August 08, 2007
What Goes Downrange Sometimes Comes Back
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
We are putting this little drama up for your consideration because I saw something similar happen on a smaller scale a few years ago. A bunch of the boys was firing their M-1s (military ball ammo) at a mild-steel gong 100 yards away. Under the merciless pounding, the steel became brittle, and finally a chunk about the size of a thumbnail broke off and made the trip back to the firing line where it hit one of the shooters in the forehead. What he got was a cut; an inch lower and he'd have lost an eye.
The same thing seems to happen here. Whatever the .50 BMG guy is shooting at bounds in the dirt and smacks him in the head.
If you want to do this stuff, take a tip from Siluetas Metalicas competitors who shoot at iron targets, but their closest target is 200 meters away. At a range where I used to shoot, we tried to hit a gong that was 300 yards away, and there was never a problem with stuff flying back.
Or you can blast away at hard objects at close range … but have a glass eye handy. You'll need it.