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Old April 17, 2010, 08:47 PM   #1
GreySmoke
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Shooting Steel....

I joined an outdoor club recently and they have a steel range. Up till now I've only shot paper indoors. OMG I can believe how much fun shooting steel is. I had my RIA Tactical with a Ciener 22lr conversion upper. Shot about 200 .22lr rounds with that. Then I took out my Tanfoglio TA90 9mm and shot another 100rnds with that. I followed that with 200rds for .40S&W in my Beretta PX4. I ended my session with 300 Rds thru my STI 9mm Spartan 1911. They have 8" and 11" rounds at varied heights, 24" and 36" ground poppers, two resetable rows of 6 11" plates at 4' high. They also have raised steel bins where you can stand up bowling pins. Shot most from the 15yrd line with some from the 10yd line. I was most accurate with the .22lr and the STI Spartan 9mm both 1911 imagine that. This is bad - real bad I am so hooked my ammo bill is bound to increase...
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Old April 17, 2010, 09:51 PM   #2
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Congrats on your "new addiction."

See if there are any steel challenge shoots in your area. "Ringing the bell" is a lot of fun.
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Old April 19, 2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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Buddy of mine spent about $200 on a sheet of 5/8 steel, cut it up into 20" squares. 5 of these targets set up at various distances makes a great CAS range, handgun range, or rimfire rifle range if you back up a ways. A quick squirt from a can of spray paint once in a while gives you a mint target that will show hits clearly.
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Old April 19, 2010, 05:50 PM   #4
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alot of people that have not tryed it, do not get it.
paper is fine for sighting in and scoring groups, after that it gets boring real quick.
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Old April 22, 2010, 09:18 PM   #5
Josh Ward
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Quote:
See if there are any steel challenge shoots in your area. "Ringing the bell" is a lot of fun.
+1 Steel Challange is a blast !!!
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Old April 24, 2010, 06:14 AM   #6
Lordofbarbeque
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Definitely agree with shooting the steel plates, especially for pistols. It is alot more fun. However, it also shows you the transfer of energy difference between different ammo ( pistol vs shotgun, .380 vs .45, etc. ) IMHO You will be surprised at the lack of knockdown power from your pistol.
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:54 PM   #7
rodney1968
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I have wanted to shoot some steel targets for a long time but did not know
what the sfe distances are? and what type of ammo,like leadnose only or if you could use fmj if the the steel is angled down?
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:39 PM   #8
Vt.birdhunter
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safe distances are? and what type of ammo,like leadnose only or if you could use fmj if the the steel is angled down?
CAS shoots as close as 7 yards at steel, Ive seen folks shoot a lot closer with no harm, but Id say its pushing it closer than that. The downwards directed angle is the key with any ammo used. With a very subtle angle, lead round nose bullets and wad-cutters pancake and fall nearly vertically, straight down. Jacket-less, lead ammo is generally considered safe.

FMJ, even semi-jacketed bullets can potentially separate and come back towards the shooter, avoid them when shooting steel.
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:41 PM   #9
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thank you
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Old April 25, 2010, 01:38 AM   #10
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safe distances...

The textbook safe distance to shooting steel is 30 ft (10 yards) with a pistol (AR500 grade steel).

Now if you are talking about rifles then it's 100 yards.

So, you'll find clubs that will allow closer. There are target designs that will be shot at angle which would reduce and if using frangible ammo will also reduce the distances.

Cowboys shoot closer since they are using lead and also lower loads.

Each club may have their own but overall for just gravity type plates it's 30 feet.
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Old April 25, 2010, 07:40 AM   #11
rodney1968
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when shooting at rifle ranges do you still use lead nose bullets?
I guess I would have to start reloading for my ar-15 all I can find for it are fmj,hp or jacketed soft point.
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Old April 25, 2010, 10:49 AM   #12
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Just a NOTE: Maybe related, maybe not.

Day before yesterday, I desided to pop a few rounds. ( I have steel targets set out from 25 to 300 yards, just because I'm too lazy to set out paper targets). Anyway for kicks, my first round was out of my pocket pistol, (642 w/cast lead SWCs) was fired at 15 yards.

I throw the gun up, look down the sights and fired, and WAM, back comes a chunk of lead which imbeds itself in the bottom part of my glasses. I took the glasses off and notice the little piece of lead was HOT.

I mean that sucker came stright back as if it was sighted along my sight radius.

One should always wear shooting glasses BUT NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER, EVER shoot steel without eye protection. I am convinced had I not had the glasses on, I would have lost an eye.
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Old April 27, 2010, 05:47 AM   #13
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when shooting at rifle ranges do you still use lead nose bullets?
I guess I would have to start reloading for my ar-15 all I can find for it are fmj,hp or jacketed soft point.
It takes some serious steel to stop .223 and other rifle rounds. I only shoot steel I own, or a friends with pistols and rimfires. I dont remember trying a .223 on 5/8, but 7.62X39 FMJ rounds whiz through leaving a perfectly "melted" looking hole. Same piece of steel will stop .357's and .41 mags all day without a dent.

If your range allows rifle fire on their steels plates, ask them what an appropriate and safe load is. Period, exclamation mark.
Follow your ranges rules regardless of other advice (assuming its safe of course)
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Old April 28, 2010, 01:37 PM   #14
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I shoot steel at my local range with my .308 168 grain FMJ. It sends shrapnel everywhere but the steel is fine. it dents it up and makes it SHARP! You have to carry it from the stand but it takes a beating.... I just have to move the steel slightly closer than everyone elses paper targets as a courtesy so I dont slice em up....

They are angled at the ground and it kicks up a lot of dust when the bullet fragments shoot into the ground.
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Old May 1, 2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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Make very sure that steel targets are slightly angled and you KNOW where the richochet is going to go. I have seen a shooter hit when a bullet came straight back into his face (240 gr. .44 Spl. on a moving swinger, he survived). Steel shooting is perfectly safe if you have absolute control over the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection. The laws of physics do not tolerate any casual attitudes regarding safety. If shooting at a swinging plate do not shoot it again until it stops swinging. They can bat a bullet right back to you. Jacketed bullets can separate and the jacket can become a miniature flying buzzsaw and they don't travel in a straight line. Everyone in the area MUST wear eye protection. I love shooting steel, it is great fun but you must be careful and consider what can happen. As a range officer who has worked many steel matches I have been hit and seen others hit with pieces of flying lead. Most of the time it will just leave a nasty welt, but it can get you an expensive ride in an ambulance and a free interview with the local police.

Last edited by drail; May 1, 2010 at 07:38 PM.
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Old May 1, 2010, 08:56 PM   #16
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All of the steel on our range are falling plates or poppers set to fall with a lite strike. Most will fall with a .22 strike. They disapate a lot of the energy quickly but there is always a chance of fragments coming back at ya I guess...
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Old May 2, 2010, 02:39 PM   #17
tet4
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How about dueling trees? How safe are they? They look like a LOT of fun, but how are the ricochets handled with those?
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Old May 3, 2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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Shooting steel is Blast!!

Shooting steel is Blast!!
I have five 1/2" plates that I welded chains to the back of.
Pistol rounds of all calibers seem to just splatter without leaving the smallest dent.


I can however tell you it is not a good idea to shoot steel core rifle ammunition at them.
Quote:
but it can get you an expensive ride in an ambulance and a free interview with the local police.
You're not kidding.
And just for the record, I'm not the one who did the shooting (of said ammo), or the one who got the ride to the hospital - but I did have to deal with a local sheriff's dept, as well as had two of my nice plates turned into Swiss cheese
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Old May 3, 2010, 06:30 PM   #19
m&p45acp10+1
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I have a love/hate relationship with the steel knockdown targets at the range that I ahave a membership with. I love knocking them down. With my .41 mag Ruger Blackhawk, using Trail Boss loads I can do it all day long. I hate running out of ammo. Also I usualy bring a pry bar with me. After people shoot with it and knock down so many steels, I have to pry it loose.
Goood thing is I load my own, and cast my own lead, so I can shoot a lot without breaking the bank.
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:57 PM   #20
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AR500 plate will easily stop M855 ammo. In fact, M855 pocks the plate LESS than M193 at 100 yards or closer.

I did a test of M855 and M193 out of a 20" AR15 once. I shot AR450 plate at about 50 yards. The pock marks on the plate were roughly 30-40% deeper with the M193. M193 is moving about 200 fps faster.

As the knowledgeable Steel Target makers will tell you.... VELOCITY does the damage.
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Old May 25, 2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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3/8" AR500 will do the trick for everything up to 300 win mag if you put it out at 100 yards and beyond. For reseting the target I built this device.





If you want a real fun steel target for pistol shootin I built this one, thats a blast (pun intended).




They are both close copies of other targets I have seen in the past.
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