View Full Version : Safest Shot for Steel Targets?

June 8, 2002, 11:05 PM
Some place I shoot at recommended at least #6 (??) shot on steel targets for safety...I'm not sure if 'at least' meant a higher number, or a bigger pellet. Are larger pellets safer for hitting steel?

June 8, 2002, 11:14 PM
If its lead shot I dont think it really matters.

June 9, 2002, 02:45 AM
In the Marine Corps we always shot on steel reactionary targets with 00 buck shot. Never had anyone get hit by a bounce.

Al Thompson
June 9, 2002, 08:22 AM
We had some steel hangers at 25y. They were fine with handguns and bird shot, but 20 ga slugs dented them. May want to be careful there.

One rule about steel - either stand with your back to the target or full front. If your sideways, most shooting glasses leave a gap that may let a projo rake across your eyeball. Obviously this would hurt

I've actually gotten many more ricochet's from bowling pins and birdshot.

BTW, if it was me, I'd use #8s on steel. A can of spray paint to freshen the target when you want to see where your hitting is helpful.

June 9, 2002, 11:18 AM
Angle of steel is a biggie.


June 9, 2002, 01:19 PM
Condition of the steel is another biggie, Sam I Am. Stay away from divots on plates and the like.

I like to stay 10 yards or more when shooting steel. Wierd stuff can happen with buckshot. Wear your eyes!!!

Guy two slots down from me at a shooting skul's shotgun class took a piece of buckshot in his tongue (of all places). Fortunately he was a doc and another doc plucked it out there on the spot. By lunch he was fine (for some reason the tongue heals really fast).

Andrew Wyatt
June 9, 2002, 02:31 PM
SHotgun hits do really wierd things to steel.

all of the steel shotgun targets the match uses are armor plate, and they don't last that long. the plates start taking on a curvature almost immiediately (we're still not sure why this happens) the plate edges either curve away from the shooter, which is just fine, or they curve towards the shooter, forming a parabolic lead projector.

I think any lead shot of any size would be just fine on steel.

I've heard of some nasty injuries from people who inadvertantly chamber a slug and hit a close (50 yards and under) steel plate with it, since the slug likes to spew about an 80 grain ghunk of lead back along it's course.

it's not always easy to tell slug from shot anymore, since some reloaders use a normal star crimp with their slugs.

June 10, 2002, 07:16 PM
i would think size of steel woudlnt matter as much, just the distance and angle of the metal, farther away less chance of it hitting u of course-i dunno but i like shooting slugs :) i havent tried them on a metal target yet though, just some paper and a stump-i stood it up on end and shot the top and the slug kept going just pushed the stump STRAIGHT down with authority ;) haha-i might have to try that next time were at the black powder club range-they have some metal stand targets u can shoot, i can knock them over with about 6 shots of my 22 auto loader with really quick trigger pulls-i think i could do it with a slug, i'll just make sure its one thats already been shot up a bit, and its at least 15 yards out