Need some verbal ammunition

Discussion in 'Range Report' started by PrimePorkchop, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    So, as some of you might know (if you happened to read my post about some recently acquired AR500 steel targets for my range) me and my friend just purchased several nice AR500 steel targets for our gun range (he was given some land a little ways south of where we live, so we're putting some money into it so that one day it'll be a full fledged outdoor range)

    anyways, I made a Facebook comment today for my friends just to express my jubilation that our latest shipment of targets arrived. And of course, like im sure all of you can attest, I have a friend who is the quintessential know-it-all...I love the guy, but he seriously is unable to admit when he's wrong =)

    He responded with a simple "you're not SERIOUSLY shooting at a steel target are you?"

    You can imagine how the conversation went, where im giving case after case about how, when handled properly (like with anything!) AR500 steel is safe and effective for firearm ranges and is not only recommended by the NRA, but is used in military and police training all over the world.

    Well, of course, he posted silly youtube videos and "hey, this guy said this on a forum" links...basically it's like arguing with a gun grabber (he's not a gun grabber, he supports the 2nd, he just obviously doesn't know anything about steel targets)

    Now, I'll admit, this is my first go, personally, with steel targets. I researched the hell out of it before I spent our hard earned money, but still, i'm no expert, nor am I pretending to be, I merely relayed all of my research to him, which, as of yet, has had any effect on his "opinion" of himself.

    He posted this video from youtube and used it as "proof" that shooting steel targets can get you killed. *sigh* (personally, I believe this video is fake, there are several reasons I believe it so, I have a history in video editing and could very EASILY recreate this scenario given enough time and desire)


    Most notably

    Where's the target? Even if he set it out to 100 yards, with that wide angle, you should be able to see the target!

    They NEVER ONCE show the damage to the head set that apparently flew off of his head. Not once, ever, no pictures, no video evidence, what so ever, that I can find - anywhere. If it were me, this would be the central focus of my video "holy ****, look what happened to my buddy!!!!"

    When he picks up the headset, there is no apparent damage, what so ever, on the entire thing. Now, go to your gun safe, or wherever you keep yours, and put your head set on. See how tight that is? imagine if a rogue piece of lead was traveling at a high velocity and impacted your head set hard enough to "throw it" off of your head...do these guys seriously expect us to believe that the head set would remain in tact and completely undamaged? :confused:

    There's a v shaped pattern of "dirt" from a camera that is positioned 100% perfectly and a increased whistling of something that, at least to me, sounds COMPLETELY recorded. (this is either an AMAZING coincidence that it all happened in this angled view, or it's staged, im going w/ the latter)



    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdCT8j-HT-4[/ame]

    So im just looking for some additional "verbal ammunition" over the argument that will no doubt ensue tomorrow morning when he wakes up =)

    Anyone who has experience that can talk about the safety, etc, just your general input, would be MOST appreciated =) ... who knows, maybe im wrong and Ar500 steel targets = certain death? :eek::eek:

    Thank you in advance!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Do a Bing search on "Steel Challenge videos".

    He will see that not only is it allowed, but there are world wide competitions that use steel targets safely.

    Safety is the key.
    The U.S. Air Force allowed us to use steel targets on their shooting range after we demonstrated to the Base Safety Officer our procedures, safety measures, targets, and ammunition allowed.
     

  3. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    video is fake - the shooter uses his left hand to swat off the earmuffs prior to the "ricochet" hitting the ground at his front left :cool: then there is of course no evidence of actual damage in the video :rolleyes:

    I would be concerned shooting at a hardened steel target at close range (steel plate fixed to a solid backstop or similar).
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    It's perfectly safe but should be a hanging target, angled downward if possible and at 75 yards out or further for the AR. The likelihood of ricochet is slim and at that range even if it happens it won't make it back to you. For handguns it should be at 25 yards with cast bullets only.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, I must say- when I was at the range yesterday, I guess I was just lucky I did not go on the lane next door- they were shooting Steel Challenge match.

    With all of the PINK BINK DINK CLINK that I could hear, that lane must have simply been AWASH in blood! :rolleyes:

    Oh, the HUMANITY!
     
  6. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    To me, there's no doubt the video is fake. If a small piece of lead impacts a set of head gear hard enough to knock it off someone's head (those things are snug!) then it's going to shatter the plastic in the process.

    As far as a BULLET ricocheting off a piece of metal and returning to its point of origin, the Myth Busters covered this already, it'd take 3 perfectly placed targets at precise angles in order to obtain the results.

    And even then, the returning bullet only had enough force to "dent" the Styrofoam target.

    http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/38569-mythbusters-triple-ricochet-video.htm
     
  7. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Don't be fooled by the mythbusters. It can and does happen. More likely at close range (under 10 yards). 98% of the time it won't come directly back it will be a bystander that takes the hit. The reason I give the restrictions I do is to avoid serious injury. At under 10 yards even a cast lead round can carry enough force to hurt but not penetrate. I have a buddy that took a 45 caliber cast ricochet to the forehead. It was like someone threw it at him. It stung and left a welt. At 25 yards it won't reach you and jacketed rounds expell less energy. They can travel much further after impact. The lead rounds 99% of the time just pancake and drop right infront of the target. (easy to recover and recast)
     
  8. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    Okay, sorry about that, I was trying to type on my phone. What our conversation was originally about on Facebook was an actual ricochet...in other words, a projectile slamming into a flat surface then spinning around and coming right back at the shooter. This action is completely impossible =)

    From what i've read so far...Lead splatter and casing splatter can definitely come flying back at you which is why, as you point out, you shoot from safe distances and wear eye protection...but even if these splatters hit you, it's not enough to kill you or even really severely injure you.

    What that video with the .50 cal was leading us to believe is that the bullet hit the target then was returning with a vengeance...it just doesn't happen that way...now it could have been a shard of metal casing, but *if* that is what happened, then A.) He was Shooting WAY too close and B.) It would not have had significant force to throw those ear protectors off in such a dramatic manner =)

    I use the mythbusters show because it used simple mathematics and a little physics to show that a true ricochet requires precise angles and even then for the bullet to return to its path it takes a triple ricochet...with 3 objects set up in precise placement and a bullet fired at an exact location to achieve desirable results =)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  9. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Yeah the only possible chance for it to even be similar is if he had put multiple shots in the exact same point and put a large dent in the steel and then happened to hit the dent perfectly on the side where it just happened to ricochet twice and basically pull a 180. Highly highly highly unlikely. That said shooting at a severely dented (over used) steel is not recommended. Lol
     
  10. JD1969

    JD1969 New Member

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    Can't help with the issue at hand, but I'd love to come down and shoot sometime :)
     
  11. beastmode986

    beastmode986 New Member

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    ITS A DAMN 50CAL! Of course you can get ricochets like that on a bad day but you aren't shooting the targets with a 50 are you?
     
  12. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    Okay...perhaps i'm missing something here. Can you please describe to me how a bullet, no matter the size, can travel in a straight line, slam into a flat surface, then turn around and come right back?

    I'm honestly not being sarcastic, there really might be something i'm missing.

    From everything I've read, and everything I understand about angle of incidence, it appears to be physically impossible...and many sources online agree with that...now, granted, bullet splatter could fly back, that I won't argue, that's why you shoot from safe distances w/ eye protection...but even if it hits your body, its not enough to penetrate, as my police friends tell me from their experience shooting on steel "It feels like rain" when you get hit with splatter.

    Infact, c3shooter gave me a link to some really good information on Ar500 steel targets in a different thread. It was a really good read

    http://steelchallenge.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/steel-target-resource-guide.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    With bullets, light, radio waves, or pool balls- the angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. A bullet cannot hit a single flat surface and come straight back.

    However, surface may not BE flat- shot up targets can have divots or dimples. Bullet may hit, be reflected, strike OTHER surfaces, and come back (think 3 cushion bank shot in pool)

    Replace worn targets, do not let metal build up in impact area, have a soft impact zone without rocks or metal, etc- and it does not happen.

    US military has used scrapped armored vehicles as targets for machine guns for ages. You can watch where the tracers go after impact- they are NOT coming back at us.

    machine gun tracer.jpg
     
  14. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    Thank you for the info, C3. What it boils down to is "If you do what you're supposed to do, you can't get hurt" as with anything else. =)

    What my friend on Facebook was doing was essentially saying "If you shoot steel, it'll ricochet" It was speaking out of ignorance and going off of "Traditional misconceptions"

    Kind of like someone saying "wait an hour after eating before swimming"

    Or "shaking a Polaroid helps it develop faster"

    There are people who will swear on their death bed that it's all true...


    ps...that is an awesome picture
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have been hit 13 times by ricochets that came straight back off a steel target. In every instance, I was standing immediately behind the shooter. 12 times in LE training and once at an IPSC match. It can happen. In all instances the range was less than 25 yards and FMJ ammo was used. Most were incorrectly designed steel targets (rigid lillipop designs).

    If proper range limitations are adhered to and proper designs are used the risk is pretty much ZERO. BUT, we still wear shooting glasses because Murphy has that nasty habit of showing up when we least expect him.
     
  16. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    It is my understanding that a steel target is to be angled 10-20 degrees downward so that when the rounds are deflected it is in a known trajectory, that is into the dirt in front of the target. In this way, no whole round would be deflected back towards the shooter nor likely upwards or sideways and only minor pieces or shards that broke off would have any chance of coming back directly at the firing line.

    Since damage is generally determined by mass X speed calculations, both of these considerations would be greatly reduced, i.e. the fragment would be MUCH lighter and going much slower than the original round, thereby not being able to even break the skin if someone is wearing eye protection.

    Frangible, non-lead rounds would also greatly reduce chance of a larger piece returning. Teach your friend a little physics and educate him to Mass in Motion mathematics and I think you'll be able to at least shut him up temporarily!
     
  17. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    So you were hit by lead splatter or jacket splatter? I am not doubting you, Im merely saying what we may have here is a slight difference in understanding of a "ricochet"

    In the context of my 'argument' on facebook with my buddy, he's saying a bullet can ricochet off the target and kill me, referencing his video where a 50 cal bullet apparently comes right back at the shooter, off a "flat target" with more than enough force to FLING his head gear off his head, yet cause no apparent damage to the headgear its self

    In other words, if you were hit by a full fledged ricochet, an actual bullet, and NOT lead splatter or jacket splatter then I don't see how you'd be here typing a response =)

    Unless, of course, you, yourself, are made of steel :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  18. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    In regards to the video...
    I believe its real. Freak accidents DO happen, I've witnessed them myself. I was zeroing my SAW, only one shooting on the range, my squad leader kneeling next to me, at my right side, hovering over me with his head right above mine, watching my firing, and he caught a ricochet in the right bicep.

    And that was 5.56 being fired into a dirt berm. To say that its impossible is just silly. Freakish things like that happen all the time. And in the video, if you look closely, it wasn't a straight "out and back" ricochet. It hit the ground in front of him too, shedding massive amounts of energy into the dirt and changing the trajectory yet again. At least two trajectory changes right there. And on mythbusters the round barely dented a styrofoam board?... Explains the lack of obvious damage a little bit.
     
  19. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Pistol rounds at extremely short range (10' -15') and rifle rounds at close range (50' or so) still have much of their velocity and are therefore more likely to ricochet or come back when striking a solid object at these short ranges, as striking the target did not bleed off most of its remaining energy like it would have at a longer range. If you must shoot at these distances, consider a lower-powered round as to not cause this particular safety issue.

    A .50 round should only be fired at soft targets that absorb energy and metal, since most .50s are light armor piercing rounds anyway and would pierce steel targets not rated for such rounds.

    There is always a slim possibility of a strange ricochet, but common sense and a little planning can go a long way towards minimizing any risk.
     
  20. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    I still think we might be calling a ricochet different things...mine is not necessarily right =)

    But to me A piece of copper jacket coming back after the round explodes is not technically ricochet :)

    The splatter I know happens but a projectile hitting a flat surface then spinning and pulling a 180 literally does defy all laws of physics


    1.) If that video *is not* fake, then it is not a .50 cal bullet that is returning and "knocking his headset off". It could be a chunk of whatever they shot (after all, he screams
    "we're not shooting lead anymore!") Which leads to #2.

    2.) If they're shooting at lead, they deserve exactly what they get. We're talking about shooting AR500 steel plates placed at safe angles with a safe distance.... A big chunk of lead could have been what flew back, but one thing can be proven to be 100% physically and mathematically impossible: The BULLET did not strike a flat steel target, then instantly reverse its course and return to the shooter

    3.) Chances are this video is completely fake. There's no sign of any actual damage ever taking place. We're to believe that an object struck his headset hard enough to "fling" it off his head, but it somehow did zero damage to the head set its self. A hard object striking a headset hard enough to knock it off someone's head (those headsets are remarkably snug!) would pulverize the plastic used in its construction.

    Also, The Mythbusters covered the topic of "Shooting off someones cowboy hat" and determined it to be 100% busted. If a direct bullet can't knock off someone's hat, then how can a ricocheted piece of metal traveling at less than 1/2 of the original FPS?

    4.) If the "spent casing" (copper jacket) chunk was thrown back, bounced off the ground, and hit the guy, it would not have anywhere near the velocity needed to "knock off his headset" as long as the target was at a safe distance, of proper construction, and placed at a proper angle.

    As with anything, safety first. You can be hurt if you ignore the rules of the range. That's why those rules exist.

    But to look at the .50 cal video and say "don't shoot steel targets, it'll get you killed" is no different than watching this video

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxB3Bm-w0xo[/ame]

    And saying "don't buy an oldsmobile, look, they catch on fire. It should just go without saying "any car under those pressures would catch fire, but the car was not designed to do that, so it's no reflection on the safety or reliability of the oldsmobile.

    Same thing with shooting steel targets. It doesn't require an amazing amount of effort to be safe about it. There's very safe, extremely simple rules to follow to ensure you don't get injured.

    *IF* that video is not a fake, then those guys did not follow those very simple, very safe rules, and therefore not necessary to point at the video and say "You cannot shoot steel with a firearm"...because as we've heard from others in this thread, military/police, etc, they do it every day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012