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Old December 7, 2007, 06:15 PM   #1
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: North Las Vegas, NV
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Pulled bullets?

A little history first. I have been reloading for my brother in law's .280. I worked up a good load using H4831 with Hornady 139 gr SST bullets. He bought a box of Barnes triple shock bullets of the same weight and wanted me to reload a couple of boxes for hunting season using the same load data. I did not have the rifle and told him I cannot guarantee accuracy. Well needless to say accuracy is awful.

So the question is if I pull the bullets with a kinetic bullet puller can I expect to get decent accuracy out of the bullets? These are expensive bullets and I would like to make the shoot decent. I have the rifle this time and plan on working up a load.
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Old December 7, 2007, 06:46 PM   #2
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unless there is some significant scarring on the neck of the bullets after you pull them - I'd reuse them. I routinely re-use bullets that I have to pull / or bullets from test loads that didn't work out.

If you have some uncertainty about the bullets - load them up in cases and mark the bases of the case with a marker pen - and just shoot them up for practice.
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Old December 7, 2007, 08:13 PM   #3
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Bullets pulled with kinetic pullers(especially hand done ones) are usually very reloadable, its bullets done on high volume machines that deform the bullets which might have accuracy issues. These bullets usually have "pull marks"(a split line running parallel to the bullet's axis) and are more often than not a little out of round unless run through a resizer and brought back into round.
I shoot alot of pulled bullets for plinking ammo at 100yds and they work just fine for that, for longer ranges or more precision shooting I use new bullets.

If you are using lead tipped hunting bullets and the tip is deformed badly, as posted above, use them for practice.
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Old December 8, 2007, 10:18 AM   #4
Join Date: June 14, 2004
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Thanks for the responses. Since they are Barnes bullets and a little expensive I will reload them. I do not have much experience with Barnes bullets but I’m a little surprised at how bad they shot with a load that should have been a little functional. Lesson learned though. If I can get them down to 1" to 1 1/2" at 100 yards that will probably be good enough for him.
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Old December 8, 2007, 11:56 AM   #5
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Every so often I have to pull match bullets. I use a kinetic bullet puller when possible. I will shoot the stuff again, will shoot perfect, or pretty close to perfect scores in the rapids out to 300 yards.

But at 600 yards, in the back of my head I am thinking, "is that a used bullet", so I use NIB bullets at that yard line. I really doubt there is any on target difference, but you have to calm your fears...
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Old December 8, 2007, 12:27 PM   #6
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TIP. Put a foam earplug in the bottom of that kinetic puller, to avoid damaging the tip of the bullet. Works for the lead tipped as well.

Most guns can't tell the difference between pulled bullets and NIB ones.
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Old December 8, 2007, 01:28 PM   #7
Join Date: November 13, 2007
Location: Southern Oregon
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Most guns can't tell the difference between pulled bullets and NIB ones.

Exactly right!

However.. You can damage bullets if they come out too hard.. So, a little technique is required when pulling bullets with a kinetic puller. Most experienced reloaders already know this, but in case someone is just getting started...

As you see the bullet start working its way out of the case with consecutive strikes on the ground.. lighten up on the pounding and start 'tapping' until the bullet actually just 'falls' out.. like you just let it go with your fingers. Experience will give you the 'feel' for this.
And like snuffy said, putting something in the bottom of the well is very helpful. I use a little cotton ball shoved down, but not compacted too much.

Yep, Barnes bullets seem to require some messin with to find a accurate load in a lot of cases.. So dont feel bad.
Barnes does say, that their bullets should be seated .050" from the lands, and that is a pressure related recommendation and not necessarily providing the best accuracy..
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