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Loading Once Fired...Bullets!!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by charliemopic, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. charliemopic

    charliemopic Well-Known Member

    I have a buddy Jesse' who years ago migrated from Poland. He told me that in Poland to save money they often use already fired bullets for reloading. He said they don't load ammo hot like we do here and when bullets strike dry powdery dirt or sand they keep their shape. Jesse says "long as'da boolet is littto beet round ist ok."
    I don't think so.
    They do strange things in other countries.
    Wonder if anyone else has heard of short cuts like this.
    I wonder what they use for an improvised primer?

  2. Loomis

    Loomis member

    Maybe they had a clamp or vise of some kind to sqeeze the bullet back down to it's original diameter?

    Military style FMJ really don't deform much, so I guess you could do it.
  3. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Bullets will clearly engrave to the rifling of the barrel. I do not know how you'd get a suitable neck seal wihtout swaging the bullet to some smaller diameter.
  4. velojym

    velojym Well-Known Member

    I can see doing it when yer desperate, and don't have 'fresh' bullets handy.
  5. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member


    I'd wager that there isn't much of a safety issue if you do weak loadings.

    On the other hand, actual performance....ehhhh..:eek:
  6. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    I'll bet Jesse goes home and has a rip-roaring time telling his wife the stories he tells you, and you write to the Forum to ask if they're true!
  7. dardascastbullets

    dardascastbullets Well-Known Member

    I too am rolling on the floor Ant! This has to be one of the best!
  8. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member

    Did you measure the difference in the length of your leg, after you talked with him?
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have seen fired bullets that could have been fired again. I have no doubt some intrepid souls have done it. Heck, anybody who loads steel would probably load once fired bullets too. :D
  10. cavman

    cavman Well-Known Member

    I could have sworn that I heard one of our shooters that shoots on the line this last summer saying that back in the day (he is ~70ish) that they would go and pick up bullets from Camp Perry for reloading purposes, thousands and thousands of them. He said they would go out past the targets and get buckets full of them.

    I don't think he was pulling our legs, he may have been, but I don't think so. I was only listening in and overhearing the conversation, however, so maybe I didn't get all of the story.
  11. TimRB

    TimRB Well-Known Member

    "they would go and pick up bullets from Camp Perry for reloading purposes, thousands and thousands of them. He said they would go out past the targets and get buckets full of them."

    I believe that at Camp Perry the only thing past the targets is Lake Erie.

  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    When I was in the service, I used to pick up used plastic shotgun wads on the skeet range, run them through the Laundromat washing machine, and use them again.

    Rifle bullets sounds kind of fishy to me though!

    Course, your Polish friend could be telling the truth too. Combine steel jacket commie bullets and shot out Mossy barrels, and you probably wouldn't notice much differance.

  13. easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca

    easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca Well-Known Member

    From what I know, this technique only works with recycled primers.
  14. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Well-Known Member

    Some guy was telling me one time.(not the sort of guy to go telling tall stories), after the second world war, he aquired a Japanese Nambu 8mm pistol.

    The rounds were near impossible to get at that time, so due to the heavy metal jackets and low power of the 8mm cartridges, when fired at paper targets on the sand dunes, he recovered most of the bullets still in good shape. By sieving them out of the sand.

    He said the Nambu pistol he had, left only small rifling marks on the fired bullets. So he was then reloading these again and again.

    I think some casting molds would have been a better option, but I guess there weren't too many options available at those times.

    BTW - Bill Ruger also aquired a captured Nambu pistol, and based the Ruger Stardard .22, shape and style on it.
  15. cavman

    cavman Well-Known Member

    That is true, after the 1000 yard rifle range, that is.

    After the Bullseye range, of 50 yards, there is a long ways to go before the water. The Virginia gentleman that I was referring to is a Bullseye shooter, and would have been talking about the pistol rounds.

    I have been there the last two years and I have spent some leisure time on the south berm and watched the bullets fall in the puddles beyond the targets, and, when dry, they would kick up dust, only a little ways farther beyond the targets. It was pretty cool, actually, seeing where all the hundreds of shooters' rounds fall.

    Perhaps those were the bullets he was referring to.
  16. Loomis

    Loomis member

    There are two diameters to a rifled bore. Land to land, and groove to groove. Theoretically, the diameter of the bullet is in between those two diameters. So a once fired slug should theoretically increase in diameter when measured accross the marks left by the barrel grooves. It should decrease in diameter when measured accross the marks left by the barrel lands. THen when the airborn slug impacts an object, it will flatten and increase in diameter. Theoretically, even when striking a soft target this will happen, but to a much less degree, maybe even imperceptable.

    Hollowpoints are different

    But anyway, my point is that the bullet should get a little bigger in diameter after use. So it would seem that you could reuse it indefinitely so long as you keep squeezing it down somehow after each use. Steel jacketed bullets will obviously start to lose their jacket at some point after being swaged down so many times and deformed by the rifling.

    I'd say it's a true story. I'd say someone has done it successfully somewhere somehow.
  17. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    "BTW - Bill Ruger also acquired a captured Nambu pistol, and based the Ruger Standard .22, shape and style on it."

    The Ruger .22 pistol IS a Nambo someone threw downrange at Camp Perry.

  18. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

    When someone starts telling you of using once-fired powder, you'll know they are pulling your leg. Once fired bullets, especially in Poland, hey, we Poles like to do things a little different.

  19. cavman

    cavman Well-Known Member

    I won't be seeing him until next February or March when the Season begins next.

    I will try and remember to ask him. He is a character to be sure; but is a master shooter with a long line of experience of, pardon the inappropriate expression, he being a Virginian, Yankee ingenuity.

    I bet'cha he really did collect those bullets and re-fire them.

    Now, as to how well the precision the group was, I would love to know.
  20. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    In a perfect/ideal world, I really, really don't think that this is correct. The bullet should be the same diameter as the groove-to-groove diameter, and it swages down to engrave the lands into the bearing surfaces of the bullet.

    Only if the barrel is worn or old and poorly machined should the groove diameter exceed the diameter of the bullet shank.

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