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Recovering fired rifle bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by blarby, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    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 ?
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    A big huge snowbank. go back in the spring with a metal detector
  3. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    Thats not gonna work. We dont get enough snow here.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    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.

  5. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    That would be my luck !
  6. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    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 !
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  10. popper

    popper Well-Known Member

    Search for bullet trap ideas on cast boolits. Several ideas on what to do and what NOT to do.
  11. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. briang7511

    briang7511 Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  14. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Sounds like a good way to do it.
  16. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Are you trying to look for skidding etc on cast bullets?
  18. rodregier

    rodregier Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  19. oldandslow

    oldandslow Well-Known Member

    How about old telephone books? They're usually around in large numbers when the new directories come out.

    Merry Christmas- oldandslow
  20. rodregier

    rodregier Well-Known Member

    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...

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