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A ricochet (/ˈrɪkəʃeɪ/ RIK-ə-shay) is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile. Most ricochets are caused by

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For other uses, see Ricochet (disambiguation). Tracer elements separating from .50 Browning M2 machine gun rounds after hitting the target or backstop.

A ricochet (/ˈrɪkəʃeɪ/ RIK-ə-shay) is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile. Most ricochets are caused by accident and while the force of the deflection decelerates the projectile, it can still be energetic and almost as dangerous as before the deflection. The possibility of ricochet is one of the reasons for the common firearms safety rule "Never shoot at a flat, hard surface."[1] Ricochets can occur with any caliber, and short or round ricocheting bullets may not produce the audible whine caused by tumbling irregular shapes.[2] Ricochets are a hazard of shooting because, for as long as they retain sufficient velocity, ricocheting bullets or bullet fragments may cause collateral damage to animals, objects, or even the person who fired the shot.

  • 1 Variables
    • 1.1 Velocity
    • 1.2 Bullet
    • 1.3 Target material
    • 1.4 Angle
  • 2 Consequences
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 External links

Ricochets occur when a bullet or bullet fragment is deflected by an object rather than penetrating and becoming embedded in that object. Ricochet behavior may vary with bullet shape, bullet material, spin, velocity (and distance), target material and the angle of incidence.[3]


High-velocity rifle cartridges have higher probability of bullet penetration, because increased energy released by an identical bullet may fracture or temporarily melt the target at the point of impact. Alternatively, the same energy release may melt and/or disintegrate the bullet to reduce size and range of deflected particles. Ricochets are more likely with handgun cartridges and low velocity rifle cartridges such as .22 Long Rifle. Buckshot and shotgun slugs have similarly high ricochet probability, but ricochet range of smaller shot is lower than intact rifle or handgun bullet ricochets.[4]


Sectional density, or mass of the bullet divided by the frontal area of the bullet, increases penetration of resistant surfaces. Elongated, spin-stabilized bullets fired from rifled firearms have greater sectional density than spherical bullets of the same diameter made from the same material; and elongated rifle cartridge bullets have greater sectional density than short bullets of the same diameter handgun cartridges. Bullet velocity is reduced by as much as 35% by each ricochet deflection, and velocity is further reduced by air resistance as cohesive bullet fragments often produce an audible whine tumbling after losing stability.[2]

Target material

Comparative hardness and density determine the results of collisions with bullets. Bullets tend to penetrate low density materials like air with little deflection, although friction causes rotated projectiles to drift in the direction of rifling twist as the bullet falls through the atmosphere under the influence of gravity. Ricochets may be similarly deflected in the direction of rotation of the side of a spin-stabilized bullet contacting a resistant surface.[5] Dense objects tend to prevail in collisions with less dense objects; so dense bullets tend to penetrate less dense materials, and dense materials tend to deflect light bullets. Resistance to penetration can be evaluated as the sectional density of the target material along the axis of bullet movement in front of the bullet. Metallic foil will be more easily penetrated than metal ingots, and sectional density of sheet metal increases as orientation of the sheet diverges from perpendicular to, toward parallel with, the bullet path. Bullets are more likely to ricochet off flat, hard surfaces such as concrete, rock or steel, but a ricochet can occur from irregular surfaces within heterogeneous materials including soil and vegetation. Uniformly soft, flexible materials like sand have a lower incidence of ricochet.[6] Though it may not be intuitive, bullets easily ricochet off water;[7][8] compare stone skipping.


The angle of departure, both vertically and horizontally, is difficult to calculate or predict due to the many variables involved, not the least of which is the deformation of the bullet caused by its impact with the surface it strikes.[9] Probability of ricochet is highest from surfaces approximately parallel to the axis of bullet movement, and grazing ricochets typically depart the surface at a smaller angle than the angle of incidence (or approach).[2] Probability of bullet penetration increases as the axis of bullet movement becomes perpendicular to the target surface; but penetration may create a depression or crater within which the bullet may ricochet more than once, possibly following the arc of the crater floor to depart the crater at a greater angle from the original surface than the angle of incidence.[10] In an extreme case, a strong, cohesive bullet striking a nearly perpendicular elastic surface may ricochet directly back at the shooter.[11][12] This situation is sometimes observed when hardened armor piercing cores fail to completely penetrate steel plate. The United States Army noted increased ricochet range after adopting the M855A1 green bullet with a larger steel core than the M855 bullet it replaced.[13] Buckshot and subsonic bullets may be similarly reflected from rubber vehicle tires.[14]

Consequences The roughened abrasions and asymmetrical jacket damage were caused when this recovered bullet ricocheted from a hard, granular surface.

Not all ricochets are accidental. Some bullets are fired to intentionally ricochet, just as in ricochets of some ball games like basketball and pool. Bullet traps at indoor shooting ranges often include durable steel plates to deflect bullets downward into a material intended to stop and capture the bullets.[15] Cannonballs were often fired to strike the ground or water in front of their target in anticipation of ricochets which would keep the projectile at an effective distance above the ground or water surface through massed troops or ships.

The behavior of iron cannonballs documented during the era of muzzle-loading cannon may be a useful approximation for a BB gun or steel pellets fired from a shotgun, but inelastic collisions between the various shapes and materials of high-velocity bullets and the objects they may strike make bullet ricochets less predictable than the intuitive symmetry of low-velocity game spheres.[16]

The problem with unintentional ricochets is potential damage caused to objects outside the intended path of the bullet. A responsible shooter anticipates potential bullet interactions within a cone of space around the aim point. The shooter is at the apex of the cone, and the cone is symmetrical around the intended bullet path. The angle of that cone may initially be defined by the accuracy of the firearm and the skill of the shooter; but any ricochet potential within the cone becomes the apex of a ricochet cone with a broader angle. The ground surface is a frequent source of ricochets. A bullet may be deflected more than once before it comes to rest.[17]

Damage potential of ricochets, like bullets, is proportional to the mass of the bullet fragment and the square of its velocity. Ricochet velocity is always lower than collision velocity, but may be close to collision velocity for small angles of deflection. Ricochet mass may be similarly close to original bullet mass for full metal jacket bullets or green bullets replacing soft lead with solid copper or a steel core. Frangible bullets or lead core varmint hunting bullets are more susceptible to collision damage, and produce smaller ricochet fragments. Lower initial mass gives small fragment ricochets less damage potential, and distance of travel is reduced by more rapid loss of velocity from air resistance. Reduced ricochet range is one of the reasons the newer .17 HMR round with its frangible bullet has gained popularity against the older non-fragmenting .22 WMR.

Ricochets can be lethal. A notable death caused by ricochet was the hostage Katrina Dawson during the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014, killed by a ricochet from a police bullet when tactical officers stormed the building.[18][19]

See also
  • Ballistics
  • Gun safety
  • Ricochet firing
  1. ^ "Boys' Life". 45 (11). November 1955: 86. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or the surface of water..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ a b c Fitchett, Bev. "Ricochet Analysis Introduction". Bev Fitchett's Guns Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  3. ^ Bullet Ricochet: A Comprehensive Review , Burke, TW, Rowe, WF, Journal of Forensic Sciences, September 1, 1992
  4. ^ Burke, T.W.; Rowe, W.F. "Bullet Ricochet: A Comprehensive Review". National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Journal of Forensic Sciences. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  5. ^ Dabs, Will. "The Art of the Ricochet". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  6. ^ "The Box O' Truth #7 - The Sands O' Truth". The Box O' Truth. Retrieved 5 October 2014.[self-published source]
  7. ^ Haag, L.C., "Bullet Ricochet from Water," AFTE Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, July 1979, pp. 27-34.
  8. ^ Nennstiel, R., "Study of Bullet Ricochet on a Water Surface," AFTE Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, July 1984, pp. 88-93.
  9. ^ Jauhari, M., "Approximate Relationship Between the Angles of Incident and Ricochet for Practical Application in the Field of Forensic Science," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, Vol. 62, 1970, pp. 122-125.
  10. ^ Koene, L.; Hermsen, Rob; Brouwer, S.D. "Projectile Ricochet from Wooden Targets". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  11. ^ "A case of “boomerang” bullet ricochet", International Journal of Legal Medicine, October 1, 2001
  12. ^ ".50 sniper gets hit by ricochet bullet". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  13. ^ Plaster, John. "Testing The Army's M855A1 Standard Ball Cartridge". National Rifle Association. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  14. ^ Evans, D.D.; Young, R.S. "Bullet Trap Feasibility Assessment and Implementation Plan" (PDF). United States Army Environmental Center. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  15. ^ Wilcher, Larry D. "Use of Bullets Traps and Steel Targets" (PDF). United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  16. ^ Backman, Marvin E.; Finnegan, Stephen A. "Dynamics of the Oblique Impact and Ricochet of Nondeforming Spheres Against Thin Plates" (PDF). Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Safety Zones for Recreational Target Shooting" (PDF). Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Sydney siege: Counter-terrorism specialist questions weapons used by police, says they may have contributed to death of hostage Katrina Dawson". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. January 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Martin Place siege victim Katrina Dawson struck by a police bullet, investigations show". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
Further reading
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Bouncing Bullets," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Vol. 38, Oct. 1969, pp. 1–9.
  • Garrison, D.H., "Crown & Bank: Road Structure as it Affects Bullet Path Angles in Vehicle Shootings," AFTE Journal, Vol 30, No. 1, Winter 1998, pp. 89–93.
  • Gold, R.E. and Schecter, B., "Ricochet Dynamics for the Nine-Millimetre Parabellum Bullet," Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 37, No. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 90–98.
  • Haag, L.C., "Bullet Ricochet: An Imperical Study and a Device for Measuring Ricochet Angle," AFTE Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3, Dec. 1975, pp. 44–51.
  • Hartline, P., Abraham, G. and Rowe, W.F., "A Study of Shotgun Ricochet from Steel Surfaces," Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 27, No. 3, July 1982, pp. 506–512.
  • Jordan, G.E., Bratton, D.D., Donahue, H.C.H. and Rowe, W.F., "Bullet Ricochet from Gypsum Wallboard," Journal of Forensic Sciences, JFSCA, Vol. 33, No. 6, Nov. 1988, pp. 1477–1482.
  • McConnell, M.P., Triplett, G.M. and Rowe, W.F., "A Study of Shotgun Pellet Ricochet," Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 26, No. 4, Oct. 1981, pp. 699–709.
  • Rathman, G.A., "Bullet Ricochet and Associated Phenomena," AFTE Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4, Oct. 1987, pp. 374–381.
External links
  • "Ricochet Off Glass" at National Crime Investigation and Training web site
  • Video of fake Bullet Ricochet on Shooter
  • .50 Cal Ricochet onto Shooter's Ear Muffs – YouTube

Ricochet: A Novel
Ricochet: A Novel
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seeing Red presents a spine-tingling story of murder and betrayal in high society Savannah, where a homicide detective finds his career—and life—on the line.When Savannah detective Duncan Hatcher is summoned to an unusual crime scene, he knows discretion is key. Influential Judge Cato Laird's beloved trophy wife, Elise, has fatally shot a burglar. She claims self-defense, but Duncan suspects she's lying, and puts his career in jeopardy by investigating further. Then, in secret, Elise makes an incredible allegation, which he dismisses as the lie of a cunning woman trying to exploit his intense attraction to her. But when Elise goes missing, Duncan finds that trusting the wrong person could mean the difference between life and death for both of them.

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Ricochet: David Bowie 1983: An Intimate Portrait
Ricochet: David Bowie 1983: An Intimate Portrait
In Ricochet, the official photographer of one of the most celebrated musicians of all time reveals intimate stories and pictures that offer an exclusive insight into David Bowie, the man and musician. Taken on the "Serious Moonlight Tour"—Bowie's largest ever tour that took in 99 concerts in over 60 cities—Denis's photos provide a thrilling, intimate view of life on the road with a unique pop icon. From capturing the theater and mime of Bowie on stage to unguarded snapshots of the artist at his most human, every single image in Ricochet was personally approved by Bowie himself, and the result is a music photography book like no other. Witty, poignant, and beautifully produced, Ricochet is a rare and spirited look into the life of an inimitable artist, whose music and performances have inspired—and continue to inspire—generations of listeners around the world.

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Ricochet (DVD)in this explosive, action-packed thriller, rookie cop Nick Styles (Denzel Washington) has come a long way from the tough city streets of his childhood. Nick escaped to become a cop, while his good friend Odessa (Ice T) became a street hustler, dealing drugs and stealing cars. Then Nick's life changes forever the night his arrest of a ruthless psychotic killer, Blake (John Lithgow), is captured on video by a bystander and picked up by the TV news. Nick beocmes a media sensation and his career takes off, leaving Blake to sleeth in prison, obsessed with hatred and revenge. But Blake escapes from jail, faking his own death, and starts an intricate, brutal plan of tinimidation, public humiliation and murder, while Nick is left helpless, accusing a man everyone belives is dead. to dfeat Blake, Nick must return to the streets, calling on his old friend Odessa. together they set a trap that pits Nick against the killer in a terrifying combination that will leave one man victorious - and only one man left alive.]]>

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Ricochet (Addicted Series)
Ricochet (Addicted Series)
As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he'll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.Progress. That's what Lily's striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family--people who aren't aware of her addiction--she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.With Lily and Lo's dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to "touch" proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.------ The Addicted Series is now complete and perfect for binge-readers!1. Addicted to You2. Ricochet3. Addicted for Now4. Thrive5. Addicted After All

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Ricochet (A Vigilantes Novel)
Ricochet (A Vigilantes Novel)
"It kept me on the edge of my seat, and the brilliant writing had me connected both to the story, but especially to the characters, right from the start!" -Maryse's Book Blog"5 Explosive Stars ... You're going to want to pick this book up if you too enjoy reading on the edge of your seat with one hand on your kindle - the other covering your eyes a bit because you're horrified yet riveted in the same breath ... " -Totally Booked Blog "Ricochet is a story that sucked me in from the very first page. I was bracing myself for the violence and abuse knowing that it could get quite ugly." -Stacey Is SassyThe only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.Three years ago, I had everything.A beautiful wife.A son.A reason for living.Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I'm cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who's seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.If she doesn’t destroy me first.Ricochet is a ful-lengthl, standalone antihero romance. It contains vigilante justice with scenes that some readers may find disturbing.*************************The Vigilante Series:Ricochet (Book 1)Backfire (Book 2)Intrepid (Book 2.5)Ballistic (Coming Soon!)

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Ricochet (Out for Justice Book 1)
Ricochet (Out for Justice Book 1)
WITSEC victim Noah Bradford knows secrets that could get him killed, and staying hidden seems like a good plan. What he didn’t plan on is losing his heart to a man who is sworn to protect him. Battle scarred US Marshal Robert “Mac” Mackenzie has a job to do, and guaranteeing the safety of Noah Bradford is at the top of that list. Mac will do whatever it takes to keep Noah safe, even if it means walking away.Mac and Noah, brought together during extreme circumstances, have been separated by evil. It's been six years, give or take, and Noah is coming for vengeance against the men who killed his mother. He's on a collision course with Mac, who has no idea of the man Noah has become. Sparks fly and the heat sizzles when these two powerful men are reunited, but will they survive the passion the past created?Author trigger warning: This book contains scenes of physical abuse and mention of rape that some readers may find distressing. Reader discretion is advised. This book is Intended for 18+ adults only.

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WWE Ricochet NXT T-Shirt Red Medium
WWE Ricochet NXT T-Shirt Red Medium
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