Making your own ammo is just like any artistic or creative process, which means you need proper tools to be successful. When processing ammunition this means having a high quality press, scale and dies are extremely important. You’ll also want a bullet removal tool, also known as a bullet remover.
This is an important piece of equipment to have because you’ll want the absolute best bullet puller possible. Why? Well a few reasons. You may make mistakes during the ammo creation process, requiring that you take it apart and thus you’ll need a bullet puller for this. When you make a new batch, you’ll also want to be able to take apart old batches to reuse cartridges.
Thus, a bullet remover is essential in your toolkit. A few things to keep in mind when shopping for one –
- Type – The two main types of bullet extractors are inertia (aka kinetic puller) and cam-lock. The inertia/kinetic bullet removers are similar in appearance to a hammer, and relies on the friction created by the bullet and the force of pulling it out of the cartridge. It can take a few tries, so make sure you’re in well enough shape. The cam-lock option uses a large press arm to pull the bullet out, meaning less effort on your part and is great for large ammo batches or those with less physical capabilities.
- Time – This is an important factor and comes up frequently in reviews. Many of us put off reloading until we absolutely have too, meaning there’s often a lot to do. In this case the cam-lock can be the more attractive option, not because it’s necessarily quicker, but because it requires less physical effort, which can become tiresome with multiple and large loads.
- Grip – This is key to pay attention to for both types of bullet removers, but particularly the inertia/kinetic option, as you’ll be using the grip a lot to hand pull the lever. This can become tiresome and quite painful after a while if you don’t have a proper grip. It doesn’t take long for that to happen, so pay particular attention to grip. reviews.
- Durability – The bullet extractor material is also extremely important, as it will affect how long it will last you. There’s no point in paying a decent amount of money for something that will just fall apart or stop being effective after only a few months.
- Tools available – The cam-lock option will require you to use a press that works with a particular extractor, so keep that in mind when shopping. If you don’t already have one in your workshop that’s compatible, it will be an additional cost. So take a look in your toolkit before purchasing as what you already have may limit you a bit.
If you’re still a bit unsure or overwhelmed, don’t worry that’s why we’ve created this helpful guide complete with bullet puller reviews!
1. Hornady 050095 Cam Lock Bullet Puller
In our opinion, the best cam lock bullet puller is this one from Hornady. It is a great option if you prefer the cam lock design. They’ve updated the traditional design by updating the look and allowing it to be mounted directly on a reloading press. It’s a unique and interesting concept perfect for those looking for an especially safe and simple option.
The fact that it’s been designed as a direct mount means you can remove ammo and pull apart bullets with increased speed and efficiency. This is particularly useful if you’re dealing with a batch made in an erroneous way.
The entire removal process only takes a few seconds and ensures you won’t break the round in the cartridge. You can complete up to 20 cartridges in 60 seconds. This is a quick, very safe and durable option, you won’t regret this purchase!
- Odd design
- Not great for pistol cartridges
2. Lyman Magnum Inertia Bullet Remover
This kinetic bullet puller is a great value option on the market and is a great option for those that prefer the manual option model. The best part about this specific model is the handle design, which resembles a screwdriver, making it an especially comfortable option. This is very important as this design type requires a lot of physical effort on the part of the user.
While this model workers best with smaller caliber options, it’s compatible with larger ones as well, so don’t worry too much about that. It’s an extremely durable model, made of aluminum and plastic, ensuring your dollars go towards something long lasting.
The ergonomic grip is of course a huge plus, as is the damage protection guarantee. It’s the perfect choice for those working with multiple caliber size rounds.
- Ergonomic grip
- Compatible with many sizes
- Requires a lot of physical effort
3. RCBS 9440 Bullet Puller
This bullet puller is a very sturdy and high end option, for those that like nicer things in life. It’s also especially designed for jacketed bullets, with the ability to separate them from cases with minimal damage.
In addition to this puller, you’ll need a die and press set up (compatible for the caliber you’ll be working with), then place the cartridge inside the press, tighten the collet after lifting the handle and pull down. This will easily remove the bullet from the cartridge in a couple easy steps.
The major benefit in this of course is that it doesn’t require hammering like inertia pullers and makes the entire process much easier. It’s also possible to purchase additional collets to use (so you’re not limited to what comes in the kit), however important to note you can’t use lead or non-jacketed bullets with this remover.
- High quality
- Easy to use
- Not compatible with non-jacketed or lead bullets
- Not as common process to learn
4. Safety Solution Impact Bullet Remover
This amazing value bullet extractor comes with three different collets that are completely expandable. This means they’re compatible and able to remove a wide range of cartridge sizes and types.
It will ensure no material such as powder or brass is lost and thus will help immensely fix mistake batches or remove old ones. The inertia design means it will be compatible with the most common calibers, but make sure you double check before purchasing.
Made up of polycarbonate materials, you can rest assured in the puller’s durability and ability to handle the job. The 4 inch handgrip is comfortable to hold and helps get the job done, you can be reassured it won’t cause any hand pain, even after using for a while. An amazing steal at this price!
- Expandable collets
- Compatible with many cartridges
- Great price
- A bit light/flimsy
- Requires a lot of physical effort
5. American Club Bullet Puller
This inertia style reloading bullet puller is a great choice for pulling apart your cartridges and bullets as it’s probably one of the easiest options to use on the market. With just a single pull you can easily separate bullet and brass, almost always on the first try.
You’ll receive three different sized collets in the kit upon purchase, making it compatible with various types and sizes, from the smallest 22 all the way up to large sizes. This includes all types of rimmed cartridges, including on rimmed models.
Made up of strong medal and a comfortable polyurethane handle grip, you can be rest assured it will last, even with constant use. This durable and effective bullet extractor won’t disappoint and ensures minimal material spillage and waste, get yours today!
- Easy Use
- 3 Different collets
- Comfy grip
- Requires force
- Subpar instructions included
6. Bullet Puller Inertia Bullet Remover
No that’s not a typo, the brand really is called Bullet Puller. As expected the product lives up to the brand name and is known as a one of the great options for bullet pullers reloading.
This is an impact kinetic style remover, which means it will require you to give a strong whack with each use to separate the bullets and cartridges. The simple method is effective, if a bit tiring after a while, as to be expected with this type of model. It’s compatible with any size and style cartridge, making it a wonderfully effective choice.
Overall it’s simple and easy to use, good for any level of ammunition maker from novice up to experienced. The metal rod and plastic handle ensure durability, while not being too heavy, a solid choice for sure.
- Simple Use
- Compatible with most cartridges
- Lower quality materials
7. Frankford Arsenal Impact Bullet Remover
In our opinion, the best value bullet puller is this one from Frankford Arsenal. This is a great option for those who want a simple and classic bullet removal tool. Many hold the opinion that inertia/kinetic types aren’t all that different from each other, this is a cost friendly option for those that share this sentiment.
It’s a classic and minimalist design, very sturdy and dependable, and reflects the traditional hammer-like appearance. It also acts like the tool it resembles, that you hit with a strong force to dislodge the bullet quickly and easily. This may be intimidating for newer ammo makers, or those with less physical capabilities, but after a few tries you’ll be sold.
It can take a couple hits to successfully dislodge the bullet, but you’ll eventually have success and can be used with most bullets. This puller is built to last and won’t disappoint.
- Compatible with most bullets
- Lower quality material
8. Hornady Kinetic Bullet Remover
Yet another simpler option, this bullet extractor from Hornady is sure to get the job done. It’s an affordable price, but unlike some others, doesn’t sacrifice quality. Made up of metal and plastic, it will truly impress with the beating it can take numerous times in a row, over a long period of time.
This is quite important as of course, as a kinetic model requires a few whacks to remove the bullet each time. It’s also compatible with most cartridges and has an ergonomic grip that ensures your hand won’t tire even after a half an hour.
This puller is very durable and while it can take roughly three hits per bullet to remove, rarely if ever cracks or becomes damaged. One of the best value options for sure.
- Compatible with most cartridges
- Ergonomic grip
- Takes a bit of effort per bullet
How does a bullet puller work?
In our experience, using a bullet puller is actually a lot simpler than it may initially sound to beginners. You begin by forming the collets, which holds on to the shell when the bullets are removed. Follow included instructions to put collet pieces together, forming a ring, then place it on the cartridge base. Once that’s done you’ll place the cartridge into the bullet puller and secure the cap.
Then comes the fun part, give the puller a few whacks (one to three is usually sufficient) to free the bullet. Repeat.
Is it safe to use a bullet remover?
In our experience, yes, it is generally safe to remove bullets from their casing and something that will need to be done when making your own ammo. Just ensure you read and follow specific instructions included in the kit you purchase and if you’re a beginner, go with one of the options labeled extra safe.
Are old bullets safe?
In our opinion, any bullet that isn’t corroded or damaged should work fine. Signs of faulty or unstable ammo are; split cases, rust and corrosion. If you see any of these signs, dispose of the bullets immediately.