Tumbling bullets (?)

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by buck119, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. buck119

    buck119 New Member

    Today I was at the range doing some practice with my 6" S&W 29, 44 Mag. I was mixing snap caps (3 or 5) with live ammo (3 or 1). I started shooting 25 yards at IPSC silhouette targets, with Sellier & Bellot 240gr soft point. Everything OK. After a while I started using what was left of a 250 rounds case of LAXAMMO reloads, 44 MAG, 240gr, FMJ. I do not like these ammo because they are weaker than standard factory ammunition but I wanted to consume them. At that point I started having some problems. From time to time I was hitting left, high-left, or high. When that happened the cuts were also not clean, not circular and with tears. The picture below is just an example. The three rounds in the center were Sellier & Bellot. The other three were LAXAMMO. Just to check I shot some PMC 180 gr JHP that I had with me and they were fine.
    I was not totally surprised of what happened. In fact few weeks ago I had the same problem while I was shooting my Marling 1894 44 Mag. Again I was shooting the LAXAMMO reloads. 50 and 75 yards with the iron sights at the same IPSC targets. Everything fine except that from time to time, I was either not hitting the target :)eek:) or hitting it near the left upper corner, above the shoulder. Also in those cases the holes were not clean. I don't reload so I didn't have a technical explanation. My only guess, at that time, was that weaker rounds plus, maybe, the microgroove rifling of the Marlin could cause that problem. Today I think I had the proof that the rifling was not part of the problem.
    What do you think it can be? I have never seen anything like that. Powder? Undersized bullet? I want to exclude sloppy shooting. I am bad but not that bad.


    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  2. dogsbreath

    dogsbreath Member

    Well, if it is a consistent problem with the one brand of bullet over different guns, it ain't you. Not sure what might cause it. The bullet is not stabilizing. It could be an odd shape so that it is top or bottom heavy, or just plain off balance.

    You need to come up sometime with all that brass and load up some rounds on the Dillon. Cook something that works for you and your needs.


  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

    about a year later, and I'm wondering if you found what the problem was yet?

    I'm also guessing you got a bad batch of ammo that had undersized bullets. Or bullets with air pockets in them or something else throwing them off-balance.

    If the cheap lead reloads had slowly gotten less accurate, and then all other ammo you tested afterward was inaccurate too, THEN I'd suspect lead fouling in your bore. But your 3 shots of that other brand of ammo gave you nice round holes, tight and well-centered.

    Although possibly it could be that there was SOME leading in your barrel and the long 240-grain bullets weren't getting enough spin to stabilize them, but the shorter 180 grainers did get sufficient spin for them. Longer bullets (meaning, heavier bullets for a given caliber) need a faster twist rate to spin them at higher RPM's to keep them stabilized.
  4. Banzi

    Banzi New Member

    The reasons for your inaccuracy problems with the reloads are not as straight forward as they are "cheap". Lead bullets are not inherently less accurate than jacketed, quite the contrary. I shoot thousands of lead bullets and the misses are mine.

    The most probable cause of your trouble is the bullets are not a match for your groove diameter.