Originally Posted by KQguy
When I shoot my 300 win. mag,at 3-400 yards at a target on the ground,if I miss,what will the bullet likely do?Will it tumble and lose velocity rapidly,or ricochet and go a long long way?I know there is no way to know for sure,I was just wondering for safety reasons.I am just wondering approximatly how far it would travel in that circumstance.
There are many factors that will all change the end result.
Angle in which the bullet touchs the ground will dictate whether it will deflect back up off the ground and at what angle it does so.
Whether the ground is frozen or not also plays a big role. Ground that has been tilled or broken up is less likely to cause ricochets.
Type of bullets also play a big part. Light thin jacketed varmit bullets tend to come apart easily when the touch anything, heavy jacketed or bonded hunting bullets take much more to expend their energy.
Velocity also play a big part and can make things very hard to predict. I find I get more ricochets with 22LR than my bigger calibers. FMJs or machined steel core bullets are probably the worst. I find steel cores from my 50s and 20mm scattered all over the fields, usually quite a long way away from where we have the targets set up.
This is my range, the hill behind is elevated another 90 feet above where my bullets strike the ground, when shooting at the paper target. We have found many places where bullets have picked up off the ground and gone into the wild blue yonder. The gongs are angled so as to deflect the bullets directly into the ground
This is what the gongs and target look like at 750 yards away. You will notice I shoot at a downward angle and have a 6 mile track of empty fields for the bullets to land in.
I am hoping to get a bobcat in to cut a 90 degree backstop in the spring.
The further ridge is 1600 yards out and I move the targets out there for real long range fun.