Hit by Ricochet

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Godsgunman, May 12, 2021.

  1. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Good morning all,
    It's been a long while since I've been on and posted. Life has been extremely busy and crazy lately between full time school and full time work. School is finally finished, woot woot! I've finally had some free time to get out and do some target shooting, hence the title of my post. So I took two of my newer purchases out to shoot for the first time about a week ago, a Charles Daly N4S 12 ga bullpup and a Charter Arms 357 mag snubbie. Both are great guns in my opinion and very fun to shoot. I won't go into depth on my reviews of those yet, I'll just get to the subject matter. So I was shooting the new snubbie at 10 yards into my designated target wood pile out at the in-laws farm. I was shooting some S&B 38 specials and as expected, the bullets are just getting stuck in the old stumps and branches behind the target. About round 26 or so I fire and next thing I know, I get hit right on the lower left rib by the lead bullet. NEVER in my 34 years of shooting have I ever had this happen. Definitely shocked me. I'm pretty sure I said a choice word and looked to see what happened. I raised my shirt and I had a red welt on my rib but thankfully it did not puncture the skin, just left a red welt. I know ricochets can happen when shooting steel plates which is why I generally don't use them. The only thing that I can think of how it happened is that the bullet must have perfectly struck another bullet that had lodged into the wood behind the target and sent it right back at me?? It could have been an underpowered round and bounced off the wood, but if that was the case I don't think it would have had enough uumph to hit me as hard as it did? Besides that, it was a great day shooting and I forgot how much I love snubbie revolvers. Whoever says snubbie's aren't accurate just doesn't know how to shoot them. Anyways, have you ever been hit by a ricochet? What were the circumstances? In your opinion could there have been a different cause to my unlucky happenstance or was it just a 1 in a million ricochet? Thanks, and be safe out there!
     
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  2. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I usually get hit a couple of times a year by stuff coming back off the berm when Im shooting up close to it. I don't think its the round I fired, but spent bullets, jackets, even rocks in the berm that get kicked back. They still hit hard enough to let you know that you were hit and sometimes even leave a bruise.

    The last one I had caught me square in my shooting glasses and that one definitely got my attention! It looked to be a whole and beat up 38/357 lead SWC, and it hit hard enough to put a good scrape in the lense. If I hadn't been wearing those glasses, it could have been ugly. :eek:
     
  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Wood is bouncy under the right conditions, particularly with slow-moving rounds IME. Hell, the ground is bouncy under the right conditions. I was shooting .45 ACP into a dirt road backstop a few years ago and the bullets were all bouncing straight up out of the ground and landing in a pile.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have been hit by bounce back off a railroad tie that I had set a plate on, off a block of recycled plastic "timber" being used as a knockdown target because the club was out of bowling pins, and off of all manner of steel targets.
    I have not been hit by anything glancing off a rock in a dirt berm.
     
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  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    One huge monolithic block of 404 words (according to MS Word)! WHEW!

    Whatever happened, I hope that nobody was hurt.

    ;)
     
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  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The once ricochet I've taken in the ribs was a .452 230 at ~600fps off a piece of oak cordwood.

    I have seen them come by my glasses, which will certainly focus one's attention on eyewear!
     
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  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Wood is tricky. Plain old pine, straight along the endgrain (longways) will support over 3000#
    A hardwood like oak or hickory will support even more.
    Which would "catch" an LRN and flatten same and pitch it back the way it came from.

    Despite common use, wood is not an ideal backstop material.
     
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  8. swg1

    swg1 Member

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    Can't count on wood to stop a bullet. Some times it does, some times it doesn't. Had a 7.62x54r load zip through 27 inches of yew length wise -- slid right through along the grain. Had a 38 S&W load bounce off the end grain of a stump and come straight back. Fortunately it was a bright and sunny day and those loads are slow. I could see the bullets going down range as I shot them and that one as it bounced back. I dodged it, but it did put a nice dent in the wife's Diamante that was directly behind me.
     
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  9. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    Years ago, my folks bought an old farmstead and, as a young guy with guns, it was a neat place to shoot guns. The only ricochet I have experienced is shown attached, it’s a lead SWC from a Colt Gold Cup. I propped the quarter under a thumbtack on an old 6x6 post that supported the roof on the old machine shed. A direct hit after a couple attempts bounced back the 5 yards or so and kind of bumped me in the chest. Found the slug and then pried the quarter from the post. Painless, but it cured me of inducing ricochets semi intentionally.
    Kept it as a reminder, but I also thought it was cool that the slug is embossed with the motto from the quarter.....
     

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    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  10. Skeptic13

    Skeptic13 Member

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    Shooting steel we often get hit with shrapnel from bullets, usually part of the jacket of a FMJ, but I have never had the entire bullet come back and hit me. One reason it is so important to wear glasses.
     
  11. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have caught a few. Usually lower body. I have been gut punched by a .45 once coming off of a steel swinger. The worst hit was from a 40sw which left some bruising. Probably would have been a lot worse had it not hit me where it did because I had extra layers there. It hit appendix/groin area right on a IWB holster and belt.

    There is a reason why they say to wear safety glasses, and it’s generally not because they are worried about a gun kabooming.
     
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  12. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Low velocity bullets seem to bounce more than higher energy. Both because they fail to penetrate some materials we assume they should and they also do not have enough energy to shatter the bullet into small fragments against hard targets. The "best" ricochet I have had was a shooting low velocity 38 Special wad-cutters at steel targets. Had a 148gr wad-cutter fly by my head spinning end over end and sounding like a larger angry hornet. I quit shooting those wad cutters at steel. Safety glasses are a must, ricochets that come straight back almost never have enough energy to be lethal but more than enough to mess up some eyes.
     
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  13. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Was at the local indoor private range shooting with friends. One of them caught a couple .22 ricochets and the backstop was inspected. Some jerk wad had apparently fired AP ammo at the 50 foot soft steel backstop making several deep pockmarks that when hit would send the round back with enough force to give a black and blue spot. That lane was closed and we had to fill the spots with weld eventually. That precipitated having a fob system to access the range and other security measures. Also a "class" on what could be used indoors and what was not allowed. Some folks just don't care period!
     
  14. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    That's definitely a good story and reminder piece
     
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  15. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    It happened to me a couple years ago. I was shooting at a paper target laying on the ground on a hill side. Not on a log, stick or anything. Just laying on red dirt. Using a S&W 642 with target ammo from around 25 to 30 feet. My son-in-law standing beside me. It came back and struck him in the leg. It did not hurt him at all. No hole in his pants leg. Just bounced off. Never found anything that could have caused it to ricochet. Just did.
     
  16. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    You've had a real-life demonstration of why one should wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

    A ricochet isn't likely to have enough "oomph" to penetrate skin, especially at the distances you're describing. Eye damage, however, is another matter.

    Wear clothing (no naked shooting...or shirtless shooting!), eye protection, and hearing protection. Always.

    As for shooting steel...proper steel, properly staged, isn't a ricochet hazard. Using mild steel (soft steel) is a ricochet hazard because the bullets actually dent and deform the surface of the steel plate, providing an uneven impact surface which increases the odds of ricochets. AR500 (armor plate steel) is much harder and will not dent/deform. Bullets impact the flat surface, mash themselves flat, and fall. High velocity rifle rounds quite literally "splash" against AR500, leaving a flat copper disc that used to be the plating and the lead core dissipates in a cloud of lead dust.
     
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  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Sheer velocity will mar even hard plate. My .22-250 will (lightly) mark steel that shrugs off .223; another 400 fps makes a difference.
     
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  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Been hit once. Years ago shooting at a stuff at a dump site. A 158 gr bullet from a 357 went through an old TV I was shooting at and hit some concrete behind the TV. I was hit in the shin slightly below my knee. I saw it coming back at me and initially thought it was a rock until I picked up the badly deformed bullet.

    Someone had dumped some old concrete from a driveway and it was covered with kudzu. I didn't even realize the concrete was there or I wouldn't have been shooting in that direction.

    For the northerners who don't know what kudzu is.

    Kudzu - Wikipedia
     
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  19. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    Was out shooting at my own range a couple weeks back. I have target set up at 7 yards and have 30 yards of sand behind it. There are a few rocks mixed in with the sand. I was shooting and I heard something whistle by my ear. Turns out it was a ricochet. I looked around the sandpile and didn't see anything but on my way back to the table I found a couple of bullets laying on the ground in close proximity. All that sand and I have to be hitting the few rocks that are in there.
     
  20. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    List of items to NOT shoot at or use as a backstop - WOOD.

    May not be the first round (harder the wood, the more likely it will).....but...you are shooting at WOOD that somebody else shot COPPER and LEAD into.


    Rules for targets:

    Designed for caliber/type of firearm. Don't shoot rimfire at centerfire targets - bullets come back to you!
    Target must absorb, deflect, or absorb the round. If not, don't use the target or the caliber/type of firearm.
     
  21. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Neat! :cool:
     
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  22. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    AR500 is definitely preferable but rifle rounds DO leave dents and dings, particularly if you're shooting them closer than a couple hundred yards, and you will chew through it eventually. M855 and russian steel core are worse, but lead core 5.56 FMJ and even .30 carbine fmj leaves small divots. It's WAY better than mild steel. I'd rather have AR600 for rifle stuff but it's pricey.
     
  23. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    I see the black cloud a lot on 300 meter plates with 223 soft point rounds. You see the cloud then hear the ring.
     
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  24. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

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    .45 ACP 230 gr jacketed. Right between the eyes above my glasses.
    30 ft into oak...I mean, back from oak!:what:
     
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  25. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I had a bunch of .38 Wadcutter rounds partially penetrate and others bounce clean off the conveyor belt materials our local sheriffs range uses to staple targets up on. None came back like angry bees, but they were a good 5 yards back from the target stands when I walked up to check my scores


    The “Angry bee” strikes in this oldie but goodie:



    Glad you’re ok!

    Stay safe.
     
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