Bullet Recovery Media

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  • Last Post 27 June 2020
Eutectic posted this 21 June 2020

The appearance of fired cast bullets can tell you a lot about what is happening. Our indoor range has a backstop of ground tire rubber. Sometimes I can pick up bullets. If they have not hit other bullets in the backstop they are in very good shape.I was at Lowes and they had Lifetime Mulch in the gardening section, it was ground-up tires. Two kinds chunks and shredded, I bought the.Rubberific black shredded rubber mulch 0.8 cu ft $10

I poured it into a large PVC pipe, an open top trough would be more convenient but this was quick..

3 feet of will stop 38's and 45 ACP, 4 feet stops 44's at 1300 fps. The bullets are in very good shape as you can see in the picture.

 

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John Alexander posted this 21 June 2020

Excellent idea.

Any idea what length of this material would be needed to stop a rifle bullet similar to 311299?

John

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Eutectic posted this 22 June 2020

No, but I will try it when I get a chance.

Steve

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 22 June 2020

In the dead of winter we went out to the river to shoot.  The banks being 10' high kept us out of the wind.  The river was frozen solid.  Shooting at tin cans some 25 - 50 yards away I noticed that a little rift of snow had a hole in it.  The next several had grooves.  The grooves curved a little to the right and right there was the .357 mag bullet - perfect shape and encrusted with little ice crystals.  It didn't take much  snow to do that!  (Skunk river in Iowa)

 

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Bud Hyett posted this 22 June 2020

Ed Doonan and i built a bullet recovery box for the purpose of examining fired cast bullets. This was an all day build project with several previous weeks saving used motor oil to soak the sawdust.  

Two four by eight sheets of plywood cut into four strips, scrap lumber for the frame and oiled sawdust for the filler. The entry hole was foam rubber cut into a funnel shape like a fish trap. This looked like a coffin for a fat python. The box was set on saw horses and the rifle or pistol was carefully aimed to travel through the center of the box.

The one modification after using a day was to cut slits every two feet that held waxed paper so we could see where the bullet rested. We could pull the paper up until there was no hole and then would know where to dig to retrieve the bullet. 

The box worked very well. The bullets showed how they entered the rifling. The depth of engraving on one side showed if the bullet traveled askew in the barrel. With the .44 Magnum and a full load of 2400, the powder granules impressed on the base before burning. We shot a Super Black Hawk and a Marlin .44 Magnum carbine to see if the same phenomena occurred and it did. 

One example was my Marlin 1895 .45-70 where the rifling marks showed the bullet traveling markedly sideways in the bore. After this revelation, I bought a .460 sizing die to only lube the bullet as-cast (.4595+) and the accuracy improved. I had been sizing the bullet .458, the slight difference helped.

As to stopping bullets, the only bullets to go the entire length (eight feet) of the box were full patch .30-'06 National Match and full power Trapdoor loads with the 500 grain round-nose Government bullet. The .45-70 load dented the end panel, the .30-'06 load stopped against the end panel. Even the Lyman 335 grain hollowpoint bullet only penetrated six feet, the heavier bullet went the distance. Most cast bullet loads, both rifle and pistol, went three to four feet.

Country boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 22 June 2020

I second John's comment, EXCELLENT IDEA! 

It would great to see how a liquid added would effect the bullets, Even water to fill the minute spaces between the granules would seem to help. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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billwnr posted this 22 June 2020

a liquid might offer more resistance than needed

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 22 June 2020

It would depend on your wanted outcome. If it would be to see how the bullet performs the water would help. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Eutectic posted this 23 June 2020

The evenness of the rifling imprint will indicate if the cylinder alignment is correct in a revolver. Likewise chamber/bore alignment in a rifle. Excessive skidding causes leading and is immediately apparent. Base band erosion should be minimal in a good plain base load. Recovering fired bullets can tell you a lot. 

Adding water would distort the bullets more, much more resistance.  I have a set-up to hold one gallon plastic milk bottles in a row. This is excellent for evaluating expansion and penetration. The 44's are 8 BHN, they rivet in water, HP's expand nicely. It is messy and a car full of bottles only gets you a few trials.

I used to use water soaked phone books, which are almost as good as gelatin. Phone books are now hard to find in the numbers needed.  Water penetration is about 1.3 X gelatin or wet phone books, expansion almost equivalent.

I am surprised by how many of my "match grade" bullets show holes after firing. Invisible voids collapse under firing pressure. Correlation with casting conditions?? Possible article, I need more data. 

Steve   

 

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RicinYakima posted this 23 June 2020

"I am surprised by how many of my "match grade" bullets show holes after firing. Invisible voids collapse under firing pressure. Correlation with casting conditions?? Possible article, I need more data. "

Would very much like to see your work in this area.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 23 June 2020

...shooting through water ...

in solid water ( jugs ) a bullet stops in  ~5 feet ...

wonder how many rain drops a bullet hits by the time it gets to 200 yards ... at least in the light rains i have shot in, i never noticed a difference.

you might surmise water wet ( sawdust-ground rubber ) would work ok as a gentle stopper ... but might evaporate between shots and be inconsistent ... but oily rubber shreds might be way too messy ... 

very interesting, this bullet-recovery thread.

***************

we have all recovered 22 rimfire bullets ... fun thing is that they are not heeled anymore ...

ken ... not fully recovered ...

 

 

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John Alexander posted this 24 June 2020

"I am surprised by how many of my "match grade" bullets show holes after firing. Invisible voids collapse under firing pressure. Correlation with casting conditions?? Possible article, I need more data. "

==========

Your invisible voids sounds a lot like the surface voids reported in TFS by Bob Birmley several years ago.  He discovered them after tumbling and used that method to uncover them and sort them out claiming improved accuracy.

Years later I mentioned his article and he said that he had since discovered that he could eliminate the invisible near surface voids by changing his cast technique. He didn't say what the change was.  I don't believe he has published this last part of the story in TFS or here.

We should make him confess the details. This seldom heard of event deserves a TFS article.

John 

 

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45 2.1 posted this 24 June 2020

Merrill Martin showed surface voids pictured in an article he wrote about moly coating cast bullets also. Pour pressure/volume has a great deal to to with those voids.

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Eutectic posted this 27 June 2020

Up date:

Take a foot off those reported distances. Two feet will stop 38's and 44's at 900-1000 fs. The difference is I compacted the rubber shreds with broomstick as I poured them in, about 50% more material. The recovered bullets look the same. You cannot do this in a box set up, so the PVC pipe has an advantage. .

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