Welding & LR shooting Questions - Kasenit/Hardex, flame, steel & backyard.


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Lucky
May 12, 2007, 01:12 AM
I've got some good steel plates (not sure what type, but not stainless) for making targets. I've got a 1/8" and a 1/2", figuring I'd like to shoot the 1/2" at 300-900m with a rifle, 1/8" with pistols out to 50 0r 100m.

Now I guess for cast lead bullets the steel would be OK, but I'd like to harden it up for FMJs, so I've got questions for people using hardening compounds.


Can you achieve the same effect using an oxy-acty torch set to a carburizing flame?

When you use the Kasenit, I read you want it over 1300 and under 1800 degrees F. Do you use propane torches, or oxy-acety, and if the latter do you use a neutral flame or a carburizing one?

I'm going to hang the targets like gongs, so should I drill holes through them and use bolts to mount chains, or weld a chain-link to the back?

And if the answer is to drill holes, should the holes be drilled before hardening, or is it going to weaken the steel if Kasenit drips through and hardens them?

Also, I'm thinking of keeping the big piece of piece of steel square. Should I cut it to a specific size that would be easy for range-finding, and what size would that be?

Or conversely, should the steel be left intact and simply paint a square of appropriate size on it?


Off-hand I'd assume it's Ok to both cut it and paint it, making a sort of heavy shoot-n-see gong. But I've been wrong before, so better ask.


Thanks;
Scott

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Sam
May 12, 2007, 01:17 AM
I don't think you will be able to appreciably harden your plates.
You need to be able to raise the entire piece to a bright red heat all at once and supply the carburizing material, then quench.

You couldn't supply enough carbon with the torch and couldn't get the plate hot enough.

Theoretically you could pack it in carbon and heat but it would cost more in fuel and equipment to do it that it would to buy a piece of face hardened armor plate.

Sam

Lucky
May 12, 2007, 02:58 AM
Ok, thanks.

CZ223
May 12, 2007, 06:32 AM
The 1/8" plate is just too thin for anything other than 22's and will probably wear quickly even with them. In Cowboy Action shooting our plates usually 3/8" thick and all we shoot them with is low velocity lead rounds. They cup and crack after enough shooting. I have seen a 308 go clean through half inch plate at 200 yards.

Galen
May 12, 2007, 01:41 PM
Gee, a topic I actually know something about for once :D (I'm a welder by trade).

You will not be able to do much to harden the steel with what you have. You can't get the entire plate hot enough, or control the temperature with a torch.

Your best bet it to just use the 1/2" stuff at long range with cast lead bullets. You can probably even use FMJ as long as it's not 50 BMG. Dump the 1/8" though. It's just too thin. I wouldn't use anything less then 1/4" and then only for .22 and it's ilk.

Also, if you weld the chains on make sure to preheat the steel plate first. This will keep the HAZ (heat affection zone) to a minimum and help prevent cracking of the welds when the metal on the other side is hit by a bullet.

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