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Old June 3, 2012, 07:21 PM   #1
Ike666
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Pulling Bullets

I just came into a case of Viet Nam era Match M118 with the 173 grain bullet.

I'm seriously considering pulling the bullets and replacing them with Sierra 168 MKs or maybe 175 SMKs. I just ordered an RCBS collet puller, which Ive never used before.

I'm looking for any advice and guidance from those who have experience with this type of operation.
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Old June 3, 2012, 07:31 PM   #2
edfrompa
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Pulling bullets

What kind are you getting?? The one you put in the head of a hammer? Or the one you pull with the bullet locked down and you pull the head hydraulically? Either one are fine. They both work well, very easy to use. Had both, never a problem.
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Old June 3, 2012, 07:47 PM   #3
Jimro
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The RCBS Collet bullet puller is easy to use and you'll be fine making "Mexican Match" ammo with 168gr SMKs. The 175s should work too.

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Old June 3, 2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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The collet is te way to go on a bulk pull & ya won`t spill powder !

Watch your ram for cam over ,if it does ya could ruin cases easily!!
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:26 PM   #5
Ike666
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GP100man, do you mean on the down stroke to grab the bullet or the upstroke to pull it?
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Old June 4, 2012, 05:27 AM   #6
rebs
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Quote:
GP100man, do you mean on the down stroke to grab the bullet or the upstroke to pull it?
cam over happens when you push the handle down and the ram is going up to the die or in this case the Collet puller.
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Old June 4, 2012, 06:00 PM   #7
Bart B.
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I've pulled hundreds (thousands?) of 172's out of M118 match ammo then seated both Sierra 168's and 180's. Peak pressure's been a bit higher than normall M118 with the 168's and a lot higher with the 180's as jacket material on the military M2 172-gr. FMJBT bullet's softer than Sierras. These rounds were fired in Garands and M14MN's by service teams for years with great success. They've also been used in bolt action match rifles with the same results. High pressure and great accuracy. Be careful; wear safety glasses.
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Old June 4, 2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Just a quick hint! Your bullets are sealed with a very nasty adhesive. Pulling these bullets is a PITA. To make pulling A WHOLE BUNCH EASIER, run all these cartridges through your bullet seating die that you have adjusted to push your bullets SLIGHTLY DEEPER, SAY 1/16". This breaks the sealant and makes pulling much easier. Now pull, using a collet puller.
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Old June 4, 2012, 07:41 PM   #9
Ike666
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I noticed that these rounds do not have the primer crimp. I seem to recall reading somewhere (can't source it right now) that the sealer for the bullet was also left off of these match rounds. I'm certainly not doubting your experience but am trying to resolve an apparent conflict. These boxes are distinctly marked Match in big red letters. The headstamps are all from 1966 (and the wooden case was also marked 1966). I don't know if this makes a difference from rounds intended for field use or not.

This extra step doesn't sound like much and I'll most likely experiment. Do the pulled bullets need to be tumbled to remove any residual sealer?
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Old June 4, 2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Ike ,cam over is when the handle is lowered the ram goes up all the way then drops a bit .

But I remember now ,it was on an older press & was able to adjust the die hi enuff t be at the top of the stroke , but more than likely you won`t have that problem on a the longer cases .

The 147gr bullets we pulled we washed em in gasoline ,then mean green.
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Old June 7, 2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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ike,

the rcbs puller will work but hurt your hand tightening the collet after a bit.
hornady's cam-lok unit is more comfortable; gave my rcbs unit away...

listen to waldog...his advice is a big 10-4!

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Old June 7, 2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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Well, the RCBS puller arrived (too late for another solution ) and I'm going to give a first try this evening. The instructions said just what waldog & budman said, seat down about .005 to break the seals. I'm going to go with that.

Actually I'll try both and report back.
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Old June 7, 2012, 09:00 PM   #13
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Pulled and re-did 20.

Waldog, budman and the RCBS instructions were right - I tired a couple without breaking the seal and the collet slipped off without a successful pull.

After that I ran them through a seater die before pulling. That worked just fine. I was using a Rock Chucker to pull with and had to give the handle a stiff bump with my palm on several. It popped the bullets out easy enough, but I can see what budman was talking about. Doing too many like that would hurt. I did, however, find an interim solution - an old PAST shooting glove. The kind with the fingers cut out and the heavy recoil pad in the palm. Banged the handle on the few that needed it - no pain.

When I used the seater die, there would be a noticeable crack with some as the seal broke. With others there would be nothing. The ones without the audible crack were the ones that needed a vigorous bump to unseat the bullet. I'll experiment with a little more "depth" on the seater die.

The bullets came out with no apparent damage but a slight band of the tar-like sealer. I'll clean those later. I replaced them with Hornady 168 gn Match HPBTs. I'll see how they do at the range in the next couple of days.
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Old June 7, 2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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I've found M118M to be exceptionally accurate as is, and right on the money for that targeted 2,550 fps velocity.

http://www.snipercentral.com/m118.phtml

You sure you want to pull all those bullets?
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Old June 7, 2012, 09:35 PM   #15
Waldog
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Quote:
Pulled and re-did 20.

Waldog, budman and the RCBS instructions were right - I tired a couple without breaking the seal and the collet slipped off without a successful pull.

After that I ran them through a seater die before pulling. That worked just fine. I was using a Rock Chucker to pull with and had to give the handle a stiff bump with my palm on several. It popped the bullets out easy enough, but I can see what budman was talking about. Doing too many like that would hurt. I did, however, find an interim solution - an old PAST shooting glove. The kind with the fingers cut out and the heavy recoil pad in the palm. Banged the handle on the few that needed it - no pain.

When I used the seater die, there would be a noticeable crack with some as the seal broke. With others there would be nothing. The ones without the audible crack were the ones that needed a vigorous bump to unseat the bullet. I'll experiment with a little more "depth" on the seater die.

The bullets came out with no apparent damage but a slight band of the tar-like sealer. I'll clean those later. I replaced them with Hornady 168 gn Match HPBTs. I'll see how they do at the range in the next couple of days.
Congrats! You have just made what is affectionately known as "Mexican Match" among High Power shooters. I have shot a gazillon of em'. Keep some original. You may be surprised. They CAN shoot better than 168's MK's. Good Luck!!
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