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Thread: Bullet removal

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Bullet removal

    I am wishing to have a mould made of an original cartridge of 44 American. It has a sort of postel profile that I like. I am interested in keeping the cartridge as intact as possible.
    Question: is an impact puller with cotton in it the safest way to extract the bullet without damage? Looking to replace the bullet in the case after the maker does his measurements.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Since the 44 American is a fairly short revolver cartridge and basically a lead bullet one at that. Stuff some toilet paper, paper towels or napkins down inside your inertia bullet puller and have at it. Used to pickup a lot of range drops revolver or pistol ammo and salvage the bullets and brass. The lead bullet and the powder will end up at the bottom. And just dump the contents in an old plastic container. Paper clip with a small hook will remove whatever cushioning material you used. Frank

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Instead of cotton or paper, use an earplug in the impact puller.
    Good use for a used earplug.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
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    I assume you have a set of dies if you're planning to replace the boolits. You may need to "bump" the boolits "in" a couple thousands to break the seal before you try to remove them with an impact bullet puller. You may end up abusing the puller trying to get them to release.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    You may damage the bearing surface of the bullet if it has been crimped, so be aware of that. You will not damage the nose of the bullet if you use a foam earplug or other cushioning material in the kinetic puller.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I think I need to do some more trial and error because no matter what, my bullets seem to bounce back into the case mouth and distort the base. Even watching closely and then very lightly tapping when the boolit appears to be ready to drop out I still get some bounce and distortion.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well I certainly appreciate everyone's help!
    I decided that working smarter not harder is likely the best way to go about this. I have the external measurements and profile, just needed the heel portion length so this should work rather than destroy the originals.
    I'll have to bring in the real deal tomorrow. (44 Mag and Russian, 9mm in photo)

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    You X-ray'd them??? Brilliant!
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I claim dibs on the empty Isotope containers!!!
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Yes I did.
    Here are what I initially planned on reproducing.
    On the left is the original loading, the right is a newer (but vintage) commercial loading. I am wishing to reproduce the left bullet.
    And before naysayers pipe in - I have correction for distortion built into the radiography software that accounts for magnification created by divergent beams from the x-ray generator.
    I am hopeful and optimistic that this will be a good alternative to my initial posting!

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    I'm not gonna ask how you have access to that, but dangit man..... This is cool!
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  12. #12
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    I’ve used an impact puller to the point I thought it was going to break, but it never did and I’ve removed some stubborn boolits and bullets. Has anyone ever broken an impact puller? I would be interested to know.

  13. #13
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    I’ve broken two Quinetics pullers. The first broke a couple weeks after I’d bought it, and Quinetics replaced it for free.

    The second I broke after 30 years of hard use. I was salvaging .25-20 Single Shot black powder rounds, and the lead boolits were crimped in real good. Each round needed a lot of smacking on the concrete garage floor because of the heavy crimp and the light boolit.

    I think I aggravated the situation by using a steel shell holder to hold the cartridges. The aluminum chuck that came with the puller was worn by then to the point that small cartridges would slip through, no matter how tightly the plastic top was screwed down. The excess weight of the shell holder and the angular momentum from the pounding broke the rear section of the puller off ahead of the handle.

    I emailed Quinetics and explained the situation. They were willing to give me a discount on a new one if I sent them a picture of the broken one, which I did. The new one came with an improved aluminum shell holder, a little more complicated to use. I bought an extra new holder, just in case, and still use the old one for larger cartridges. I filled the remainder of the old one with lead shot and epoxy cement and use it to set and level metal stock in milling vises and lathe chucks. Waste not, want not.

    That puller owed me nothing after 30+ years of heavy use and abuse. The first one shattered at the bottom part, ahead of the handle. Maybe their plastic supplier didn’t have a sufficiently high-impact formula that time.

    You should have no trouble with that heavy .44 boolit, even with the crimp. A few taps and it should come right out.

  14. #14
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    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I broke one Quinetics puller. I used it to pull the bullets on a bunch of tracer ammo and after about 2000 rounds, it broke where the handle went into the head of the puller. I had already used it for about 30 years though and unloaded hundreds of rounds of military ammo before the tracer ammo. Military ammo has a bullet sealer to seal them from moisture and that stuff really holds onto a bullet, even after bumping the bullet a little with a seater to loosen it. I use a rubber stopper fitted to seat in the bottom of a puller to keep from deforming the nose of bullets/boolits. james

  15. #15
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    Mine’s an RCBS I bought used. It still hasn’t cracked, even though a couple of times I was sure it was going to. For cast boolits I don’t need to save, I put the boolit in a press without a die and grasp it will some pliers or vice grips if it’s really stubborn.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    Greg, I have done the same thing on cast bullets that I had to pull as I was going to melt them down for new boolits anyway. No reason to re-invent the wheel is there? james

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Well, mission complete! I sent the measurements and dimensions off this afternoon.
    I appreciate all that replied!
    Yes, I have wrecked 2 impact bullet pullers - one handle, one shattered a chunk from the impact surface.
    I sent profile - diameter - heel length and diameter (from x-ray) and the gentleman is satisfied to make the mould.
    I didn't really wish to do a destructive removal of the bullet because they don't show up every Tuesday morning.
    I took several radiographs and was able to get meaningful measurements.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Is there a crimp and lube groove, or just one grove as it looks in the X-ray?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Is there a crimp and lube groove, or just one grove as it looks in the X-ray?
    GregLaROCHE I believe that is a crimp groove on the left. It's easier to see when sharpness and contrast are adjusted. There's the ability to enlarge, adjust contrast and focus while viewing the images - unfortunately there is no way that I know of to share the variables without posting either a video or a dozen or so pictures. For whatever reason, getting a photo of the screen without artifact is also challenging for me.
    The mould maker thinks that the crimp groove is actually deeper than the lube groove. I'll need to get in touch with Bernie for crimping options.


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    Last edited by cwtebay; 01-22-2022 at 04:46 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Can’t see the lube groove. On a cartridge that old, is it possible that it was outside lubricated to begin with?
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

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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