Loaded Ammo as targets?


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Vermont
April 4, 2008, 01:23 PM
Has anybody ever used loaded ammunition as a target or is that just a horrible, dangerous idea? I would think it is OK because unless the cartridge is chambered, the bullet won't go too far, but before I even thought about doing it I figured I'd ask.

If you have shot at loaded rounds before what caliber did you shoot at, from how far, and was there a satisfying explosion?

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Dksimon
April 4, 2008, 01:27 PM
I guess i have never done it but i dont think i would reccomend it. Even if the slug doesnt go very far whos to say it doesn't come back at you?
If you are going to do it make sure theres no one else around.

marksman13
April 4, 2008, 01:29 PM
I've plinked a few shotgun shells with a 22LR before. I'm not saying it's the safest practice in the world, but it didn't seem espescially dangerous.

I do think that you will be dissapointed in the meager "pppffffffftttttt" sound that they make when they explode. Nothing exceptionally spectacular about it.

Tully M. Pick
April 4, 2008, 01:29 PM
Strikes me as a bad idea.

Floppy_D
April 4, 2008, 01:31 PM
The bullet won't really go far, the much lighter brass will come back towards you. The ammo needs a barrel to be dangerous. That said, probably not a good idea.

Mr White
April 4, 2008, 01:38 PM
Have to agree with marksman13. I've shot 12 ga shells with a .22. I can hit a primer fairly reliably at 30 yds. The result is a little flare of fire and not very much noise.

I don't think I'd try it with a rifle cartridge.

Funderb
April 4, 2008, 01:45 PM
if you watch mythbusters or understand physics, or both,
you will learn that the shell, not enclosed in a firearm, uses the bullet as a platform, because force follows the path of least resistance, and the thing you need to worry about is brass-through-the-head.
but from 100 yards you're prolly good.

frankcostanza
April 4, 2008, 01:46 PM
i can think of lots of things that are fun to shoot that are cheaper

BammaYankee
April 4, 2008, 01:46 PM
This is the sort of crap that gets people hurt and shooting areas/ ranges shut down. Being able to show others that we are responsible gun owners is our best defense against the gun grabbers... Use your head!

Sorry to be so blunt, but it is what it is.

jdc1244
April 4, 2008, 01:50 PM
just a horrible, dangerous idea?

Yes.

Funderb
April 4, 2008, 01:51 PM
I'm sure every range in america has a rule against shooting at live ammo.

But for your own personal injurification i'm sure it'd be fine.

blackcash88
April 4, 2008, 02:02 PM
Complete waste of money.

shdwfx
April 4, 2008, 02:33 PM
With common ammo retailing for .20 to 1.00+ per round, why would you want to double your cost of shooting like that?

Dravur
April 4, 2008, 02:41 PM
You could just shoot money...
Much faster way of doing something silly.

WayneConrad
April 4, 2008, 02:44 PM
I wouldn't. The brass (it's the brass that's the biggest hazard) can still come back at you with enough oomf to break skin or poke an eye if you're "too close." I don't know how close you have to be to be "too close." Do you want to find out by experimenting?

Flintlock Tom
April 4, 2008, 02:49 PM
What? You're all out of pumpkins?

Sharpshooter223
April 4, 2008, 02:50 PM
I've shot all kinds of rounds at 25 meters with my .22 shooting the primer. Never have had any bad luck but then again... it's kinda gay and really expensive. Like they said, just a small poof with a shotgun shell, hardly anything with a rifle/pistol cartridge. Something I really enjoyed shooting was the small co2 cartridges like you would put in a co2 powered pellet gun or something. A .22 would usually just dent the side but if you shoot directly into the top like it was a primer then it will shoot off (usually away from you) probably 5-20 meters. Pretty interesting, they haul ass too! And sometimes if u had a perfect hit then you can shake it and hear some lead from the round bouncing around inside it.

Hokkmike
April 4, 2008, 02:52 PM
Sounds patently unsafe. There should be enough excitment in just shooting guns.

NG VI
April 4, 2008, 02:57 PM
Nothing really happens. I've torn up shotgun shells I've found lying out at the shooting clearing just about every time I find them with my .22, and it's always really boring, but gives me something small to practice shooting at.

Incredibly anticlimactic, nothing happens.

kingpin008
April 4, 2008, 03:00 PM
Once again, I have to agree on all fronts. Sure, it's probably not the most dangerous thing to shoot at, but why risk it? There's not going to be some great explosion - the only part of a cartridge that's even remotely pressure-sensitive detonation wise is the primer, and that's not gonna give you much satisfaction.

And why waste the money? As expensive as ammo is, I'm damn sure not gonna spend my time shooting at the stuff.

Inspector3711
April 4, 2008, 03:04 PM
We used to shoot coleman propane canisters with .38 special tracers back in the 80's.... Very satisfying 20 foot fireball with a mushroom cloud. Just don't shoot one in the water. We did once and it shot across the river and flattened itself against a tree! Scary.... On flat ground they always stayed put. We stood back about 50 yards when we did this for safety.

Vermont
April 4, 2008, 03:06 PM
This is the sort of crap that gets people hurt and shooting areas/ ranges shut down. Being able to show others that we are responsible gun owners is our best defense against the gun grabbers... Use your head!

Sorry to be so blunt, but it is what it is.

No need to be sorry. This is why I asked. I think I can forget forget about that idea.

It's too expensive, it may or may not be safe and to top it off, the result would be nothing special. Clearly not a worthwhile venture.

Thanks for your knowledgeable input everybody.

Walkalong
April 4, 2008, 03:09 PM
Get some of those exploding targets (http://www.tannerite.com/) instead. :)

MudPuppy
April 4, 2008, 03:13 PM
I put a emptied 12 gauge shell in a knothole and shot it with a bb gun as youngster. The primer chunk flew out and hit my forehead and sunk in and traveled between the skull and skin, coming to a stop over my ear, with a big visible lump just under the skin. Blood spurted like a Monty Python movie and my friend turned pale when he saw it.

As bad as it was, my reaction was to fish it out and clean up before my mom got home and I'd really be in for a hurtin'.

Now, I was about 11 at the time--what's your excuse? :P

gym
April 4, 2008, 03:40 PM
There is a video on utube of a guy in a quarry of some kind, he's and his bud shooting a 50, his bud spotting. He lets one go an you hear the round ricochet off a few rocks and hit's the guy in the head. He's ok, but if that could happen, why would you tak a chance on firing at live ammo, please don't do that, we don't need an accident like that to happen to anyone, especially one of our guys.

Henry Bowman
April 4, 2008, 03:56 PM
You could just shoot money...
Much faster way of doing something silly.When I first started shooting trap and skeet, I soon learned to think of it as "shooting two quarters at a dime" every time I said "pull" and pulled the trigger.

brighamr
April 4, 2008, 04:02 PM
The only thing I've ever done remotely close to this was cut open a birshot shell, dump all the bb's, stick it in the side of a dirt hill, then shoot it with a .22 at about 50 yards. This was in the days before explosive targets and made things exciting.

Now, I would recommend buying tannerite or some of the other exploding targets, out of safety concerns.

bnkrazy
April 4, 2008, 04:03 PM
Live ammo, no thanks...

Get some reactive targets. Spinners, soda cans, etc. Apples and oranges that are going bad explode nicely with high velocity ammo. I do like knocking down empty 12GA shells at 100yds with my .17HMR.

bnkrazy
April 4, 2008, 04:06 PM
The only thing I've ever done remotely close to this was cut open a birshot shell, dump all the bb's, stick it in the side of a dirt hill, then shoot it with a .22 at about 50 yards. This was in the days before explosive targets and made things exciting.


That's not a bad idea. Reloaders could simply pack a larger amount of powder in a shotgun shell and close it up leaving out the shot. Then, drill some holes in a 2x4 that would snugly hold them with the brass facing you, and shoot away at 50+ yds. That might be fun. Still have to worry about the brass coming at you though unless you really made a decent way to hold them in there.

cmidkiff
April 4, 2008, 04:19 PM
I bounce empty shotgun hulls around with a .22 all the time... it's my favorite free target.

I did find a live 12g birdshot shell on the ground at the range once... stuck it through a bit of cardboard, hung it at the 50 yard line, and punched the primer with my .17hmr.

Probably wasn't the smartest move I've ever made, and the results were less than spectacular. It do go poof... but that's about it. The (low) brass and most of the hull was found about 3 feet from the target, I'd assume the shot and wad went downrange a short distance. I'd not recommend the activity.

Sweet-tarts, Ritz crackers, or Necco wafers are more fun, much safer, and way cheaper!

Hiaboo
April 4, 2008, 05:41 PM
I may get flamed or dirty looks from this but I do pick up "busted" shells from the live ammo deposit from the range and put it out at 50 yards and shoot it out there w/ the .22 the 7.62's make the biggest bang ;) Never had a problem but I feel pretty safe with it at 50 yards and just stuck in a peice of cardboard primer facing me. Closer than that? nah.

woolfam
April 4, 2008, 05:49 PM
My dad tried it when he was a kid. Found a .38, set it up against a fence post and shot at it with his .22.

He had surgery to try and remove a part of the round from inside his head, but they decided it was too risky and left it in there.

Seeing the scar on his forehead where they had removed a piece of his skull and hearing the story pretty much convinced me shooting at live rounds was a bad idea.

skidooman
April 4, 2008, 05:50 PM
I bounce empty shotgun hulls around with a .22 all the time... it's my favorite free target.

Me too. Its pretty satisfying to see them jump when you hit them.

novaDAK
April 4, 2008, 06:48 PM
With today's ammo prices, please just send the ammo to me and I'll properly dispose of it by shooting it out of my guns. :D

boatbod
April 4, 2008, 07:22 PM
I've shot a few .22LRs with a pellet rifle at various ranges. Its fun for about 10 seconds, but beyond that not much happens. Usually the cases split and pieces get redistributed in various directions.

Zoogster
April 4, 2008, 07:46 PM
Generaly a bad idea. The bigger the difference between the weight of the projectile and the cartridge the worse it is, or if the brass is against something that offers resistance.

That's not a bad idea. Reloaders could simply pack a larger amount of powder in a shotgun shell and close it up leaving out the shot. Then, drill some holes in a 2x4 that would snugly hold them with the brass facing you, and shoot away at 50+ yds. That might be fun. Still have to worry about the brass coming at you though unless you really made a decent way to hold them in there.

The problem with this is the brass itself becomes the projectile. All that force from the explosion is being applied directly to the brass as the item in the spot of the "projectile" (the board or hill) is not going anywhere. It may work sometimes without a problem. However when you get a piece of brass launching from what is essentialy a makeshift earthen barrel the length of how far it is in the dirt hill etc it could be very bad. Brass is relatively light, so that means it won't take that much energy to get it moving nice and fast. This could really turn out bad if you are shooting a high energy stationary round with a low energy bullet. The path of least resistance could be directly back at the shooter without any need to ricochet because the energy from the formerly stationary round you shot can easily overcome the energy from the round fired at it and continue at a high speed in reverse. It could even reverse the bullet shot at it and shoot it back at yin your direction using the back of the brass also coming in your direction as its launching pad.

mbpautz762
April 4, 2008, 11:21 PM
Funny story - I once bought some really awful 9mm ammo for my beretta 92. it was really cheap (440 rounds for 20 bucks!) because it had a wax bullet with a small BB-sized ball bearing at the nose. it was supposed to be just as accurate as the real deal within 50 feet. well apparently the ball bearing wasn't always centered, and the wax would melt as it went down the barrel (or something). the BB would bang around the rifling, causing numerous dents and pits in the barrel :fire:

after I discovered that, I was seriously pissed off. it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I swept the rest of the rounds off the table (This was in a wooded backyard, not at the range - I would NEVER do this at the range), stepped back about 20 yards, and just went to town on those things with everything from a .22 to 10mm. :what:

anyway, none of the rounds actually detonated, but I ended up with a HUGE mess of spilled gunpowder and obliterated cases. I sure did feel better after that!

The best (or worst) part is that I covered the mess up with dirt and promptly forgot about it. About a year later, I decided to build a bonfire that just happened to be in the exact same spot :uhoh:
I must've jumped about 30 feet in the air when the first round cooked off! :eek: I could've sworn I left my shoes right there at the fire. anyway, the point is that nothing really happened when i shot that ammo, although I would NEVER do it again, and would never recommend someone else do the same. because if it all goes as planned, it's not that interesting, but if something does goes wrong, you have serious potential to injure your property, yourself, or others. It's just not a responsible thing to do.

Bazooka Joe71
April 4, 2008, 11:48 PM
You could just shoot money...
Much faster way of doing something silly.

That's what I was thinking...I haven't tried it, but I don't see it doing anything special...I'd rather take that SG shell and shoot a clay pigeon.

RoadkingLarry
April 5, 2008, 12:44 AM
A guy I went to school with has a real neat little scar he got when he thought it would be fun to shoot a .22 RF with a BB gun. when he connected the casing came back and embedded itself in his stomach just under the skin. I imagine it would have really sucked had it hit him in the eye.

Gun Slinger
April 5, 2008, 01:21 PM
I can still remember my Dad telling me, as a little boy of 6, that shooting at live ammunition was "dangerous, foolish and wasteful" when I asked him what would happen if someone were to shoot at a piece of live ammunition.

Still seems like a sage observation today, perhaps even moreso with the price of ammunition being what it is.

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