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Very Scary experience at the range today!

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by rjoy, Nov 7, 2005.

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  1. rjoy

    rjoy Member

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    I wanted to pass this along to everyone to remind them to continue to be ever vigilant when it comes to being safe at the range. Two fellowshooters and I where shooting a friend's .500 and .44 at some bowling pins today. We had finished shooting with the .500 and had put it away and were kind of plinking away at the pins with his .44 loaded with light special loads with lead bullets. We were taking turns shooting at the pins which were placed about 20-25 yards away. We had two pins that were placed side by side at that distance with one pin about 15 feet to the left and slightly behind the other pin. One shooter was shooting while the other two of us were watching. What happened next was something that I still find hard to believe, but again is a very real reminder of how things can go very wrong in an instant. The shooter was shooting at the right hand bowling pin while we watched. At the shot, we saw the right pin fall, then immediately after, the left pin fall and this whizzing sound passing between myself and the other bystander and the sound of a bullet hitting the back wall of the shooting shed we were in. When we looked back, the bullet laid there on the floor of the shed about 3 feet behind us. We were aghast at the thought of what could have happened in that situation. Fortunately, the bullet missed all three of us, but I still shudder at the thought of what could have happened if that bullet would have hit one of us. That bullet made two right angle ricochets and came directly back at the shooters. It was reminiscent of a trick shot except we weren't doing any tricks here. When we later examined the bowling pins we saw that the bullet penetrated the pin on the very edge and exited to the left and completely glanced off the second pin without penetrating it all and came right back towards the shooters.

    I just wanted to post this as a reminder that any kind of wierd thing can happen in this sport and that we should be ever mindful of safety when firing our firearms at all targets. I know I will not be shooting at bowling pins anymore. I hope this serves to make us all think a little more about safety.

    Clayshooter
     
  2. pauli

    pauli Member

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    bouncebacks are god's way of keeping us on our toes. :)

    in my experience, they are more of a burn danger than anything else - deformed lumps of lead that are HOT, but not moving at a dangerous speed.
     
  3. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    I was hit by a .38 special that ricocheted off a steel target frame.

    It me hard beneath the ribcage made a large red welt and the remains of the jacket left a small cut.

    Nothing life threatening but it sure is a good lesson regarding eye protection.
     
  4. jashobeam

    jashobeam Member

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    Similar experience at a Cowboy shooting event

    I had gone with a friend to one of those Cowboy shoots.

    I was watching him shoot his Ruger .44 SA at some steel plates 25+ yards out, when suddenly I saw and heard this hunk of lead come whirring past me about 10-15 feet to my right. Thankfully, this range was recessed and the ricocheting bullet was stopped by a berm.
     
  5. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Member

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    As a Range Officer, I have had many occurances of bounce back from shooters loads hitting the back wall and then some portion of the bullet hitting me. Some cases enough to draw blood. This is why we should all wear safety glasses... I also add safe things to wear... Long Sleave Shirt, Long Pants, and a ball cap. My experiance has shown that the bounce back does not go through the clothing but will cut bare skin and yes, sting. I have seen a few RO's wear full face shield.

    One thing I really hate, is when I forget to button up my shirt and get a hot brass down the front... So, now it is a tee shirt with a long sleave shirt...
     
  6. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    I was hit by a richochet from a plate once in the side of the neck. It was hard enough to put out an eye if it would have hit me in the eye socket. I'm a believe in side shields on safety glasses now.
     
  7. lyricsdad

    lyricsdad Member

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    I had the same thing happen to me with a .22lr in a remington nylon 66. I was hit, and it made a little welt. that was it. I was scared sh*tless when it happened, I thought I was shot! lol. Pretty scary, but considering the number of rounds I have fired in my life.. this is a very rare occurance.
     
  8. clone

    clone Member

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    i was hit in the foot with a ricochet from a 22 CCI CB long once. i was in a old abandoned house that was infested with rats, i took aim at a rat that was on the floor by a wall. the best i can tell i shot low and hit the concrete floor and the slug ricochet off the wall behind the rat and come back to hit me in the foot. :eek: even with leather boots on it hurt for a good 10 minutes. id hate to think what a ricochet by a anything biger than a 22 would feel like.

    as a kid i was hit many times by ricocheting bb's and pellet's. i have been lucky over the years that i have never been hurt. i do wear glasses when shooting now days so i guess iv learned my leason on safety.

    "you'll put your eye out kid" :neener:
     
  9. bpisler

    bpisler Member

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    My brother has a 22lr slug buried in
    his upper leg.He got it from taking
    a shot at a old tv tube.A few years
    ago a friend was plinking out in
    the desert,a round from his 1911 hit
    a rock and bounced back knocking
    his ear muffs off.
     
  10. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I have an ex girlfriend that was shooting a refrigorator with an AR and took a ricochet to the arm. It hit her above the wrist, broke her ulna, and came out below the elbow and hit her father in the thigh. Her uncle who was shooting took a piece of the jacket through his earlobe. I bet that was fun explaining at the ER.
     
  11. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    I hope that doesn't have anything to do with her being an "ex"
     
  12. Walt Rauch

    Walt Rauch Member

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    There are easier ways to get the ice trays out.
     
  13. Wedge

    Wedge Member

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    Always have your eyes and ears on when at the range, not just when shooting.
     
  14. usp_fan

    usp_fan Member

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    I've got a piece of jacket in my cheek from a hollow point impacting a steel plate about 25 feet out. I didn't even know anything was still in there till I had my head imaged for another issue. (insert funny quips here). The doc said they'd just prefer to leave it in there, so we did.

    --usp_fan
     
  15. petro

    petro Member

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    I took one too

    Several months ago, while shooting at the indoor range public night, I took what was left of a .38 right on the bridge of my nose. I know exactly who shot it, as everyone else was done and back off the line, there was only one guy shooting. I was at the line, reloading my mags. Cut me pretty good, not enough for stitches, though. Nose injuries tend to bleed pretty good. He was shooting .38 from a Ruger revolver, unkown model, lead rounds, at paper tagets in front of properly baffled backstop. He had several bounce backs that night.

    I'm still not convinced he wasn't shooting jacketed rounds, but the RO checked his stuff after I complained.
    :fire:
     
  16. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    This happened at the Colorado Get Together in August:

    Smoke Rizen fired a shot from his 9mm at a popper 25 yards away. Somehow fragments came back and hit TWO bystanders, on on each side of him. WYO caught one in the arm and it drew blood. I think the other one hit was either Dr. Rob or Zundfolge, and I think that one drew blood also.

    Scary stuff.
     
  17. MrTuffPaws

    MrTuffPaws Member

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    We were shooting bowling pins with 00 buck at the last three gun match. I had a bounce back hit me in the left forearm while someone else was shooting. Not enough force to do anything other than scare the crap out of me, but still unsettling.
     
  18. WarMachine

    WarMachine Member

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    While this wasn't at the range, it happened when I was trying to reinsert the firing pin into my 1911. A pair of Rx glasses was all that I was wearing. Somehow, when I was pressing in the firing pin, it slipped from my grip and shot out the rear of the gun hitting me dead center in the right lense of my glasses. They were of course cracked, but I shudder to think what would have happened if I were not wearing them because I know that I would have lost that eye...

    I no longer balk at the warnings in manuals that tell of flying springs and such :rolleyes:
     
  19. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Some good cautionary tales here. Here's mine:

    A few friends and I were shooting at steel plates with a couple of pistol caliber Marlin rifles (357 and 45 Colt). Afterall, the plates were rated for pistol rounds, right? Well, suddenly one friend yells out and clutches his forehead--took a ricochet right between the eyes. Hit him hard enough to draw blood and give us all a good scare.

    That ended the target practice for the day. One of us went to look for a Band-Aid while another collected the steel plates. On closer examination, one could see the reason for the ricochet: each plate was cratered like an asteroid. Many of the rounds even made it half way through.

    Lesson learned: shoot pistol-rated plates with pistols.
     
  20. Working Man

    Working Man Member

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    I would at least suggest a good pair of denim jeans and a T-shirt too. :neener:

    Glad you posted, I hadn't thought about safety glasses while doing
    maintenance... something to consider depending on the situation.
     
  21. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    Here's mine:

    I took a firearms safety class (required here to get a carry permit) in the middle of winter. We were shooting in a small inddor range and I was wearing a heavy barn coat.

    The back wall was concrete, with about a foot-thick covering of a rubber product that looked like stacks of cut-up tires. The rubber covered the entire wall except for maybe 3" on either end (you can see where this is going). I was in the far left lane loading a magazine and there was a woman shooting a .38 in the lane next to me. She shot and I felt a burning in my forearm and felt my arm get tugged back. Turns out, she'd missed her target and hit the 3" strip of bare concrete on the extreme left edge (a full 5' from her target). The bullet bounced off the back wall and the side wall, went up my sleeve, grazed my forearm, and tore a hole in the elbow of my jacket. I swore, and the RO came over and took the gun away from her. She explained that she was scared of the recoil, had her eyes closed when she shot and "kinda jerked the trigger".
     
  22. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    caught a .45 in the head after it took a two way trip . We were shooting in a gravel pit with a lot of loose rock.
     
  23. frenchwrench

    frenchwrench Member

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    while shooting action pistol,45 cal off pepper popper down to top of my head
    from across the berm between two areas. The one time I wasn't wearing a cap. Drew a little blood. Two guys next to me got hit also. The:eek: steel was retired that night.
     
  24. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    Not that bounceback is nothing to be worried about, but anyone ever hear about anyone ever being killed by bounceback? I knew a couple of guys that each got whacked in the leg in the USMC by 9mm bullets coming back, but neither was in the least deadly.
     
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    rjoy, the fact that you heard the round come back whizzing by you indicates that it was bleeding off energy very fast. The whiz indicates the projectile is an irregular shape and is spinning very fast. The whiz sound generated is the irregular projectile hacking through the air. As noted, bouncebacks rarely carry much energy. This would be especially true at 20-25 yards for a pistol caliber.
     
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