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Recovering fired rifle bullets

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

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  1. blarby

    blarby Member

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    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

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

    blarby Member

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

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  5. blarby

    blarby Member

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    That would be my luck !
     
  6. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    45lcshooter Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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

    W.E.G. Member

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    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

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

    rodregier Member

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    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 Member

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

    Merry Christmas- oldandslow
     
  20. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    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...
     
  21. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    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.
     
  22. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Jacketed AND cast.
     
  23. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    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
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  25. gspn

    gspn Member

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    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).
     
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