View Full Version : Best way to remove a bullet lodged in a barrel?

November 4, 2001, 11:34 PM
I had a squib load (1st time in my life) in my keltec p-32 and now have a bullet lodged half way in the barrel. It's really in there. What is the best way to get it out. A punch and hammer? I have tried that a little bit, but it doesn't seem to budge. Help?

November 4, 2001, 11:44 PM
I don't know what the "right" answer is, but I've always had good luck with a dowel and a rubber mallet. Need different sized dowels for your various calibers. Also works well trying to slug a barrel!

Bottom Gun
November 5, 2001, 11:46 AM
If it doesn't tap out easily, I'd remove the barrel first so you don't stress the polymer frame.
Then I'd put the barrel in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will temporarily shrink the materials and cause a somewhat looser bullet/bore fit.
I'd put some light oil in the bore to ease the friction a bit and try tapping it out with a dowel or a brass punch while it was still cold. I'd avoid a steel punch in case it slipped while you are tapping it out.
You'll get a lot of condensation on the barrel when you do this, so be sure to thoroughly dry it and oil it good before you reassemble it.
Good luck. Let us know how you make out.

PS: Freezing can also make removing stuck cases from reloading dies easier.

November 8, 2001, 02:39 PM
Ditto on the freezing from Bottom Gun. Put some Kroil penetrating oil down the barrel both in front and back of the stuck bullet. Cork the muzzle and breech and let it sit for an hour before freezing. Empty any excess Kroil (BTW use latex gloves; Kroil is bad news for exposure to hands over an extended period). Place the barrel in a plastic zip lock bag. Freeze for at least a couple of hours or more. Then use your dowel and mallet to drive the bullet out from the breech end to the muzzle. Let us know how it works.

November 8, 2001, 09:14 PM
Did the Kroil treatment on a shell-stuck die...tapped out with a few tries. Never tried the freezing part, probably would have made it come out easier/faster. Neat trick...Thanks. Hope I never have to use it.

November 8, 2001, 09:38 PM
C-4. Half an ounce.

Works every time.


Joe Portale
November 11, 2001, 09:43 PM
You really don't need to be all that danty with the wooden dowel and hammer. In my early days of reloading, squibs were pretty common for me. It was the cheap Lee powder measure, not me.

Use a hammer that has some weight. Rubber mallets have too much spring. Use a dead blow if you have one, but a plain old metal hammer will work.

Wrap the barrel in something to prevent damage and clamp it into a vise. Place the wooden dowel down the bore and give it a real good wack. A little penetrating oil will help the bullet slip back when it. Don't worry about damaging the dowel, just hit the darn thing. The bullet will pop out.

Oh yes, use a good hardwood dowel. Not one of those cheap pine things from ACE or Home Depot.

November 12, 2001, 02:09 AM
.....(school of hard knocks!)

Local hardware store has threaded brass rods. For handguns, I get the 12 to 18 inch length. Brass is softer than steel and and the thread takes up additional impact.

The rough translation is:

3/16 inch = .1875
1/4 = .250
5/16 = .3125
3/8 = .375
7/16 = .4375

I disassemble semi-autos and hold the barrel in my left hand. No marring anything in a vise. Hold revolver by the barrel, not the frame.

Drive the bullet back the way it came. It's already sized in that end of the barrel... little oil can't hurt. Solid hammer. I don't have a dead fall, but I like the idea.

Unkel Gilbey
November 14, 2001, 11:56 PM
Brownell's sells brass 'squib' rods specially made for knocking the bullets out of pistol barrels. They are almost land diameter (.38, .44, and .45) and they are long enough that they will work with just about any pistol barrel length.

This would be an alternative if you couldn't locate any hardwood dowels.

Avoid using any steel punches in your barrel. It would play havoc with your bore.

Good luck!

Unkel Gilbey

November 18, 2001, 09:49 AM
If the lodged bullet doesn't want to move by hitting it get a small gear puller. Place a small thick piece of brass plate across the bore at bullet's entrance then get a piece of brass rod that will stick out about one inch past muzzle. Make sure you center punch the brass rod for the centering point of puller. Other wise the puller screw may shift to one side when tightening and jump off shaft. Hook jaws of puller to plate and the screw of puller to end of rod and start screwing. The bullet will move back. Then you can remove puller and use your wooden rod to finish knocking it out.