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Hit with ricochet today at the firing range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 9mm+, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    I went to my local range (seven-lane, 25yd, indoor) in Raleigh today to get some more practice in with the Springfield XD40. I had an uneasy feeling when I walked in and every lane was taken by rapid-firing cowboys whose targets looked more like a Swiss-cheese Rorschach drawing than a true target. I went to lane #4 and started to hang my target when I felt a sharp pain in my right chest. I looked down and pinned against my shirt was a nicely flattened lead bullet. I peeled it off my shirt like you would peel off a sticker.

    The real pain didn't set in until a few minutes later and after lifting up my shirt, I noticed that I had a large red welt where the bullet had struck (like getting hit with a golf ball if you've ever had the misfortune of being hit by one).

    The RSO on this range consists of the cashier monitoring the cameras from outside the range, which roughly translates to no RSO at all. Although it was impossible to pin down where the bullet came from, I suspect that one of the cowboys shot the floor or ceiling and the bullet ultimately found its way back to my chest. Thankfully, most of the energy had been dissipated before it found me.

    I promptly packed up my gear and left. I doubt I will ever return to this range. There is no way to prevent all accidents, of course, but in no way should six VERY bad shooters be allowed to rapid fire like that.

    Lesson learned: Trust your instincts. I had a bad feeling when I walked into the range and saw who the other shooters were. I should have listened to that little voice in my head saying to walk away...just walk away...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  2. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    If it was symmetrically flattened, I doubt it was from the floor or ceiling.
     
  3. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    Not symmetrical at all (very elongated on one side) but very flat indeed.
     
  4. tackstrp

    tackstrp Member

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    found a 45 acp at least 245 grain misshapened at my feet, was flaten on two sides and on a little banged up on the nose. Looks like it did some sliding across something. Range person said no one here shooting that size bullet. Well i spept my area and pick up my brass and between sweepings it appeared. Duh.

    any way, glad you did not get seriously hurt.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    An excellent example of why protective glasses are needed when shooting and why heeding that "little voice" is always a good idea.
     
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Strange. Most, if not all, indoor ranges don't allow rapid firing just for that reason. I agree. I wouldn't go back either. In fact I would have made sure the managment knew what happened and why you didn't plan on returning.
     
  7. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    @tack and hso -- yep, definitely learned from this one. I was lucky.
    @Bushmaster -- I don't think the employees have a clue what goes on in the range. Best bet is to find another indoor range where safety is stressed and shoot there instead.
     
  8. rooter

    rooter member

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    I've been hit by a ricochet that penetrated the skin superficially. Not a big deal, picked it out of my arm and kept on shooting. I guess that is a risk we take when shooting at an indoor range. Wear safety glasses and shoot on.
     
  9. gordy

    gordy Member

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    I find it strange that you were able to see that the six very bad shooters,were truly bad shooters. Or just using rapid fire. It sounds to me that you just walked in and this happened right away. This type of thing could have happened with six very good shooters or just one. We can be glad that you were not injured more than a lump. You could have been killed.
    This is one of those wrong place- wrong time things. Hard to blame anyone here.
    I was hit myself and it put a hole the size of a marble in my upper chest. Inch deep,Hurt like you would not beleave. And the shooter was my brother.
     
  10. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

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    Wow. Thank God that thing was not going faster. The indoor range near me has no tolerance for rapid fire. I imagine for just that reason. That being said though, they DO rent FA's but they use a totally different section JUST for them. I'd say head to my range but it is about 2 - 3 hours south of you.
     
  11. Zack

    Zack member

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    This is why I think gun ranges and the law should let you wear/own a bullet proof vest. Bad things happen. Glad you are ok
     
  12. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    Not sure if I follow you, Gordy. The evidence of the bad shooting were the targets as stated in the original post. Yes, wrong place, wrong time, but a great deal of mishaps can be mitigated. Not completely eliminated, but mitigated.
     
  13. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    @Gouranga and Zach -- thanks! I may check that out...much appreciated.
     
  14. dacavasi

    dacavasi Member

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    I find it interesting how widely varied the range operating procedures are from one range to the next. There are some ranges here in central TX that have absolutely zero RSO oversight and you are left to your own devices or more appropriately, "shoot at your own risk". Then there are others which are highly regulated by professionals and for which you first have to attend orientation and safety overview meetings prior to using. I am in strong favor of the latter and only go to the lesser-monitored ranges during the midweek when I know that I'll basically have the place to myself. I don't believe that ricochets should ever be an issue at a well designed range which is being utilized correctly and on which safety is a main priority.
     
  15. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    It's your week to play..

    ...

    I think it's your week to play the Lottery's..

    Possible effect of a bullet hitting one of the deflectors in front of the clips that ya hang your target on..

    I've seen a few that were hit by something BIG and flattened the V front end.

    Adding "the chance" of another bullet hitting in that exact spot and it would absorb enough of the force (thru give/sway) then returning into your chest without any worse effects is the final thought on why I think you should play the Lottery's this week.. ;)

    Luck is a wonderful thing.. (and you have/had it)


    Ls


    Ps.. 10% commission would be the_kind..
     
  16. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    @dacavasi -- I couldn't agree more!
     
  17. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    LOL, Lonestar! :) I think I will fill my lotto card out today!
     
  18. joejoeshooter

    joejoeshooter Member

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    Happened to me at GUN CITY in Nashville TN a couple of years ago...

    They acted like it was the first time it ever happened. I found that they have a serious ricochet problem...I've not been there since. And my office is only about a mile from them.

    Just wanted to get their name out there again!

    jjs
     
  19. gordy

    gordy Member

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    9mm+
    I must say that I didn't understand that the targets were a true target and not a drawing(my bad) I use home made targets sometimes. I don't shoot indoors to much as the club I belong to has a outdoor range. Sucks in the cold. As you refered to the guys as rapid-fire cowboys I was mislead to beleave that you were bashing the peaple and there shooting style. Not there ability to hit the target.:)
     
  20. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    Ah, Gordy, gotcha! :) No worries!
     
  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have been hit by at least bullet fragments on every pistol range I have shot on.
    It normally relates to the condition of the bullet traps or steel plate targets which can get pretty beat up after a few years' use.
    I have a flattened but complete bullet that hit a friend. Apparently it bounced off a rock in the range set up in an old quarry with no artificial traps or berms.

    No connection to cowboys and rapid fire no matter how distasteful those might be.
    Not much the clerk laughingly called a range officer can do about it, either.

    Wear glasses at all times. Even if you are shooting by yourself, you can take "return fire" from your own efforts. I have. You will get some cuts and bruises.

    Long ago, before shooting glasses were common, a top skeet shooter lost his right eye to a shot pellet that bounced off a clay pigeon. He taught himself to shoot left handed and got back to his original form. WE can wear glasses and save the work.
     
  22. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I'm surprised more people on this forum have not told you that being on ANY shooting rang, especially indoor ones (that are usually at closer proximity to the targets and have hard areas all around), will subject you to the OCCASIONAL bouncing bullet. Most are just like you experienced; flattened, and retaining little energy, and capable of inflicting little or no permanent damage if struck by one. It is the risk we run in ANY shooting environment; don't take it personal. Bowling pin shoots are notorious for bullets bouncing back, and even longer outdoor ranges land a few high power bullets back at the shooter or bystander. It doens't necessarily imply that the range is dangerous, or the shooters are reckless. It just, by law of averages, happens sometimes. If you become fearful of the range ricochet too much, you simply will not ever shoot on an indoor range, and maybe lose desire to risk it on outdoor ranges. It's like skiing. You can plan on not ever getting hurt, but if you do it enough, you probably will. Rules of the game. I have been hit about 4-5 times in my life, mostly indoors at bowling pin events, once or twice outside shooting steel targets. Wear eye protection, brush it off, and act like John Wayne. Works for me, pilgrim.......
     
  23. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    @Jim and Sharps -- good points, thanks. I definitely shrugged this off and won't be scared off of indoor ranges (and I ALWAYS wear safety glasses...always). While it's impossible to say where the bullet came from, I do feel that rapid firing shooters with bad aim were contributing factors. The law of averages being what it is, contributing factors like this can skew the odds significantly.

    Funny you mention skiing. I have been a big skier my whole life and take safety seriously (I've been wearing a helmet for the last 10 years). Yes, I have had the occasional wipeout and strained knee, but I have remained relatively safe over the years. Fast skiers in congested zones, however, greatly increase the odds of someone getting hurt. Can you fall down alone and get hurt? Of course (and I have), but most of the serious injuries occur from reckless skiers and boarders colliding with others.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  24. thebigc

    thebigc Member

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    my clubs range must of had the indoor backstop worn out one time we went alone in the middle of the night and i had a .45acp come back and bounce off a chair and land on the seat. i figured it was just a fluke must of hit the carrier or something and kept shooting a few shots later one bounced back and tapped me in the arm pretty good i decided i would like to keep my teeth so i packed up and left i had the bounced back rounds somewhere but unfortunately lost them they were pretty cool
     
  25. jackg

    jackg Member

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    First, let me say how glad I am that you weren't injured, you just used up one of your twelve lives. Next, I'm glad you listened to your instincts by never going back. The range I go to is very adament about rapid fire, they really enforce the rule, they have to. Does anyone think they have these rules without a purpose? I would imagine that the liability insurance alone would cause range owners to keep an eagle out not to mention thee fact they must comply with Federal, State & local Government regulations.
    Fortunately for me I'm retired so I only go to the range early in the morning when it's practically empty. Monday & Friday mornings are my routine.
     
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