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Bullet Ricochet

28 Jan 2015
@ 08:47 pm (GMT)

Warrick Edmonds

I was interested to read recently that it was thought by the authorities that a seige hostage was killed by a bullet ricochet off a marble wall, consequently criticism was leveled at the police special squad for using the 5.56 'heavy' instead of a 9mm sub machine gun.

I assume a bullet will keep travelling after a glancing blow to a hard surface, but my experience is they will just splatter if hitting dead on. Does anyone here know about ricochet, I'm curious?


28 Jan 2015
@ 11:25 pm (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Bullet Ricochet
HI Warrick, there is quite a difference of energy between the .223 (5.56) and the pistol calibers such as 9mm and 40S&W. As energy goes up, so does the risk of ricochet being lethal. During my time shooting IPSC and practical pistol, I have been hit by bullet fragments on a few occasions and they whack pretty hard - but weren't anywhere close to splitting the skin. The 223 however is in a whole different ballpark, lots of speed and energy and any bullet fragments will have a fair amount of energy behind it. And as we can see by the unfortunate case is Aus, lethal at close range. I don't know if the NSW Tactical group of the NSW police force are using frangible ammo or not, but I do wonder if a high power round is suitable for such close range work. I know the NZSAS were quite happy with their MP5's (9mm)for close quarters stuff a while ago - I'm not sure if that has now changed though. I doubt the targeted assailant could tell the difference between getting hit in the chest by 3 x 9mm bullets or a 556... There is always a pay off though. The 9mm will have less ability to penetrate cover/glass compared to the 556. I wonder if a combination of 556 equipped team members backing up the initial entry team armed with pistol caliber smg's would be the go - I just don't know. I am only a civilian amateur and people much more schooled in the topic would have considered all this already (I hope). It was a terrible incident and my thoughts are with ALL of those involved.
29 Jan 2015
@ 12:19 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Bullet Ricochet
and I will say they are the other way around.
why??? shot ram in wooded wool shed with .12ga solid,it went through skull then bounced all around walls before coming to rest beside me.
7.62x39mm with soft cast 151grn huge hollow points going subsonic whizz off into distance if they dont hit something soft..and around these Rangitata river flat areas the rocks outnumber blades of grass!!!!
a .223 soft bullet will splatter but a hard one will bounce, think of .22rimfire and the stingers we bought back in the 80s..they were light projectiles going fast so they broke up and didnt bounce/ping off at tangent.
Ive played with trying to bounce projectile up into rabbits off hard ground..very hit n miss
as for scenario you have mentioned...rock and hard place....12ga with #9 birdshot better still but no use past 10yards


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