Removing stuck bullets from revolver barrel - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 04-09-2017, 05:52   #1
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Removing stuck bullets from revolver barrel

A good friend brought me a Ruger Speed Six Revolver yesterday with bullets stuck in barrel. It belonged to another friend of his and he had owned it over 30 years and someone gave him some ammo and apparently one had a squib load or a polluted primer and there was a bullet stuck about 1/2" below muzzle and the last one was flush with back of barrel.
My friend had tried to get them out with brass rod that did not work so he called me and I thought about it while he was inbound and came up with another idea.
I took a piece of round stock, chucked it up in lathe and turned it down about 2 1/2 inches long to where it could be inserted into the muzzle. I left a little shoulder on it so it would stop when the shoulder contacted the muzzle. The idea was to make a drill guide that would keep the drill center of the bore as I drilled a hole in the bullets.
I cut it off leaving enough for the shoulder, faced it and inserted it in 3 jaw chuck and drilled a pilot hole and eventually drilled a hole with a # 7 drill all the way through it.
I placed the drill guide in the muzzle and the #7 drill in a battery powered drill and drilled through the first bullet.
Next I tapped the hole 1/4X20 tpi and put Ed's Red in bore.
Next I inserted 1 1/2" long 1/4X20 socket head screw into the hole and the head of the socket head in a vise and started pulling on it and it finally let go with a pop and came out.
Drilled the next bullet down and repeated the above and it came out.
Drilled the third bullet down and it was much tighter so we clamped barrel in vise padded with a thick piece of leather and tapped on the front of the revolver frame under the barrel with a plastic hammer and it came out.
By this time my #7 drill quit had reached the limit of its travel and the 1/4X20 Tap had as well.
I took the guide back to the lathe and opened the No 7 hole to 1/4" with a long drill I had just purchased at the flea market that morning with a broke off nose. I reground the point and it worked like a champ. That was a good stop, this lady was selling off stuff and she let me have six drill bits, (two extra long ones) and two Craftsman steel drill gages for $5.00. One of my better flea market finds.
Went back, clamped the barrel in the padded vise jaws and inserted guide in barrel and drilled through till the drill came out the cylinder end of the barrel. Then inserted a brass rod in barrel and tapped out the last THREE bullets. They were all jacketed HPs and all came out with jackets.
Finally I ran a patch down the barrel and it was perfect as it was protected by the drill guide I had turned for the job.
My buddy took all six bullets with him and the guide to show his friend what he had and how we did it.
If I had owned a extra long 1/4X20 tap and a extra long #7 drill bit and a piece of 1/4X20 all thread or screw five inches long I would have opted for that but fortunately the drill guide saved the day and his barrel. I have never seen a long 1/4X20 tap so I assume that is not to be.
I had seen revolvers with stuck bullets all my life but it was first one I was ever asked for help with.
In looking at the wall thickness of the drill guide with the 1/4" hole drilled through it that did not leave much wall thickness and I would not have wanted to open it further.
Total time to make guide and remove all six bullets was 90 minutes.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:41   #2
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Excellent work Hummer70. I would have just heated the barrel up until the bullet melted out or have used brute force. You used ingenuity and craftsmanship to solve a problem without damaging an expensive pistol. The question remains, how do you get three (was it three) bullets stuck in the bore without blowing yourself up?
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:35   #3
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A wooden down rod and hammer may have worked too.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:03   #4
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problem solved in grand fashion.
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Old 04-09-2017, 17:34   #5
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In more research today I learned there is a long 1/4X20 tap available and a long #7 drill (both 6") Also 1/4X20 all thread rod. I sent info to my buddy, told him to order all three and lay them in at his shop. I will make him a bore riding drill guide for the #7 drill and put a nut on the rod and install a sliding weight to pull any out in the future he may get in.
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Old 04-09-2017, 19:48   #6
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Three bullets in the barrel, scary stuff!
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Old 04-12-2017, 00:30   #7
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exceptionally good thinking, but i'd be awfully tempted to rebarrel it....just in case.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:50   #8
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Must have been some very light loads or the barrel could easily have been bulged behind the first slug. I think I'd try slugging that barrel for size to make sure there are no opened spots where gas could blow by any bulge present.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:46   #9
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Originally Posted by nickndfl View Post
A wooden down rod and hammer may have worked too.
Possibly with one stuck bullet in the barrel but....the barrel was filled with SIX stuck bullets...no wooden dowel rod is going to drive out 6 stuck bullets.
Drilling them out is probably the best way !
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