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Thread: Stuck Bullet?

  1. #1

    Default Stuck Bullet?

    Over the last 30 years I have shot a whole lot of plinker loads through my 358s and 375 Winchesters. I have come to learn that 8 grains of Titegroup(which is not position sensitive) will launch any 375 bullet all the way from a 200 grain Sierra to a 300 grain Hornady round nose with no pressure signs. They are all adequate for shooting our little spinner targets at 50 yards once you figure out the hold.

    I found a stash of 375 cal bullets in the stash that I inherited from Butch so decided to shoot them up as plinker loads using my stand by 8 grains of Titgroup. The 230 Speers were great, the 270 grain soft point Hornadys would hit the 200 yard gong almost every time with a 6 foot hold over. I do realize that these are pointed bullets so I go one in the tube and one in the chamber, or just load them single shot. I never stack them in the tube even with these light loads. With all of my messing around with plinking loads over the years I have stuck a bullet or two in the barrel. Therefore I always carry my home made ramrod for such instances. The one I use on the 375 came from a section of fiberglass chimney cleaning rod. It fits in the bore with very little play and usually a few square hits with the hammer and the bullet will dislodge. However last night amongst the Hornady 270 grain Softpoints were a few Swift A frame 270 grain Hollow point bullets. The first one of them that I fired stuck 3 inches from the end of the barrel. I could not budge that bullet...not even a little bit. I had taken the bolt out of my 336 and was trying to drive it from the breech end as this bullet has a sharp point and driving against that point most likely would leave me with the ram rod driven onto the point of the bullet. When I got home I took the scope off and taped some cardboard around the stock so I could get real vigorous with striking the ramrod and placed the barrel on a block of wood. It was to no avail. You can tell when it is a good square lick but all it did was splinter the ramrod. The bullet never moved.

    As soon as I get my work day done I am going to Ace Hardware and buy a brass rod. I will try to drive that bullet back down from the direction from which it came. Last night I poured the muzzle full of Copper out and sat the gun in the corner with a rag in the chamber to catch any leakage. This morning that copper out was still in the muzzle. Not one bit of it leaked past that bullet! This makes me wonder if I had some copper/lead build up in the bore that the Hornady 270 grainers slid by but this bullet with a tough jacket would not.

    I have 3 of these 375 lever guns and this one is the turd of the bunch but it's the one that I always grab. It might be my favorite deer rifle.

    Gunbugs don't retire just yet! I may have to send this one to you because I aim to stop before I ruin my gun.

    I went to bed last night thinking...crap...I'm gonna have to cut the barrel off behind that stuck bullet and turn this thing into a trapper model. Boy I sure hope that I don't have to do that! Ha!

  2. #2
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    That don't sound like any fun at all....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    That don't sound like any fun at all....
    The motor could be going out in my old truck and I'd go to bed and go right to sleep. However a stuck bullet that won't budge in one of my most favorite guns kept me awake pondering for a good hour.

    I fully expect gunbugs to give somewhat of a butt chewing. You know the old ya oughta know better talk...ha! Well I got it coming. I was so aggravated that the rest of those plinker rounds loaded with the A Frame bullets went in the brink! If I could I'd kick my own ass!

  4. #4
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    A wooden ramrod just won't do it. Never will. Plus you may jam some wood around the bullet and make the job even more difficult. Brass, or steel is the way to go. One piece, no threaded joints. Spray some lube in the barrel to lube up the bullet in the direction you are going to drive it. Best if the metal driving rod is close to bore diameter. Only have the rod long enough to get the bullet out of the barrel, otherwise you may bend it when pounding on it with the mallet. Vise the barrel securely, not the forend. Hit the rod squarely, with a BIG hammer. Once it starts moving, it should get easier. I'm not making any of this up. I've done this fairly often with customers' guns.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  5. #5
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    A wooden ramrod just won't do it. Never will. Plus you may jam some wood around the bullet and make the job even more difficult. Brass, or steel is the way to go. One piece, no threaded joints. Spray some lube in the barrel to lube up the bullet in the direction you are going to drive it. Best if the metal driving rod is close to bore diameter. Only have the rod long enough to get the bullet out of the barrel, otherwise you may bend it when pounding on it with the mallet. Vise the barrel securely, not the forend. Hit the rod squarely, with a BIG hammer. Once it starts moving, it should get easier. I'm not making any of this up. I've done this fairly often with customers' guns.
    What about wrapping the rod with electrical tape parallel to the rod so as to not hunt the rifling?

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    A wooden ramrod just won't do it. Never will. Plus you may jam some wood around the bullet and make the job even more difficult. Brass, or steel is the way to go. One piece, no threaded joints. Spray some lube in the barrel to lube up the bullet in the direction you are going to drive it. Best if the metal driving rod is close to bore diameter. Only have the rod long enough to get the bullet out of the barrel, otherwise you may bend it when pounding on it with the mallet. Vise the barrel securely, not the forend. Hit the rod squarely, with a BIG hammer. Once it starts moving, it should get easier. I'm not making any of this up. I've done this fairly often with customers' guns.
    I bought a 5/16 brass rod and mushroomed the heck out of the end that I was hammering on. It moved maybe 1/4 inch. I have managed once again to have most of my personal tools at work so a 16 ounce hammer was as big as I had at home. I took it out of the vice and soaked it with break free and sat it back in the corner. Iíll cut off the peaned or mushroomed part of the rod and go at it again tomorrow night with a little more vigor and a 3# hammer. I also bought a 5/16 steel rod but will beat on the brass one with a few hard whacks with the big hammer before using the steel one! Iím pretty sure the little hammer wasnít letting me get mean enough!

    Thanks for the advice. I figured that you had been through this a time or ten! Iíll let ya know how it goes!

  7. #7
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    I use a Nylon "unbreakable" muzzle loader ramrod to slug barrels. They are 1 piece, and I've had luck driving a .460 bullet through a .457 bore without much issue.

    In one case, I used a "steel" meant for driving duckbill ground anchors. It is tapered, and could only get it moving for 4-5" or so from the muzzle, but it got it deep enough to use the use the nylon rod.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  8. #8
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Also put the rod in the barrel and see where the ends of the bullet are. You may be surprised to find two of them stacked up in there......
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  9. #9

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    I put a little masking tape on the outside of the barrel and did just that.....marked the front edge and rear edge of the bullet. It's only one but those A Frames have a lot of baring surface!

    When I was a few years younger I helped build pole barns in my spare time. I drove lots of those 40D ring shank nails. Back then I could drive a 16 penny nail with one swing using my 20 ounce framing hammer. I was hitting that brass rod that hard with square licks but to no avail. The hammer just bounced like it would on a splitting wedge. That tells me I need more hammer.

    I have the gun all tore down to just barrel and receiver and it's sitting in the corner with oil soaking in the bore. It looks kinda like a wounded kid sitting in the corner and I feel like an abusive dad. Nothing but deer loads and lead bullets from here out.....I ain't doing this again! Ha!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I use a Nylon "unbreakable" muzzle loader ramrod to slug barrels. They are 1 piece, and I've had luck driving a .460 bullet through a .457 bore without much issue.

    In one case, I used a "steel" meant for driving duckbill ground anchors. It is tapered, and could only get it moving for 4-5" or so from the muzzle, but it got it deep enough to use the use the nylon rod.
    I have one or two of those ramrods but they are 3/8ths of an inch in diameter and are too tight in the .375(3/8ths) bore!

  11. #11
    Member KantishnaCabin's Avatar
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    I keep chuckling over this thread. I truly am sorry for your misfortune, but I can't help but think to myself that this sound like a problem I would have. I can see myself doing this.

  12. #12

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    Yeah it is a knot head moment for sure! When ever one of my buddies pulls a stunt like this I always ask them, "What the hell were ya thinking?" or "Did ya learn anything from it?" They don't get off Scott free for sure. So far they don't know and I'm not telling them.

    The thing is that I have shot every kind of bullet imaginable through this gun with 8 grains of Titegroup and they have all been good for lobbing at the gong! Not these big black son's a britches though! I pulled one from one of the loaded cases and it measures .375 but the shell on that bullet is harder than a wedding night something or other. I truly need my ass kicked but I ain't limber enough to do it myself, you guys are all too far away and I ain't telling the local fraternity! I'll just take this 3# ball pean hammer home with me and get hateful with it......in a calm, level headed sorta way!

  13. #13

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    Maybe I'm thinking of this wrong. A long drill bit in a plastic tube and drill the centre out of it to relieve some pressure then drive it out.

    Dan.

  14. #14

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    Listen to Gunbugs, take the riffle to a 'smith BEFORE you mess it up.

    Brass will not work, nor will wood and you'll make the bullet expand and harder to remove.

    Personally I've had my best luck driving the bullet towards the receiver after soaking over night in a good oil. then a metal rod slightly smaller than the barrel diameter,

    Would not tape it to protect the threads, that tape will cause you many more problems once it deforms and tries to stick in the barrel.

  15. #15
    Member HCL's Avatar
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    What Gunbug said, big hammer, brass or steel rod that fits the bore and donít be afraid to hit it.
    One big whack is better than 20 little or medium whacks. The little whacks just mushroom the tip of the bullet and cause it to become more lodged in the barrel.
    For oil, ditch the gun oil and get some good penetrating oil like Kroll Oil, you want something designed to get past those tight spots. Use a lot of it, more is better.
    I too enjoy light loads for plinking and have suffered the same thing you are going through and learned the hard way. Big Hammer, Big Whack!

  16. #16

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    Well, not good! The brass rod was a no go. A 5/16th steel rod and a five pound hammer with Break Free oil was a no go. Drove to 30 miles to a neighboring town and got a piece of 5/16ths drill rod and after letting it set all night in Kroil I went at it yesterday afternoon with a new zest. I hit it perfectly square with two vicious licks and it never moved. The third lick was as hard as I could swing that 5 pound hammer and it felt solid but all it did was bend the drill rod like if driving a finishing nail into an oak knot. I said screw this and took it to Ray's machine shop and put it in the chuck of his big lathe and let him start all over. He used whatever commercial grade oil that he uses on stuck tractor bolts and the same 5lb hammer. I went and got something to et and let him have at it. When I got back his luck had been no better than mine. I gave it three more licks that made Ray say if that didn't get it then it is not going to be got. I threw up the white flag!

    I turned the barrel around in the lathe and cut the barrel off at 17 inches and then laser centered a 7/16 inch cutter on the bore and drilled that ******* out. I now have a 17 inch barrel that is counter bored 1 inch leaving 16 inches of rifling. It was a high dollar cutter that would leave the bottom of the hole square. You lathe guys no what it's called and Ray said it but I don't remember the name. I do remember he said they cost $50 each so try not to break it. With a bore scope the cut looks real clean and the rifling to the chamber looks like it always did. I shortened the magazine tube to match and used a small chainsaw file to cut the appropriate screw notches in the tube and barrel for the barrel band screw. The barrel band did not fit as 3 inches less barrel meant a larger diameter do to barrel taper. Ray to the rescue again. He had mandrel that is like the jeweler uses to stretch a ring. I got the band to fit perfectly.

    It's all back together with a Luepold 1x4 scope mounted in Talley rings. This weekend I am taking this 375 to my son's house and am measuring up my 10 year old grandson and then will shorten the stock to fit him. I have 4 grandsons stacked up behind the 10 year old and they will all get to use it!

    In the end it's going to be ok but in the bottom line is that I still feel like I lost a battle that I should have won. %#@(*&^% thing anyway!

    I yanked another JES rebored 375 out of the steel closet and said your next.......

  17. #17
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Well that's too bad. But at least you probably made another grandkid happy...!!!.....lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Two things I've done in the past are
    1) stay away from the lightest loads
    2) to remove a stuck bullet I run a few primed cases through the gun. Depending on where the bullet is stuck the primer will usually be enough to push the bullet out. One time I added some powder and crimped the end of the case with pliers and that worked great

    BTW, both of these methods need to be done at the range because even the primer will create enough pressure to ruin someones day forever

  19. #19
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    Can always heat up the barrel, the lead will start to sweat and sheíll slide ride out like it ainít no thang.

  20. #20
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iyouktug View Post
    Can always heat up the barrel, the lead will start to sweat and sheíll slide ride out like it ainít no thang.
    I really don't think that heating a barrel to melt a copper jacketed bullet to get it to melt is going to be the best thing to do here. You could alter the hardness of the steel in that area and I don't think the bluing would be happy either. Steel melts at around 1370F and copper at around 1900F.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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