Ricochet at the indoor range?


July 19, 2009, 03:09 AM
went shooting with my brother today. as he was aiming for his next shot, he winced, and set down his pistol. showed me his arm, and he had a tiny nick from what we can only surmise was a bullet fragment. i thought maybe a hot casing from the next lane hit him; he said no, but it felt like a bee sting. a little perplexed, we resumed shooting and then couple minutes later, another tiny cut to his leg. that was enough to convince us to pack up and leave. has this happened to anyone else?

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July 19, 2009, 03:26 AM
depends on how long the range is. Ours is 25 yds so there really no chance of a ricochet coming back. Generally, a ricochet refers to the bullet itself, or atleast a large chunk. It sound like ot me that fragments from the bullets were hitting your brother after the bullet contacted the back stop. What kind of bullets were you using(i.e. wad cutters, FMJ's, HP's etc.)?

July 19, 2009, 04:10 AM
I'm guessing it was lead shavings from the gap between a revolver's cylinder and it's barrel. When a revolver is fired a small ammount of hot gass, and some shaving from the bullet, will spit out sideways, striking people standing to the side. My guess is that somebody nearby was shooting a revolver.

July 19, 2009, 06:40 AM
Happens all the time, so used to it don't really pay attention anymore, just the nature of the beast. Still got a lump in my forehead from a direct ricochet during a steel speed shooting competition 7-8 yrs ago. Good clothes, hat, earmuffs and safety glasses are a must.

July 19, 2009, 06:47 AM
This is extremely common when folks are firing shotguns at the indoors ranges. I have had my good share of cuts. The best one was about an inch long down the side of my face. That is why it is best to wear long sleeves (pants and shirts), a hat and always safety glasses! This all happened on the 15 yard lanes.

July 19, 2009, 07:04 AM
Yeah, that's part of the deal. P.P.E. is a must.

Sav .250
July 19, 2009, 07:04 AM
I`ve had hot cases bounce off me when the next next to me is firing a semi
without a catch net.
Ranger official took care of that problem for me.

July 19, 2009, 10:12 AM
Most indoor ranges have steel backstops. There are irregularities and joints that if hit just right will cause "splash". I've been hit with bullet fragments several times. Pieces of copper jacket are especially nasty and have drawn blood. Usually happens when all the lanes are full. Joe

July 19, 2009, 10:21 AM
Yep, it happens. I was hit square in the chest w/ an in tact .45 slug but with really no velocity behind it. Needless to say it scared the s*** out of me.

I spoke the the Range Master and he explained that their particular backstop was prone to that. I can't really say that made me feel that much better.

As others have said, safety equipment is our friend :)

Be safe,

July 19, 2009, 10:30 AM
One of the indoor ranges around here (sloping steel backstop) is ADAMANT about NOT allowing hollow point and semi jacketed bullets. They get stuff bouncing back at the firing line all of the time with this stuff. And of course some ying-yang will always try to sneak some of this ammo past the check in and I have been hit with a few ricochets. You can see the jacket fragments back on the firing line on the floor.

It seems, at this range at least, if you use FMJ, plated or lead bullets this sort of thing drops off to hardly noticeable levels.

Now, the new and improved range with the fancy circular, water bath, super duper ventilation bullet trap system will allow you to shoot anything you like (of course this range is members only, yearly membership dues, etc) and there aren't any ricochets back to the line (assuming you don't miss the target area and hit the wall, ceiling or floor).

The Lone Haranguer
July 19, 2009, 02:13 PM
If these are coming from the shooter(s) adjacent to you, why are there no partitions between the lanes? :confused: I shot extensively at an indoor range in AZ and was never hit by anything.

July 19, 2009, 05:23 PM
I spoke the the Range Master and he explained that their particular backstop was prone to that

That's crazy - I think the range must be cheaping out on their backstop and sideboards because with well built range setups it does not happen. You guys should bitch to someone.

July 19, 2009, 05:57 PM
Years ago, I was shooting at an indoor range in Brunswick Hills, Ohio and ended up with about a 1/4" of jacket material sticking out of the back of my shooting hand. I removed the fragment, washed the wound out, put a bandaid on it and resumed shooting. The then owners were bad about keeping the backstop and screens up.

July 19, 2009, 05:59 PM
The best way to avoid this problem is to use a captive rubber pellet system that keeps a large quantity of tire crumb behind sheets of conveyor belt material. Our club uses that and I don't think I've ever been hit by anything.

July 19, 2009, 06:32 PM
Most ranges still have a short ,maybe 16" high retaining wall that if the targets are hanging to low for the persons aim can hit it and bounce back.

Precision Paper Puncher
July 19, 2009, 06:45 PM
i had an entire jacket from a .45 230gr cci brass load pop me in the cheek today at the shooters club in fort worth tx ... 15 yards, barely broke the skin. surprised the hell out of me, i am used to getting a little frag here or there on my arms or shoulders/chest, but never a full flattened jacket, and never in the face.

i know it was mine, because the time it happened i was the only one that fired.

there is a wall about 4 foot tall with a rest for ammo/guns , lifted about 2'' above the floor so you can sweep the brass under it.

July 19, 2009, 06:49 PM

Dallas Jack
July 19, 2009, 07:57 PM
Been hit by a .357 bullet that bounced back at an indoor range. Didn't hurt and I found the slug and gave it to the guy that fired it. He shrugged his shoulders and kept on fireing. I left.
Dallas Jack

Precision Paper Puncher
July 19, 2009, 08:04 PM

ever had a piece of lead roll back to hit you in the foot...? that's kind of un-nerving

that same range that i mentioned had an ol boy take his shotgun in, no big deal, some people do it from time to time.....

except they use lead instead of steel HEVI-shot like he did, needless to say they don't let shotguns come on the range any more....

July 19, 2009, 08:25 PM
at my range i stay away from the end lanes. the frag will contact and then follow the wall right to you.

Indiana Jon
July 19, 2009, 08:32 PM
A long time ago I went to an indoor range and shot my Colt Mustang 380 for the first time. It had a short barrel, and I wasn't used to it yet. The first round was a little high and hit the clip holding the target. All of a sudden the unburnt powder on the floor was on fire and the range monitor had to run out and use the fire extinguisher to put it out. The bullet must have done a ricochet off the metal clip and somehow lit up the gunpowder. No damage, though, other than to my ego. The fire was put out quickly.

July 19, 2009, 08:33 PM
I used to shoot at a 25 yard range and had this happen a few times. Now I use a 50 yard range if I shoot indoors and haven't had a problem.

PPE is your best friend when shooting. Wear jeans and closed toe shoes. I usually wear a long sleeve shirt at indoor ranges (i usually only do pistol shooting in the winter in indoor ranges). If I have a ricochet, the sting is often taken out and I don't feel the heat from hot cases hitting me. Safety glass and ear protection go without saying but a baseball cap is nice to wear to have too.

July 19, 2009, 11:23 PM
I was a member of an indoor range a while back. Took my CCW class there. Anyway, duing all the blasting away... I shot my 357 revolver at a target maybe 10 yds away and one of the lights to my left broke. My first thought was.... how in the heck did I hit that... well I didn't. It was a ricochet. Could have come from any number of handguns being shot, but I have a feeling it came from my 357.

July 19, 2009, 11:25 PM
Yep. I was taking the CCW course and the guy next to me shot the target holder. :what: Bullet fragment hit the RO in the neck and drew blood, hit me in the thumb hard enough to bruise. It happens.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 20, 2009, 12:35 AM
You betcha - gun ranges sometimes shoot back! Hence the necessity of eye protection. It happens. It happens more with shorter ranges, harder backstops, harder bullets, and straight-on perpendicular shots.

July 20, 2009, 06:06 AM
Yeah safety comes first. Don't believe what you saw in the movies, lol...:D

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