how do you get a stuck bullet out of the barrel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bigrich954rr, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. bigrich954rr

    bigrich954rr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    I was just thinking my buddy had a bullet get stuck in his m14 barrel one day. We beat it out with a cleaning rod cause he need the rifle back in action. but if this every happened on a custom rifle how could you get it out with out mess up the crown or barrel.
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Well,

    This is what I do for what its worth.Have not done this alot but it worked well when I did.

    1. With the muzzle pointed up, Pour a bit of quality penetrating oil down the bore and let it sit for a couple minutes. Not alot, several drops is enough. Then turn the rifle muzzle down and pour a few more drops of oil from the breech end and let sit a couple minutes.

    2. Take a quality coated cleaning rod. I always use Dewey rods. Fit the Tip of the rod with the female thread adapter. This is very important. Will explain later. Also choose a cleaning rod that is as large as possible for the bore you are trying to clear.

    For instance, if you have a 30 cal bore, do not use a 22 cal cleaning rod. We want as large of a rod as possible because it will reduce rod flap in the bore and increase the stiffness of the rod because the bore will help prevent rod bending.

    3. Coat the rod with oil just for added lubrication. With the muzzle up and the rifle secured in this position, slowly feed the cleaning rod into the muzzle and down to where the bullet is stuck. Allow the female thread adapter to center over the nose of the bullet. This will also center the rod in the bore and help prevent bore ware as well as apply even centered pressure on the bullet. Much like a seating stem in a seating die. If you do not use the female thread adapter, you WILL damage the inside of your bore as well as deform the bullet nose making it much more difficult to remove the bullet.

    4. Take a medium weight bench mallet, Not heavy, and lightly tap the end of the rod. It may take several taps to get the bullet moving but once it does and gets into the lubricated section of bore it generally slides quite easly with only light taps on the cleaning rod.

    The light taps will also help limit rod flexing and bending as well. Watch so that the rod does not contact the muzzle hard when it is struck with the mallet.

    I have yet to have a bullet not back out using this method. Very thin jacketed varmint bullets will be the trickiest because they deform so easily. With these go very slow and tap lightly to prevent the bullet from deforming to much.

    THis is my method, it has worked so far.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Kirby, what about heating the barrel quite a bit just before tapping that rod against the bullet. That hot barrel will enlarge its bore a couple ten thousandths of an inch. A 'smith I knew years ago had to do this to a .300 Win. Mag. and he said it made the job easy. He also said to always put the rod in from the breech end, if possible, so it will bear against the flat part of the bullet's base and not deform its pointy end. With a very thin film of oil on the bore, the bullet should slide out fairly easy from a hot barrel.

    Well, a friend had a bullet stick in his .308 Win. We did exactly what the 'smith said. Piece of (chocolate) cake.
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    I have found no reason to heat the barrel. May work on a hard bullet but I have not needed to yet. I do not like pushing against the base of the bullet, its impossible to keep the pushing tool centered and away from the bore walls this way. Using the method I use keeps the rod off the bore and with the pressure centered evenly around the nose of the bullet there is very little bullet deformation if you take your time.

    With Varmint bullets a specially machined brass adapter matching the bullets ogive would be the way I would go but thats easier to do for a gunsmith then a general shooter. I have a shop full of machines to do this work.

    Still, I have yet to have any problems with this method and really do not like pushing against the base of a bullet because you can not be sure the pushing tool will stay off the walls of the bore.

    I know if its made of brass there would probably not be any damage done but still, why risk it in my opinion.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  5. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Oops, I forgot to mention the rod used was coated or sleeved all the way to its flat end against the bullet at bore diameter so it wouldn't peen the bore as it moved from being gently hammered. Don't you dare use a bare steel rod!!!!!!

    As Kirby says, you gotta be careful doing this and do something to keep the rod's steel end against the bullet from sliding over against the bore walls. It's like skinning a cat; start at either end but be careful.
     
  6. robbor

    robbor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Stupid question here. I had thought about this before. Couldnt you just take your pliers out and pull the bullet from another round then drop a few grains out and load it(pointing up obviously) and fire it? I would think it should have less pressure because of more volume to the stuck bullet and gettting rid of a few grains would make it safer. This would obviously only be considered if you were absolutely shure ther was only one bullet in the barrel. I do though hate the idea on pulling a trigger on a pipe bomb sitting right in my hands. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  7. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Robbor, you asked a good question, not a stupid one.

    Without the powder being confined in the case with the bullet, most of it will blow out of the case and not ignite properly. People have tried this with .22 rimfire rifles and it didn't work. My bet is on the same thing happening with a centerfire rifle. Comments from others about this are welcomed.
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Robbor,

    I have done this and it will work depending on how far the bullet is down the bore.

    With that said though, I DO NOT recommend it in any way simple because I do not want to pay some Lawyors kids way though law school if ya know what I mean.

    Have it removed the correct way, without gunpowder!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  9. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    Heat your barrel, I suppose next we can use our scopes to pound in tent spikes. Our stocks as boat paddles?

    !!!NEVER heat your barrel DO NOT DO THIS at all EVER!!!

    Kirby's method is exactly what you should do and is a fine example.

    Heat your barrel and you will either anneal or harden that area. After all the processes the barrel manufactures go through to remove stress you think heating it up under non-controlled conditions is going to make it any better?

    I cant believe I actually heard someone mention that.
     
  10. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    [ QUOTE ]
    NEVER heat your barrel DO NOT DO THIS at all EVER!!!

    [/ QUOTE ]I knew someone would mention this.

    Well, I didn't think someone would heat a barrel that much. A hair drier put on it to make it warm to the touch, but still touchable is enough to increase bore diameter enough to make the bullet go out easier.

    Next time I'll use the term 'warm.' 'Course someone will take that out of context, too. Sheesh......
     
  11. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    Bart

    Its sort of like giving load data. I always input that this load worked well in my gun you should lower your load by 10~15% to start. Even though I know many on these boards already know that its the beginner that I am worried about going straight to my load data and injuring themselves or others in the process.

    Same goes with giving any information on here you should always consider the beginner as they may read it to mean something that was not intended.

    I always consider the worst and try and write it for the best so that all information is givin and nothing is left for chance.

    On a 12 inch gear ring for an apu we have to heat it to 400 degrees for 20 minutes in order for it to expand enough to get it over the mating surface. At this temp expands it roughly .025 thou.

    When you stated "couple ten thousandths of an inch" a hair drier simply wont expand it that much. It took 400 degrees to expand a 12 inch ring .025 thou. Thats where flame heat or oven heat is needed to expand it .020 or so.

    A hair drier at the most will only heat it to 140 or so degrees before the internal saftey cuts the power off.

    This is simply not enough to expand the bore more than .0015~.003. This though is enough to allow the bullet to move more freely.

    However you friend must have spent a while heating the whole barrel or did he do it in sections and push the bullet in segments as he heated it?

    What I envinsioned was someone in their garage firing up the propane torch or acetelene and warming it up.

    I wanted to jump on this before anyone got that idea and needed to get a point across very plainly before the aforementioned took place.

    Sorry for stepping on your toes I wont do it again.
     
  12. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    [ QUOTE ]
    However you friend must have spent a while heating the whole barrel or did he do it in sections and push the bullet in segments as he heated it?

    Sorry for stepping on your toes I wont do it again.

    [/ QUOTE ]You didn't step on my toes. You did bring up a good point about what I said and I corrected it.

    Regarding barrel heating, my friend heated. . .er... warmed up all of the barrel, then pushed the bullet out the lightly lubed bore.

    I don't know how much the bore enlarged but a demonstration of the same thing was given to me by a machinist. He had a 2-inch long steel bar 3/4ths inch in diameter. Inside was a 1/4th inch diameter steel rod marked "0.250000 in." One couldn't push the rod out of the bar until it was held in your hand for about 10 minutes. That heated up the bar enough so the rod could be pushed out of the ever so slightly enlarged hole in it. I asked how much the bar's hole enlarged and he said about one ten-thousandth of an inch.

    After the bar cooled down to ambient temperature the rod could not be pushed into it. The bar had to be warmed up before the rod would go in the hole. The surfaces of the rod and hole in the bar must have been as smooth and perfect as high-end gage blocks.
     
  13. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

    Messages:
    877
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Just as a redirect, and to avoid some confusion for readers...
    we are talking about ten thousandths (.010")
    and barts "couple ten thousandths" (.0001) Im assuming he means... 1/10,000

    not ten thousandths... but a ten thousandth.
     
  14. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    [ QUOTE ]
    Just as a redirect, and to avoid some confusion for readers...
    we are talking about ten thousandths (.010")
    and barts "couple ten thousandths" (.0001) Im assuming he means... 1/10,000

    not ten thousandths... but a ten thousandth.

    [/ QUOTE ]Right you are. Couple of .0001-inch units. I usually hyphenate "ten-thousandths" because that's what means .0001 units. I forgot to do that in an earlier post. Oops; sorry 'bout that. "Ten thousandths" means .010 units.

    Thanks, Abinok, for pointing this out.