There are a few videos on the internet that show long-range firing going almost deadly, when, supposedly, the shooter's own bullet ricochets at the target area, and comes flying back at the shooter.

Is it really possible?

  • most target ranges are designed to prevent that... Nov 14, 2012 at 20:06
  • In that video you cannot really see if it's a bullet. Could be for example rock fragment from the target area. Also clearly it's trajectory a that point is anything but flat.
    – vartec
    Nov 14, 2012 at 20:29
  • *anecdotal * It can, because I have had that happen while shooting. Luckily, it wasn't precisely back at me so it missed. Close shave though.
    – Mike
    Mar 3, 2016 at 20:51
  • 4
    I suspect that the more likely "real-life" 180-degree ricochet is not straight off a flat surface but rather through a "corner reflector" created by two 45-degree surfaces. Apr 10, 2018 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


Yes. Your own video shows it, and there are several others on YouTube that do. But for the sake of proving this...

Monan Jauhari, the Assistant directory of India's Central Forensic Science Laboratory wrote here about Bullet Ricochet from Metal Plates

When a bullet strikes a target of sufficient solidarity at low angle it may, while maintaining its integrity, be deflected from its original path as a result of impact and travel in a direction quite different from its original one. Such a deflection of a bullet constitutes a true ricochet

When you shoot a solid target, the bullet can deflect. If the target is angled properly, it can deflect back at you.

Edit: Since comments and votes positive/negative keep happening on this, here is a better source. The International Journal of Legal Medicine, A case of “boomerang” bullet ricochet.

Due to the perpendicular impact resulting in a centric and symmetrical deformation, the fragment moved in a direction exactly backwards along the original line of fire.

  • 4
    additionally Mythbusters has also demonstrated a triple ricochet that can hit a shooter, though they deemed their bullet too slow to kill at that point.
    – Ryathal
    Nov 14, 2012 at 21:44
  • 9
    Can you explain what "angled properly" actually means? Logically, a bullet must strike the plate perpendicularly in order to be deflected back to its starting point. But that is not a low angel and deflection is nearly impossible unless it's a low angle. Jul 26, 2014 at 15:13
  • 3
    Deflection is 100% possible by shooting a flat surface that is perpendicular to you. Perpendicular or close to is what I meant by angled properly. Most shooting ranges that use a metal plate as a stopper have the plates angled down to prevent the bullets from coming back at the shooter.
    – Cruril
    Jul 28, 2014 at 15:40
  • 3
    So how does "at low angle" come into it?
    – A E
    Feb 1, 2015 at 10:49
  • 11
    Consider surfaces that are like the 'cat's eye' reflectors on highways. Wish I could draw a picture, but for simplicity, two metal plates joined at right angles, facing the shooter. Bullet ricochets off one plate at 45 degree angle, hits second plate, and ricochets back the way it came. Now if you're shooting into rocks (common in the hills around here), it's possible to get that arrangement by chance.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 1, 2015 at 18:59

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