With some thought and math put into the design of steel targets, the direction of the deflected bullet fragments can be controlled somewhat. A steel target that is perpendicular to the shooter will allow bullet fragments to come straight back at the shooter. A steel target that is tilted slightly back from top to bottom, or tips back when struck will deflect the fragments back at the shooter, but slightly upward. A steel target the is tilted slightly forward from top to bottom, or is hinged and bottom swings away from the shooter will deflect the bullet fragments back at the shooter, but down-ward toward the ground. Mathematicians often quote that, "...the angle of approach equals the angle of departure...", or something like that. Before someone jumps on this, the angle of departure is only approximately the angle of approach due to other factors, like the relative hardness of the steel and how much it is deformed (cratered), by the bullet impact.
Last edited by dahermit; October 6, 2011 at 02:19 PM.