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Old March 3, 2012, 09:08 AM   #51
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I posted this in another thread regarding steel targets and ricochet... I think its appropriate here too.

My kids and I shoot at steel targets all the time.

I have lightweight spinners set up at 25 and 50 yards for the little ones and their .22 rifles. I then have heavier weight (1/2" thick AR500 gongs) at 100 and 200 yds for those of us shooting centerfire rifles. I also set up those same types of gongs at 25yds for handgun practice. I don't use the rifle gongs for handguns.

Never had a ricochet with rifles or .22lr yet. Maybe in the future but not so far. The key believe it or not is high velocity. At high velocity the bullet strikes the target and simply shatters. I HAVE had handgun rounds come back though... I learned the hard way although it wasn't too painful, just scary. I figured I'd save money and hang the rifle gongs (which get dented and cratered from rifle fire) and hang them at 25yds to shoot handguns at. One fateful day I shot at a gong (and by the looks of the gong) the fmj .45 bullet struck a crater that had been made by a rifle bullet and pulled a U turn. It buzzed past my head and I almost soiled myself.

With clean faces on the gongs the handgun ammo tends to ricochet into the ground or strike, expand and fall. The slower the round the more chances there will be of a ricochet.
There are a couple of guys here who have it right about steel targets - they can be safe if used properly... well as safe as any action involving lobbing high velocity projectiles at a target. Basically if you use good steel targets, hang and handle them properly and use appropriate weapons/ammo with them you're in no more danger than if you were shooting at paper targets in front of a berm. Start getting reckless and well any time someone gets reckless with anything regarding firearms things get hairy.
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Old March 25, 2012, 07:08 PM   #52
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After reading about that 50 BMG riocchet I had to look it up...for those of yall who havent seen it here is the link...
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Old March 27, 2012, 11:28 AM   #53
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Steel or not, nobody should be allowed anywhere near a range without proper eye and ear protection, and that includes spectators as well. Regarding steel, I've never been to a CAS shoot, either as a spectator or competitor, where I wasn't peppered at some point with lead splash - no big deal with eye protection, but potentially blinding without.
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Old April 11, 2012, 11:05 PM   #54
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Thick Phone books and Big old books.

One thing that i have used for a Long time is Old Phone books, or since i get HUGE catalogs at work like the big Grainger or HD supply books i use the old ones i get. Tape them up real good and use them, If after a few shots they are not totally destroyed I'll tape them up again and use some more. Sometimes I get to dig out some spent bullets to see how they did. Everyone else can keep their Steel targets.
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Old June 17, 2012, 07:08 PM   #55
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Go back & read the first sentence of FlyFish's post above. Eyes & ears, ALL THE TIME. Pistol shooters, take a look at your pistol while holding it up towards a light. Move the pistol & your head around a little. See any light coming through anywhere? That's the same place a particle of burning powder can travel to reach your face or eyes. FROM EXPERIENCE --
one shot, one time, absent-mindedley forgot to put my glasses back on. Felt like I had been stabbed in the eye with a white-hot ice pick. It was a few minuteds of flushing my eye out with running water before I was reasonably sure that I was not BLINDED in my right eye. It was as red as a '59 Ford tailight though.

Steel targets will also return STEEL BB's from air rifles back to the shooting position with about the same velocity that they left. NO STEEL BB'S AT STEEL TARGETS, EVER!!!
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