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Old September 26, 2010, 11:34 AM   #1
s2thalayer
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metal target questions

Im building my own range at my house, for many many reasons. One being the local range here in Danville, VA refuses to allow any quicker succession than a double tap. I shoot primarily an M4 and an AK47...so i like to shoot rapid every now and then, and 3 shot bursts (What the M4 was built to do). The range officer gets all over me for even a 3 shot burst. i feel like if im going to pay money to be there, thats ridiculous. so ive got a perfect spot on my land to make a range and im going to do it.

i already built wooden stands for targets, however, i prefer long range shooting, and i dont want to have to walk to the targets to know if its a hit. This is the main reason i went to the range in town, they have metal targets, and i hear the ping when i hit them. I cant find these targets anywhere. theyre about the size of a man, from torso up. If anyone could tell me where to find them, id appreciate it.

Also, i thought if i cant find them...theyre pretty simple, why cant i just make my own...but i was worried about type of metal used and so on. Also ricochets are a huge worry of mine. i live on a farm, the area behind the targets is a huge hill, so not worried about that, however somewhere above that hill are houses, a good ways back, but theyre there. also for my safety, how dangerous are metal targets as far as ricochets are concerned?

any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Old September 26, 2010, 03:27 PM   #2
Rifleman1776
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Metal targets can be safe. There are many ranges that use them. But certain precautions must be taken. For you, using a larger target that is hanging you should have little concern except getting the steel and having them cut out. Do some web searching for steel recommendations. I used to manufacture metallic silhouette targets and used T1A a steel used in the mining industry.
To hang your targets use chain welded to the top back of the targets. This will allow the target to swing back and your bullet, or fragments to deflect downwards. If you weld near the center of the target it will not swing as well and will deflect the bullet or fragments almost straight back towards the shooter.
However, from what you describe, having houses behind your proposed targets, even if at a distance and on a hill is, in my non-legal opinion, asking for trouble.
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Old September 26, 2010, 03:40 PM   #3
s2thalayer
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well as far as the hill. i think i misrepresented it. Its about 75 yards of a hill, fairly steep, thick woods. ive only been through there once, tracking a deer...but i estimate 200 yards of thick woods before you see a house.

your idea sounds pretty good, but what i was talking about is even simpler, they just sit on the ground. but if i cant get any information on what im looking for, or if the ricochets are safe, ill definitely go for your idea.
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Old September 26, 2010, 06:00 PM   #4
g.willikers
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Just do a web search for "steel targets" and the screen will fill with places to buy them.
Steel for rifles have to be very good quality, much better than for handguns.
If not, they will shoot through, bend, dimple and cause all manner of ricochets.
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Old September 26, 2010, 06:34 PM   #5
s2thalayer
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yeah, tried that. but it seems all i can find are spinners.

you know what, im going to change my question. If i wanted to make a steel target myself or contact the local welding shop, how thick would it need to be, what grade, and any specifications for ricochets?

Last edited by s2thalayer; September 26, 2010 at 06:39 PM.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:20 PM   #6
oldkim
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hmm... your google skills need sharpening....

But anyways....

Try these folks.

https://www.saluteproducts.com/

They also have a good FAQ section - typically you are looking for AR500 or AR 550 with about 1/2 to 3/4 or even 1 inch thickness for rifles (depending on caliber).

For pistol: AR 400 or AR 450 with about 3/8 to 1/2 inch

Safety
Rifles are recommended at least 100 yards distance
Pistols are recommended at least 10 yards

You can certainly use frangible ammo and depending on style of target you might get closer.
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Old September 28, 2010, 08:22 AM   #7
s2thalayer
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alright! exactly what i was looking for! thanks a lot
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Old September 28, 2010, 08:34 AM   #8
jmorris
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http://handgunsports.com looks to be about 1/2 price compaired to the link above. Just make sure you get AR500 for rifle.
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Old September 28, 2010, 09:07 AM   #9
aarondhgraham
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Here is an outfit that advertises in the SASS newspaper,,,
I personally don't know anything about the outfit,,,
But I thought I would pass the link to you.

His "Sniper" target might be what you are looking for.

Handlebar Doc targets

.
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Old September 28, 2010, 09:57 PM   #10
oldkim
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Not to say anything negative...

The SASS target for "Sniper" is AR500 but it looks rather thin... no description of how thick.

Remember or know SASS is for "cowboy" loads - meaning not heavy hunting loads for shotgun or rifle or even pistol. So they are not that super thick.

Depending on what caliber you will need at least 1/2 or thicker for 30-06 or heavier. AR500 to AR550.

But with that said.... looking at the design of the one listed on the above link - it's chained so that once the target is hit - it can absorb some of the impact. So for mid to light rifle it should be just fine.


Now for an Example:
For .50BMG you need AR550 with at least 1 inch for 200 yards or more if you want to keep it in somewhat of a good shape - granted also what you are hitting it with too (what type of bullet).
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Last edited by oldkim; September 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old September 28, 2010, 11:03 PM   #11
s2thalayer
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the calibers hitting this round will be 5.56, 7.62x39, .308, and a very small amount of 7.62x54's. all rounds will be fired from 100 yards or farther. my ideal situation is to just find enough info to make a target. i work for a construction company and have some contacts in the welding industry that could get me a target much easier than buying it. if i have to buy it, i will. but a steel square of scrap will do me fine. as long as i can aim at the center and hear a ping, im good.

so what i have so far is AR500, 1/2 inch, dont shoot within 100.

Lets say i dont use AR, or i shoot within 100 yards, what could happen? Is a ricochet seriously a problem at 50 yards? or are these specifications mostly to save the target from being damaged?

We shoot at steel targets at the local range (which is worn out) and the targets have more than a few holes in them. they look about 3/4 inch thick steel...but holes completely penetrating. we've shot within 50 yards and never seen or heard a ricochet before, and the targets have actually been just leaning on something...so theyre angled up. not trying to disprove anything, im just making sure no one is going to get hurt shooting at my place, while spending the minimal amount of cash (ive got a rifle addiction to take care of here!)
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Old September 29, 2010, 12:09 AM   #12
oldkim
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So for safety....

Yes, the recommendations are really for safety and overall keeping the steel plate in practical good use. Any closer and the force of the impact will eventually make the smooth flat surface become dented and weakened to the point that ricochets become more likely or you just plainly punch through them.

Ricochet: well overtime the plate will become cratered and you're just gambling after that.... is this a problem? Only if it hits you or someone else.

The 5.56 should not be a problem - the higher calibers will become a problem depending on distance and what type of round (steel core, "AP" etc).

Do know that AR grade steel is very difficult to cut by torch as the heat weakens the metal around the edges. Good luck but since this is a home range...

Now for your use - you could just use thick scrap metal and just replace. Good luck to you.
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Old October 1, 2010, 09:53 AM   #13
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Good info oldkim, thanks!!

Steve
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Old October 1, 2010, 03:05 PM   #14
jmorris
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Quote:
Lets say i dont use AR, or i shoot within 100 yards, what could happen?
If you don’t use AR500 or better they surface will quickly become cratered. This makes little “ramps” for particles of subsequent shots to turn around and return to where they came from. Here is an extreme example with 1” thick mild steel.





Inside 100 yards you just run a greater risk of being hit with splatter, even with flat AR500 plates.

3/8” thick AR500 works fine up to 300 win mag, using non AP bullets.
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Old October 5, 2010, 01:22 PM   #15
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I've shot this AR450 plate for over 5 years. I've put thousands and thousands of rounds of .223/5.56 on it as close as 50 yards. Never a problem.

We put one out at 100 yards too. 7.62 and .308 are not a problem as they're slow moving bullets compared to 5.56. A .308 looks like a pistol splatter with no pocking on these gongs. 5.56 is the crater maker due to the much higher velocity.

I can flip it around and use the smooth side for pistol shooting at 10 yards or whatever.

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Old October 9, 2010, 07:59 PM   #16
Joe Mamma
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Here are 2 more good sources for steel targets to consider:

The Metal Man:
http://www.themetalman.com/targ_swinger.html
(the 3/8" 500 Brinell can easily take long term 5.56 NATO and 7.62x39 hits)

GT Targets:
http://www.gttargets.com/targetsandbases.htm

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Old October 10, 2010, 08:18 AM   #17
Jo6pak
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[QUOTE+"demigod"]I can flip it around and use the smooth side for pistol shooting at 10 yards or whatever.
[/QUOTE]

10 yards? at steel? You're a braver man than I.
I've had fragments hit the shooting bench when shooting 40cal at a steel plate at 30 yards.
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Old October 11, 2010, 09:08 AM   #18
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Wow. I've heard fragments land on the metal shade cover in classes. Right after everyone shoots a drill and then it gets quiet.... you can hear little pieces trinkling on the roof.

But I've never had any issues with the gongs I run. I've put 10s of thousands of rounds on these things over the years.
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Old January 22, 2011, 05:42 PM   #19
jcvibby
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AR500 steel is the only way to go. I have shot at AR500 for a while know an the bullets only scratch of the paint on the surface. A few peices should last the better part of a lifetime.
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