I’m sure pretty much everyone here knows the episode of Mythbusters when they tried to ricochet a bullet off multiple surfaces and back into the shooter. Since most bullets deform heavily upon first impact it was all but impossible to have a multiple ricochet let alone have the bullet come back at the shooter. Well I thought the same, until last Saturday.

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Impact Zone

A very nice warm day here in Poland during yet another of our AK Operator’s Courses. Two students practise while standing at two paper targets some 25 yds away. I stand a meter behind and in between supervising. The bullet-catch is a brick tunnel with a sand slope in it. The photo depicts the same spot however in this case the paper targets were at ground level at the entrance to the tunnel indicated by the red line.

All was going as normal, shooters with military and civ shooting experience. Guns used: AKM and AKMS rifles. Ammo used: Czechoslovakian made 7,62×39 M43 (mild steel core 123gr ball).

The sequence started normally with a few well placed shots by both shooters. All shots hit the sand behind the targets. The shooters were engaging targets directly in front. After 5 shots the shooters both concentrated their fire one one target designated by the supervisor, me. After the third shot on the right target I felt a sudden tap on my chest and something falling down on my shoe. It felt a bit too heavy to be a casing so I looked down and saw this bad boy.

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The projectile

Immediately called a cease-fire, and picked up the projectile, still quite hot. What I find extremely odd is that it did hit the sand, there are distinct signs of that on the other side with the copper jacket completely sanded off. Then it must have continued to bounce of 3 brick walls to eventually come back right at me.

The hit to the chest was barely noticeable but it left a small cut and a bruise. The bullet impacted sideways. No medical treatment other than cleaning the cut with some spirit was necessary.

Well a one in a million incident and it had to be that day. I hope this can be informative in some way Maybe some with in-depth knowledge of ballistics could comment on this. Anyone had anything similar? Not saying bird shot coming back into your face after shooting steel plates. Anyone had a bullet ricochet back at him/her? As for me, well a lesson was learned and note to self made: Bring that body armour with you more often.

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Stay Safe!

Sergei