Hit by a ricochet


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gspn
February 24, 2011, 09:09 PM
Last night I took my 11 year old to the range to shoot his new Ruger 22/45. After we were done I had to walk back into the firing range to get something. I'm walking about 12 feet behind the firing line (parallel to it) and right after a shot rings out I get hammered on the inside of my right thigh with something. It felt like a heavy bee sting. Big impact with some good stinging after the fact. I imagine it's what it would feel like if someone shot me with a small ball bearing from a slingshot.

It hit the inside of my leg as my right foot was moving forward. I'm glad I wasn't standing in the lane next to the guy...might have been hit in the nuts:what:

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yeti
February 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
BING, BING, BINGGGGG, ricochets happen! :D

Glad you weren't hurt more than the stinging bruise.

islandphish
February 24, 2011, 09:17 PM
Eye protection!

gaijin6423
February 24, 2011, 09:41 PM
They do indeed happen.

I've been peppered with bits of jacket from steel a few times. I caught a .40 ricochet while shooting steel poppers at a match once. Whacked me right in the gut and left a pretty vivid bruise, but that was only due to me crouching as the stage required. Had I been standing, I might have taken it in the boys, which would have really been a bad day.

I also have a friend who caught some jacket in his calf during a bowling pin match at an indoor range in TX a few years ago. He bled a bit and missed a couple days of work (we were flight students, and he got a brief medical down check while he healed), but in the end was fine.

gspn
February 24, 2011, 09:42 PM
Good point on the eye protection...I "was just running back in for a second..." and didn't put mine on. The nuts still would have been worse but I don't want think about what that hit would have done to an eye. There would have been eyeball juice everywhere.

forindooruseonly
February 24, 2011, 11:55 PM
I ended up with a hole through my lip at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot when I was a kid. A .308 came back and got me. Ricochets do happen, so make sure you have protection.

geekWithA.45
February 24, 2011, 11:57 PM
One of my .45's came back and dinged me in the arm. I still have it.

usmcpoolee
February 25, 2011, 12:02 AM
One of my .45's came back and dinged me in the arm. I still have it.

The bullet or the arm?

BullfrogKen
February 25, 2011, 12:04 AM
The arm or the slug? :evil: I hear tell a .45 will take a man's head clean off.

CHALK22
February 25, 2011, 12:06 AM
We replaced a back window in a Nissan Titan at my shop which had been parked at a local range. It was quite a ways back from the line, which makes you wonder just how far those things can go....

dcarch
February 25, 2011, 12:13 AM
That's why I avoid steel targets as much as possible. Paper won't do that to ya, especially if you're at a range like mine with a nice heavy sloped dirt backstop. I stick to paper and cardboard. Paper's cheap. Emergency bills aren't. Just my two cents.
Have a nice night, y'all!
Dave

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
February 25, 2011, 12:19 AM
A buddy of mine was shooting his PSL at 600 yards steel plate and the bullet came back and nailed him in the hip.
I took him to the hospital and he had to have plates put in his pelvis and a replacement him. A lot of money for the surgery. He still shoots to this day with a funny waddle :D

JEB
February 25, 2011, 12:23 AM
watched a buddy of mine take a 9mm ricochet to the right side of his forhead just past the hairline. left a fairly small gash and was a very vivid reminder to why we were all wearing eye protection. also it was a great opportunity for some good old 9mm jokes! :evil:

rondog
February 25, 2011, 12:29 AM
Haven't we all seen Head Shot Willie's video of the .50 bmg ricochet upside his head? That was one lucky s.o.b.

TenDriver
February 25, 2011, 12:35 AM
I got whacked with a 22 under my right eye. The other shooter was a youngster and his dad, we were all behind the firing line. He touched one off aimed a little close in and I felt the hit right after the crack of the gun. I bailed for the car to go get a band aid and got stopped by the kid's dad telling me his son was aimed at the bank and there was no way it was his son's fault. He actually wanted to argue over it.... Tried to tell him ricochets happen and I didn't blame anyone, but it didn't matter.

I handed his boy the box of ammo I was using as a "don't worry about it" gesture, smiled, told him to have fun (dad still adamantly telling me his kid didn't do it) and left.

G.A.Pster
February 25, 2011, 12:42 AM
I was shooting at a muffler about 20 feet away and it came nearly straight back and hit me in the chest.

it was cold and I was wearing a coat so it didn't hurt.

I've got that bullet and it looks like a mushroom, (it was a FMJ).

Smoovbiscuit
February 25, 2011, 02:00 AM
was shooting 12 gauge 3" steel turkey shot at a abandoned car at a gravel pit we used to shoot at, ricocheted and hit me in the leg. Felt like a bee sting as gspn said.

ZCORR Jay
February 25, 2011, 08:10 AM
Good to hear it wasn't anything worse and really glad to her it wasn't your 11 yr old.

22-rimfire
February 25, 2011, 08:20 AM
Has not happened to me yet. But I suspect it will eventually. Yes, eye protection is needed at the range. But in your case, I probably wouldn't have been wearing it anyway. Glad you got away with only a bruise.

I handed his boy the box of ammo I was using as a "don't worry about it" gesture, smiled, told him to have fun (dad still adamantly telling me his kid didn't do it) and left.

Yep. It is all about liability these days. I would be willing to bet the same Dad would defend his kid to the death if there was a problem at school with is son. I feel sure he is a great kid. Stuff happens. We all need to be reasonable.

SaxonPig
February 25, 2011, 08:22 AM
About 35 years ago I got my first 458 rifle and for some dumb reason I shot at a pipe sticking up out of the ground (10' distance). Maybe 1/4" wall thickness with a 4" inside diameter. The 510 grain SP made it through the first side, stressed the far side to the point of cracking before bouncing straight back into my thing. Felt like getting "flicked" with a fingertip. Fully mushroomed slug was laying at my feet.

Panzercat
February 25, 2011, 08:30 AM
Obligatory mention of youtube vid featuring a .50 cal ricochet. I'd link it, but I'm firewalled here at work. "BAM! zzziiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnng! THUD." Do a key word search. You'll know it when you see it. And cring.

dkyser
February 25, 2011, 08:38 AM
Here is the 50 cal video, I laugh every time I watch it only because I know he did not get seriously hurt. The way they talk about not doing it again just kills me.

50 Cal Ricochet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc)

68wj
February 25, 2011, 08:40 AM
.38 spl came back at me from a 4x4 treated wood post and impacted my shoulder. Just slow enough to see it fly back, just fast enough to not move out of the way.

gaijin6423
February 25, 2011, 08:41 AM
A group of friends and I have taken to wearing our body armor at local CQB (outlaw 3-gun) matches after someone with a FA Sterling stitched a steel table a few stages over, sending about a dozen ricochets in our general direction. The stage layout was obviously less than ideal.

As this and a couple other stories in this thread have stated, you can be doing everything right, and just have an unlucky or bad day. People used to ask me why I took my first aid kit with tourniquets to that range, but not anymore.

springfield30-06
February 25, 2011, 08:48 AM
Was hit in the gut with a 9mm ricochet off of a steel target as I was walking behind the line to an open spot to begin shooting. It wasn't as hard as I was expecting and it didn't leave any bruise or anything, but I now wear my eye protection even if I'm not up to the line.

shep854
February 25, 2011, 09:08 AM
That's why lead bullets are encouraged when shooting steel targets.
At the indoor range I frequent, I've been tagged a few times; drew a little blood, too. I was amused once when an apparently new shooter got all upset when he got hit by a ricochet--a 25-yd indoor range; that's why you wear the protection. BTW, I've been hit at an outdoor range as well.
----
Sometimes it can hurt, tho. A classic vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc

Gouranga
February 25, 2011, 09:16 AM
Our range requires hearing and eye protection before you can go anywhere near the shooting area. Whether you are watching or shooting, or cleaning up. Probably a real good plan.

I am surprised by that 50 cal vid. I guess I should not be but man, that thing came back a long way and still had some serious zip on it. Like to see a video of him about an hour later. Drinking a beer and shaking...I man 2 inches to the side, he would have been in some serious trouble.

VT Deer Hunter
February 25, 2011, 09:22 AM
OH man good thing your ok but not badly injured.

shep854
February 25, 2011, 09:39 AM
The vid was not of me (thankfully :) )

rustedangel
February 25, 2011, 10:42 AM
The last time I went shooting with my brother at a gravel pit he was real cavalier when I admonished him for not wearing ear and eye protection. I forwarded this thread to him; I'd hate to see him end up missing an eye!

shep854
February 25, 2011, 10:51 AM
Hopefully he'll get it. One of my 'dings' was high on my cheek; what was only a drop or two of blood there would likely mean the loss of an eye, it it hit there!

Jeff F
February 25, 2011, 10:53 AM
I took one of my own .45 acp slugs center of mass off a bowling pin from 75 feet.

swiftak
February 25, 2011, 11:14 AM
I got hit with a cast lead slug from my .45 auto right in the chest. I don't shoot at flat steel anymore.

KingContraryMan
February 25, 2011, 11:17 AM
Pics or it didn't happen.


jk

Glad you're okay man :)

stonecutter2
February 25, 2011, 11:19 AM
Here is the 50 cal video, I laugh every time I watch it only because I know he did not get seriously hurt. The way they talk about not doing it again just kills me.

50 Cal Ricochet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc)
I laugh everytime the guy says, "Oh, Willy!"

That really is amazing that guy survived that - what are the odds it would travel in that exact path? How crazy.

Dave B
February 25, 2011, 11:25 AM
I had an 8mm mil surp bounce off my shooting table about 1 foot from the muzzle. I was shooting at a 8" mild steel disc at 100 meters. When it happened, it was so fast, I thought that it was a piece of the gun that flew off with the shot. I found it about 10' from the table. It looked like a deformed 45 slug, but was steel.

Uteridge
February 25, 2011, 11:33 AM
I have been hit twice by ricochets, I took a .40 in the left knee that hurt like hell and I took a 9mm in my right calf that bounced off and it look like the bullet was in pain...ok the 9mm hurt just a bad as the .40:)

shep854
February 25, 2011, 11:37 AM
Sorry, folks. I missed the earlier link.:o

W L Johnson
February 25, 2011, 11:56 AM
A buddy of mine was shooting his PSL at 600 yards steel plate and the bullet came back and nailed him in the hip.
I took him to the hospital and he had to have plates put in his pelvis and a replacement

How much energy does a 7.62x54r retain after 1200 (600 there + 600 back) yards of flight minus whatever energy was expended into the target in the process of ricocheting?

stonecutter2
February 25, 2011, 12:02 PM
How much energy does a 7.62x54r retain after 1200 (600 there + 600 back) yards of flight minus whatever energy was expended into the target in the process of ricocheting?
Enough energy to require plates put in your pelvis and you to walk with a waddle, I guess.

W L Johnson
February 25, 2011, 12:11 PM
ouch! Anybody got the math on this?
walk with a waddle
I know all about walking with a waddle, but it was a 4,000 lb car that did it to me 34 years ago.

Eyesac
February 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
Bullet do weird things sometimes... I had a .45 just bounce off a telephone pole (wood) and land 2ft in front of me (completely reloadable).

MrOldLude
February 25, 2011, 03:00 PM
How much energy does a 7.62x54r retain after 1200 (600 there + 600 back) yards of flight minus whatever energy was expended into the target in the process of ricocheting?

Anybody got the math on this?
The math is easy if you knew the amount of energy dissipated into the target. (since the energy expended is directly related to the amount of residual energy) ;)

Radium
February 25, 2011, 03:06 PM
i get hit 2-4 times a year from ricochets and thats why i wear Iprotect(actually bin hit in the eye but that was a airpellet gun ricochet. just saw it in time to close my eyes).
funny thing was that 3 weeks ago i was shooting my .357 snub and wanted to try a penetration test. so i shot threw 2 old 4x4 went nicely threw hit a plank and came flying and hit me in the legg. the bullet was almost in perfect condition. just a small bump in the rear of the bullet :P

the worst ricochet ive seen so far was last summer we were shooting steel target at about 15 yards just wearing tshirt (since it was a hot summer night) well the guy next to me got hit in the chest right above the heart. the jacket penetrated the tshirt and the skin and "pretty" deep in(3-5mm). we all had a retarded laugh and continued shooting.

mstrat
February 25, 2011, 03:34 PM
You people talk about ricochets like they occasionally happen.
This is exactly why I want to move somewhere where I can either:
1) shoot at a club, with an outdoor range.
2) get my own land to shoot on.

I live in a city, and only 2 ranges, both indoor, are within an hour of me, and both are ricochet dungeons.
I get hit by a ricochet no less than once every 10 minutes. It's ridiculous.

TheCracker
February 25, 2011, 04:03 PM
I was hit it the gut with a 44 mag 240g swc loaded light that bounced off a steel target (15 yards). It left a red mark the size of a quarter and stung a little but that's it. It was a little scary but I was wearing safety glasses!

10 inches lower and it would have been a very bad day!

shep854
February 25, 2011, 04:08 PM
Eyepro, earpro...groinpro??:eek:

451 Detonics
February 25, 2011, 04:15 PM
I ran the plate event at monthly Action Pistol matches...been hit so many times I lost count. Normally a ricochet off steel is caused by the bullet hitting a divot or pock mark. Quite often with jacketed bullets the jacket comes back turned inside out. All part of shooting sports.

BTW...don't shoot bowling pins with birdshot...you will be eating pellets.

dcarch
February 25, 2011, 04:56 PM
10 inches lower and it would have been a very bad day! That could have greatly reduced your chances of having offspring to carry on your family lineage. In fact, your face might still be looking like this::what: This is why you always wear your (ahem) "male athletic support" to the range. Just kidding....:neener: FWIW, I've never been hit by a ricochet, but I live in the country and try to stick to non-steel targets.

mgmorden
February 25, 2011, 05:06 PM
I've been hit by stuff at the range. Dont' know if it was riccochets but certainly I'll get something in the arm every now and then. Might be a piece of a jacket or shaving or something though.

Worst hit I ever took at the range was actually from a scope. I grew up hunting but didn't target shoot much - when shooting offhanded you pretty much have to brace the gun well. After I became an adult and was shooting more I took out my .30-06 with a fairly low eye-relief scope. Sitting on a bench I didn't brace it as well as I should and . . . yeah, I got that tell tale circular bruise right around the eye. Luckily, there was no actual blood, though I have heard of people getting fairly nasty cuts that way.

speedway
February 25, 2011, 05:57 PM
I was shooting a 44mag and a jacket richoceted an got my buddy in the forehead. Didin't really hurt him, but he was bleeding like crazy for a short while. Just split the skin a little.

It happens.

His wife told me I should have tried harder next time.

Ske1etor
February 25, 2011, 06:35 PM
Kneeling down, shooting steel plates and I caught the jacket from a .45 FMJ in the boys... luckily, due to the kneeling position, the crotch of my jeans was pulled tight and I didn't really feel it. Had me hopping around for a few seconds though.

gathert
February 25, 2011, 09:43 PM
I get hit by little .22 fragments a lot since I'm closer to the steel targets when I'm shooting falling plates. Here are some videos where you can see the bullet fragments actually coming off the plates. First is a .45 and second is a .22.

One of my friends got hit in the chest with a .45 ricochet. He said he time to realize it was coming back at him because the light was right and he could send the rounds going downrange, and when it started to come back at him he didnt even have time to move out of the way at all before it hit him. Left a little bruise on his chest, but other than that he was fine.

BTW, bolling pins are fun to shoot, just never try it with a .22 unless you like to hear that scary as crap BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ of a round whizzing off into space in your vicinity. Only took me one shot to realize I needed something bigger.


http://vimeo.com/20380634

http://vimeo.com/20380721

gglass
February 25, 2011, 10:55 PM
My wife was hit on the thigh by a ricochet this past summer. She had her back to the range, and felt something hit the back of her leg. She turned and picked up the deformed FMH bullet, and had to drop it immediately as it was still HOT.

I have never been hit by a full sized bullet, but I have been hit countless times by spawl.

As has already been mentioned... ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION!

HOOfan_1
February 25, 2011, 11:34 PM
Wow...guess I am spoiled by my outdoor range. I've shot a 50 yard indoor range too....the only projectiles coming out of a firearm that I have been hit with was bird shot on its way down from someone shooting into the air 100+ yards away from me.

To me if you are at a range where ricochets are that common that it becomes "amusing", it sounds like the range needs to be redesigned.

merlinfire
February 26, 2011, 08:44 AM
I am always impressed by these threads because prior to reading them, I had always been under the impression that ricochets were regularly very dangerous. Sounds like most of these don't penetrate the skin. Maybe the people who get waxed by them don't post here? Or is this consistent with what you'd expect?

shep854
February 26, 2011, 09:25 AM
Ricochets are very common (if the bullet and its energy doesn't stay in the target, it has to go somewhere), but very few come all the way back up-range. If you are close to the object shots are bouncing off of, they can hurt you.

PowderMonkey
February 26, 2011, 10:13 AM
Went to my first American Steel Challenge event last weekend and was watching about 10 feet laterally from the shooter - caught a spiral of jacket in the face.

Like i said it was just the copper jacket - basically had no mass and couldn't do anything to you - but it was sharp as hell and would have been a serious problem if it caught you in the eye!

Cokeman
February 27, 2011, 02:02 AM
I got hit in the chest by a frag at an indoor range once. It hurt like crap.

I was outside one time and got hit in the center of the eyeball with a shotgun pellet and could see it coming. I wasn't able to close my eye. My only eye protection was my contact lens. I was pretty lucky because the one in the chest hurt more than the one in the eye.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
February 27, 2011, 05:47 AM
I have no idea how much zip that 7.62x54 had. He was reloading for that caliber and he said they were hot rounds, they were tests he was doing. He had five bullet/case seperations from a can of milsurp and loaded those into the hotter rounds. I shot one round of these and I must say, the sure had some zip leaving the gun; the recoil was pretty rough.

After the event he tossed the other three rounds and started dumbing down his loads a bit. So, like stated, I don't know how fast, or now much energy were in those rounds, but he took the hit and he deals with it like a trooper. Still shoots with me to this day.

doc2rn
February 27, 2011, 07:21 AM
Its happened to me off angle iron, with beehives, that and a fella shootin a .44 Mag at steel 3 lanes over. Guess he couldnt read the sign.

Grousefeather
February 27, 2011, 07:28 AM
Like a christmas story, "You'll put your eye out".

gaijin6423
February 27, 2011, 08:36 AM
Two nights before 2d MEB invaded Marjah last year, I was sharing a cigar around a 'tactical planning fire' with a couple friends who were going into the city (I stayed on the outskirts). One of the guys related a story of exceedingly bad judgement from his youth.

He, a high school friend, and two girls had been drinking for a few hours, when they decided to go spotlight some hogs. With my friend at the left front of the vehicle, and his friend high and right in the bed of the truck, they took aim with rifles and fired. My friend immediately dropped, blood pouring out of his arm. The guy in the back of the truck had shot the truck's antenna, and sent about 2/3 of the round's jacketing into my friend's arm. He healed and obviously went on to college and a commission in the Marine Corps, but he never touched a drop of booze again.

I've also had my (thankfully armored) vehicle peppered by 7.62 minigun ricochets during a danger-close CAS mission. My driver thought they were shooting at us at first and freaked out a little. If you think one ricochet whizzing by is scary, try 2-4,000 rpm. At least they weren't .50 cal rounds, though. Because all our birds carried nothing but a SAPHEI/tracer mix.

SAPHEI--Semi Amor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary, sometimes referred to as 'skittles' rounds, for the way they burst on a target. Hence the cry of, "Taste the rainbow," I've heard over the radio.

I guess the point is that, regardless of the shooting situation, you need to consider the overall geometry of where, what, and how you are firing. When I see people at the range walk up and just start blasting like they're trying out for a John Woo movie, I quietly just pack my gear and move on down the line to a quieter, hopefully safer shooting position.

PA1749
February 27, 2011, 08:43 AM
Man, after reading this post, I think I'll start wearing a cup to the range along with my eye protection!

rondog
February 28, 2011, 02:25 PM
Heh, these posts reminded me of a guy I once knew that told me that as a kid, he fired his .410 at the inside of an old bathtub that was laying on its side. ONCE!

shep854
February 28, 2011, 04:04 PM
Ah, cheese, rondog! Once ain't nuthin! TWICE, now that would be a story!!:D

rodregier
February 28, 2011, 04:09 PM
Just a related warning I was alerted to:

Steel storage barrels are very dangerous downrange because under just the right/wrong circumstances a shot can loop back around at almost full speed back uprange. Don't use steel storage barrels as targets or as target holders.

rugerman
February 28, 2011, 04:48 PM
If you don't want a bounce back don't shoot golf balls, 22's are the worst.

islandphish
February 28, 2011, 05:42 PM
I think i will shoot paper, with a dirt(not rock or gravel) backstop, with eye protection.

I do not accept being hit by ricochets as something that comes with the territory.

If I can't shoot completely safely then I don't want to be there.

x_wrench
February 28, 2011, 09:15 PM
i have been hit by my own bullet before. fortunatly it was not going fast enough to break the skin. but it did leave a nice bruise. i was shooting my 45acp into a log. i think what happened is the shot i fired blew out a bullet that was already in the log. i will never really know. i guess that is not really a ricochet, but that also may be what happened to you. firearms are inherantly dangerous. we have to handle them with care, and do everything we can to come home safe. sometines, stuff happens, that no one can be prepared for.

MattTheHat
March 1, 2011, 11:38 AM
.38 Special, out of Marlin lever gun. Bounced back off a Bois D'arc fence post. Like 68wj wrote, slow enough to see it coming back at me, but too fast to do anything about it.


-Matt

forindooruseonly
March 1, 2011, 02:48 PM
I am always impressed by these threads because prior to reading them, I had always been under the impression that ricochets were regularly very dangerous. Sounds like most of these don't penetrate the skin. Maybe the people who get waxed by them don't post here? Or is this consistent with what you'd expect?

There are richocets that are EXTREMELY dangerous, where the angle of deflection is slight and the bullet retains most of its velocity, skipping a bullet off a pond, for example. I know of an instance where a young person was killed by a ricochet off a ceiling at a shallow angle.

The ricochets that come back at you at a range have reversed direction, which sheds considerable energy and have much lower velocity. Not that there aren't dangerous cases of these either. My experience at the range was not pleasant, I ended up having to get stitches, but if it had been a shallow ricochet I probably wouldn't be here.

Always make sure of your backstop.

xfyrfiter
March 1, 2011, 03:08 PM
that is why you should hang steel at a downward angle to shoot.

shep854
March 1, 2011, 05:51 PM
It's also why it's a good idea to shoot lead as much as possible, since it pretty much disappears on impact. When I start reloading (finally), I plan to load lead pretty much exclusively.

islandphish
March 1, 2011, 09:05 PM
This is a good time to remind people tgat revolvers spit out the sides too. That could easily hurt someone.

jcwit
March 1, 2011, 09:09 PM
This is the reason the range I belong to does not allow bowling pins or steel targets.

Millwright
March 1, 2011, 09:57 PM
Shot a lot of steel in the back yard. Only noticed a "richotte" problem after the targets/backstops got beat up by some high-power shooting. Some welding - and some common sense" cured the problem......I suspect a similar problem is at work in cowboy shoots. Too many shots, plus marginal plate deflection angles, plus proximity equals occasional impacts......... >MW

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