? about making steel targets


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Old 10-30-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default ? about making steel targets

I am new to pistol shooting and want to ring some steel. I have all the tools to build anything, cutting steel is what I do for a living. So whats your advice?

Thanks in advance

Pat



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Old 10-30-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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The grade of steel is important. Too hard it can be brittle and crack from repeated hits. Too soft and it will deform badly.



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Old 10-30-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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I mostly have A 36 plate laying around I was going to use 1/4" and 3/8"

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Old 10-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by patm View Post
I mostly have A 36 plate laying around I was going to use 1/4" and 3/8"
Hell that's plenty thick enough. You can make half and full silhouette steel figures that will fall when hit or spring back when struck. Just my .02 cents worth.

Jack
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:16 PM   #5
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Since you didn't mention if the targets were for silhouette shooting a very important thing to consider is how close you are to steel targets when shooting at them. I have seen spent bullets bounce back very close to where I was shooting. Years ago a guy I worked with told me he was testing a steel plate a court judge had asked him to install in his court podium. When he fired his .357 mag at the steel plate the bullet spit back pieces of lead that penatrated his skin, thankfully for him, not in sensitive areas.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
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Since you didn't mention if the targets were for silhouette shooting a very important thing to consider is how close you are to steel targets when shooting at them. I have seen spent bullets bounce back very close to where I was shooting. Years ago a guy I worked with told me he was testing a steel plate a court judge had asked him to install in his court podium. When he fired his .357 mag at the steel plate the bullet spit back pieces of lead that penatrated his skin, thankfully for him, not in sensitive areas.
See this is stuff I need to know. Are you to angle them down? I do know you don't practice CQB with them.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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I have shot both angled down and fall over plates. Both work well and sound great when hit. I do not let anyone get closer then 10 yards to the plates. We always wear eye protection. Long pants and shirts are also a good idea. The angled down plates push the lead to the ground in front of the target, this does not all together eliminate the possibility of splash back. The fall over steel is fun and is over all safe.

I looked on the net and found several ideas on steel targets to make. It sounds like you have a good working idea on how to build stuff so you should be able to take the ideas and make them yours. Just use you head and don't get to close. Have fun!!

If you would like I can put up a pic or two of what we have. Also don't shot hand gun plates with rifle rounds. It will burn a hole in them. .22 cal is OK but no .223.

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Old 10-30-2009, 11:58 PM   #8
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I was told to only use hardened (armor)plate, cause mild steel tends to spring bullets back toward shooter as it deforms. Not sure though. Looking for info myself.

You may have seen before...This is scary

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:55 AM   #9
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Using .22 rimfire ammo, you can use the softer stuff, however, when using centerfire always use hardened stuff, preferably 500. For centerfire (except magnums), you can use 1/2" plate, 5/8" to 3/4" for the mags. I will post photos of some of the steel targets that I fabricate, when I get back from Vegas this weekend..

Jim................

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Old 10-31-2009, 12:17 PM   #10
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Hi pat, I'm no expert but here are a few things I have observed after many years of shooting steel targets, mainly with rifles, but some handguns too.

viking is 100% correct, distance to the target is critical for saftey. Unless you are using frangible, (indoor type range ammo).

Gatekeeper brought up a good point also. I've noticed that if the plate is thin enough or soft enough for a jacketed bullet to blow thru, it tends to peel the jacket off and squirt it back toward you. I've seen a steel jacketed 7.62x54r bullet send the jacket back 100 yds with enough force to stick in a mans chest, thru his t-shirt - raised a welt about like a bee sting. The more dense, (harder) steels like AR plate seem to destroy the whole bullet better, avoiding this.

Our group won't shoot steel with a handgun or .22 rifle under 50 yds & 200 yds for high power rifles, but we are real jerks when it comes to safety. We use swinging, weighted plywood frames for pistols in close, like these -




Never tried the knock over silhouette steel targets, too lazy to go reset them.



I've always had access to free steel & a weld shop, downright amazing the crap you can come up with. Good luck with your project, ken

OH, ONE other thing, be VERY careful when shooting .45 ACP ball, I've had that stuff bounce back at me from just about anything, even dirt. When I was in the service we shot tracers out of a grease gun and that darn round would ricochet off trees and everything.



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