View Full Version : question about steel plate shooting

June 9, 2005, 07:35 PM
How safe is steel plate shooting, cant the bullets ricochet (/spelling?). the reason im asking, is that I would like to create some plates of my home and set them up at a friends house, I just want to get more info on them before I got shooting at them.

June 9, 2005, 09:22 PM
Yes, certainly the bullets can richochet. If you are shooting handguns at them, the bullets almost certainly WILL richochet. What else would happen to them ?
You need to use smooth plates. Not plates that are pockmarked from bullet stridkes.
You need to be at least 10 yards away from the plates.
You need to wear safety gear like GOOD QUALITY shooting glasses.

I have been hit by richochets several times. It hurts. Big Deal.

June 9, 2005, 09:28 PM
So "it was no big deal" to get hit by a ricocheting bullet. do the ricochets not have enough momentum to penetrate ? So is it kinda like getting hit with a paintball or something?

btw: if you cant tell im new to guns. I know proper handling and safety. I just dont know the ins and outs of practicing with them.

June 9, 2005, 09:34 PM
I have never been shot with a paintball so I can't compare the two.
It hurts like hell. I am sure it would put out your eye if you got hit there with no safety glasses.
If you are shooting with someone that keeps the number to a personal injury attorney on speed dial, I wouldn't do it.
For me, it is no big deal.

Old Shooter
June 10, 2005, 05:45 AM
I shoot some steel plates at my place. You can minimize the risk by angling the plates slightly downward, standing at least 10 yards away & using minimum loads in your gun (target loads). The steel needs to be at lease 3/8” or ¼” thick (and not cast iron). Be certain to have a high berm behind the targets. Personally anything larger then a .45 (and I would include a 10mm in that) I would be further back. Eye and ear protection is always a must especially on steel.

June 10, 2005, 07:10 AM
I've been hit with bullets bouncing off of steel targets too, has been nothing more than a bother for me but I have seen blood drawn from jagged fragments as far back as 30 feet.

Angle them down unless you are out in the middle of a large property, if you are in an open area you can angle them up and that seems the best at keeping bullets or bullet pieces from hitting you.

Hunter Customs
June 10, 2005, 07:42 AM
I shoot a lot of steel, both types reactive and bang & clang. I've never been hit by a full bullet bouncing back. That being said I have been hit by fragments mostly jacket fragments. I had a piece of bullet jacket embed just under my lower lip, it hurt some getting it out. I've witnessed others get some nasty cuts from bullet jackets.
The thought is that hollow points seem to spit their jackets more to the rear than FMJ bullets. Velocity is some of the problem, at the American Handguner World Shootoffs they had a max velocity of 1200fps and no hollow point bullets.
I practice at 15 yards or more when shooting steel. This seems to cut down the chance of getting hit by fragments. I also keep the velocity of my 9's under 1200 fps.
Bob Hunter

June 10, 2005, 02:10 PM
Yes they ricochet and with enough power to break the skin. Use either plates that move [fall down] or angle the plate [my backstop is angled at 45 degrees]. 25 yds is much safer than 10 or 15.

June 10, 2005, 09:50 PM
I once fired a .36 lead ball at a steel plate and it bounced back and hit my (ex) wife right between the titties! That WAS a big deal indeed!

Hunter Customs
June 11, 2005, 07:40 AM
As I mentioned in my earlier post, velocity is a key factor in bullets coming back.
The slower the bullet speed is the better chance it will bounce back the complete bullet. The more velocity the bullet has the better chance you will get bullet splater.
Bob Hunter