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Old January 30, 2006, 09:22 PM   #51
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I'm starting to think shooting is a very dangerous sport.
I also thought an indoor range is a safe place to shoot, now I might have to ask someone if anyone has been hit by a ricochet at that particular range.
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Old January 30, 2006, 11:16 PM   #52
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It can be dangerous, but so can golf, or racecar driving, or scuba diving, or boxing....
Nothing worse than getting wacked in the head with a speeding golf ball! Thats one I experienced.

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Old January 31, 2006, 08:54 AM   #53
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I don't know a lot about...

... the reasons for shooting steel targets, so I can't really say "DON'T DO IT". Maybe some kinds of training require it.

But, if you can avoid it do NOT shoot anything hard. If you have to, don't shoot it with anything hard. The most dangerous combination is a piece of spring steel shot with a full metal jacket. It's like throwing a superball against a wall. The round can EASILY come back at you. The harder both things (round and target) are, the more energy is still in the bouncing round.
An example of something safer is shooting at an aluminum road sign (not that do that). The aluminum is usually thin enough that the round deforms it and/or goes through it. The energy it takes to deform the sign is energy the round no longer has, even if it does bounce back at you. Shooting anything that absorbs the round (soft wood, a BG) uses ALL the round's energy so that's completely safe, assuming BG (or the wood, for that matter) is unarmed.

The range I'm using now has what looks like a huge sheet of rubber (I'm sure it's not) standing at a 45 degree angle to the floor. I'm guessing that rounds hit it and are reflected up toward some sort of absorbing stuff (wood, maybe) in the ceiling.

Funny that I know how all this works but have been shooting with my (plastic) eyeglasses only. From now on, I'll get eye protection as well.

I don't know if any of you have ever done this one. Years ago I was shooting my Cougar 45 at the range with my daughter. I wanted to know how loud it would be if I ever had to use it in an emergency (i.e., without ear protection). So I told her to stand to my side and, when I said "go" to pull my right ear muff away till after I shot.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it was LOUD ! I've flown in foreign countries where they let you board through the rear of a DC-9, so I've been standing in a hurricane of warm jet exhaust while the pilot revs the engines. That doesn't even come close to how loud the .45 was. I found out what "ringing in the ears" meant.
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Old January 31, 2006, 11:14 AM   #54
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Yep, been hit three times with ricochets. Once while shooting concrete (not cement) blocks outside. I was breaking them with my 41 Mag that I sold. My buddy could not break even one with his .357. Well, those bullets were going somewhere. One hit me in the chest. We thought it might be prudent to shoot something else...
The other two times were at an indoor range; once in the foot (barely noticed) and once in the thigh (that one stung a little).
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Old January 31, 2006, 12:47 PM   #55
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I'm shooting at a dirt hill covered with snow and mud. Hope that's safe enough.

Sometimes I go over to the hill and look around for the bullets.
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Old January 31, 2006, 01:11 PM   #56
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45 Colt to the forehead.

There were only two of us shooting at the indoor range and we were about 10 feet apart. Both of us were using 45 Colt LRNFP 250gr. The other guy took a shot and a split second later my head snapped back and I almost went down. Sitting the the table in front of me was a fragment of the bullet that had fragmented and ricocheted out of the traps 75 feet down range. It landed smack in the middle of my forehead, just above the brim of my ball cap. I usually would wear the cap to keep hot auto bbrass from bouncing between my glasses and face, as I saw happen to a buddy once. This time it kept my head from getting cut at the least. I still have the fragment. As it had never happenned before I was not overly concerned.

One week later I took my own 45 Colt round off my foot. Same range and similar conditions, very empty. I could tell it was mine since I hand loaded the damn thing! That one hurt and left a nasty bruise. Having reatined almost all its weight it carried a good bit of energy, although most of it had been lost bouncing around the trap at the end of the line. Since then the range has cleaned out all their traps and replaced the steel. No problems since then!
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Old January 31, 2006, 02:50 PM   #57
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Everytime I go to the range all I think about is getting hit again. My concentration should be on the target and what I'm doing, but in the back of my mind its still there.

Sounds like this is a not so uncommon experience from all the replies. Hmmmm, do I want to buy another gun or a bullet proof vest to protect my life. Sounds like the indoor ranges especially need to be designed better to prevent these incidents.
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Old January 31, 2006, 03:04 PM   #58
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I look at it this way. The bruises I get from fencing far exceed anything I had from my two range incidents. Even with a full bullet trap those rounds lost so much energy that what did make it back was incapable of causing serious harm as long as proper safety gear is worn. I know far more people with scars from fencing accidents than from ricochettes at the range.

I wouldn't fence without my mask and other protective gear, I also won't shoot without hearing and eye protection.

I don't worry about the small chance of a non-life threatenning injury when I fence and I also don't worry about it when I shoot when all the rules are followed.
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Old February 5, 2006, 11:42 PM   #59
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full auto...

at a 25 yard pistol range a guy with an uzi fired full auto in a stall next to me and about half a dozen flat lead discs came back and hit me in the chest while i was shooting. the bruising was no where near as much as you'd get from paintballs but it was still a bit unnerving. hence i refuse to shoot at pistol ranges shorter than 50 yards now.
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Old February 6, 2006, 12:09 PM   #60
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Getting hit at the range...

Last Friday at the indoor range during our defensive pistol league night while shooting at the steel dueling tree from 10 yards, I got smacked in the forehead by a richochet. No big deal. It felt like someone pelted me with a small stone. A few months back while shooting from one of the stalls, the range officer got a richochet back from one of the jacketed bullets that someone was using. The jacket was imbedded in his upper lip and he had to get someone to help his remove it to cause minimum scarring.
"The only thing you can assume about a broken down old man is that he's a survivor." -- Joseph Sarno "The Way of the Gun"
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Old February 6, 2006, 01:57 PM   #61
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Metal Targets...

Not to highjack the thread, but the subject came up...

I’ve shot handgun on metal targets since 1974 or so. I know I’ve personally fired over 20,000 rounds on metal targets in that time and supervised (ran the match) many times that many. I have one colleague who has supervised and shot a lot more.

The primary value of a metal – gong – target is ease of scoring. If it makes a sound, you hit it; if no sound results, you missed. In practice sessions this gives immediate feedback to the shooter.

On a flat metal surface more or less perpendicular to the path of the bullet, bullets do not ricochet. Handgun bullets fragment on impact, even fully jacketed bullets. The fragments fly off the face of the target along the face of the target. Anything to the edges of the target will be peppered with fragments; dangerously so up close. The fragments fly in a 360 degree pattern, parallel to the face of the target. If the fragments hit another solid surface, one obtains a secondary splatter effect. So, metal targets should not be hung over concrete pads or a metal plate. A bullet fragment splattering off the target can be secondarily deflected back to the firing line. (This is the usual cause of ricochet hits in indoor ranges; sort of a two or three cushion shot back to the firing line.)

Another, very serious form of ricochet is from a cupped or cratered metal target.

Metal targets suffer from three forms of damage. All are annoying, and all can cause fragments back toward the firing line.

Craters or cups in metal targets are the most dangerous. By cup, I refer to an indentation that does not penetrate the plate. Cups are usually formed by impact of a large heavy bullet. The resulting indentation can – on the next hit – allow the projectile to slide down the side of the cup, be turned in the bottom and slide out of the cup right back at the firing line with little loss of velocity. Even if the bullet hits the bottom of the cup and shatters, the sides of the cup direct the fragments back toward the firing line.

Holes in metal targets are typically caused by high velocity impacts. Various strength metals have different limits, of course. What works well for moderate handgun rounds can be cratered or punctured by a top end .357 Magnum load. A .30-30 rifle, pedestrian as it may seem, will put about a .40 - .50 inch hole in quarter inch mild steel plate. The resultant hole will almost always have a raised rim around the entry side. This raised rim will fling minor fragments back toward the firing line, usually at the unnoticed to annoying level. Depending on the size of the rim, this could be potentially dangerous.
The round that penetrates steel can peel off the jacket and the jacket can be ejected in any direction. I have witnessed one minor injury from a jacket bounce; a small but rather painful cut on the forearm requiring a stitch or two to repair. Being hit in the eye with such debris would be catastrophic.

The third problem is the bending of the plate. Shooting mild steel or boiler plate with non-penetrating rounds is pretty much like beating on it with a hammer. Sooner or later, the plate will start to bend under the impact. Turning the plate around and shooting the other side will beat it back flat, more or less.

I am not a metallurgist. I once knew what kind of plate to ask for at the metal yard, but I’ve forgotten. The good news is the people at the metal yard know about it and will direct one’s attention to the material best suited.

For general handgun use, I suggest nothing thinner than three-eighths inch thickness. Rifle targets should be thicker for longevity. Again, talk to the man at the metal yard.

If you know anyone with experience building a silhouette target set, they are an excellent source of information.
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