My steel targets


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esheato
January 5, 2012, 05:00 PM
Been seeing lots of steel questions lately, from what steel to use to how to hang them.

I thought I'd share what I have and how I use them.

Most of my steel is for rifle, hence why we're in the Rifle Country forum. I shoot these from 25 yards with the AR to 1500 yards with the 338.

I have yet to damage or destroy any pieces.

The key is buying the proper steel (AR 500) and limiting the cartridges to moderate velocity and not using AP/steel core or slugs. Typical thicknesses are 3/8ths or 1/2". Either will work fine, but I find the 3/8ths resonates and provides a positive ring that you can hear to at least 1500 yards....even with plugs in.

I bought what I bought because I shoot on a friends property and we can't leave targets out there. Everything was purchased/built with portability in mind. Sometimes I even take the steel to the local club for some fun at 200y.

First up is my Big Dog Steel squares. From 12x12 to 4x4 this is water jet cut and hard from edge to edge. I primarily shoot the 12x12 and 8x8 but the smaller ones are good out to about 3-400.

I bolt chain to the targets and hang via some steel poles using carabiners to adjust the height and to ensure they're level (I'm OCD like that...lol)

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-rm5b4m9/0/L/i-rm5b4m9-L.jpg

Next up is a scaled up version for the 1500+ yard shooting. Steel is 2x2 feet and I usually spray a 10" circle in the middle giving me a good solid aim point.

As you can see, I pound stakes in the ground and slide some steel poles over them. S-hooks in the top and it holds the steel just fine. I also usually tie off a piece of survey tape to the tall pole so that I can see the wind direction while looking at the target.

This steel was procured from a local steel yard.

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-cp5w3Fv/0/L/i-cp5w3Fv-L.jpg

I didn't pound the stakes in very far and the one pole started leaning...usually they don't lean at all.
http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-SgFjMjR/0/L/i-SgFjMjR-L.jpg

Next is a Salute Products 66" IPSC target in 3/8ths AR 500. It came with a tab on the bottom that fits into their spring loaded base. The base is awesome because it has a small footprint and the spring allows the target to swing to absorb the energy. I believe this target was cut with a laser as some shots on the very edges have left divots. A quick min with the angle grinder and they're no longer sharp.

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-TQqC6xN/0/L/i-TQqC6xN-L.jpg

Also, there is a piece of additional armor on the front of the base to protect the milder steel of the base assembly.

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-zcr99WS/0/L/i-zcr99WS-L.jpg

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-QLbrHvb/0/L/i-QLbrHvb-L.jpg

Lastly, I have a really cool piece by Big Dog Steel again. It's was designed by the guys at Snipers Hide. It's two pieces on a portable H-mount that appear like a head and torso. The head is 1/2" while the body is 3/8ths. From the front it looks like a upper half of a person.

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-tsZ4xvQ/0/L/i-tsZ4xvQ-L.jpg

From the side you can see what it truly looks like.

http://esheato.smugmug.com/photos/i-3Bz5cbd/0/L/i-3Bz5cbd-L.jpg

The head is offset to the rear to allow for a spring assembly. The spring allows the head to flop back when shot. What I've noticed is the 1/2" doesn't ring, but does move when shot. Whereas the 3/8ths body does ring. The spring behind the head is also adjustable for tension so you can dial it between 223 at 1k and 338 LM at 400y.

After shooting, I just strip and re-paint so we can see our hits. Fluorescent isn't realistic, but in the W. Tx desert, ya gotta do what ya gotta do to see the targets.

Hope this helps with some of your questions and maybe it gave you an idea or two. ;)

Ed

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41
January 5, 2012, 05:09 PM
Awesome post. I've been wanting to get some steel targets to set up a semi long range (300-400 yards) rifle range. I noticed you said that your targets were cut with a water jet, so it was hard the entire way across. I was going to try to get some ar500 steel and cut it with a cutting torch that I have access to. Would that weaken the steel around the edges?

esheato
January 5, 2012, 05:13 PM
Yes, it will weaken it. Big Dog Steel (http://www.bigdogsteel.com/index.html) (no affiliation except I'm a satisfied customer) is who I recommend for the water jet stuff.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-81920757857419_2187_2885839
12x12, 8x8, 6x6 and 4x4 with holes drilled, $140 shipped. My only complaint on this set is the 4x4 tends to flip over when shot and twists the chain up.

1KPerDay
January 5, 2012, 06:54 PM
cool stuff

68wj
January 5, 2012, 07:25 PM
Anyone wanting some, I can vouch for this member's product:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=626675

taliv
January 5, 2012, 07:37 PM
i would strongly discourage shooting steel at <100 yrds, and especially at 25 yards with a rifle.

i do like the big dog headhunter targets, though i prefer the ones with only the head without the torso. tom sarver runs an entire headhunter match up at TVP in ohio which is a blast. 20 of those targets, expertly positioned, and you get 1 shot at each. 1 point per hit. it's a really challenging and fun course of fire

i have also purchased over a dozen targets from jcv linked in 68wj's post. no problems.

i don't like to hang steel from chain though, as it inevitably gets shot and fails. I much prefer to build a sawhorse from 3/8" x 48" rebar and joints made from 1/2" galvanized pipe. then hang it from firehose or leather or conveyor belt. it's much more reactive, and lasts longer. see pics below

http://precisionmultigun.com/pics/stand1.JPG

http://precisionmultigun.com/pics/stand2.JPG
http://precisionmultigun.com/pics/stand3.JPG

JDGray
January 5, 2012, 07:46 PM
Very nice! But what do the neighbors say when you miss:D

AABEN
January 5, 2012, 07:47 PM
Yes, it will weaken it. Big Dog Steel (http://www.bigdogsteel.com/index.html) (no affiliation except I'm a satisfied customer) is who I recommend for the water jet stuff.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-81920757857419_2187_2885839
12x12, 8x8, 6x6 and 4x4 with holes drilled, $140 shipped. My only complaint on this set is the 4x4 tends to flip over when shot and twists the chain up.
All you need to do get some swivel links and put them on the plate or chains. GOOD LUCK

~Abstract~
January 5, 2012, 08:08 PM
Very nice! But what do the neighbors say when you miss

LOL


"Know your target and what lies beyond it..."

Ummm...cars, houses, kids on bicycles...you know, the usual.

esheato
January 5, 2012, 08:19 PM
Anyone wanting some, I can vouch for this member's product:

I bought some of his stuff also. In fact, we did our best to destroy an 8" circle tonight with 100 rounds of 308 and 100 223. Not a mark on it.

i would strongly discourage shooting steel at <100 yrds, and especially at 25 yards with a rifle.

Absolutely. I've done it before, but it's not something I do all the time nor do I recommend it.

...as it inevitably gets shot and fails.

We hit the chain with the 308 tonight and it only dimpled it. IMHO, it's a wear part and they all get swapped out eventually.

I much prefer to build a sawhorse from 3/8" x 48" rebar and joints made from 1/2" galvanized pipe.

I would too, but I need the portability, and besides, the ground around here is hard as rock, so putting a stake in the ground is as good as putting concrete around it.

All you need to do get some swivel links and put them on the plate or chains

DOH! Good idea!

taliv
January 5, 2012, 09:08 PM
I would too, but I need the portability, and besides, the ground around here is hard as rock, so putting a stake in the ground is as good as putting concrete around it.

the stands in my pictures are held together only by gravity. if you pick the joint up, both rebar legs on the stand will fall out. that means the stand breaks down into 5 sticks of rebar (bundle roughly 48" x 2" around) plus the 2 small joints.

it's about as portable as you can get. and since they just sit on top of the ground, there is no need to work up a sweat pounding them into your hard-as-concrete dirt.

Al Thompson
January 5, 2012, 09:32 PM
I've been using Taliv's set up at my home range (sand) and it works great. I painted the rebar and leave it in the bed of my pick-up. No issues after about a year of use.

The targets I got from the same guy 68wj did. Holding up fine with .223 at 75 yards.

35 Whelen
January 5, 2012, 10:34 PM
I built a target for shooting at 600 yds. with open or aperture sights here at the huose. The target itself is made from 1/4" diamond plate, is 36" in diameter (same as the target used in High Power competition at 600 yds.) and has scoring rings welded on it. The "gong" itself weighs about 84 lbs, so it's a bit of a handful to hang when one is alone, but it's do-able:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgong1.jpg
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgongpainted.jpg

Set up in place:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgong3.jpg

The backstop:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgongbackstop4.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgong6.jpg

I have to take the gong down from time to time to weld the bullet dents and holes....yes holes. I found out right away that Swiss Gp-11 is not only incredibly accurate at 600 yds., but will almost always penetrate 1/4" diamond plate steel!!


I also have a 200 and 300 yd. target layout which will have 12" and 18" targets respectively for shooting offhand (200 yds.) and rapid sitting (300 yds.), but haven't got around to actually building the targets yet.



35W

Chuck R.
January 7, 2012, 02:25 PM
Here are some of mine and how my range is set up. Luckily I donít have to move my swingers, my portable stands and targets are kept in a garden shed on my pistol range. All of my steel is in AR500 Armor plate and for the permanent swingers I use grader blades with holders welded on, pretty much indestructible for at least a few years. I manged to buy a piece of property where I can shoot from one hill into a higher hill.

Swinger, knockdown to trigger swinger and 2/3rds IDPA silhouette:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/TACReload.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/SwingerMoving.jpg
Bowling Pins in AR500:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/BowlingPins.jpg
200 & 300 Yard bench:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/DSC00043.jpg
Swingers at 200 & 300:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/DSC00042.jpg
Shooting at 300 & 400: from where my back deck will be:
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/DSC00049.jpg

Iím really interested in one of these next:
Next is a Salute Products 66" IPSC target in 3/8ths AR 500. It came with a tab on the bottom that fits into their spring loaded base. The base is awesome because it has a small footprint and the spring allows the target to swing to absorb the energy.

With my current setup I can stretch it out to 500Y, but for any further I'm going to have to build another berm.

Chuck

esheato
January 7, 2012, 09:41 PM
I want to move in with some of you guys. ;)

taliv
January 7, 2012, 11:09 PM
no kidding esheato... i've been dreaming about moving out of the subdivision and owning land again lately myself

JDGray
January 8, 2012, 02:01 PM
Heres my steel targets. Made from 1/2", thick 11" wide frame rail cut offs. When I build a dump truck, the frames are ordered too long so I can build crap to shoot at!:D This one sets at 300yrds away, and .22-250, .308, .223, wont touch it, 7mm mag will leave a very small dimple. Paint it, and forget it, no chains to shoot off, but weighs 75lbs.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/JDG357/photo.jpg

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