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Steel Target Frame Safety

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ElliottDevon, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. ElliottDevon

    ElliottDevon New Member

    My friend has a private outdoor range that he lets me use. There are no targets or stands just clay sand back stops on three sides.

    I have been using a steel clothing rack that was lying around the house and comes apart into pieces. I cut a side of a cardboard box and attached it to the centre frame with cable ties. On the cardboard box I stick A4 paper targets.

    I generally shoot from a distance of between 15 - 30 yards and see no risk of hitting the frame and never have in about 200+ rounds.

    Now the question I have is that there's this girl that wants to tag along and may want to take a few shots. Since I just met her and don't want to kill her, that may not bode well for the relationship, what would happen if she hits the steel frame. Would they come back at us, fly off to the side etc?

    I included some pictures of the frame with their specs so you guys could tell me what would happen if there is a ricochet. I use FMJ 9mm in my LC9. I'm assuming that it is mild steel.

    Attached Files:

  2. Double Vision

    Double Vision Well-Known Member

    That's actually a pretty cool idea for a frame.
    My range requires a wood frame and paper targets. It's just as well since we're often hitting the frame! :D
  3. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    I like your frame. If you are concerned with the safety of the metal consider using cardboard boxes for this outing.
  4. 98Redline

    98Redline Well-Known Member

    From your photos it all looks like round tubing.

    Depending on what you are shooting you would most likely either ricochet off the tubing at an angle or punch straight though it.

    I doubt that anything that hits the frame will come back at you, but eye protection is always a good idea.

    A range I used to belong to welded steel angle iron on the front of the tubing. If you hit the sharp corner of the angle, it would slice your bullet in half. If you were off to one side or another the bullet would ricochet harmlessly into the berm.
  5. ElliottDevon

    ElliottDevon New Member

    Thanks for the tips guys.

    It is indeed steel tubing.

    I came across a PVC pipe target stand while googling, maybe I'll build that as it shoudn't take more than 30min or cost more than $25.

    It looks much safer and the worst case scenario you have to replace a shattered $5 piece.

    Attached Files:

  6. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    I made a target holder out of scrap 1x4 boards and a pair of old hinges. The hinged legs rotate out to form an upside down "Y". Works really well.

    But just last November some people gave me political sign holders. They work great to hold targets. Just need a couple of binder clips and a small sheet of cardboard. I know they wanted me to have them since they put them on my property without my permission. Mighty kind of them.
  7. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Well-Known Member

    Our local IDPA club used an indoor range for several years.

    We used the PVC pipes (like in the picture) as a base. Our upright segments were only about 12". We then used furring strips (like tomato stakes) inserted into the based uprights.

    The base seldom gets hit, and the furring strips are cheap to replace. You can just carry a good staple gun and some extra staples to hold paper or cardboard targets in place.

    Those kind of holders can be a problem out of doors, as they tend to move when the wend is blowing. You can use tent stakes on the base (maybe drill some holes in the PVC pipe so that the stakes can "catch " them). Smaller holes in the pipe and some long gutter nails driven into the ground an inch or so will work.

    I've seen frames that can just be jammed into the ground in the IDPA magazine and some catalogs. None of them are particularly expensive -- but arguably more expensive than PVC pipe.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Mine is similar from a retail store and is square tubing. Bullets that hit the frame just penetrate through it and now it has several "battle scars", and isn't quite as square
    Still works fine though
  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I shoot steel gongs, jacks, and swingers weekly as close as 15 yards. Every now and then a round or angle swinger frame gets hit. No big deal. Just wear your eyes....Inthousands of rounds I have never had anything come back on me, though.
  10. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    At a club I used to be a member of the target frames were made from bent and welded 5/8" re-bar. Never a problem. The bullet either deflects and hits the backstop/ground, penetrates and hits the backstop, or disintegrates on impact -- which is why you always need quality eyepro.

    The only time things get hairy is shooting cratered steel plates -- the craters can "focus" the splatter back at you with potentially dangerous energy.

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