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Thread: AR500 target sparking with lead bullets?!?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    AR500 target sparking with lead bullets?!?

    I took some out of town folks shooting yesterday evening. We shot until close to dark. The last rifle we shot was a 458 SOCOM. I noticed a small spark when the bullets made impact with the AR500 steel?!?
    Bullet alloy was roughly 94-3-3.
    Powder coated
    300 grain round nose with a big meplat.

    I have not chronographed this load, but I think itís in the 1,600FPS range.

    My question is what technically is causing the spark?

    BNE
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Static electricity?
    Plastic coating traveling through the air hitting a grounded target.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Could it possibly been a reflection off of a bullet fragment flashing in existing light? GW

  4. #4
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry54 View Post
    Static electricity?
    Plastic coating traveling through the air hitting a grounded target.
    The steel is not grounded. It is bolted on to a 2x4 that is slid into a wood stand.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G W Wade View Post
    Could it possibly been a reflection off of a bullet fragment flashing in existing light? GW
    It was cloudy and getting dark. So I don’t think so.

    I didn’t take the time to inspect the steel itself. I’ll inspect and report back.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Bullets GC'd?
    Larry Gibson

    ďDeficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.Ē
    ― Nikola Tesla

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It may be the bullet sliding rust or scale on the plate against the steel and producing a red hot ember or spark.This only really shows up at dusk or low light.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    It may be the bullet sliding rust or scale on the plate against the steel and producing a red hot ember or spark.This only really shows up at dusk or low light.
    ^^^This^^^

    Steel will spark against something like flint because small fragments are "burned" off the surface by the rock striking the surface. The bullet is doing the same thing - I suspect if you painted the steel target, most of the sparks would cease to appear.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Bullets GC'd?
    No gas check.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWooldridge View Post
    ^^^This^^^

    Steel will spark against something like flint because small fragments are "burned" off the surface by the rock striking the surface. The bullet is doing the same thing - I suspect if you painted the steel target, most of the sparks would cease to appear.
    Ok I like this theory. I did paint it, but it may have had rust spots on the surface. Interesting.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    I did look at the target this weekend more closely. There is a small amount of surface rust on the exposed surfaces. I had painted over it, but that makes the most sense so far. Will have to try this again.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check