Shooting Steel: looking for real world opinions and experiences
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default Shooting Steel: looking for real world opinions and experiences

Hey guys, need your opinions and real life experiences on what to get.

I've been doing a lot more action type shooting, and have been aching to make steel sing. What I really want is some steel for 50 yards shooting with a 16" ar15 using m193 or fmj 55 gr .223. Also I shoot 9mm, 40 s&w, .357 sig, .45 acp and 10mm auto. Is it safe to shoot a swinging angled steel target at 15 yards?

I'd like to hear your personal experiences with steel. Are you using AR500? What thicknesses are you using? What rifle/pistol and ammo are you using? What kind of targets are you using?

Is ar600 worth the price premium?

What angle is sufficient to prevent splash or ricochet?

What thicknesses/distances are good for M855, 62 grain steel core?

Got pics/vids/pron? Plz share. TIA.

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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at our shoot in july we used some steel. had a 12in gong at 50 yards. i believe it was 3/4in. it stopped all our fmj .55gr, and 7.62 123gr. the .223 actually made deeper craters but none went through. we had one ricochet. it was a piece of the copper jacketing came back and hit my brother in the stomach. no cuts, just left a little red mark where it hit. this was after probly 150rnds on target. and was the only one we had that day.

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Wow, 3/4" that's pretty thick! I'm guessing that if your rounds were making craters it was probbably a mild steel not ar500 or ar600. Just a guess tho. Think you can find out? Because if .223 55gr fmjs are cratering 3/4" ar500 @50 yards, i'm going to have to rethink my purchases.

Thank you for sharing JJ!

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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A friend of mine was shooting a piece of a snow plow cutting edge. Its probably 3/4 hardened steel. At 100 yds no craters just splash marks. No ricochets. He was also shooting at 10 yds with 9mm and 45 acp. Not very smart in my opinion.

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Old 08-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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i asked my uncle and am awaiting his reply. i know for a fact it wasnt ar500 or 600. if i recall correctly he said he found it at work while they were doing some sorting, cleaning up of the shop.


he said it was 1/2 inch. and just plain steel. not hardened or anything.

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Old 08-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
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No need for Ar600 steel unless your going to a much larger caliber .50 cal + . We have a couple 11" round 1" plate mild steel that are on a 15deg angle , we shoot everything from .22lr to .30-06 , they do leave craters in the steel but no biggy . They were cheap and cheaper to make since we had the steel given to us as scrap . Also there is nothing like ringing steel at 300 yards . Well it really doesnt ring it but it provides and nice hard hitting sound that is unique to its own. Great investment that will last you a long long time . DO IT !!!!!
Ar500 in 3/8 " should be more than plenty for your needs and 15 yards is not a problem so long as its angled down .

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Old 08-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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My buddys wasnt angled down. Standing straight up ...... it had bad news written on it

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Tikki, let me offer up my limited, yet somewhat (hopefully) helpful experience...

Our set up (1st pic) uses 3/4" mild steel 6" targets hung from 1/2" conduit. They easily handle any handgun caliber (.45 being the most common caliber for us) sans the .44 mag...it WILL handle the .44 magnum, it just puts a dimple/crater in it and we want to make them last as long as possible.

Now richochet...none so far... [knocks on the simulated wood product that is my desk]...but splashbacks are a somewhat common occurrence (say once or twice every range trip). We started out at 35' but are moving back to 50' next time out to minimalize the splashbacks...hopefully... .22's are out for the closer ranges (they're just moving too damn fast to feel safe using them on steel up close) as well as any JHP ammo.

We started out making them ourselves (see bottom row) but found a local steel fab shop to make the round targets for $10 each IIRC...

Now the second pic is our 'gong', 7/8" mild steel, 10"x24" set up at 100 yds (jobsite dumpster diving pays off!! ) Pictured is the craters from the 7.62x54r, makes a good dent but the reverse side is unaffected. Since this was taken, we have violated it with both 55g and 62g .223 and 5.56 fmj ammo with similar results...the crater isn't as wide obviously but the target has taken everything we've thrown at it...got to be coming up on 1K rounds so far...

All in all, the materials were either cheap or free and have had no negative results as far as safety is concerned...

002-3-.jpg   023.jpg  
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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7/8" DAMN that must be heavy!

Am i correct in assuming cratering on a 100 yard target is nothing to really worry about?

I've been thinking of using long 2.5 or 3" carriage bolts to angle targest downward.......

lemme post up a simple pic of what I'm talking about...

excuse my 2 minute ms paint job.....

angled-target.jpg  
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
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This is what I just bought. 1/2" and 3/8" A36 steel plates. In the works on making a little shooting range!!

image-1971919389.jpg



image-3837211812.jpg

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