June 10th, 2015

How to Use Press-Mounted Bullet-Pulling Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

In our Shooters’ Forum, a member recently noted that he needed to pull down (disassemble) some ammunition that was loaded incorrectly by one of his shooting buddies. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
April 4th, 2013

Reloading TIP: Use Shell Holder with Impact Puller

Here’s a clever tip from Theodor Pettersen, one of our readers from Norway. Theodor writes: “I am an Norwegian shooter and reloader with 40 years of experience and practice. I would like to pass on a tip on how to improve the kinetic bullet puller (also known as an ‘impact puller’). Most of them use a 3-section collet which has three jaws held together with a rubber ring. It is very time-consuming when they pull apart, and have to be put together.

The three-piece collet can be exchanged with a shell holder that fits the cartridge from which you need to remove a bullet. The shell holder fits right into my RCBS bullet puller, and is much easier to use. I think it also will fit other makes of impact pullers.”

Thanks for the tip Theodore. We’ve tried it with a MidwayUSA-brand impact bullet puller and it works. We agree that the collets can be awkward to use, as the jaws can flip over when you’re installing the rubber retaining ring. Still, this editor normally prefers to use the collet, because it seems to be faster than a shellholder — so long as the rubber ring stays in place. The shellholder method is a good alternative though — if you’ve lost your collets or don’t have one that fits your brass.

Quick TIP: For ballistic tip bullets or bullets with tightly-pointed meplats, try putting a small wad of paper (or closed-cell foam) in the bottom of the impact puller chamber. This will cushion the bullet tip, preventing damage when the bullet drops out of the case.

Kinetic Bullet Puller in Operation
Never used a kinetic bullet puller before? Here’s a video that shows you the proper technique. The best surface for the impact is something like a linoleum floor — very firm but not so hard that the plastic head cracks on impact. Note: In this video demo, there is no powder in the cartridge. If you are pulling bullets, powder will come out and you’ll want to have a pan to pour that into, as you recover the bullet.

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Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »