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how thick of steel target based on your experiences

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by crazymike77, Feb 16, 2017.

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  1. crazymike77

    crazymike77 Member

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    A family member and I are redoing his "backyard" range. Right now it goes out to 500 yards but with moving some stuff around and building up where we shoot we can get it to 700 yards. 300 yards and less we are going to use 1/2" steel ar 500 targets, But to save some $$$ and help hear a ring when we hit the target can we get away with AR500 3/8" or 1/"4 as we go father out? All targets will be hanging below a steel pipe so they will swing unrestricted when shot.

    The biggest caliber will be 300 win mag or 7mm rem mag, but most of the time it will be 308, 243, 22-250 and 223 rounds being used. So lighter would be nice so we can hear a ring when we hit. With your experiences what is a good blend of holding up over time vs the the thinner metal for more of a ring?
     
  2. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I wouldn't go thinner than 3/8 for serious rifle calibers, myself. My 3/8 inch AR500 steel target holds up well to 7.62x39 lead and jacketed .223 loads, but that's not much of a tickle.
     
  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I would stick to the 1/2.

    The long term durability and the variety of calibers you listed make it seem like a good idea.

    Also if you ever decide re-arrange your range, you may want the options.

    I like the noise of the steel too, but a flag of some sort works as well.
     
  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I've got a little over 30 pieces of steel on my range and I shoot out to 700 using primarily AR500 in 3/8ths".

    How you hang them has a great deal to do with how they'll hold up. As swingers you shouldn't have any issue with 3/8ths from 150 on out as long as you avoid the green tip or AP stuff. I find the 3/8th also rings louder than the 1/2" due to the lighter weight. On the chain mounted swingers, you can add a spacer between the steel and chain that will cause the target to hang with a slight back-angle.

    Check out theses mounts from Hang Fast Targets, they utilize a simple T post, are extremely well made and ring like a bell when hit allowing your target plenty of give. I bought 4 of these this year for my 500-700 yard targets.

    http://hangfasttargets.com/about

    Chuck
     
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  5. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Stay with 1/2 inch.
     
  6. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I hung a dozen 3/8 AR 500 plates at a 300+ member club over a year ago. They have had very heavy use and are still in great shape. 3/8 would last almost indefinitely at a backyard range.
     
  7. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I've cracked a 3/8" AR 500 gong at 100 yards. It took a number of 30 06 and 5.56 shots before the crack started showing signs and finally gave way by losing an "ear".

    At 300+ yards, my guess is that the 3/8" gong will last for a very long time with 300 WM.
     
  8. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    We had a 1/2" AR500 gong crack at 100 yards. An ear broke off it also. It had taken about 3 years of heavy club use before cracking, though.
     
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