My system for recovering fired bullets

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mtngun
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:11 pm

A few more bullets from the Contender 357 rifle. They'll be discussed in more detail over on my 357 rifle thread. Suffice to say I am still seeing yaw on some bullets but not all.
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Some of the bevel bases still look suspicious. Is that due to erosion or cavitation when it hits the water, or is it being eroded or melted by the hot gases?
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:18 pm

Air cooled wheeweight from the Contender 357 rifle at 1900 fps.

Most bullets recovered from the water tank have no lube and no gas check, but I suspect that is due water "washing" the lube off and pulling the check off. The surviving groove on this mushroomed bullet was 100% full of Rooster HVR lube. Perhaps the lube survived in the water because it was shielded by the mushroom?

Also note that the beveled base is more or less intact.

The engraving was even all the way around the bullet. No sign of yawing.
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:45 pm

The bad news is that the welds on my water tank cracked in two places today. I'm guessing due to the shock wave from the mushroomed bullet in the previous post? :twisted:

I'll have to repair it and try to conjur up some sort of baffle to absorb the shock wave ??? :ugeek:
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:57 pm

We've been experiencing abnormally warm weather for October so I went ahead and repaired the tank.

What to do to keep it from bursting again? I made up this frame of CPVC (because I had some left over from a long ago project) to hold swimming tube floats. Then stuffed the whole thing into the upper section of the tank. The theory is that the foam will soak up some of the hydrostatic shock. Then again, the foam may be ripped to shreds by the hydrostatic shock. :lol: Like so many things I do this is an experiment and only time will tell if it works.
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:07 pm

A hard spitzer fired from a revolver. I don't normally shoot spitzers from a revolver but did so today because anything other than hard pointy bullets usually mushroom in the water tank. The bullet is WW sized 0.359", oven treated, ~25 BHN. Load was 18.2 gr. WW296, the same as my normal revolver load, which clocks 1250 - 1300 fps.

The bullet is a "short ogive" spitzer left over from Contender experiments. The amount of front band protruding from the case was less than ideal for the revolver, but I had to seat it that deep to fit in the cylinder.
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I fired 2 shots into the water tank and both of them showed signs of yawing.

The skidding is normal for a full house revolver load so no point in worrying about it.
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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:37 pm

The same hard spitzer load in the previous post, but fired from the Marlin 357 rifle.

I shot two bullets from the Marlin into the water tank, one yawed slightly, the other did not yaw at all.
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This is the other bullet that did not yaw, but to my eye it looks like it skidded slightly. This is the first time I've ever seen skidding on a rifle bullet. Though in fairness this load had to jump a ways before it engaged the rifling, whereas my normal Marlin load engraves lightly when chambered.
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Conclusion: yawing seems to be a common issue on high pressure / high velocity cast loads (at least with plain base bullets, I haven't done that many water tank tests with gas checked bullets). Yawing is not the only problem, but it's common.

So far the only skidding I have observed is on loads that have to jump a ways to the rifling.

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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:13 pm

Today's guinea pig was the 6x45 Contender with a plain base bullet. The last time I shot this bullet it was grouping decent at 1800 fps but couldn't even stay on the target backer when velocity was increased to 2000 fps. There was absolutely no sign of leading in the barrel, so I couldn't figure out what caused the bullet to fail ? Maybe the water tank would provide answers?

I fired 2 shots with the 1800 fps load. There was no sign of yawing or skidding. The only thing remotely suspicious is that the corner of the base is eroded in some spots.
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2 shots with the 2000 fps load. Once again, no sign of yawing or skidding, but the corner of the base is eroded.
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As always, I can't be certain whether the erosion occured inside the barrel or inside the water tank. But if it tumbles in the tank, usually one side is eroded while the other side is protected. The 2000 fps bullets had erosion around the entire circumference of the base, suggesting that it happened inside the barrel.

I do not know if that tiny bit of corner erosion had anything to do with the loss of accuracy. But I don't see anything else wrong. roll:

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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:47 pm

Today we water-tested a couple of 162 gr. plain base spitzers from the Contender 357 at 1962 fps, pushed by WC297. Neither bullet yawed in the slightest, but both showed a bit of gas cutting on the base.
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Mr. Murphy paid a visit and blew up the water tank again, in the same spot as last time. :cry: The weld was plenty good but it's a brittle weld with 6010 rod, so it cracks easily. The 12 ga. is too thin to allow using 7018. If I had to do it over again I would use 10 gauge steel & 7018 rod. Oh well, on to plan "C". :lol:

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Re: My system for recovering fired bullets

Postby mtngun » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:31 pm

I repaired the cracked weld, but then blew up the tank yet again. I definitely need to redesign the entrance of the tank where the cracks occur. Either replace that section with thicker metal, or else install an insert.

Anyway, today we tested painted bases, to see if the paint would protect the base from gas cutting. It did seem to help quite a bit.
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Notice how sharp the engraving is on this bullet, compared to some of the bullets I've posted previously that had the engraving wallowed out and flared at the base.

This load had to travel about 0.150" before it engaged the rifling, hence some slight skidding on the front band.
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The bottom of the recovered bullet. Some paint has burnt off, particularly around the edge.
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