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Thread: Bullet Stuck In Barrel? Be Careful!

  1. #1

    Default Bullet Stuck In Barrel? Be Careful!

    First of all, this ain't my rifle, and I wasn't there...

    Just came across it surf'in the web. Apparently, the guy had a really low-power "squib" handload, and a bullet never made it out the barrel. Next shot behind it blew up the gun. At least that's the story. I tend to think he confused one powder with another, 'cuz this looks like extreme pressure to me...(?)

    http://www.levergunscommunity.com/vi...lit=bad+reload


    I have had a bullet stick in the barrel before. And actually, you can shoot them out, but not with another loaded round!
    I remember I was trying to load some 45/70 shells to like 500fps with a 300gr cast bullet, and I could actually SEE the bullets flying through the air. Then, on one of them, I got a very subdued "poopff" sound, and no bullet...
    It had made it out of the case to a point about 1/3 of the way down the barrel. Try as I might, it just wouldn't come out with a cleaning rod. So, I loaded a case with 5grs of Unique, placed a small ball of cotton over the powder, and NO bullet...stuffed that in the gun and pulled the trigger. Bullet exited just fine...

    Marshall/Ak

  2. #2

    Default

    Well....I just learned you can't edit your own post after 20 minutes! The software won't let you. Had gone downstairs to eat supper, then decided I wanted to add something to this, and found I couldn't! Well, ok then...I'll add this way:

    Disclaimer To OP: There is, of course, a potential danger to "shooting out" a stuck bullet, with literally dozens and dozens of variables. Therefore, I don't suggest you do the same, given this situation...only stating what worked for me. Also, I don't know that the type of powder, and charge weight, are appropriate either, only that it happened to work for me. Replicate at your own risk! "Officially", I say take your gun to a gunsmith...
    There...ya'll been warned!

    Marshall/Ak

  3. #3

    Default Severe Downloading

    I am not an experienced reloader!

    I seem to recall that there can significant adverse effects significantly reducing charges in some cartridges. I do not have sufficient understanding of the mechanics involved but I would consult an experienced professional prior to downloading any cartridge to such an extent.

    A bit of shred knowledge of the constraints surrounding significant downloading by gurus would be interesting.

  4. #4
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    Default

    The safest way is to use a wood or fiberglass dowl and knock it back out the way it came in, through the chamber. I have had one factory suib round, it was very low power .45, it knocked out pretty easy. Stay safe.

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    Default I would not shoot it out !

    I would get a 3/8 inch brass or alluminum rod and tap it back out the towards the breach ! If you ever stick a bullet in a cap and ball firearm you can remove the nipple and install a grease fitting and pump it out with a grease gun ! Kevin
    Little bullets might expand ! But big bullets never shrink !
    When you swim with big fish try not to act like bait !

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    Marshall: I agree with your analysis; extreeeem pressure, not a stuck bullet. I too think you can shoot out a bullet. On the rod business and pounding out, I have seen 4 rifle barrels ruined this way. I won't do it like that. Might work for a pistol. This is one of those things that are best avoided than repaired. J.

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    Default how did that happen ?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRgr View Post
    Marshall: I agree with your analysis; extreeeem pressure, not a stuck bullet. I too think you can shoot out a bullet. On the rod business and pounding out, I have seen 4 rifle barrels ruined this way. I won't do it like that. Might work for a pistol. This is one of those things that are best avoided than repaired. J.
    I am just curious as to how te rifles were ruined by driving the stuck bullet out ? Were they using a steel rod and ruined the rifling or what ? Thanks :Kevin
    Little bullets might expand ! But big bullets never shrink !
    When you swim with big fish try not to act like bait !

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    Default Please .....

    Don't shoot out your stuck bullets....... while this can work, it's certainly not the preferred method. FWIW.. I'm glad yours turned out the way it did....

    The only proper way to remove a stuck object from the bore of your rifle is manually. Wooden dowels work, start with one of them, if it's stuck too tight (as my reduced load 125gr HP in my 308 was) step up to an aluminum or brass rod (don't use steel!!!) and tap it as light as you can but as hard as you need to. If your stomach wont let you hit it hard enough to drive it out.......

    take it to a smith

    I've had the unfortunate displeasure of inadvertently watching 3 different people try to shoot obstructions out of their barrels.. all of them ended up in comparable condition as shown in the link .... all of them had an expensive trip(s) to the doctor .... and the 2 that were still in the barrell were eventually removed by the techniques stated above.

  9. #9
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    In the four cases, the rods went around the bullet and scraped up the rifling. Fortunately I did not participate in it but only saw the after words. In all cases, it was with a cleaning rod and the slotted tip. As I said, it is one of those things that are best avoided.

    Maybe I am nuts but if I had a bullet stuck half way down a rifle barrel, I think I would try to shoot it out. Using a round with only the powder. Now if I have a piece of drill rod that was bore diameter or very close, then pounding it out would be ok. I just don't like risking banging up the rifling. JMO. J.

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    Default I can see that happening !

    I think what would prevent the rod passing the bullet would be to have the largetst diameter rod that would slip inside the bore ! In my case I had a .45 cal bore and found a 3/8" (.375") alluminum rod at the local home depot ! You need to use something softer than the steel in the barrel thats for sure ! wood might work but in could splinter and pack up inside the barrell ! The next time you shoot one out make a pencil mark on the barrel where the bullet is stuck and mic the diameter of the barrell at a couple points before that ! then shoot it out and mic those same spots over ! I bet you see a change ! Kevin
    Little bullets might expand ! But big bullets never shrink !
    When you swim with big fish try not to act like bait !

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    Kevin: I am not going to get one stuck just to find out. Haven't stuck one in 50 years and expect I won't for another 50. But if I do, I will try as you suggest. Take care. LOL. J.

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    Default LOL

    I wasnt suggesting you get one stuck either ! I've been there done that and got the T-shirt !! I am lucky I have all my movin parts !! Good talking to you !
    Little bullets might expand ! But big bullets never shrink !
    When you swim with big fish try not to act like bait !

  13. #13

    Default

    Stuck bullets seem to happen a lot to Bullseye pistol shooters...to include me. I routinely carry squib rods for my 45 to push lodged pullets out. I only had ot use it once, but I have had some light loads. The rod works fine on lead bullets.
    Brownells sells these. Rifle? I'd take it to a gunsmith...
    Thanks!

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    Default To protect the rifling

    If you have a .45 caliber bullet stuck in your barrel, would this work?

    Drop a .40 S&W or 10mm empty cartridge base first, then stick whatever material rod you want, steel, brass, aluminum into the 40 caliber case. The end of the rod can't mushroom out or splinter, nor can the rod punch through the stuck bullet.

    For a stuck 38 or 9mm use an empty .32 case.

    If the rod bows, I suppose the shaft of the rod would contact the rifling, but I don't think that will damage things too much, do you?

    Just thinking out loud.

    The only stuck bullet I have had was one that wound up halfway between the forcing cone and the chamber throat in my 357 revolver.

    No problem, though, I just pulled the barrel off and the bullet fell right out. The gun was a Dan Wesson.

    Lost Sheep

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    Default Once upon a time...

    when I was in high school, a friend of mine. We'll call him Bryan, cuz thats what his name is, was out hunting deer. I don't remember the caliber, but he was shooting Remington factory ammo. He jumped a nice buck centered the crosshairs and fired, the buck didn't react, so he ejected the spent brass and fired again. The first bullet only made it about 2/3 of the way down the barrel, the second slug made the barrel blow up and split. It was ugly, I didn't witness it but I saw the rifle, not pretty. Bryan luckily came away physically unharmed. His father called Remington and they promptly sent him a catalouge and said pick out whichever rifle you want, I think they were trying to avoid a lawsuit, I guess it worked. I think bryan still has that 300 win mag.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  16. #16

    Default Random Thoughts

    Just a suggestion:
    If you do decide to shoot out a stuck bullet, I'd recommend using a very small charge of relatively fast powder. (like Unique) I'd would NOT just pull a bullet out of a regular shell, and then stuff it in the chamber and shoot. A case full of regular powder with a bullet resting on top of it is NOT the same as when the bullet is half-way down the barrel. The portion of the barrel behind the stuck bullet effectively becomes a part of a VERY large, long, and mostly empty case! If the bullet is half-way down a barrel, then basically what you have is a cartridge case maybe 18" long!

    There are warnings out about using reduced charges of slow-burning powder in large cases. For example, 57 grs of 4350, or 4831, is perfectly safe behind a 180gr bullet in an '06. That same charge of powder may NOT be safe when a bullet is 12" to 18" down the barrel! (Remember the portion of the barrel behind the bullet effectively becoming part of a LARGE case...) And both 4350 and 4831 are slow powders...57grs becomes a much reduced load for a "cartridge case that is 18" long...

    Using a very small charge of fast powder might not result in the bullet coming out, due to not enough pressure to move the bullet. But, in that scenario, so what? I'd just try it again, with a VERY slight increase in charge (like going from 5grs to maybe 6grs...and if that doesn't work go to 7grs) (I have NEVER heard of 7grs not working, I'd stop right there if that charge level doesn't work, and take it to a gunsmith instead)

    One other possibility (I have not tried this): use a medium charge (like maybe half a case) of either black powder, or Pyrodex, with no bullet. And, just a very small piece of cotton to prevent the powder from falling out of the case as you chamber it. Both propellents develop WAY less pressure than any smokeless...and...IMO...are likely to be safe. Just remember: you're going to have to clean the powder residue out thoroughly, and soon, after the bullet is removed...

    (All of the above is just my opinion only, and I do not suggest that anyone else try any of this. Offered for learning purposes only)
    (of course...)

    Marshall/Ak

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    Cartridges are designed so that as the pressure builds, the bullet is pushed down the barrel.

    If the bullet is lodged a ways down the barrel, the pressure builds before the bullet moves, and it becomes a dangerous obstruction. (The end of the barrel can be blown off, if you plug the muzzle of your rifle, with snow or mud.)

    (Black Powder BURNS FAST, but itís unsafe to have space between the bullet and the powder.

    In a muzzle loader the bullet must be against the powder, with no space in between.

    The same is true with a Black Powder Cartridge. There must be no empty space in there.

    There may be a safe charge of SOMETHING, with each particular bullet stuck in a particular barrel, with other particular variables to consider, but all in all, shooting a stuck bullet out when itís partway down the barrel SAFELY, has got to be an EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCE.

    Therefore, itís not something that can be recommended.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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    You can't out-give God.

  18. #18
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    Marshall, for what its worth I think everything you are saying here is valid and your theory also sound. The only time I got one stuck in a rifle I got it out with just primed brass, it took 3 times but it worked. It never crossed my mind to use a fast powder, but I knew better than to use rifle powder for the very reasons you state. I may have come to that plan had it not moved a couple inches with just a primer.

    Now a story. Back when I was about 11 years old a friend of mine borrowed his grandpaís Colt Police 38 without Grandpaís knowledge. We were shooting this with some very old ammo and got a pop . . . pop . . . BANG! The muzzle looked like cartoon exploding cigar and the sight was gone. After hours of looking we found the sight and headed to the tractor shop at the ranch. We loped off 2 inches back to good steel, cut a new dove tail with a file for the sight, and made the 6Ē Colt a 4Ē model. Months later his Grandpa got out the gun when I was over for a visit to show me his old duty gun and could not understand why the holster seemed so long for the gun. He never did see that a couple 11 year old boys had done some poor gunsmithing work to it. I worried for years that it would come back to bite me, but he died about 20 years later without ever knowing. So on my last trip to Arizona I bumped into my old friend and on his living room wall in a display case was the old Colt with the poor workmanship and all. So much to my old buddies dismay I told the old Colts story to his 4 teen age boys who had never had a clue before I showed up. They sure enjoyed my story about their dad's bad deed!
    Andy
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