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Thread: Re-use pulled bullets?

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    Default Re-use pulled bullets?

    I guess I jumped the gun a bit. (pun intended) I loaded fifty cartridges for my new Marlin XL7 30-06 before I had the rifle for checking the rounds in it's chamber. Thirty of those rounds were loaded with 180 gr. Nosler partition bullets seated to a COAL of 3.300". That is the minimum COAL listed in the Lee book I'm using.

    The problem is that I can chamber them, but they are tight - I can tell the bullet is hitting the lands in the rifling when I close the bolt. I don't want to fire them like that, so I'm pulling them. Noslers aren't cheap though, so I'd like to re-use them. I used a factory crimp die though, so there's a slight groove. I can re-load them with a 3.250" COAL with RL 19, but I'm wondering if there's any danger there.

    I've never encountered this issue before, so I figured I'd ask the experts. What do ya'll think?

    The other 20 rounds are loaded with Hornady 150 gr. GMX bullets and they chamber just fine.

    My semi-educated guess is that they are safe to use, but accuracy might suffer a bit.

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    Shouldn't be any danger that I can imagine but it is hard to guess as to the effect on accuracy will be. Compare against some unpulled bullets once you have worked up your load and see I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I guess I jumped the gun a bit. (pun intended) I loaded fifty cartridges for my new Marlin XL7 30-06 before I had the rifle for checking the rounds in it's chamber. Thirty of those rounds were loaded with 180 gr. Nosler partition bullets seated to a COAL of 3.300". That is the minimum COAL listed in the Lee book I'm using.

    The problem is that I can chamber them, but they are tight - I can tell the bullet is hitting the lands in the rifling when I close the bolt. I don't want to fire them like that, so I'm pulling them. Noslers aren't cheap though, so I'd like to re-use them. I used a factory crimp die though, so there's a slight groove. I can re-load them with a 3.250" COAL with RL 19, but I'm wondering if there's any danger there.

    I've never encountered this issue before, so I figured I'd ask the experts. What do ya'll think?

    The other 20 rounds are loaded with Hornady 150 gr. GMX bullets and they chamber just fine.

    My semi-educated guess is that they are safe to use, but accuracy might suffer a bit.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am just learning here so pardon this question... I am curious how the other bullets fit OK. Did you seat them to a different COAL? I would think that if you measured COAL off of the ogive that you would have problems with either both or neither.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I guess I jumped the gun a bit. (pun intended) I loaded fifty cartridges for my new Marlin XL7 30-06 before I had the rifle for checking the rounds in it's chamber. Thirty of those rounds were loaded with 180 gr. Nosler partition bullets seated to a COAL of 3.300". That is the minimum COAL listed in the Lee book I'm using.

    The problem is that I can chamber them, but they are tight - I can tell the bullet is hitting the lands in the rifling when I close the bolt. I don't want to fire them like that, so I'm pulling them. Noslers aren't cheap though, so I'd like to re-use them. I used a factory crimp die though, so there's a slight groove. I can re-load them with a 3.250" COAL with RL 19, but I'm wondering if there's any danger there.

    I've never encountered this issue before, so I figured I'd ask the experts. What do ya'll think?

    The other 20 rounds are loaded with Hornady 150 gr. GMX bullets and they chamber just fine.

    My semi-educated guess is that they are safe to use, but accuracy might suffer a bit.
    No Problemo.

    I've re-used lot of pulled bullets. Sometimes, because I did something similar. I've encountered no problems, because the bullets weren't damaged.

    If you were using a Lee Crimp Die, and you were NOT crimping into a crimping groove on the bullet, why not, just seat them deeper?

    If you pull the bullets, you should probably resize them, with the decapping pin removed from the sizing die, maybe not all the way, though.

    The only problem I see is if you get lube on the inside into the primer. It probably wouldn't cause them to fail, but I suggest using the Lee Lube, because I don't think its Oil Based.

    Of course, you could carefully let the primers be decapped, and toss'em. OR, use'm for a test. Put OIL, on them, let them DRY, and then check how many of them go off, anyway. Probably, most will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I am just learning here so pardon this question... I am curious how the other bullets fit OK. Did you seat them to a different COAL? I would think that if you measured COAL off of the ogive that you would have problems with either both or neither.
    Yep - lighter, shorter bullet. Load data allows for a shorter COAL. That's why the 150 gr. Hornadys chamber fine and the 180 gr. Noslers are tight. COAL is the overall length of the loaded cartridge measured from the base of the case to the tip of the bullet. It is not measured from the ogive.

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    Why not just run them back through the seating die and set the bullets a little deeper? If they're not crimped it shouldn't be a physical problem at all. If you're not pushing max, dropping back from 3.300 to 3.250 isn't much of a change. It's sure a bunch easier than pulling bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Why not just run them back through the seating die and set the bullets a little deeper? If they're not crimped it shouldn't be a physical problem at all. If you're not pushing max, dropping back from 3.300 to 3.250 isn't much of a change. It's sure a bunch easier than pulling bullets.
    I used a factory crimp die.

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  8. #8

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    IF they were crimped with a factory crimp die; you'll probably have to pull the bullets and then resize the necks. Then you can reseat the bullets to the right depth. Just trying to push them back at this point will probably casuse the case to crush.
    The bullets can be pulled fast/ safely with a collet style puller, or slowly and noisely with an impact type puller; both may leave small striations on the bullet surface.
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    Yeah, I'm using and RCBS collet puller. I need to go find a neck sizing die now. All I have is a full-length sizer. It's good to know I can re-use the bullets though. There are some visible marks on the bullets, but much lighter than the marks left by the rifling when a bullet is fired. I had a feeling they could still be used, I'd just never encountered this problem before so I wanted to be sure.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I used a factory crimp die.
    Yep. Pull away.

    Collet style will avoid one of the biggest problems with inertia pullers- bending or flattening any exposed lead at the nose.

    Added advantage of the collet style in this circumstance is that you don't actually have to pull the bullet all the way out, thereby avoiding powder spills and general headaches. Just pull the bullet part way out to "release" the crimp, then run it through the seating die set to the proper depth and recrimp. Should be fast and easy all the way round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post

    Added advantage of the collet style in this circumstance is that you don't actually have to pull the bullet all the way out, thereby avoiding powder spills and general headaches. Just pull the bullet part way out to "release" the crimp, then run it through the seating die set to the proper depth and recrimp. Should be fast and easy all the way round.
    I hadn't thought of that - Since I already have some mid-level varget loads and some RL 19 loads worked up, I think I'll give it a try. 3.250" COAL and see if they chamber okay. Thanks BrownBear!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Yeah, I'm using and RCBS collet puller. I need to go find a neck sizing die now. All I have is a full-length sizer. It's good to know I can re-use the bullets though. There are some visible marks on the bullets, but much lighter than the marks left by the rifling when a bullet is fired. I had a feeling they could still be used, I'd just never encountered this problem before so I wanted to be sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yep. Pull away.

    Collet style will avoid one of the biggest problems with inertia pullers- bending or flattening any exposed lead at the nose.

    Added advantage of the collet style in this circumstance is that you don't actually have to pull the bullet all the way out, thereby avoiding powder spills and general headaches. Just pull the bullet part way out to "release" the crimp, then run it through the seating die set to the proper depth and recrimp. Should be fast and easy all the way round.
    I would like to submit a solution to this: stuff a piece of cotton-ball into the end of the puller. It will keep the bullet from being banged up, and you will have very little powder stick to it if you give a couple gentle raps to shake the particles out. Has worked for me.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    I would like to submit a solution to this: stuff a piece of cotton-ball into the end of the puller. It will keep the bullet from being banged up, and you will have very little powder stick to it if you give a couple gentle raps to shake the particles out. Has worked for me.
    Yeah, that's a good solution for lighter bullets. Could be me and my oversize wrists, but any bullet over about 100 grains will ding right through the cotton balls. I got around it with heavier bullets by using several discs of indoor outdoor carpet instead.

    Lots of solutions, but first I have to recognize that I have a problem! AKsoldier has that part whipped a lot quicker than I ever manage!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    No Problemo.

    I've re-used lot of pulled bullets. Sometimes, because I did something similar. I've encountered no problems, because the bullets weren't damaged.

    If you were using a Lee Crimp Die, and you were NOT crimping into a crimping groove on the bullet, why not, just seat them deeper?

    If you pull the bullets, you should probably resize them, with the decapping pin removed from the sizing die, maybe not all the way, though.

    The only problem I see is if you get lube on the inside into the primer. It probably wouldn't cause them to fail, but I suggest using the Lee Lube, because I don't think its Oil Based.

    Of course, you could carefully let the primers be decapped, and toss'em. OR, use'm for a test. Put OIL, on them, let them DRY, and then check how many of them go off, anyway. Probably, most will.

    Smitty of the North
    I'd like to ADD to my Post Above.

    What I'm sayin is that if you used the FC die, and didn't crimp into a GROOVE, you could just seat them deeper. (How deep depends, on the distance to the lands in your rifle.)

    (When you use loading data to set your OAL, you can get into problems. Chambering a round that has a bullet seated long will cause it to be seated deeper, and could result in more pressure.)

    It may be that crimping with the Lee FC die will have damaged the bullet. ???? (You say there is a "slight groove") I dunno if it's gonna matter, but they won't shoot the same as others with more neck tension.

    If you pull the bullets, your neck won't be as tight as it was. (Less neck tension) This is why I think you need to resize the necks. I'm not saying they won't shoot.

    I pulled a bunch of bullets, with a Collet Die, and Boy, O, Boy they were TIGHT. You may need to seat them a bit deeper to break them loose, before you pull them. (I got that tip from ----Rbuck, I think it was.)

    Another tip I got from someone on here, was to put a foam earplug, in my Inertia Puller. That alleviates bullet tip damage.

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    I have pulled bullets with a collett puller many many times and then used the brass without resizing the neck and what I "learned" is that generally the reused brass was at least as accurate if not more so and the pressure dropped slightly - I have no "technical" data to support my assumptions but I never "trusted" those loads for huntin' for fear that the bullet wasn't bein' held well enough - the RCBS collett puller works awesome though and no powder mess, ya can even reseat different bullets in the same loaded case if'n ur careful

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    I have pulled bullets with a collett puller many many times and then used the brass without resizing the neck and what I "learned" is that generally the reused brass was at least as accurate if not more so and the pressure dropped slightly - I have no "technical" data to support my assumptions but I never "trusted" those loads for huntin' for fear that the bullet wasn't bein' held well enough - the RCBS collett puller works awesome though and no powder mess, ya can even reseat different bullets in the same loaded case if'n ur careful
    I've done it too, and I've had no problems, but I have, noticed that when a bullet is pulled out of the neck and reseated, it goes in much easier, at least it feels like it.

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    Ok 1st if he didn't use the crimp groove on the bullet then yeah you will suffer accuarcy problems... If you crimped them in cannelure ie crimp groove those bullets should of chambered. I'm pretty sure lee says something about that... Also I load some boomers and I do not crimp I see no reason to crimp for an 06... Anyhow best of luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    Ok 1st if he didn't use the crimp groove on the bullet then yeah you will suffer accuarcy problems... If you crimped them in cannelure ie crimp groove those bullets should of chambered. I'm pretty sure lee says something about that... Also I load some boomers and I do not crimp I see no reason to crimp for an 06... Anyhow best of luck
    There aren't any crimp grooves or cannelures on Nosler Partitions. I had a problem previously with some .300 WM bullets in a Rem. 770 being driven deeper into the case either under recoil or while chambering. Everyone knows that increases pressure and can be very dangerous. Ever since then I have been crimping everything. Just an added safety precaution. I see no difference in accuracy either.

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    Oh but they do make 180gr Partition with the cannelure... So I recommend buying those if you intend to crimp all the time...

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