View Full Version : Metal Pistol/rifle target?

August 2, 2006, 01:20 PM
I am getting tired of destroying my wooden target frames when I go plinking.
I want to make a more robust metal frame system.
I have 6 stainless steel plates that are about 6 inch by 6 inch and a quarter inch thick. I would like to use these for targets on a hinged frame that allows them to swing away when they are hit.
The frame would be metal tubing, or possibly 4x4 wood beams.
I am wondering if these metal plates are too tick and may risk ricochet?
I shoot 9mm, .45 and .22 mostly.
I am just wondering what some more seasoned folks may suggest.

August 2, 2006, 01:32 PM
You can and will get ricochets shooting at metal targets. You can and will get ricochets just from shooting bowling pins.

I suggest you keep your wood-framed target stands and improve your aim...

August 2, 2006, 02:05 PM
Is the stainless plate hardened? What type of ammo are you planning on shooting at them and from gun?

Lead bullets generally will break up when shot at hardened metal plates, but like what was said, they can come back to you in several pieces. Make sure you wear safety glasses and proper clothing. You can use frangible ammo with it and reduce the ricochet though and this is what is used a lot in indoor ranges for this purpose. I wouldn't use any kind of jacketed bullet with them.

As far as the plates goes, I would see if they can be hardened, otherwise, you may end up having a bullet go through them or at least dent it up pretty well. Good luck with it.

August 3, 2006, 02:04 AM
I have never had trouble with any of the steel I have shot. I got a piece of flat steel from a junk yard a few years ago and I cut a few silouettes out of it. (It was about 5/16") It would and still does stop any and all pistol calibers I have (.38- .45) and it will even stop .223 AT DISTANCE (100 yds or more) Most rifles will make swiss cheese out of it however.

My only advice would be to not shoot plates that have holes in them, as this has been the reason for 100% of the ricochets I have seen or experienced. The worst was a at a PD range where I was shooting pistol plates that had been abused, and I took a pretty ricochet to the abdomen- went through a sweat shirt, t shirt and embedded in my stomach. I didn't shoot there ever again. Metal that is flat and "unholy" should give you great results and a lot fun, just don't try and shoot from the 3-5 range and wear eye protection.

August 4, 2006, 11:27 PM
I rigged my targets up so they'll hang at an angle; all the ricochets deflect down in the ground in front of the targets. (They don't swing freely when hit.)