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Thread: Ricochet Question

  1. #1
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    Had an interesting experience white tail hunting in farm country last week. I was in a tree stand and another member of the hunting party was in a shooting tower an estimated 700 yds. away. I hear him shoot and see 2 deer running. Suddenly they turn and cut between us. They were a very long running shot for him, but he continues firing. That's where it got interesting/scary for me. I hear a bullet zing by me. Then another zing, followed by another!! The first ricochet was interesting and the others ramped up to scary fast! By this time, I couldn't give a rip about the bucks and was trying to get out of the tree stand to get behind a tree! The shooting stopped at my frantic waving and the "not big enough to be legal bucks" ran off. Another classic case of buck fever! I haven't had much of a conversation with the shooter except to find out that he was shooting 150gr. 7mm Mag rounds. I'm sure they were ricocheting off the ground water, but I clearly heard them coming and going past me. Finally my question.... Has anyone heard of any research to determine how far away such a ricocheting bullet can be heard? I can't help but wonder how close they were. I did some googling on the subject but without much success. Thanks.

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    Don't matter how far they Ricochet, at the very least I bet it would hurt if ya got hit. I personally would have taken his gun from him and broke the stock off over a tree and bent the barrel. Oh and not to mention, never hunt with the idiot again. JMO
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    I've seen some old research that included ricochets, but I don't recall any on the sound of them. I can tell you this, though: I've shot straight away from me with bullet impact at 100+ yards and could hear the sound of the ricochet. Hearing them is one thing, but hearing them go past you and continue beyond is not a good sign for the safety of the situation.

    And yeah, I wouldn't hunt with him again either. A single near miss is unforgibeable. But multiples? The guy's an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    Don't matter how far they Ricochet, at the very least I bet it would hurt if ya got hit. I personally would have taken his gun from him and broke the stock off over a tree and bent the barrel. Oh and not to mention, never hunt with the idiot again. JMO
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    You can hear a ricochet from some distance. If they make a snap when they go past, they are very close. If someone in your hunting party is shooting in the direction of another he should not be invited to the party again. Or maybe have him hold targets for you while you sight in your rifle. See what he thinks of being on the recieving end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    If they make a snap when they go past, they are very close.
    This is a very distinct noise that is not confused with the normal noise of a ricochet that is further away. like everyone else said I would have done some damage to his weapon and or him!

  7. #7

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    I may be wrong, but I think that "snapping" sound is the bulled breaking the sound barrier. I just watched a Mythbusters show looking at ricochet specifically and it was surprising how much velocity was lost after just the first impact. The sound will vary depending on the condition of the bullet. Once it hits one surface, there will almost certainly be some deformation and the bullet itself will likely start to tumble, so it won't be streamlined as it is leaving the barrel. Depending on the condition of the bullet and how it is flying, it could have a pretty wide variety of sounds and volumes associated with it. I doubt there is any real way to determine just from the sound how far away it was. Just hearing it approach and depart would be bad enough since you know you were somewhere along it's path even if you were a little distance away.

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    That guy would be spending the next few days trying to crap out a 42" rifle that was inserted down his throat. No excuse.
    I'd never hunt with him again and also tell all of his buddies what a liability he is. Also suggest he signs up for Hunters Ed, so at least has a clue what he should do.
    What I teach my young kids for hunting is standard military stuff; Field of View and Field of Fire. FOV being a wider scan area where you are looking for targets and/or anyone encroaching into your field of Fire. Field of fire is a tighter arc within the FOV where you will shoot. Teach them to pick out objects as reference points for left/right of arcs. This is especially useful if you are rabbit/ptarmigan hunting and have 'beaters' out.
    For a fixed hunting location such as a tower, all other positions should be mapped in it and clearly defined arcs should be marked in the windows with dayglow tape/sticks.
    Too many people just go out hunting and think it is just a case of 'see a buck, shoot it' with almost no forward planning. When me and my friends go out (normally we have our young sons with us) we plan and talk through every 'beat' or 'stalk'; 'we follow this treeline to that alder patch, you go up through there and stop at that tree, if you see anything whistle, don't shoot at anything to the left/right of that blah blah!!'.
    We all hate it up here, but ...............Hunters Blaze Orange!

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    as far as everyone's posting: Ditto! I grew up hunting whitetails in the mountains of western PA and had to deal with the Pittsburgese that would infest the hills. That sound of a bullet whizzing past you is the most troubling sound I have ever heard and don't wish it to experience that again. Be safe!

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    danielslaker, glad you made it out of harms way!
    When I read your post I am not sure that I read into it that the other shooter clearly "knew" where you were before he started shooting ???? If that's the case its a bit hard to lay the blame squarely on him or her? If I was to be in a group I would be sharing "where" I intended to be before we go afield...
    If the shooter knew you were there then by all means an educational talk was in order !
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    I was hit by a 5.45mm FMJ bullet that had ricochet off a rock. The bullet entered my front right thigh and all most exited the back of the thigh. There was no sound just felt pain looked down and noticed a small frayed hole, in my pants and just a small amont of blood. It didn't hurt as bad as I thought. I was very lucky as to where the bullet actually entered. If it had hit bone it would have been bad. So yes, I believe if a 150gr 7mm round struck you. There is a possibility that you could have been seriously injured or killed.

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    This guy certainly had a close one shooting at a metallic target.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL0YbfDv8oc

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    Thanks for the replies. I share many, if not all of the same thoughts that you had. I was a guest of the family and the shooter who caught Buck Fever was aware of my treestand. They put it there. He just got the fever which gives me some reservations about participating in future years. It was in northwestern PA, Sebdog, and although I don't like blaze orange for AK, I have no problem with it there and was encased in it. It was easy after I heard on the radio last year that there were 830,000 registered hunters in PA. 830K hunters in the woods first day with guns, yikes! They actually cancel school for the first day there. Other than getting up close and personal with whizzing bullets, it was interesting hunting compared to AK... very, very different. One notable difference was the processing cost of my 98 lb. field dressed, soy bean & corn fed doe. Standard cut, package and freeze 55 lbs. - $44.00. Now getting it back to AK was another story... I'm going to try to find that Mythbusters ricochet show anchskier. It does sound interesting. Thanks.

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    How about that!? What part were you in? Deer there thick as flies, but size was always an issue. Any, YES, the opening day is a school holiday for hunters. But, way too many yahoos, got scary at times.

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