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Old October 31, 2013, 07:26 PM   #1
passtime
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Your Take

I was shooting some .45 FMJ 230gr. WWB ammo yesterday and notice something odd about the way the bullets were striking the paper. I cannot remember seeing a hole like this before. I have my own opinion but was interested to see what others might think so, have at it...


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Old October 31, 2013, 07:51 PM   #2
alex0535
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It's called a keyhole, it happens when the bullet does not get adequate spin from the rifling in the barrel and the bullet tumbles through the air as a result.

Can result from a number of things, less than ideal rate of twist, lower than needed velocity, bullets not quite tight enough in the barrel to be adequately rotated by the rifling, or enough fouling in the barrel that the rifling loses its effectiveness.

Was this the ammo you normally use? How does the bullet weight and velocity compare to ammo that does not keyhole? Taken a good look at the rifling in the barrel and given it a good cleaning anyways?
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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No, The WWB is not what I usually use. I have had good results with Geco 230 gr. FMJ for practicing. The WWB is substandard ammo in my opinion any way but it's cheap and I was basically using it to build up my ammo count for break in and trouble shooting. In my opinion it is not even good enough for that.

Last edited by passtime; October 31, 2013 at 08:36 PM.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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Paper can tear easily, and abstractly, from a roundnose bullet. Try shooting cardboard and see if you have a similar bullet strike.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Are the targets printed on target paper or on plain printer paper? If the latter, damp paper can cause that look. Testing with cardboard (cereal box) will show if the problem is really keyholing of the bullet or a target problem.

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Old October 31, 2013, 08:18 PM   #6
passtime
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You know, I did not think about it but the targets are mounted to cardboard but a 10" circle around the middle of the target is gone from repeated bullet strikes in other words nothing but air. My first thought was it was just the way the paper tore but it did not happen with the Geco ammo. I will take a good look at what alex0535 had to say definitely food for thought.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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In response to James K. The targets are Birchwood Casey targets so it is what ever paper they use. If there was some cardboard left behind the target I could check it out but sadly to say it's all air lol. I am probably not going to use the WWB ammo anymore. It is not very accurate in my SR45 anyway.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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I see that a lot when I shoot on backers that have a fairly large hole shot out of them and my normal hits zones are over them. Its because of the type of paper and the lack of a backing/support behind it.

From the looks of the holes, theres no keyholing going on. The wholes are all round, except at that one small point where the paper is tearing out. Keyholes look more like a sideways or elongated hit of the bullet. You dont see that there.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:41 PM   #9
passtime
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I am thinking and hoping that you are correct AK103K. The firearm is new so it should not be the rifling but should not does not always mean it ain't. I am leaning toward the no backing solution myself.
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Old October 31, 2013, 09:43 PM   #10
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Looks like the paper is tearing along its grain. I bet if you tear the target in the same direction, it tears nice and straight. I've seen targets tear like that when shooting FMJ rounds. The round nose "pushes" through the paper, whereas a wad cutter or hollow point "cuts" its way through.
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Old October 31, 2013, 09:46 PM   #11
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+1 on the no backing replies. Those elongated holes are way too big for just a keyhole.
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Old October 31, 2013, 11:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies they all sound like good possible causes.
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Old November 1, 2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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Use a different ammo & the same target set up.
If it's the paper, then you should see similar results - but - not necessarily.

You could also try the ammo in another gun and see if it worked there.
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Old November 1, 2013, 06:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Paper can tear easily, and abstractly, from a roundnose bullet. Try shooting cardboard and see if you have a similar bullet strike.
+1

I'd try backing the target before I assumed the bullet was key holing.
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Old November 1, 2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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Round bullets can tear the paper like that. That's why target ammo is loaded with bullets that cut cleanly (like wadcutters).
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Old November 1, 2013, 07:44 AM   #16
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Those aren't keyholes caused by bullets impacting the target sideways.

As others have said, those are tears in the paper caused by the paper quality and no backer board behind the target.
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Old November 2, 2013, 08:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for the responses. I am going to put up a new piece of cardboard and try that out in a couple a days. I will post back with what happens.
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Old November 4, 2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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Let us know what happens please. I'm a little curious myself.
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Old November 4, 2013, 07:09 PM   #19
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I'm betting it's the paper - hole behind it also. If you have any of the ammo you were shooting and what you usually shoot, I'd be interested if the diameter of them is the same? (projectile) It just seems odd, even with a cheap ammo, that you'd all of a sudden be key holing. I have to believe the target would look different if you had a good backer on it. Let us know what you come up with.
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Old November 4, 2013, 10:27 PM   #20
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I will be doing some more shooting some time this week. I will post the results.
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Old November 7, 2013, 03:16 PM   #21
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I've shot some cardboard targets that wanted to tear on the "grain", so most bullets created elongated holes even if they entered the target oriented normally. It looked very much like the OPs photo.
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Old November 23, 2013, 12:02 AM   #22
passtime
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Finally got around to doing some shooting. After putting a new piece of cardboard on my target stand and a few hundred rounds down range the issue has been resolved. Thanks to all who offered assistance.
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