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Berms - dirt, wood, gravel...

Discussion in 'Outdoor Shooting Areas' started by mikemenzie, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie Dallas Active Member

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    Had a question pop into my head recently.
    Everyone generally understands, i hope, that outdoor shooting should be in a location with some sort of berm or backstop so bullets don't continue to travel.
    A lot of people i've known get upset if they hear about shooters going where there are a lot of rocks, because this can increase the chance of ricochet.
    But a lot of folks - even those who say it's bad to shoot around rocks - specifically choose to shoot in gravel pits, or locations with gravel and loose rock berms.
    I've shot in a number of locations with a backdrop of gravel, myself, and i've noticed a lot of the outdoor shooting areas around the valley are rock heavy.

    What are ya'll's thoughts?

    -Mike
     
  2. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I've recently learned that bullets can start fires after they impact harder objects like rocks. I cant say I've avoided rock pits in the past but now I do specifically look for an earthen berm.

    I've seen plenty of people shooting into the forest (no berm...) and I cringe and wish I was the sheriff.
     
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  3. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie Dallas Active Member

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    Oh, yeah, the no berm is a no go. I can't even begin to understand that.
    Fires could definitely be started, depending on the metal in the bullet and the hardness of the rock. Flint (silica-based rock) and steel make sparks because of the relative hardnesses, and such.
    But i was more wondering as far as ricochet goes. I've always wondered why noone seems to worry about that once they get to a quarry or gravel berm.
     
  4. Camelfilter

    Camelfilter Salem Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    -Newbie here, but-

    I would imagine it'd be the same risk as shooting at a metal plate/gong. The ricochet / or fragments hitting rocks (in a berm) would lose a bunch of potential energy. Still lethal? Perhaps, but out to 100 yards, I don't know.
     
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  5. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    doesnt a gong deflect the bullet to the ground in front of it? Much easier to control, both fire or richoche hazard.
     
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  6. Camelfilter

    Camelfilter Salem Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks!
     
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  7. jim97701

    jim97701 Bend Well-Known Member

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  8. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  9. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie Dallas Active Member

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    Haha. Just the things i was going to say. The gong is supposed to deflect it downward, but doesn't always. And of course they make upward facing metal targets which would deflect it upward...that one makes no sense to me...
     
  10. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    my guess is most quarrys are for keeping the forest roads gravelled and the rocks are small and absorb the bullets better than huge boulders.

    here is an example of a local quarry where people shoot, very few large boulders.
    208934-f6baf323c06f55668015dae83eb62320.jpg
     
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  11. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator Staff Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  12. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    thats odd, I watched it earlier and the same link worked now it doesnt..

    here is it again I'll embed it here...


    it might be worth memorizing the sound of that ricochet...
     
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  13. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator Staff Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Wow. Thanks!

    I think we should do a video... Take a white dome tent, cut out the bottom and set it over a rock. Shoot through the doorway at the rock. Then go inspect the inside for fragments, burn spots and holes where the bullet may have gone.

    Or just call Myth Busters and let them do it. :D

    It would be rather interesting to test that.
     
  14. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    we could start a NWFA Skunkworks sub forum. No doubt there are endless hypothesis and experiments to test and prove out...
     
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  15. WrenchNguns

    WrenchNguns Clark County, Wa Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for sharing that. That would be a horrible sound to hear. Then to have that impact. That guy was LUCKY! Definitely make you think twice.
     
  16. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good question, Camel, keep that up!:)
     
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  17. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator Staff Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I think it all depends on the angle you are hitting the hard object. If it's steel, I would rather add an angle downward to be sure it deflects down. If it's a hard rock, best to go inspect the rock first (I don't know, I never shoot rocks. But I think I would inspect the angles first.)

    Last year at a cleanup 'After Party', a guy, not from NWFA, showed up to shoot in the gravel with us. He set up some concrete blocks and shot them. Shrapnel flew back and landed on the tarp where we were. He must have had too much fire power. It was also a short distance into a solid object. We asked him to stop and he did. The Shrapnel melted a hole in my tarp.
     
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  18. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You have to have a little downward angle built into you're gong! Back when I used to roll my own, I put a rather exaggerated down angle on them for that reason.
     
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  19. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    as long as he didnt ask you to hold his beer and watch this...

    if only we had a private thread for admitting our "discoveries"...
     
  20. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Lol, I got all off on a tangent about the gong ricochets, but my main, intended, post, was that I haven't shot in the woods in years! The dangers and complications have sent me to ranges exclusively! That kind of sounds sad, but not for me. I've had 55-60yrs of boonie's shooting. It's the younger guys and gals I feel bad for. I'd hate to have to hunt for places to shoot/hunt these days!