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Old November 21, 2017, 11:34 AM   #1
RC20
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Hornady Bullet Puller Review

In the past I have had a few rounds here and there to undo, the kinetic did fine.

Getting older though, its harder to get up and my hard surfaces are the concrete under the shop (and other places)

I will also note I wrecked on when I tried to use a pip stand, they will not take an impact to a concentration area like the curve of pipe, needs to be flat hard surface.

As I had made a mistake and 10 should have been ok (were marginal pressure) the others were over pressure and I had another 40.

I did a bit of reviewing and the one I thought had the best ergonomics was the flip lever Hornady vs the screw down rest (did not look at the exotic mfg like Dillon etc)

Cabellas said they had it in stock (did not but did have the caliber collet I needed).

And a side oddity, I though, hmmm Bass Pro, overpriced always, but they do have some reloading stuff though its poor in many areas.

Danged if they not only had the Hornady, the price was a couple bucks less than Cabbellas, the earth shook.

So, a happy camper and put it through its paces.

Its a bit tricky on getting the initial setup for the ram extended and the bullet in the collet, once that's done its a real treat.

The flip lever locks down perfectly fine (at least for a non crimp rifle) and a light pop on the press handle and the bullet pulls out of the case.

No powder goes anywhere, put your hand under the Puller and move the lever up and the bullet most of the time drops into your hands.

A couple of minutes to run all 40 through.

I have used it on 30 caliber and 270 now (different issue but needed to pull another 30 of those)

I like it a lot, not sure it could be done any better.

NOTE: There is an old style Hornady one that uses a screw, Horny offer a kit that replaces that with the flip lever.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:40 AM   #2
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Yep. I picked one of the Cam-lock pullers from Sinclair on Commercial Row at Camp Perry about fifteen years ago. I was pulling down some surplus ammo whose powder had gone bad. If you have a significant number of rounds to pull down, it saves both your hands and especially your time. If you are pulling down military ammo with sealant, it pays to run them through a seating die just far enough to break the seal before using the puller. The same applied to bullets that have cold-bonded to the case mouth. Just a very short nudge deeper into the case loosens them considerably.
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Old November 21, 2017, 03:36 PM   #3
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I owned one years ago but sold it off.....it was convenient and easy to use. A very good product overall. These days a pair of pliers and my single stage press serve that purpose.....unfortunately the bullets usually don't survive.....luckily I've only ever needed to pull a dozen or so bullets in the last 20 years....if I had to do large batches I would definitely buy the Hornady tool again.
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Old November 21, 2017, 04:01 PM   #4
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Very handy tool to have around.
There are several out there but the Hornady seems to be the easiest one to use based on my casual observation.

I was once given a five pound coffee can full of inert .45 ACP rounds. I have no idea why they were inert but I tried to fire some of them and ............... they were inert.
I started pulling them with a kinetic bullet puller which is all I had at the time. I realized that this was going to take me a week to pull them all, so I invested in one of these dies. It was SO much easier, and of course makes no noise.

Today, I mainly use it when I load up a batch of ammo for testing and I reach my goal early on in the process. For example I like to play around with .300 Blackout subsonics. Sometimes you are just guessing at the correct powder charge to get to the velocity you want. I have loaded 25 rounds and the lightest load was too fast. Rather than just go ahead and shoot the rest, I pulled them and saved myself expensive bullets to use for more productive testing.
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Old November 21, 2017, 04:23 PM   #5
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if I were buying a puller I would definitely give the Hornady serious consideration after reading that review. One question though. With the RCBS you can vary the pullers grip force when tightening the collet to minimize the scarring of the bullet. Is the lever preset or can you adjust the force by how hard or far you pull it back ?

By the way slightly scarred bullets shoot fine. Like some one told me, that little ring goes away about 1 millisecond after the bullet hits the lands. Once when I used a load that I normally used for a slightly lighter bullet weight. I realized it half way through a batch of 50. With the heavier bullet they would have been at high end of the Hogdon load data. I had loaded thirty rounds and wavered between doing a pressure work up set to see if they were safe and shooting them or pulling and reloading. I pulled em but instead of trashing the bullets I reloaded them to use as barrel warmers/foulers. When I shot a group to get the barrel warm and dirty I was pleasantly surprised when it shot a normal group
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Old November 21, 2017, 07:13 PM   #6
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The Hornady lever is a cam lock type to the grip is changes but I would not horse down on it. .

So yes you can put more grip on it.

I would guess not as much as the screw type, but I like Unclenicks approach, bump them if you need to.

Yes miner glint of color change on the surface, more a mar than scatching. I didn't figured I could shoot well enough to tell the difference!
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:28 PM   #7
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I decided to try Grip-n-Pull. This has worked well for me.

https://grip-n-pull.com/products/sta...SABEgJTOfD_BwE


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Old November 21, 2017, 11:32 PM   #8
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What I like about the Hornady is for rifle all you have to do is get it close and it will pull the bullet every time. Now they say it is not for pistol rounds but if you take your time and get them perfect they will pull every round I have. But the problem is the time it takes to get it perfect. That is why I bought a puller for every caliber I shoot. Yea a little costly but all I have to do is load it in and start pulling.

Now the way I adjusted my pistols was I put a case in without a bullet and raised it all the way up. I then pulled the handle down all the way as if it was gripping the bullet. I then ran the die down until it just touched the case. Then I raised the die up just a hummingbird fart and set the lock ring.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:59 PM   #9
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I have the RCBS puller. You have to have a collet for every caliber, but it pulls it every single time....crimp or no crimp.

I bought it initially when I was leaning to reload and screwed up a bunch of 308 loads that I had bulged the shoulder out on when trying to roll crimp. They wouldn't chamber and I did about 100 rounds that way. I have since added several other calibers and don't use it all the time, but once in a while I need it.



How is it different from the RCBS version?

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Old November 22, 2017, 03:14 PM   #10
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The Hornady also uses collets. There was a remark of too thin but they seem plenty stout to me.

I don't think its that bad to setup but I have not done pistol either.

I have two collets for the two calibers I have needed to pull bullets on.
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Old November 22, 2017, 03:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
I have the RCBS puller. You have to have a collet for every caliber, but it pulls it every single time....crimp or no crimp.
I have the RCBS puller and pulling the bullet every time has NOT been my experience. Quite often the bullets slip out of the collet, no matter how tight I got it. I wound up using a wrench as a cheater handle to get the collet tight enough to hold the bullet and not slip off. And, forget about reusing lead bullets pulled that way. They are mashed. If you can even pull them at all.

I got the Lyman "orange hammer) kinetic puller, and it works like a champ. Pulls GI .308 win and crimped lead .38 Special, and everything else, with NO damage to the bullets.

I was able to pull down 400rnds of surplus .308 that gone bad faster and easier with the hammer than I would have with my press mounted collet puller. I use the top of my wood stove (in summer, no fire in the stove) as the impact surface and it works very well.

Concrete, despite seeming very hard isn't, when it comes to impact pullers. Better than wood, but not nearly as good as iron or steel. Technique does matter. The hammer doesn't need to swing HARD, but it does need to swing fast and stop suddenly. Have even pulled .22 center fire bullets, though they take more swings than bigger heavier bullets. And everything you need comes with the hammer, no extra collets to buy.

I'm a fan of RCBS stuff, most of my reloading tools are RCBS (and I load for over 30 different cartridges). They make great stuff, mostly. However, IMHO, their collet bullet puller sucks.

The Hornady might be better, but I've got my hammer puller, which works for everything, so I'm not going to be buying anything else to do that job.
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Old November 23, 2017, 06:47 PM   #12
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I've pulled a lot of bullets on the Lyman collet bullet puller and absolutely love it, but, I could not get it to work on the Acme HiTec coated bullets. They are just too slippery for the collet to hold them well enough to pull them, but since I don't use them anymore it's no big deal to me.
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Old November 24, 2017, 10:47 AM   #13
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All pullers will fail in some circumstances. A coated bullet, being slippery, will also be more easily pulled by a kinetic hammer puller than plain bullets are. You need a kinetic puller for lead bullets, too, if you want to be able to reuse them afterward. I always go to the kinetic for one or two pulls and for match bullets I don't want to risk even minor distortion on.

I own a Quinetics kinetic puller and an RCBS puller in .30 cal that I got before getting the Hornady Cam-Lock puller. The Hornady is by far the fastest to use. Like 44 AMP, I found the RCBS collet closing handle didn't always supply adequate torque within the limit of the strength of my hands. Plus, having to tighten and loosen it took almost as much time and effort as the kinetic pullter. The Cam Lock, though a larger initial investment, closes or opens with a single 90° down or up handle stroke once set up, and the effort isn't high. Literally as quick as a press stroke, and the grip it achieves on the bullet is better than I got from the RCBS device.

If I were still using the RCBS, I would by now have polished the tightening threads and collet closing surfaces and treated them with Moly-Fusion to make it easier to tighten and to be using a dry lube that couldn't creep into the collet gripping surface.
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Old November 24, 2017, 12:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
I found the RCBS collet closing handle didn't always supply adequate torque within the limit of the strength of my hands
With a collet system once the collet is fully closed no amount of torque is going to get it any tighter. I generally don't torque the collet all the way closed which minimizes the scarring. Instead I try and tighten up a bit at a time on non crimped bullets. I also keep a inertia puller in the drawer just in case and prefer it if I have 5 or less bullets to pull
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Old November 24, 2017, 01:24 PM   #15
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I have the RCBS and haven't had any issues pulling 44 Magnums or any of the 45 calibers as well as 30 caliber and 28 caliber rifle.

I just cinch it down, no need to torque on it. I wonder if tolerance stacking may be at play here making certain combinations of collets and pullers work more or less easily?

Glad to hear the Hornady puller works good for you guys too.
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Old November 24, 2017, 01:24 PM   #16
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Yeah I still use the Kinetic puller too for the occasional miscue, I only have collets for .22, .308, and .357/9mm. Everything else I do with the hammer.
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Old November 24, 2017, 02:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
No powder goes anywhere
This was the selling point for me. Now the only time I don't use it is when I cannot get a grip on the bullet to be. Even when I have to use the kinetic I will give it a couple lighter swings to move the bullet enough I can then use the Hornady. I have a couple friends who reload and occasionally they need to borrow a puller, I lend them the kinetic.
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Old November 24, 2017, 05:20 PM   #18
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I have the RCBS collett die set for 20 & 22 cals. The RCBS did not do very well with the 204R factory ammo I was pulling to get the brass. The factory ammo had such a short COAL that the collett would not grip the 40g vmax bullets so I ended up using the old side cutters to grip the bullet and it worked like a charm. I was wanting to save those 40g vmax's but it was only 25 rounds, so. I used the same 20 cal collett on some other handloads with a longer COAL and it worked fine.

The reviews I read indicated the Hornady colletts would break and bend quite easily, so I went the RCBS road.
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Old November 25, 2017, 10:52 AM   #19
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My brother heard that as well.

So far it has been " it looks to thin", not that it broke.

What you need (or want) is a steel material that is springy.

While I don't see them as thin, the functionality is in the engineering.

As they expand against a solid steel cylinder when going over the bullet, the only way I could see them breaking would be the repeated flex over many cycles of use.

Done right it won't - will see.

Done wrong any device of that type no matter how thick ( unless done to the point it does nothing) is going to break.
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Old November 25, 2017, 12:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
I have the RCBS collett die set for 20 & 22 cals. The RCBS did not do very well with the 204R factory ammo I was pulling to get the brass. The factory ammo had such a short COAL that the collett would not grip the 40g vmax bullets so I ended up using the old side cutters to grip the bullet and it worked like a charm. I was wanting to save those 40g vmax's but it was only 25 rounds, so. I used the same 20 cal collett on some other handloads with a longer COAL and it worked fine.
I had the same problem with some 32 gr Hornady 204's. The puller needs to have enough bullet past the ogive to give the collet something to grab onto
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Old December 2, 2017, 05:04 PM   #21
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In playing with the Hornady, I found its easier to adjust to the bullet with the whole thing out of the press.

Work the setting until you get a firm grip on a cartridge stuck in it, then cinch up the holding nut, into the press and good to go.
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