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How to Pull Bullets: The 2 Best Methods

How to Pull Bullets The 2 Best Methods


How to Pull Bullets: The 2 Best Methods

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Some Shooters like to reload, so do many preparing for TEOTWAWKI or WROL, it’s also a skill for those like to DIY or roll their own.  Many of the types of people that visit my sight reload themselves or are interested in it.  Therefore, I am going to start publishing articles on reloading and reviews on some of the equipment I have.

That being said, I am a relative novice with reloading.  I do hold instructor credentials in this field, but I stick to published loads and am pretty conservative when it comes to reloading as I don’t like unplanned explosions….

Before we do any serious reloading I want to cover one thing very well, you are going to have waste, you’re going to have mistakes, and your going to have to be able to take ammunition apart – mostly to recover components, but also to prevent anyone from attempting to shoot your goofs.  This post will show the two main ways of how to take apart your mistakes – otherwise know as How to Pull Bullets

There are two main ways of pulling bullets from their case, and each has individual’s drawbacks and benefits so you would be wise you invest in equipment to do both.

The cheapest and simplest way to deconstruct ammunition is to use an inertial puller.

Inertial Puller

How to Pull Bullets

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This is basically a plastic hammer with a hollow head.  One end unscrews and the cartridge is placed bullet down inside a special collet and the end screws back on tightening the collet on the head of the cartridge.

When the puller is smacked briskly down on a block of wood the cartridge stops moving, but the law of inertia makes the heavier bullet to want to continue to move.  With enough raps of the hammer the bullet will eventually slide out of the cartridge case and be collected in the hammer head along with any powder that was inside the case.

The collet is made out of three small pieces of metal and a small rubber band, and some reloaders find it to be pain in the neck to use, some resourceful reloader began using shell holders instead of the collets and the trend caught on UNTIL a couple shells detonated in the puller.

ANYWAY, this should not turn you away from inertia pullers, just using them incorrectly.

This type of puller costs around $15-$20 and works best with pistol calibers with heavier bullets.  Bullets like .223 or with a heavy crimp may not come out at all, or at least without a lot of effort.  For cartridges of that type you may need a collet puller.

Collet Puller

How to Pull Bullets

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A collet puller screws into your press just like a die, and is used in much the same way.

The round is placed in the ram’s shell holder and then raised into the collet die.  The collet is then tightened around the bullet and the ram is lowered.  This separates the case from the bullet.

You get much more mechanical leverage this way.  It works on rounds that cannot be broken down with the inertial puller.  The powder also stays in the casing, unlike in the inertial puller.  This lets you recover it more easily.  If your doing a lot of deconstruction, this method is faster than the inertial puller.  You must be careful or you can tighten the collet too tightly on the round.  This leaves either “pull marks” or is may change the size or shape of the bullet.

A collet puller starts around $15.00.  Unfortunately, you will have to buy a collet for each diameter of round want to pull.  A collet costs around $10.00.

Personally I like my inertial puller the best when I am only doing one or two rounds.  It is fast and not a hassle to set up.  However, when I have a lot of rounds to dismantle, I use the collet puller.


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