Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Roger Rapid

Shotgun splatter??

Recommended Posts

I don't think I've ever been to a match where folks don't flinch from shotgun ricochets. And, for those of us who run the clock, I think its in our DNA to hold a hand in front of our face at the shotgun bays.

 

We're looking for ways to reduce shotgun splatter at PRVC and I'm anxious to learn what you have done to reduce or solve the problem, including but not limited to such things as: lateral angle of targets, vertical angle of targets, using wadding or haybales in from of targets, distance to targets, different types of steel (AR500, etc), removing lead residue from face of targets, and so on... And, I guess, more specifically, what do you think is causing the shotgun ricochets?

 

Thx...

RR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Rough surfaces and fixed vertical surfaces on the targets result  in lots of shotgun splatter.   

 

If you can, fix the targets.   Grind the rough steel down; replace target plates if badly pitted (use at least AR400).  If your stands have fixed vertical plates in their design, cut them off and set again with a downward facing angle.  

 

Bordertown uses hay bales or plywood shields to help reduce the splatter on some very close SG targets - setting bales and blocking boards in front of the 2 feet elevated shotgun target plates.

 

Move targets back to 8 yards or more.    More distance means less concentrated splatter.

 

Simpler for RO and spotters to tip their hat brims down as shooter fires at SG targets, then raise head back up to make sure KD went down.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all...

GJ: Great tips - thanks.

OLG: I will post some pix, but has to wait until next time I'm at range. We have several types of shotgun targets, I'll post photos of all.

...RR

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Roger Rapid said:

Thanks all...

GJ: Great tips - thanks.

OLG: I will post some pix, but has to wait until next time I'm at range. We have several types of shotgun targets, I'll post photos of all.

...RR

Please indicate the ones that give the most and least splash-back.

OLG

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OLG, I'll try, but I don't think we've been diligent enough to remember that. If we did, we probably would have been able to narrow down the blame.

thx!

.RR

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Rough surfaces and fixed vertical surfaces on the targets result  in lots of shotgun splatter.   

 

If you can, fix the targets.   Grind the rough steel down; replace target plates if badly pitted (use at least AR400).  If your stands have fixed vertical plates in their design, cut them off and set again with a downward facing angle.  

 

Bordertown uses hay bales or plywood shields to help reduce the splatter on some very close SG targets - setting bales and blocking boards in front of the 2 feet elevated shotgun target plates.

 

Move targets back to 8 yards or more.    More distance means less concentrated splatter.

 

Simpler for RO and spotters to tip their hat brims down as shooter fires at SG targets, then raise head back up to make sure KD went down.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

I agree with all GJ wrote and have an additional recommendation.  Encourge your shooters to use low recoil, target loads.  Locally we have a shooter who prefers Sporting Clays loads.  These are hotter loads than necessary for CAS.  These and Trap handicap loads have excessive speed for CAS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For sure what CJ posted.

 

Also + on the pictures.

 

I've generally thought of the splatter/ricochet in terms of each individual pellet. The range I shoot at has shotgun targets whose surface is no longer smooth, I assume they are not AR either. However, I didn't consider pellet collision in my analysis. Certainly, if I consider each pellet as an individual, a smooth surface, angled and AR material would be a solution. If you consider that each shot has in excess of 200 pellets, most of which are hitting steel at the same time, there has to be a few collisions happening. Also, as per CJ, vertical uprights, after all sometimes not all (any) of the pellets hit the target.

 

From what I've noticed, the shooter doesn't get hit often, my guess is most hits are back at about 10° to 30° from the target. 

 

Would targets that can move easy may be better, 1/4" AR vs 3/8"?

 

- Most target ammunition in our stores is fast, labeled target handicap >1200 fps. It's hard to find the under 1 oz @ 1000 > 1100. Our local used to sell low recoil 7/8 #8, but no longer bring it in. I asked and the answer was too many complaints that it would not cycle semi auto shotguns.

 

UzYMQUpm.jpg

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, "Big Boston" said:

it would not cycle semi auto shotguns.

 

That is a very serious problem.  Store clerks don't inform the buyer of the low power level and difficulties with auto shotgun cycling.  Customers try the ammo and come back mad and want refunds.  Store may not be able to re-stock shelves with that opened ammo, so store is out the sales price of the ammo.  

 

Warnings about semi-auto cycling failures are on each box.   Does this mean customers can't read??????  

 

But anyway, the store owner is left holding the bag.   So, they do what they can to prevent it, and that is - stop carrying that ammo!

 

AND, WEAK AMMO IS NOT WHAT HUNTERS (even most plinkers) WANT!  

 

Good luck, GJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a link to a study a couple of shooters did on splatter and how it comes off of a steel target. They used jacketed bullets but the physics is the same. 

 

In summary the splatter comes off the steel between 0 and 20 degrees.  If you have a right angle to the face of the target then the splatter gets deflected again and is redirected back towards the shooter. Get rid of the corners and the splatter will decrease immensely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these suggestions are good, and I believe ammunition is definitely part of the problem.  Those 3 - 1/4 dram equiv. Walmart shells are pretty hot, but they're cheap and people aren't going to stop using them.  If I'm running the timer and somebody is using them, I stand behind the shooter.  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been noticing that our SG targets seem to grow legs and move closer to the firing line.  As different groups do set-up some like up-close-and-personal ones.   one of the morning routines match day is to be ready to move them back to a safe distance.

 

some of our frames have vertical parts to the stands.  Planning on sheathing these surfaces.  

 

If SG are too close to other targets you can get splatter  for a less than well placed shot.

 

and if all else fails scares and like tatoos but with better stories   :D

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, "Big Boston" said:

For sure what CJ posted.

 

Also + on the pictures.

 

- Most target ammunition in our stores is fast, labeled target handicap >1200 fps. It's hard to find the under 1 oz @ 1000 > 1100. Our local used to sell low recoil 7/8 #8, but no longer bring it in. I asked and the answer was too many complaints that it would not cycle semi auto shotguns.

 

UzYMQUpm.jpg

 

 

 

That exact load cycles just fine in my Remmy 11-87. :huh:

Recoil activated(H&K-Benelli)may well have issues.

OLG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I addressed the ammo, because I think it is a factor. 

 

When I research the crowd that loads shotgun with Black Powder, I see an underlying theme, you don't need that much shot, and you don't need 1200 fps. 

My home is in rural Manitoba, I carry a shotgun on walks, to protect the dogs from rabid skunks and to hunt blackbirds. For that game, 1 oz of 7 1/2 or 8's will do the trick. 1150 fps will still give me 40 yard kills. 1 1/8 of 7 1/2 or 8's at 1200 is at the top of what is required. Back in the day, that was a standard trap/skeet load for the 12.

 

CAS shotgun targets, IMO, don't need more than a 3/4 oz of 7 1/2 or 8 at 1000 fps. Still plenty of bang and smack down, well within the spirit of the game. I'm not sure what was used in the old west. I'd imagine #2 or #4 shot for 4 legged critters or winged fowl, 3 dram 1 1/4 minimum. Stage coach or messenger  fodder, probably a 9 count of 00 buck, 3 dram. 

 

Buckshot and shooting steel, not a pretty picture, so let's not go there. Memories of about 1/3 of a SWC 38 Spl to my stomach would keep me from pulling the trigger.

 

Bottom line, I'd like to see one of the major shotgun ammo manufacturers make some Cowboy ammo, smokeless. 2 dram, 3/4 oz. With a full choke, would still be a chicken killer out to 30 yards.

 

Picture of my friend, after a decent hunt, 2 miles from home. Unfortunately I had to use steel shot, now that would send the CAS gallery ducking for cover.

 

SrUpB8Cl.jpg

 

Shotguns have been part of my DNA for pretty much all of my life, they are part of the old west, and I'm all for eliminating splatter and ricochets.  

 

 

 

Edited by "Big Boston"
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, "Big Boston" said:

I'd like to see one of the major shotgun ammo manufacturers make some Cowboy ammo, smokeless. 2 dram, 3/4 oz

 

Too late, one has.   And even lighter shot and lighter powder than your specs:

 

Aguila 12 Gauge Minishell® / 7-1/2, 8, 9

their specs: 

1 3/4 inch shell      

PAYLOAD

5/8 ounce shot # 7 1/2 to 9 options
MUZZLE
1200 ft/sec

 

https://www.aguilaammo.com/shotshell/

 

Can be a little hard to find.  I rarely hear of a shooter using them.  Perhaps they are too stubby for a belt loop.

 

But, very light shotshells are not as hard to load yourself in standard 2 3/4 hulls as they used to be, because wads and powders for very light shot loads are becoming more available.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, "Big Boston" said:

Bottom line, I'd like to see one of the major shotgun ammo manufacturers make some Cowboy ammo, smokeless. 2 dram, 3/4 oz. With a full choke, would still be a chicken killer out to 30 yards.

 

 

About as close as you can get and easy to find.

 

Federal Top Gun Extra Lite Ammunition 12 Gauge 2-3/4" 7/8 oz #8 Shot 1200 fps

 

Has worked every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There are first a couple of old wives tails to dispel.  The size of shot does NOT affect the "back splatter."   The velocity of the shot does NOT affect the back spatter.  The density of the pattern does NOT affect back splatter.  Distance to the targets doesn't matter. 

 

It's physics, tied to target design.  If a club is using "Poppers" (knock downs) you're going to get splatter. That big flat plate at right angles to the firing line is going to splatter.  The angle iron frame is going to cause back splatter.  If the target is set on gravel, you're going to get splatter no matter what you do.  If you're using square hung swingers on re-bar, you're going to get splatter.

 

What is needed are flat plate targets, just like rifle and pistol targets, set with a negative toe angle, mounted on a stand that does not expose a right angle to the firing line.  No cheap re-bar.  If you targets are set over gravel, you must lay carpet remnants to prevent the shot from splattering back from the gravel.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
add Information
  • Like 2
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since there is no perfect solution as of yet, would it be possible to experiment with a known target that consistently has backsplash?

 

Personally, I would attach a plate at 10-15° and see how the splatter reacts.  If it solves the issue, then you have the fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

attach a plate at 10-15° and see how the splatter reacts.

 

I think most of us have already shot fixed plate shotgun targets with a proper forward tilt.  My experience is there's no splatter at all unless it comes off the stand's feet or gravel on the ground.

 

If you are talking about setting a S/G knock down stand with a tilted target plate hinged at the bottom of the plate, good luck getting a good enough hit on reasonably thick AR steel plate to knock it back when you have to fight gravity to get the plate to the upright position so it will then fall over.

 

It's just that stationary S/G targets are not as satisfying, and create "golden bb" arguments.   So, I'd rather live with some splatter than give up one of the most visually interesting part of the game.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to put some math-physics into the reason.

Each "crater" on a plate acts as an Parabolic reflector.  Each crater has their own focal point.  Given a shotgun target mage from softer steel, it could easily have thousands of parabolic reflectors.

read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabolic_reflector

 

A shotgun target with many  craters will reflect back many of the shot pellets, regardless of the angle of the plate or the carpet/hay bale/ground/height (math and physics).  Given a target with many craters, some of them will reflect back the shot in many directions, meaning you cannot hide.

 

The usage of carpet/hay bale/ground/height will benefit targets that are without "craters".

 

Grind them smooth like new and splatter will be reduced.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

I think most of us have already shot fixed plate shotgun targets with a proper forward tilt.  My experience is there's no splatter at all unless it comes off the stand's feet or gravel on the ground.

 

If you are talking about setting a S/G knock down stand with a tilted target plate hinged at the bottom of the plate, good luck getting a good enough hit on reasonably thick AR steel plate to knock it back.

 

It's just that stationary S/G targets are not as satisfying, and create "golden bb" arguments.   So, I'd rather live with some splatter than give up one of the most visually interesting part of the game.

 

Good luck, GJ

I was suggesting an angled plate on a knock down.  I wasn't clear in my verbiage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

There are first a couple of old wives tails to dispel.  The size of shot does NOT affect the "back splatter."   The velocity of the shot does NOT affect the back spatter.  The density of the pattern does NOT affect back splatter.  Distance to the targets doesn't matter. 

 

It's physics, tied to target design.  If a club is using "Poppers" (knock downs) you're going to get splatter. That big flat plate at right angles to the firing line is going to splatter.  The angle iron frame is going to cause back splatter.  If the target is set on gravel, you're going to get splatter no matter what you do.  If you're using square hung swingers on re-bar, you're going to get splatter.

 

What is needed are flat plate targets, just like rifle and pistol targets, set with a negative toe angle, mounted on a stand that does not expose a right angle to the firing line.  No cheap re-bar.  If you targets are set over gravel, you must lay carpet remnants to prevent the shot from splattering back from the gravel.

I agree with most of this.....as well. The part I see differently is the knock down part. We have SG targets that aren't pitted, set up about 18-20 inches (I'm guessing), set on dirt and they aren't real big. Not only are they not real big (about 8 inches) and fairly light I set them up to fall easy. I don't know if it's some of this, all of it or a lucky combination of a few but bounce back off these targets is a non-issue with heavy loads, light loads, choked guns, open guns and at any distance. We do limit shot size to 7.5 but I really don't think that would matter either. 

 

The amount you get hit with them is almost moot. I will go 3- 5 matches and never get hit running countless shooters through the stages. 

 

That said I have been to matches where I hide behind the shooter or tip my hat EVERY time they shoot the shotgun because it's that bad...…...just glad it's not bad at our range. 

 

Here is one of our hard working buckarette's setting them up for scale. 

54731086_10216695414956240_4968744899059908608_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sure as hell doesn't help when shooter reload shotgun rounds with recycled shot without running a magnet through it first to pick out the steel.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/26/2019 at 8:49 AM, Roger Rapid said:

I don't think I've ever been to a match where folks don't flinch from shotgun ricochets. And, for those of us who run the clock, I think its in our DNA to hold a hand in front of our face at the shotgun bays.

 

We're looking for ways to reduce shotgun splatter at PRVC and I'm anxious to learn what you have done to reduce or solve the problem, including but not limited to such things as: lateral angle of targets, vertical angle of targets, using wadding or haybales in from of targets, distance to targets, different types of steel (AR500, etc), removing lead residue from face of targets, and so on... And, I guess, more specifically, what do you think is causing the shotgun ricochets?

 

Thx...

RR

Roger, first, thanks for shooting with us this month at KRR.  Really fun match and good company! 

 

Re: splatter, pitted SG targets, or targets set too close are probably the most common causes of excessive ricochet problems.  A shotgun blast represents a real lot of energy delivered in a small area, and if the contacting surface is hard and pitted, the roughness prevents easy lateral shot deflection, which piles up the fast moving shot and causes the pellets to collide with each other, and to rebound in uncontrolled directions.  If the pitted plates are shot at ranges of less than 5-10 yds, as often occurs, you are going to get back-washed, sometimes seriously. 

 

Fixing pitted plates is particularly difficult.  If they are AR500 and have become additionally work hardened, reconditioning them by surface grinding is very time consuming and can be dangerous from a gassified lead exposure perspective. 

 

Dishing of plates can also cause ricochet, albeit to a lesser degree.  Reversing the plates routinely, and avoiding ultra short range shooting are the cheapest and best way to avoid serious plate dishing.  

 

 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
Addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2019 at 6:49 PM, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

There are first a couple of old wives tails to dispel.  The size of shot does NOT affect the "back splatter."   The velocity of the shot does NOT affect the back spatter.  The density of the pattern does NOT affect back splatter.  Distance to the targets doesn't matter. 

 

It's physics, tied to target design.  If a club is using "Poppers" (knock downs) you're going to get splatter. That big flat plate at right angles to the firing line is going to splatter.  The angle iron frame is going to cause back splatter.  If the target is set on gravel, you're going to get splatter no matter what you do.  If you're using square hung swingers on re-bar, you're going to get splatter.

 

What is needed are flat plate targets, just like rifle and pistol targets, set with a negative toe angle, mounted on a stand that does not expose a right angle to the firing line.  No cheap re-bar.  If you targets are set over gravel, you must lay carpet remnants to prevent the shot from splattering back from the gravel.

I checked with the consulting firm of Old Wives, LTD.  Their response:  "Same gun, same target, same shooter, if using Walmart 3 1/4 dram cheapies you will likely get splatter.  If using Winchester AA12FL8, you will likely not.  To suggest that velocity does not matter is illogical."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2019 at 6:49 PM, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

The velocity of the shot does NOT affect the back spatter.  The density of the pattern does NOT affect back splatter.  Distance to the targets doesn't matter. 

So are you saying that if the velocity was zero, the pattern had only one pellet on target, and the distance to target was 40 yds, shooter would still be hit by splatter? 

Velocity, density and distance certainly do affect ALL ballistics.  

 

I realize this example is extreme, but it s still illustrative of the point.  

I recall a match last year at PRVC, where SG targets were set at less than ten feet.  At least five in the posse including myself were seriously bleeding.  We finally moved the targets out, mid-match, and the problem immediately ceased. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With 5 people leaking, it took half a match to move em out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to provide an update on my "shotgun splatter" post of March 26th. For the 4th Annual Lazy Arrow ShootOut, (May 24-26) we decided to try placing wattles in front of the shotgun targets. The wattles are reasonably inexpensive (about $25 for a 20' length), are rather dense, and we could cut them to whatever lengths we needed and re-tie the ends. In the several tests we did, it was our opinion that the wattles cut the splatter by a very noticeable amount (difficult to tie a percentage to it). The upshot was that they appeared to have done the job, and far less folks complained about splatter during our match -- and that was our goal.

 

RR

 

 

Wattles.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roger,

 

I sent you Calamity Jane's Splatter Report.

 

BTW, I don't remember being hit at the annual.

 

Regards,

 

Allie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

never been to a match where i was not hit at the loading or unloading or as a spotter , never anything serious , drew blood a couple times but insignificant scratch , its why we wear our glasses and most times our long sleeves and such are all you need - got burned by hot brass from my own rifle once that was way the worst incident by far and that was nothing i didnt learn from , 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2019 at 8:49 AM, Roger Rapid said:

And, I guess, more specifically, what do you think is causing the shotgun ricochets?

Primers.  Without them or percussion caps, zero ricochets would occur.  :lol:

 

More seriously,  Roger, I think you nailed the main causes.   Dealing with each of them would cut splatter to an insignificant fraction.  

 

But just a caution about removing lead deposits from target faces.  If you try to grind them, the lead will aerosolize.   If they are AR steel, the extreme heat of grinding will add to the aerosolization.  If you grind them wet, the solution will quickly become serious hazardous waste and be splattered all over you and the work area.  Trying to scrape Abrasion Resistant steel seems ludicrous.  Chemical treatment with corosive acids would likely pit and corrode the target faces AND make hazardous waste.

So I don't really see a healthful way to do lead removal, absent very expensive facilities and tooling. 

 

Roger, I know you have researched in depth, and are very aware of lead toxicity and remediation, so I'd be interested in how you would foresee doing safe lead removal.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Allie Mo - thanks for Calamity Jane's white paper on spatter (and thanks for shootin' with us!). 

 

Dusty Devil Dale - Thanks also for shootin' with us, and you're absolutely right on the issue of removing lead from target faces and stands - there's really no super-safe way to do it. Lead could probably be most safely removed by melting it off, but since lead melts at 621°F I'm not sure what affect that heat would have on AR500 steel. And, I envision that getting all targets - especially the more elaborate shotgun targets - into a chamber to heat them would be a major and unruly task. While we are deeply concerned about fostering a clean range and not creating a hazardous waste site, our primary concerns are:  1) reducing particulate in the air which shooters breathe (which is virtually impossible to do short of having massive fume scrubbers like those used in the semi-conductor industry) or having everyone wear dust masks (which I'm convinced won't happen), and more practically 2) reducing splatter and ricocheted fragments - that range from hazardous to annoying - from the firing line. And this became our primary focus.

 

Were have found that the majority of the splatter (richochet) comes from the stands and not from the targets. In addition to using wattles immediately in front of the shotgun targets, we zip tied pieces of carpeting on the pistol target stands, immediately below the face of the target (see top photo, below). The carpeting worked well and our tests suggested that it greatly reduced splatter. However, by the time 30 or 40 shooters had their way with the targets, the carpeting pieces, turned into pulp (see bottom photo, below) - an indication that they became the sacrificial component in the splatter reducing process. Our plan next time is to use the same wattles under the pistol targets.

 

RR

Carpet #1.jpg

Carpet #2.jpg

Edited by Roger Rapid
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 6:21 PM, Bailey Creek,5759 said:

We found out at the club I shoot at. That if you turn the targets slightly that helps. 

I agree, but conventional wisdom is that you place them square to the firing line. I agree for a common firing line, but if you have individual bays with berms, I think a little cant is a good idea. I shoot sometimes at a club that uses primarily AR500 and I seem to get hit with more BULLET ricochets than anywhere else I've been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.