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Thread: Sawdust bullet trap?

  1. #1
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    Sawdust bullet trap?

    Has anyone here built/used a sawdust bullet trap?

    It's been 6yrs since't we had a decent snowbank so I gotta' do something.

    I'm building a sawdust-filled trapper I think, a local mill is offering 1000lb bags of sawdust for 20 bucks/bag

    Fir, cedar, hemlock, alder, maple etc ......OR...... I just spoke with him and he said "I have a hard time getting rid of Black Walnut"

    I can probably get the Black Walnut for free.....

    I'm thinking I need about a ton and a half of sawdust.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    What are your goals for this contraption?

    It's not a backstop, or you'd likely just use dirt or sand.

    Are you intending to recover the spent bullets, and if so, what do you intend to learn from them?

    Are you going to contain it somehow in a box of some sort, or just pile it up?

    Are you going to put a roof over it to keep it dry?

    Are you concerned about critters burrowing in it?

    What calibers are you contemplating using on it?

    Sorry for so many questions, but this is outside of anything I've heard of before.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtmarmot View Post
    What are your goals for this contraption?

    It's not a backstop, or you'd likely just use dirt or sand.

    Are you intending to recover the spent bullets, and if so, what do you intend to learn from them?

    Are you going to contain it somehow in a box of some sort, or just pile it up?

    Are you going to put a roof over it to keep it dry?

    Are you concerned about critters burrowing in it?

    What calibers are you contemplating using on it?

    Sorry for so many questions, but this is outside of anything I've heard of before.


    Sorry sir...... I sometimes misremember the fact that ONLY ME lives inside my head

    And I thought that "sawdust bullet trap" was self-explanatory. It's been the go-to device for capturing bullets for examination. Properly done a captured bullet is completely unscathed, can be examined and measured up.......


    I trap quite a few bullets to examine them. Every year that we get decent snow drifts I go fire a bunch of rounds into the snow them go back in a couple weeks and pick them up off the ground. Back when I was doing my moly testing I trapped moly-coated projectiles this way and the moly was (is) still intact clear out to the nose and the bullets measure up with no distortion from being trapped.

    In this particular case I want to trap big 338's and 50BMG's so I will need a lot of material. My snowbank deal works for light stuff but I have had big 30 cal's escape and it would take a pretty large snowbank (5ftX4ftX12ft???) to capture a 338, and even longer for the BMG

    And we only get adequate snow about 1/6th of the winters here IME

    YES I'll be building and housing a large sawdust-filled chamber under roof. Vermin-proof, built of 1 1/8 plywood and sealed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    YES I'll be building and housing a large sawdust-filled chamber under roof. Vermin-proof, built of 1 1/8 plywood and sealed.
    Hope you choose a nice paint color.

  5. #5
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    my best results

    for doing what you want Al has been plowed up snow banks. Course you have to wait till they melt in the Spring and can only do this in Winter, but its good cabin fever therapy. --greg

  6. #6
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    arkansas
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    sawdust

    the walnut should work for your use-the reason he has trouble selling the walnut is that when used for horse bedding it will founder a horse [basically making the animal useless because it has ruined feet.]

    your problem/choice is to find the right granule size. super fine versus shavings. this is a problem I have when getting sawdust.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    A pleasant place, Missouri
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    Just an idea

    Why don't you use water in a pipe? Horizontal-Vertical? I am sure someone might know how long the pipe has to be to stop large bullets. Don't forget to add antifreeze or drain in winter.
    Centerfire

  8. #8
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    Jul 2005
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    547
    It just takes a larger amount and a decent steel plate as the final backup.

    Like layers of newsprint or bales of straw it compresses and is very good at absorbing all the energy in the bullet.


    A foot of newsprint will stop most handgun bullets without any issue.

    16 to 18 inches will stop most CF rifle bullets just fine.

    Make sure the container is big eough and solid enough to capture bullets that curve from their spin as they slow.

  9. #9
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    So, I'm thinking maybe a long tub of water with one end a self-sealing membrane that you shoot through. Would that work? Of course not in winter when it would freeze.

  10. #10
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    Iíd call and see how the professionals do it. Hornady, Sierra, Nosler, etc.

    On similar issues they have been very helpful. Iíve made plant tours several times at Sedalia and Grand Island when returning from Western hunting trips.


    .

  11. #11
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    At work we have used two 55 gallon drums welded together, full of water, to stop 9mm bullets. Some showed damage from impacting the end of the drum. Added a third drum and had no more impacts. Shot straight down from a scaffolding. Hard part was recovering the bullets after each shot. We also use 4' x4' cardboard sheets, stacked on edge, about 8 to 10 feet to soft catch 40mms rounds.

  12. #12
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    simply add a fine mesh basket on the bottom.( from the movie "the presidio")
    commercial products are "snails" a long tube wrapped into a roll. a firing port at one end, shoot into the port bullet goes round and round till it runs out of energy. holes in the tube, at the bottom of each "roll" into the next. the bullet always falls down, bullet always at the very bottom , eventually.
    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    At work we have used two 55 gallon drums welded together, full of water, to stop 9mm bullets. Some showed damage from impacting the end of the drum. Added a third drum and had no more impacts. Shot straight down from a scaffolding. Hard part was recovering the bullets after each shot. We also use 4' x4' cardboard sheets, stacked on edge, about 8 to 10 feet to soft catch 40mms rounds.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBecigneul View Post
    What are we looking for? Are we going to expertly testify in court on some earth shaking new science? Are we trying to see the effect of lands and grooves on the bullet? Merely shoving a bullet down the length of the barrel will do this. No matter what you shoot into will affect the final appearance of the bullet. Sawdust, wood chips, water, ice, rubber chips, sand and gravel all do this. So put something out there for bullet entrapment and have at it. For what Iím doing, once the bullet goes through the paper I have no more interest in the bullet.
    A corollary to this discussion is the old saying "why measure with a micrometer if you're going to mark it with a grease pencil and cut it with an ax?"

  14. #14
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    Feb 2003
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    roanoke,va.
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    Seems that I read somewhere that it helps to oil the sawdust !!

  15. #15
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    Aug 2004
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    NY State
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    A friend had this method . He had a 1/2" steel plate angled 45 degrees to the approach of the bullet and at impact it was deflected downward onto the sawdust..Worked very very well.

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