View Full Version : Gym plates as steel targets?

May 4, 2009, 10:15 AM
Has anyone ever used round gym plates for the 1" inch bar with the hole as a metal target? Some are very flat and thick.

Ed K
May 4, 2009, 11:24 AM
gym plates are generally cast iron not cold rolled or stamped steel and would tend to break similar to shooting clay bird with bullet. Maybe hazardous to your health

Navy joe
May 4, 2009, 12:53 PM
Buy AR400 or AR500 plates from someone who makes plates as a living. Your safety and the health of the shooting industry will be enhanced. Everyone has got a plan for junk steel, but the fact is if the steel is not flat, if it dimples, craters, or holes when you shoot it then stuff will be coming back towards the firing point. Use proper steel at safe distances that is rated for your caliber.

May 9, 2009, 11:59 PM
I haven't shot weights, but I have shot some manhole covers, which are also cast iron. 223's leave a pretty good scar, and 308ish stuff makes it swiss cheese for 5-10 rounds, then it falls to pieces. I would waste my time (or weights) fooling with it.

4V50 Gary
May 10, 2009, 09:34 AM
What Navy Joe says. Plates do dimple and then they'll cause bullets to richochet back. I've had that happen to me before and there's that famous video on Youtube of the fellow whose bullet came back, hit the ground (thankfully dissipating some more energy) before striking the shooter.

May 10, 2009, 10:27 AM
No quality control to speak of.... I agree with the others who said they will just break (especially if you hit an edge or thereabouts) Sort of like shooting an engine block.... Rather than weights, probably old flywheels out of stickshift cars would last alot longer (if they are steel rather than cast, but just cutting some circles in 12mm steel would be cheaper in the long run, might cost a bit more to make, but would last 10 x longer. :D

A caution with shooting steel tho, whatever you mount it on, have it hang loose or fixed with a downward angle, so ricochet's hit the ground, rather than come straight back at you, and definately don't angle them upward :eek:
Our rules in Oz are not to shoot steel targets from within 10 meters (for obvious reason of ricochets (getting your bullet back) :D

May 14, 2009, 10:11 PM
How thick should the AR 400 be for different calibers? Discount Steel (http://www.discountsteel.com/index.cfm/go/main.itemDisplay/itemID/32.htm) in Ft. Worth sells it in smaller pieces online. I have been wanting to build some targets, but was never sure what steel specifically to use.

I want to build some smaller spinner type targets for 22LR, 22 Mag and some larger ones for .308, 30-06 as well as 9mm & .45. I would imagine the thickness required for '06-.308 would be good for all the other caliber rounds although thinner plate for shooting with 22LR would be a lot cheaper. I thought Ammo was high, Jeez!:eek:

May 15, 2009, 09:55 PM
If you limit your shooting to pistols, the iron tie plates from railroads make very nice reactive targets. They are about 9X12 inches and can be found laying on the side of railroad tracks if one looks.