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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past weekend I was shoot my little 38 SPL, a Ruger SP101 -3 1/16" when a bullet lodged. I was shooting handloads but don't know the cause. All I know is the gun gave a "pop" rather than a "boom" so I quit. A quick check showed a bullet halfway down the bore.

I attempted to remedy the situation by carving a wood peg to drive the bullet out. After several attempts, I gave up. Back home, I thought of another possible solution; I'd use a couple of 30 caliber Barnes solids to drive the jacketed bullet back down the bore. After mashing those solid bronze babies without much effect on the bullet, I was close to quitting and spending $100 to get the bullet taken out professionally. I'm a bit cheap so I wasn't quite ready to go that route.

The next thing I'm going to tell you is not a recommendation and I didn't do it without some previous experience in trying various things similarly associated. What I did was size and prime some cases. Then, taking a small Lee powder scoop suitable for throwing a moderate load of Unique, I went out to try to shoot the stuck bullet out. I loaded a primed case with a scoop of powder and, holding the gun barrel pointed up, I carefully closed the cylinder and included a part of a sheet of ordinary paper in the cylinder gap to act as a barrier to the powder until it got a burning start. The first effort was only a mild pop with no result. Perhaps I spilled a bit of the powder. A second try relieved the obstruction with no visible issues whatsoever.

Like I said, this isn't a recommendation. Certainly if there was a gunsmith within traveling distance I would have gone that route. There wasn't so this experiment was used successfully. It worked for me- it might not work as well again.
 

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My uncle does that when he has a squib. I prefer using hydraulic instead.

I fill the barrel with an oil that wont harm the finish, then use some very very tight wadded cleaning patches with a hard plastic rod. I start the patchs in the muzzle then drive the wad towards the bullet with a mallet.

9 times out of 10 the hydraulic force pushes the bullet out with ease.. other times it take a little while. Hardest part is finding something to hold the gun steady and safely.
 

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I bet I've lodged 20 bullets in the bores of handguns in the last 20 years, and my solution is simple. I have a few old Lee Loaders, complete with wrought-iron rods, and most are very close to bore diameter. Since the iron is fairly soft, I don't worry about marring the barrel, I just pound the slug back into the cylinder or out the forcing cone, after taking the cylinder off. Some are gently stuck, and come out after a few whacks, others were jammed solid, and took a LOT of pounding. But I've never hurt a barrel un clearing it.

I'd never thought about the oil/hydraulic trick, but I bet it works pretty good. Who knows, the oil might even help unstick the bullet!

Most of my stuck bullets were from undercharged or uncharged cases, now I load all my ammo single-stage, and check EVERY round before I seat a bullet.

Papajohn
 

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The oil trick works better if you use white lithium grease don't fill the barrel up just about a half inch or three fourths inch, with a tight patch of cleaning patches with a cleaning jag and ram-rod, and a small hammer cushion the firearm in a vise muzzel up, inject the grease then the tight wad of patches slide the jag attached to the rod over the wad of patches then tap the end of the rod with the hammer you will feel the bullet starting back Grease don't compress so once all the air is pressed out of the patches the hammer impacts will go directly to the bullet. Simple hydraulics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would imagine the hydraulic method helps to prevent the wedging of the bullet I must have had which had the thing so firmly lodged in that barrel. Thanks for the thoughts. I did not even know if I could get enough pressure to move the bullet by the method I tried and I sure wasn't going to go higher or even to max on my charge to get it out.
 
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