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Pulling a Bullet.. how?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Litefoot, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    I'm experimenting with a newly purchased press and seated a bullet WAY too far. A bullet puller won't budge it. How do I get this cartridge apart aside from cutting it...which could create it's own issues?
  2. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    What type bullet puller did you use?
    I have yet to see a bullet that wont come out of the case using a cheap kinetic hammer type puller. I suppose it can happen but I've even broken down old surplus ammo that had the bullets sealed/glued into the case with a few good wacks.
  3. hang fire

    hang fire Well-Known Member

    Ditto, the impact puller is the best when it comes to such.
  4. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    The technique I use with a kinetic bullet puller is to hold it loosely between thumb and forefinger and bring it down swiftly on the end grain of a short piece of 4x4. Holding is loosely allows it to rebound without resistance, nearly doubling the extraction power.

    I am told RCBS recommends striking a harder surface (concrete, I am told). But wood has always worked for me.

    I first used the loose grip to prevent bending of the aluminum handle shaft (my RCBS bullet puller is a 30 year old model), but soon discovered that it made pulling the bullets more efficient and effective.

    Just my experience.

    Lost Sheep

    edit: I forgot to point out that it may take several whacks to pull the bullet, the way I do it.

    Also, if you have soft-point spitzer-type bullets, it is nice to put a peice of foam rubber or something (disposable ear plugs work well) in the bottom of the puller to keep from damaging the bullet tip. I don't do pointy bullets, but this is what I have read.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  5. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Lost Sheep has it right. Hit the hammer on the end grain end of a good stout piece of wood, and if that dosn't budge the bullet, toss it out. It's not worth spending much time trying to salvage the case and bullet.
  6. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    My puller is the Franklin Arsenal model (metal shaft, blue plastic mallet). The bullet is a 155 gr .40 cal pressed into 10mm brass with only 1/3 the length of the bullet sticking out the mouth of the cartridge. I don't think an impact puller is going to get it out. Maybe I can hit harder, but I'm not sure how much abuse the plastic will take. I'm already whacking it pretty hard.
  7. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Well-Known Member

    Can you get ahold of the bullet with pliers? At least then only the bullet is scrapped and all other components are salvaged.
  8. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    My puller is a Frankford as well, never fear you can wack the dickens out of them.
    I find that repeated strikes at a fast swing with a fairly loose grip seem to do the most good. Just dont let it get away from you. I also use the end grain of a large hunk of hard wood to strike against.
  9. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    I whack it on concrete with the RCBS. Works well on stubborn bullets....Little intimidating and my RCBS one has went through the concrete drill more than a few times. I have a collet puller as well that works well but depending on how far you have it stuck in there and if there is enough to grip.
  10. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    Take the die out of your press and put the case in the shellholder. Ram it all the way up so that it's sticking out of the top of the press, then firmly clamp the bullet with a pair of Vice Grips. Lower the ram. You won't save the bullet this way but unless you rip the rim off the case you will save it.
  11. bigdogpete

    bigdogpete Well-Known Member

    Been there and done this before.
  12. TonyT

    TonyT Well-Known Member

    You should determine which is worth more - the case or the bullet. The kinetic bullet puller will preserve both - you should be able to hit it hard enough on a solid surface such as concrete.
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Generally, i agree.

    But, there is alway a but, you do want to hit the impact bullet puller against something that you do not care if it is damaged. A piece of scrap wood is good.

    But, the impact is more effect if the impact bullet puller is hit against something that does not give under the impact. It is a physics thing. The deceleration of the impact puller is higher the more rigid the object struck. A higher deceleration leads to higher force and the bullet moves easier.

    I hit my impact bullet puller against a blacksmith anvil. Works well and does not need as hard wrap as if I hit it against a wood block.

    The impact puller will eventually fail hitting it against a hard object as opposed to a block of wood, but, I have been using the anvil for 10 years or so with no imminent failure.
  14. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Yep, don't hit the kinetic puller on momma's dining room table. Ouch!!:what:

    You can whack the crap outta those things. I've used one for probably twenty years now and although I much prefer a collet puller for rifle, the kinetic is about the only way to pull lead pistol bullets without damaging the bullet.

    Remember brass is about three cents, but the bullet may be fifteen or twenty cents, maybe more depending on the caliber. I'd opt to save the bullet, but hey, we ARE talking twenty cents here for one bullet. No need to worry too much.
  15. cberge8

    cberge8 Well-Known Member

    I have the same puller as the OP, and have been able to pull anything I have ever wanted. Get a 2' long 4x4, stand it upright on a hard surface, and give the puller a good whack on the top end. Don't fret if it doesn't come out on the first strike. It may take 6 or more depending on your technique and how stubborn the round is!

    Don't be afraid of the puller breaking in your hands, I have pulled several hundred rounds with mine with only minor abrasions to the puller.
  16. Innovative

    Innovative Well-Known Member

    Like most shooters, I prefer to use a common inertia tool (hammer type) as a bullet puller. I insert a small wad of paper towel inside the tip to protect bullets as they come loose and fly forward.

    I also recommend whacking the tool against the end of a 4x4. That gives a very sudden stop to release bullets quickly. It requires less hammering, and it protects the tool.
  17. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    HIT the 4x4 like ya MEAN it !!!!
  18. larryflew

    larryflew Well-Known Member

    Hardwood end grain or concrete. NEVER had a bullet it would not pull if used correctly with lose hold and whack the xxxx out of it.
  19. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Well-Known Member

    You can do this Litefoot! All it takes is a little patience and perseverence. An inertia puller may take 10-15 hits on a pistol cartridge.
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Never in my life have I needed 10-15 hits to pull any pistol or larger rifle bullet.

    What is hard to pull is little rifle bullets like .223, .20, and .17.

    Those bullets don't have enough mass to come out, no matter how hard you whack them.

    A 155 grain .40 S&W should come out in 2-3 whacks, no matter how deep it is seated.

    Like everyone else is saying.
    Hit the puller on a hard surface, and hit it like you mean it!
    It will come out.

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