Gun ranges are much more important to a community than most people realize. Anyone who owns a firearm knows that they provide a greater service than just allowing people space for some fun target practice. Gun ranges provide a safe place for law enforcement officers to hone their skills and therefore increase their ability to protect the community at large. It also gives new gun owners an opportunity to learn how to better handle a firearm in a safe environment, so they can be safe when not so insulated. Improper safety at a gun range can result in some major health issues including lead poisoning and hearing loss. Having said that, in order to best help the individuals as well as the community, law enforcement officers must have the space itself to be as safe as possible. One of the most common issues at gun ranges is the frequent ricochet of bullets, and MT2 seeks to help ranges prevent this.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has specific criteria for design, but owners and clients can always help prevent bullet ricochet at gun ranges. Below are a few considerations that experts and former law enforcement officers suggest keeping in mind when designing and choosing a range.
- Targets – metal targets increase chances for bullets to ricochet.
- Bullets – round nose bullets are more likely to ricochet than flat nose as they generally move at a higher velocity
- Side Berm/Backstops/Safety Fan – must be placed at an appropriate distance to catch all bullets that may ricochet
- Manger or Extra Layer – Adding these to a range will assure proper lead collection and cleanup.
Fortunately, MT2 provides any lead remediation services you may need to prevent many incidents.
MT2 is the leading provider of environmental firing range service and maintenance. Clients include police departments, departments of corrections, and the military. Contact us today for information on all of our services and we will get you out of your range!
Lead Free Gun Ranges Prevent Bullet Ricochet
Posts on the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association (PAFOA) Bulletin forum, document repeatedly complaints of near hits and minor scrapes from bullet ricochets. One man saw a bullet fragment fall just in front of him; another man felt a flattened bullet strike him, painlessly, on the shin. One shooter wrote, “I’ve been glanced in the face from a .223 jacket…someone at the one group shoot…took a 30’06 jacket in the face and ended up needing stitches.”
Although formal statistics are not available and shooters tend to defend the safety of their sport by denying the seriousness of the problem, significant injuries from ricochet bullet fragments have been reported many times, mostly affecting the eyes or face. The fragments are usually small but sharp and painful hitting at high velocity.
To prevent bullet ricochet, most gun ranges take pains to design backdrops that absorb bullet impacts, but clearly many shooters continue to report ricochet impacts. Bullets ricochet from hard surfaces in the range. Bullet fragments come back at unpredictable angles with velocities high enough to dent car bumpers or cause serious flesh injuries.
As one shooter noted, “occasionally bullets bounce off stuff.” Hard things in the dirt or soft floor of gun ranges are often bullet fragments. At the rate gun ranges are used, the floors are covered with fragments. Some ranges permit rapid-fire automatic weapons. This kind of practice is like a bullet fragment factory. Regular cleaning of the floor has to be an important part of range maintenance as well as inspection and maintenance of targets and buffers.
Over its 15 years of experience, MT2 has become recognized as the nation’s leading environmental firing range service provider. We can help you prevent accidental injury with professional maintenance of your range. Please contact us for more information.