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Steel Targets

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by red rick, Dec 27, 2019.

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  1. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I am going to set up a backyard range for rifle and pistol . What steel targets do you recommend ?

    Distance will be about 300 yards max , but mostly 100 yard rifle and 7 to 25 yard pistol . Caliber who knows , but probably nothing larger than 338 at 100 yards and .44 at 25 yards .
     
  2. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Are you asking about style/shape/size or brand?
     
  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    For most handgun rounds 1/4"-3/8" mild steel plate is adequate. If you can't make them yourself any weld shop could.
    For high velocity rifle rounds you will need harder steel and I'm not sure anything will hold up at 100 yards. I don't shoot steel with rifles at less than 4 or 5 hundred yards.
     
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Non magnum pistol (or pistol caliber carbines) I use 3/8” mild steel. 3/8 AR 500 for everything else but I stop at 300 win mag, if I don’t want to mess up the target.

    A 50 BMG can punch holes in 1 inch steel.

    2857C76E-C61F-473A-B23F-1CCE4BA09FD6.jpeg

    Once any surface isn’t flat, subsequent impacts will turn particles back towards you.

    In other words, if your steel doesn’t stay flat enough for everything to go radially, you need to be far enough away they can’t get you.

    This is a pretty good video.

    The stuff at the beginning has more debris heading back towards the point of origin because of the soft plate, around 7:30 you can see the difference hard plate makes.

     
  5. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Farm disk blades make good targets for 9mm, 45, 38 etc.
    Make a nice ring and a different sound when hit closer to the center.

    $_3.JPG
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I buy AR500 for everything.....just easier than worrying about what not to shoot with what. I'm up to about 40 pieces in all between my pistol range and rifle berms. I've got target sets out to 760 yards

    I've been buying primarily from Arntzen targets, especially their portable stands so I can mix up my CoFs/stages. I've also bought quite a few plates from Quality targets. I like all shapes/sizes depending on what practice I'm doing. My pistol range is mostly 2/3rds IDPA silhouettes on the aforementioned Arntzen stands:

    Modified El Presidente w 2/3rds IDPA:

    YS4RqJfh.jpg

    300 yard berm
    80d0qM0h.jpg

    AR500 Bowling Pins:
    m1DnM9Uh.jpg

    8" plates on individual stands set up in a "V drill"

    SqyxBqIh.jpg

    Pig Swinger at 200:

    lL1Dydth.jpg

    I like the portability for pistol targets, rifles are generally swingers on chains. For a low cost, easy set up, check out Hang fast targets, they make a "T" post target hanger that's very slick and not very expensive. I use them when setting up for hunting practice on my back field.
     
  7. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I'd be worried about ricochets with those disk blades!
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Buy AR 500 plates of the proper thickness for the caliber and don't shoot them closer than intended. That way they will not be damaged and won't send fragments in directions not intended. Hang them loose so they can swing and waste/use up a lot of the energy before the steel has to absorb it.

    Don't cheap out, use AR 500.

    Pistol:

    25 yards or less? 3/8" AR 500 will withstand up to .44 Mag.

    50 yards or more, 1/4" AR 500 will survive up to .44 Mag and rings better than heavier plates.

    Rifle:

    No less than 100 yards and no less than 3/8" AR 500. Thicker for fast stuff. Speed kills plates. Even 1/2" can suffer at 100 yards with things like 7MM Rem Mag. Again, hang it loose to absorb energy moving the plate before the plate has to eat the energy. One of my sons shot holes in my 50 yard 1/4" AR 500 plate with a .223, despite me telling him no less than 100 for rifle and no less than 3/8" at that distance for rifle. *Sigh*

    Heavy hitters (Like your 338), especially speedy ones, 200 yards minimum, at least 3/8" and 1/2" is better.

    Now, folks will tell you this is over kill, and they do X, Y, & Z all the time. More power to them.

    Stay safe. :)
     
  9. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    3/8" AR500 for most applications, 1/2" (MIN) for high velocity magnum stuff, distance is a factor too. Big boy stuff like 50 BMG with non AP ammo I go with 3/4". You can get away with thinner AR500 like 3/8" with say 300 win or 7mm rem at 200+ yards. Softer steel like A36 (structural steel) is too soft except for 22RF or conventional air guns(17-25). Average 223 55 fmj will punch a clean hole thru 1/4" A36 at 100yards.

    If you shoot closer than the manufacturers listed minimum distance the targets wont last as long. Depending on what you are shooting, at closer distances the steel can crater and also bend and distort. The minimum distance is both a longevity and safety thing, YMMV. I use 3/8" AR500 gongs at 25-50 yards with 223/556 with a 10.3/11.5" MSR. This is shorter than most manufacturers recommend but I need to train realistically, inside 25 yards I have used frangible. Your steel will take a beating at these ranges so it will need to be replaced more often,YMMV.

    Make sure the targets have a flat face, avoid domed or curved surfaces. You want the bullet to frag and not ricochet . Wrap around eye wear is mandatory for everyone.

    I use targets from MGM and Gong Target Systems.

    https://mgmtargets.com/

    https://www.gongtargetsystems1.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
     
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  10. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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  11. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Ditto what @Walkalong said with one addition, hang them so that they are at a slight downward angle (top of target is leaning closer to shooter than the bottom). Typically, when attaching the chain/strap through the bolt holes at the top with the chain/strap on the backside offset on the bolt rearward from the face of the target allows for the weight of the target to provide a downward angle. This does two things: (1) increases the thickness of your plate in relationship to the trajectory of the bullet striking it and (2) directs the bullet downward into the earth.

    Most targets that are hung from chain/straps naturally point at a downward angle due to how they are attached with bolts at the top. But some people hang them or mount them straight vertical which is what I would tend to try and avoid.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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  12. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I have some shootsteel.com targets.

    I opted for the 3/8 and 1/2 for rifle targets.
     
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  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, forgot that part. :)
     
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  14. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    https://shootingtargets7.com

    Give these folks a shot. Super responsive company.

    Dont go overkill on th thickness and buy what is recommended, i.e. dont use 1/2" plate for 22lr as it wont ring at all.

    Head to local flower shop or hardware store and grab some shepherd hooks. Easy to hang targets and move around on range.
     
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  15. Skgreen

    Skgreen Contributing Member

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    /\ /\ /\
    Been happy with my purchases there as well.
     
  16. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    20180415_135901_resized.jpg I have a lot of fun shooting at this with my RSBH 44 mag and my 30/30 at a 100 yards this is when it was new
     
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  17. red rick

    red rick Member

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    You did a nice job building the stand , you must be an electrician .
     
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  18. rperyam

    rperyam Member

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    I have an unsupervised area that we shoot at. I have occasionally taken out steel targets that hang on chains. Others shooters have asked me not to shoot at them, they are afraid of ricochet. What distance, caliber, angle, etc. should I be worrying about when shooting at steel targets? You all seem to have the answers I'm looking for.
     
  19. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    These are a mix of mild and AR 500 that I built.



    My stars are mild as well.

     
  21. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I bought some 1/2" AR500 round targets online with free shipping for a very good price... Cheaper than I could make them myself out of regular carbon steel. I wish I would have bought 3/8" instead because the 1/2" is a chore to setup at the range due to the weight. If I had my own range I would definitely buy the 1/2"... the price difference was very minimal.

    Dido on mounting the targets at an angle to deflect the bullet downwards. Not only is this safer but the target absorbs a lot less of the bullets energy if it deflects the bullet instead of just stopping the bullet cold.

    Likewise mounting the targets from a chain instead of a hard mount will convert a good amount of the bullets energy into accelerating the target backwards (making it swing) instead of absorbing the energy like a hard mount. This is akin to being punched in the gut vs being stood against a concrete wall and punched in the gut... the resulting affect is very different. (I also find that chain mounted targets usually ring better than hard mounted targets).

    ...make sure to thank Newton for inventing this!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
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  22. rperyam

    rperyam Member

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    Perfect, thank you. Really enjoyed the videos.
     
  23. BBBBB

    BBBBB Member

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    shootingtargets7.com
     
  24. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have been hit by fragments from someone else's copper plated .40 cal bullets bouncing off a steel shooting tree that was set at way too close a distance. ...I prefer not to repeat the experience!

    A 15 degree canted target at the bottom of a 6" chain set 25 yards away should be very safe as far a ricochet. As the bullet hits the steel plate the plate will accelerate rearwards and the actual angle of impact will increase deflecting the bullet in more of a downward direction than a 15 degree canted hard mounted target. ...trying to convince another shooter of this is a whole nother problem that is much more difficult to over come.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Or a pipe fitter, or a plumber.....
     
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