Ricochets at local range

Ricochets at local range

This is a discussion on Ricochets at local range within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have been shooting at my local indoor range at least once a week for the past 3 months. I have shot there a few ...

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Thread: Ricochets at local range

  1. #1
    New Member Array asphaltbouncer's Avatar
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    Ricochets at local range

    I have been shooting at my local indoor range at least once a week for the past 3 months. I have shot there a few times a year for several years.

    Lately my wife and I have both been on the receiving end of ricochets. Twice they have brought blood on me (forehead and forearm) my wife was hit in the lip, drawing blood. Once we were the only ones using our side of the range (6 lanes on either side of a cinder block wall)

    When I have talked with the employees, they tell me they get hit all the time. Today I was told by a different employee, that he had his finger broken from a ricochet by a guy shooting a .308 rifle.

    I have shot at other indoor ranges, outside more times then I can remember and at a bunch of military ranges, without any ricochets. Am I paranoid here? Too sensitive? ( ricochets, read, accidents happen!)

    Thoughts, rants, experiences ?


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    If you're getting ricochet at an indoor range then it's probably not the type with the shallow angle steel plate and the snail bullet traps. Some older ranges used rubber mats, stood up on edge and shot at from the side (think poking a pencil into the edge of a closed book). These mats slow and trap the lead, but unfortunately, they have a limited service life. It sounds like they're due for replacement, as shots are hitting existing lead fragments in the mat. By the way... who the heck lets someone shoot .308 INDOORS?

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's time to re-engineer that particular indoor range. Did you sign a release form in order to use this range? Sounds like they could be shut down. They might be liable for injuries. Make a record of your complaints and the responses from the ownership as well as document and take photographs of injuries. Get other folks complaints as well. I'd hate to see any range get shut down, but it seems to me the owners need to step up and take some responsibility and put some of the profits back into range safety and upkeep.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    I've never experienced that before, I think the other guys are on to something.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Whatever they are using for a backstop is not working it sounds like it is leaded up and you are basically shooting into lead and getting ricochets,even outdoor ranges over time will dig up the dirt in the berm backstop and remove the lead by screening it then put the dirt back
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Very unusual - never seen anything like that at the range I go to. You're not over-sensitive at all. I personally wouldn't continue going to a range that took it for granted that people get hit by ricochets regularly.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Like other people have said they know they have an unsafe condition and it doesn't matter if you sign a waiver of release from liability if they knowingly have an unsafe condition and do nothing to correct the problem they are opening themselves up to a huge lawsuit should anybody get seriously hurt,I wouldn't use their range and If there is a body that inspects ranges and licenses them I would notify them of the unsafe condition
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  8. #8
    Member Array Texian's Avatar
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    Indoor ranges are non-starters for me. Most have no RO, inadequate ventilation, excessive noise, bad lighting and then there are the ricochets and the high prices.

    I'm shooting outdoors regardless of the price of fuel.
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    I'd find a new range!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Whatever they are using for a backstop is not working it sounds like it is leaded up and you are basically shooting into lead and getting ricochets,even outdoor ranges over time will dig up the dirt in the berm backstop and remove the lead by screening it then put the dirt back
    This is my bet. There are a number of issues that can cause ricochets, most common is what dukalmighty mentioned. Some others are worn or improperly installed spin chambers, improper angles, loose or improperly installed straps the list goes on.

    I look at the obvious condition of the range and retail areas before I step foot in any public range (thats very rare these days). If they are have broken lights, un swept floors etc., its a very good indication that they are not taking care of the backstop as well.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Geez. I've only ever been hit by one ricochet and that was off a rock (I think). Yeah, it sounds like that range needs a rebuild. Oh man. But then, yeah, I never shoot at indoor ranges. Too many new shooters with dangerous habits and the costs are ridiculous. Truth be told, I prefer to shoot alone in the desert or with friends. We can practice our own drills that would get you kicked off most ranges.
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    There's obviously something wrong. If his finger was broken by a round, imagine what would have happened if it had hit him in the face or neck. He easily could have died. That's serious stuff. Time to talk to the owner or find somewhere else to shoot for a while. It's not worth it there.
    eschew obfuscation

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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Find a new range.

    If yours or your wife's injuries required medical attention, then hire an attorney and seek out recuperation for your damages against the operator of that range. Liability waiver or not, their lack of appropriate maintenance to that range is cause for criminal negligence. They would just affirm that even more so when they try to waive that liability release around.

    If your heart is set on shooting at that range, then contact the owner(s) via certied mail with a letter explaining your experiences and observations. Be cordial, and make a request that they look into solving the problem. If they ignore your concerns, then consider writing letters to the local newspaper, contact other shooting organizations, etc. and let them know that this range is unsafe. Once the range owners start feeling the pressure of some media attention, negative commentary from other shooting organizations, and perhaps the attention from some regulatory authorities they might be persuaded to fix the problem or close down.

    If it were me, I would find a new range.
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  14. #14
    Member Array Arisin Wind's Avatar
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    CooperKnight is right. Something is wrong at that range and if the employees can't see that then something is wrong with them.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Whatever they are using for a backstop is not working it sounds like it is leaded up and you are basically shooting into lead and getting ricochets,even outdoor ranges over time will dig up the dirt in the berm backstop and remove the lead by screening it then put the dirt back
    Close , way back when an indoor range used to be a steel plate backstop set at an angle to direct any impacts either up or down . There was no real standard for the steel and use of 1/2 inch mild steel sheets was common and fine for pistol usage . However as time went on they got used with either light rifle ammo or slugs from shotguns and either can and will leave a crater or dimple in the steel . Now the backplate handles that just fine , however the deformations that " over caliber " useages creates causes an irregular surface . So rather than operating as designed to safely channel rounds to a safe direction untill spent in sand or other media the backstop now is luck of the draw on angles . You can verify this by the simple measure of before the range is open or after it closes walk down and feel the backstop , it wont feel smooth rather you will feel a series of pits in it . Hitting the lip of a pit is what can and does make the " back splash " where you may get hit or cut by particles . I will note that while it is scary and unpleasant to get cut by a bullet remnant it as a rule is not life threatening, The frags hitting you simply dont have enough energy do do much more than a simple skin cut as long as you have eye protection . This is not to excuse ranges that have improper backstops , or old pitted backstops , it is just to state facts of indoor ranges . When i qualified as a firearms instructor for my dept i shot at the indoor csp range . One of the courses of fire involved 50 rounds of 12 ga slugs , during this about half a slug whacked me on the knee hard enough to cut my pants and make me say words i shouldnt have . I was not long term hurt , however at that point i recognised that maby the csp response team should maby shoot in the snow rather than co opt the main indoor range for the agency lol .
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