Steel targets!


March 22, 2008, 09:26 PM
I want to get into Long range shooting with .223 and am looking for a steel target. The problem is they retail for about $100 (and i'm sure shipping is outrageous.) Is there a cheaper version available? Or is it possible to buy small (approx. 4 sq ft.) steel sheets so I can make my own?

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March 22, 2008, 09:32 PM
use search. there are lots of threads with links for cheap targets. AR500 is a good search keyword

March 22, 2008, 09:34 PM
I don't guess hardware stores or anything keep stuff like that in stock?

March 22, 2008, 09:41 PM
Not many hardware stores stock hardened or armored steel plate. I have read about guys buying cast iron skillets at garage sales and using them.

March 22, 2008, 09:45 PM
That's actually a pretty good idea. But for something a little more permanent I'm looking for a sheet of steel. I know there HAS to be a cheaper way to get a steel target without paying an insane amount.

March 22, 2008, 09:46 PM
Well, you're talking about shooting something repeatedly with high velocity rifle rounds. I can't imagine what you could get that would be cheap, and long lasting.

There's a guy with the handle Tango Alpha selling some on the Sniper's Hide forum. Looks like good prices to me.

March 22, 2008, 09:55 PM
I work at a steel fabrication facility so I've gotten to make a few different steel targets. The mild a588 and a572 steel simply will not hold up to 223 or any other high velocity rifle rounds, It seems as though the cutoff impact velocity for target damage with these steels regardless of thickness (0.5") is appx 2300 fps.

If you want a target to hold up to 223 it's gonna require some pretty pricey steel.

The odd thing about shooting steel is (with regards to damage) that bullet weight, construction and caliber don't seem to matter matter nearly as much as VELOCITY

March 22, 2008, 10:01 PM
well i found a site ( that has 12" round AR500 steel plates (AR500 is apparently the accepted hardness rating for rifle targets) for just $50. I think this is my best bet. I'm going to build a rig around this.

March 22, 2008, 11:05 PM
Look in the yellow pages for the local brickyard and find out if they make their own cinder blocks there. if they do they will occasionally have some scrap steel they use to make the block called cinder block moulds. They're a couple different sizes 9X17", and some smaller, but this is the cheapest best bet u'll ever find for probably free steel that'll hold up to a bullet strike like u won't believe. I suggested this at another forum, and some guy did it, and got some for free. It's 1/2" thick and u'll have to burn the holes in them as a carbon bit won't touch them.

Here's an idea for a quick portable suspension system. Get 3 pieces of rebar or some other rod material. Get 2 copper or galvanized plumbing T's,and some S-hooks (the kind u can find on the road from lost or broken tie-down straps work great--they're closed on 1 end) or the smaller 1's on the end of rubber bungees work good 2. Pound 2 rebar into the ground, and place the T's on top, raise slightly to slide the 3rd thru parallel to the ground, and them hang the steel from it--cheap and portable. Get that el chepo paint from Wal/Mart at 1$/can.

Now you're an official member of the El Cheapo Steel Shooter's Org.

Dave R
March 22, 2008, 11:43 PM
For my cheap steel target...

I spent $3 for a 14" steel frying pan at the thrift store. I jam the hande in the soft ground, back up 200 yards or so, and have fun. Good for about 100 hits before it gets too shot up. That's 3 cents a hit.

Old, dead propane tanks are good, too. The 5 gal size.

March 23, 2008, 12:07 AM
making targets, a then shooting the heck out of 'em, is one of the most rewarding parts of the shooters experiance. find a scrape yard, or material recycling yard, and you can find steel plates in all sizes for really cheap. last i herd, steel was 70.00$ a ton. that was a long time ago, maybe even 10 years or so. im sure thats changed. but for what you are looking for, should be cheaper than 100.00 + shipping. you dont need anything special. (i.e armored or hardened) i would look at maybe 3/8 ths inch to 1/2 inch thick. .223 can push a bullet through 1/4 inch steel at 100 yards. .308's can push a bullet through 1/4 inch at 200 yards. 300 RUM can push a bullet through 1/2 inch at 350 yards. (max range we could test) could maybe go further.

if you make a target, and are able to make the center "hit" part of the target a movable, or swinging piece, your target might last longer. make sence?

i hope this helps a little. just think, if you dont succede, just lean it up against a tree, shot it, and when done, try again, or buy an already made target. i thin khtat you may find it more fun to make your own though. brian

March 23, 2008, 01:02 AM
Check this out.

March 23, 2008, 03:45 PM
I looked at that MGM place. They're the ones who want $100+ for targets. Must be pretty proud of them.

Zak Smith
March 23, 2008, 06:27 PM
Here's the deal. AR500 is what you need, but it is expensive. The going rate is about $150 per full-size IPSC silhouette target (approx 30x18"), and proportionally less based on the relative size of the target. (They are 3/8" thick usually.) A fair rate for a 10x10" square AR500 plate would be around $30.

Don't forget you need a robust stand / target holder.

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