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Old June 14, 2010, 07:18 PM   #1
erkki4
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Trying to make a steel target

Hi. My son and i shoot, among other things, a .303 British sporterized Lee Enfield. He recently started reloading ammunition for the rifle, and we decided to add a couple of targets--100 yards and 200 yards--to our personal setup to see how he's been doing. We are thinking of making swing-style targets that will react when they are hit, but swing back into place relatively quickly. We want these targets to last a while. The small amount of research we've done leads to using 500 Brinell steel. I feel that 1/2 inch cold rolled steel would be cheaper and just as effective. any suggestions?

Also, we are concerned about the splatter, if you will, of the fragmenting rounds. should it be something to worry about when the target is 100 yards into a field? Thirdly, could such a target be of use if we step up to a more powerful caliber, such as .223 Remington?

thank you in advance.
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Old June 14, 2010, 07:42 PM   #2
slammedsi
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I will try and answer at least one of your questions to the best of my knowledge.

I made a target out of half inch plate. unknown what kinda of steel it truly is. at 200 yards a FMJ 223 almost punches holes through it. a FMJ 7.62x54 will blow right through it all day long.

The newest targets ive made are made of 3/4 cold roll. are are 2" x 4 x 3/4 i have yet to make a hole. and are withstanding rounds from a fmj 308 rounds at less then 200 yards.
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Old June 15, 2010, 12:30 AM   #3
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Splatter isn't an issue with the target a good distance downrange, and the concern about steel hardness is only partially an issue of preventing holes in the target.

If you shoot steel that is too soft or shoot steel with a load that's too heavy for the steel you can crater the target. Cratering the target makes small depressions or craters in the steel. If you shoot a cratered target, a bullet hitting one of the craters can be reflected back to the shooter.

Safe steel targets don't crater when shot with the caliber(s) they are designed for.
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Old June 15, 2010, 09:50 AM   #4
jmorris
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1/2" "regular" steel won't last long at all. Handgunsports.com has good deals on 3/8" AR500 and even offers stands too. I have used up to 300 win mag on 3/8" AR500, at 100 yards not even a dent.
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Old June 25, 2010, 09:17 PM   #5
petemo
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cratered targets

Reflecting bullets 200 yards and hitting the shooter.
??????????????????
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Old June 25, 2010, 09:40 PM   #6
Zak Smith
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Use 5/8" AR500 armor plate for centerfire rifle targets.
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Old June 25, 2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Reflecting bullets 200 yards and hitting the shooter.
I can't confirm the distance, but several sources indicate that the target was at least 100 yards away.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/110475...s_guy_in_head/

http://www.actiontarget.com/pdf/pt_S...urce_Guide.pdf
Page 8, Rule 11

https://www.saluteproducts.com/faq.php
A flat, uniform surface helps predict and protect against a bullet's splatter pattern. If the steel is damaged or if anything else is in the way, all bets are off.

http://www.gongshot.com/pages/Safety...l-targets.html
Do not use targets that have been damaged, cratered or deformed in any way, as they increase the chance of ricochet.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=243872
You want AR400 or AR500 steel anything less is going to crater and cause ricochets.

http://www.hartfordgunclub.com/clubp...enuoptID=27795
Steel Plate Targets: For rifles, no steel core, jacketed bullets can be used since higher velocities/jacketed bullets will damage the plates and craters promote a dangerous ricochet hazard.
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Old June 28, 2010, 09:52 AM   #8
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Here's what I've been shooting on for over 5 years. This is some beat up old AR450 with a lot of 5.56 shot at it. Cheap, Reactive, and Field repairable with wire hangers.

I have several of these to scatter on the range. The fold up great. I keep the opposite side smooth for pistol shooting at closer ranges.

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Old June 28, 2010, 10:31 AM   #9
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Centerfire rifle ammunition will just eat up metal targets. Even cast bullets in a rifle will create pits.

A bud of mine ran a range in El Paso. He was able to get Armored Personnel carrier hatches for the rifle shooters. He said that those just got shot up by the rifle shooters, that there was nothing that would not Swiss cheese in short order 300 yards or closer.

His solution was to buy engine blocks. They were cheap and disposable.
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Old June 28, 2010, 10:41 AM   #10
jmorris
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Quote:
His solution was to buy engine blocks. They were cheap and disposable.
Never shoot cast iron. If you think that a bullet ricocheting back is a bad thing how about hundreds of hunks of iron spraying in every direction. 3/8” ar500 holds up fine to non ap rounds up to 300 mag the 5/8” Zak suggests should be good for a lot more.
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Old June 30, 2010, 12:03 PM   #11
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Not to be a complete moron, which I often am, but where do you get the more specialized steel?
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Old June 30, 2010, 01:30 PM   #12
Zak Smith
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Any local steel shop or machine shop should be able to order it.

With regard to what 5/8 AR500 can "take": velocity is the killer of steel, not caliber. M193 shot from a 20" rifle at 25 yards will put very small approx 1mm pit marks in the surface of AR500 steel. If you have multiple hits in the exact same spot over and over eventually it will work harden, crack, and a small "plug" will be pushed through, leaving about a .30-.35 "caliber" hole through the steel. But this is at extreme close range with impact velocities around 3100+ fps.

With a mounting system such as the one I pictured, that has some "give", 5/8" AR500 can withstand virtually anything (other than large caliber A.P.) including .50BMG, .338LM, etc. The lower the impact velocities, the less potential damage to the steel, though I have never seen damage to AR500 incurred with anything other than extremely fast rounds (e.g. M193) at ranges closer than 100 yards.

-z
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Old June 30, 2010, 01:31 PM   #13
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Not to be a complete moron, which I often am, but where do you get the more specialized steel?
You can get pre cut targets from Wideners.com. I think they're featured on their main web page.

I get my pieces free from a brother-in-law who works at a rock crushing plant. They use a lot of AR450 abrasion plate. It's not as tough as AR500, but if it's free, who cares?

And then there's various steel target companies out there.
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Old July 1, 2010, 11:47 AM   #14
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I'll add for those constructing their own target: welding on them will degrade the hardness of the heat affected area.
The fellow that I sometimes buy AR500 plates from in NY has all of his water/abrasive cut,and assembles them to frames using regular grade 3/5/8 bolts that are easily replaceable if hit.
If building a frame, plan to make the plate removable via a similar method (hanging from a rope/chain or a bolt) and buy plate with holes already cut/drilled.

Buying a plate that is pre-drilled and then welding up a frame that can accept the plate is a good cost compromise for a do-it-yourselfer.
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Old July 2, 2010, 09:19 AM   #15
jmorris
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Quote:
Not to be a complete moron, which I often am, but where do you get the more specialized steel?
Handgunsports.com
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Old July 2, 2010, 09:28 AM   #16
teeroux
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We make them out ot of used high pressure blind flanges. They are 2in+ thick and don't move around that much when hit. Sad part is we just replaced them all at the range and sure enough they didn't last a week without holes. Not cause they don't hold up but there is one guy at the club with a Barret and he decided to blow holes in em. Again.
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Old July 2, 2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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Not cause they don't hold up but there is one guy at the club with a Barret and he decided to blow holes in em. Again.
If he can afford to replace them then why complain about it?

If he can't afford to replace them/won't replace them then why is he still shooting at the club?
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:12 PM   #18
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http://bobcatsteel.com/

check this guy out;

http://bobcatsteel.com/
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:53 AM   #19
LarryFlew
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...t=steel+target

more info in this thread
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:12 PM   #20
Bill DeShivs
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223 more powerful than .303 Brit? I doubt it. Faster, maybe-but not more powerful.
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Old July 19, 2010, 01:42 PM   #21
demigod
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Here's a still taken from a video I shot Saturday.

M855 fired on one of my steel targets.

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