How To Remove A Stuck Case From A Rifle

Imagine you’re at the shooting range with your favorite 30.06 rifle. You’re having a great time nailing the targets with your buddies when the unfortunate happens: your round gets stuck in the chamber.

Now, you need to know how to remove a stuck case from a rifle. This is a dangerous situation if you don’t know what to do, but our tutorial can help.

Don’t panic! Read the following steps and recommendations carefully and learn how to safely fix this problem. Once you’ve learned how to do this, you can become an expert that helps other people when this same problem occurs. 

how to remove a stuck case from a rifle


Brownells Stuck Case Puller – The stuck case puller is the key to the whole operation. The puller comes in one size, but the collet comes in three different sizes depending on your rifle. Check the description to make sure you purchase the right one.

Padded Barrel Vise – This padded barrel vise will hold your barreled action in place while the puller removes the case.

Screwdriver & Needlenose Pliers – These tools may be needed if the bolt stop, ejector, and trigger assembly are in the way of the stuck case puller.

If you have already been doing work on your guns, you are likely to have many of these items already. The case puller is a must, but some suggest that you can get away with any workbench-mounted padded vise instead of the specialty one listed above. The benefit of using the gun-specific tool is that it is built specifically to fit firearms without damaging them.


You can follow the steps below to learn how to remove a stuck case from a rifle. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but, if done correctly, you can remove the case without damaging your gun or yourself. Make sure to do each step slowly and carefully. Neverput yourself or anyone else in line with the muzzle or breechend of the gun. If the round goes off, it’s just as likely to exit the rear as through the front. 


In rifles where the bolt can be removed from the rear, it may not be necessary to remove the entire barreled action, but it is recommended because it’s possible that using the puller could damage your stock.

Making sure to keep both ends of the barrel pointed away from you, remove the bolt by pulling on the bolt release and taking the bolt out. Then, remove the action screws with the appropriate screwdriver near your trigger guard to remove the barreled action.


Check to make sure that nothing is blocking access to the chamber by inserting the puller tool into the receiver up to the chamber. You may need to remove the bolt stop, ejector, or trigger assembly.

If you do need to remove those, use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the pivot screw holding the bolt stop. If the screw doesn’t pull out, use pliers to grab the shaft of the screw while pressing in on the spring and lift it out.

To remove the trigger assembly, remove any screws holding and pins holding it to the barreled action taking great care not to lose any springs that come out.

If possible, keep these parts on the barreled action. Removing them is more difficult and there are more parts involved, but you still want to make sure that nothing impedes the puller’s access to the chamber.  


Secure the barreled receiver to a padded mounted vise. Double check the collet matches the caliber of the stuck case. Put together the puller body, collet, draw rod, and knurled connector sleeve.

Insert the puller into the chamber until it comes into contact with the case. Use the holding pin and rotate the knurled connector to secure the puller up to the stuck case.

Attach the slide hammer to the unit. Check again to make sure the barreled action is secure in the vise, the puller is secure to the case, and the slide hammer is screwed into the puller. Everything must be secure for this to work.


Stand to the side of the barreled action. Do not stand in front of the muzzle or breech.

Grasp the slide hammer and forcefully hit the nut on top of the puller to jar the case free. Repeat until the case comes out.

Once the case has been removed, check the chamber for damage or other blockage and remove. Skipping this step could result in another stuck case or worse.


You’re almost done. Properly dispose of the case (do not attempt to reuse it), and remove the barreled action from the padded vise.

If needed, reassemble the bolt stop, ejector, and trigger assembly. Use your screwdriver to reattach the barrel to the stock and replace the bolt.

Congratulations! You now know how to remove a stuck case from a rifle.


Why did the case get stuck? – There are several reasons the case could’ve gotten stuck. The most common reasons are that you tried to fire a case that was too large or there was an object blocking the chamber. Make sure to clean out your gun regularly to avoid this problem.

What happens if the puller doesn’t work? – First, you should review the instructions here and the directions that came with your puller. Double check that everything you are using is the right size and secured. Consider calling the company that made the puller.

Worse comes to worst, the case is too stuck for you to remove on your own. In this case, you need to visit a gunsmith for expert help.

Can’t I just fire the gun again to try to shoot the case out? – Don’t ever try to fire your gun again to remove the stuck case. The case is likely weakened from the first firing, so the bullet may come out the breech end or may shatter and come out both ends. It is never safe to fire a gun with a stuck case.


We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to remove a stuck case from a rifle. Armed with this knowledge, you can safely help your friends if this problem ever happens to them.

Make sure you follow the safety steps to protect yourself and your rifle from potential harm. A stuck case is never just an inconvenience, but now you know how to help yourself and those around you.

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