This Happened to Me----Once! Was Enough!


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2004
Blackfoot, Idaho
I've been using an impact bullet extractor for nearly 4 decades. Usually to remove bullets that were charged with too much powder when doing a ladder test or some such.

As my cases age from use the primer pockets get so loose that they will not hold the primer. I tap each case after priming on the bench. If the primer falls out the case gets discarded. No problems there.

Lately as I've had to "pull" some bullets I noticed that several primers had raised. Never thought a thing about it. Just reseated them.

While doing some bullet testing at Wildcat Bullets a couple of weeks ago something nearly bad happened. While Paul was in the house, I was in the shop and wanted to remove some Nosler bullets to do some testing with another bullet.

I broke out my impact bullet puller.

Load one,: three solid raps (with the neck tension on this cartridge 3 raps is typical) on the concrete floor, the familiar sound of the bullet and powder falling occurred. However, no primer was to be seen but could be heard making a couple of bounces around the shop.

Load 2: On rap number 2, CRACK, the primer ignited! The primer then ricocheted around the shop. There was just a wisp of smoke from the primer's ignition at the case head.

Either luck or divine intervention prevented the 83 grains of 7828ssc behind a 150 gr bullet from igniting creating a hard plastic grenade at about ankle height just under my head.

The scenario may have been.

  1. Rap number one
  2. The primer rises and hangs up at the top of the primer pocket.
  3. Rap number 2
  4. The primer slams to the bottom and goes off.
  5. The rest is as I said blind stupid luck or devine intervention. Some folks just need some outside help once in a while.:)
Seeing as how I now live with loose primer pockets, the mechanical/hammer when into the trash bin. I'll get one of the new fangled actual pullers that doesn't ruin the bullet as my side cutters do.:rolleyes:

Hope this helps someone some where........

Experience is the best teacher. As long is it is someone else's experience!
Do you think running the primer pockets a little past prime had anything to do with it?
I use the same style of bullet puller. Thanks for the heads up!
I haven't been around too long but that's the first I've heard of that happening to anyone.
Wow! Lucky lucky lucky. I am also guilty of running my brass a round or two longer than I should but never thought of this senario. A few years back I switched from an impact puller and have never been sorry I did. This story just confirmed my feeling of "wonder if this could ever set off a primer".....
Not to make light of a serious issue but your subject line brought back memories of the movie "Johny Dangerously".

Danny Vermin: You shouldn't grab me, Johnny. My mother grabbed me once... ONCE! :D
Glad you're OK, Roy. And thanks for sharing that. I've had primers back out like that. If I notice it in time, I used the depriming die to gently push out the primer the rest of the way, but I'm sure I've had fully loaded rounds, as you had, with backed out primers and used the impact puller to take apart the round. Perhaps in the future I'll gently reseat the primer and immediatly shoot it when out shooting. Perhaps that's safer? Any other ideas? Or, get a differently kind of puller, like Roy did.
Man Roy,

I'm voting for devine intervention. Sounds like a close call. I'm glad that I'm not runnng loose primer pockets, but It sounds like a pocket repair too may be the next purchase you gotta make.


got the 6.5-06AI loads ready, just need to find a calm day to come down and shoot'm off.

Roy.....I live up in Rathdrum Id. and have been using those things for thirty years. thanks for the warning! Were you using an extruded powder? I'm wondering if when the primer came up, a piece of powder came trough the flash hole (I''ve had it happen) and maybe helped set off the primer with a follow up hit. I don't know????....Rich
p.s. you DID say 7828 which is an extruded powder.....lightbulb
I would bet that most of the members that reload have those kinetic energy hammers, thanks for the heads up!!!
Glad to know you are OK?
I was going to get me one of those hammer pullers since the one I bought which I thought was a complete tool, wasn't... Thanks for the heads-up!
ROYINIDAHO, You were lucky and blessed with more days. My son and I were pulling bullets for some reason using the hammer kinetic puller on a 7mm rem mag, full load of powder, 140 gr bullet when a primer went off. Everything remained the same. talk about thanking the Lord. It would have killed or hurt seriously both of us. Needless to say we now use a RCBS bullet puller system.

Thank the Lord
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