Recovering fired rifle bullets


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blarby
December 8, 2012, 01:03 PM
A quandary.......


What do you think would present the best option for recovering fired rifle bullets as intact as possible at the 100 yard mark ?

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Certaindeaf
December 8, 2012, 01:13 PM
A big huge snowbank. go back in the spring with a metal detector

blarby
December 8, 2012, 01:15 PM
Thats not gonna work. We dont get enough snow here.

rcmodel
December 8, 2012, 01:22 PM
I have heard of oiled sawdust being used.

But it would take a heck of a lot of it.

Then too, it would probably catch on fire from spontaneous combustion and burn your house down.

rc

blarby
December 8, 2012, 01:34 PM
Then too, it would probably catch on fire from spontaneous combustion and burn your house down.

That would be my luck !

jcwit
December 8, 2012, 01:42 PM
I have seen on the net of folks making a tray that holds a bunch of zip lock bags with water in them and shooting into it. IIRC it worked for them buy I have no idea what kept the bullet from wondering off and out the side of the box/tray. I believe the tray held 15/20 bags.

longdayjake
December 8, 2012, 01:57 PM
Go to the college art class near you and ask if you can buy their waste clay. You can get quite a bit of it for pretty cheap. Maybe even free. Granted, it will take quite a bit to stop a rifle bullet but at 100 yards it won't be too crazy.

JohnM
December 8, 2012, 02:16 PM
I staple my targets to big blocks of cottonwood.
After they've been rotated a few times and the bullets are beginning to make it through the block I haul that one over to the wood splitter and break it up.
But, I'm not trying to keep the bullets intact, just to save the lead.
I get probably 95% back that way and it's easier for me than digging them out of the dirt.

blarby
December 8, 2012, 02:22 PM
But, I'm not trying to keep the bullets intact

As intact as possible for examination, being the goal !

Thanks for helping to point that out !

I know that a particle de-celerator would be the ultimate goal here, but acknowledge its not very feasible. Just looking to get the best ideas I can get, try a few, and run from there.

Keep the awesome ideas comin- thanks fellas !

popper
December 8, 2012, 02:52 PM
Search for bullet trap ideas on cast boolits. Several ideas on what to do and what NOT to do.

45lcshooter
December 8, 2012, 03:50 PM
Ive head of potting soil and sand. Probably best way to do it would have a roof over your backstop so the sand doesnt become concrete, and potting soild is easy sift through a screen as well as sand.

Rollis R. Karvellis
December 8, 2012, 04:36 PM
One large box. Fill this box with rubber tire mulch. I, use this method to recover my hand gun bullets. The last time I, was at the range I, fired both my .223, and .308 into it just out of curiosity. This was at 25 yards with no exit.

I, did not have time to separate the bullets from the mulch. So I, can't say what the condition of the bullets are in.

At 100 yards you should be able to stop a good number of the common rounds as long as you fluff it after a few rounds to prevent tunneling.

briang7511
December 8, 2012, 05:09 PM
i have been able to recover bullets using gallon milk jugs filled with water. for a .308 we set up a 3 x 8 configuration of jugs on a flat surface we use a piece of plywood. 3 wide and 8 deep. make sure you are level with jugs. If it wasnt obvious aim for the middle jug.

JohnM
December 8, 2012, 05:50 PM
rubber tire mulch

That stuff might work pretty good as a long lasting bullet trapping material.
Seems like I saw bags of it for sale at a local garden supply.
Don't remember what it cost though.

Walkalong
December 8, 2012, 06:07 PM
One large box. Fill this box with rubber tire mulchSounds like a good way to do it.

W.E.G.
December 8, 2012, 06:11 PM
What KIND of rifle bullets?

You won't be recovering any high-velocity bullets intact via any affordable means at that distance.

Even if you could fire into water at that distance, most high-velocity bullets are going to be severely deformed, if not outright fragment.

Certaindeaf
December 8, 2012, 06:15 PM
Are you trying to look for skidding etc on cast bullets?

rodregier
December 8, 2012, 06:26 PM
Equipment I saw portrayed on an episode of CSI was a heavy-walled steel box filled with small hard rubber balls. Great for repeat usage, easy to sift, probably very pricy for the box. They were firing at powder-burn ranges.

(A commercial product no doubt).

For cheap how about really thick stacks of newspaper.
The tricky part is to punch thru layers of paper, not the edges. That means you need to stand them on their edges. Multiple tried bundles?

Probably need at least 2 feet for serious rifle cartridges.

oldandslow
December 8, 2012, 09:54 PM
How about old telephone books? They're usually around in large numbers when the new directories come out.

Merry Christmas- oldandslow

rodregier
December 8, 2012, 11:11 PM
IMHO old phonebooks would be a great option, if you could get enough of them. Heck, after you're done shooting them they could be recycled in any case.Just "riffle" to get the projectiles out of them...

Grumulkin
December 8, 2012, 11:21 PM
Thats not gonna work. We dont get enough snow here.
That's too bad since that would be the best way. It doesn't take too much snow either. The bullets, after the snow melts, are laying on the ground all shiny and polished. If you're shooting a pretty tough bullet, i.e., a solid or an FMJ, sand or mud would work.

blarby
December 8, 2012, 11:28 PM
What KIND of rifle bullets?

Jacketed AND cast.

45lcshooter
December 9, 2012, 12:20 AM
Tire mulch and phone books, or newspapers sound really good. But for the country bumpkins like myself our phone books are as think as a childrens coloring book. So might need to go dumpster diving. Lol

rcmodel
December 9, 2012, 12:26 AM
old phone books would be a great option,Old dry phone books are as tough on a bullet as the shoulder joint on a bull moose.
It will bust up anything short of a Solid used on elephant.

Wet phone books are as tough on bullets as the hind quarter of a elk.

If a bullet is going to expand or blow up, it will do it on wet newsprint, phone books, etc.

Same with water in zip-lock bags.

Of all the suggestions so far, the only one that sounds even halfway feasible to stop a rifle bullet without damaging it, other then the big snow drift, is the recycled rubber tire mulch.

But I have never tried that myself.

rc

gspn
December 9, 2012, 12:59 AM
I recovered a .50 cal blackpowder bullet from a mud bank one time. It was a solid copper design and it expanded exactly like the ones they use for marketing purposes on the website. I was impressed.

We have a large dirt pile behind our rifle and pistol ranges and routinely find bullets laying around (especially pistol). Rifle bullets you'll have to dig for...a metal detector and a shovel will be your assistants. We shoot pistols at reactive ground targets and we find those bullets just laying on top of the dirt. Cast bullets and jacketed alike from everything from .380 to .44 mag are dang near unharmed when we pick them up...although they have a weird texture...almost like they were so hot when they hit the dirt that the dirt started to melt to the bullet (with cast bullets especially).

1SOW
December 9, 2012, 01:02 AM
Of all the suggestions so far, the only one that sounds even halfway feasible to stop a rifle bullet without damaging it, other then the big snow drift, is the recycled rubber tire mulch.

What kind of a box to hold it? Cardboard won't damage a bullet, but won't hold much weight either. Lined up cardboard boxes full of tire mulch might be practical.
How many "FEET" of mulch is needed?

WNTFW
December 9, 2012, 01:20 AM
I use rubber tire mulch in a pellet trap. The pellet will splatter on a steel spinner at further distances than what I shoot at home on the trap. 14 grains moving way slower than a centerfire though.

If you try to poke your finger into the mulch you can see the force spreads out among all the little bits. The bits do settle some. I have a front to keep the mulch in.

My guess is a garbage can of at least a tall kitchen size.

I guess I should CMA & state the obvious - it is not backstop substitute.

KansasSasquatch
December 9, 2012, 04:59 AM
One time a buddy and myself had a bag of rock salt/ice melt laying around and thought itd be fun to see what a 7.62x39 bullet would do it. From about 20 yards we were able to recover the bullets in tact. We also tried .44mag and .22lr. .22lr came out in tact as well and expanded well since they were hollow points. The .44mag did break up a little and have some jacket separation but the bulk was in tact.

Queen_of_Thunder
December 9, 2012, 10:10 AM
A quandary.......


What do you think would present the best option for recovering fired rifle bullets as intact as possible at the 100 yard mark ?
Why?

Rollis R. Karvellis
December 9, 2012, 11:37 AM
The box I use now is the heavy duty ones that can be found in the Wal-Mart office section for $2.00. They are about 2/2/3, the much can be expansive, but will last for a good while. To separate the bullets the quickest way is with a 5 gallon buck filled with water, dump some mulch in, swoosh it around a little. Take a small strainer to capture the rubber, and allow the lead to drop to the bottom.

The photo shows some rounds captured at 10 yards.

SDC
December 9, 2012, 11:45 AM
Forensic examiners fire into water traps, but the marks at the base of the bullet are the only ones they're really interested in looking at anyway (and they simply cut off the folded-over portions of the nose jacket with a Dremel). ANYTHING you fire a high-velocity bullet into is going to deform it to some extent, but to minimize damage, you need as long a range as possible, with as soft a material as possible to catch the bullet (either plastic drums filled with water, or a long catch-box filled with wadded cloth).

41 Mag
December 10, 2012, 04:12 AM
In thinking about this a bit I am figuring the best way to keep them from expanding would be a two fold effort. First you need to use the rubber mulch, as it will have plenty of give to it and not impart as much damage as most other things. Then I would also probably use a plastic container with an easily removeabl lid to enable the mulch to be sifted readily as you shoot. You don't want one round impacting the next and damaging it.

The second part of this would be to use reduced loads to keep the velocity down in the lowest amount possible to reach the targets. Most bullets will have a velocity at which they expand usually in the 1800fps or so range for jacketed. Using a reduced load and setting up your target at different ranges will allow you to somewhat control the impact velocity, thereby keeping the bullets from expanding as little as possible.

There are notes somewhere on using "The Load", which amounts to using fast burning powder to put together gallery type loads for rounds like the 30-06. These are very reduced loads and might be worth looking into for your project. There are also reduced loads listed over on the Hodgdon Reloading site as well which could be useful.

Not knowing the extent of your project in recovering undamaged bullets it will simply be a trial nad error type deal which in my mind will have to include both the softer media for recovery and the lower velocity loads to ensure minimal bullet upset upon impact.

Hope this helps.

Baryngyl
December 10, 2012, 01:26 PM
How about Making Your Own Ballistic Gel?

http://www.myscienceproject.org/gelatin.html
http://www.customcartridge.com/pdfs/BallisticGel.pdf


Michael Grace

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