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What causes these elongated bullet holes?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Highland Ranger, Jan 4, 2015.

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  1. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Friends gun, a not inexpensive Ed Brown.



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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  2. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    That could be what is called "key holing", when the bullet is tumbling through the air. Like a football that is thrown with a nice spiral it travels more uniformly, but when I throw a football it is wobbling and sometimes going end over end. :)

    What was behind the target? It could be the paper just tore when the bullet hit it. If you were shooting hollow points it could have grabbed some paper.

    I know you are asking because you don't know, but what do you guess caused it? Maybe you don't have any idea, that's okay.
     
  3. dusty14u

    dusty14u Member

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    Looks like keyholeing. That would be caused by bullet tumbling and spiraling from the barrel. I am not positive but that is what it looks like to me.
     
  4. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Target paper is specially made so that the paper fibres are randomly oriented. This is done so the bullet holes will be nice and clean and round.

    Ordindary paper is vibrated or is moved continuously and rapidly in only one direction, so the fibers tend to align, and will tear in preferred directions. This is especially evident in newsprint, which is cheaply made. Tear one way, and the rip is nice and straight. Tear at 90 degrees, and it is difficult to get a straight tear.

    Chances are these targets were printed on ordinary paper. Eight will get you ten that if you rotate the targets 90 degrees, the tears will appear horizontally when shot at.

    The holes do not look like the ordinary "keyholing" of unstable bullets.

    Terry

    REF:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_machine
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  5. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    I agree it doesn't look like ordinary key holing.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Not key holing as there are perfectly round holes above every tear.

    My guess is you were shooting at a free hanging target with no backer behind it.

    So the paper is trying to get out of the way.

    rc
     
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    As mentioned, that isn't keyholing. Paper's ripping as the bullet goes through. No big deal.
    Key holing looks like the side view of your bullet.
     
  8. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    Yeah, kinda like the attached photo - 68 Gr bullet fired in a 1-12 twist .223. One hole appears almost normal but the other 3 show varying profile hits.
     

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  9. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Good - I thought there was something wrong.

    You are correct - paper target hanging with nothing behind it.

    Funny it did it with the 45 and not the 9mm's. Guess the bigger bullet made more wind.
     
  10. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    Yup. My first thought was key holing, but I must agree with those who say it is a characteristic of the paper, and possibly contributed to by hanging the paper instead of it being stapled to a board or other form of a backstop. The creases in the paper below two of the bottom tears also lend credence to this theory.

    Woody
     
  11. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Agree with Terry. :)
     
  12. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    More likely it's due to the fact that the 45 is fatter and slower.

    Woody
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, the 9mm is a lot faster then the .45.

    So the paper doesn't have time to try to jump out of the way.

    rc
     
  14. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Thanks everyone.
     
  15. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Good diagnosis. I will also add that if it were keyholing, the ellongated holes wouldn't all be going in the same direction, they would be somewhat random. Keyholing is more prevalent with rifle rounds than pistol.
     
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