If you reload ammunition, you are going to need a bullet puller at some point. Considering the reusability of brass cases and the cost of individual components, it does not take very many damaged rounds to make a bullet puller a cost-effective tool. Whether you set the powder measure wrong and need to redo the last hour of reloading, or simply seated the bullet too far on just a few rounds, you will find that having the best bullet puller is an essential piece of equipment for any reloader. Bullet pullers are very simple and effective tools, but there are different types of pullers that have their own advantages and disadvantages. Once you decide what style you need, check out the reviews to find the best bullet puller in 2021.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- Inertia: RCBS Pow’r Pull
- Best Collet: Hornady Cam-Lock
- Budget: Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Impact Bullet Puller
- Ergonomic: Lyman Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller
- Simple Collet-Style: Grip-N-Pull Bullet Puller
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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The Best Types of Bullet Pullers
Inertia Bullet Pullers
These bullet pullers work by using the inertia and weight of the bullet to remove it from the case. To start, the cartridge is held in place at the back of the puller by an adjustable collar. Sometimes this is an individual piece that is adjusted to fit, or some pullers include a set of different sized collars. Then, you need a hard surface to whack the puller against. After a few swings, the weight and momentum of the bullet allow it to break free of the cartridge and fall out into the tube. Inertia bullet pullers are an excellent option for a one size fits all approach. They are designed to work with a range of different calibers, although it may be difficult to use with small lightweight bullets, or with very large calibers.
Additionally, these pullers allow you to reuse all of the components, but some sorting is required. When the bullet falls out, all of the powder is dumped out with it. Simply pick out the bullet, and then the powder can be collected and reused. One last consideration with inertia bullet pullers is that you must be careful to not damage the bullet. The momentum of the bullet can sometimes leave marks on the tip as it falls out and hits the plastic container. This is more likely to happen if the bullet is pointed, or has a soft point. To help prevent this, it is recommended to put something soft like a cotton ball or foam earplug in the bottom of the puller; however, it is not usually a concern with rounded bullets.
Collet Bullet Pullers
These bullet pullers require a reloading press, and caliber specific collets to work. While an inertia puller uses momentum to remove the bullet, the collet pullers actually grab onto the bullet and pull it free. Using your press, lower the collet over the round and tighten. Then raise the collet and the bullet is pulled loose.
Collet bullet pullers work great for breaking down large quantities of ammunition because they are much more efficient at removing the bullet and they can work with single stage presses, turret presses, and progressive presses. Additionally, all of the powder stays within the case which makes it easy to save. As with inertia pullers, you can damage the bullet using a collet style puller. Because you are actually grasping the bullet itself, there is the possibility of leaving marks behind. For this reason, collet pullers are not very effective for pulling soft lead bullets.
What Type of Bullet Puller Should You Buy
The best bullet puller for you really depends on the quantities and calibers that you need to disassemble. Most people recommend using a collet puller if you have around ten or more cases to pull down. You could of course still use an inertia puller, but at some point, the efficiency and time savings of a collet puller will be appreciated. One important thing to remember about a collet puller is that it requires caliber specific collets. So if you reload a wide range of calibers, buying all of the correct sizes can add up. In this case, you should consider buying a general purpose inertia puller to keep for those oddball calibers.
If you do not do a lot of high volume reloading, an inertia bullet puller may be the best choice for you. It does the job just as well as a collet puller, but it might take you a little bit of extra time per round. The great thing about inertia bullet pullers is that they are adjustable, so they fit just about any cartridge. If you only need to break down a few rounds or need to have something readily available ‘just in case,’ then the inertia bullet puller is a great option.
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The Best Bullet Pullers on the Market in 2021
Best Inertia Bullet Puller:
When it comes to inertia bullet pullers, any of the top brands will get the job done. RCBS makes great reloading gear, and this bullet puller is no exception. With three adjustable metal collets, you can quickly and easily remove just about any sized bullet. What really makes this bullet puller standout from the others is its innovative soft cushion insert. With this, you do not need to worry about the bullet getting damaged when it is separated from the casing. Additionally, because this is an inertia puller, it works excellent on cast bullets. If you need a high-quality bullet puller that is easy to use and works with a wide variety of cartridges, I would recommend you check out the RCBS Pow’r Pull. RCBS shows up quite a bit on our lists, one of our favorite products from them is their universal hand priming tool.
- Metal collets
- Soft insert to catch the bullet
- Plastic handle and shaft
Best Collet Bullet Puller:
Hornady makes some great reloading gear and this bullet puller is no exception. It is a collet bullet puller so it must be used with a reloading press. What makes this puller better than other options is its ease of operation. It has a lever arm on it that is used to lock the collet on the bullet. Once in the press, the cartridge is raised into place, flip the lever and the puller is clamped onto the bullet. Then the cartridge is lowered, effectively removing the bullet. Remember, this style of puller requires caliber specific collets so make sure to pick up a few. If you need to disassemble a decent quantity of ammunition, this is the most recommended bullet puller.
- Pulls bullets quickly
- Easy to use with your press
- Difficult to use with cast bullets
Best Budget Bullet Puller:
If you are looking for a budget option that still gets the job done, I suggest you check out the Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Impact bullet puller. This puller comes with three different sized collets that are held together with a rubber ring. Match the size of the collet to your cartridge and with a few whacks, your bullet will come free. There is nothing to cushion the bullet as it comes out so you may want to place something soft in the bottom of the puller if you will be using soft point bullets. Overall, this is a great choice if you are looking for a budget bullet puller. It will get the job done exactly the same as any other impact puller, and at a cheaper price too. This is an invaluable tool just in case last minute you realized that you should have used a case trimmer on your cases after producing the bullet.
- Metal collets and shaft
- One of the cheapest bullet pullers available
- Nothing to cushion the bullets as they are removed
Most Ergonomic Bullet Puller:
This Lyman is a well-designed inertia bullet puller. The functionality is essentially the same as any other inertia bullet puller, but it has a few features that make it stand out. First, it has a metal shaft which is important considering you are going to be swinging this at a hard surface. Next, it has a very nice rubber over-molded handle. While you are probably not going to be pulling bullets outside in the rain, there is something to be said for a tool that just fits your hand. Finally, this only has two adjustable collets, but can still break down the small bullets all the way up to magnum cartridges. This is a nice feature because it allows you to disassemble a wider range of calibers without swapping out the ends. The one downside to this bullet puller is the collets are plastic. If it came with metal ones, it would be a top contender for the best overall bullet puller.
- Ergonomic handle and metal shaft
- Only two separate collets
- Plastic collets
- Nothing to cushion the bullets as they are removed
Simple Collet-Style Bullet Puller:
This is a unique collet-style bullet puller. You still place the cartridge into a shell holder in a reloading press. However, instead of purchasing separate collets for every caliber, this is a handheld puller that has slots for different sized bullets. You grab the bullet with the correct slot, and as you lower the case, the bullet is pulled free. The Grip-N-Pull has the advantages of being quick, leaving all of the powder in the case, and works on a variety of cartridges. It is not as universal as an inertia puller, but this model will pull standard rifle calibers from 17 up to 30. They also have other three other models available: (Large Rifle), (Pistol), and (Mil-Spec). If the calibers you use to fit within one of these categories, then this bullet puller would be a great option.
- Does not need a separate collet for every caliber
- Leaves the powder in the case after pulling the bullet
- Made in the United States
- Made from quarter inch stainless steel
- You must manually grip the bullet to remove it
- May leave marks on the bullet
Best Bullet Pullers Final Thoughts
A bullet puller is an essential piece of gear to have for any reloader. If you are planning on breaking down large quantities of ammunition, I would highly recommend you look at the Hornady Cam-Lock bullet puller. This will be a much quicker option than whacking an inertia puller several times for each round. However, if you are looking for a bullet puller just to keep on hand to fix those occasional mistakes, the RCBS Pow’r Pull inertia puller is probably the best choice. In the end, use these reviews to choose the tool that best fits your needs and style of reloading. Never let a ruined bullet go to waste, pick out your bullet puller and start reclaiming those components.
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Mark is dedicated to improving his skills and prides himself in putting in the time and effort to be successful in the field. During the fall and winter he is focused on waterfowl hunting and will hunt every chance he has. He has a simplistic hunting style, often using only a handful of duck decoys over an ultra-low profile blind. When waterfowl season closes, you can find him fishing, camping, or at the shooting range preparing for 3 gun and IPSC competitions. Mark is passionate about hunting and the outdoors, and loves helping others get involved.