View Full Version : Steel target help

February 14, 2008, 11:42 AM
I am in the final stages of purchasing a new SW 460 revolver (8 3/4 barrel) for hunting.

I am looking for suggestions on making some steel targets that are portable enough I can haul them out to the woods and shoot.

Any good ideas for 1) cheap source of scrap steel (I know "cheap" and "steel" don't go together anymore) and also some ideas for target configuration - i.e. should I make stands, weld the target to a stake, put some loops on it so I can chain it from a limb?

This gun will supposedly shoot point-on out to 200+ yards, but I am not sure I can, so am looking for something portable enough to go set it up in "hunting situations" (paying very close attention to backstops and safety) and practicing.

Also and recomendations on thickness requried for this hand cannon would be appreaciated.



February 14, 2008, 06:09 PM
I build all my steel targets out of scrap dump truck frame. Since I build the trucks, the steel is free, but a place that installs dump boxes would have some. Usually the truck frames are too long and you have to cut them. The frame steel is hard, and is 3/8" thick, and can take most handgun loads. I double it up for rifle rounds. I just make shillouttes, 10" X 14" not including the head, and weld some 3/4" rerod on it for legs.

February 14, 2008, 06:24 PM
JDG - thanks for the info. I know a couple of places based on that where I might be able to pick some up.

February 14, 2008, 06:33 PM
What about using railroad tie-plates for targets? (not sure which side you'd want facing forward to minimize ricochets)

February 15, 2008, 01:24 PM
check out handgunsports.com
ive used there targets before and they are relatively low priced and high quality, you would prolly need the rifle style plates due to the power of the 460 though

March 2, 2008, 09:45 PM
Even though they might seem to have thousands of 'em, railroads can get cranky about somebody pinching tie plates. They're rather sensitive about anybody being on their property, since a few people around here were taking things (like tie plates, for one) to sell for "scrap metal." I don't know if any plates that really were "scrap" would hold up to high-power loads.

Something around that size, though, would be a little easier to lug around, and the smaller size could help simulate a longer shot distance.

"Happy huntin'."

March 2, 2008, 10:20 PM
since a few people around here were taking things (like tie plates, for one) to sell for "scrap metal."

Scrap yards won't buy RR iron from anybody but the RR.

March 3, 2008, 12:20 AM
Some states (like mine) don't yet have a law requiring a scrap dealer to even identify someone who brings in a quantity of any kind of metal, although some will get vehicle information (or more) if they're suspicious of somebody. A guy in a nearby county got busted for stealing aluminum light poles, even though he took the pieces (and they were just that) to a dealer in another area. The dealer accepted the stuff, but wrote down his plate number. Tie plates aren't as easy to cut up into unrecognizable chunks as copper cable or aluminum poles are, but we've had people stealing quantities of all three materials from rail yards in this area.

Then again, if a company recently upgraded a line, had a bunch of old plates that were too small for the new rail, and didn't want to haul all of it to the scrapper, they might have some left over to give to Dave. :)

I used to know where there were a couple of them left laying around, not on RR property. Shipping 'em from here to Oregon might not be all that cost-effective, though. ;)

March 6, 2008, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the knowledge

March 19, 2008, 09:02 PM
The best portable target I've ever made was a simple 'tripod'.

I used galvanized steel 'strap' like what is used on the top of chain link fence. I have no idea what the proper terminology is for this type of strap.

Anyways, I bent 2 pieces like shown below, used one straight piece, drilled a hole through the 3 pieces, and used a nut & bolt to hole them together.

I then welded a steel plate to the 2 bent pieces. Now this will create a tripod. The center leg is allowed to pivot backwards when you want to set up your target.



This made for an amazingly stable target! It stores easily too.

I made the mistake of shooting it with a SLUG! Gotta build a new one :D