Shooting over open water.


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SilverDragn
January 14, 2010, 03:17 PM
I don't know where to post this at. But I can't find this info anywhere else.
Does anyone know if its legal to shoot out into open water? I live on lake Erie and I was wondering if its safe and legal to fire rounds out into the water.
I know when I was in the Navy we'd shoot thousand of rounds but that was out in open ocean and in International waters.

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DAVIDSDIVAD
January 14, 2010, 03:21 PM
Umm... I don't mean to be rude, but unless you have a target on the water, what's the point?

mptrimshop
January 14, 2010, 03:28 PM
he wants to shoot trap...i'm guessing

SilverDragn
January 14, 2010, 03:30 PM
No, really just want to waste ammo for free instead of paying range fees

highorder
January 14, 2010, 03:39 PM
waste ammo? Did your cash bonfire burn out then?

Send me all your ammo that has no value.

With no target to shoot at, why bother?

Art Eatman
January 14, 2010, 03:47 PM
We already have more than enough snark on hand, thank you. Don't send any more!

Okay: Odds are, local ordinances about shooting will apply. Purely a guess, but maybe the Coast Guard would be the only group with legal authority for any regulating in international boundary waters.

As far as safety, and considering the size of Lake Erie, if there are no boats within an arc of 60 to 90 degrees, and within a couple of miles if you're talking centerfires, odds are there's no downrange danger. Overall, however, it's not the best idea I've ever heard.

Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo...

highorder
January 14, 2010, 03:51 PM
My apologies.

I was reminded of Lloyds "extra gloves" in Dumb and Dumber.

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 14, 2010, 05:08 PM
We already have more than enough snark on hand, thank you. Don't send any more!

Okay: Odds are, local ordinances about shooting will apply. Purely a guess, but maybe the Coast Guard would be the only group with legal authority for any regulating in international boundary waters.

As far as safety, and considering the size of Lake Erie, if there are no boats within an arc of 60 to 90 degrees, and within a couple of miles if you're talking centerfires, odds are there's no downrange danger. Overall, however, it's not the best idea I've ever heard.

Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo...

I was serious.

I always wondered why the Navy shot into the sea, and thought maybe OP was ex-navy.


Also, in these days of liability and lawsuits... I doubt that farmer is out there

mrokern
January 14, 2010, 05:12 PM
Rule 4: Know your target and what is behind it.

If you can't say with 100% certainty that there are no boats within the range of your rounds, don't shoot.

-Mark

SilverDragn
January 14, 2010, 05:12 PM
Yeah I am ex navy and we alway did shoot out into the sea for "Training and qualification"
And I would be sharing my ammo with some buddies who own property on the lake.

larry_minn
January 14, 2010, 05:51 PM
...Does anyone know if its legal to shoot out into open water? I live on lake Erie and I was wondering if its safe and legal to fire rounds out into the water.
I know when I was in the Navy we'd shoot thousand of rounds but that was out in open ocean and in International waters.
In MN you are no longer allowed to fire lead "over water"... If you are talking shotgun/clays with steel shot you would be fine (in MN) provided nobody complained. :( As this is ment for waterfowel hunting.
I would worry about pistol/rifle ammo against water. I have no idea how far its possible for it to "skip" OR if you fire slightly above. (what is your backstop?) Is the chunk of wood/target able to deflect bullet? will you be charged with littering?
A river where you are UP on a bank and the other side has high bank is one thing. 5' above water level (assumption) is another. Heck on ships not only are you miles from land/other ships but 20'??? above water line? (steep angle)
Call the local DNR, Water safety patrol/Coast guard/etc. My guess is they will tell you "NO YOU CAN NOT DO THAT"

edSky
January 14, 2010, 06:59 PM
I'm guessing it has something to do with a low angle of attack and skipping. Just like when we sidearm flat rocks and they end up going much farther than they would if they didn't skip. Just a guess. Maybe something for MythBusters

wishin
January 14, 2010, 07:35 PM
I live on a 15,000 acre lake (a pond compared to Lake Erie) in Georgia that has no prohibitions on firing on the water as long as you have a GFL, and aren't using the firearm to fish. As a practical matter the lake doesn't lend itself to shooting because there are many homes along the shore line vulnerable to stray bullets.

Definately check with your local government and any other entity that governs Lake Erie.

Bud Tugly
January 14, 2010, 08:04 PM
Bad idea IMO, especially with a rifle that can skip a long way. You'd probably notice someone in a boat out there, but what about a kayak? They sit awful low in the water and could easily be obscured by waves.

They're all over the place up here in Lake Superior and I assume Erie would be similar. Unlikely in the dead of winter, but some of those folks are pretty fanatical about their sport.

Potentially very dangerous to assume the lake is totally empty in front of your shooting area

redneck
January 14, 2010, 08:29 PM
I was told by a guy at the range that Camp Perry where the National Matches are held, uses the lake as a backstop (for lack of a better word). I don't know if this applies only to special occasions/large matches because they lack enough berm to put on an event or if it is full time.
He said that the water they shoot into is patrolled by the coast gaurd and posted, but that they routinely have to stop shooting and run private boats back into safe water because people think the foaming water where the rounds are hitting is caused by schools of fish....

I'd be inclined to think he was feeding me a line of BS but he's a great shot, gives lots of good advice, and never seems interested in putting one over on anybody, just helping folks improve their shooting and keeping the range safe.

So assuming that its true, it sounds like it is possible that you could shoot into the lake as well, but keep in mind you don't have anyone patrolling the water for you or backing you in the event of an accident.

HOME DEPOT GEORGE
January 14, 2010, 08:34 PM
When I had my 32 foot century we would always shoot when we were 15 to 20+ miles offshore either clays or helium balloons providing we saw no boats within 10 miles on the radar. We would shoot at the balloons with different calibers of centerfire even handgun. As far as lead in the water there's more poundage in fishing weights on the bottom especially around the wrecks and reefs we fish, even the Navy with all the practice shooting in the world couldn't top it.

Odnar
January 14, 2010, 08:40 PM
You might check your Dept of Natural Resources Hunting Guide. Mine (Indiana) specifically states:

It is illegal to shoot across a body of water, except in the lawful pursuit of wildlife.

Good luck.

Jim_100
January 14, 2010, 08:53 PM
I think Bud Tugley makes a valid point about the kayak possibly not being noticed. Imagine being out there with your wife or son and have rifle rounds making a skipping splash around you. It does sound like fun to shoot out into the water but I would definitly be concerned about not knowing what is down range.

SilverDragn
January 14, 2010, 11:06 PM
Should have specified it would only be a 9mm handgun i'd be shooting.

Hardtarget
January 14, 2010, 11:59 PM
I thought Camp Perry was on Lake Erie...and they shot high power out onto the lake. Never been there...I am likely way off base.

Mark

T.A.Sharps
January 15, 2010, 05:18 AM
I would call the DNR in your state and just ask them.

I don't have a lake here, but I know we are not supposed to shoot over water. But that is here in Iowa.

kanook
January 15, 2010, 08:48 AM
we saw no boats within 10 miles on the radarUnless you can do what HDG said above, It wouldn't be wise.

Unlike a child, you are resonsable for the bullet for its entire life. If you think that once the bang is over it's done, it's not. There has been a couple of cases where the shooter has been charged for manslaughter and didn't even know they shot somebody.

The drunking felon idiot gave his drunking wife (also an idiot because she bought the felon the firearm) the revolver and told her to aim at the steel drum. She did and shot, bullet richotted and hit (killed) an elderly man sitting at the park a couple of miles away.
After a long investigation the police where able to track it back to the drunk felon and the wife. Both were charged in this case.

ole farmerbuck
January 15, 2010, 08:58 AM
Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo



Yup Just call me.

Sav .250
January 15, 2010, 09:09 AM
Thought I`d try google and darn if I didn`t find this entire (up till now) post
listed. Plus, some other information. :)

jackpinesavages
January 15, 2010, 10:09 AM
Shooting lead over/onto water is generally illegal, but check with your local DNR. I can't imagine shooting 9mm into a lake for? No targets?

svtruth
January 15, 2010, 10:58 AM
for a height of eye above the water of 6 feet is 2.8 miles, if you add another mile for the height of eye in the hypothetical kayak you get about 4 miles. A 9mm probably would not make it but a 30-06 might. Now if the kayaker's head is (let's say) a foot in diameter so at the ~7000 yds it is about .17 moa. I'm not sure I could see it, even though it is technically in view.
The formula is 1.17 times the square root of the height of eye in feet is the distance in miles. You add the distance for height of eye and the distance for height of the object to come up with the total distance.

Now, does anyone have experience shooting over smooth ice?

semperfi63
January 15, 2010, 03:10 PM
Bound to be some farmer around who'd maybe like to join you in shooting; share your ammo



Yup Just call me.
got any of those pesky prairie dogs Buck?

RoostRider
January 15, 2010, 04:07 PM
Don't do that...... for all the reasons cited.....

ole farmerbuck
January 15, 2010, 10:36 PM
got any of those pesky prairie dogs Buck?
Sure do, been going after them every weekend if weather is ok. Loaded up and ready for the next 2 days.

iiibdsiil
January 15, 2010, 11:03 PM
I don't understand why everyone cares that there are no targets? Sometimes it's fun to just shoot a gun without trying to be all precision like.

slabuda
January 15, 2010, 11:43 PM
as said check fish and game regs,
As far as I know, not legal in Idaho to shoot across water (or roads) for that matter.

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 15, 2010, 11:47 PM
I don't understand why everyone cares that there are no targets? Sometimes it's fun to just shoot a gun without trying to be all precision like.

Personally, I think that's what fireworks are for.

All of the boom and pop with pretty colors added, without the danger of accidentally shooting a boater.

coloradokevin
January 17, 2010, 03:46 AM
I don't understand why everyone cares that there are no targets? Sometimes it's fun to just shoot a gun without trying to be all precision like.

I'm completely with Davidsdivad on this one... Why bother wasting expensive ammo for the sake of making noise? Fireworks are fun too!

If you are shooting at a blank area of open water it isn't the difference between precision and non-precision shooting. It is the difference between aiming and just making noise. On the other hand, perhaps the OP has some targets in mind already?

Colonel
January 17, 2010, 12:17 PM
A friend of my family's got killed by a kid who was shooting a .22LR on a pond. The bullet skipped on the water and hit the guy in the head. Freak accident, but it sucks when it happens to you!

Colonel
January 17, 2010, 12:32 PM
The formula [for the distance to the horizon over water in miles] is 1.14 times the square root of the height of eye in feet

Minor point, but the constant is actually 1.17, not 1.14

http://www.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/APN/Tables/T-12.pdf

punchdrunk
January 17, 2010, 06:21 PM
Could be some Mall Ninjas out doing their seal type training. You would never know they were under the water till too late. Of course they might appreciate your making their training more realistic. Thinking under water bullet dodging, remo williams style would be good practice. :-)

svtruth
January 18, 2010, 10:26 AM
Oldtimers disease strikes again.

Art Eatman
January 18, 2010, 03:11 PM
Enough rambling around...

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