Bullets for shooting Steel???

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by jvackar, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. jvackar

    jvackar New Member

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    Hello,
    I am a reloader and want to start shooting steel targets. Other than Sinterfire bullets is there another frangible bullet to use on steel? I prefer Hornady XTP bullets but do not know if these would be good for shooting steel?
     
  2. neilage66

    neilage66 New Member

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    Is all lead out of the question?

    I have a scar (not FN SCAR) to prove that FMJ and steel don't mix too well sometimes.
     

  3. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    If the steel targets are set up right, there won't be a risk of ricochet. I shoot my steel targets from as close as 7 feet, and the bullets are deflected into the ground about 2 feet in front of the targets..... FMJ...JHP... and lead. Over thousands of rounds.....

    YMMV
     
  4. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    ive been shooting steel all along. not once have i had a problem. actually every shot has gone straight thru with a nice little hole. granted, ive only been using .223,.308.. they cut thru 1/2 inch steel like paper
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Cooperism

    "For people who are concerned about lead spray from steel targets, we point out that spray is distributed in a circular pattern perpendicular to the angle of impact. It goes up, down and sideways regardless of the aspect of the target. (You can test this with cardboard shrouding if you wish.) Thus, nothing much is accomplished by slanting the target at minor angles. Eventually, of course, you will achieve ricochets, but target display will suffer." - Jeff Cooper 2003

    Steel Challenge
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    We ran tests for the USAF on shooting steel back in 1987 using the same setup as Cane's reference to Jeff Cooper explains.

    The USAF determined that on the range we used, a distance of 15' was the minimum we were allowed to shoot steel with pistol ammo. There was no restriction on what ammo, only the distance and that the target was perpendicular to the ground.
     
  7. jvackar

    jvackar New Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone.
     
  8. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Out of curiosity, does birdshot tend to ricochet more, and more directly, rather than splatter? I've heard someone mention ricochets during shotgun steel matches, but I've shot steel with birdshot and never noticed it.
     
  9. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    Are you talking lead birdshot? I don't have any experience, but I read that entire ActionTargets article and it sounds like the smaller size of the lead birdshot would NOT make it react differently, only speed. As long as the distance is such that the velocity is still over 750 fps, then you're fine.
     
  10. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Ah gotcha. I was just curious since someone mentioned it :) .

    I wonder if the guy's observation was due to the higher volume of lead hitting the target simple resulting in more lead being dispersed on impact? I mean, a 1-1/8oz load is like 4x the lead as a standard 9mm bullet, so it would make sense that there would be more of it splattered around?
     
  11. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    The article even discussed shotgun slugs, which are 1oz or more of concentrated ball-of-fun. They will disperse equally, as well, upon impact. Again, assuming speed and distance are within the range (and distance is more because it impact the velocity)

    A key # was 3000fps maximum. Since a lot of 5.56/.223 rounds live in that speed range, one would have to choose their rounds carefully if they are going to spend $400 for a steel gong target. One wouldn't want to destroy such a fun toy with 3200fps green-tip ammo.
     
  12. Alpha1Victor

    Alpha1Victor New Member

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    Frangible rounds are a wise choice.
     
  13. 70cuda383

    70cuda383 New Member

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    we shot a lot of steel at the matches I went to in Colorado, down at the Pueblo range. in the 3 years of a competition of some sort nearly every weekend (IDPA, IPSC, 3-gun on a rotation--off weekends we went up to the matches in Aurora) LOTS of rounds put on steel. home re-loads, factory stock ammo, etc. none of it seemed to matter, nobody ever took any shrapnel or ricochets.

    that tells me that the type of bullet doesn't really matter.
     
  14. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    More lead+less velocity=more ricochet,like if I was loading for instance a .38 spl i'd go with 110 gr over 158 gr if I was going to be shooting steel up close.
     
  15. culdee

    culdee New Member

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    shrapnel

    70 cuda383: We were shooting steel at our range one day. While two of use were shooting my daughter was 25-30 yards behind us crocuhd down reloading her mags. She yelled out hey guys I've been hit! Well that gets your attention in a hurry. Luckily she had kept her shooting glasses on because the bit of copper 9mm jacket hit her in the cheek bone just below the rim of her glases. So don't think that it doesn't matter, and always keep your glasses on as long as lead is going down range. Also at a tactical carbine class at Blackwater several of us received hits from small bits of jacket when we got in too close with jacketed bullets. We switched from steel to paper, unless you had frangible rounds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  16. Alpha1Victor

    Alpha1Victor New Member

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    Who was your instructor at the blackwater class?

    Signing out, Alpha1victor.
     
  17. culdee

    culdee New Member

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    we had a two instructors, both have moved on. why do you ask?