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Maximum ricochet
Help / Support / How-to's / Discussion related to PointBlank Software and External Ballistics in general
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Aloysius
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Location: B., Belgium

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 12:42 am    Post subject: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

I still didn't try to use this famous software and I doubt this is the right place to put my question, but since the word 'software' means to me 'very clever people'...

does anyone know a formula or a system to calculate the maximum ricochet of a bullet?

It might be not so important in a big land as the USA, but in my little country with so many roads and houses...

And don't consider a ricochet to the left or right, just the one going back up after touching the ground or an item laying on the ground.
And I know that something going at arount the speed of sound will ricochet more often than something at higher or lower velocity + a ricochet will never go further than the same bullet shot at the best angle to get the biggest distance.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

WOW...that question is going to have guys scratching their heads Aloys.

From my experience in the Army, firing machine guns amongst other weapons, it is damn near impossible to calculate how far, and in what direction, a ricochet will go. It is interesting to watch a machine gune firing 4 Ball 1 Tracer link because you can see the tracer rounds ricocheting all over the place. Goodness knows how many of the Ball rounds are doing the same because you can't actually see them. Even though you hold a steady 'point of aim' them pesky ricochets have a mind of their own and fly everywhere. Some fly almost straight up whilst others fly off 90* left or right and everywhere in between.

Sooo, I would have to say that it is pretty much immpossible to calculate the angle and distance a ricochet will travel, other than maybe the maximum range a bullet fired in any direction is likely to travel.

When a Rifle Range is gazetted in Australia, either Army or civilian, they apply what they call a Range Template which is supposed to cover any possible ricochet range.

Range Templates

I think that so long as a shooter is mindful of the back drop behind their intended target, they shouldn't have any problems.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

Aloysius wrote:
does anyone know a formula or a system to calculate the maximum ricochet of a bullet?

Aloys, it looks like you already had the answer.

Aloysius wrote:
a ricochet will never go further than the same bullet shot at the best angle to get the biggest distance.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

Vince, that was a pretty interesting read if you followed the links to the original article.

www.irishstatutebook.i...e/en/print

Did you see where the ricochet for a bullet shot from a 22 LR pistol was a larger area than if shot from a rifle?

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

That's stuff to study... my head already hurts...

think I call the help-line and will keep you informed. Thanks! It's something to start.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

I think there are WAY too many variables to be able to calculate anything like that with any reliability. Vince's experience pretty much proves that.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

When I think about this problem and taking into account Vince's range templates, there should be some calculation possible about the distance of a ricochet. It's a matter of transferring energy. In a normal flight, bullet traject, velocity and energy is known, can be measured or calculated. Now a small deviation to the left or right only takes a little force. Less force than a bullet coming back or going high in the air.
So look a these range templates: a small the deviation to left or right means also that it still can travel over a large distance.
The more ricochet to the left or the right means the smaller the template.

In my theoretical approach these templates go wrong when I f.e. shoot with a .22 LR at standard or subsonic velocity at a tennis ball at 20-30 meters or yards. IMHO these templates don't take into account a bullet that returns into the direction of it's depart as these templates are rather narrow at the shooting line.

And now I'm getting a little bit angry. I used to be rather good in mathematics, but I think I've lost the feeling or the contact over the years...

@Pumpking: it's not to predict the direction after a ricochet, it's all about the maximum distance. IMHO these range templates somehow answer the question or change the question in: "How do they decide about the shape of such a template considering a certain caliber?"
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

If you know the change in velocity, the change in ballistic coefficient and the angle of departure from the impact then you can calculate the potential range of the bullet.
Unfortunately none of those things is known prior to the impact. After the impact you don't have time to calculate the trajectory before it hits the ground again.
The math of impact and the resultant flight after is a problem that would take a super computer to work out. There is just way too many variables to predict anything except that a ricochet is unlikely to travel as far as a bullet fired at an angle for maximum range due primarily to the reduction in velocity and stability after impact.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

The templates may be the result of observations, or could just be SWAG. (Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess).

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TRBLSHTR
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Location: Lower 48's-left coast(near portlandia)

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

Very Happy Swag-I like that,I think that I will use that from now on-Swag! Very Happy

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

You might reduce your stress if you switched to bow hunting.

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"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
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Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Maximum ricochet Reply with quote

A Range Template is based on a given calibre fired from a fixed firing point, hence the long narrow start to the template. Also, a range has a set Left and Right of Arc - Extreme Left and Extreme Right allowed point of aim from the fixed Firing Point.

When applying the Template to a firing range that err on the side of caution and apply a larger calibre template than the maximum calibre allowed on that shooting range. For example, it is not uncommon to see a .50 BMG Calibre Template applied to a range that is approved for up to and including the 30.06 - the .30 calibre machine gun round. This allows for ricochets.

This isn't a bad video for seeing the unpredictability of ricochets.

Ricochets

Here is something for you to get your teeth into Aloys...

Mathematical Model for Bullet Ricochet

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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