Things that Can Cause Bullets to Ricochet

When a bullet ricochets, it exits the gun and hits a hard surface at an angle that causes it to deviate from its intended target or mark. The bullet may shatter after impact, but it could also be deflected and land in an unintended spot. In addition to possibly seriously injuring others, ricocheting bullets can also harm shooters. Below, the firearms safety and training experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, your premier choice when you’re ready to take a handgun safety course online, go over what could cause a bullet to ricochet and what can be done to prevent ricocheting.

Having a Target Too Close to Solid Surfaces

If you have enough space to safely practice target shooting outside on your property or in an area where you’re permitted to do this, be careful with what you use for a target. With target practice, also take a moment to:

• See what’s immediately around your target before you fire
• Pick a target with no hard surfaces, like rocks or trees, around it
• Set up proper outdoor targets instead of placing random objects on top of tree stumps, fence posts, or other hard surfaces

Not Using Proper Form & Technique When Firing

Bullets can also ricochet if you’re not using proper form and technique when firing your gun. However, this is something you can overcome in several ways. One is by regularly practicing. You can also practice with laser bullets or similar simulations if you’re concerned about ammo expense. With form and technique, also remember to:

• Use your sights to line up your target correctly
• Check your stance before you fire
• Keep your hands and fingers firmly in place as you fire so the bullet doesn’t deviate from its intended trajectory and ricochet
• Be prepared for the recoil

Using Incorrect or Defective Ammo

Another possible reason for ricocheting is using ammunition that’s not the correct type or size. A related issue that could cause bullet deflection is ammo that’s defective in some way. Dents and other imperfections that alter shape to some extent can affect how well a bullet is able to stay on its intended path. Avoid ricocheting related to issues with your ammo by:

• Only using ammo meant to be used for your specific type of firearm
• Checking older ammo before you use it to make sure there aren’t any defects
• Making an effort to buy your ammo from trusted sources or manufacturers

Having Structural or Performance Problems with Your Firearm

One other thing that could cause a bullet to ricochet is a structural problem with your firearm or an issue that affects performance. Possible culprits include parts that are worn out or damaged from use. Be especially mindful of anything that may be affecting the firing mechanism or the barrel of the gun. Reduce the risk of having bullets stray due to structural flaws by taking the time to:

• Inspect your firearm after each use
• Have your firearm repaired, when necessary, by a professional gunsmith
• Properly store your firearm so it doesn’t become damaged when not being used 

If you own a firearm, it’s essential to get high-quality training so you know how to handle, store, and shoot your gun safely. Fortunately, Gun Safety Training Pros offers an exceptional online firearms safety course. If you need to learn how to handle a gun and shoot it safely, we have what you need. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable team members today at

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