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Thread: How to remove a stuck cartridge

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    .... If you only have difficulty with bolt opening and or extraction most likely is not an undersize chamber.
    I encounter some moderate resistance when closing the bolt, and enough to require smacking it with my palm, when opening it. There are marks upon the brass, which make it appear as though is is being squeezed about the middle; I will try to get a picture for you guys, but they are very faint.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master



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    In that case an undersized chamber and cases that have been fired that have the normal swelling above the web could be creating a self lock taper. If that is the case small base dies may be the solution once you get it out.

    While I am willing to do things most people would call questionable, if not unsafe, I am not willing to pound out stuck loaded cartridges. If you do I would recommend holding the rod with something other than your hand and be prepared for the case to become a projectile. I personally know an individual that stuck a loaded round in a die. He tried pounding it out. He lost a finger tip. At one time I had a direct link to the benchrest shooter that was killed doing this.

    Good luck and be safe.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 03-27-2020 at 09:34 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Of you can get some lube in there A 50 50 mix of kroil and shooters choice would be my go to keep this wet and soaking for a week to give it time to work its magic. The kroil oil is the lubricant and the carrier. The shooters choice is a copper remover and will softer and break down the outside of the case over time. You might even warm the barrel with a blow drier to expand it letting the mix work in deeper. Then with a brass rod tap it to remove you can put the mix down the barrel and this will possibly deaden the primer and powder also if the bullet is inside the case completely. But dont depend on it work safely and accordingly.

  4. #24
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    The thermal expansion of brass is about twice that of steel. Since the heat will transfer into the brass the brass with get tighter in the chamber with heat.

    I am not in a location that I can look it up for the specific alloys but 4130 expands at about 6 1/2 millionth per degree per inch. Cartridge brass is normally about 70% copper and 30% zinc and that will be around 12 millionth per degree per inch.

    With a differential of about 6 millionth per degree per inch and using dry ice ( -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit) you would get about 1/2 thousands of an inch more shrinkage on the brass.

    Freezing the barreled action in dry ice and pouring boiling water on the chamber area MIGHT get you a little more depending on how fast the heat transfers to the brass.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 03-28-2020 at 01:03 AM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Diamond hole saws would load up if used to cut brass. When loaded up they stop cutting and get hot really quickly from brass on brass friction.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master



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    On brass?
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Nice tool.
    But to buy one, for just one job, might not be worth it.

  8. #28
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    M-Tecs, Never saw one of those. Very neat answer to a difficult problem.

  9. #29
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    Fortunately, your problem is not too commonly encountered. When I was a gunsmithing student we had a selection of various projects we could make, and I made several of these collets and the one slide hammer for all of them. Unfortunately, I no longer have them, as I've let a lot of tools slip away since retiring. If I still had it I'd loan it to you. The Brownell's tool is more refined, and were I younger and back in business I'd certainly buy one. I see that they sell the tool and various collets separately, but as things go nowadays they aren't unreasonably priced.

    But, let's try to be pragmatic about this situation. (1) The rifle is of no use to you the way it is. (2) At present you have a little portable bomb in your gunlocker. The bullet being driven into the case and compacting the powder is going to create very high pressures should the cartridge fire. It might or might not be enough to destroy the rifle, but should the rifle survive such a firing it will probably suffer ill effects. (3) It sounds like maybe you have pre-existing chamber damage anyway; so really, what is the practical value of the rifle?

    Another option presents itself, to re-barrel the rifle. There is a little danger here, in unscrewing the barrel from the receiver, but less I believe than attempting to remove the cartridge by pounding from the muzzle end. If the rifle was stripped down to just the barreled receiver and the barrel clamped in an immoveable barrel vise, then the receiver turned off from the barrel with a heavy duty action wrench I think there would be minimal chance of the cartridge firing. If I was doing the job I'd feel comfortable in doing it, and of course wear safety glasses and a face shield. It's just in the nature of barrel removal that one is standing to the side anyway to exert pressure on the wrench, and not directly behind. Again, if you lived just down the road and could bring it over I'd be happy to do it for you, but no longer being "in the business" and not having an FFL I can't have you send it to me.

    By re-barreling you have (1) eliminated the stuck case problem, and (2) installed a better or new barrel and eliminated the pre-existing chamber problem. As for the original barrel that still has the stuck cartridge in it, myself hating to waste anything, I'd cut it off ahead of the chamber and save it for future projects, and I'd dig a deep hole and bury the chamber stub.

    That's the end of my practical advise, and the rest is just rambling. When going through the gunsmithing school it was 95% hands on in the shop, but once in awhile we had time in a formal classroom where we'd receive sage advise from various instructors. The stuck cartridge and removal tool came up once, and the instructor said, "Sooner or later someone will come into your shop with a rifle with a cartridge stuck in the chamber. This is a dangerous situation, because inevitably the owner will have tried to remove it by pounding it out with a rod of some sort from the muzzle end. This compacts the bullet into the case and usually creates a wedge situation where the bullet was originally partially out of the case but is now driven into the neck and can't go any farther partially because of the constriction and partially because of the powder being compressed. The customer is at his wit's end as to how to remove it, and usually realizes that he is handing you a serious problem. You, however have the tool and the knowledge about how to use the tool, and can probably remove it in 10 minutes. You should charge the customer $100-$150 for the job (this was in '81-'82 and $100 was worth more) because you had to pay to attend this school and had to make the tool". So, for what it's worth, there's a peek into the logic of the gunsmithing world, and the idea that perhaps if you're a budding gunsmith investment in one of these tools might be a good investment.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    Here. I made a video of it so people can see. These hole saws cost about a buck a piece.
    I stand corrected. Thanks
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumptyDumpty View Post
    The load is 30 grains of H4895, under a 160 grain boolit. Not a mouse fart load, by any means, but noticeably milder than commercial or military ball ammo. I must assume, at this point, that the projectile is firmly pressing against the powder.
    Per Quickload 30 grains is 52.6% of case capacity. If the bullet is actually pushed into the case you MIGHT be able to push the bullet back away from shoulder with a cleaning rod while hold the muzzle down and shake the powder out . Easy enough to check. Take a fired case that has not been sized drop a bullet in and than 30 grains of powder. If the powder is below the neck you should be able to shake it out.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumptyDumpty View Post
    . If that doesn't work, I may try to create my own tool (as Der Gebirgsjager suggested). If all else fails, I suppose I will have no choice but to give Brownells some money.
    While the Brownell tool may resolve you first problem it will do nothing to address your second issue. If you have the capability to create your own tools I would recommend making a barrel vise and action wrench and pulling the barrel. This allows you many more options for removing the case and addressing the issue that created the problem.

    How did it chamber with factory ammo? Headspace gauges are undersize in the body. For the average person a chamber cast would be the easiest method to check the chamber body size.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 03-28-2020 at 05:07 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  13. #33

    Success, and afterthoughts

    The case is out. I let it soak overnight in penetrating oil, and spent the last half-hour repeatedly packing the chamber with dry ice. I donned face, hand, and ear protection, and employed a brass rod in the pictured manner. I am not deluding myself; this was absolutely dangerous, and I would not recommend anybody else do it this way. But, I elected to take the risk, and now I can have the chamber fixed. Also, note the marks I was talking about on the case body, along with the rim damage from the extractor.
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  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    While the Brownell tool may resolve you first problem it will do nothing to address your second issue. If you have the capability to create your own tools I would recommend making a barrel vise and action wrench and pull the barrel. This allows you many more options for removing the case and addressing the issue that created the problem.
    I will eventually get the tool anyway, since there will be plenty of other rifles in my future. At this point, fixing the problem myself is beyond my skill level, and this is not the rifle I want to practice on.

  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by HumptyDumpty View Post
    The case is out. I let it soak overnight in penetrating oil, and spent the last half-hour repeatedly packing the chamber with dry ice. I donned face, hand, and ear protection, and employed a brass rod in the pictured manner. I am not deluding myself; this was absolutely dangerous, and I would not recommend anybody else do it this way. But, I elected to take the risk, and now I can have the chamber fixed. Also, note the marks I was talking about on the case body, along with the rim damage from the extractor.
    Great. Thanks for the update. Was the bullet pushed all the way into the case?
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

  16. #36
    Boolit Master brassrat's Avatar
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    glad you got it, those rifles are nice I have read

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I think I would rebarrel that "31-06". It's already been sporterized somewhat so I'd rebarrel, restock, do the whole enchilada. There's no collector value and the 1909 is a top shelf action. IMHO.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  18. #38
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    I know you don't plan on fixing this yourself but just for general information.
    I repaired a 30.06 barrel that had been demilled by 3 holes drilled into the barrel, bore diameter.
    One hole through the center of the barrel into the bore, one like it a few inches from the muzzle and one into the chamber.
    I tapped the holes and made plugs from hard bolts contouring the ends to match the bore best I could then welded them in place.
    I then used needle files inside the chamber to work the end of the bolt for a smooth transition.
    I drilled out the base of a 30.06 case and glued it to a dowel and then coated the case with fine grinding compound and used this to smooth the chamber.
    The gun is a Madsen Light Machine Gun converted to semi-auto for legality purposes.
    The gun functions fine.
    The ejected cases have a very small crescent shaped mark where I didn't quite get the bolt to chamber transition perfect but does not.
    affect function.
    I doubt if the accuracy is on par with a bench rest rifle but then it probably never was when it was new.
    Posted this just to illustrate what can be done with determination and a slim wallet.

  19. #39
    It was; in fact, powder was being displaced, and escaping around it. This is somewhat visible in the picture, but I couldn't get as good of a shot as I had wanted.

  20. #40
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Thanks. I wasn't sure if that was the case mouth or the rod you used. Posting pics and the various discussions is a learning tool for all of us.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

    – Amber Veal

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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