View Full Version : Pulling a bullet from its case

February 4, 2006, 03:58 PM
My friend had this newby question :confused: which i confess I cant answer with confidence.

I was wondering if its safe to pull a bullet from its case.

I would use a vise and a pair of pliars and the bullet in question is a 22 rimfire.

Also is it safe to pry open a 12 guage shotshell aka open up the crimping and spill out the contents.

Thanks Rem 1187 :)

February 4, 2006, 04:04 PM
They make a bullet puller which is like a hammer for pulling bullets. But for 22s no such luck. I have pulled many many 22s with pliars, but i dont really think it is a good idea, As i have "modified" shotgun shells. Be careful. You might get some safety glasses. If a bullet goes off and blows off your hands, at least you might be able to see.:D

February 4, 2006, 05:51 PM
If done carefully, it COULD be generally safe. However, .22 LR cases are soft, so, regardless of how careful you are, you will damage the case beyond use. Also, as .22 is a rimfire cartridge, any crushing of the base (rim) of the cartridge will likely result in a detonation of the priming compound - with results you can imagine. So, I would avoid this exercise, unless there is a really good, compelling reason for it (I can't think of one).

As to the shotgun shells...this is a safer proposition, as shotgun shells are centrefire....and less volatile. So, you can carefully pry open the crimping, to remove the contents. Just be careful - as you should be with handling ANY ammunition, at any time. Again, unless there is a really good reason for this, I would find another way to seek thrills in my life. As well, if you intend to alter the loads in the shotgun shells, you will need proper handloading equipment and load data - in order to do this right. Don't just muck about with these - that could be quite dangerous.

February 4, 2006, 06:06 PM
I'm just curious, what is your reason for wanting to pull the 22 bullet from its case? And what are you trying to achieve by removing the contents of the shotgun shell ?


February 4, 2006, 06:22 PM
I was intrested in opening a shotgun shell for educational purposes to show what a shotshell is made off to those who are new to shooting.

The 22 deal is really a curiosity deal.

Ive always wante to uncrimp a load of say 00 buck.

So I guess its only okay to open shotgun shells not 22s at least safely:) .

Im not at all intrested in altering the loads in shells purely educational and curiosity:rolleyes: .

Rem 1187

Thanks for all responses

Mal H
February 5, 2006, 12:48 AM
You can safely pull the bullet out of a .22 LR case with pliers. However, I would caution you to not hold the case with the pliers. I would use leather gloves and hold the case in your gloved hand. Using tools on a thin brass, primed case would be foolhardy, IMO.

As stated above, always use safety glasses when attempting anything of this nature.

February 5, 2006, 10:00 AM
What Mal H said. But from an educational aspect. what do you want to know. All you are going to see is some powder in the case. You would be safer picking up a spent shell and looking at it, no chance of getting the primer compound to go off that way. Personally,, I would not play with a 22 rimfire in the manner you propose

February 5, 2006, 10:32 AM
I have disassembled rimfire ammo before. What I do is get a triangular or other acute angle corner file and file a groove on the case below where I think the base of the bullet is until I get through to the inside and the top comes off. Using a kinetic bullet puller is asking for trouble, IMO.

February 5, 2006, 10:35 PM
Just don't stand in front of it when you pull! :o

February 6, 2006, 01:21 AM
What about soaking it in a tub of water for a few days and then attempting to pull the bullet from the case? As far as I know rimfires ar'nt waterproofed like some centerfires are.

Whatever you do good luck and be safe.

February 6, 2006, 03:13 AM
I've done this before, in fact I shot the 22 bullets pulled from dud rounds. Using a drill press at very low speed I drill a hole just 1/8" over the rim. I then use Hoppe's or any other gun oil I have and put at least 3 drops inside the shells. After about a whole day soaking I can clamp the dud rounds on the vise and by using a Dremmel tool with a cutter I cut off the rim by using the hole I drilled as a guide. To salvage the bullets and utilize them I made a jig made of wood to hold the bullets securely in a vise. I slit the cut case lengthwise and by using two long nose pliers I commence to split the case open. I get a 90% success rate in retrieving the bullets undamaged. josh

February 6, 2006, 04:24 AM
what do you use the pulled .22's for?
i didnt think you could reload rimfires

February 6, 2006, 05:07 AM
I've shot them out of reduced load 223 from a TC contender. Why, you ask? Depending what bullets they are, the copper washed I can push to about 1600 fps and the effect on squirrels is impressive. No recoil, the accuracy is superb as long as I point the gun vertical before leveling to get the reduced load to ignite consistenly. I've pushed 34 grain hollow points up to 1800 fps, I forgot what brand and they are super explosive. josh

March 2, 2006, 10:06 PM
i always wondered if you could shoot .22 LR bullets in a .223 case

March 2, 2006, 10:34 PM
And now you know, thanks to joshua, who appears to have just a wee bit more time than I do. ;)

Wild Bill Bucks
March 3, 2006, 11:44 AM
If you are pulling bullets for education, the PULL them up on the internet.
I'm sure you can find cut-aways of what they look like, and(Unless your computer blows up) its a lot safer.;)

March 3, 2006, 12:14 PM
( I probably shouldn't say this but...) I've pulled many .22 rimfires before. I just hold the case and tip the bullet out against a tabletop, they come right out. The base is the sensitive part.

Mods feel free to delete this if you think it crossed a forbidden line. Eh.

March 3, 2006, 12:33 PM
I Have Pulled Many Centerfire Bullets Apart By Just Wiggling The
Bullet Loose From The Case And Pulling It Strait Out. I Found That The Military Surplus Ammo Is Easy To Take Apart Like The 7.62x39 Etc. I Have Also Taken 12guage Shells Apart Just To See The Contents. I Also Am Curious And Luckily I Havent Blown Myself Up Yet. So Be Carefull. I Wear Welding Gloves And Safety Glasses. A Rednecks Famous Last Words- "hey Ya'll! Watch This!" :)

March 3, 2006, 03:08 PM
while all this rimfire toying is not at all what one would consider "safe" at least we're not talking about laying them in the street and hitting them with hammers to expend them!!:eek: (yes, I know someone...)

as far as bullet pulling in general, they also make a nice little clamp that goes in the top of your reloading press, and you run the bullet up into the vice, then pull down on the shell using the reloader's lever. works great for those soft point bullets you dont want all mashed out from the "hammer looking" puller. But again, not really meant for a rimfire. :cool:

also, when I was young and stupid... wait. uhm, when I was younger I ran out of BB's for my daisy, so what does any little kid do? I found the shotshells that had the closest sized BB's, cut em out and used those. Yeah, dont let your kids do this. lol :D

March 3, 2006, 03:19 PM
Here ya go:


March 3, 2006, 06:52 PM
And now you know, thanks to joshua, who appears to have just a wee bit more time than I do.

LOL! Actually I wondered what coated lead bullets (pulled 22 LR) would do if pushed faster. Ithought they wouldn't even shoot accurately out of a .223 Rem bore. Believe me a lot of thinking went into this before commiting to it. Using a caliper I took the diameter of the pulled 22 LR bullets and it seemed just right for the .223. A friend of mine warned me of load density type detonation in which my biggest concern, but never happened. I used a medium burning powder and the powder load was less than half the case capacity. Now, I'd rather just use the hornet bullets or 40 grain .224 bullets. josh

March 3, 2006, 08:08 PM
Oh, OK, I see - it wasn't so much to save money on new bullet cost, as just out of scientific/engineering curiosity for the different sized bullets (from .224s), both weight and diameter-wise. That's a relief. Glad you had good results. :)

March 4, 2006, 05:06 AM
My buddy Tom, when he was very drunk, would take a live .22 round, bite the bullet, pull it out of the case, and then proceed to eat the powder. Not sure what this was supposed to do, but he only got me to do it once LOL. One time we were drinking around the fire one night after going through prolly 500 .22 rounds each on crows that day. He pulls about 20 out of his pocket and throws them in. We proceeded to run around to the other side of my car and watch the shells go off in the fire. To say it was awesome is an understatement. We laughed so hard it hurt the next day. Also, we used to take the shot out of shotshells and had wad wars. Let me tell you, at 20 yards with a wad, it really stings LOL. But please don't try any of these childish things.

March 4, 2006, 08:49 AM
Some people do some dumb things thats for sure. Around here , idiots used to put a 22 shell in a plastic straw , (bullet inside straw, primer facing out) On the main drag here they would throw the straw into the air. It would of course land on the primer, setting off the shell, here in downtown podunk.; Idiots.

March 5, 2006, 08:03 AM
I've heard of something like that being done before, they said they did it with 12 gauge shells and they actually cut a pipe that the shell fits into but only 1/2 length of the shell. The would put a pin or a nail to set the primer off combined with a fin or sometype of fletching to ensure it will land pin firts to set off the primer. I never done it but it will react as some sort of a grenade if it goes off. It probably won't have much killing power but it will sure ruin someones day. josh

March 5, 2006, 09:01 AM
WOW! I thought a 22 shell was bad! That is like a mortar! How to some people figure this out. Hey wait! I used to make exploding arrows with old 12 gauge shells witha nail on the primer.i was a kid once

March 5, 2006, 10:25 AM
I heard of that too, kind of like a flying bang stick. That will definitely kill something! josh

March 5, 2006, 10:33 AM
Drilling and filing can create heat. Heat + gunpowder = Boom!.
BTW. If a round goes off outside of where it should, the case is usually more dangerous than the bullet. (It's lighter, therefore faster)


March 5, 2006, 10:44 AM
Deadin, use sharp bits and low speed... Once the hole is made drop some oil in there and let sit for a whole day or two. Lots of us here have done dangerous stuff, but the once that survived it and without blowing any digits may have higher intelligence. josh

March 6, 2006, 01:21 PM
alright, I was young once, and I did it all. If a 22 round goes off outside of a chamber, it'll remind you more of a firecracker than ammo. I'd be a little more afraid of denting the primer, but if it's from heat (cook-off), the casing will split and the gasses from the explosion will escape through that split. There will be no secondary frag, but I really wouldn't want one to go off in my hand. I don't think it'd do any permanant damage, but I'm not gonna tempt fate. There's little real danger in merely removing the round as long as your careful around the base of the round, which is where the primer is. Not to mention the fact that I'm sure some of you have fired cheap ammo through a marlin semi-auto and had a malfuction that braided the round beyond recognition. I've seen the bullet come out of the casing while trying to clear a jammed rifle.

The shotgun shell is relativly safe, I used to do it all the time and replace the shot with rock salt. That's my own little form of non-lethal weapons handling. Just make sure you do it with 8 shot, not 00. 00 has enough powder pushing it to do a little damage even with rock salt. 8 shot should be fine past 10 meters.

Whatever you do, don't go to drilling on a round with powder in it. That's not smart. They make a tool to extract bullets, except for a 22, and it can be done by hand.

March 6, 2006, 08:47 PM
...filing can create heat. Heat + gunpowder = Boom!.

hahahaha. If heat is an issue, let it cool. If you can generate enough heat to ignnite gunpower on soft thin brass before making a hole to dump the brass out, you must hands as fast as Superman.

March 7, 2006, 08:05 AM
OK, ok, ok... Don't go drilling live rounds and don't crimp/pinch the primer end of any shell. It is dangerous. A job in EOD was offered to me when I was planning to change career fields in the military. I thought it was dangerous then and nothing has change my mind up to now. Soooo... drilling and crimping live ammunition is dangerous. :D I never got to find out how fast I can push those 22lr bullets before they start giving me a gray streak. One of these days I will. :D josh