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Old September 22, 2006, 11:50 PM   #1
SpyderMan2k4
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My rookie mistake... safely remove bullet?

Well, I made my "new to reloading" mistake, as most people are bound to do. I got ahead of myself with reloading ammo before testing little by little to see EXACTLY what works. Obviously I started off with minimum loads. The problem is, I also started off with a shorter COL (much larger than the min). I'm shooting 45 acp out of an XD. I went to shoot my first batch of reloads (about a hundred... I know, I'm an idiot lol) and none of them would feed. At first I thought it was too little crimp, but after testing that, I came to the conclusion that the COL was too short. I bumped it from 1.21 to about 1.24 (the min said 1.15 or something, so I didn't think I would be too short). Either way, I've now got about a hundred rounds that are too short. What do I do? I'm guessing worst case scenario, I pull the bullets and they end up damaged, I re-expand the mouth and reset the bullet. BUT, is there a safe way to pull the bullet slightly (whithout bringing it all the way out) and without damaging the bullet where I can just reset/recrimp it? I've been thinking of a couple ways that might work (padded plyers), but I figured I'd ask the pros before trying anything. Thanks!
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Old September 23, 2006, 12:36 AM   #2
SteveinAK
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You can use a kinetic bullet puller similar to those sold by RCBS, Midway, etc. They use the weight of the bullet to "pull" itself with a few whacks with the hammer-like tool. A few light taps with one would pull the bullet slightly, without pulling it all the way out of the case. Then you could reseat to correct length and recrimp.
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Old September 23, 2006, 07:58 AM   #3
arkie2
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Your COL sounds fine. Shouldn't give you a problem. Just a thought, maybe the minimum load you're using isn't enough to cycle the pistol?
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Old September 23, 2006, 08:04 AM   #4
Mal H
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SpyderMan - I'm a little puzzled by a few things you stated. I can't second guess your diagnosis of the fail-to-feed problem since I can't see your ammo or pistol, but it is kinda rare for a cartridge that is very close to specs but a little short not feeding properly - a little too long, sure, but not short. There might be other reasons for the FTF's.

What bullet weight and design are you using?

You stated that the OAL min was listed at 1.15". That's pretty short for most commonly used bullets for .45 ACP. So, second question, which manual or website are you getting your info from?

Remove the barrel from the pistol and see if the cartridges will fall freely into the barrel. You can do this without removing the barrel, but only if you can do it safely in an area where the muzzle will be pointing in a safe direction at all times since you will be using live ammo.

Sounds like you've learned your lesson about loading far too many rounds when changing any component or starting off with a new load, so I won't mention it.

SteveinAK's advice about getting a kinetic bullet puller is good advice. You're going t need one sooner or later - guaranteed.
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Old September 23, 2006, 09:23 AM   #5
arkie2
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Mal

Since I reload .45 ACP I was curious about the min OAL question and took a look at my Lee manual. Min OAL recommendations for the .45 have a pretty wide range of OAL's to my surprise, even as low as 1.130 for a 170 grain lead bullet for instance ranging all the way up to 1.275 for a 185 grain jacketed bullet. Pretty wild!
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Old September 23, 2006, 09:45 AM   #6
JDG
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+2 on the kinetic puller

Min oal is set per powder charge and bullet weight. The same bullet with another powder might be safe at a shorter min oal. It's all about pressure. I always insert a bullet into a fired, unsized case, leaving it as long as possible, and push it into the chamber, slowly seating the bullet until the case is in the chamber. Carefully measure this dummy cartridge, and add .015 -.020, and use this for your max oal. I do this every time I change bullet profiles. I like to load long, for safty sake.
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Old September 23, 2006, 12:45 PM   #7
SpyderMan2k4
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Well, the problems persist. To answer a few questions first... I'm using a 200 grain RN bullet (precision bullets) with Accurate #2 improved powder. I got the data from the accurate website and use used their COL as well. Their min powder load was 5.2, so that's what I started with. They state the COL max/min is 1.275/1.15. Now, here's the problem I had yesterday...

When I racked the first one, it shot fine. The second one... didn't go. Most of the bullets that I had at 1.205 COL wouldn't even rack manually, so powder charge didn't really have anything to do with it. Lastnight I did a couple dummy rounds (no primer or powder), and made the COL about 1.24 (same as my bought rounds) and I could rack them fine. I kept the 5.2 min charge. Today when I went out, I could rack it ok, but it wouldn't feed on it's own, so I'm thinking it could be due to too little powder. Basically what happens is the bullet slides into the barrel fine, but the bolt doesn't close all the way. Any more opinions on what it could be? Thanks in advance...

By the way, thanks for the recommendation on the bullet puller.
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Old September 23, 2006, 08:14 PM   #8
Ken O
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One thing you might try is to seat and crimp in two different steps. What happens when you do them at the same time is the crimp causes a slight bulge as the bullet is seated. This is a real common problem and the reason Dillon presses do them separately. The bulge keeps the bullet from going into battery without a little additional force.
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Old September 23, 2006, 08:33 PM   #9
ZeroJunk
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Those kinetic pullers are probably OK for heavy bullets in a straight pistol case.With lighter bullets in rifle cases it's easier for me to take a pair of side cutters across the top of the press and pull them.I'd rather lose the bullets than do all the beating required to get them out.I threw my kinetic puller away.
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Old September 23, 2006, 09:12 PM   #10
JDG
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Dont over expand the case or over crimp. Both will cause feeding problems. Just expand enough to just keep a bullet on top without tipping, and only crimp enough to remove the belling.Once you get every thing adjusted right, you will barly need to crimp. The Lee factory crimp is nice insurance because of the post sizing, but if every thing is set right, its not much help. Seperating the seating and crimping is nice, and thats why I use the FCD.
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Old September 23, 2006, 11:40 PM   #11
SpyderMan2k4
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Well, it appears I solved my problem. Here's how it goes. My factory ammo (as stated before) was 1.24 COL, so I tried that instead of my previous 1.205. I could rack the long ones easier, but still had feeding problems. Then I realized these were too long because of the bullet shape. The factory bullet (self defense Golden Saber) was a little slimmer overall, and fit into the barrel easier. The target bullets, however, needed a smaller COL (I talked to the guy at precision, he told me the COL needed to be small. So I re-checked each size in the barrel, and sure enough I needed the small COL all along. Now, I believe my original problem was too much crimp. After comparing the crimps of my reloaded ammo and the factory, it seemed I had too much. Additionally, I tried a larger powder charge to ensure there was enough power to re-cock the gun. After making all of these changes, I loaded 10 rounds (200 grain RN, 5.5 grains of Accurate #2 improved, COL of 1.205). I took them out to test them, and every one fired perfect. At 10 yards, I put 9 of the 10 within about 1.25 inches of each other, with one that got away lol (a couple inches low). So I'm going to load some more of those, but at least I believe I've got the hang of what I need to do when reloading pistol ammo. Thanks so much for all the help!
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Old September 27, 2006, 10:51 AM   #12
SpyderMan2k4
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Well, while I have fixed the problem for future rounds, I've still got about 150 rounds total that I need to take apart. I've looked into reviews on the kinetic pullers, but people say they'll break after not too long. Since I've got a fair amount of bullets to disassemble, what does everyone recommend? Should I still go with a kinetic puller? If so, what brand is the best? Should I got with one that screws into the press instead? Thanks...
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Old September 27, 2006, 11:05 AM   #13
JJB2
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how hard are the folks whackin their bullet puller to break it in short order?? i've had the kinetic buller from midway for years and it's pulled lots of bullets an never broke.. i wouldn't want to do without it. if your bullets are seated too deep you just load the cartrage into the puller and smack it on a little piece of 2 by 4 or your loading bench a few times and check to see if it's coming out enough to reseat it...... done that a few times in 25 years........ just keep looking or you'll pull the bullet clear out....
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Old September 27, 2006, 11:15 AM   #14
SpyderMan2k4
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alright, sounds like a plan. Thanks!
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Old September 27, 2006, 11:27 AM   #15
TimRB
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The instructions that came with my kinetic puller said to smack it on the end-grain of a piece of wood. I do exactly that with excellent results; YMMV.

Tim
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Old September 27, 2006, 11:56 AM   #16
Mal H
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Right - striking a good heavy chunk of wood is much better than hitting concrete or the like (some folks do that).

There is also a technique to be learned in using the puller. You don't use a hard tap on the wood. You really have to hit it. In fact, follow-through is important if you want to minimize the number of blows it takes to move or remove the bullet. By follow-through, I mean an almost Aikido like motion - you have to envision going through the piece of wood rather than just hitting it and having the hammer end of the puller stop on the surface. Good luck Grasshopper.
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Old September 27, 2006, 12:31 PM   #17
ZeroJunk
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Kinetic pullers work fine for a lot of people.But the inertia involved in getting a 250 grain pistol bullet to move as opposed to a 100 grain rifle bullet is obvious.
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Old September 27, 2006, 03:24 PM   #18
brickeyee
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2x SPF endgrain.
When it gets a little compressed, cut about an inch off the board and start again.
Concrete or anything really hard will simply shatter the plastic.
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