Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Shooting Rifles In A Neighborhood

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by gdesloge, Mar 11, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gdesloge

    gdesloge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    I am not sure where I stand on this. Is it prudent to fire rifles (or handguns, for that matter) in a neighborhood where the backdrop beyond one's field of fire and point of aim is houses and an active road?

    A neighbor, who is a good friend and a NRA instructor and a common-sense type of fellow, is shooting prairie dogs in his (quite expansive) front yard. Most shots would be, I imagine, slightly downhill, and a county road lies approx. 100 yards beyond, and beyond that is a handful of houses (ours included). We do live in a rural area.

    I realize that he will be shooting into the dirt, but ricochets and stray bullets are a possibility. I do not feel that I would be shooting in such a manner.

    Thank you,

    gd
     
  2. Mags

    Mags Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    3,235
    Location:
    Belgium
    Most places put a minimum distance from a dwelling usually mandated by counties, contact your Sheriff for legalities, but don't implicate your neighbor right away without having a chat with him about firearm safety. Give em a chance.
     
  3. twofifty

    twofifty Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,611
    You mention there is a potential for ricochets and stray bullets...and a public road plus houses 100yds beyond your friend's front yard P-dog town. Safe ranges are designed so that bullets are fired toward a safe zone that extends well beyond the backstop berms, or the range boundary for that matter, so that strays can fall harmlessly to unoccupied ground.

    Ask your friend to compare the margin of safety he is allowing his neighbours to what the NRA specifies in its range design guidelines.

    Sometimes, people who hold certifications in X, Y or Z come to believe in their own infallibility.
     
  4. gdesloge

    gdesloge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Thank you for the response.

    I am not concerned so much with the legalities, but with the practical and safety aspects of this situation. I am concerned if a bullet goes awry.

    I would definitely speak with him first.

    gd
     
  5. gdesloge

    gdesloge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Thanks again for the second response. A good perspective for me.

    gd
     
  6. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Being as he is shooting prairie dogs he is most likely using varmint bullets that will disintegrate on impact so ricochets are very unlikely. Unless he fires a round in your direction you really don't have anything to worry about. That said the potential for a mistake is possible. I'd have to see everything myself to say whether I thought it is safe or not.
     
  7. jojo200517

    jojo200517 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    580
    Ricochets can do some funny ****. Even buck shot (I had to replace someone elses window at about 75 deg angle from where I was aiming and thank god it was only a window) I'd politely express this concern to him. If he's a common sense guy he should be ok with talking about it.
     
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,450
    Location:
    TN
    I grew up shooting out the back windows of my childhood home at various non-game birds and animals. I would suggest you have a chat with your neighbor to hopefully get a higher comfort level about their shooting or at least to express your concerns and get their reaction.
     
  9. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    5,435
    Location:
    Howard County, Merry Land
    No, it's not.
     
  10. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,604
    No, rifle rounds can travel quote far.


    Although if he is shooting prairie dogs his neighborhood is probably a lot larger than mine is on the CT coast.
     
  11. Joe Kent

    Joe Kent Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Having had to close our local gunclub/range because of stray rds. I can tell you that a highpower rifle rd. that hits the earth can travel, after ricochet, 400 to 600 yards before "landing". It is very dangerous and as much as I love shooting, your neighbor needs to know that he should stop at once. I'm sure as a NRA instructor ,he would never forgive himself if an accident was to occur and he injured someone or worse.
     
  12. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,419
    Location:
    Past & Future Republic of Texas
    Invite him over so the two of you can sit in your front yard & shoot his groundrats with his house in the background.
     
  13. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Louisiana
    shooting in proximity to roads, houses, etc is highly variable by jurisdiction. check your local listings.
    as far as practicality, i agree that it is a discussion you should bring to your neighbor.
    ask him to come to your yard and shoot toward his house and see how comfortable he is. (*that was sarcasm*, you presenting your viewpoint to him with a genuine man-to-man concern, it should never come to that.)
     
  14. gdesloge

    gdesloge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Thank you to all who have replied so far.

    As I stated earlier, I would not be shooting so in this environment. My neighbor is using a .17 HMR, although that makes little difference to the basic safety issue.

    We live in a very rural area, and I had a brief conversation a year ago with a Sheriff's deputy in the local gun store. I asked him about the types of complaints that he normally encountered regarding gunfire in the county. He stated that most complaints were about residents claiming that neighbors were shooting onto their property. Keep in mind that we have deer grazing in our backyard, so close that I could throw a wet rag on them from our kitchen window, and elk crossing our driveway 25 yards from our house on a regular basis. I don't want gunfire on our place for my family's safety.

    My neighbor is a really great guy, and I am quite fond of him as a friend. I will mention my concerns to him. I am confident that we will have a reasonable conversation.

    Thank you for your responses.

    gd
     
  15. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Louisiana
    sounds like you are in a good position to have a good tete-a-tete with this guy. may even end up with a shooting buddy!
     
  16. erichtmobile

    erichtmobile Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    North Texas
    Anyone who has ever done nighttime fire with tracers can vouch for the uncanny ability of a bullet to ricochet in amazing directions
     
  17. FloridaConfederate

    FloridaConfederate Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I agree talk with him first, do not "invite" any gov't agency into someones life w/o trying the personal approach. When in the system you are in for ride:banghead:.
     
  18. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,203
    actually caliber matters particularly for ricochet. says the guy who popped a hole in his truck shooting at a coyote. and i woulda bet 6 months pay there was no way it coulda ever hit my truck
     
  19. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    Gaston County, NC
    ..be sure of your target and WHAT IS BEYOND IT.
    ..Always point the gun in a safe direction.

    On the surface seems like he is violating some safety rules there. I would be neighborly and chat with him on it. He may be taking some safety steps that you do not realize. He may not have simply thought of it the way you have. Even instructors can make mistakes.

    My grandfathers truck got 2 22 holes in it because of someone doing a similar thing. Was by the grace of God that he was not shot by the guy. He literally missed him by 2-3 ft.
     
  20. bhhacker

    bhhacker Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Juneau, Alaska
    My dads cousin (off duty Las Vegas PD) was dirt biking with a friend about a mile or two from an outdoor range with a backstop. He felt a pain in the back of his head when they were done and removed his helmet. That helmet must have been holding something in because when he took it off he collapsed and died in the hospital later.

    Im not trying to hijack the thread or anything, just letting you know that even in 100% legitimate circumstances freak accidents can happen. I expect no less than 100% rule following in terms of range and backstop safety.
     
  21. Keb

    Keb Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Colo & WA
    Has he considered using a shotgun with #8's?
    =========
    You might use Google Earth to measure the distance involved. If the end of his expansive property has another 100 yards to reach the road, AND there is a hill involved, then it might be safe. How about telling all of us just what this distance actually is?
     
  22. nathan

    nathan Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,067
    Bullets do weird things . Chat with the neighbor and make sure he understands your concerns.
     
  23. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,009
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    17's do ricochette at shallow angles. Dont let anyone fool you-
     
  24. Warhawk83

    Warhawk83 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    719
    Location:
    Louisiana
    That would make me very nervous. It would be something I would have a talk with him about, if he shrugged it off I would have to seek out a legal remedy as I have small children. He should know better being an NRA instructor.

    In my Parish, you have to be 600 yards from the nearest house not to get in trouble.
     
  25. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    Few people are wealthy enough to own enough land that they can fire a slightly elevated gun without the bullet leaving their property.

    If that was a requirement to shoot outdoors, there would be very few places a person could shoot, even on their own land.

    The shooter/property owner has the responsibility to insure that a bullet does not leave their land.

    On my range (other than the normal safety rules) I have only two rules.
    1 The shooter must insure that they never allow a bullet to miss the berm. (including ricocheting bullets)
    2 The shooter must insure that they never shoot me.


    This is foolish, especially for someont that should know better, and I would put a stop to it.
    Over the years I've read a number of accounts of people being killed by ricocheting bullets, some at quite a distance.
    One was a little girl that was in her back yard a quarter of a mile away from where two guys were shooting a 9mm Luger. The fellows were shooting at old rotten telephone poles. It was found that some of the bullets were going through the poles and ricocheting of a little pond. One bullet hit the little girl in the head, killing her. No charges were filed because it was decided that no "reasonable person" would think that could happen.

    I've had two ranges on my property since the early 1970's. A backyard 50 yard range and a 100 yard range in the woods.
    Easily within handgun or rifle range there are are houses behind the backstops. I am selective about who I allow to shoot on my ranges and I have pretty good backstops.
    40yardsNat2.gif

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page