So I’m not really going to talk about The Blues Brothers’ classic Rubber Biscuit, but it sure does make for a fun title. I was reading on a local forum and someone was complaining about a range where ricochets are happening frequently. It was obvious they had some personal gripe with the range since they were trying to gain support to have it shut down. In reality if the bullet hits a hard object at the right angle after impact it can ricochet and that bullet or fragment of bullet may be directed at you. It is extremely important to wear safety glasses at the range to protect from gasses released during shooting or from casings being ejected from semi-automatic pistols, but another reason is to protect your eyes in the event of a ricochet.
I was at my local range (a different range) when practicing for the qualification portion of my NRA Pistol Instructor and was bringing the revolver up after loading when I was struck by a ricochet. The bullet had mushroomed and stuck my right ring finger breaking the skin and causing minor bleeding. The force of the blow was quite hard and quite painful. I started to call a cease-fire, but had noticed the person to my left was on target with all their shots, the person to the right was on target will all there shots and most of the other lanes were empty. That meant the bullet had hit me as a result of a ricochet off the backstop. On this 25 yard indoor range the backstop is metal plate and the only conclusion I came to was the bullet was fired by another lane and hit the backstop and came back at the right angle to hit me in the finger.
The moral of the story is to be careful. If you are shooting at metal targets be sure to have them far enough away to avoid ricochet. If you are at an indoor range with a plate backstop be aware that a ricochet could occur. Any time the bullet strikes a hard object there is the possibility of a ricochet. Wear your safety glasses whenever you are shooting or observing shooting activities!