Steel gong for AR 15, How thick? - THR

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Old March 27, 2016, 09:26 AM   #1
Join Date: February 8, 2011
Posts: 207
Steel gong for AR 15, How thick?

I was at the range yesterday and had the pleasure of shooting at another members steel gong. He had one at 100 yds and another set up at 200 yds. It was a lot of fun watching them move and no need to keep changing paper targets. I noticed that the gongs did not not ring and was wondering if they were too thick or what not. I know he said they were AR500 steel but he wasn't sure how thick.
I was thinking of doing a similar set up but would like to hear them "ring" as well when hit.
Anyone know the recommended thickness for .223 and where to buy them at the best price?
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Old March 27, 2016, 09:59 AM   #2
Join Date: September 17, 2012
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3/8" or 1/2" will be fine at 100 yds or more.
The 1/2" will stand up to magnum rounds and the 3/8" won't.

His had to be pretty thick to not ring.
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Old March 27, 2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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Mine are LV Steel poppers made from I believe 1/2 AR500. They don't really ring like a bell but you can tell when they are hit. My 270gr 375H&H loads didn't do any noticeable damage at 100 but you could tell when I hit the target. It moved back near a foot...
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Old March 27, 2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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For 5.56 at 100 yards and further, you can get away with 1/4". Harder hitting cartridges will deform them, though.
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Old March 27, 2016, 11:25 AM   #5
Steve in PA
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Location: NE PA
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I have two 1/2" AR500 plates I bought from Widener's a few years ago. I've shot them as close as 50 yards with my AR. No problems.
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Old March 27, 2016, 11:37 AM   #6
loose noose
Join Date: February 22, 2012
Location: Southern Nevada
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My swinging gongs which are 3/8" AR500 swing like crazy when hit with any of my .223's but then again you get a thud, not a ringing. Both are 10" diameter. I've got a huge Popper that is designed to go down and come back up, using a 45-70 Marlin, using the heavy load 405 grain Hammer Head rounds, at up to 500 yards. That one is 1/2" and that one just goes thud also when hit and seems to take for ever for it to go down. Incidentally the Popper is shaped like the upper torso and goes from head 12"X22"x15" and is 3' high. Had it made specifically for that about 10 years ago.
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Old March 27, 2016, 12:35 PM   #7
Join Date: October 6, 2014
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The club has them in 1/2" A500 steel. WWII M2AP will put a hole in them at 150 yards. They hold up against everything else for a while. Eventually they get so brittle they break or split.
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Old March 27, 2016, 12:55 PM   #8
Join Date: November 4, 2011
Location: Henderson, Nevada
Posts: 87
I really don't think that Gong Style Metal Targets are made any longer. They use to be, back in the day, but I have not seen one in over 30/35 years. Gong Steel Targets, as I recall, were 3/8" Steel and maybe about 12" in diameter. It was a Concave/Convex shaped piece of metal, with about a 2" depth on the concave side. It was hung with the Convex side facing the shooters.

The standard metal plate targets of the day, will not make a Gong sound when hit, but they do make a sound.
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Old March 27, 2016, 02:30 PM   #9
chris in va
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Location: Louisville KY
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It also depends on how they are mounted. I have a 1/3 scale IDPA silhouette target mounted with a T bracket onto one of those barb wire fence posts and it just sorta thuds when hit. My thicker but smaller round 8" on a grade 8 bolt rings loudly.
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Old March 27, 2016, 05:46 PM   #10
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The thinner the better ring they give, but also don't hold up as well. 5.56 is going to be very tough on 1/4" AR 500 steel, and penetrator rounds will inflict a lot of damage. 3/8" AR 500 is better, but 1/2" is best for fast bullets. Even my 1/2" plate showed a very tiny bit of damage from a 7MM Mag at 100 yards.

If you want a really nice ring you may have to compromise, accept a little damage, and simply replace it more often. The thinner stuff is pretty cheap.
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Old March 27, 2016, 08:36 PM   #11
loose noose
Join Date: February 22, 2012
Location: Southern Nevada
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Brings back memories of a short time ago I bought a rectangular pop-up target that had "1/4" AR 500" steel that would take repeated hits from a .223 at 100 yards. Well I set the target up at 110 yards and fired one shot. Got a nice ringing and looking thru the scope I noticed a rather large hole, not a ding. BTW the hole was the measurement of .30 caliber or bigger, and the round I fired was a 52 grain HP/BT by Hornady. Needless to say I took the target back to that little gun shop and the owner gave me a new target. Works fine on .22 caliber, I'll be darned if I'll use it on the .223 or larger calibers. Incidentally it cost me $69.99, I told him I'd be careful telling people that it would take repeated hits with a .223. Next time I came in the shop I noticed he was no longer selling them. Don't believe they were AR500 grade steel.
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Old March 28, 2016, 08:58 AM   #12
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I have 3/8" AR500 steel plates. My 18" barreled ar will hole them at 100 yds with m193. M855 will not penetrate. And m193 out of 16" @ 100 yds will not penetrate. If I had to do it over, I would buy 1/2"
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Old March 28, 2016, 09:21 AM   #13
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I use 3/8" ar500 for up to 300 wm. Don't shoot at it closer than 100 yds and never use AP but that should be pretty obvious.
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