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Really stuck case

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:23 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 9
Really stuck case

So...we have a big (I think) dilemma.

I have an older Ruger M77 in .243 and it has a case lodged in the chamber. I got a bunch of cases that are a lil bit too big, and tried to chamber one (stupid idea) that I had accidentally primed, but not loaded yet. It went in, but it wont come out now; the bolt will open and close all of the way, but the extractor wont grab on to the case. So we tried to pound it out with a 3/16 wooden dowel (an even worse idea), because the dowel broke off just inside the barrel with no conceivable way to get it out. Now we have a stuck case and a plugged barrel, not good.

So, question time.
1. Why is my extractor not having a death grip and just pulling it out?
2. How do I get the stuck case out?
3. How do I get the stuck dowel out?
4. How can I make the rest of the cases that are too big fit? They fit in the M70 but not in the M77.
5. Could I have (Before I fired the primer off) essentially breech loaded a fire forming load?

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Old 06-02-2012, 07:56 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,031
Re: Really stuck case

First I need to apologize. I read your post and couldn't help but laugh. I think the stuck case thingy has happened to everyone who fools with reloading and rifles but breaking the dowel off did it for me. If you can get the dowel out removing the case is simple. I have used a bronze welding rod you know the one used for brazing. They are 36 inches long come in different diameters and won't damage the rifling. Make sure the primer is spent and tap the case out.

How tight is the dowel and how long is the broken off piece. If you run a screw into the end that will only tighten it but as a last resort would try. You could drill a pilot hole in the dowel carefully if your used to using tools then run a screw in and try pulling it out. If the dowel is "tight" that won't work

You may have to take it to a smith and have him remove the case from the receiver side using his expertise then drive the dowel out. One of the rifle mechanics will chime in I'm sure and give you some solid advise.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:04 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,099
Re: Really stuck case

In 30 years of reloading I have only had a case stuck once but it was stuck pretty tight. Rather than risk damaging a custom barrel in a novice attemp to get the case out, I brought the rifle to my gunsmith. He removed the barrel from the action and then removed the case from the barrel.

Better to be safe than sorry if the case is not easily extracted.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:56 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 711
Re: Really stuck case

This is how I would get it out. First remove the extractor if you can. Put the bolt in and lock it up fire off the primer.
Get a steel rod that is a neat fit in the bore and turn one end down to fit inside the case neck down to the base of the case with some length clearance for the case mouth so all the rod pressure goes down into the solid web of the case and not on the case mouth . Then measure and cut the rod so it sticks out the muzzle a bit more than the length of the case.
Then get a low base empty shotgun shell that fits over the end of the barrel and drill out the primer hole to allow the rod to pass through.
This acts as a protective cover for the crown when striking the rod with a mallet.
If the barrel is too large in diameter a steel washer will do the job.
A smooth steel rod will not damage the rifling it is only sitting there and only moves a short distance when struck at very low impact because it fits neatly . It must fit reasonably neatly to keep it as strong as possible so it does not bend under pressure .
Generally what the bolt can push in a steel rod can push out with a few light whacks.
In an emergency one time I even cut a length of galvanised rod out of a farm gate to fix the farmers gun and it worked fine .
If a barrel can stand thousands of rounds at 55000 psi and thousands of blasts of super heated gas then it can stand a smooth steel rod for a few seconds . You got caught with a wooden dowel because you believed a metal rod might damage the barrel.
Don't use a cleaning rod for a tight stuck case they are not strong enough or a neat enough fit and you may damage it .
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:21 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 9
Re: Really stuck case

Well my dad went to town on the wood and got it out, but it appears the crown got marred a little. How big of deal is this? And thanks for the shotgun shell tip it should work great.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:23 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bend, Oregon
Posts: 1,149
Re: Really stuck case

If you live near North Bend OR I would remove both for free. Go ahead and fire the primer. Keep it in a safe direction. The barrel needs removed. The case pulled first and then drive out the dowel with a tight fitting brass rod. If the dowel wasn't in play I would have used a brass rod.
Build a man a fire and you heat him for a day.
Set him on fire and you heat him for life.

Only accurate rifles are interesting.

Gordy and Brady.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:26 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 711
Re: Really stuck case

Originally Posted by kirbymcrae View Post
Well my dad went to town on the wood and got it out, but it appears the crown got marred a little. How big of deal is this? And thanks for the shotgun shell tip it should work great.
Good old Dad always come through.
The crown is important to accuarcy but you don't know how it may have affected accuarcy untill you shoot it .
If it starts shooting worse than before you may need it recrowned by a gunsmith. However you can try a few things yourself first . Find a chrome plated ball bearing big enough to not fit in the bore . Grind a flat on it and drill a hole in it so you can epoxy something into it to hold onto . then get some valve lapping paste and use the ball bearing to lapp the crown back to a neat chamfer across the ends of the lands.
Also you can purchase piloted crown cutting tools and lapps from Brownell's and others.
Brownells Search : Search Results for "Crowning tool" - World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools - BROWNELLS

If that don't fix it then it's time to recrown it in a lathe with a single point tool .
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