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Recovering fired rifle bullets

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

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  1. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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?
     
  2. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    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.
     
  3. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    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.
     
  4. Queen_of_Thunder

    Queen_of_Thunder member

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    Why?
     
  5. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    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.
     

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  6. SDC

    SDC Member

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    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).
     
  7. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    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.
     
  8. Baryngyl

    Baryngyl Member

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