The 12 Gauge Bank Shot

I have read training manuals where a shotgun can be used by someone around a corner by pointing at a solid wall (approx. 20-30 degrees) and when firing the shot cloud will follow the wall making things difficult for anyone looking around the other corner.

The same can be done by firing at the ground in front of a obstruction like a car and the shot will scoot under the car rendering it ineffective as cover.

The tricky shot is to fire at a brick or concrete wall (45 or 50 degrees) and "bank shot" a shot cloud at someone not visible around a 90 degree corner.

Has anyone ever done this? Is there any known and acceptable place where this could be put to the test?


Obsessed Member
Staff member
Theoretically possible, but I wouldn't stake my life on it.

The angle of incidence and the angle of reflection with ricochet shots is not the same, and your really can't predict the angle of reflection, and getting the right angle of incidence so that some of the pellets hit what you want them to could take you a lot of shots to accomplish.

Round projectiles (birdshot, buckshot) have really terrible aerodynamic qualities, and since they tend to be very soft lead, when they strike a harder surface they readily deform, and that ruins what little aerodynamics they had completely. Birdshot really flattens out when it hits a hard surface, often becoming a little flat disk that doesn't travel more than a few yards from whatever hard surface it struck before hitting the ground.

Toss in the unknown coefficient of friction for the surface being shot at to achieve the ricochet, plus the unknown surface texture (smoothness, or lack thereof) and it really becomes a, pardon the pun, crap shoot.

With a limited number of projectiles in a buckshot load, the chances of bouncing them under a car or around a corner and having even one of them hit what you want them to are pretty slim. Particularly since you can not see the target around the corner or under the car! Talk about shooting blind!

And the energy level remaining after skipping off a hard surface would be far less than what the projectile had prior to striking the hard surface, so it might fail to penetrate skin altogether.

Birdshot will suffer even more, due to a lack of mass in each projectile, and the size being such that any surface roughness in the hard surface being struck to achieve the ricochet might just capture a number of the individual pellets.

But even if it didn't , the remaining energy per pellet would be extremely low.

For the under the car shot, just drop to ground and fire straight under the car, you would be much better off.

For the around the corner shot, if you can't see/hit them because they are enfiladed around a corner, they can't hit you either, time to find a better position, or call in mortar or artillery fire or an air strike, or toss a fragmentation grenade around the corner and then go home.

If you want to read up on the subject, here's a good article.............


Obsessed Member
Staff member
Perfectly staged video, no adrenaline pumping, not breathing hard, and how many practice shots did he have to take to get the angle right, and was it bird shot or buckshot? Those are the questions that come to mind after watching the video.

And if you can't clearly see your target and the backstop behind it, you risk collateral damage to property and living things with either the under the car shot or the around the corner ricochet shots.

Anytime you lose control of where a bullet or pellets go, you risk everything. You can control it to some extent in a straight line shot, and you can factor in the spread of shot over distances, but all bets are off with trying a ricochet shot with any gun.