Need suggestions on building a target gong


October 9, 2004, 12:53 PM
Myself and a few friends want to build a target gong for use with both rifles and pistols. Rifle calibers to be used are: 7.62x39, .223 and 5.45x39. Will 1/2 hardened steel plates work for such? I guess they probably won't penetrate but will likely bend it after some use. What I would like is a 10"-12" diameter gong, not too large for 100 yards, but big enough for 25 yard pistols. I plan to either weld chains or steel cable and secure it to the target posts @100 yards-200 yards w/ caribiners through the holes in the target posts so it will just hang freely. Friend has a welder, so he wanted to start, but I want to make sure we build something that will last at least a few outings. Thanks for any suggestions.

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October 9, 2004, 03:20 PM
I always recommend purpose built steel targets versus home-made weld-ups. I also caution against mixing rifle and handgun targets. Rifle targets tend to dimple and crater due to the heat generated on impact. The same plate shot with a handgun at close range can literally shoot back. The money is well spent and the target will invariably be safer and last longer, Needless to say, eye pro is mandatory irregardless of the range.

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I'm me, and I approve this post.

October 9, 2004, 06:10 PM
What kind of hardened plate is it?

My response to Megcatia a few posts down

My experiances with target steel.

Mild Steel. 1/4" through 1" OK for rimfire targets,
Centerfire blows through it like a drill.

T1 Steel 3/8" Great for Rimfire Targets, 22RF does not make a mark.
Centerfire goes through it so fast at 175 yards that it
doesn't even swing.

AR400 5/8" and 7/8" This is REALLY good stuff. 300 WBY knocks
the paint off and makes a very small crater at 175 yards.
Beleive it or not, at 175 yards, a .17 Rem does more damage
than the 300 WBY. At 25 yards(minimun CF rifle distance) .223
FMJ makes a very small crater.

AR500 3/8" for swinging targets and 5/8" or thicker for static targets.
I could not find any of this locally, but my research tells me

I made mine using the "modular concept" Anything that can/will inadvertantly get shot can be easily replaced. Any areas that are very likely to get shot should be "faced" with hardened plate. I made my plates with holes in them for bolts. The bolts allow me to easily replace the support chains/arms when needed.

Hope this helps


October 9, 2004, 06:17 PM
Forgot to add, Experiment with the length of chain/cable. I have found that a longer chain gave me less swing. This kept the plate "flatter" to the shooter, lowering the chance of a bullet skipping up the plate and over the backstop. If you use a short chain/cable let the plate settle before firing another round.

Good luck


October 9, 2004, 09:06 PM
1/2" is too thin....stack 2-3 of them together and weld the edges. Added weight will keep the gong from swinging as violently.

October 10, 2004, 09:42 AM
Use lengths of welds interupted by small open areas. That way when a weld cracks it only effects one small segment.

Damage and cratering seem to be a function of velocity. The faster the bullets the more heat is generated on impact. 5.56 does more damage than 7.62, for example.

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