The Best Bullet Puller to Salvage Your Reloads

If you reload for any amount of time you’ll inevitably make a mistake. Maybe you accidentally seat the bullet a little to far or you’d like to double check a charge. You will eventually need a tool to remove the lead bullet. That’s where a bullet puller will come in and save the day. You’ll be able to salvage your reloading components and maintain a quality batch of ammo. Luckily bullet pullers aren’t expensive so save yourself some time and buy one today.



Which is The Best Bullet Puller?

1. Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller

Hornady’s Cam-Lock bullet puller is by far the best on the market. Hornady makes some of the best reloading equipment in the industry and nobody comes close to the Cam-Lock Bullet puller. When other companies were busy making the same old inertia puller Hornady decided to do something different. Hornady sped up the bullet pulling process by designing a bullet puller that mounts directly into your reloading press. With the Cam-Lock puller you can quickly go through a large batch of ammo faster than you loaded it.

Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet puller is currently the only option that mounts directly to your reloading press. With the Hornady puller you won’t have to use the hammer style pullers ever again. Hornady’s cam lock puller quickly pulls out lead in a matter of seconds. Bullets that were to far lodged to break free with the inertia puller come out with ease. I initially bought the Hornady Puller after accidentally loading a batch of 500 bullets that wouldn’t cycle properly in my AR15. After unloading the first 20 bullets with an inertia puller I decided to give the Cam-Lock a try. I was able to unload the remaining bullets in under 2 hours while salvaging all my reloading components. After that I was sold and decided to setup a dedicated cheap single stage press with a bullet puller.

The Cam-Lock sets itself apart because it leverages the strength in your press to dislodge the bullet. Your reloading press does all of the work for you. You can quickly unload a large amount of ammo without damaging any of your components. You’ll be able to salvage all of your components to reload a fresh batch of bullets. Hornady sells different collets to work on all of your different caliber bullets. You’ll be able to unload any rifle caliber and most pistol calibers if there’s some lead sticking out. Why don’t you save yourself some time and buy the Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet puller today.



2. Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Impact Bullet Puller

Honestly when you’ve tried one bullet puller you’ve tried them all. Using an age old design it’s hard for companies to distinguish themselves from the competition. The Frankford arsenal inertia bullet puller uses a sturdy design and doesn’t cost a fortune. Frankford Arsenal designed this product to be affordable and easy to use.

The main reason the Frankford Arsenal bullet puller is my top choice is the price. An inertia bullet puller is basically just a hammer so how different can they really be. As long as the product works well and doesn’t break your all set. If you’ve never used an inertia bullet puller you’ll be surprised at how easy they are to figure out. All you need to do is attach the bullet and smack the hammer end into a hard surface. The bullet and powder should dispense into the inside of the hammer. It might take a few whacks to actually get the bullet out.

The Frankford Arsenal puller will work with just about any type of bullet. This tool can be used on everything from match grade 22 bullets to the very large .45-70. Frankford Arsenal designed this unit for easy operation and versatility. It comes with everything you need to unload any caliber bullet. Just switch between the 3 collets to match the caliber your unloading. If your able to swing a hammer you’ll be able to use the Frankford Arsenal Bullet Puller.



3. Lyman Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller

The Lyman Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller is another great option. You really can’t go wrong with the purchase of a Lyman product. Lyman is known for making very durable reloading equipment. This hammer is priced very similarly to the Frankford Arsenal listed above but comes with additional ergonomics.

The Lyman bullet puller uses the same basic design and inertia driven technology as the Frankford Arsenal and RCBS but includes a superior design. Lyman chose to include a cushioned handle that reduces the recoil felt in your wrist. Having a cushioned handle really isn’t necessary, but for the slight difference in price it might be worth it. This is a one size fits all bullet puller and works on most caliber sizes. If you want the most ergonomic bullet puller on the market buy the Lyman Magnum Inertial puller.



4. RCBS Pow’r Pull Kit

The RCBS Bullet puller is one of the best on the market. In the reloading world RCBS products are synonymous with quality. They make some of the most durable reloading products in the industry. And the RCBS bullet puller is no exception. The heavy duty design will allow you to use this hammer for the rest of your life. You won’t have to worry about long warranty repairs, because you shouldn’t have to send it back. It is the most expensive bullet puller on my list but RCBS has a proven track record when it comes to quality. RCBS has been building reloading equipment for over 60 years and has a long history of quality products. People have been using this exact bullet puller since the 70’s and I’m willing to bet theirs more of these left around than the people using them. The RCBS Pow’r pull is a well designed bullet puller that will quickly release even the most stubborn bullets. Priced at close to 20$ you won’t second guess your decision to make this purchase. For the slight increase in price the RCBS Pow’r Pull kit is well worth your consideration.



Which Bullet Puller is Best?

It doesn’t matter what your reasoning is a bullet puller is a necessary reloading component. They are relatively inexpensive and will inevitably pay for them selves in salvageable material. There are two basic types of bullet pullers for you to choose from.

  1. Inertia bullet pullers are the most basic type of bullet puller on the market and they’re also the cheapest. Inertia bullet pullers look like hammers and are essentially used like one. Inertia bullet pullers clamp the bullet into one end of the hammer and use the force of impact to drive the bullet out of the piece of brass. You have to hit it against a very solid surface(like a brick) to dislodge the bullet. Most of the times it takes a couple of swings to get a bullet out depending on how far it is seated. I would definitely not recommend this method if you are trying to unload a large supply of bullets.
  2. The second type of bullet puller is the Cam-Lock style bullet puller. This type of bullet puller is only sold by Hornady. The Bullet puller screws into your reloading press and pulls the bullet out with the operation of the press’ arm. If you need to unload a lot of bullets this is definitely the type of bullet puller to purchase.

Choosing Between Different Bullet Puller Types

Choosing which bullet puller is the best isn’t a simple question to answer. Both styles of bullet pullers have their own merits and time to use them. I own one of each type and pick one depending on the task at hand. If I only need to unload one bullet I’m better off using the Inertia driven one. It is much quicker to run your bullet through the hammer than to take your dies out of your press and unload one bullet. The Hornady Cam-Lock is great for batch unloading but takes some time to set up.

Bullet Pulling Suggestions

In the reloading hobby it is inevitable to eventually load a batch of bad rounds. Hopefully you catch your mistake before wasting a lot of time or putting yourself in a bad situation. For these types of situations you need a bullet puller. I’ve already explained to you above how a bullet puller works, now I’m going to give you some suggestions on how to use one.

Even though some of the bullet pullers advertise that they can unload rimfire ammo I would generally not recommend trying it. Due to the generally low cost of most rimfire ammunition I would recommend against trying to use it in a bullet puller. Using a bullet puller isn’t a gentle process, so the risk of accidentally crushing the base of the rim is very high. At best this situation will be a waste of time at worst it could cause a detonation. Also the actual 22lr cases are typically very soft and will most often damage the case beyond repair. If done carefully most of the time you won’t have any issues, but I would highly recommend against it.

Another very common suggestion that you frequently read on forums is that you can use your case holder instead of the collets provided with the bullet puller. This is another suggestion that plenty of reloaders do without any repercussions but it can also result in a negligent detonation. This suggestion makes sense since it is much easier to just place your bullet into the correct case holder, but there are situations that could cause the bullet to go off. In order to use a bullet puller you need to smack it against a hard surface. If the bullet jams up against the case holder the wrong way or their is an improperly seated primer you risk a bullet going off. The first rule of reloading is to practice proper safety methods and the slight increase in speed doesn’t justify the risk.

Since most bullet pullers rely on smacking a hard surface that doesn’t bounce it’s important to have a solid surface. Most people recommend a solid chunk of wood, brick or any other very hard surface to use. I personally like to use a hockey puck since It is hard small and can easily be stored in my reloading bench. You need to remember that not all bullets are the same while going through your bullet puller. Bullets that have are uncrimped and not properly seated will be much easier to extract than a crimped deep seated round. As long as you have a hard surface and practice good safety measures it doesn’t matter what bullet puller you choose.

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