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Encyclopedia > Ricochet
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A ricochet is a rebound, bounce or skip off of a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile. Ricochets are one of the main dangers of shooting because after bouncing off an object the bullet that ricochets poses an 'unpredictable' and serious danger to bystanders, animals, objects, or even the person who fired the shot. Ricochets are often more common with low power calibers such as .22 or .177 caliber, which can have trouble penetrating some materials, although a ricochet can occur with any caliber. Ricochets will almost always continue on a somewhat diagonal trajectory to their original trajectory, unless it is against a flat surface perpendicular to the angle of incidence (or approach), in which case, it will reflect at an angle dependent on many things, covered in the next paragraph. Although it is rare, ricochets can return to the shooter. This requires the object it hits to possess enough resistance withstand the impact of the bullet, and for the surface to be perpendicular to the shooter. Some bullets are designed to deform at the nose, which is the main reason for the bullet ricocheting at such an extreme angle and returning in the shooter's direction. A projectile is any object sent through space by the application of a force. ... (Redirected from . ... . ...

While bullets are more likely to ricochet off flat, hard surfaces such as concrete or steel, a ricochet can occur on almost any surface including grassed soil. The likelihood of ricochet is dependent on many factors, including bullet caliber and length, nose shape, velocity, and the angle of incidence. The angle of departure, both vertically and horizontally, is difficult to calculate or predict due to the many variables involved, not the least of which is deformation of the bullet caused by its impact with the surface it strikes. One incidence where a man was shooting a pole with a .50 BMG round, the bullet returned to the shooter. The bullet hit the pole, and returned at almost the excact same angle it hit the object. The bullet then, again ricocheted off the ground in front of the shooter, and hit the shooters earmuffs.

In case the deformed projectile manages to hit a bystander or another target it can become very dangerous. Instead of cleanly traveling through the "body", the bullet will behave more like a hollow point bullet, causing a larger wound cavity, or even fragmenting and causing multiple wound channels. .357 Magnum rounds. ...

Results from FactBites:

 Ricochet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (130 words) A ricochet is a rebound, bounce or skip off of a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile. For example, a bullet that fails to penetrate a material may ricochet, posing an unpredictable danger to any nearby people, animals or objects. A ricochet can also bounce directly back to the point of origin.
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