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Old 03-21-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Default Steel Targets & AR15's Don't Mix

At least in my experience so far they don't.

We built a 2'X2' 1/2" thick steel swinging plate target awhile ago. It works great with pistols (I was hitting it 13 out of 17 shots from 75 yards with my Glock 27 sub-compact). My next door neighbor came over to try out his new AR build at my range a week or so ago (see this thread http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f66/deputies-showed-up-59960/) and we shot the steel target for a few rounds before inspecting it (I was using Hornady 55 gr FMJ's in reloads, my buddy was using Tula factory loads in 7.62x39- yeah, I know, AK rounds in an AR is just wrong, but its his gun...)

All of the rounds penetrated about half way through the steel plate leaving a huge crater. We stopped using it as a target immediately. Today we finally got around to hauling it up to the shop and my 14 year-old son welded the craters up with the MIG welder and ground them flat to repair it. Took some before and after pics of it (on the welding bench).

dsc_1027.jpg   dsc_1028.jpg   dsc_1029.jpg  
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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For high-powered rifle rounds, you need to use hardened steel.

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
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Well now you tell me!

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Old 03-22-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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Shootsteel.com. You can get some Ar 500 series steel plates for fairly cheap. The other stuff should only be used for rimfire/ pistol rounds. Like you I found out through trial and error. Steel sure is gratifying to shoot though!

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Old 03-22-2012, 02:05 AM   #5
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Ar500 minimum and even then you want at least 50 yards

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Old 03-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #6
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Why did you repair it? That's some quality red neck garage art!

Tack

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Old 03-22-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tackleberry1 View Post
Why did you repair it? That's some quality red neck garage art!

Tack
Yeah, maybe so, but I am more interested in shooting it some more with the low velocity stuff. We made another 6" square target out of some 1/2 inch. The .17 HMR will put a good ding in that at 50 yards. We don't shoot the .17 at it anymore.

I figure we can repair the targets as needed and the will last for a long time as long as we don't shoot high velocity at it.

Besides, I have done much better "art" than that. Just look at my avatar.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
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I might try shooting another smaller piece (1/2"x5"x6") I have and use some of the AP rounds.

Do you think that might fully penetrate?

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Old 03-22-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
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Even 1/2 abrasion resistant plate doesn't hold up to hot centre fire .30 cal up under 200 metres. I'm constantly plug welding the holes(which returns the steel to behave like mild steel). Military surplus metal cored ammo ammo will make Swiss cheese out of your plates or give you bounce backs. Use copper and lead only on gongs.

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Old 03-22-2012, 04:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I might try shooting another smaller piece (1/2"x5"x6") I have and use some of the AP rounds.

Do you think that might fully penetrate?
I thing it might, I've never shot 2" steel so you'll need to let me know. I do know that it goes through steel engineer stakes like a hot knife through butter but those are only 1/4"

Tack
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