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whats the best way to recover a shot bullet cleanly? Answered

I just bought a 1954 mosin nagant rifle (7.62x54R) and was wondering how to recover a clean shot bullet ( not smashed still in its original shape) to make it into a nickels. is there a material that would good to shoot into that wont ruin the bullet?



Best Answer 8 years ago

Water.  Shoot down into a trash can filled with water very carefully.  the bullet should only have power for the first foot or so.  then the bullet will fall to the bottom.

i thought that would destroy the bullet?

Not usually.  If it's a lead pointed hunting bullet that's set up to really expand then it probably will most of the time.

If it's a hard lead point or fmj it should come thru alright.

Haven't you seen them shoot into the water barrel on CSI?  THey really do that in real life.

I'd rather have a fired round that shows the rifling.

i have both 200 grain semi jacketed for deer and 174 grain fully jacketed for target, i'll give that a try.  and i have only seen the show a couple times, never really got into it.

The fmj should work find.  Be careful.  If you hit the water at  the wrong angle it'll ricochet. 

ya i shot my friends pond and it ricocheted off into the woods


7 years ago

i think you could disassemble the shell, and use a wooden dowel or something similar with the same size or slightly smaller as the bullet to push it through the barrel. that should give you the rifling marks without damaging the bullet itself. just make sure you clean the rifle after and don't use any hard metals like steel because it could damage the internal surface of the barrel. I'm no expert or anything but it seems like the simplest way to get what you're looking for.

Make some ballistic jell.

 thats a good idea. next question is how much would i need to stop 7.62x 54? this sucker dose some damage. its not the nato 7.62x51 or 39 


8 years ago

If you want a pristine bullet, you'll never get one by firing it .  The gun barrel will leave rifling marks on the bullet regardless of what medium you use to stop the bullet.
There are two ways to get a pristine bullet, you can buy boxes of 50 bullets, 7.62 caliber (not cartridges) from reloading suppliers.
The other way is to use an impact bullet extractor. The bullet extractor is a plastic hammer shaped device that holds a loaded cartridge by the brass rim. Whack the hammer on a solid surface and inertia causes the bullet to be pulled from the cartridge and captured in the bottom of the extractor without damaging it. Extractors too, are available at reloading suppliers or if you know someone who reloads their own bullets, chances are pretty good he will have one you might borrow.

that thought crossed my mind but i wanted the rifling marks.

Water capturing a high velocity rifle round can be tricky. (Been there, done that)
Unless you are using a FMJ (full metal jacket) bullet, the jacket on a soft nose round peels off and shreds into a handful of shrapnel when it hits the water.
The best thing I know of is ballistics gel, probably 3 to 4 feet of it for a rifle.
If you try the water method, you should plan on having at least 6 feet of water for an FMJ, the deep end of a swimming pool will do.  For a soft nose bullet, 3 to 4 feet of water, because of the shredding.