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Thread: Removing Stuck Wooden Dowel and Soft Lead Sinker from a barrel

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    The pellet gun story reminds me of what I was told by a pellet gun repair person.

    He disassembled the weapon, and used a hydralic press. He inserted short sections of rod, and pushed them gentilly in series. He therefore went slowly, with a gentle force, and never had to worry about any misallingment. Ther was never any "impact." The plug touching the projectile would be the only one that needed to be near bore size. Put a wrap of duct tape around rod section diamiters: just make certain the rod used is metal.

    Build on this idea for your circumstance. The press opening would only need be slightly more than your barrel/action length.

  2. #62
    Boolit Bub
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    nice thread

  3. #63
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    A technique I used with success is to get a large zerk fitting and drill/thread the muzzle end of the barrel for it. Tighten it in place, and attach a grease gun. The hydraulic pressure moved the broken dowel that all my previous efforts wouldn't budge with ease. Each pump of the grease gun moved it about 1 inch at a time.

    Only drawback to this is you'll have to face off about 1/3" of the muzzle to get rid of the inside threads, but most of the muzzles can use a new crown anyways.
    Check out my vendors section:
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  4. #64
    The Brass Man Four-Sixty's Avatar
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    I used a threaded steel rod to remove a stuck .357 round from my Handi.

    I wrapped the entire rod with electrical tape. Starting with a 5/16th rod, it fit near perfectly in the bore. This also helped center the rod on the boolit. The 24" rod was available at Lowes for $1.88.

    Of added convience, the rod was cupped at each end. This further guaranteed the rod stayed cented on the boolit.
    “Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts.”

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    The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It's called denial.

    "Inferno" Dan Brown

  5. #65
    Boolit Master

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    I stuck a bullet being stupid. My brass rod was not long enough, and knowing of this thread I wasn't about to put wood down there. So I sent a delrin rod down the bore to extend the rod. D'oh!

    I used a different technique to fix it. This is from one of our own:

    1. fill bore with any oil, till about one inch below the muzzle. Took 30 minutes for me since the oil had to migrade down the tight fitting delrin rod.
    2. take a relatively tight fitting brass rod (for me .25" for a 7mm barrel) and wrap in electrical tape. E-tap defintiely worked best.
    3. Pound down the barrel. The tape creates an airight seal. The tape gets stuck at the muzzle and the rod breaks through and seats on the oil. After that you are pounding on straight oil.
    4. That bullet is gonna come FLYING out of the chamber of the gun. I mean absolutely flying.

    For me? I was able to pound the delrin out just fine without the bullet obstruction.

    Lesson learned. Do not deviate from the nothing but brass rule.

    The next day I went to the local metals market and bought $50 worth of prime brass rod and made cleaning rods and range rods for every gun I own. Everyone gets their own custom to fit rod.

  6. #66
    The Brass Man Four-Sixty's Avatar
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    Good point about the oil. I put somthing similar to kroil in each end for awhile. It came out easily.
    “Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It's called denial.

    "Inferno" Dan Brown

  7. #67
    Boolit Master preparehandbook's Avatar
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    Drill the obstruction out...

    Once while staying in a fairly remote location with friends I faced the problem of several .22 bullets lodged in a bore. Best guess was between 4 and six bullets.

    A couple of the younger folks had been out shooting that day and had been playing around pulling the bullets out of .22s, dumping the majority of the powder, kind of reassembling the rounds, and then firing these homemade mousefart loads. Attempting to achieve silence they steadily reduced the powder amounts until the gun was silly quiet. Absolute silence was achieved when they managed to reduce the loads to the point that the bullets did not exit the bore.

    Luckily they did not pursue their original solution of firing a full power load to clear the bore as a ringed barrel would have resulted and possibly worse.

    Having very limited tools and no real town access a novel solution was devised.

    We had an old full length steel cleaning rod from a military rifle that fit down the bore with a slight clearance. The threaded and was cut off and then I filed the last 1/4" until it looked very similar to a flat bladed screw driver with a slight twist to it. The "blade portion" was also narrowed so as not to contact the bore.

    I lubed this up well with heavy grease and dropped it down the bored. With the rod's original T handle we had plenty of leverage to twist. About 10 full rotations were made and then the rod was removed and much of the lead filings stuck to the grease. We wiped the rod down and re-greased it before the next 10 rotations. Every now and then it would start to get stiff in the bore do to accumulated lead filings and we flushed out the bore with kerosene.

    All in all it took a couple of hours to drill (scrape?) the obstructing bullets from the bore. A good swabbing finished the job.

    I got the idea from a story about an old timer taking a winter to scrape away 3 feet of hardwood ramrod stuck in a muzzle loader using a chisel end filed on a steel rod.

  8. #68
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    Long long ago and very far away I had a 1903A3 Springfield that I bought from a co-worker for $50. I already had one but what the heck $50 ain't squat, or wasn't even in 1975/76. The problem was I had .30-06 ammo that was neck sized after having been fired in the previously owned 03A3.

    Wouldn't ya know it, the newly acquired 03A3 had a chamber that was not friendly to neck sized ammo and I proceeded to stick a loaded round in the chamber. When I say stuck I mean the laws of physics were working against me in the form of a very tightly locked taper.

    What to do? A clean deburred steel rod and a big hammer. POUND POUND POUND POUND.

    No go. By this time the bullet was thoroughly buried in the case and of course all that POUNDING just expanded the case walls further locking the dang thing in place. What do you do?

    Get a bigger hammer!

    I beat on that sucker for 3 days. Oiled down the bore and let it soak and kept pounding. By this time I was nervous about all that pounding and a live primer and a live cartridge. But jeez Louise whatcha gonna do? Keep pounding that's what.

    Finally on the 4th day that totally destroyed '06 came out. That was the last time I ever neck sized cases for any gun.

    The moral of the story is: GET A BIGGER HAMMER.

    A clean steel rod that is deburred isn't going to hurt anything except your peace of mind.

    How do those fanatical muzzle stuffing always black dirty stinky rifle shooters get stuck bullets out of a one-ended rifle? A screw. First they drill a little pilot hole and then they run a stuck bullet removing screw and thread it into the lead bullet and start reverse pounding it out. I know nothing about any of this. I just read a lot.

    BTW - 5/16" steel rod is .3125". Perfectomundo.


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  9. #69
    Boolit Mold


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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire_stick View Post
    When what I am about to describe happened to me, I did a search for an answer, but there is not much information. So I figured I would fess up and admit that I did manage to lodge a wooden dowel and lead sinker in my barrel. On the positive side, I am going to tell you how I eventually got it out. I hope that another lost soul may benefit in some small way.
    ...
    Like an idiot, I continued to pound away, thinking "it's right there at the edge, I can do it". Nope, I just made things worse.
    The lead was stuck, and the sections of dowel were not coming out, except for a couple of pieces on the muzzle end. What to do, what to do. ...
    ...
    That was okay, I figured, I will pound it out. DON'T DO THIS, IT MAKES THINGS WORSE.
    ...

    After a good scrubbing, the rifling still looks as good as I remember it looking before I started the project. There is one blemish toward the muzzle on the groove, but that might have been there before. I will give her a shot (no pun intended) and see how she shoots versus pre-slugging.
    If it weren't for the fact that that this thread was started in 2011, I would have thought someone had been looking over my shoulder! It makes me feel considerably better to know I'm not the only one who has gotten lead and cheap dowel sections stuck in a barrel. Like Fire_stick, I figured a bigger hammer would be a good way out, and like his post, it made things even worse. Now I had pulverized dowel packed even tighter into the barrel. No problem, I'll get some better dowel and knock it all back the direction it came from. WRONG! Also like Fire_stick's solution, mine involved a carefully centered 1/8" long drill bit, and eventually an even longer 1/4" bit. I knew I was playing with fire with the 1/4" bit, but was prepared to buy another barrel at that point. (Being a bit naive, little did I know how hard it might be to replace an older Chinese SKS barrel.) After everything was out of the barrel, I can't see where I nicked any rifling or left anything behind. Probably dumb luck, but my code for dumb luck that day was "good eye, steady hand." I was NEVER going to confess any of this, but if others can, I guess it really is good for the soul.
    Regards,
    papertrl

  10. #70
    Boolit Man
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    The first barrel i slugged i used a slip sinker. I picked the smallest one that would work. While driving it in i realised sinkers are not all that soft. I took my time and got the job done. Now i only use black powder balls they are much easier to use. 31 Caliber balls work well for 30 caliber rifles. I have all so used #00 buckshot in 30 caliber rifles.

  11. #71
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm a noob to rifle collecting and so I, like many others, have started with collecting Nagant 91/30 rifles. I got lucky on an auction site and got a lot of 3 for $119 each. I have experienced the joy of cosmoline removal and now am ready to get shooting. Before I even shoot a single round I thought I'd slug the barrels to see what bullet I would use to reload my commercial boxer primed brass.

    So I think I'm smart because I did some research on the web and YouTube. Wrong! All of the instructions out there (including http://7.62x54r.net/) say to use a "wood dowel" and a plastic hammer. On YouTube there are several videos with guys using poplar wood dowels and rubber mallets. I figure I got this licked so I get the 1/8 egg sinkers, some case lube and Rem Oil and go for it. Everything I do turns out like the videos I watched except the sinker comes out smooth. I figure I need to flatten out the sinker a little more and try again, like one of the guys on the YouTube video had to do.

    It all went south from here. I flattened out the sinker more than the first attempt, and had a much harder time getting it to fit down the muzzle. Again I had seen this same thing on one of the videos I watched so I wasn't surprised and not at all tempted to abort the mission. Finally I took a flat punch and tapped the sinker in. It looked good and I put the first wood section in and tapped away. All good. Then the second piece of wood shattered because I hit it sideways (cheap, soft wood dowel). I wasn't deterred and picked up another piece of wood and tapped away. At about the end of this piece of dowel all motion stopped. I decided that the proper thing to do was to hit it harder. BAD, BAD ME! This started everything to mush around in the barrel and the wood just started to bind. Once again my better judgement said to just whack it harder and harder until it was a solid, un-moving plug.

    So I berated myself as one should at this point, and got to work trying to clear the mess I had created. I grabbed a drill bit and my cordless drill and slowly drilled out the end of the bore. Once I hit the end of the drill bit I was out of options with that approach so I decided to take the cleaning rod (nice and solid) from the receiver side and push. I mean to say whack the heck out of it but it did not help at all and I believe made things worse. Luckily the rod has a knurled knob with a hole through it so I put a punch through the hole and took a carpenter's hammer and really had to pound it out.

    I decide to quit for the night and actually Google "wood dowel stuck in barrel" and got plenty of hits. I took the advice of this thread and bought a 12" drill bit to create a guide hole in the mess I created. I actually had the threaded steel rod that was the right size. Using 3 nuts and a washer for the muzzle I had great luck with extracting all of the material from the barrel after 4 attempts. (I used 2 of the nuts bound against each other to turn the rod and the third against the washer at the muzzle to pull the rod out after I got it seated as deep as I could.) To my visual inspection there is no damage to the bore, but I suspect a gunsmith may say something to the contrary. I have to say that I was sweating the removal of the stuff I jammed in the barrel but it all seems to be at least OK.

    The moral of the story: IF IT AIN'T A BULLET, THE ONLY THING TO PUT DOWN A BARREL SHOULD BE BRASS!!!!!!

    I'm going to do a little research on brass/bronze and get a ramrod that I would not be afraid to use. Oh... and I think I'll just skip slugging this rifle again. In the course of extraction, I managed to ding the wood against my work bench so I'm going to smooth that out (whalebone it I think is the right term) and give this poor rifle a break! I'm done experimenting for a long, long, long time....

    Jim

  12. #72
    Boolit Mold


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    Ah, another well-written script in which I've played the starring role!
    Regards,
    papertrl

  13. #73
    Boolit Man
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    yep, stand it muzzle up, pour penetrating oil down the bore, with a rag in the bolt area, so that you can see when the oil has seeped around the bullet/rd. with wood in the bore, this is a bad idea (I think) cause wood swells when wet. you'd have to refinish it, but consider "playing an oxy-acetylene torch all up and down the barrel, "charring' the wood that's in contact with the barrel. I've seen this work to remove a PILE of .22 pellets stuck in a pellet rifle.

  14. #74
    I've never tried this mind you, but would it make any sense to put the gun ( or just the barrel if possible ) in a freezer and let the steel
    barrel contract a bit before pounding on the stuck slug with a rod or dowel ??
    Of course, all that depends on whether the steel contracts "in" or "outward." If it contracts "outward" it may work. If if contracts "inward" just
    forget it was me who brought it up in the first place.
    MC PS: I flunked science class by the way

  15. #75
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Quickly View Post
    I've never tried this mind you, but would it make any sense to put the gun ( or just the barrel if possible ) in a freezer and let the steel
    barrel contract a bit before pounding on the stuck slug with a rod or dowel ??
    Of course, all that depends on whether the steel contracts "in" or "outward." If it contracts "outward" it may work. If if contracts "inward" just
    forget it was me who brought it up in the first place.
    MC PS: I flunked science class by the way

    Never tried that method but then I've never had to clear the bore of anything a brass rod would not push out. Now having spent a career as a welder/mining equipment/diesel mechanic I have used the freeze method for untold numbers of close metal fits, everything from using a simple home freezer to using liquid nitrogen and I can assure you that method (because the entire barrel would shrink) would result in a tighter bore not a looser one! It would of course depend on the difference between expansion/shrink rates of the different materials but for sure a wooden rod would become tighter in the bore because as the barrel would shrink due to the chilling the wood actually would swell due to the freezing of the moisture inside. A stuck brass rod would likely shrink even more than the steel bore and thus it would become looser BUT why on Earth would a person have a brass rod stuck in that manner in the first place? Just some thoughts there but I honestly think freezing the barrel would make things worse.

  16. #76
    Boolit Master

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    The wood will swell and stick in the bore like all get out. I turn a bore size rod of brass stock and cut the tip to a spade drill point and drill out an inch at a time. Sounds like a pita and it is but it's been the best way so far. Don,t feel like the lone ranger i have rods in 270, 30 cal and 32 caliber so far and I get one of these about once a year.

  17. #77
    Boolit Master
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    Well I have to put the dunce hat on too. I dd the wooden dowel thing long enough ago I can't tell you exactly when. More than one and less than ten years ago. I cringe every time I walk by it. It is still in there and I would darn sure like to get it out.
    The drilljust scares the **** out of me to be honest. I had thought about the heat till it charred some. I use Kroil for everything, but I would sure think that would make the would swell unless totally soaked until it was soft then maybe hit it with some air?
    For four pages of input there really seems to be no good or best way to go about it.
    I am like the rest of the folks with brass rods (all ready had one)but when I did this I didn't want to go the short distance to retrieve it. For those that still use a wooden dowel it is not so much that you have not broken one yet. Yet, being the key word. It can and will happen sooner or later. Almost got in to a knock down drag out argument with one gent on using wooden dowels. I finally put him on my ignore list. He some how contacted me a year or so later. He did his usual trick of the dowel cut into short lengths. He wanted to know how I got mine out and told him it was still in there. He was pretty upset I could tell. Don't know what he ended up doing. Last I heard he was looking at re barreling.
    I may go to the man cave and examin mine a bit again. Have not looks at it for at least a year.
    Any fresh input as to how to get it out would be appreciated.
    Jeff

  18. #78
    Boolit Master
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    I did it too. Ruined better part of a Christmas for me. Took it to a smith. He fixed it. It cost me some. More than I thought, less than a new rifle. Two lessons learned. 1) do things the right way. 2) when you mess up, go to a professional.

  19. #79
    Boolit Man chrisstophere's Avatar
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    I've never slugged a barrel since and these stories make me not ever want to.
    -Chris

  20. #80
    Boolit Master daniel lawecki's Avatar
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    Well I'll post this here sorry if it's in the wrong spot. While shooting my 629 44mag bullet pulled from crimp. Well I can't open the action the primer is live and a nice helping of IMR 4227. I would say the bullet is about .50 thousands forward and that stinks. I have a few ideas but would like a little input.
    Last edited by daniel lawecki; 03-06-2016 at 09:22 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check