Any howto steel targets?


September 27, 2007, 01:28 AM
Seen a few of these targets out on the internet but never tried them, I'm guessing the velocity disintegrates most of the lead on impact but how safe are they and can you make your own? Any diy hints or links?

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September 27, 2007, 01:44 AM
Never used one myself either, but I have seen MANY threads here on steel targets and the 2 bug things to remember seem to be:
1) be far enough away from the target to avoid splatter, debris, etc (obviously wear eye protection, but you should be when shooting regardless of the target, really)
2) angle the plate/target downward at a close to 45 degree angle so ricochetes/splatter hit the ground, not you.

I'm sure people with personal experiance will show up to give you more details on what type of steel to use, how to set it up, other safety precautions, etc.

Robert Hairless
September 27, 2007, 03:22 AM
We've spent a lot of time shooting steel plates at a range that prohibits shooting them any closer than 10 yards. The plate machine is in a narrow bay with tall berms on three sides. That bay is set up so that no one can be anywhere but behind the shooter within the narrow confines of the side berms: it's impossible for someone to drift to a significant angle right or left. And our own absolute rule is for people to stay at least 10 yards behind the shooter. No problems, ever, except on those days when I couldn't hit six plates in a row with a bulldozer. That, however, is not what you wanted to know. ;)

September 27, 2007, 04:50 AM
With pistol and shotgun you have more leeway, but only use Hardox 400 or 500 steel for rifle calibers.

The targets are supposed to endure the shooting without showing any signs of wear. NEVER shoot a dented steel target! The ricochet will be dangerous!

For minimum distances, the IPSC rulebooks ( are a good reference.

Rabid Rabbit
September 27, 2007, 08:28 AM
I've looked into making some for my wife and I. If you are using 22 rimfire or lead bullets say up to 40sw 1/4 or less, mild steel seems to work. The best steels for jacketed bullets and closer than 15 yards seem to be AR450-550,MIL-12560 or MIL-46100. 1/4 for hand guns and 3/8 -1/2 for rifles and magnum handguns. I figured this out by reviewing a number of manufacturers information and talking to some people in the armoring business.

September 27, 2007, 10:50 AM
Ordinary welding shops may not have the type of steel that makes good long term targets. These people have a good product.

I have thousands of rounds on mine and no problems from normal use. They will crater if you shoot 69gr .223 up close so don't do that :evil:. If you get a bullet crater stop using that plate up close say under 15 yards for pistol or use it for rifle at a good distance 50' or more. From my experience I would not shoot .22lr on steel at anything under 25' they have a way of bouncing back intact. You want the bullet to completly break up on impact. Be sure and check shipping cost before ordering.

September 27, 2007, 11:58 AM
I don't know about making your own.

I've used the flash target from Mike Gibson

I have occasionally seen fragments of rifle bullets come back 30 yards or more. I've also seen fragments of rock come back from berms that far. The bullet fragments weren't going fast enough to injure you unless it hit in your eye but I'll bet they were still warm enough to be uncomfortable.

September 27, 2007, 01:39 PM
A few months ago I started buying 12 inch round targets from Las Vegas.

Currently I have two on a stick and two hung by chain. Great quality, great communications, fast and easy delivery.

Be safe, BSR

September 27, 2007, 01:46 PM
I was at the rifle range one morning, there is a pistol range over the berm. As I walked down to my targets I heard a thud in the ground, then another, turned out that a guy was in the pistol range shooting steel at ten feet. His debree was flying over the berm and landing on me. Felt is was my obligation to politely educate him on his complete lack of common sence.

Be safe, BSR

September 27, 2007, 05:20 PM
making them is dead simple if you've got a good plasma cutter and a good welder . . .it's getting the steel that's tough. I've made a bunch out of 1/4 plate and they hold up reasonably well to .45 acp, but a couple of hundred hits and they're starting to "bend" into a U-shape. I've had really good luck with the HV targets from (rifle, pistol, shotgun)

Have a good one,

September 27, 2007, 09:13 PM
Thanks for all the info if I make a set I'll post some pics.

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