The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Lock and Load: Live Fire Exercises

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 2, 2011, 08:21 PM   #1
Dr. Strangelove
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2008
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 1,418
Steel targets and ricochets

Just a friendly reminder to everyone who shoots steel out there to always wear proper eye protection.

I caught a jacket or bullet fragment in the neck this pm, looked horrible but was merely a flesh wound, my shirt was all soaked in blood. It did get me thinking, I was wearing regular prescription glasses, had that fragment been higher, it could have come in behind the lens and hit me in the eye, from the angle it hit me.

Two things I learned - wear full wrap around safety glasses when shooting steel, and don't stand beside someone shooting steel. I was off to the side about twenty feet, even with the shooter and not even shooting when I got hit. We were 11 yards from the targets, our clubs minumum distance.


Everyone was doing everything right, the targets in in great condition and well designed, things just happen sometimes. Moral of the story: Wear proper full safety glasses when shooting steel!
__________________
Just remember, when you pull the trigger, the bullets come out going very, very fast. So make sure to keep the weapon pointing away from you.

Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; July 3, 2011 at 02:04 AM. Reason: edited for correct range
Dr. Strangelove is offline  
Old July 2, 2011, 11:49 PM   #2
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,214
Well said.

I would add to that the following: The worst injuries I have sustained so far at the range involve flying brass which is present, no matter what the target is, any time semi-autos are present. I've had one piece of brass leave a bad burn on my arm and another cut my forehead. I've also ruined a pair of safety glasses when a flying empty cut a crescent on the lens of my safety glasses directly in front of my right eye.

Shooting glasses are a must at the range whether you're shooting or not and regardless of the targets employed.

I recommend them for gun cleaning and gunsmithing as well. Firearms contain compressed springs and that means that flying parts or springs are a reality when dealing with firearm disassembly/reassembly.

Wear your safety glasses when disassembling/reassembling or shooting firearms.

By the way, prescription safety glasses can be quite inexpensive if you go with a basic pair.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old July 3, 2011, 10:15 AM   #3
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 5,472
Excellent post and real hazard !!

Many folks have learned the hard way, including myself, that steel targets can bite you. At one of our ranges, they are strictly prohibited. At another, handgun range they are allowed but have to be placed no less that 24" from the face of the back stop and the shooting position to ba a minimum of 25yds. In all cases, these are swingers. ...


Might add that Buckskinners love to shoot at these, becaue they like the sound of the steel. Again they can hurt .....


Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old July 3, 2011, 10:24 AM   #4
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,367
Some where in one of my junk drawers I have an old pair of shooting glasses with a piece of lead stuck in the lense.

No Sir, wont catch me shooting at steel (or anything else) with out eye protection.

I'm old but I still like to set in the shade and watch the young ladies stroll by, don't to ruin that.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 3, 2011, 01:51 PM   #5
oldkim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2008
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 462
The rules apply to any range...

So no matter what you are shooting at... steel plates to just a regular range...

The safety rules apply both for your firearm and what gear you wear...

I have had richocets both from steel plates (10 yards) and also just at a regular indoor range (25 yards) that had not re done their berm so over time it built up a "core" - had the shooter's 45ACP come right back and hit me in the thigh. It didn't break the skin but it I knew it hit me.
__________________
"Shoot Safetly, Shoot Often and Share Your Sport." Jim Scoutten, Shooting USA

Check out my new website: www.shootonthemove.org
oldkim is offline  
Old July 5, 2011, 09:31 PM   #6
Gerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 382
Proper sizing and placement of the shrouds when shooting steel is helpful too. Shooting glasses and ear protection are required when shooting anything in our sport (IPSC).
Gerry is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 08:02 AM   #7
1911rocks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2006
Posts: 424
Shooting Glasses

I completely agree with the OP regarding Steel. I agree with all the posters. My only $.02 is make sure your safety glasses are rated for the job. There are different ratings. ANSI Z87.1-2010 and MIL-PRF-31013, clause 3.5.1.1 set down "Ballistic" impact standards. I use Revision Eyeware Sawflys.
http://www.revisioneyewear.com/sawfly.html
1911rocks is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 08:04 AM   #8
hornetguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2011
Location: on the north side of DFW
Posts: 794
sort of on topic, not pistols, but there's a video out there of a guy shooting the .50cal Browning at a steel target at what looks to be at least a couple hundred yards away, possibly more. He's at a portable shooting bench.
When he shoots, there is perhaps a second or so delay, and you can hear a whistling sound, and see the bullet skip off the ground about 20 feet in front of him, and then it takes his ear muffs off his head. Looks like it hits the left side of the muff. He jumps up, finds he's pretty much unhurt, and says "we're not doing THAT anymore" .. or something to that effect.
Another couple inches to the right, and they could have buried his safety glasses with him. I hope he went and bought a handful of lottery tickets that afternoon, cause his luck isn't going to EVER be quite that good again, I'm sure.
Shooting steel is fun, for the "ring", but is HIGHLY unpredictable/dangerous.
hornetguy is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 09:07 AM   #9
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Even though the use of protective glasses is important there are other factors involved.
Not mentioned, but the most important factor in safety when using steel targets is how they are mounted.
I once manufactured metallic sillouhette targets and did extensive testing.
#1 consideration for safety is that they MUST be allowed to swing or fall easily. If standing the bases must be only heavy and big enough to hold the target up. It must be able to fall when hit. This directs the splatter mostly (safely) upwards or sideways.
If swinging, chains should be fastened at the top of the target so it can swing backwards directing the splatter downwards.
Other targest, like dueling plates, must be able to swing easily sideways.
Targets improperly mounted account for most splatter that can come directly back to the shooter. I have a scar on my elbow that reminds of that truth and was part of my learning experience.
Steel that is too soft and can cavitate on bullet impact can, and will, also direct splatter back at the shooter. Hard steels or smaller calibers must be used on softer steel.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 10:09 AM   #10
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 5,472
Swingers will ricochet as well

Personally I like swingers and I always keep in mind that there are still parts that will give you ricochets. That is why I always try to place them close to the berm and keep them a safe distance from me. ......

One time at a public range, there were a couple of younger guys next to me that were shooting a steel target that I had never see. It had a stationary torso front silhouette of a peson and a center swinging steel rectangle. It was placed about 20ft. in front of them. Every so often I kept feeling something hit my leg. The hit was light so I did not notice it right off. Told them about it and then I moved to the next bench.

Yes, placement is crucial in the use of steel targets.


Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 05:10 PM   #11
Vt.birdhunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Posts: 499
I have always been warned to only shoot un-jacketed ammo at steel. Our local CAS club permits only LRN and lead wadcutters.

Lead splatters for the most part; copper can form larger, jagged bits of shrapnel more easily.
__________________
Maintaining a constant state of cat-like readiness and a heightened state of suspicious alertness.
Vt.birdhunter is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 06:16 PM   #12
Clifford L. Hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Southern Californis
Posts: 795
Dr. Strangelove: I agree with you one-hundred percent. However, I think that eye protection should be worn away form the firing line also. I was shooting at a San Diego gun club one afternoon and I walked to the parking lot the chat with a friend. The parking lot was about fifty yards from the firing line and the dirt back stop was at fifty yards down range. While I was talking a .45 hard ball bullet ricocheted from the butts and hit the car door next to me hard enough to put a visable dent in the door. This much power on a hundred yard ricochet could have put out an eye.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired

Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; July 6, 2011 at 06:42 PM. Reason: word left out
Clifford L. Hughes is offline  
Old July 6, 2011, 08:41 PM   #13
Bogie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2000
Location: Job hunting on the road...
Posts: 3,827
And one never knows when one of the dreaded Daisy Red Ryders will show up (grin).

Safety glasses are good to have, regardless. Along with good situational awareness.
__________________
Job hunting, but helping a friend out at www.vikingmachineusa.com - and learning the finer aspects of becoming a precision machinist.

And making the world's greatest bottle openers!
Bogie is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 02:10 PM   #14
pvt.Long
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2009
Posts: 433
I have had my fair share of close calls with brass hitting me. I took my Ar to the range had a coated steel case hit the divider and hit me in the dis of the glasses and was so hot when it hit it actually stuck for half a second before hitting my shoulder. I love safety glasses when I shoot. When I'm out with my friends everyone even with regular glasses wears them. only time I don't wear glasses is when in at a reenactment,and being left handed shooting a percussion I know I should but it doesn't look right.
pvt.Long is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 08:33 PM   #15
langenc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2007
Location: Montmorency Co, MI
Posts: 1,187
Everyone was doing everything right, the targets in in great condition and well designed, things just happen sometimes. Moral of the story: Wear proper full safety glasses when shooting steel! quoted from above--

WEAR GLASSES ALL THE TIME-- steel, paper or clay!!!
langenc is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 09:53 PM   #16
pvt.Long
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2009
Posts: 433
while shooting the most important laws you must obey are Murphys laws.
pvt.Long is offline  
Old July 8, 2011, 06:26 AM   #17
yourang?
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2008
Location: upstate ny
Posts: 115
i am leery of bowling pins too

those things are built tough and amazing how bullets
bounce/ricochet off them
__________________
Now I don't know, but I been told it's hard to run with the weight of gold.
Other hand I have heard it said, it's just as hard with the weight of lead.

hunter/garcia (new speedway boogie)
yourang? is offline  
Old July 8, 2011, 11:54 AM   #18
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,650
If the steel is angled back at the bottom bullets will be deflected downward. No guarantees tho.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old July 8, 2011, 01:57 PM   #19
LOUD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 228
I never have and never will fire a weapon at a steel or metal target. The only exception would be my desire to kill what was within the metal object. This very simply defies all the teachings about firearm safety that was imparted to me by my father. Firing at metal targets is foolish to say the least with richochet being not only possible but downright probable . And yes I am aware that there is a whole sport involved with firing at metal targets again in my eyes absolutely foolish . Just my two cents............LOUD
LOUD is offline  
Old July 8, 2011, 02:35 PM   #20
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 5,472
Your Two Cents has Value !!

Quote:
Firing at metal targets is foolish to say the least with richochet being not only possible but downright probable .
Perhaps this is exactly why one of our public ranges, prohibits their use. No matter how they are made, or placed, you will get some richochets. You might be able to minimize them but not prevent them and just one may be the one that gets you. If you take them for granted, they will bite you. ..

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old July 8, 2011, 07:27 PM   #21
oldkim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2008
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 462
2 cents...

Quote:
And yes I am aware that there is a whole sport involved with firing at metal targets again in my eyes absolutely foolish . Just my two cents............
Do you shoot? That's dangerous too. And walking out of your home... is dangerous... do you drive... etc, etc.

Man, sorry but that is such a bunch of... (insert word of choice) But that is your choice.


Steel targets can be made less prone... but as many have commented it does not eliminate the possible ricochet.

One must also determine what type of steel (AR quality), how thick, shape and placement/support and very importantly what distance.


*AR is not AR rifle but Abrasion Resistant... typically 300-500

Tired of shooting at a stagnet paper target? Try some Steel Plates... It may just change how you look at shooting...

For those in the Seattle area www.shootonthemove.org/calendar to find a range near you.
__________________
"Shoot Safetly, Shoot Often and Share Your Sport." Jim Scoutten, Shooting USA

Check out my new website: www.shootonthemove.org
oldkim is offline  
Old July 10, 2011, 08:32 PM   #22
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
No matter how they are made, or placed, you will get some richochets. You might be able to minimize them but not prevent them and just one may be the one that gets you. If you take them for granted, they will bite you. ..
I use the Evil Roy portable steel targets that flatten and fragment the bullet and direct it straight down to the ground. If the fragments hit the front support, small pieces can come back. I shoot at an angle at closer ranges for that reason. If a bullet hits the edge of the target, it can richochet off into the wild blue yonder. I shoot on public land with a safe backstop (like a bank or a mountain).

There are no richochets that can come back at the shooter other than small fragments.


When sweeping up my brass at a local shooting range, some years ago, I noticed all the small pieces of bullet jacket on the floor--all around the shooting stations. Testimony to the importance of eye protection.

In Farnum's course we used steel rotating targets. I got a tiny piece of fragment on the cheek below my glasses. Not a major event, but could have been serious if it hit the eye. We shot at 8 yds. If I wiped it with my finger and looked real close, I could barely make out the tiniest speck of blood. Class had worse injuries drawing, running, shooting, reloading and clearing malfunctions. The biggest danger may be when turned away exposing the eye from the side. We used side shields that could be attached to our glasses for that reason.

Considering the thousands of steel targets in use, I've heard more criticism on this board than from all other sources put together. They have their place, but aren't appropriate everywhere.

Last edited by Nnobby45; July 10, 2011 at 08:41 PM.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old October 6, 2011, 11:06 AM   #23
kflo01
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 61
"sort of on topic, not pistols, but there's a video out there of a guy shooting the .50cal Browning at a steel target at what looks to be at least a couple hundred yards away, possibly more. He's at a portable shooting bench.
When he shoots, there is perhaps a second or so delay, and you can hear a whistling sound, and see the bullet skip off the ground about 20 feet in front of him, and then it takes his ear muffs off his head. Looks like it hits the left side of the muff. He jumps up, finds he's pretty much unhurt, and says "we're not doing THAT anymore" .. or something to that effect.
Another couple inches to the right, and they could have buried his safety glasses with him. I hope he went and bought a handful of lottery tickets that afternoon, cause his luck isn't going to EVER be quite that good again, I'm sure.
Shooting steel is fun, for the "ring", but is HIGHLY unpredictable/dangerous. "

I saw that video. Scared the crap out of me and I wasnt even there. Man your right he needed to go play lotto that day. Seriously that might have turned me off to shooting period let alone steel.
__________________
NYS Unrestricted | PA CCP | FL CCP
NRA Member
"Reading,Learning and Doing"
kflo01 is offline  
Old October 6, 2011, 11:40 AM   #24
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
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.
dahermit is offline  
Old October 6, 2011, 12:06 PM   #25
wyatt3d
Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2009
Posts: 24
I had a ricochet from a steel target whiz by my left side missing my arm by a few inches. It may not have done much damage there but it sure got me thinking about what would of happened if it would have hit me in the glasses (I was just wearing sun glasses) or in the neck.

My cousin gave up shooting a few years ago after a .40 cal ricochet from a steel target severed the top 1/2 of his ear.

Personally I always wear shooting glasses now and don't shoot steel anymore.
wyatt3d is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13861 seconds with 9 queries