Distance a ricochet can travel???

Discussion in 'General Firearms & Ammo' started by HKShooter65, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. HKShooter65

    HKShooter65 Well-Known

    I'll preface this question by acknowledging that a precise answer is impossible.

    Does anyone know how far a ricochet can travel if the screaming projectile is traveling at 800 or 1,600 or 2,400 feet per second???

    The question arises from shooting 100 and 200 yards (a lot of rounds) at targets in the middle of a, rather rocky, 450 yard deep field with a high berm of a stock tank at the end of the field and houses 1.35 miles from the shooting bench.

    My concern is the the field has a lot of rocks from 3" to 6" all over the place.

    My buddy that took me shooting there was unconcerned, believing that the berm was keeping things safe, until I raised the question.
    He was also frightened by the recognition that ricochets were even occurring, made apparent by my suppressor's allowing him to shoot without ear protection.

    I'm thinking that a 5.56 or 7.62 round glancing off a 6" rock could easily travel the 1 1/3 mile!!!

    Any opinions or actual data???

    Happy T-Giving all. Safe shooting.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  2. Vaquero

    Vaquero Pre-ban Staff Member Admin

    Apr 4, 2011
    Out West
  3. grasshopperglock

    grasshopperglock Error F2

    Jan 5, 2012
    Seeing it during a night fire on range. They go all over the place but not 1.333 miles.

    Buy some tracer ammo and see how far they bounce.
    Jack Ryan likes this.
  4. Dawico

    Dawico TGT Addict

    Oct 15, 2009
    Lampasas, Texas
    I have shot many 308 tracers at steel and can tell you that they can really travel after impact. Even solid hits will send pieces pretty far.

    A normal non magnum round doesn't have much juice left at a mile. If it hits something first then even less power.

    My opinion is that you are safe as long as it is a ricochet. Even a missed clear shot will hit the ground long before it reaches a mile (given a flat shot over flat terrain).

    There is always that one in a million shot though.
  5. Dawico

    Dawico TGT Addict

    Oct 15, 2009
    Lampasas, Texas
    After a good rain is recommended. Tracers are great at starting grass fires.
  6. TreyG-20

    TreyG-20 Well-Known

    Dec 16, 2011
    Pretty far, but after they first impact they will no longer be stable which is what causes the noise. It is its spining out of control. Unstable projectiles lose momentum quickly. It also depends on the weigh and speed. .223 probably won't ricochet as bad as a .308 and up due to the bullet weight and velocity and how much of it it sheds on initial contact. But .22lr and most pistol rounds are worse usually because of how little speed they have. Combined with more weight they hold together better.
  7. Younggun

    Younggun Doer of Deeds TGT Supporter Admin

    Jul 31, 2011
    hill co.


    A high BC round from a .308 is dropping at 45* at 1000 yards. Now rob a lot of energy at 200yrds, ruin the BC with an impact, and imagine how far it can go.

    There's always the video of the guy shooting .50 BMG at 1k (supposedly) and the round bounces back, skips in front of the bench, and takes the ear muffs off his head. This is that 1/1,000,000 chance. Of course any milsurp bullet will be made of steel and deform less, plus it's got tons of energy at 1K.
  8. easy rider

    easy rider TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Jun 10, 2015
    Odessa, Tx
    most rocks aren't as strong (hard) as metal gongs and will rob more of the inertia of the projectiles, not to say they won't travel far, just not as far.
  9. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Member

    Nov 22, 2011
    Inspector43 and Charlie Primero like this.
  10. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Member

    Nov 22, 2011
    A little googling turns up a bunch of sources that all say the same thing - this is too unpredictable to quantify. The few things I've found that constitute controlled tests are inapplicable, e.g. there's a nicely illustrated study showing, among other things, what happens when you shoot a .50 BMG into a hard steel plate, found here: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/05/f1/June_2012_Bullet_Trap_and_Steel_Target.pdf .

    If we accept the "too unpredictable to quantify" position (I don't, but I'm not equipped to test the question.), then we need to concentrate on the exceptions, those times when the stars aligned NOT in our favor and bad things happened.

    Yes, this is all anecdotal but here are a few quotes from folks behind keyboards. Take them with as big a grain of salt as you think necessary. Thank goodness the OP was also open to mere opinions. :)

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