The U.S. Forest Service conducted a study to test the impact of target shooting on igniting vegetation, and the results tell all you need to know.
For decades we've all heard stories about the relationship between wildfires and target shooting, but no solid research has been performed until now. The U.S. Forest Service decided to lay the rumors to rest and conducted a comprehensive study to determine the link between vegetation and target shooting.
As the Reno Gazette-Journal reported, "firing bullets into dry vegetation can result in ignition." While we could've guessed that, all doubt is now laid to rest. The report test-fired a variety of weapons and ammo, finding that "the impact of rifle bullets against resistant targets consistently produced ignitions in dry peat."
The report also revealed something interesting - several instances showed that ignition and shot did not occur simultaneously and several minutes passed between between quite a few shots and ignition times.
Steel core bullets with steel jackets were "most likely to ignite vegetation," which serves as a warning for those in arid climates who enjoy target shooting. Take precautions this summer, folks!