View Full Version : Pulling bullets from BP cartridges
July 1, 2010, 09:20 AM
How dangerous is it to use an inertia bullet puller to remove bullets from cartridges loaded with black powder? I'm thinking that it should be fairly safe, but I would appreciate input from anyone who has done this before. I loaded several .45 LC with 255 gr. semiwadcutters before my R & D cartridge coversion cylinder arrived and even though I roll crimped them in the crimping groove, they are about 1/16" too long for the cylinder. I have decided to replace them with 200 gr. RNFP bullets.
July 1, 2010, 10:17 AM
I use an inertia bullet puller on my BP 45 Colt loads. Never had a problem and didn't realize there could be one.
What are the details of your 45 Colt loads? Specifically, what kind of powder, how many grains, and is there a wad or card in there?
I load with 40 grains GOEX 3Fg, 0.030 vegetable wad, and a 250 grain RNFP bullet. I use a drop tube and a compression plug to make room for the wad and bullet. My cartridge OAL is 1.585" using these bullets.
Can you just seat your 255 grain bullet deeper?
July 1, 2010, 12:26 PM
I never thought much about having a problem with an inertia bullet puller because of the way BP is ignited. But...someone mentioned that dropping a can of BP could be deadly. Don't know about that either; however, I like to err on the side of caution. If the consensus is that they won't explode, then I will try it.
My load is almost the same as yours except I used 35 gr. of 3fg Goex and did not use a compression die. I already had my reloading dies setup for my S&W 25 and this bullet, so I just used them like they were. OAL is 1.634 and yes, I know that is over the recommended OAL. That's never been a problem with the model 25. Lots of room in the cylinder.
I tried seating the bullet a little deeper, but the crimp caused the case to wrinkle, almost collapse. That is why I decided to pull and replace the bullets with shorter ones.
July 1, 2010, 12:51 PM
Do your 255 gr bullets have a cannelure? My 250 gr RNFP bullets do and the bullet pretty much goes where it goes. No doubt you are going to need to remove the bullets and try again. Hopefully, you didn't reload a huge batch before discovering your OAL problem.
You don't need a drop tube or compression die with 35 grains. For me, 35 grains is the max where I'm comfortable using the bullet as the rammer to compress the powder.
July 1, 2010, 02:05 PM
My 255gr fit ok, how much powder are you fillin' them with...drop the charge to 35gr of bare ffg BP and they should fit jus' fine(or less with card or filler)
July 1, 2010, 02:16 PM
Yes, the 255 gr. semiwadcutters have a crimping groove. I didn't notice that the bullets are so long above the crimping groove. And that is what is causing my problem with OAL.
I got a little "crunch" when I seated the bullets. That's how I knew that I had slightly compressed the powder.
Guess I could pull the bullets with a pair of pliers, but it isn't easy to get a good grip on the brass casing. I'd rather just use the inertia bullet puller. There are only 50 of them. Just want to keep all my fingers on that hand. LOL
July 1, 2010, 06:46 PM
I never thought much about having a problem with an inertia bullet puller because of the way BP is ignited. But...someone mentioned that dropping a can of BP could be deadly. Don't know about that either; however, I like to err on the side of caution. If the consensus is that they won't explode, then I will try it.Welcome to the forum. Black powder is not impact sensitive. Whoever told you that dropping a can of it could cause ignition is, well, to put it nicely, not to be trusted with a firearm.
July 1, 2010, 10:08 PM
Thanks, mykeal. That was the answer that I was looking for. Now I'll feel a lot safer pulling the bullets and it's a lot faster than trying to pull them with pliers. And thanks for the welcome.
July 2, 2010, 06:24 PM
Found this many places on the web:
"Black powder is a very stable explosive, insensitive to shock or friction, but sensitive to heat and flame. Like all explosives, it supplies its own oxygen and does not rely on the atmosphere. Note that it is much less efficient as a heat source than carbon and oxygen, which gives 2140 kcal/kg. Its utility lies in its ability to furnish its energy in a very short time".
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