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MJinPA

Bullet detonated while pulling

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I never thought of this as a possibility and chalking it up to a freak accident but had a .40 explode while pulling some bullets today. This was in the pull pile because the primer went in off center and was smashed. 86a2bf95dfd099a374572acc16542507.jpg30b76626eacea8bd978e3e0a94e012ff.jpg643733b3d0f448e3a54592d44243bdbe.jpg47328c2393071aa23ba9d45623960428.jpgcfacf39f35233d3c35d6fa756756fa2f.jpg488061d31d8ccd6e405d55591ae22f5b.jpg

 

After the 3rd impact the explosion happened. The puller blew apart. The brass went through the drywall part of the ceiling. The collet made the marks in the drop ceiling. The bullet and primer were on the carpet area of my basement (about 3 feet from the concrete used for puller impact).

 

Still trying to make sense of it and posting this mostly as a PSA. I’m convinced that it had to do with the damaged primer but also certain that nothing could have impacted the primer while pulling.

 

 

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Get a collet puller.  They are much safer and quicker to  use.  

Won’t pull again without one. Only some minor facial burns from powder and ringing ears. Based on the hole in my ceiling, it could have been a lot worse.


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Thanks for the PSA, today I was literally looking at one of those hammers while killing time at Bass Pro while I was waiting for my wife's flight to come in. Looks like I'll be investing in a collet puller. 

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10 hours ago, MJinPA said:


Won’t pull again without one. Only some minor facial burns from powder and ringing ears. Based on the hole in my ceiling, it could have been a lot worse.


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10 hours ago, Archangelgt said:

Thanks for the PSA, today I was literally looking at one of those hammers while killing time at Bass Pro while I was waiting for my wife's flight to come in. Looks like I'll be investing in a collet puller. 

This is an extremely rare occurrence. I have a collet puller and it doesn’t work well at all with coated bullets etc. I feel perfectly safe using a hammer puller.

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This is an extremely rare occurrence. I have a collet puller and it doesn’t work well at all with coated bullets etc. I feel perfectly safe using a hammer puller.

Agreed. I’ve never heard of it happening and never even considered the possibility. But it did so I won’t. I typically only pull bad bullets once a year and it’s normally less than 50 or so. If a collet puller doesn’t work well I won’t lose sleep over trashing them.


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Bet that got your attention!

Very low odds situation, but we see it can happen.  Crushed primer may have been at the edge of detonation when originally seated.

Glad you are alright.  

 

Makes me rethink impact puller use with badly mangled primers. 

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Hate it happened but glad you are alright. I notice you didn't mention the condition of your drawers, my condolences. 

 

I had purchased an impact puller a long time ago and think I used it once. Now have a collet in a Lee single stage and it works great. Only used occasionally and I only use jacketed bullets. 

 

Post might save someone from an issue though. Thanks. 

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I've used my collet puller to pull hundreds of coated and jacketed bullets with no problem.... Hundreds because I loaded up a bunch of 9s, about 300, with the wrong load and decided to pull them all.  I wanted to keep the brass.  I was also able to reuse the bullets. 

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Hate it happened but glad you are alright. I notice you didn't mention the condition of your drawers, my condolences. 
 
I had purchased an impact puller a long time ago and think I used it once. Now have a collet in a Lee single stage and it works great. Only used occasionally and I only use jacketed bullets. 
 
Post might save someone from an issue though. Thanks. 

Surprisingly the drawers are fine. 99% of the ones I need to pull have inverted primers which I think there’s a 0% chance of it happening with them. But since I need to buy a new puller it will be a collet.


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Wow.  Did you at least have safety glasses on?

 

Admittedly I don't when I pull rounds, have to make a note to wear them.

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Wow.  Did you at least have safety glasses on?
 
Admittedly I don't when I pull rounds, have to make a note to wear them.

Nope! Was extremely lucky. This could have been really bad. Many lessons learned.


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I just throw the "bad cartridges" away - not worth the effort when brass is so cheap for 9mm.

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This was causd by the damagd primer.  Primer are sensitive and once damaged like that they can be super sensitive and can be set off very easy.  Never would have known but I had a primer go in a case off center/sideways while reloading. I felt it go in bad so I took the case out of the priming station and was going to pick the primer out with a small pick I have on the bench. I went to pick out the messed up primer and it went off. Suprised the heck out of me and I was fortunate that I had my saftey gear on.  

 

So in this case you damaged the primer and the shock of the hammer puller made it go off. Nothing wrong with the hammer puller for regular rounds with undamaged primers.

Edited by Intel6

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This was causd by the damagd primer.  Primer are sensitive and once damaged like that they can be super sensitive and can be set off very easy.  Never would have known but I had a primer go in a case off center/sideways while reloading. I felt it go in bad so I took the case out of the priming station and was going to pick the primer out with a small pick I have on the bench. I went to pick out the messed up primer and it went off. Suprised the heck out of me and I was fortunate that I had my saftey gear on.  
 
So in this case you damaged the primer and the shock of the hammer puller made it go off. Nothing wrong with the hammer puller for regular rounds with undamaged primers.

I always worked under the assumption that you needed a direct impact on the primer and never considered that they can be unstable once damaged.


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I had to learn a lesson the hard way and I won't post the pic.  A 40 IPSC major round going off thankfully in my left thumb and finger (right handed) messing with a primer that was almost in..... The case turned into a flechette and the coated round flattened against my thumb and I can see my thumbprint where it's flat -it's sitting on my desk.

 

Looking back it was idiotic and stupid but lesson learned with only a scar on my forefinger.

 

Oddly the bullet simply dropped on the floor, the case is where the explosion takes place.

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4 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

I just throw the "bad cartridges" away - not worth the effort when brass is so cheap for 9mm.

I would do this but if the garbage truck compresses it theres a greater chance of it going off than it had in the hammer.

 

I have a collet but it seems to always destroy my jacketed rifle bullets. I dont mind as much on the pistol stuff I can still load and put in the practice pile. So I just use the hammer. But I will add safety glasses after reading this.

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53 minutes ago, m700 said:

I would do this but if the garbage truck compresses it theres a greater chance of it going off than it had in the hammer.

 

I have a collet but it seems to always destroy my jacketed rifle bullets. I dont mind as much on the pistol stuff I can still load and put in the practice pile. So I just use the hammer. But I will add safety glasses after reading this.

Now we are really getting paranoid. There are videos out there of tanks etc running over ammo to debunk this theory

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So its ok to throw live ammo in the trash?(not being argumentative really want to know)

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5 hours ago, m700 said:

So its ok to throw live ammo in the trash?(not being argumentative really want to know)

  I don’t because I typically use a  hammer puller to separate it.😎

  

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22 hours ago, MJinPA said:


I always worked under the assumption that you needed a direct impact on the primer and never considered that they can be unstable once damaged.


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So did I and that was why I was really surprised when it went off. I had picked out sideways primers that had not been shoved in all the way before without any issues but this one was more mangled than normal. Been reloading for 30+ years and that was a new one on me.

Edited by Intel6

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45 minutes ago, Intel6 said:

 

So did I and that was why I was really surprised when it went off. I had picked out sideways primers that had not been shoved in all the way before without any issues but this one was more mangled than normal. Been reloading for 30+ years and that was a new one on me.

Could it have been static discharge that set it off? If you barely touched it that seems just as likely a cause as anything. If flash hole was exposed static may have set off powder instead of primer if the round was loaded.

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