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Thread: Ricochets and deflections??

  1. #1

    Ricochets and deflections??

    Dear All,
    The attention we all give (or should) to safe back-stops when shooting is unanimously agreed to be crucial but on several threads I have read about the path of the bullet being radically deflected by bone or tissue resulting in an exit wound being no where near where one would expect. I have never experienced this my self, only seeing an exit wound more or less where I expected it to be. I agree that just a a degree or two of deflection can vastly alter a secondary POI if one were to estimate a straight line through the target animal but have any of you ever come across any definitive reading on the subject because I am keen to learn more! To be honest the thought of a shot exiting at right angles scares the sh*t out of me and I am keen to learn about the potential flight paths of such erant projectiles and the likely remaining flight time/energy they still possess given the now deformed shape.
    The same can be said for ground strikes, say on a frosty morning. When a 150gr sp .308win hits the deck after being shot from sticks about 100yds distant. How far will it go? how unstable in flight is it now that it is pretty mashed up?
    I would appreciate it if anyone knows of any definitive reading matter.
    Best regards,

    Pete
    Last edited by BIGPETE; 15-03-2011 at 22:03.

  2. #2
    First of all I think that you should take a look at the other thread on the "safest" deer round. The truth of the matter is that strange stuff does happen but that shooting is safe and there is no, and never has been, any evidence that deer stalkers and other shooters, who must fire thousands of rounds per day in the UK, present a danger to the public or themselves. I would draw a parallel with the recent events in Japan where some parties with a vested interest are intent on making big news out of a problem at a nuclear power plant. While any engineering problem in a power plant is a significant issue we must not forget that the tsunami has killed many thousands, that an Asian tsunami some years back (2004) was thought to have killed 300,000+ and that, so far, the nuclear power plant problems have killed no one. While the green PR machine might like to direct the press to the dangers of nuclear power the truth of the matter is that it is many hundreds of thousands of times more dangerous to live by the sea than it is to live by a nuclear power plant, even one with a cooling failure.

    Recently a chap I knew shot a deer which ran and he asked me to help him look for it as I was shooting nearby at the time. I located where he was lying when he took the shot and was confident that I had located where the deer was standing by the marks on the ground where it had clearly struggled to keep its feet. While looking for any sign of blood I walked directly away from the shooter position, past the deer position and found a straight line in the sphagnum moss on the ground about 30 or 40 yards beyond the deer location. I was able to run my finger along the "groove" in the moss and peat and pick out his deformed bullet and hand it back to him, to his utter shock. I would say the bullet had penetrated about 12 inches of very soft loose vegetation and loose peat, it basically just skimmed the top of the ground before coming to rest. The shot was taken off a bipod and so was directed upwards. In total the bullet was recovered approx 100 yards from the shooter.

    You can also play with ballistic calculators and some calcs I've done in the past have returned figures of between 22 and 150 yards for the maximum distance a 308 bullet will travel on exit from a deer. Based on this and limited practical experience I would say that any shot that looks safe to a reasonable person is likely to be safe, probably with a considerable margin for error.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    The problem is that deflections never seem to act the same way twice. When testing the Sierra 85grn bullets on the field the other day twice I hit a lone dead Dock stem about 45 yards down range this caused the bullets to strike the target about 1 1/2" wide of the rest of the group. One went left the other went right i doubt I could do the same again no matter how hard I tried.

  5. #5
    Many thanks to Caorach and dlz90, some interesting reading there.
    Thank you also to the members for the pm'd responses.

    Best regards

    Pete

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    The problem is that deflections never seem to act the same way twice. When testing the Sierra 85grn bullets on the field the other day twice I hit a lone dead Dock stem about 45 yards down range this caused the bullets to strike the target about 1 1/2" wide of the rest of the group. One went left the other went right i doubt I could do the same again no matter how hard I tried.
    I have not yet tried the .308 but with the .22lr (supposed to be the worst culprit for ricochets) I was trying to get ricochets from firing at various angles into soil (field) at 15 to 50yds. From prone I could not get a ricochet but from standing I got two when at 30 yds. One struck my cardboard marker 1.5" high, the other almost 4" high. That was it for 50 rounds. Not a very scientific test at all but it would seem to me that there are just too many variables.

    Regards,

    Pete

  7. #7
    I have had bullets exiting at all sort of angles up to and including 90 degrees.

  8. #8
    Sorry should have said the 85 grn Sierras were through a .243 win. Doh!

  9. #9
    My thoughts on this important matter, which I have considerable thought to as I am stalking on the edge of built up areas.

    1) When rifle is loaded that barrel is always pointing into the ground - I do carry a loaded rifle, but it's barrel is down.

    2) I use a tough enough bullet that I know will go through animal in a straight line - here I think bigger and slower is better than fast and small.

    3) Know the ground very well and only take shots in safe positions - have strict rules with yourself and know where these palces are well in advance of taking any shot.

    4) Keep ranges short and body shots / not head / neck shots.

    5) Make sure you are shooting downwards at all times and make sure the ground you are shooting into is sloping upwards - ideal is a shot with the beast standing in front of a soft verticle bank.

    6) At least three times height of deer of solid ground above the deer before taking the shot.

    7) Bear in mind nature of ground changes - shooting downwards into hard frozen ground in January is very different from shooting down into a May time meadow after several weeks of rain and lush growth.

    8) Don't go out with any pressure to come back with a beast - the right attitude is that any beast is a bonus.

  10. #10
    Dare i say it but problem is largely ellimainated if you use a BT bullet.

    I realise this will cause a storm, but in my humble view better to accept a degree of meat damage but deer drops dead on the spot and bullet over travel is very limited. Ok this might be appropriate for smaller deer species and I am not in the position to comment about anything else.

    Also Should you hit any obstruction pre taget BT tend to disintigrate so dont go flying off at unexpected angles.

    Odd v lucky fox

    D

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