Please read if you reload alot


Feb 21, 2009
I started reloading a couple of months ago and have a load worked up that shoots great in my 7 mm. Now for the prolbem I have. This morning I used one of my reloads to harvest a deer, after i got home i went to unload my rifle before I put it up and as I pulled the shell out after I shot the deer, powder came pouring out of my gun. The bullet was in the rifling and the shell without the bullet just came out. I have never had this happen. The bullet was not stuck in the rifle hard either,I took a cleaning rod and it just fell out. Did I do something wrong when loading the bullets? I have shot maybe 30 rounds loaded the same way and all have shot great and group great to any replys would be greatly welcomed
My guess is somehow the case may not have been resized or the bullet not totally seated. When you did load developement did you feed the rounds in single shot fashion or load them into the clip and cycle them in with the bolt?
Check the remaining cartridges by loading and cycling"CAREFULLY"through the action to see if anymore come apart. Also how close to or how far into the lands are you?

Good luck and congrats on the deer..
COL is too long, the bullet is jammed into the rifeling.

take one of your rounds and color the bullet with a magic marker, chamber and olck the bolt, raise the bolt and remove, if it sticks a bit, use a ramrod check the bullet for rifeling marks and adjust as needed.
COL is too long, the bullet is jammed into the rifeling.

take one of your rounds and color the bullet with a magic marker, chamber and olck the bolt, raise the bolt and remove, if it sticks a bit, use a ramrod check the bullet for rifeling marks and adjust as needed.

good advice here.
one more thing to ask.did you run a second round in fast and hard.if so you pushed the bullet out [ deaper ] into the lands.I load all of my 223 loads to a long COAL then let the bolt do the rest of the seating for this one rifel.but I cannot throw one in hard,if I do and do not fire I'll end up pulling the bullet just like you did.but one more thing to look at.sometimes you can run a case in the die [ neck lee die ] and not size it as good as the rest.meaning less neck tension.and with loading into the lands you will get a pulled bullet when you don't shot it.this is what I get sometimes.but what works for me most of the time is to just unload the rifel nice and slow.
COL is too long, the bullet is jammed into the rifeling.

take one of your rounds and color the bullet with a magic marker, chamber and olck the bolt, raise the bolt and remove, if it sticks a bit, use a ramrod check the bullet for rifeling marks and adjust as needed.

I agree that this is most likely the culprit. Try the magic marker or look into the Hornady OAL gauge for measuring bullet seating.
How did you straighten it out? Was the COL too long on your other reloads?
I have had this happen to me only once.
+1 with what Ridge Runner said.
After measuring my reloads I solved the problem.
I also cycle all of my reloads into the rifle once ready, to be sure I wont have trouble while hunting.
Not yet into reloading but headed there. I am interested in the "magic marker" test to determine the bullets contact with the lands&grooves. I have read all the feedback about how the Berger VLD's are very sensitive to the amount of "jump" before the bullet contacts the rifeling. Initially Berger recommended loading with the bullet into the L&G's but later on after some field experience feedback, they have backed off of that to a degree suggesting each shooter develop a "jump" that works best in their particular rifle.
I had zip luck using retail ammo loaded with the Berger 168 gr VLD's but am hoping that once I can reload I can develop a cartridge to my rifle's liking so that I can use the VLD's for LRH. Is the "magic marker" method the way everyone determines just how much COAL they have at any part of the process of working up a COAL for their particular rifle or is there some gage or tool that can tell one just how far off the L&G's the bullet is? I sense that there are a whole bunch of tools over and above the typical reloading setup that one will need to develop an optimum load and since I am in the equipment acquiring/learning stage I would appreciate any direction in that regard. Thanks.
Sounds like an overlength cartridge jammed into the throat.

match shooters do it on pupose and work their loads with that as a known factor.

For the exact experience the OP had is why you don't want that for your hunting ammo.

One quick and down and dirty way to measure your length to the lands with a particular bullet;

- insert a cleaning rod into your unloaded rifle from the muzzle end until it makes contact with the bolt face (closed and locked bolt), mark the rod with a marker or a piece of tape at the muzzle.

-withdraw the rod a few inches

-open bolt and insert a bullet (not a cartridge just to be clear, a bullet), push it forward until it lightly contacts the rifling. I use a pencil to push and hold it.

-now insert your rod until it just contacts your bullet that you're holding in place

-mark the rod again at the muzzle

-measure the distance between the 2 marks on the rod and that's you cartridge OAL for contact with the lands

-i suggest backing off 10 or 20 thousandths at least for starters.

Currently I use a better tool for the job, the hornady/stony point chamber OAL kit.
I am newbie at this myself, but I have been learning quite a bit..maybe more than I wanted to ;)

check your neck tension. If your brass has been loaded several times you might have lost some neck tension and your brass might need to be annealed. If your loads are compressed your bullets might be pushing out over time not having enough tension in the neck.
Sounds like COAL too long. I had this happen once to me a long time ago. I was loading the bullet to almost touch the lands and when I got different lot number of bullets the o-give was a touch longer or the bullet point was a little shorter and I was using a base of case to bullet tip measurement and it caused the bullet to stick in the bore when I went to unload my rifle while climbing out of a tree stand. I did not have a cleaning rod with me and had to drive a 60 mile round trip to get one and then back to hunt in the afternoon. I now never load my hunting ammo close to the lands. I find the best accuracy I can at least five thousands off the lands or further just to be safe. I mostly use Sierra or Nosler BT or AB bullets and they usually shoot best with some jump.
Yea the overall legth was a little to long. I had measured the overall length when i started reloading but i was shooting every round i put in the gun. I was not loading and unloading. I shoot the berger bullets and it was recommended that they where put to the rifling so that was the way I started out now i have shorten the length some for hunting.I am learning all this reloading stuff and thanks to every one on here for the help.
Here is another home made COAL gage you can make for any bottle neck cartridge. Take a empty "sized" case and with a Dremal tool using a thin cutting disc, cut 4 slots down the "neck" only. Be sure not to cut into the shoulder of the case. Insert a bullet of choice into the neck and insert into the chamber, close bolt or lock up action "SS". Do this a few times while measuring with set of calipers. I use the Hornady comparitor gage so I can have an accurate measurement off the ojive. Best if needing to know how far off the lands you want to be. The case will hold the bullet with the right amount of tension so that you can move it in or out if need be with your fingures and just enough to seat the bullet in the case to the length of free bore accurately.

As a side note, Berger actually suggest that you seat their VLD hunting match bullets at a starting depth of 50 thousandths off the lands and work it in or out until optimum accuracy is achieved. Also, this bullet is really noted for its long range capability after it "goes to sleep" which is typically 200 yards and beyond. Depending on caliber, this may or may not apply.

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