The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 2, 2012, 06:41 PM   #1
cl4p-tp
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2012
Posts: 5
steel plates

I've been thinking about getting 4 or 5 round steel plates, about 8-10 inch, for the house. They will be hanging on chains from a homemade stand. These are going to be for handguns only, (10mm/357 mag are the most powerful rounds I'm going to be shooting at them) @ about 10 yds. I'm just trying to figure out what type of steel I am going to need to pick up and if there is anything else I might need to know about.

Thanks
cl4p-tp is online now  
Old October 2, 2012, 07:52 PM   #2
481
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Posts: 468
For handguns only, I'd recommend no less than 3/8" thickness of AR500.
__________________
My favorite "gun" book -

QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION
481 is offline  
Old October 2, 2012, 07:57 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,945
Bad idea, IMHO.

I shoot at an indoor range. Thursday night is play night for the regulars. The range has a steel plate rack. One evening one of the guys shot himself in the leg -- a fragment from a FMJ 9mm bullet ricocheted off a plate and hit him in the calf. It wasn't life threatening, but it did require a trip to the ER and stitches.

IMHO 10 yards is too close, especially for something like .357 magnum.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old October 2, 2012, 10:38 PM   #4
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,916
Quote:
Bad idea, IMHO.
Same here.
Again, especially at ten yds. with the .357...

...but if you must, I'd be shooting fast, JHP's or FN from no closer then 25yds. and would probably comes off the bottom of hard steel 1/2" plates with tie downs. Anchoring the plates at about a 20 degree angle so when I was looking at them they angled downward. The plates would also only be at max, a foot off the ground if not on the ground. The ground would be covered with about 4"-6" of sand to catch spatter.
The plates would have 1/2" plywood over top and on each side to catch spatter as well.

Google "FBI Steel Plate Training Bulletin" for more tips. Although this bulletin says your targets can be closer then my suggested 25yds., I value my shins a bit more. Especially if shooting a .357.

Shooting at clay birds is a lot more fun. And safer.

Goodluck!

Last edited by shortwave; October 2, 2012 at 11:14 PM.
shortwave is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 08:44 AM   #5
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
I used to manufacture metallic silhouette targets.
There are many good steels for this purpose. I used T1A but that can be hard to find and is no better than some others.
The key is to allow the targets to swing freely. And, if possible, have the angle downward as they hang.
If you put on bases make sure the bases are only large and heavy enough to hold the target upright. Too much of a base can result in fragment splash back.
As said, 10 yards is too close to be shooting steel.
My jury is still out on soft/slow bullets vs. hard/fast. I am inclined towards about equal from a safety standpoint. They do react differently but the bottom line is about the same.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 11:00 AM   #6
cl4p-tp
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2012
Posts: 5
That's why I like to ask questions, don't want to shoot myself in the leg lol.
I guess I'm really just tryin to find something else to shoot at besides paper. Sometimes I do bring out 2 liters or a cheap 24 pack of soda but I'm looking for something that will last a bit longer as a target. Any ideas?
cl4p-tp is online now  
Old October 3, 2012, 11:43 AM   #7
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,189
Quote:
These are going to be for handguns only, (10mm/357 mag are the most powerful rounds I'm going to be shooting at them) @ about 10 yds.
In my experience these are the keys:

Quote:
have the angle downward as they hang
Quote:
no less than 3/8" thickness of AR500.
I do a lot of shooting on steel (with handguns most from 12m to 30m). Quality steel that won't crater and having them angled dow makes the difference in safety.

If you look at my channel you'll see me shooting from those ranges in virtually all of my handgun videos. I use Action Targets AR500 and 550 steel for what it's worth.
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 12:05 PM   #8
Slopemeno
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Posts: 2,265
We had a pretty busy steel league which shot 99% of the time on a 50' indoor range, so 15 yards was the minimum we could shoot.

Jacketed bullets of any type were trouble. The hardest hits I took were from JHP jackets that had peeled off and came back 180 degrees to hit me in the peanut gallery. I'd wear a Levi jacket until it was my turn to shoot, and I wasn't above hiding behind a sheet of cardboard. I was taping a training class one time from about 50 yards away and I could hear bullet fragments landing in the dry grass around me.

Keep the plated angled down (a few degree will do), which will drive most of the fragments down. Don't set up your plate rack directly under the light fixtures. Good quality steel won't crater, and you'll get less bullet pieces coming back. Replace your poppers when they get bowed.

Some other notes. Consider painting your steel between runs. Orchard Supply has cheap $1.99 a can house brand spray paint. That'll allow you to see where you're hitting, with a quick touch-up before the next shooter comes to the line.

A fun drill, if you have two plate racks, is to "race". Two shooters start simultaneously, and the first guy to clear the plates wins. It helps to have a judge stand behind each shooter and hold his arm up as soon as his shooter clears his rack.
Slopemeno is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 12:14 PM   #9
TheRaskalKing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2012
Location: The Hometown of JMB
Posts: 212
I don't want to jack the thread, but I've been wondering about a similar setup, only at an outdoor range. With the plates hanging the plates from some quality heavy chains, wouldn't it be much harder to get ricochet when the plates swing back upon impact?
__________________
"Freedom and reason make us men; take these away, what are we then?"
-Sometimes your best defense is a good reminder of your common sense-
Springfield Loaded 1911 - HK USP Compact 9mm - SA XDM 4.5 .45 - Browning Medalist .22 - Ruger 10/22 - Browning Superposed O/U - Remington 1100 - Remington 720 .270
TheRaskalKing is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 12:31 PM   #10
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 4,709
Quote:
Bad idea, IMHO.

I shoot at an indoor range. Thursday night is play night for the regulars. The range has a steel plate rack. One evening one of the guys shot himself in the leg -- a fragment from a FMJ 9mm bullet ricocheted off a plate and hit him in the calf. It wasn't life threatening, but it did require a trip to the ER and stitches.

IMHO 10 yards is too close, especially for something like .357 magnum.
I disagree, look at the distances in the steel challange statges. The chance of a ricochet is present any time with steel. We have shooters shooting calibers from 22lr to 45 acp at our steel matches.
Example; Smoke & Hope stage- steel plates set at 21 feet ( 7 yards)
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 12:43 PM   #11
RsqVet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2005
Posts: 2,322
I have recently been helping a friend set up a small range on private land 0-25 yards.

I am excited to have a free venue to set up practical evolutions and train with.

My first thought was cool, maybe I want to get some steel IDPA or reactive targets. After looking at both the risks, which are minimal but still there and the cost of set up I decided that it was far easier to build a few target stands, and get free cardboard --- not hard. and make a stencil for target outlines.

Do I think steel makes sense for clubs? Sure, and it would not hesitate to shoot at such events but for private range fun unless I am going to shoot a whole ton I prefer simpler, cheaper and more flexable.
RsqVet is offline  
Old October 3, 2012, 01:04 PM   #12
Mello2u
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,422
If you hang steel plates from chains and do "controlled pairs" in your shooting, you might find that your second shot impacts the steel while it is swinging and presents such an angle that the bullet fragments are directed largely back at the shooter.

You might be better served to mount the steel plates in a fixed angle which directs the bullet fragment in a downward direction where they will hit the ground and not the base of the stand.

This is a steel target that I found for sale online. Note the angle.
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...getangled2.jpg
__________________
NRA Life Member - Orange Gunsite Member - NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society,
they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.
" Frederic Bastiat
Mello2u is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 12:09 AM   #13
feets
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2008
Posts: 405
Shooting shotgun clays is good fun and the clays dissolve in the rain. A solid hit in the center of the clay will blow it out but leave an intact outer ring.

They make sporting clays in different sizes.



We drove some small nails in a 2x4 in such a pattern that allows us to hold the small clays off the board. You can set up a whole rail of targets that way. A chunk of wood cost $2, nails are about the same, and the clays are dirt cheap.

Also, look at the Shatterblast targets by Daisy. We use them as 200 yard rifle targets. You can get the pack with stands and a box of clays.





I sometimes go on an African Safari in my backyard. That involves setting out some animal crackers and picking up my Red Ryder BB gun.
feets is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 08:39 AM   #14
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Ten yards is too close for safe shooting with anything tougher than ping pong balls.
I have a scar on my elbow to remind me of that.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 10:06 AM   #15
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 7,766
take a cue from CAS here... ( BTW... local CAS targets are often as close as 3 yards )

solid mount your plates with a slight angle downward ( my local club uses a spring in the mounts, that let the plate "ring" nicely when hit ) they do use tip over targets with shotguns, & people are always getting hit with rebounding shot, both because of the tipping over angles, & the slower moving shot )

use only lead bullets ( soft lead is prefered )

if you handload, don't use maximum loads, find something mild to practice with

wear eye protection with side shields

keep your plates as flat & fresh as possible to reduce upward bounce back from crater edges ( a good rough sanding disk on a 4" angle grinder can be used as often as needed to keep the shooting surface "fresh" the thicker / harder your steel, & the lower power your loads, the less maintenance will be need on your plates

even if all this is followed, you will get the occasional hit, but the energy is usually not even enough to break the skin or leave a bruise...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 03:40 PM   #16
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,525
Weld a U bolt between 1/5 to 1/3 of the way down the back of the plate. That should give you a safe angle.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 04:01 PM   #17
drail
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
10 yards is way too close for steel. I wouldn't get closer than 20 yards and I would make sure the angle of impact was such that the bullet is going to go in a direction where there are no people (or cars). Down into the ground or off to one side. Angle the plate slightly and make sure it stays where you put it. Shooting at a swinger WHILE it is swinging is a VERY bad idea. Wait for it to stop. I was standing next to a guy who was doing this with a .44 Spl. revolver DA rapid fire and the plate batted one back to him and struck him right between the eyes. No eye protection. He went down hard and stayed down for a while. He was very very lucky. The bullet was a 240 gr. SWC and it was fully intact laying at his feet. Be very careful when shooting steel and stop and think about what might happen IF one comes back to the line. Everyone in the area needs to have eye protection, no exceptions. Steel is great fun but is much less forgiving than paper. I know of one case where a boy was killed at a steel match.

Last edited by drail; October 4, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
drail is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 04:30 PM   #18
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 1,551
There is always those plastic reseal targets. Shaped like gophers and such. For target shooting I wouldn't use .357mag anyway. Load down to .38s would be much better. BTW we practice hip shooting at around 10-25 yards on steel no problem. The steel is leaning forward however so lead is send to ground (if you hit the plate that is ) . Another type of target is barbeque briquets which fly apart when hit....
__________________
A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.
rclark is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 05:55 PM   #19
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,916
Something that may be of interest for close-up work on steel targets.

shortwave is offline  
Old October 4, 2012, 06:13 PM   #20
dayman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Location: The Woods
Posts: 969
I have steel silhouettes hanging (with a forward cant) up at ~10yds. I wear glasses when I shoot, but I have splattered many thousands of 9mm fmj on them and never had anything come back to bite me.
I had a welder buddy of mine make them up for me in return for helping him instal a floor. I'm not sure what the steel is, but it's something hard enough that it doesn't crater with anything up to .357 (the hardest hitting thing I've shot at them).

I love them. They don't flap around in the wind or the rain, and I never have to haul/hang targets. I just keep a can of white spray paint out there, and spray them with it between sets so I can tell where I'm hitting.

Inside they could be problematic as the "splatter" from the bullets does tend to tear up anything directly to the side or below them, but outside they're the cat's meow.

__________________
si vis pacem para bellum
dayman is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11626 seconds with 9 queries