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Old October 27, 2008, 07:54 PM   #1
sks
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Stuck bullet

Well over the years I have experienced a few primer only reloads or "light" reloads that got the bullet lodged in the barrel. This time I can't get it out.

I have a JHP stuck halfway out the barrel of my Ruger Vaquero .45LC. I tried screwing a screw down into the bullet and then pulling out via the pliers/hammer method but with no luck. Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Old October 27, 2008, 08:09 PM   #2
dahermit
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stuck bullet

Go to the hardware store or lumber company that has hardwood dowels. Buy a 7/16 dowel, cut it the length of your barrel, tap the bullet back into the cylinder with the wooden dowel and a wooden mallet or brass hammer. Easy light taps should do it. I have done it several times with a .357 and cast bullets.
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:10 PM   #3
robhof
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robhof

You also might see if you can get some spray lube behind the bullet before tapping it down, jacketed bullets tend to stick better than cast. I've done it with both and used the dowel trick with great success, but the jacketed are usually tougher without lube.
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Old October 28, 2008, 12:30 AM   #4
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First off, congratulations you had the forsight not to blow up your gun.

Second, IMHO by screwing a screw into the bullet it may have made it expand making it fit even tighter, "Oppps"

Maybe an extreme of temperature might shrink or expand things. Not talking about a blow torch, but maybe a trip to the freezer, or oven at 150-200*F for a half hour (I'm sure there is no way of tempering the metal at 200*F). I doubt that would even bother the gun, as these guns "live" in these extremes from time to time.

PS: take the grip off before oven.

Ok, flame on.
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Old October 28, 2008, 12:44 AM   #5
ActivShootr
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Is the bullet clear of the chamber? If so, remove the cylinder, clamp the frame in a padded vise (wood or copper works good), and hammer it out with a dowel. If it's stuck in the gap you might be able to drive it back into the case.

Good luck.
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Old October 28, 2008, 07:15 AM   #6
sks
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First, thanks to everyone for their replies.

I have soaked it with some spray lube for a day with no luck thus far. In the past simply screwing a screw into the tip then pulling it out has worked. This time the bullet is really tight.

dahermit, are you saying to tap it all the way back down the 7.5" barrel? That might be my only option other than a gun smith. Not much room to work with on the Vaquero as the cylinder doesn't swing out.

Will give it a try and let you know.

Thanks again,
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Old October 28, 2008, 07:23 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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Get a brass rod.
Start hammering a wood dowel against a stuck jacketed bullet and you run risk of just packing the barrel full of splinters on top of the bullet.

I am concerned that you have stuck enough bullets to have worked out a technique for using a ball puller. The only real cure is to put powder in each and every case, no fooling, no exceptions, and no excuses.
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Old October 28, 2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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Can you physically remove the cylinder on the Vaquero? Lube/oil barrel with penetrating oil. Suspend the frame with barrel in vertical position using a padded vise or improvised holder. Insert short sections of brass rod into the barrel behind the bullet until one of the brass rods protrudes into cylinder gap. Then tap on this exposed rod and drive bullet out the muzzle.

REVIEW AND MODIFY your reloading procedures. Incorporate mandatory powder checks or Powder Check/Cop die to prevent future occurrences. You are lucky it was reduced powder charge instead of over/double charge.
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Old October 28, 2008, 05:39 PM   #9
dahermit
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stuck bullet

Quote:
dahermit, are you saying to tap it all the way back down the 7.5" barrel? That might be my only option other than a gun smith. Not much room to work with on the Vaquero as the cylinder doesn't swing out.
Yes. Once it starts moving, it will go all the way, especially if you use some spray lube behind the bullet.

"...the cylinder doesn't swing out..."? You do know how to take the cylinder out of the frame do you not? Depress the cross pin, pull forward on the base pin, the cylinder slips out of the frame to the left.

Note: a brass rod(as suggested by another poster), is better than a wooden dowel for tapping the bullet back down the barrel, but a wooden dowel of the correct diameter is much easier to find, and more likely to be available.
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Old October 28, 2008, 06:30 PM   #10
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I could tell you how to get it out, but I would get flames and hate posts forever.

Jim
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Old October 28, 2008, 06:38 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Jim,

Does that work with a revolver?

Dahermit,
"a wooden dowel of the correct diameter is much easier to find, and more likely to be available."

And more likely to splinter when driven against a stuck jacketed bullet. If he is going to carelessly load jacketed bullets, he needs to have the proper equipment.

I know a guy who stuck a 235 gr Speer in a .375 H&H. He had an awful time getting it out and I am not entirely sure it was without damage to his barrel.
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Old October 30, 2008, 09:02 PM   #12
sks
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Thanks to all for the replies. I used the brass rod and drove it back out. Took a bit of elbow grease but got it done.

Can anyone recommend a good digital scale? Here is the reason. The reload that got stuck was one my Dad had reloaded and one also got stuck in my wife's .38 revolver. So, I can pull about 400 .38s and 100 .45LC or I can find the right weight and make sure they are ok. I figure that route there might be a few that have to be pulled but not the entire lot. I have the small Lee precision scale but don't think I can be that accurate with it.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old October 30, 2008, 11:29 PM   #13
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The only problem with weighing pistol rounds is the standard deviation of the bullets themselves is sometimes more than the weight of the powder charge. It won't take too long to tear them down, try doing it while watching a movie and you'll be surprised at how fast it goes.
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Old October 31, 2008, 09:25 AM   #14
digisol
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Puting a screw into the projectile will only expand it making it worse, use the dowel as described, it's not easy to push them back yo have to hit em.

Use some bore cleaner solvent and leave overnight, rather than any other light lubricant.

Dowel does work but a nylon rod might also be worth a try.

Revise your loading habits.

A brass rod ? yeah right.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:14 PM   #15
James K
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For Jim Watson:

Yep, works fine as long as the bullet is in the barrel and not stuck between cylinder and barrel.

Jim
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Old October 31, 2008, 04:24 PM   #16
sks
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digisol: So I guess you've never done that before. I have done it on two other occasions and it worked just fine. To clarify, I did not put the screw down where the bullet was into the barrel, only the part sticking out. This particular one just happened to be tough. The brass rod did work. If you had read my reply below you would have seen that these were not my reloads.

Dilbert: I have decided to give my Dad all of his loads back. Just not going to worry about weighing them or pulling them. I had to pull about 400 .40 S&W bullets the first time I loaded them about 15 years ago and it was a royal pain. Did not realize how much the cases bulged. Haven't made that mistake since.

Thanks again to all.
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Old November 1, 2008, 09:16 PM   #17
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Years ago I was the range director for one of the service academy ranges..the one in Colorado to be exact. We were qualifiying cadets with the S&W Combat Masterpiece and military FMJ .38 Spl loads.

One cadet, who'd never shot before and didn't have any experience with what was normal recoil had a squib load on the first shot. It stopped about 1/2 the way up the barrel as near as we could determine. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th shots stacked up behind it.

The result was that they'd pushed the 1st one just about clear of the muzzle, and the last one lodged between the cylinder and the barrel, right in the forcing cone.

The resident gunsmith got a drift from his shop, then proceeded to drive all of them back down the barrel until the last one was clear of the forcing cone, allowing the cylinder to be swung out. The rest were driven down into the open frame.

Now here's the surprise...once clear, and a patch was run down the bore, we found that the entire episode had not harmed the barrel one iota. No bulge, no nothing. We reloaded the piece and shot a nicely centered group at 25 yds that measured about 2.5" as I recall.

We surmised that the cylinder gap allowed the excess pressure to dissipate before the barrel bulged!

Good guns there at S&W back then...~1967. Regards,
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