wait for someone to try it with a hand held drill and the gun in a vise. I'll go ahead and practice dentistry on them with that same drill when they are done!

February 5, 2003, 07:21 PM
It's not really all that bad. :) One of the guns I reload for is a suppressed Walther PPK. Playing with different loads and different bullet weights, I occassionally get one that doesn't come out. The barrel is specially made with perforations along it's length to maximize the suppressors ability to slow down the gases. This means I cannot use a dowel to beat the round out because I might bend the barrel.

Zak Smith
February 5, 2003, 09:56 PM
The only squib I ever had was a factory S&B round! Go figure..


February 6, 2003, 03:06 AM
who know who , don't come near me with that drill , I had to do it after splintering a hardwood dowel in the barrel , I used a bushing made from brass tubing around the bit to keep it from messing up the lands , worked great and took my time doing it no damage to the rifling . all because the guy bought some cheap primers and someone bought a cheap drill press that broke .

February 6, 2003, 06:04 PM
2 of them. #1 was a .357 FMJ over a charge of WW296. The powder failed to ignite even though I used a magnum primer. Traced it to too light of a charge by about 1gr (this is why they say "Do not reduce more than 3% with WW296"). I load heavy with that powder now.
#2 was about 2 weeks ago. 49grs of Blue Dot, WAA12 wad, 1oz Lee slug, WW primer, Federal hunting wad (paper basewad). The slug was sticking OUT OF THE BARREL. The primer failed to fully ignite the powder. It was quite a mess. Talk about the perfect low velocity load-the slug/wad combo had a margin of error of about 2 inches to just peek out of the bore of the 24" rifled barrel. I now know exactly what the rifling impressions do to the slug! :D
I have a picture, but haven't gotten around to posting it yet.

February 6, 2003, 07:57 PM
Yes, One time I was shooting some cheap .38 rounds in my 686 and had a squib road. I noticed that that round didn't sound right and stopped firing. I guess it was my lucky day because I hate to think about what would have happened if I had fired another round.

February 6, 2003, 09:54 PM
Neglected to put powder in the case many years ago. After it happened I changed my procedures so that I never would do it again. Instead of charging then seating bullet, I charged all the cases the looked in each case then seat the bullets. I have never had a stuck bullet since.

February 10, 2003, 04:59 PM
With a muzzel loading piece, I have removed the nipple; poured a little powder (It does not take much) in through the threaded hole; replaced the nipple , capped it and fired the damn thing out.

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