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Yunus 04-17-2009 02:54 PM

Preventing ricochet
I've shot .22 and .40S&W and heard many of them hit behind me after bouncing off the wooden target at about 20 yards, to minimize this I shoot at an angle. What other factors should I consider? Does the type of bullet matter, if so what types would minimize or maximize this. What target surfaces are best to shoot against?

Spanz 04-17-2009 03:16 PM

Bouncing behind you? Wooden target? How about NOT using this wooden target anymore, but instead angling a wooden backdrop so that rebounds hit the ground instead of your head?

robocop10mm 04-17-2009 03:35 PM

That must be some VERY hard wood or VERY light loaded ammo. If the target backer is angled to deflect such ricochets down you would be safer. Are the bullets ricocheting up and behind you or straight back? A pic of the set up would be helpful.

dunerunner 04-17-2009 04:13 PM

Maybe, with a .22 sub-sonic or one loaded with primer only but .40 Smith, I doubt! Unless the wooden target material has the surface hardness of mild steel, the .40 is going to penetrate with impact angles up to 45 deg.!

We need some pics of this setup!!

cpttango30 04-18-2009 12:37 AM

I work at a turkey shoot on the weekends over the winter and I get hit in the face and head all the time from shot bouncing off the target holders at 25 yards.

I bet it is the jacket that is pealing off and coming back at you.

This is the main reason why you don't shoot at SOLID objects.

Water is softer than wood and yet bullet will ricochet off of it. How do you explain that?

Build a target stand out of PVC pip (3/4" make a 2x2x2 square then add 2 2foot legs and 2 2 foot feet to it and either don't glue the feet or forgo the glue on all of it for easy repair. You can either use foam board sold in wal-mart (Foam between two sheets of poster board) or some of the blue foam insulation sold in home depot. I have seen bullet hit plastic commie joe targets and ricochet just from hitting the target.

dunerunner 04-18-2009 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 95944)
I work at a turkey shoot on the weekends over the winter and I get hit in the face and head all the time from shot bouncing off the target holders at 25 yards.

Are you talking buckshot here? At 10 feet, with wooden target frames, I've never had any experience like this with .22 to .45. I have had it happen with BB's.


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 95944)
Water is softer than wood and yet bullet will ricochet off of it. How do you explain that?

I can skip a rock on water or a wood floor or bounce a rock off a tree but, in the case of water; unless the angle of incident is within a certain range that will break the surface tension of the water, you will get a ricochet? My guess is that it can happen with wood, as I said the angle of impact would be the key.

Yunus 04-18-2009 02:14 AM

It's a wooden wall built of either 2 or 3 layers of 2x10's there is no angle on the wall, its just a wooden wall standing straight up. Yeah its not my first choice to shoot. I usually use .22's on it and shoot at an angle to both vertical and horizontal. I know it sounds crazy but I'm not alone in experiencing bullets or jackets or something coming back towards the shooter. Sometimes when shooting you hear the whatever it is hit the building directly behind where the shooter stands. Most of the time I think its just hitting the grass but every now and then you can hear it hit the cinder block building. Maybe it is bouncing off of previously fired bullets? I don't know, I guess thats possible but it seems like that would be one hell of a shot and this wall doesn't take that many rounds in it.

.40 cal rounds are Winchester 165 gr full metal jacket.

cpttango30 04-18-2009 02:55 AM

It might not even be bullet or bullet parts. It may very well be chunks of wood coming off that wall.

Why don't you just take the wood down? Dirt is the best natural back stop. If not then some kind of bullet trap that do not always work as well.

Yunus 04-18-2009 03:46 PM

It's not my property. Its a family member of a friend of mine who owns it. In the area I live in finding a private range is pretty much impossible. This wall is only used for 25 yard pistol or so. There's also dirt back stopped rifle shooting positions. It's a great place to shoot I just don't feel comfortable shooting the wooden wall.

You might be right about the wood chips to. I don't feel like I'm going to get myself killed shooting the wall but I will not shoot it without eye protection either.

Spanz 04-18-2009 05:56 PM

If it were me, I would talk with the family member and offer to rebuild the wall with an angle to it.

Another thing you could try is get some cord wood and stack it behind the target so the end grain is showing. Eventually the bullets will split it up so that it gets "mushy" and absorbs just about everything.

They do make frangible bullets in the .40 that will shatter instead of ricocheting, but they are not cheap. They used to make a .22 the same way--they called it "crow shot", but have not seen any in a long time.

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