The Influence of Wood Grain on the Bullet's Ricochet Behavior*

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Abstract

When a bullet ricochets from wood, various parameters will influence its behavior. In this study, the influence of the wood grain on the ricochet angle (β) and deflection angle (γ) is assessed. Series of five .32 Auto bullets were fired at different angles of incidence (α) on boards of six wood types. The results confirm the previously shown effect that the mean β-angles usually exceed α and increase when α increases. Overall, the maximum mean γ occurs when the angle of wood grain (ζ), in relation to the plane of impact, lies between 30° and 75° but differs per combination of wood and α. The results show the inclination of γ toward the left or right, depending on the bullets left or right rotation while also showing that the direction of ζ can enhance or counteract this effect considerably, especially when α is close to the critical ricochet angle.

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