View Full Version : How to remove bullet lodged in barrel?

November 22, 2005, 02:52 PM
I was shooting some reloads in my 1911 today and had an underpowered load, (I assume). Anyway the bullet is lodged in the barrel, I tried to push it out with a brass rod but it would not budge. I am planning on trying to tap it out when I get home toninght. Is is better to tap it out from the muzzle end or from the breech end? Any other advice? Should I use any solvent or oil? If it is really stuck and won't come out, then what?

November 22, 2005, 03:06 PM
The only time I had this happen was with a 6" 357 years ago. I tapped it out using the rod for the cleaning kit going in through the muzzle. For a 1911 I would advise going from the rear. I am assuming you are using sone sort of rounded nose bullet and if you go from the rear you have more of a flat area to press on.

Make certain the rod is brass or aluminum. You want ti to be SOFTER than the barrel for certain or you risk doing damage.

I would also see what else is posted here.

Jim Watson
November 22, 2005, 03:15 PM
Jacketed bullet? Stuck cast bullets come out pretty easy.
Add penetrating oil, Kroil is good but whatever is on hand is better than nothing.
Use the largest brass or polished steel rod you can find that will fit the barrel, not much longer than the barrel so it doesn't "twang" and lose force. Aluminum will do if a close fit, I carry a piece of shotgun rod for a .44-.45 "squib rod", but don't use a skinny .22 rod that will bend.
Clamp the barrel and drive the bullet out. Most folks I have seen working on it drive toward the chamber. Try to drive it out in one swing of a heavy hammer, don't rap, rap, rap with a light hammer; that will just upset the bullet tighter. Might want to drill a scrap of wood to put the rod through to keep from whacking the barrel with the hammer when the bullet comes free.

November 22, 2005, 04:01 PM
If you're concerned about damaging the barrel try a short section of a dowel rod. Wood won't mar your barrel.

James K
November 22, 2005, 06:38 PM
Sorry, Clayfish, but that is bad advice. It might work with a pistol barrel, but on a rifle using a dowel is about a sure method of having the dowel split and then you have a bullet plus a split dowel rod stuck in the barrel.

Use a brass or steel rod, and a lubricant (Kroil, as Jim W recommends, is fine). Put the lubricant ahead of the bullet so you drive the bullet into the lubricated part of the barrel.

Which direction? I would say the direction where the distance to drive the bullet is the less. If a bullet is stuck two inches ahead of the chamber in a rifle, it would be pointless to drive it 24 inches instead of 2.

And next time, make sure there is powder in the case.


November 22, 2005, 07:21 PM
A tip, if you're using a metal rod.

First, get one that is close to bore diameter. There should be some free play.

Of course, disassemble the pistol.

GENTLY insert the rod from the muzzle to the nose of the stuck bullet. Mark the location.

Now, get some of that wonder of wonders, duct tape. Wrap the duct tape around the rod, close to the end (about 1" in) until it is a snug fit into the barrel. Repeat with the last 1/3rd of the rod, make sure that the rod itself is longer than the barrel, and of a stiff material.

Insert the rod into the barrel; it might be helpful to lube the outside of the tape bushing with a bit of grease. Place it in firm contact with the stuck bullet.

Now, place the chamber end of the barrel on a piece of hard wood. A fresh 4x4 will do fine. Tap the end of the rod; the bullet should come free.

Inspect the barrel for bulges; clean, rassemble--and remember to put the popwder in next time!

November 22, 2005, 07:38 PM
why not push it toward the end its closest to?
usually chamber, no?

November 22, 2005, 07:58 PM
For the 1911, I would apply either Kroil or PB Blaster, let it sit a day. Then put a 3/8" or 7/16" brass or CRS rod in from the breech end, hold the barrel in my hand and strike the back of the rod with a 2 lb hammer. The the inertia should inch it forward. This avoids putting the muzzle against anyething that might damage the crown. Not puting the rod in the muzzle end is for the same reason.

CRS is stronger than brass, but should not be hard enough to damage the bore. Nonethless, wrap a layer of masking tape around it to be sure.

If the bullet is still stuck, drop by a Woodcraft store. They sell inertial slide hammers in a couple of sizes, and I believe the rod on the smaller one will fit into the breech of a .45. This metal is probably harder than CRS, so you will definitely want to use the tape on it.


November 22, 2005, 08:57 PM
Sorry, Clayfish, but that is bad advice. It might work with a pistol barrel, but on a rifle

I know but we are talking about a pistol here.

November 22, 2005, 11:33 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I got it out by tapping an aluminum cleaning rod and using some CLP (it was all I had). It didn't come out easy but it did come out. The barrel looks fine, I dont see any bulges or damage, is there a good way to check for sure?

November 22, 2005, 11:34 PM
BTW...It was some gun show reloads.:(

November 26, 2005, 02:02 PM
didja get em from "t"s?

November 26, 2005, 02:31 PM
Just take it appart put the barrle in a vice and tape it out from the muzzle. No big deal. I'v done it severl times.

November 27, 2005, 02:10 PM

A standard 1911 barrel is easy to check with a micrometer. Just take measurements along the outside of the skinniest part of the barrel and verify that it is no wider where the bullet was stuck than it is an inch ahead of that spot. Since the incident resulted from an under-pressure load, you should have no worries.