What's considered too close for shooting steel targets?

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by Hectocotylus, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Hectocotylus

    Hectocotylus New Member

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    How close is too close to steel to stand while shooting? I had my target a couple feet above the ground and I could see on the gravel where all the rounds were splattering to and that was only a foot in front of the target. I am just plinking with a .22
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  2. jordan89

    jordan89 New Member

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  3. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

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    Nice article, I thought about steel but have decided against it.
    I use the plastic lids on jars, cans, and containers for targets.
    There was a youtube on a guy shooting a rifle at steel where the bullet came right back at him.
    I have had BBs return and hit me numerous times.
    Shooting safe is smart shooting.
     
  4. Hectocotylus

    Hectocotylus New Member

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    Good article. The steel I am using is perfectly flat with no dings or dents. I have one piece for trying out bigger calibers to see what it will do. I have tried to attach a picture showing the splashes of lead they look very cool I think
     

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  5. Sonic82

    Sonic82 New Member

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    ,50 caliber...is a whole different story.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc[/ame]
     
  6. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Isn't that a disc? Those are dish shaped and curved aren't they? Some time ago I tried using a curved dozer blade as a backstop 9.22 long rifle) and got a lot of shrapnel coming back at the bench for the few rounds we fired (you could hear it flying past). I have no reason to believe it was anything that would seriously injure us but we stopped using it.

    More recently we made a couple of gong targets out of flat steel plates (1/2" and 5/8 inch thick steel plate) hanging from a frame by chains. The first one is 6"X5", my son tested it out at 50 yards and 100 yards shooting CCI 20 grain FMJ .17 HMR out of a Savage Model 93R17FV. He got cratering in the target on all shots at both distances. The deepest craters are about 1/16th" deep and 1/4" wide. We will be welding the craters up and grinding them flat again in the next few days. We will not be shooting the .17 HMR at steel any more in the future (whole lot of energy in that little rascal!).

    We did shoot FMJ and some old HD hollowpoints in .40S&W and cast lead .38 Special (or was it .357 mag?) both of which did not mar the steel surface in the slightest at 30 yards.

    We did not have any fallout at the bench from any of the rounds fired.

    This is a picture of the target before it was tested.
     

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  7. 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
     
  8. Flint Rock

    Flint Rock New Member

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    I have found that steel targets and bullets should not be mixed. Yes I know you place them at "X" distance and at "Y" angle and everything will be fine. Right? Wrong. Bullets don't always do what we think they are suppose to do after they hit steel, and I have an ugly scar to remind me of that. A paper target suits me just fine, and it is all I will allow one of my students to shoot at. Steel can be fun, but it is a risk I choose not to take.
     
  9. shadyshooter

    shadyshooter New Member

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    I have discovered that a slight angle at the lower end leading away from the firing point stops all bounce back. use about 5% minimum this will keep all the shrapnel going down not back
     
  10. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    My steel targets have the chain welded to one side so they are at an angle, but I don't know if that directs the shrapnel down or not. I would have to do some testing with paper shrouds to find out.
     
  11. scott_gen

    scott_gen New Member

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  12. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    While the video is scary and impressive it leaves many questions. Like, what did the target look like? Was it somehow the "perfect storm" target that tossed it back up-range? I would love to know what happened simply so that I do not make the same mistake in building my targets, because that is probaly what it was. A mistake in target design, or perhaps using the wrong type of projectile. I could be wrong though.
     
  13. Hectocotylus

    Hectocotylus New Member

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    Yes it is a disc. We were shooting at the side curved away from us but I shot at the other side when it spun around from a couple shots. We could see the shrapnel hitting all around straight down on the gravel
     
  14. Sonic82

    Sonic82 New Member

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    I have no clue as to what those guys were up to. Looks like they were just taking an impromptu video. Their reactions all seem genuine. If it were staged I would think there would be contrived excitement type reactions....they all seem a littlle stunned.
     
  15. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I don't really doubt the authenticity of the video, I would like to know more about why it happened.
     
  16. mudpupp

    mudpupp New Member

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    Frangeibles : nuff said
     
  17. PrinC

    PrinC New Member

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    I simply follow the established rules in IPSC that a minimum distance of 8m be used for shooting steel.
     
  18. triggerjob

    triggerjob New Member

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    I was hit with a ricochett from a 45 using ball ammo shooting against a tree. It didnt penetrate, but it left a bruise. I still have the bullit. To this day, I wonder how that tree shot me back, but I learned my lesson No more trees.
    As for steel, I shot the hell out of a 3/4 piece of scrapr at about 100 yards with a 223, and the rounds just pop. A 300 win mag on the same target blew a hole through the size of a quarter.
     
  19. Longrange

    Longrange New Member

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    I have 2 steel plates 1/2 in thick cut in 6x6 squares, both hung on shepherd hooks with the hole drilled in the steel allowing it to swing when hit. At 25 feet with a .22, 38 sp, 9mm and .40 s&w we have not had anything coming back at us. I would not shoot steel that is static mounted, in my experience the steel target needs to be able to move when hit, even a .22 will slightly move a steel plate.