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Old October 3, 2011, 08:44 AM   #1
woody wood
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help with safety of using steel targets.

i just got some steel targets from customesteeltargets.com
- 5 and 7 inch rounds that hangs from chains-states handgun non magnum(9,40,45) and is about 1/2 in thick.

also got two ar500 plates-6 and8 inch with 1/2 inch squate holes at top.
(they state to use long bolts so that target hang at an angle down)

need advice how to use and hang. rounds can be used and what not to use.

im guessing 50 yard is to close so would use the 100 yard?

would like to use .22lr rifle, .223(5.56),7.62x39,5.45x39,and 7.62x54
any of thses to watch out for or not use?

any advice would help-you only get one chance for safety-so dont knock me.
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Old October 3, 2011, 11:42 AM   #2
Poodleshooter
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They simply need to be allowed to swing freely. Chains will work fine. A stand made of 2x4s or 4x4s with eyebolts and chains would work well to hang the targets.

Don't use handguns much closer than 20-25yds for ricochet safety and for prevention of dimpling on the target.

50yd is too close for rifle targets using bottlenecked rounds; I'd say 100yd minimum.

The .223 and the 5.45 will likely be the most likely to heavily dimple the target. Velocity,small diameter and a hardened core are what really craters steel targets. I recommend against using 30-06 M2 black tip on your steel.
If you're using mild steel core (unlikely unless you have "real" surplus combloc ammo from before the mid 90s), try it at 200-300yds first before shooting at 100yds. Steel jackets found on current imported ammo aren't a problem, except in terms of the possible fire hazard they create during dry conditions. Ditto for tracers.
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Old October 4, 2011, 02:33 PM   #3
woody wood
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thanks poodle--
my range uses steel post aboyt 30 inches apart with bolts on backside to hook chicken fencing on to. than we use clothes pins to hold paper targets to.
i will just remove fencing and hang from bolts.

any others with advise?
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Old October 4, 2011, 03:07 PM   #4
BarryLee
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Not an expert here, but I have heard that frangible ammunition can be safely used for shooting steel targets at close range.
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Last edited by BarryLee; October 4, 2011 at 06:28 PM.
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Old October 4, 2011, 05:31 PM   #5
Shotgun693
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I do Cowboy Action Shooting. We shoot steel targets as close as 4 yards. Using a handgun, if you shoot fairly soft lead bullets under 1000 fps and set the target so that the top leans towards you (at least 80 degrees using the ground as a base), then you shouldn't have any trouble with the pistol. Don't shoot jacketed bullets or a high powered rifle at your pistol targets. The dimples they make will bounce bullets or pieces of bullets back at you.
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Old October 4, 2011, 08:47 PM   #6
Kevin Rohrer
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Use lead bullets only. Keep the fps below 1400. Wear eye protection as I saw a guy get a cut on his nose from a ricochet, and he was standing behind thus shooter at least 25-yards away from the steel.
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Old October 5, 2011, 07:46 AM   #7
wild willy
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I use 2x2 1/4 angle whatever lenght you need and cable clamps.by changing where you drill the holes you can get the target to hang at any angle you want.Use hard bolts and lock nuts.Soft bolts you will pop the heads off.The rifle calibers you listed will dimple and pock mark your targets.I"am new to picture posting sorry about the size
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Old October 5, 2011, 07:55 AM   #8
Rifleman1776
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I used to manufacture steel targets and agree with the comments by poodleshooter.
I disagree with the comments about slow moving lead bullets. They are the most likely to richochet.
Free swinging and down angled targets will usually deflect detrius downwards but anything under 25 yards is very risky.
I know cowboy shooters use short ranges but that doesn't mean it isn't still "very risky". It is.
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Old October 5, 2011, 08:00 AM   #9
ammorelds
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i shoot 22,9,40,45 jacketed and lead from 25 feet....no problems yet but when my buddy shot his ar15 from 25 yard is a mistake that we will never make again...he was on the right of me and another friend on the left when he shot they both got hit by shrapnel i got out free and clear....now he just shoots the bowling pins we setup
2011-09-04_15-51-50_239.jpg
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Old October 5, 2011, 11:21 AM   #10
woody wood
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25 yard seems close- and i was thinking 50 might be to close.
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Old October 6, 2011, 01:19 PM   #11
woody wood
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i see someone has posted about steel targets and ricochets-thats why im asking questions.
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