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Old March 19, 2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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Steel Targets - and Pistols

My LGS started selling AR500 steel targets. I picked up an 8"x1/2" target. I like to use it with my pistols as i see people on tv training with them all the time.

What is a safe distance to shoot an AR500 target with a pistol?

22LR up to 45 ACP in my case. The websites that sell AR500 all say 100yds min distance? That rules out pistols.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:03 AM   #2
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To be clear there are a wide variety of steel targets. Some are smaller and made for .22lr. Some are made for larger calibers and include such things as shooting trees. There are also heavier targets used for rifle shooting (at distance). Finally there are a pretty formidable style used in competitions (they are typically much more rugged and heavier).

Is this specifically what you are talking about?

It says: "Handguns should be used no closer than 10 yards and rifles 100 yards." That seems pretty appropriate. I'd lean a little closer to 15 yards though. I hate being hit by bits of metal.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Yeah thats pretty much it. Mine is an 8" circle - 1/2" thick made of AR500 steel. 10-15 yds sounds good to me. Thanks
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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I shoot at 10 yards on steel all the time. I'd definitely make sure to wear safety glasses - as I've heard you can get brass thrown back at you - but I have mine swinging at a slightly downward angle, and I've never had an issue.
si vis pacem para bellum
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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Caught a bit of HC bullet in my elbow one day shooting steel. That made my hand go numb, as Murphy wire-guided that fragment into my "funny bone." Weird things can and do happen at high velocity. Wear glasses!
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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I used to manufacture steel targets and learned several lessons. One the painful way.
Steel targets must be allowed to swing or fall freely. Targets that cannot move when impacted will, not might, WILL toss splatter back at the shooter.
What you are suggesting, even at close range will be OK with larger calibers. The lowly .22 is the one that might cause problems because it won't move a heavy target.
Close range shooting can be fun and safe. The Man-O-Mano shoots are very fun and challenging.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:52 AM   #7
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Along with that, you can angle your targets to the left or right, but must be mindful of other shooters when you do that.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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If you hang it from chains (like the one in the link) you can use longer bolts and put washers between the target and chain, this will angle the plate more so the bullet fragments deflect downward.
The longer the bolt/more washers = more angle. Gravity angles it for you depending on the mounting point of the chain.
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Using lead bullets is a good way to go when shooting steel. The lead tends to "liquify" and splatter out radially with less bounce back.

But an 8" target at 100 yards does not rule out handguns. Larger targets are set at 200 meters (218 yards, I believe) in some matches.

Bob Wright
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Old March 19, 2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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I have 10" and 12" gongs at 50 and 75 yds resp.
Up closer I have trees and flip over targets.
So much more fun than paper.
This spring I'll mount another gong at 100 yds.

The gongs are AR500 and the tip over targets
are something less.
I have a lot of fun shooting at 22lr silhouette targets.
Always wear safety glasses and people who watch always
either face the target head on or talk to your friend
with your back square to the target.Sideways may get you
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:30 PM   #11
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I have a 3/8" thick 8" round AR500 plate I shoot with rimfires and have no problems. I built a wood frame and hang it from chains, even the .22 knocks it around quite a bit and I have never had any problems with ricochets.
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Old March 19, 2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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just follow the USPSA safety rules
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