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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

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Removing A 9mm Bullet Using Pliers And A Vise


DON'T DO IT! There could be some powder between the case and bullet that may ignite if you twist it wrong.

I have this 9mm Luger round of ammunition that was found on the shooting range floor that I would like to disassemble in order to inspect it's component parts (the bullet, powder, case and primer) as part of my self-education for reloading ammunition.

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I tried using a Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-Ez Impact Bullet Puller to remove the bullet from it's case. I struck the puller per the instructions pretty hard, but it would not separate from it's case. I didn't want to break my puller so I gave up. I tried it again the following day with no luck. That bullet was stuck in that case pretty tightly. It got me to thinking that it may crimped way too tightly and it may not be a good idea for me to fire it in my gun. I am told that too much of a crimp can produce excessive pressures when the round is fired leaving me with disastrous results.

Since I couldn't get it apart with a puller, I toyed with the idea of placing the round in a bench vise grabbing it tightly by the bullet, then use a pair of pliers to carefully grab the mouth of the case and slowly rotate it to loosen. I was afraid to do so after researching everything I could find on removing a bullet from a case with pliers so I emailed my friend and asked him what he thought of "If I stay away from the primer, what are the dangers? (Wearing gloves, hat, eye protection and long sleeves)"

He replied.. "I would not rotate it in a tight fitting case. It is possible that there may be powder fragments between the bullet and the case wall when the case was powder filled. The rotation may cause enough friction to ignite the powder. This may be overly cautious but a gunpowder filled case with a crimped bullet could cause lots of damage to you!"

Smart guy!

Why take the risk? Even though it may be a small risk it is better to play it safe. I told him I would bring it back to the range and discard it there.


Feedback & Comments


Sent: July 30, 2011

So could i take the bullet apart with pliers? p.s. im only 12

Response - Tyler,


Don't mess around with live ammunition. If you try to take it apart with pliers it might go off. If you have one, take it to your father or mother.

Best regards,




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Mike Coviello is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.






Reloading Equipment
1. Equipment
The Components Of Ammunition
2. Components
Cleaning Brass Cases For Reloading
3. Brass Cases
Making Reloads On A Press
4. Know How