Volume 26, Issue 4 (October 1981)
A Study of Shotgun Pellet Ricochet
A study of shotgun pellet ricochet was conducted with a 12-gauge shotgun with a 457-mm (18-in.) cylinder bore barrel and 00 buckshot, both commonly used by law enforcement agencies. Concrete patio block and concrete road surface were used as intermediate target surfaces because of the common occurrence of these or similar materials in the environment. The shotgun was fired at close range so that a more accurate measurement of the angle of incidence, angle of ricochet, and pattern of shotgun pellet distribution could be obtained than is possible at greater distances. Because of the limited range of impact forces that the intermediate target materials could withstand and still retain their structural integrity, the angles of incidence used during this study were small (below 30° A series of five shots at the nominal angles of incidence of 5°, 10°, 15°, 20° and 25° were fired at each surface. Illustration board, a readily penetrable material, was used as a final target to record the shot pattern of the ricocheted shotgun pellets. The actual values of the angles of incidence, as well as the angles of ricochet, were calculated trigonometrically for each round fired. The centers of mass and the dispersals of the shotgun pellet patterns were also calculated.