- September 25, 2017 at 8:06 pm #47154
How do you catch a bullet for examination?
I want to ‘wildcat’ a muzzleloader, a flintlock to be exact. I have percussion guns with same barrel maker, but I want to do ballistics with percussion first, then the flintlock.
Published ballistics tells me these will launch a 127gr round ball @ 1900fps, with a slow twist round ball barrel.
I want to launch a really really short conical in the same slow twist barrel. Published data tells me I am dealing with approx .44mag power & speed here. Pistol 44mag is actually 43cal, and I am dealing with a TRUE 45cal. My bore/groove is .451/475. Considering a round ball stabilizes with a 1:66 twist, then why not stabilize a .45 wadcutter that has its length equal to its diameter? A ball’s length = its diameter, so why not a wadcutter where length = diameter? I want to catch one and read the ‘obturation’ of it engraving the rifling. My rifling is .012″ deep, I want to read that.
How do I catch one? I’m looking at 180gr. @ 1700fps.
- September 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm #47155
Tim came by the house awhile back to look at bullets caught from a 30-06XCB.
He showed up with a truck bed load of saw dust. We made a square coffin-ish box, then filled the front half with saw dust. Then packed saw dust into cardboard boxes to fill the back half.
When we fired a bullet, you could just pull a box to see if the bullet was inside or move on to the next one…
I think that most of the shooting was done around 2700-2900fps-ish with the 30XCB bullet and most of the bullets were caught in the 5-6′ range(If my memory is correct).
- September 26, 2017 at 7:25 am #47156GhostHawkParticipant
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I believe the CSI departments use rubber balls, rubber mulch or water.
Mind it would take a fair sized tank to catch a .45 moving some 1900 fps.
If it was me I would start with 5 or 6 milk jugs filled with water lined up. Hope you get lucky and it does not slide out the side.
- September 26, 2017 at 8:07 am #47159
I was hoping for something like a 5gallon bucket full of wet sawdust, with the lid on, shoot into the top.
You think that still not enough?
- September 26, 2017 at 10:39 am #47161
I would think that the faster you slowed it down, the more deformation that would occur to the bullet.
One way to find out would be to line up a couple of buckets of wet sawdust and see what happens.
- September 26, 2017 at 11:31 am #47165
I can tell you that a lead projectile fired into milk jugs filled with water will deform unless it enters at a very low velocity, like less than 7oo fps. This from testing .380 ACP loads.
- September 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm #47167
if it expands like a hunting bullet, all the better,
I really only need to see the base engrave the rifling, and see if the slow twist will stabilize this .45 minie ball that I am contemplating
- September 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm #47170
So are you contemplating a hollow base Minnie? maybe something like the 475 Webley that started as a 45 bullet and expanded into the bore?
- September 26, 2017 at 6:13 pm #47173uber7mmParticipant
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A five gallon bucket of sand will stop factory 9mm FMJ loads. Does deform the bullet however. They look like they’ve been sand blasted. Wet phone books might be a better option.
- September 26, 2017 at 8:10 pm #47174
One gallon water filled plastic jugs. The rifling engraving shows up real good.
A soft cast HP out of .45 ACP will stop in the 3rd or 4th jug. A medium hard cast from a 10mm – I don’t know how many more than 8 jugs.
Ensure you place the jugs on a 2×8 or such. I blew a big hole in my plastic table when I set them right on the table.
I placed a video camera on a tripod to catch the event. Good to evaluate splash and other effects in addition to just plain fun.
Don’t try it with a .500 S&W with hollow points and a #10 can of out-of-date baked beans.
- September 26, 2017 at 11:22 pm #47177
I want to see if a .45acp bullet cast soft plain base will obturate in a round ball barrel.
I also took some soft .45acp and drilled hollow base.
- September 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm #47190
Made some progress today. I got samples of .45acp bullets cast soft, and turned hollow based on the lathe. The Lee 200FN was the primary experiment. I shortened it to where length = diameter, it looked like a solid, squarish wadcutter. It didnt seem to want to stabilize. I tried the 200FN hollow based and it at least tried to stabilize.
Then I tried a ancient Lee cap-n-ball hollow point mold. As a solid based item, it somewhat tried to stabilize. Then I hollow based it. Bingo!!!! It became a 200gr. hollow base, HP, 451dia, and shoots to POI of the standard round ball, out to 70 yards. Since this is a true round ball barrel, I thought that hitting POI with the experimental conical was quite the accomplishment. It did in fact stabilize out to 100yards, but out there I didnt have good enough sight picture to haul in a good group. I tried a round ball out at 100 yards and I couldnt hold a group with round ball any better, I guess both of them were equal, then.
I have not recovered any of them, but I got them to punch round holes in the target paper.
- September 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm #47191KYCasterParticipant
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Poly fiber pillows will catch most pistol bullets with very little deformation. I haven’t had much success catching rifle bullets, but three pillows stacked in a box worked on handguns with my limited testing.
Takes a little bit of work to find them and dig them out, but it will give you some good info on things like gas cutting, slump, skidding and quality of your coating.
- September 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm #47192
“Poly fiber pillows”, whats that? Is that the cheap pillows at WalMart?
you say 3 of them will catch a pistol bullet??? .38spec or .44mag????
how much pistol will 3 of them catch??
- September 27, 2017 at 9:50 pm #47194KYCasterParticipant
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Yes, the really cheap pillows. I get mine at Dollar General.
Like I said, “Limited experience”. So far 38spl, 40 S&W, 45ACP. I was looking for a way to see if the HI-TEK coating was staying on my bullets. I got the results I was looking for and haven’t pursued it any further.
I haven’t had any success with my few attempts with rifle bullets @ 2000 + fps. I filled a 8″ dia. PVC pipe about six feet long with pillows, but all my shots exited out the side.
Some day, if my budget equals my curiosity, I’ll get enough pillows to fill a 24″ dia. tube and try again.
- September 28, 2017 at 7:35 am #47195GoodsteelKeymaster
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My 2 cents worth having done this already as Glenn mentions.
Large flat rate boxes are FREE. Free is good.
Fill them with your media and stack them up in a row. Remember, the longer it takes to stop your bullet, the better it will look when you recover it, so try to use a media that will catch it in about 3 feet at least.
Remember that the media you use will fall out everywhere, so you want something biodegradable, and plenty of it. This is why I used wet sawdust, but there are other options, such as mixing your wet sawdust with biodegradable packing peanuts to loft it especially in the initial impact area. The slower it gets, the more insistent you can be that the bullet stops.
Another advantage of the flat rate boxes, is that you can easily see where the bullet stops by observing the holes in the boxes!
The only other thing I will say is that finding the bullets is very time consuming and it all adds up. You figure 15 minutes of rooting, stuffing, packing and walking per bullet if you’re lucky, and 20 bullets will easily burn 5 hours and you’ll be one tired SOB (i’m sure Glenn can back me up on this!).
- September 28, 2017 at 9:21 am #47196
In my testing using water filled one gallon jugs my pace was about two shots per hour. It did not take long to find the bullet. Filling the jugs and lining them up took the most time. I did fill three large garbage bins with the blown up ones. It was a great day. I have video of each shot.
- September 28, 2017 at 9:29 am #47197
I have a mold casting a MiHec 200 gr HP from a group buy on the other site. HP, penta point, and solid. I’ll loan you the mold if you are going to produce a lot for your ML.
Link to the GB so you can see the specs.
- September 28, 2017 at 10:34 am #47199
Thanks for the mold offer.
Thus far it looks like the way to get anything other than round ball to stabilize, is to have hollow base.
Yesterday, I shot various things at paper target, and any solid base wanted to tumble, any hollow base wanted to fly straight. I guess part of this is the barrel has deep grooves to fill out. Maybe it is coincidence that the HP bullet flew the best. Remember that I am dealing with a 1:66 twist, and a bore/groove of .451/.475 !!!
- September 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm #47200
I have a Lyman mold designed for .45 cal ML rifles with a hollow base and rather blunt nose. Casts as .454. Weighs about 250 grains.
- September 28, 2017 at 3:19 pm #47201
is that the # 445599??
- September 29, 2017 at 8:50 am #47205HarterParticipant
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I think I have that one . Mine drops 454 with Minnie style scrapper grooves @ 287 gr …..
I’ll have to go check the number for sure because it doesn’t look anything like research suggests it should .
- September 29, 2017 at 9:44 pm #47208
Mine is 454613.
- September 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm #47213HarterParticipant
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I had a glance mine is the same as Charlie’s . I can’t keep track w/o going to look anymore . I think that means I have enough 45 cal moulds . 🙂 Or not..
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