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Myth Busters

Old 01-10-2010, 07:41 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Originally Posted by Howler View Post
There's a youtube video of a guy shooting a 50 bmg at steel and the bullet comes back and skips off the guys head, took his hat off in the process. You can hear that bullet coming and no doubt that if it would've struck his head dead on, it would've been lethal.
That was a funny video! It could have turned out bad. One inch and the guy would have been dead. You can hear him say that he would never try that again!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:02 AM
Nontypical Buck
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I saw that one with the .50 That thing was whistling when it came back.Could have been really bad!!Once we shot a .50 tracer into a dirt bank (Our normal back stop)saw the round go into the dirt ,went in about 10 feet then proceeded to go vertical for what seemed forever then hit the ground needless to say we spent about 30 min.putting out a broom straw fire.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Ok, so I'm guessing that you didn't see the whole episode, or you didn't quite understand what they had to do to make a projectile ricochet off those three surfaces and back to the shooter. They tried it with both cast lead and both standard FMJ ball (with an open base), and encapsulated bullets with a total copper covered lead core. In all three examples, the bullets disintegrated (splattered) on impact with the steel target and the fragments left the surface at a much shallower angle than the angle predicted geometrically for an elastic body. In other words, the bullet flattened out and slid off rather than bouncing like a tennis ball. In order to get a jacketed bullet to deflect at anywhere close to the angle of incidence, they had to use a softer target like lead or concrete, and even then the bullet didn't ricochet like a billiard ball. To reproduce the myth they had to use a hardened steel ball bearing in a sabot against a hard steel target. When they did this, the bearing, after three bounces, retained barely enough velocity to be dangerous.

Regarding using steel for a target for lead cored bullets, you shouldn't have any problems. Steel plates are used all the time for pistol competition at ranges as short as 10 yards without harming shooters or bystanders. The bullets don't bounce off, they flatten and splatter like an egg. If you want to shoot steel targets with a rifle, just make sure the distance is greater than 100 yards. Oh, and you'll need to get hardened armor steel for rifle bullets. The mild steel pistol targets are made of will be penetrated or substantially cratered by most CF rifles.

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:46 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Florida Panhandle
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I'll never forget...when we were about 12 years old, my buddy took a shot at an earth mover tire with his .22. He shot, then yelled. The bullet came back & lodged in his shin. We dug it out with a pocket knife and put some iodine on it. never did tell his Mother!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:27 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,320

Bottom line, don't use metal plates for bullet stops.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,408

I have AR500 armor plate discs hanging on chains on my range at 200 and 300 yds. There is not enough left of a bullet after hit hits to come back 200 or more yards on the shooter. The key with rifles is not to shoot at steel closer than 100-150 yds. People shoot at steel all the time with no problems, you have to do something dumb (like use a .50 BMG at a target way too close) to get yourself in real trouble. No reason to use FMJ ammo if you're shooting at steel either, all you do is ruin your target faster.

Swinging rather than rigid targets, or rigid targets angled downwards, are also safer as they re-direct the energy and bullet fragments downwards.

While I like MB and am watching an episode as I type this, they're far from perfect especially in the gun myths.
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