Shrapnel at the outdoor range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MySuomi, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. MySuomi

    MySuomi Member

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    I shoot outdoors at the family farm. My range is mostly composed of Steel targets. I have always been surprised about how far shrapnel will travel off of the plates. But, usually I am not too worried about pistol caliber bounce backs.

    This Saturday I had another example. I was right at 50 yards away shooting 147 grain 9mm out of my suppressed short barreled rifle. As usual, I put my big tarp down to catch the brass. As I was cleaning up I noticed a pretty large (1" by 1/4") but thin piece of shrapnel on the back part of the tarp. The steel is in good shape and not big time pock marked.

    My point is for everybody to be careful and wear eye protection when shooting steel. That stuff can bounce back a lot further than you would think. And, not just damaged steel causing shrapnel. Clean steel can as well.

    Here are some pictures. The shrapnel is small but is in one of the pictures.
    IMG_2356.JPG IMG_2357.JPG IMG_2358.JPG
     
  2. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    And such long-distance splinters are a(nother) major reason to not ignore eye protection. :)
     
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  3. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    Between whats gone on at work and while shooting over the years, Ive worn safety glasses on a daily basis for a couple of decades now. They are basically my sunglasses. That first time something gives your glasses a whack, is literally an eye opener, no pun intended.

    I shoot a lot of handgun up close to the berms and usually get hit somewhere on my body with something coming back of it a couple of times a year. Sometimes its stone, sometimes its lead.

    The other year, it was a beat up 357 caliber LSWC (I was shooting 9mm) that hit my glasses square in the right lens, and hard enough it made a good gouge in the lens. That one really got my attention.

    I think theres probably more stuff flying around than most realize. I constantly find pieces of copper jackets and mashed up lead bullets in the grass when Im scrounging my brass.
     
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  4. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    Never shoot without eye protection. Last year I was shooting a Delta Elite in 10mm at a reactionary steel target at 7 yards. One round bounced back so fast that it punctured my fall medium weight jacket, a sweat shirt, a tee shirt and cut the skin in my stomach area. Scared the crap out of me as it hurt. Luckily there was very little blood, but it gave me a new found respect for 10mm and reactive steel. I back up a few yards. Still wonder what it would have been like if it was summer and I was just wearing a t-shirt.
     
  5. jag22

    jag22 Member

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    There are several videos on you tube showing bounce backs from steel plates.
    They will get your attention.
     
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    illustrates why you shouldn't use hanging targets that close. use targets held at a downward angle instead. the only hanging targets i use are 200-1100 yards
     
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  7. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Indeed, bullet jacket or lead pieces splashing back can be an issue when shooting at any hard surface. Rocks, steel, etc. will certainly send pieces of bullets (maybe even the whole thing) back towards the shooter. This is why folks started using Abrasion Resistant grades of steel for targets, like AR500/550, so they’ll resist dimpling. The uneven surfaces of dimpled plate can really swoop stuff back easily.

    All of my AR static plates and swinging paddles have a forward lean to (hopefully) send fragments and splatter downwards rather than back.

    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-Shrapnel

    Stay safe.
     
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  8. 230RN
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    230RN Pushing the pendulum back before it's too late.

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    I don't know how common this is, but I've had three or four .22s come back from shooting at an uninflated tire, about 20 Yards away, standard velocity shorts. Wooded area and I wondered about that noise occurring around me with two or three shots until one clipped a branchlet right by me. Slow learner. I apologized to the tire and moved it out of the way.

    I also found out that shooting at railroad tracks is not good idea, since the curvature will send almost everything back at you, but don't tell anyone I tried that. ....Ummmm... well it was an accident. Yeah, that's right, it was an accident, see? And the witness is lying.

    Terry, 230RN
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  9. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    Yeh, and the mounts of hanging/swinging targets can be reconfigured so the steel targets are at a downward angle too, so the bullet fragments are deflected down.
    jmo,
    Edited to add a pic:
    PlateAngle.jpg
    :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    as long as you shoot 1 bullet at a time and allow the target to return to rest between shots, yes.
    however, if you have .15 splits, and put two rounds high on the target, the first one will tilt it back, and the second round may ricochet over the berm, or back at you.
     
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  11. 230RN
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    230RN Pushing the pendulum back before it's too late.

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    Then there's cut shells. My lawyer told me to say it was decidedly not recommended, and is provided for information purposes only:



    I'm not signing this one so nobody will know who posted it.
     
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  12. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Nice picture. That is how my steel is set up (the "better" one). I use swing set stands and all the steel is hung from the back with carriage bolts through the mount holes. I have never noticed anything coming back at me, but lots of bullet fragments around the targets.

    I would repeat what was said above about using the proper steel. I have used scrap steel pipe flanges and such and they will crater easily with the right calibers. The AR500 shows almost no damage unless you are shooting M855 or steel core ammo.
     
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  13. Idahou

    Idahou Member

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    Im always fascinated (and jealous) about those home ranges. You just cant shoot in Czech Republic outside dedicated and approved shooting range (with expetion for hunting and self defence ofcourse) and even that isnt that safe as you would think.

    Just few months back we had legal case closed - somebody shot man while he was working with his dad on roof. It was quite quickly stated that it was probably accident and police collected guns from nearby in try to find one what shot the recovered (i guess) bullet
    But no luck.
    So who was shoting?
    Well, more than one click away, is outdoor shooting range. Direction was off and shooting range have proper "ballistic shielding". So police collected video tape (because ranges are requred to have cameras) to review it.
    Again - no concerete answer. There were shooters at the time of incident, but all were shooting according to rules and not in direction where was victim hit.
    Just after some time, dont ask me how, somebody discovered what did happen

    Shooter was firing from his civilian vz 58 (7,62x39) and bullet went into clay wall bullet stop (bassicly madeup hill). In that wall, there was a small rock... which deflected bullet and made it to hit victim kilometer away in diffrent direction
    čekanice.jpg
    foto of said shooting range

    Victim si alive, no informations about his wound. The owner of shooting range was fined and charged for negligent injury
     
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  14. caribou

    caribou Member

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    Ive had steel shot in my 12 gauge rust into 'slugs" and many a miss at birds, untill I actually connected and blew a duck in half in the sky.... a test shot at the river bank show'd the steel was rusted into 'slugs" and explained the 2 or 3 duds the box had.
    I would have worried about how far they would have gone, rather than the short distance shot would have gone.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Important enough to repeat.

    Excellent illustration
    Screenshot 2021-10-19 at 18-58-22 Shrapnel at the outdoor range.png

    Best
    61YiGZ1egTL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  16. reloaded_in_pa
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    reloaded_in_pa Contributing Member

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    I'm speechless. Sad part is people that are unfamiliar with guns watch this for educational reasons.
     
  17. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

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    i can't help but wonder who in the world figured this out. sitting around one day, "gee, i wonder what would happen if i cut a circle around the base of a shotgun shell?"
     
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  18. 230RN
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    230RN Pushing the pendulum back before it's too late.

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    The story I heard was that it originated during the depression era when slugs were not available. I have no information on who dreamed it up, but apparently it was pretty commonplace in that hard times period when deer hunting was not just a sport, but a nitty-gritty balls-out subsistence matter for many.

    (Working ftom memory here, additions and corrections welcome.)

    I'm still not signing this one
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  19. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    I realize you are in an Eastern European country, not here in the USA.

    However, that sentence terrifies me.

    To imagine the Powers That Be can just go around and "collect" the firearms, for whatever reason, is eye-opening.
     
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  20. Idahou

    Idahou Member

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    It was for criminal investigation and law specify it cant be holded for longer period that needed for stated use.
    Also its not conceted to "Eastern European country". We just have viable (ish) law system and there was logical reasson and legal base to collect guns. I imagine most of ppl was annoyed to give their guns to the police, but i dont think there was somebody who actually feared he will not get it back. Also if im correct, you can refuse in such a situation, but why would you do that?
    Yeah, there is some preassure from EU to more gun controll (and i can see the point), but we dont have such gun problems as in US, mass shooting and armed robberies arent thing here, so that optic is just diffrent
     
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  21. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    Because of the presumption of innocence.

    I am innocent until proven guilty, and I am under no obligation to provide any evidence whatsoever, either of my guilt or innocence.
    It is the Prosecutions obligation to prove guilt.

    You want my gun to look at ? Get a warrant.

    This is not the forum to argue politics, so let's just say that things are very much different here.

    And, don't believe all that you read in the press about gun problems here in the US. Most of the problems are in the most highly regulated cities (and States).
     
  22. rust collector
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    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, the topic here is range safety and steel targets. Design, materials, distance and type of ammunition all figure heavily in keeping things safe. We read about shooting at LP tanks and other things not intended for that purpose. Where is that ricochet going to go? Our safety, that of bystanders, and the future of outdoor ranges is at stake.
     
  23. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    The bullet expended much/most of it's energy by striking a rock and changing direction , then continued to fly for a kilometer ?
     
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  24. SundownRider

    SundownRider Member

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    Back when I shot Cowboy Action and there were six bays of shooters firing lead bullets at steel targets, shrapnel was expected. I can’t count how many cuts I got on my arms, face, and neck. Never took my glasses off once because of it, even to wipe my face. My hat took a lot of hits, still have the marks on the felt.
    Always protect the eyes. You can’t grow new ones.
     
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  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have lost count of how many times I have been hit by that stuff over the years on steel ranges. It just goes with the territory. As important as eye protection is when shooting (especially at steel) it is equally important for any bystanders/non-shooters in the area. That splash back doesn't care who sent it.
     
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