FMJ ammo ban on your range?


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Professor Gun
July 9, 2008, 06:46 PM
At one of the local shooting clubs I belong to there is a ban on use of FMJ ammunition that has been in place at least 20 years. Few members were aware of this and recently it was suggested that the ban be removed as a way of bringing up to date the bylaws because a large number of members use FMJ ammo without any problems, the rule has not been enforced, and with the growing popularity of Three Gun matches at the club FMJ ammo is used more by competitors.

The Board of Directors voted to keep the ban because of concern about ricochets by someone shooting at cans on the ground. It is important to note here that it is against the rules to shoot at anything on the ground; shooting must be on targets on approved target stands in front of dirt berms that are about 20 feet high and this rule is enforced. Targets for USPSA and Three Gun matches are placed so that there is a large berm behind them as a bullet stop.

When advised that keeping the ban would mean canceling Three Gun matches at the club (which bring in revenue), the Board then voted to allow use of FMJ ammo only for USPSA and Three Gun matches.

Anyone have an opinion on this?

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divemedic
July 9, 2008, 07:17 PM
Personally, I use frangible practice ammo whenever possible. I know everyone here has heard a bullet or two whizzing overhead before, at least if your ranges are set up anything like mine.

justin 561
July 9, 2008, 07:31 PM
I personally use FMJ mostly because the surplus ammo I buy is FMJ. Seems kind of weird they would not allow you to use it. Do they only allow you to fire frangible practice ammo?

Professor Gun
July 9, 2008, 07:37 PM
They do not specify frangible ammo. You can use any kind of bullet except FMJ. The range is surrounded by hills and the shooting areas are surrounded by dirt berms approximately 20 feet high.

Mr White
July 9, 2008, 07:42 PM
If they don't enforce it, I wouldn't be too concerned about it. It's probably just a CYA thing in case something ever does happen.

My range requires eye and ear protection but I never wear eye protection. If I ever shoot my eye out kid, they're off the hook because they have the rule in place and posted and I chose to ignore it.

kingpin008
July 9, 2008, 07:43 PM
If the rule has been in place for 20 years, and it's not enforced, why worry about it?

Robusto
July 9, 2008, 07:46 PM
My range will not let you use lead because it's an indoor range and they have somewhat poor ventilation. FMJ is actually encouraged.

zxcvbob
July 9, 2008, 07:48 PM
My range will not let you use lead because it's an indoor range and they have somewhat poor ventilation. FMJ is actually encouraged.

At my indoor range, lead (and thin copper plated) is the only thing allowed.

orionengnr
July 9, 2008, 07:53 PM
Several local ranges ban FMJ rifle ammo. They say that ricochets are reduced by the use of soft point or hollow point ammo (given the tiny hollow point or very small soft point, I'm not sure if this is actually true). Neither HP nor SP is as cheap or reaily available as FMJ ammo, so I spend very little time at these ranges.

everallm
July 9, 2008, 08:34 PM
Since Hollow Point absolutely requires a fluid to expand (EFMJ aside), I fail to see how HP and FMJ ricochets can be any different.

Rmart30
July 9, 2008, 08:49 PM
if they dont enforce it Id shoot what I wanted to and not worry about it.

TexasRifleman
July 9, 2008, 09:25 PM
The Board of Directors voted to keep the ban because of concern about ricochets by someone shooting at cans on the ground.

Maybe they should create a rule forbidding using garbage as targets, then allow FMJ.

My range allows FMJ but we don't allow trash as targets.

Problem solved.

Robusto
July 9, 2008, 09:35 PM
At my indoor range, lead (and thin copper plated) is the only thing allowed.
At my range, it's that shredded tire stuff (not technical... I know), but we can shoot rifles too.

makarovnik
July 9, 2008, 09:39 PM
Is this a joke? Do they have signs posted? I'd do it anyway. I'm calling B.S. on this one.

zxcvbob
July 9, 2008, 10:01 PM
What type of back stop do you have

A big piece of steel armor, angled down towards a sand pit. And heavy rubber "Mud flaps" (they're awfully shot up though) hanging down between the target hangers and the steel backstop.

MedWheeler
July 9, 2008, 10:25 PM
The local range here (the only one in the county) doesn't have a FMJ ban, but they did recently enact a ban against any ammo not purchased from them. Been real quiet in there since.

jaholder1971
July 9, 2008, 11:08 PM
Sounds pretty lame. If the range is having bounceback or riccochet trouble then you've got engineering issues.

Even SP and JHP ammo will do the same thing.

kingpin008
July 10, 2008, 12:33 AM
Since Hollow Point absolutely requires a fluid to expand (EFMJ aside), I fail to see how HP and FMJ ricochets can be any different.

Who told you that? I've seen HP's expand just fine when shot into non-fluid targets.

KiltedClaymore
July 10, 2008, 12:37 AM
agreed. they expand very well in phone books

jakemccoy
July 10, 2008, 12:45 AM
I've never heard of such, weird.

Moonclip
July 10, 2008, 05:59 AM
My local indoor range does not allow lead non jacketed bullets. I knew of a range that only allowed lead bullets, certain calibers and low power loads due to noise complaints.

everallm
July 10, 2008, 09:10 AM
Kingpin, Kiltedclaymore, Jakemccoy

You are confusing Expansion with Deforming.

Any bullet can, if traveling fast enough, when it hits a solid object deform from it's original shape and will frequently show some flattening or mushrooming on the striking surface.

HP's are designed specifically to expand in a controlled manner, through hydrostatic pressure. This occurs when the cavity is filled with a fluid, which flesh acts as at high velocity, causing the classic large, even, petalled mushrooming.

This is why you hear that FMJ's are not regarded as particularly good defensive ammunition as the will usually "through and through" with little to no expansion. They may have slight deformation but they will have not expanded effectively.

This is also why as part of some ballistic gel testing the targets have denim, leather etc material placed on the striking surface. This is used, amongst other things, to check how effectively HP's expand if the cavity gets plugged, partially or wholly by the material.

Flame Red
July 10, 2008, 09:33 AM
Please don't give the draconian range I belong to any ideas!

Phil DeGraves
July 10, 2008, 09:41 AM
A big piece of steel armor, angled down towards a sand pit.

One of the indoor ranges I shoot at will not allow the use of FMJ rounds because it can tear up the somewhat soft steel backstop. On the other hand, another range I shoot at requires TMJ with lead free primers to reduce airborne lead. They both had good reasons and I respect their decisions. I shoot anything I want in my backyard.

jjbduke2004
July 10, 2008, 10:07 AM
The Nassau County (NY) Rifle & Pistol Range in Uniondale has always had a ban on FMJ for rifles, but not pistols. The range is 25 yards indoors. When the range master logs you in, he asks you to list the calibers you're using. If he hears 7.62x39, 5.56, .30-'06, etc. he will ask to see your ammo. If you say .30-30, he will not bother you as he will assume soft point ammo.

Rmart30
July 10, 2008, 10:17 AM
The local range here (the only one in the county) doesn't have a FMJ ban, but they did recently enact a ban against any ammo not purchased from them. Been real quiet in there since.

Sounds like someone needs to find a few acres somewhere and open another one :)

O C
July 10, 2008, 10:38 AM
All ranges have different sisuations to deal with. We had to re-position owr range because a neighbor (over 1 mile away) came by and asked someone to come with him. When we got to his house we found a bullet lodged in the siding of his detached garage. It was a FMJ 7.62. He wasn't real mad, but wanted us to be aware. His kids play ground set was nearby. Our range was here first, but encroachment has us running scared. We can't afford to let a bullet get away, because if an anti gets hit, it would be the end of the range.

yesit'sloaded
July 10, 2008, 11:29 AM
We have a steel core and tracer ban. Mostly because some dumbA set the range on fire with a tracer a year or so back and retards were tearing up the gongs with steel core.

KI.W.
July 10, 2008, 08:11 PM
No bans. Can also use tracers.

Kharn
July 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
My indoor range requires JHP, TMJ or any other closed-base bullet design for handguns to reduce airborne lead, frangible for rifle.

Kharn

Professor Gun
July 10, 2008, 11:24 PM
I had an error in my original post-the berms are not 20 feet high but substantially less than that. The berm at the 100 yard target frame was reported to be 4 1/2 feet high and the ground surface between the 100 and 200 yard targets slopes upward slightly. After hearing this report last night, I would be concerned about ricochets beyond the range, but it seems to me that any bullet type has the potential to ricochet; if the bullet strikes ground surfaces at a shallow angle I think the physics of this dictate that it very well may ricochet, even hollow points as the strike is on the side of the bullet and not at the deformable hollow point. After hearing this report last night, I think that perhaps the rifle range needs to be closed until the situation is corrected. It doesn't make any sense to me to ban FMJ ammo, allow shooting of all other types of bullets and think that the ricochet issue is solved.

Am I missing something here? I would like to hear opinions from those of you with experience in ballistics or experiences with ricochet problems at outdoor ranges.

38 Super Auto
July 10, 2008, 11:32 PM
My range will not let you use lead because it's an indoor range and they have somewhat poor ventilation. FMJ is actually encouraged.

What about the lead styphnate in the primer compound? This is the primary source of lead vapor?

Unless you are using a different technology for priming compound, there is lead vapor being produced, regardless if you are using cast, FMJ, or TMJs.

RP88
July 10, 2008, 11:59 PM
I shoot at a 30-yd indoor range. Rules are that anything from a rifle bigger than .223/5.56 must be SP or HP. Shotgun shells also cannot be plated or steel shot, and no slugs.

glockman19
July 11, 2008, 12:01 AM
It is a rule at one of my outdoor ranges. They only enforce it on steel targets. If you're shooting paper it's ok.

gtmerkley
July 11, 2008, 01:59 AM
My range is my back yard.

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