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Reloading already fired bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by imalexdude, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. imalexdude

    imalexdude New Member

    I have collected a bag of 9mm bullets that I have been shooting into a snow bank during the winter. The bullets are in perfect condition other than the rifling grooves in the copper jacket. Has anyone dared to reload used bullets like this or does anyone have a good reason why I shouldn't reload them? It's a mixture of 115gr and 124gr FMJs that I will of course all weigh and separate before reloading. Reloading with recovered shells and bullets would drop my cost to reload to a mere $0.04 a round! :D
  2. The Sarge

    The Sarge Well-Known Member

    *&%&^ no!
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You can I suppose.
    It shouldn't pose a safety problem, as long as you can get them to stay put in the cases during feeding.

    But I would suspect your case neck tension would be reduced by half with only half the bullet shank able to contact the case neck. The lands will make contact with the case, but the grooves won't.

    And only in the off chance they line up perfectly with the rifling when you shoot them again, will you get full power & accuracy.

    If they don't line up with the rifling, gas leakage past the bullet will be pretty severe.

  4. shootinxd

    shootinxd Well-Known Member

    I can only speak for myself,not something I would chance to save a couple pennys a round.
  5. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

  6. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't bother. You can reclaim lead from spent bullets if you're willing to repour new ones, but a bullet with rifling grooves on it already is not likely to perform well.
  7. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member

    I don't know..:scrutiny:.....

    but if it works be sure to let us know. :D


  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    What I did to recycle some bullets was use some 45 ACP bullets and use a sizer to resize them for use as 44 SPL loads. I used the correct propellant for the weight and they worked OK as the rifling was basically erased. I would not do this unless they were shot into snow. The dirt would be bad for the barrel otherwise IMHO.
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I wouldn't. After a bullet passes through the bore it has more than just rifling groves in it. Because it has been squeezed through the bore the over all diameter is not at spec. and will allow gases to blow by. From there just about any problems are possible?
  10. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Back in the 1960's, or even early 1970's, I read an article in one of the gun magazines where the author had done just that. He had shot all winter into a heavy snow bank and recovered the bullets in the spring. He reloaded the ones that were of the proper diameter. I believe he even tried it with some rifle bullets, but it's been a long time since I read the article.

    If I remember correctly, the results weren't bad. Not stellar, but not disastrous, either.

    Tumble them a lot to get any debris off them and after inspection, give it a try. It's not a new idea and I don't remember reading any articles about ruined pistols from shooting bullets recovered from a snow bank.

    Just to satisfy my curious mind, I once tried swaging some recovered bullets back to the proper diameter in a C-H swaging die. I couldn't get enough pressure to erase the rifling marks and I never fired the bullets, but I did get them to fill out to the correct diameter.

    Hope this helps.

  11. janobles14

    janobles14 Well-Known Member

    i have done this very thing on a whim a few years back. it worked fine and neck tension didnt ever appear as a problem. i did have to seat them further out than i normally did because i thought the rifling marks would create gaps in the brass and let pressure escape. they all fired fine and accuracy wasnt affected (at least to my abysmal shooting).
  12. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    It would make for an interesting rifling pattern if you fired them the first time in a right hand twist gun and a lefty the next. :)
  13. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    Paper Patch them and shoot them in the next largest caliber weapon.

    Either that or find some Sabot's so you can shoot them in a shotgun.
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    There was a time that I shot previously shot bullets with good success.

    I would collect them from the berm, melt them down, remove the jackets from the pot and cast new bullets from the lead.

    Recovering the lead was more trouble than it was worth except I had lots of free time at the time. But, with scrap prices what they are, maybe the jackets are worth something these days.
  15. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member


    Funny you should mention smelting recovered bullets. My shooting partner and I recovered roughly 2,500 pounds from the impact berm on our club's range a couple of weeks ago. We've had two all day smelting sessions, and we're about half way through it! We've got a little over 1,000 pounds into 8 lb. ingots, and three buckets full of jackets. We've gone through the jackets with a large magnet and removed all the steel. The last time I took recovered jackets to the recycler, they paid me for #2 copper, and 1 and a half buckets full netted me almost $100.00.

    I know this is off topic, but thought the timing was funny. And yes, it's a lot of work!

    Hope this helps.

  16. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    I did once when I was a kid. I wanted a bullet that had both right hand and left hand rifling impressions on it. Fired first through my Python, loaded it back up then through the S&W.

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