While reloading some cartridges, I was on the last step of crimping the bullet into the brass case, and made and mistake and the brass was compressed wrong.

The other reason for removing a bullet is if one missed a step and didn't put the powder in first. If a cartridge without powder is put into a gun and fired the primer will give it just enough power to lodge the bullet into the barrel causing a dangerous blockage.

Whether or not it is possible to reuse the components, how would I remove the bullet from the cartridge?

  • 2
    The kinetic bullet puller is the right tool as TopShot shows in his answer. Another interesting question: What do you do with the primed brass? If you truly can't resize the brass, DON'T TRY TO PULL A LIVE PRIMER. That is a good way to get hurt. Just put it in your gun, detonate the primer like a blank, and then punch the inert primer out. Not a question that was asked, but an often problematic safety issue if you try to use the primer punch on a live primer :)
    – David
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 2:57

2 Answers 2


If you can't break it free with pliers where you've added some kind of protection against the teeth (rags, etc) gouging the bullet, you are left with either a collet puller (top) that goes in your press or hammer style puller (bottom).

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  • I've never done this process but as an engineer I can see things going bad without necessary attention. Please don't shoot yourself.
    – Desorder
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 22:39
  • 2
    @Desorder -- Cartridge rounds don't work that way. The charge is on the opposite end of the cartridge from the bullet far from the force being applied. You'd have to either (a) mount your cartridge on a firing pin (or equivalent) before trying remove the bullet or (b) violate the laws of physics. You simply could not "accidentally" discharge a cartridge this way. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 23:40
  • Yeah. I know you need one needs to hit the other end to set the bullet off. It's just one of those things I never trust.
    – Desorder
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 1:24

topshot has a good answer on how to separate the slug from the brass. Brass is designed to be reused, which is why reloading exists. Bullets/slugs are designed to be used once. Reusing the brass as long as it still meets expectations is fine.

If you reuse a bullet where the brass was damaged enough to make it unusable, you will be betting your life and others that the bullet was not damaged similarly.

If the bullet you are attempting to save is worth a few cents or tens of dollars, it is import that it work as designed. I searched and could not find anyone suggesting that reusing a bullet was a good idea.

Save a life, don't reuse any parts from a reload failure.


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