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Old October 6, 2011, 04:25 PM   #26
hartlock
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I had a buddy of mine, fellow IHMSA handgun shooter and
we were in Ft. Stockton, Texas at state championship match
and he was taking "sighters" on chickens, at 50 meters. They
had the chickens welded to some car coil springs, and they
didnt give very much. The guy next to him was shootin a
.44 mag and the bullet came back and hit my buddy in the
testicles! Whoa! Well, by the end of the day, everyone
there knew his name. He was really embarrassed by it and
took alot of good natured ribbing!
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Old October 6, 2011, 07:02 PM   #27
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Steel targets at any range need to be just slightly tilted towards the shooter. If you do shoot steel with a high velocity jacketed bullet you will put pock marks on the target surface and they will cause a bullet to come back at the firing line, it's just a matter of time. In Cowboy Action Shooting we only use lead bullets and the velocities are really slow compared to what ya'll shoot.
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Old November 1, 2011, 07:51 PM   #28
THORN74
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not sure what kind of steel target the OP was shooting, but the club i shoot at has regulations reguarding what steel targets are allowed.

the biggest rule (aside from using the proper steel vs projectile) is all teagets must have a 10 degeree minimum forward cant (top edge leads the bottom). i have a ar500 steel idpa target from Arntzen it has such an angle built into the design. all my spawl goes down and to the sides .... after a while there is a huge line cut in the ground paralle to the target face. i have never had one comback at me yet.

that being said, i would still wear proper eye and ear protection. the club also recommends wearling long sleves and long pants when shooting steel.
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:35 AM   #29
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26' is the USPSA minimum distance to steel targets. Steel Challenge is the same.

Many shooters get "fragged" by bullet fragments that can easily bounce back to the shooter or spectators "behind" the shooter. This is a good post and reminds or teaches steel shooters the risks and need for proper eye-wear for "everyone" present. I've been hit watching a shooter.

I once shot a paper target (A-Zone ), and one bullet went about another 5-6yds to the corner of the range and hit a piece of steel hidden in some grass. My target had two hits from the front and another jagged hole coming from the backside. True story (except for the A-Zone--I really don't remember).

Wear safety glasses.
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Old November 7, 2011, 01:28 AM   #30
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I shoot steel all the time, as I own sets of falling plates. We never had a problem at 50 feet with lead splatter except certain bullets. The worst was 45 acp 230 grain lead round nose. Probably 80% came back to splatter us. Switched to smaller, faster 200 grain swc. Did this after listening to advice on this forum. Thank you. It worked fine with no splatter to speak of. In case nobody told you before....wear eye protection.
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Old December 21, 2011, 07:55 PM   #31
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Here is one, while shooting an IDPA match last month a bullet entered the side of one of the plastic barrels we use, spun around on the inside about a 100 times before it exited at a right angle to us and hit the barrier wall between stages. Could have exited any direction! Man that thing made a crazy sound!
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Old December 21, 2011, 08:32 PM   #32
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I got hit with a fragment from the pistol pit next to us one day. That fragment had to travel 25+ yards to get to me. Hit me in the shoulder, had a sweatshirt on, thought someone had lightly punched me but I was standing alone. Picked the piece up and looked at it, weighed about the same as a dime. Was suprised how much energy it still had. I always wear my glasses whether shooting or not.
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Old December 21, 2011, 09:42 PM   #33
Willie Lowman
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This is a copy/paste of part of one of my posts in another thread from a few months ago.

When I was shooting the match I had a 180 grain .40 bullet come right back at me after I shot a bowling pin. It hit a very sensitive area. I managed to finish the course of fire but I spent a good 20 seconds doubled over and swearing loudly. Ricochets can hit the best of us in the worst of places.
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Old December 23, 2011, 12:33 PM   #34
Glenn E. Meyer
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I had a frag slice open my chin. Didn't know it till someone saw it and I felt the blood. Out came the first aid kit.

Also, I once was beyond the line and a kind of lead little snowflake landed on my tongue when I was talking.
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Old December 23, 2011, 02:22 PM   #35
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My story was a piece of .45ACP jacketing from a plate rack hitting my shin (lightly, but I felt it).
I've never had a problem with swinging targets over 25yds and lead bullets. It's the hits on flat surfaces under 25yds that run the odds up against you.
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Old December 30, 2011, 08:53 AM   #36
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I used to live near the desert in Nevada where you could target practice just about anywhere. At an especially popular spot there was a profusion of of old TV's, refrigerators etc. that people like to shoot at. Stupidly, I took a 357 magnum and shot at some of the junk--until one of the rounds came whizzing right back at me passing by my head. Junkyard shooting days were over right then and there.
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Old January 22, 2012, 11:23 AM   #37
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Last week, a friend caught quite whack in the forehead. He was not the shooter. We abandoned that stage. Not worth trying to figure it out on the fly.
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Old January 22, 2012, 04:34 PM   #38
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I shoot pistols at 12" diameter gong targets at 25 and 50 yards. The plates are 1/2" thick.

You can see the impact marks, magnum JHP leave donut shaped craters.



Cast lead bullets disintegrate down to discs, jacketed with their pure lead cores disintegrate down to smaller discs and the jacket falls as a mushroom object.

I will see these discs flying in all directions out to 20 feet or more from the gong. I think rebound direction is heavily influenced by those pock marks.

Jacketed rifle bullets will go right through these gongs, cast rifle bullets will create craters. I only shoot cast rifle bullets or 44 Magnum rifles at 100 yards, and even then, the shock will bust the welds in time.

Might have been 303 Brit cast bullets that sent the gong back to reweld.



The thing that most bothers people at the range is lead splatter. When bullets disintegrate the heavy chunks fall close to the target, but tin foil thin splatter goes way up in the air and falls down. Goes pitter-patter on the tin roof and annoys shooters. The spall will carry over 50 yards on windy days. I have learned to quit shooting when there are high winds as spall gets carried and hits people. The hit is has no more impact than a flea bounce, but it upsets people. I have found, regardless of right and wrong and lack of danger, if you are considered a nuisance by enough of the gun club, steel targets will be banned.

Our club minimum space is 15 yards with lead projectiles and pistols.
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Old February 3, 2012, 12:36 PM   #39
mspan90
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Whats the safest type of ammo to shoot at steel? I see people on youtube shooting FMJ but I read that is the last thing to use. I really wanna shoot my 9mm at some swinging steel
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Old February 4, 2012, 12:00 AM   #40
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I've been shooting nothing but FMJ at my AR500 1/2" thick steel. Mine are swingers attached to a bar, so all rounds push back on the targets and get splattered straight down. Never any splash back.
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Old February 4, 2012, 12:04 AM   #41
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Quote:
Steel targets at any range need to be just slightly tilted towards the shooter. If you do shoot steel with a high velocity jacketed bullet you will put pock marks on the target surface and they will cause a bullet to come back at the firing line, it's just a matter of time.
That's true. Your steel target, for close range pistol, should have no pock marks for the reason stated.

My Evil Roy Portable Steel targets have the rectangle or circle slanted so the bullet fragments travel straight down into the dirt. Sometimes, when shooting straight away, fragments can hit the support legs and come back a ways. They recommend 7 yds. min. When I shoot that close, I shoot at an angle so the fragments impact away from the legs of the target. You can also get heavier gage steel for use with carbine, and other rds. They handle buckshot fine, and bird shot is good practice when using two targets. NO SLUGS--big chunks can break off and come back.

http://www.officerstore.com/store/pr...actice_target/
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Old February 4, 2012, 12:22 AM   #42
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I caught a .22 ricochet years ago when we took the troop to scout camp. I expect one of the kids hit the edge of the 'champion-like' bullet trap, where it came back and left a nice bruise on my head. Glad it wasn't anything larger, and was pleased safety glasses were a requirement.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:25 AM   #43
glicerin
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Ontario police range inspectors require minimum 10 yards to steel targets, and wooden shrouds to prevent travel of splatter. Dished or pock marked steel causes serious ricochet, even with light lead loads.
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Old February 5, 2012, 12:49 PM   #44
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Well, we have three steel target threads now. It seems to me that we have two kinds of less than optimum groups of opinion here.

The first group thinks that any metal should be shot and is always looking for a piece of "steel" to shoot. Well, there are thousands of kinds of steel. If it is not flat(wheel rim) or if it holes or craters when shot it is unsafe steel. Pock marked or dished plates that started life as suitable targets are not safe. If it is not hardfaced AR steel, don't shoot it!!!

The second group, possibly due to exposure to the first group, thinks all steel is unsafe. Again, flat, non-pocked steel suitable for caliber is safe. You don't have to do elaborate things angling the target. Non-fixed plates will fall, poppers will send a spent bullet off relative to their direction of fall. Some prefer forward falling poppers because they think they put bullets into the dirt better. In truth a forward faller moves back before forward, it still usually kicks the bullet up. Doesn't really matter, they don't come back. I've shot plates with 5.56 10 yards away, it really doesn't matter. Small fragments may come back, wear your glasses. I may equal R, but a whole bullet will not come back off of flat steel unless you can get a plate that does not move at all and a bullet that does not deform at all. I do not know anyone shooting hardened round steel balls, so that is not a concern. The guy with the .50 ricochet was undoubtedly shooting something that shouldn't have been shot.
The best bullets I've used for steel are plated bullets, mainly because they are dead soft lead. I believe they hit falling steel harder than a comparable FMJ because they spend most of their energy in contact with the steel. You can often find a plated bullet several yards away from the plate, fully flattened. If you see a FMJ kick up 50 feet in the air that means it still has energy that it didn't impart to the plate. The worst offenders for sending fragments back are JHP with jacket pieces and hardcast with lead splinters. Again, both usually occur with steel that is pocked up.

So, shoot good steel in a safe manner. Wear your glasses. If you get hit by a piece of jacket, you did not get shot, so no reason to whine on the internet. I've seen more dangerous crap come back from rocks in the berm. Anytime you shoot, unless you habitually shoot 4 ft of jello, assume something may come back your way and act accordingly.
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Old February 8, 2012, 03:39 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy joe
So, shoot good steel in a safe manner. Wear your glasses. If you get hit by a piece of jacket, you did not get shot, so no reason to whine on the internet. I've seen more dangerous crap come back from rocks in the berm. Anytime you shoot, unless you habitually shoot 4 ft of jello, assume something may come back your way and act accordingly.
Hmm, don't see any whining here, just folks trying to help others be safe.
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Old February 9, 2012, 10:44 PM   #46
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Anyone ever order from here? http://www.shootsteel.com . There prices seem very reasonable and they have a good selection of different grades of steel in all sizes. I am thinking about ordering one of the 3/8 thick AR500 steel plates.

Also does anyone know if it's safe to shoot rimfire at these heavier AR500 steel plates compared to the rimfire AR200 steel?
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Old February 10, 2012, 09:50 PM   #47
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You're not going to hurt the heavier plate with rimfire.
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Old February 11, 2012, 02:03 AM   #48
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Quote:
You're not going to hurt the heavier plate with rimfire.
What I meant was will the .22's be more likely to ricochet off of the plates designed for heavy centerfire rounds compared to the thinner and lighter ar200 plates that are meant for rimfire.
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Old February 11, 2012, 03:21 PM   #49
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No, if it's safe for centerfire it's safe for rimfire too.
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Old March 1, 2012, 08:49 AM   #50
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Hang steel targets from the BACK side, so that they naturally angle top towards the shooter and downwards.

Nothing but AR500 steel. If the steel is cratered, you cannot control the direction of the frags...

But, some like to play the odds...not me. I do it the right way, the safe way.
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