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Thread: Removing bullet stuck in point form die

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Removing bullet stuck in point form die

    I finally stuck a bullet in a point form die. I could not find a thread here dealing with the subject so I want to get some ideas on it. My die is a 30cal 6s flat point for the 30-30. The ejection punch is 0.119. In my case the punch went down into the lead and stuck there. I was able to pull out the punch but the bullet remained in the die. I tried turning the external punch down a little to close the nose up a little more but the punch went straight through and actually punched the bottom off the jacket. The core came out of the jacket when I removed the punch and now I had an empty jacket stuck up in the die. After searching the forum with no luck I read everything I have on swaging and ended up using the "screw" method. I found a lag screw that just fit up into the jacket and could get about 1/8 turn to bite into the jacket. I switched the pin in the Walnut Hill to the reloading mode for a longer stroke and screwed the die into the ram. With the the ram all the way up the screw head extended above the top of the press. I grabbed it with a vise grips and lowered the ram. The lag screw pulled out the jacket on the third pull. The screw pulled the jacket a little each time before the screw pulled out of the jacket. I still have the jacket on the screw and it didn't even come close to going through the jacket and damaging the die. My experience ended well but hearing the experience of others would be helpful to all of us.

    Bob
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I have stuck a few but usually just by screwing the external punch down a little and closing the point a little I have been able to get the bullet out of the die. sounds like you have come up with a pretty good method I will have to keep this tread saved for future reference. I would imagine there are those who have stuck a bullet and those who are going to stick one. A great thread that should probably be a sticky when enough removal methods have been offered. Thanks

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    I have had some stuck boolits in my 22 die. Lucky. I have my lathe and D reamer and just go in and clean it out. It usually sticks to the reamer and comes out.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    send it back to your die maker.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Your best option is to send the die back to the manufacturer for bullet removal.

    Other things you can try that aren't as good.
    Lube the bottom of the bullet with swaging lube and small piece of lead and try to seat the bullet jacket further with the punch. This will force lube around the bullet and make extraction easier. Pushing the jacket in further will also make it easier to extract the jacketed bullet on the downstroke.

    I would advice against using any screw to bite the jacket since the die finish is so sensitive. One scratch and it's all over.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I have experienced stuck .223 bullets in my Corbin point die also. Just as Midnight described, the ejector pin each time pushed through the entire length of the bullet in the pointing die. In the past I initially sent the stuck bullet/pointing die back to the manufacturer, but that is expensive and very time inefficient.

    Here are some thoughts.


    Removal:


    1. I unscrew & remove the die from the press (Corbin S-Press).

    2. I select a fine thread Phillips head screw (I have a variety of these in my leftover bins). Shank with threads is 25% to 40% of the diameter of the Bullet. The hole left from the ejector pin acts as the "Pilot Hole"; and using a screw that is 25%-40% of the diameter of the bullet allows for a good bite into the stuck bullet, while staying away from the walls of the die. Remain aware of depth you screw into the bullet so as not to hit the nose portion of the die.

    3. I reinsert the die with screw back into the press (in the case of Corbin S-Press and dies this means screwing the Pointing Die into the Ram. The head of the screw is now sticking up from the Point Die Body. I slightly raise the die with the lever arm, and then use two schedule 40 PVC fittings placed beside the point die body so that when I use a vice grip secured to the screw head, the vice grip holds the screw and bullet, at which time I pull the bullet out by raising the press arm (lowers the die into the press) which pulls the bullet out.

    Next time (hopefully a long time from now) I experience a stuck bullet, I'll photo the process and post a visual set of instructions.

    Avoidance:

    1. Make sure each bullet is lightly/adequately lubed.

    2. Point Die Adjustment is where I believe most problems are created. In my case, making 45 to 58 grain bullets seems to be non-problematic (No stuck Bullets). When I make 60, 62, or 80 grain bullets is where I have encountered problems. The stuck bullets seem to occur either:

    a. when the bullet nose is in the transition region between a "Hollow Tip/Nose", or full lead tip.

    b. or if a .22LR jacket splits while making a 70 to 80 grain .223 bullet from 22LR jackets.

    3. I have been able to avoid problems in swaging heavier bullets by shaping the noses in two stages. I set the Point Die where the jacket is folded over to form a semi flat nose (not fully pointed) and swage all the bullets I am making in that session. I then swage the nose a second time to bring the 60 to 80 grain bullets to a full nose formation. This two step nose forming process has allowed me to avoid the stuck bullets in the nose forming die.

    4. To replicate bullet swaging for specific calibers I have created a set of instructions for myself that I use for my Corbin Set up, with a separate set of recorded instructions them for each weight. These instructions to myself provide:

    (a) Core weight for use with specific LR Jackets by Manufacturer head stamp (Rem, C, F, etc..) for a specific bullet weight.

    (b) I have marked the top punch so I can count how many revolutions (Turns) the top punch holder is screwed into the press. As an example, to set the Core Swage Die (Squirt Die) for a 50 Grain Core I screw in the Top Punch 26.75 turns. For a 70 Grain Core I screw in the Top Punch 20.25 turns.

    (c) Using the same top punch marks, I can adjust the Core Seating Dies for each weight of bullet with a fair degree of repeatable results.

    (d) Using the top punch marks, I also adjust the Bullet Seating Die for each weight. In the case of heavier .223 bullets, I can set the punch to replicate the initial Nose formation (with the relatively flat profile, but not fully nose formation. Then I can run the partially formed noses a 2nd time to replicate the same weight bullet and full nose profile of previous successful runs.


    Although Midnight is using a .30 Caliber die set, the processes I use with my Corbin .223 dies may have some benefit.


    Mustang

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    i think that if damaging your dies is a concern A brass screw would be the ticket. it is harder than copper but much softer than the steel it should work like a dream.

  8. #8
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    stuck bullets in the point form die happens to even teh best of dies. I myself have gotten very good at removing stuck bullets. My dies are a little different from those discribed here but I have a fool proof system to remove stuck bullets. Now that my quality in dies has gotten better and a Nitride finish stuck bullets are becoming less and less.

    I have some pics of the process I use with my dies, it is nearly the same as removing a stuck case from a reloading die.

    Once the ejection pin is removed from the die it is possible to get the bullet out without additional screws using the above mentioned techniques with a lot of lube and a little extra lead. This has worked well for me with the last two bullets I removed. If they get really stuck then a screw in teh base of the bullet is a last resort.

    First and fore most one should consider contacting the manufature of the die. I will always be happy to remove bullets from customer's dies, I would hope Corbin, Blackmon or any others would do the same.

    I now keep a collection of the stuck bullets and keep them close to the bench to remind me to use proper lube, follow instructions, etc. etc.

    I'll have more info to post on the matter of stuck bullets later.

    Good shooting and swage on!

    BT
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  9. #9
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    Here is a set of instructions I have put together for my customers. It includes pictures that really don't pertain much to other dies but some of the info may be usfull for any given set of dies.



    BTSniper Stuck Bullet Removal


    It happens to the best of dies, dont fret! Follow these steps to safely remove a bullet that has become stuck in the point form die.

    1. We need to remove the ejection pin from the die. Ensure the bullet is pushed back into the die. Remove the top threaded bolt and place in a clean location.

    2. Use the threaded bolt with claw cut in one end to grasp head of ejection pin

    3. Remove carriage bolt from the top support arm of the ejection system. Lower ram of press and position the bolt that is still connected to the head of the ejection pin in the die, into the hole in the top support of the ejection system. Secure this bolt to the top support arm with the supplied nut.

    4. Now that everything is hooked up you can simply complete the stroke of the press carefully to pull the ejection pin from the bullet and die.

    Now that the ejection pin is clear we have two options.

    It is sometimes possible to remove the stuck bullet from the die as it is normally done with the use of the auto ejection system and the small ejection pin. What you need to do is grab a soft lead core and give it a good coating of lube, I mean a LOT! Reassemble your die to its normal operating positions but be careful you do not force the small ejection pin back into the nose of the stuck bullet. Matter of fact it will be better if the ejection pin is slightly higher in the die then normal, not much but maybe a half to full turn on the top stop bolt. What we are going to attempt to do is close the tip of the bullet back up allowing the ejection pin to push on it and attempt to eject the stuck bullet as normal. Now with the die assemebled and ejection pin slightly higher then normal, yet make sure it is still in the support of the ejection hole in the die, we can proceed.

    With the lead core covered in lube push it into the die as you normally would when forming a bullet, you will have to back the die out of the press a little to make up for the extra space the lead is taking up along with the stuck bullet. You want this lead core to squish and expand in the die forcing the lube up and around the stuck bullet as much as possible. Go slowly and do not apply any more pressure then is normally used when forming a bullet. Continue to go a little at a time till the lead is swaged into the die and you feel the nose of the bullet may have closed back up. Now here you go, moment of truth, attempt to eject the stuck bullet and lead as you normally would when forming a bullet. There is a chance it will work on this first try. If not we can try again by starting all over again at step 1 and remove the ejection pin, lube the same lead core again with more lube, swage it back in the reassembled die and attempt it again. After the second or third unsucessful attempt at this procedure with no luck it is time to take more drastic measures. It is time to remove the bullet by drilling the base of it at securing a bolt into it.

    To do so follow these steps after the ejection pin is removed picking up where we left off with step #4.
    Word of caution should you choose to proceed, read threw and understand every bit of the following instructions as I have presented them here to you. Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. Let me remind you that I will be happy to do all this for you free of charge, any mistakes I make I will repair or replace, believe me I have gotten very good at removing stuck bullets in my years of R&D work with these dies, but should you damage your die in any way from the resulting procedure you will be responsible for repair or replacement costs. Matter of fact here is my number again, 541-436-4095 should you need to contact me.

    5. We need to drill a hole in the base of the bullet to allow us to secure a bolt to it. Best way to drill a true and aligned hole in the base of bullet is with the die in a lathe. Choose a drill bit small enough to give you a lot of clearance, probably around a 3/16th (.1875) or smaller for the 22 cal bullets. Drill this hole no deeper then absolutely necessary. Check the baring surface of the bullet you are making, go no deeper then this amount and preferably a little less, you dont want to get anywhere near the curve of the nose of the die with the drill bit. It would be wise to place an upside down jacket in the die as a bit of extra protection for the chamber of the die from the drill bit. Drill right threw the base of the jacket and into the base of the stuck bullet at the same time.

    6. Once you have a shallow hole drilled in the base of the bullet you can thread the screw I have provided you into the base of the bullet to see if the hole is both large enough and deep enough to get a good grip of this screw into the base of the bullet. If you are using a lathe it is possible at this point to grip the end of the screw in the tail stock of the lathe and simply back the bullet out of the die. If this does not work or is not possible I have provided a 7/8 socket, nylon and steel washer and an additional 7/8-14 large nut. When all else has failed this method has never let me down!

    7. With the hole drilled in bottom of bullet and your test of threading and securing the screw in the bottom of the bullet complete, assemble everything I have provided you to look like this.



    Position your lock ring as far up the die as possible and lock it into position, thread the larger lock nut up next to the first lock ring. Slide the 7/8 socket on to the die, then the steel washer followed by the nylon washer. Last thing is to secure the screw back into the base of the bullet locking all the pieces of this puzzle together.

    8. Now secure all of this in a vise clamping on to the secured lock ring.


    9. Use a wrench on the larger 7/8 nut to back it off of the die. This will force the 7/8 socket to push against the head of the screw that is attached to the bullet. Make sure this screw does not rotate, it should remain still as you back out the larger 7/8 nut. Continue to back out this larger nut till your bullet is removed.


    Keep this bullet attached to the screw and mount it close to your swage press and bench as a reminder to use a bit more lube next time 

    Hopefully you will not have to experience this procedure too many times but if you follow these steps carefully as I have instructed you here you will great reduce any down time as well as any risk to the fine finish of the die. Matter of fact before you return to normal operations now is a good time to inspect and swab/clean the inside of the die. Use a simple cotton Q-Tip to clean the inside of the die till they come out clean. Now that you have removed all the lube and gunk from inside the die you will need to use a bit of extra lube on the next few bullet threw the die till you rebuild that layer of lube you just removed. In the future it will be wise to remove the die from the press and clean out the bullet cavity with the Q-tips every few thousand bullets or so.

    Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me and remember Ill be happy to remove this stuck bullet for you. Turn time is usually very quick with your die shipped back to you the next day I receive it.

    Thank you again for your support. Remember, as is the case with any swaging procedure, should you find you patience getting thin, or you get a little frustrated with anything at all, STOP! Take a short break and return to it later. You will be surprised at your increased potential for success when you can look at things clearly threw a positive mind set. I speak from a lot of experience on this mater.

    One more note, please do NOT post any of these detailed pics of the inner secrets of my dies on the net.

    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian Thurner

    BTSNIPER llc.
    541-436-4095
    When you stop learning you are dying.

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Ya know I got to thinking some more on this problem with blackmon Corbin and RCE dies. you would need the appropriate plug socket made with the correct internal threads a blind cavity for example RCE would have a 7/8-14 threaded ID back about an inch and a half. for Blackmon or S dies you would use a 5/8-24 threaded cavity. back on the blind end drill a cross hole and tap it with a pipe thread probably 1/8" tap and then screw a grease gun in the tapped hole and hydraulic out the bullet I would almost bet a limb that it would work every time with out damage or fail.

  11. #11
    Last time I stuck a bullet in the point form die I called the die maker, Corbin's. he told me to screw the die down a little at a time and keep pulling the handle. As counter to belief that my sound that is what he told me to. So I have not ever had to send the die back.

    Now using this process I have seen a die split in half. But there was a crack in the die and the lube caused it to split wider.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 7of7's Avatar
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    I have done all of the above.. gotten a few stuck... gotten jackets stuck because the core came out.. I just shoved the jacket in far enough with the punch, that the ejector pin pushed it out.. but, you have to go really slow doing it that way.. I have also used a 3 inch deck screw to pull them..
    I ended up sending the dies back to Dave, and he sent me out a different 6S, and did a bit of work on the 8S, and I do not have any problems any more.. they all come out wonderful when I do my part.. (and be very consistant..)
    I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    What? Never happened to me but never say never.
    Lube properly every bullet but no too much otherwise wrinkles appear.

  14. #14
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    Rasto,

    The size of the ejection pin and smaller meplat of the bullet will have lot to do with it. As I remeber on your Dan S dies the ejection pin was pretty big, .125 maybe? Corbin's is like .080, Blackmon is .062 ( all figures IIRC) and mine as well is .062. The bigger the ejection pin, obviuosly the more surface area you are pushing against and less likly you will stick a bullet in a point form die. yes lube is a good thing and stuck bullets is not much fun but if care is taken, present very little problem in removing.

    All numbers are just my guestamates to the best I can remember.

    Good shooting and swage on!

    BT
    When you stop learning you are dying.

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Just an addition to using a screw or bolt to remove the bullet, I wrap cloth tape around the shank of the screw so that it just fits inside the die. The tape touches the sides of the die but the screw does not. This helps ensure that the screw is centered in the die as well. Also the tape can be used as a depth guide so that you get the screw far enough in for a good bite but not too far.
    "let's go. He ain't hittin' nothin'.".... "You IDIOT, he's hit everything he's aimed at!"

  16. #16
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    Good idea with the tape.

    BT
    When you stop learning you are dying.

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BT Sniper View Post
    Good idea with the tape.

    BT
    You machinists with drill stops etc forget about the use electrical tape on the drill bit. You stop when the tape starts to touch.
    "let's go. He ain't hittin' nothin'.".... "You IDIOT, he's hit everything he's aimed at!"

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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