.38 Rounds bouncing off trees?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by provotrout, Jun 13, 2007.

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  1. esmith

    esmith Member

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    In fact shooter, i did know that there are laws against shooting trees. If you would have read and understood my post you would have known that. Secondly, why do i have to "grow up"? One, im not worried about killing a tree. Two, if i own my property and it isn't illegal to shoot a tree, you are going to tell me not to? I don't think so. Im not trying to be funny, and im not sure why you got that impression but i am in fact, being serious.
     
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    re:

    Let's keep it in the road, gentlemen.
     
  3. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    Someday, the trees are gonna get even.....

    Of course anybody can do anythiung they want to their own trees. Some of us tree hugging, gun nuts happen to like trees and don't think that they should be recklessly wasted by folks too lazy, clueless, or righteously self-empowered to find a better backstop.

    As for boucing bullets, that's why they invented eye protection, the 4 rules, and common sense. The further you are away from your target, the lower the odds of being hit by debris/ricochet.

    If you absolutely MUST engage that tree a close quarters, use a loggers helmet with eye-shields, and maybe chaps.

    Peace out..........
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Several reasons not to shoot into a tree...even one on your own property. The man who sticks the snout of a powerful chain saw into that tree 20 years after your heirs sell the land may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Just ask anybody who's gotten one tangled up in a nail or a piece of long absorbed and forgotten barbed wire.
    Bad scene.

    Another one is that...and I've seen this happen...a spire-point/FMJ bullet can squirt the lead core straight back at the shooter after hitting gnarly grained hardwoods. In this instance...a .30-06 ball round in an oak tree from maybe 25 yards spit the core back and hit the shooter low on the bicep. The bullet core traveled upward, along the bone, and lodged in his shoulder.

    Slob shooters on public ranges and private lands who get their jollies by watching the bark fly off of living trees give the landowners reason to post signs that say: "Tresspassers Will Be Prosecuted."

    So...Give US a break. Be a responsible adult when handling firearms.
     
  5. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    Thanks, 1911Tuner. I'm trying.
     
  6. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    I've bounced factory and range reload .357 FMJ off of bowling pins. Don't see why it wouldn't bounce off of a tree. Odds of a double ricochet off of a tree? Low. Odds of it having enough speed to penetrate? Much lower. Odds of having enough speed to damage an eyeball or hurt when it hits you in the balls? Pretty damn good.
     
  7. Nomad101bc

    Nomad101bc Member

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    This is why when you shoot at wierd objects you use hollow points. They might not have the same penetration but i have never known them to richochete. Course if in your state hollow points are illegal then you need to call the NRA to perform a governmental labotomy on your state legislature.
     
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    .38 special just ain't enough to stop a determined tree

    If you really need to stop a big mean mossy redwood right in its roots, use nothing less than the 46 Super Magnum +P++ ;)

    Those darn pine trees are always dropping cones on my head, and I intend to shoot back the next time.
     
  9. def4pos8

    def4pos8 Member

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    After living in North Dakota (aka Lower Maniskatchiwan) for five years, I developed a large appreciation for trees but that's beside the point. Shooting at a curved object is ASKING for a ricochet, especially when firing two handguns simultaneously. I've not tried that. A description of how you observed each front sight during the shots would enlighten me. Without a good impact area, any projectile in the woods is a fast-moving billiard ball. I once picked up a ricochet more than 2,500 yards from its intended impact area. :what: More conventional technique would result in less excitement.
     
  10. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    I've never heard of anything so ridiculous or irresponsible.
    It reminds me of people who go out and blow critters to pieces just because they can.
     
  11. shooter503

    shooter503 Member

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    During one of the "unpleasantnesses" in South East Asia my brother got caught in an ambush in a bamboo grove. He said the ricochets went around that grove like pool balls in a break.
     
  12. grampster
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    grampster Member

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    Regarding .38 cal. Back in the 60's I was in LE. One of my peers got in an armed confrontation. Firearms were discharged. We were carrying Colts and S&W' revolvers at the time. Rounds were lead reloads done by the department range master.

    Confrontation ended with no blood being shed. The officer fired one round. It hit the trim around the front door. Older home. Hardwood trim. The .38 round was embedded in the trim, 50% penetration. I picked it out of the trim with my fingers.

    After that I carried 3 wadcutters and 3 department reloads that I had fiddled with the projectile a bit.
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yep. Another good reason not to fire at things with convex surfaces...like trees.
     
  14. Two Cold Soakers

    Two Cold Soakers Member

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    My cousin broke a window 30 years ago shooting a .38 into an oak tree. The bullet bounced off, went between us and hit the window 30+ feet behind us.

    We just looked at each other and went back in the house.

    The tree is still standing, with a scarred trunk at chest height
     
  15. gezzer

    gezzer Member

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    Not for nothing but I gotta see the lead or copper jacketed bullet that will bother a Stihl 44 saw and it's chain. Nails , spikes, old sap taps, barbed wire yes. But adding bullets is realy pushing reality.

    Yes bullet will bounce off trees and many other objects becarefull what you shoot at.
     
  16. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...I was being really unsafe..." Yep. Trees make lousy back stops.
    "...im(sic) not worried about killing a tree..." It's not the tree. It's the kid in his back yard playing with his dog 500 meters behind the tree you need to worry about. Or your neighbour's car, house, etc, etc. Use a proper back stop.
    "...I've seen a dull axe rebound hard from the trunk of a wet tree..." I've seen sharp axes bounce off dry logs. Doesn't take much.
    "...the crazy ricochets bullets take..." That's not the bullet. That's the trace element coming off and flying around.
     
  17. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

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    I've heard stories from people I would trust my life with, of shotgun slugs, rifle rds, 9mm, .45, whatever deflecting off of baseball hat brims. Anything can happen when it comes to ricochets. I've been hit with copper jacket before.
     
  18. fatelk

    fatelk Member

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    I beg to differ. The "trace element" is inside the base of the bullet and doesn't just come off. It also doesn't go flying off at many hundreds of feet per second at odd angles or half a mile straight up. At the same time though, I was told that tracers do tend to ricochet more because the are much longer and lighter in the base making them less stable. I'm no ballistics expert, it's just what I was told.

    As to the tree thing, my dad and I once cut some timber many years ago and had a neighbor bring over his portable mill and cut lumber for us. A couple years later I was using a 2x4 in my house for some minor remodeling and noticed a .30 caliber bullet sectioned lengthwise in the side of the board. It's still there as far as I know (I've since moved).

    BTW, trees are quite plentiful here in the Pacific Northwest, but I do try to refrain from shooting them if I can avoid it. The mountains, rivers, and trees are what I like most about where I live, and I'm certainly no tree-huggin' hippie.:D

    So, who wants to start the next thread: "What caliber for zombie trees?"
     
  19. jkingrph

    jkingrph Member

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    Years ago I shot an old tire (not mounted) with a 38 Spc. military load and it just bounced off.

    Another time we were shooting a 58cal Civil War replica at my uncles, using one of those old large oaks for a backstop. After about 3 shots he thought we should find something else because it was tearing up an penerating the trunk too much.
     
  20. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    The trees hate you.
     
  21. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    So, provotrout, I guess my point to story #1 is: You might want to avoid shooting towards trees. Even if they're your trees.

    In my story #2 (the 9mm story) I wasn't even shooting at a tree, but at the soft earth on the side of the hill on the south side of my property. The point to that particular story was that freakish things do happen.

    In either case, I came away wiser from my experience. I hope you have too.

    But, gosh, that was so cool about that Swedish Mauser bullet zipping right through that oak tree! (Even though I didn't mean to do it because my aim was bad. :eek: )
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  22. rugbyer81

    rugbyer81 Member

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    I had a .58 musket ball out of an civil war enfield rifle bounce off a tree one time. Heard it tearing through the leaves and branches all the way through the woods.
     
  23. provotrout

    provotrout Member

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    wow

    You all crack me up. No, I was not in the land of OZ. I haven't been there since college. No - the tree didn't have a face. No, trees didn't gang up & beat me up as a child.

    For the NOVA poster - it wasn't a range, it was a friends property off rt.211.

    From the responses it sounds like this has happened to a lot of people. Next time I'll aim at a backstop & add a little distance for safety.

    For the tree huggers:

    That same day I killed at least 10 trees. Three I riddled with an AR-15, which left large holes in adolescent 30 foot tall oaks. Six were cut down with a chain saw to prepare a backstop. The last one was a 15 foot tall sapling (i think that's what they're called) that was decimated by a semi-auto shotgun at 15 yards. :neener:

    Next time we'll cut down another 10-30 trees to clear the property a bit for skeet shooting.

    Here's a clip of me pumping a few rounds into a defenseless oak :evil::

    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=2036168877
     
  24. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    Glad you enjoyed it.
    :D
    I neglected to mention that the oak tree I shot with the Mauser is next to a fifty-foot hill (I call it "Heart Attack Hill.") The bullet went through the tree and harmlessly into the hill. Under no circumstances would I have shot towards it otherwise. For many years, that hill has served as a perfect backstop for most of my shooting.
    So if you have a setup similar to that and deforestation is your thing, I say go for it.
    :evil:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  25. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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