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Thread: Removing a Stuck Bullet in Swage Die

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Removing a Stuck Bullet in Swage Die

    Just received a new .308 Corbin Swage Die set last week, my late Christmas gift from my wife. These dies are essentially a scaled up version of my Corbin .223 Swage Dies that I have been using for years; except they are configured for making a Rebated Boat Tail vs. the Flat Base in my .223’s. Cleaned the dies, oiled the outsides of all dies in the set in order to protect against corrosion from handling, swabbed out the inside of all dies, and then coated the inside of die bodies and the punches with a slight amount of lanolin. Then proceeded to work with the dies using .308 copper tubing jackets made using a set of Tubing Jacket Dies BT Sniper made for me several years ago.

    A new set of dies can be a “Learning Experience”, particularly for swaging. Working with the two Corbin Dies for making Rebated Boat Tail bullets took some time as I have never made RBT’s before, and there are more steps and considerations than found with Flat Base Bullets. Made some progress in establishing confidence with the RBT dies (Slow Go Philosophy), but I am not yet pleased with the appearance of the RBT’s, although they would be termed “Blemished” and not “Rejects”.

    Well point forming did not go as well in “Discovering” how to work with this dies set. I set the Nose forming die to a depth where I thought the Nose would be ~ 75% formed, lubed the RBT jacket/core, placed in the bullet in the die and cycled the handle. Seemed to go well and the nose was partially formed. Removed the bullet and lightly lubed the bullet again using an RCBS lube pad with a light coat of lanolin (I spray the pad with a mixture of alcohol and lanolin, about the same as Dillon Spray Lube). Placed the bullet in the nose die and adjusted the depth to form the nose to an estimated ~ 85%. Cycled the handle and the Bullet did not eject, rather the ejection pin drove into the exposed lead core due to binding of the bullet Ogive and sides in the die. Any way, I spent part of the morning removing the bullet and thought his would be an opportunity to post a “How To” for members/readers who have a similar occurrence. These directions are for those with a Corbin Swaging set up; but should provide thought for other types of Swage Operations also.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 07:02 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Step #1: STOP

    I first used this process a few years ago when I stuck a bullet in my .223 Corbin Swage Dies.
    Further attempts to force the bullet out with the ejection pin will probably be futile and only drive a deeper and deeper dimple into the lead core.

    Step #2: Remove Punch Holder.

    Leave the handle partially down (Lightly Resting on the bullet) as lifting the handle will embed the ejection pin further into the bullet. Unscrew and remove the punch holder and punch from the top of the press.

    Step #3: Remove the Die

    Next unscrew the Nose Die with stuck bullet from the press ram. Remove the ejection pin from the ram. In this photo the items needed to remove the stuck bullet are depicted (along with a seated RBT core/jacket for reference). You will need the Punch holder, the screw in collet that holds the top punches in the Punch Holder, a washer that will fit inside the Punch Holder and is large/wide enough to be held in place by the screw in collet, a medium threaded screw of appropriate size to be driven (screwed) into the base of the stuck bullet while not hitting the side of the die, and a drill but that will allow a hole to be drilled into the base of the stuck bullet while still in the die, and have a sufficient size hole to allow seating while providing a tight screw in fit.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 06:55 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Step #4: Drill Pilot Hole

    I used a 5/64 drill bit to drill the hole in the base of the bullet. Drill sufficiently deep that at least 6 full turns can be made (Need to have sufficient bearing area to stand up to pressure generated when Bullet is pulled out). Do not drill too deep or at an angle where you might hit the die sides and damage the die.

    Step #5: Assemble “Puller”

    Place the washer over the screw, then place the screw through the screw in collet – ensure the collet is oriented where it can be screwed into the Punch Holder with the extractor threads pointing down. You are then going to take a hand screw driver and turn the threads of the screw into the pilot hole you drilled into the Bullet base inside of the Swage Die. The following picture is after the bullet is extracted, but should show the configuration described. The bullet in the pic would actually be in the die at this time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 06:57 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Step #6 : Reinstall Swage Nose Die and Puller assembly

    Reinstall Swage Nose Die and Puller assembly (Screw, Washer, & Collet) into Ram of the press. Leave the ejection pin out of the Ram/Swage Nose die as it would only be in the way. Screw the Nose Swage Die all the way into the ram.

    Step #7: Reinstall the Punch Holder

    From the top of the Press, screw the Punch holder into the press about way down. Next, cycle the press handle all the way down to lift the Nose Swage Die and Puller Assembly all the way up. You now need to screw the Punch Holder down to the point where you can begin screwing the screw in collet from the bottom (Puller Assembly) into the Top Punch Holder. When completed it will look like the next picture, make sure all threads are fully engaged as pressure will be high from the ram when pulled up.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 06:57 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    Step #8: Lift Handle

    We are now going to pull the bullet from the Nose Swage Die. The handle was previously placed in the fully down position to raise the ram for Swage Die installation. We now slowly lift the press handle, do not yank or jerk as this could cause the lead to sheer from the screw threads. This is where that 6 or more full turns of threads into the bullet base and lead core comes into play as we will be putting a lot of pressure on the bullet as we “Pull” the bullet from the Nose Die by fully raising the Press Handle.

    A safe extraction will result in this condition:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now unscrew the top punch from the press, disassemble the top punch an “Puller” assembly, and unscrew the bullet from the puller assembly. You should be ready to assemble everything back the way it was for Nose forming. (Oh – Don’t forget to put the ejection pin back into the Ram and Swage Die).

    After this effort, I swaged 12 bullets for loading and testing in the next week or so. I guess that means my efforts worked. I’ll try to make sure this is not repeated for a few more years as it’s stressful to encounter this and have to correct it.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 06:58 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    No pictures. This is good info.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Just finished the posts, pictures inserted (a little time consuming as I had to shrink the file size/compress, import, edit and publish). Hope this helps others.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 02-01-2018 at 09:49 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man readr1's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Thanks. I’m pretty sure I’ll be using this info in the future. Seems like I have to learn everything the hard way.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master PWS's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this! I think EVERYONE who acquires swaging equipment needs to know how to remove a stuck bullet because it gonna happen sooner or later.

    Also, my thought on why the bullet stuck in the first place is that once you've formed the point to a certain extent, the bullet is close to or at the full diameter of the PF die and most of the lube is "smeared" away from the bullet shank and that makes it stick. I've had plenty of instances where trying to fully form a partially formed bullet would stick in the PF die. Running the partially formed bullets through a draw die just under the final size usually eliminates the tendency to stick.

  10. #10
    Don't know how it works with larger calibers, but I've had good success getting a stuck 6mm bullet out by using a small piece of lead core on the base to force it deeper till the nose punch would push it out. That was in some instructions I read somewhere in one of my swaging books, but not sure which. Just glad you were able to get it out no matter the method.
    Mark

  11. #11
    Boolit Master BlackoutBuilder's Avatar
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    There should be a video on this...
    NFA = Not Freaking American

    It would be less disrespectful to burn the flag than to put a thin blue line through the middle of it.

  12. #12
    I'm not volunteering to stick one just to make a video
    Mark

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Faret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusp323 View Post
    I'm not volunteering to stick one just to make a video
    Mark
    Just don't eject it!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Might be a restricted view video due to salty language.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

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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