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Gun Range Ricochet

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by thegriz18, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    I was at the range on Saturday and caught a ricochet in the neck. It didn't pierce the skin or cause any bruising, but it made me question the safety of ranges that use this type of backstop. It appears to be a sheet of metal (steel) set at and angle that deflects bullets upwards into some kind of trap. Anyone ever use a range like this? I'm not a big fan. Anyone ever caught a ricochet? BTW this was an indoor range.
     
  2. Marc1956

    Marc1956 CLM #66

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    Yikes! :wow: Glad you're alright!
     

  3. diver 1956

    diver 1956

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    Yes I have caught a ricochet. When I was around 9 or 10 (back in the early 1940s) my step Dad put a paper target on a huge boulder in a gravel pit. (Not too swift). The purpose was to sight in his .30-.06 for deer season. Needless to say, the bullet did not move the boulder, and I caught it in the top of my head. If I had been one step farther backward, it would have missed me. . .but one step farther forward and, well. . . it would have been in the middle of my forehead. (Who knows, it might have ricocheted again, and off in another direction) :)
    As it was, the amount of blood was enough to stop the sighting in for the day!
    (Now everyone knows why I am the way I am. . .I've been shot in the head so to speak) :)
     
  4. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm

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    That's a good reason to be wearing eye protection. When I shoot steel challenges, it's not unheard of to catch a shard of lead now and then. I offered a guy a band-aid last year for his bleeding leg. He was wearing shorts and didn't even notice it. It happens.
     
  5. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Yep piece of lead embedded in my nose. Couldn't get it out at the range. Tweezers got it out at home. Guy in lane next to me was firing double taps at hanging target and his second shots kept hitting the steel hanger sending lead splattering. The walls of the range I go to are covered in bullet fragments.
     
  6. LL6

    LL6

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    Typical indoor ranges with the sloped metal backstops utilize what I remember is called a swirl tube. It's a heavy metal pipe with a length-wise gap situated at the top of the backstop. The round when it hits the backstop slides up into the swirl tube and spends its energy in there. Then "harmlessly" slides back down the backstop into a catch tray at the bottom. When range maintenance is not regularly performed lead can build up in the tube and chunks of this lead deposit or your bullet can ricochet out of the tube.

    It is a simple (but very dirty and messy) fix that the range has the obligation to clean up. Another good reason to wear eye protection too.
     
  7. NVMYGlock

    NVMYGlock

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    Glad you weren't hurt. I caught a hunk of .45 ACP in the inside of my left foot once at an indoor range. It did not hit hard enough to bruise or anything, but it smacked it pretty good. I picked it up and immediately had to drop it because it was still hot to the touch.
     
  8. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

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    Fairly common to see "splashback" or spalling from steel plates, target hangers, clips, target stands and any other hard surface that may be down range.

    I've been "dusted" lots of times by bullet fragements when standing too close to steel plates. I've also seen fragments bounce several yards back uprange to the firing line on indoor ranges under tha same circumstance you describe.

    Always wear good quality eye protection, and if you have body armor there is no place better to wear it than the range (my opinion).
     
  9. DeltaNu1142

    DeltaNu1142 Glock talker

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    My brother works at a manufacturer & caught a 9mm ricochet in the hand. It didn't break the skin, but I bet it would have hurt had it caught him in a squishy part. (eye, nose, throat?)

    He immediately emailed me about "upgrading" my EDC from a 9mm... because he took a round in the hand & it bounced right off :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Yes, just a few minutes ago while shooting steel targets with a S&W 22 Mod 34. I would call it splash back more than a ricochet.
    Over the years I've been hit a number of times by bullet fragments but they hardly even sting.
    A few months ago I was hit by a small sharp fragment that did scratch my face.


    Probably the worst thing I've used for a bullet backstop is logs. Quite often I'd hear a bullet hit the shed behind me because the bullet was turned back by the logs.

    People have been seriously hurt by bullets flying back but it's quite rare.
     
  11. acpd442

    acpd442

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    Must have been a 9mm. :whistling:

    Honestly though, glad your OK.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  12. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    I've been hit by dozens of ricochets. At our indoor range and outdoors at steel plate shoots. Any time you shoot at a hard surface you risk a ricochet. Most of the time no damage will be done since the round has expended the majority of its energy. Between the times I've been hit and the many others that have been hit I've witnessed hundreds of ricochet strikes. No one was ever seriously injured. The worst injuries were the occasional cut from a sharp jacket fragment. To sum up, I wouldn't let it bother you.
     
  13. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff

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    MANY indoor ranges that are not well-maintained will allow shooters to get hit by ricochets. The main issue is to make sure that the EDGES of the steel plates that form the backstop DO NOT have distorted/burred edges that will direct backsplash back at the firing line.

    As a USPSA RO, I have been hit by LOTS of backsplash over the years on indoor ranges.
     
  14. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    Bullet splatter is not unusual shooting steel. This may help you understand what happens when a full metal jacket strikes hardened steel plate such as T1.

    [​IMG]



    Wearing safety glasses is an absolute necessity.
     
  15. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    You know I tell people this and even posted it hear on GlockTalk but people are skeptical. I swear when the piece of lead struck me in my nose. Maybe just slightly larger than a grain of rice. It actually physically snapped my head back from the force. I do not want to ever get shot for real. Makes me think there is something to those movie guys that get blown off their feet.
     
  16. michael88

    michael88

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    ok are we referring to a ricochet or shrapnel? I could be wrong in my assumption, but I thought a ricochet was like the trick shot guys who shoot at the ground and then it angles back up to a target still intact as a bullet. Or are you getting hit with exploded pieces of metal? I thought the laws of physics wouldn't allow for shooting a flat target and it hitting something behind you as a previous poster stated.
     
  17. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

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    LOL...I am the human lead magnet at any match with steel. I can hide behind the fattest guy and somehow, some way, I'll catch a piece of lead coming back at me. It doesn't matter how the steel is angled. I just have horrible luck. I can't even count the number of times I've been hit.
     
  18. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Not uncommon setup for indoor ranges. Ours has a steel plate side and a "tactical" side which has the steel plate covered by rubberized pellets which help to catch the bullets.

    But a certain amount of splatter is common, that is why we have shooters sign safety waivers. Shooting guns can be hazardous.
     
  19. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    Most of what we are referring to is bullet fragments. I have been hit by whole deformed bullets before but usually just pieces.
     
  20. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

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    Common sense and the laws of physics would disprove the myth that a .45 ACP hitting a man in the hand will spin him around, and a COM shot would throw him back five feet. I guess a 20 pound dog would fly 100 yards if hit with a .45. :)