At the ranch in Arizona, I keep water trickling to maintain a water hole. It’s the only reliable water for about three miles in any direction. I keep a game camera there and sometimes get interesting photographs, like the bobcat and coyote interaction, above, from a couple of months ago.
My brother and I were at the range recently shooting 170 grain cast lead .40 caliber projectiles at a half silhouette steel target. After watching me fire a few rounds, my brother heard a hissing noise. Following the sound lead to discovering that water was spurting out of cracks in the half-inch schedule 40 water pipe nearby. The pipe was originally covered by dirt, but had gradually become exposed over the years.
I expected to find a hole, but closer examination revealed that no projectile had penetrated. Instead, the fragment had hit the pipe and bounced off, leaving the lead smear shown above and cracking the pipe in the process. The point of impact was about ten yards from the steel target.
The fragment had ricocheted nearly 90 degrees from the line of fire. After the repairs were made, I made sure the pipe was re-covered with dirt.
The incident reaffirmed the importance of wearing eye protection. I’m convinced a pair of good shooting glasses would have stopped that fragment every bit as well as the PVC pipe did. But what happened reinforces the old saw that if anything can go wrong, it will. Be safe out there.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.