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Old April 28, 2015, 04:43 PM   #1
dyl
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Steel targets: which setup

Folks, please share your experience. I'm looking into starting with steel target shooting with pistols. Is there a limitation to how rapidly one can safely shoot at a swinging (chains) steel target? (Target in question is 11x13 inch 3/8 ar500 steel, 9mm ranging to 357 mag) The hanging option seems more affordable however I would like to able to shoot with some speed. The alternative method:mounting bracket options for a vertical 2x4 stand cost a pretty penny.
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Old April 28, 2015, 05:00 PM   #2
Shotgun Slim
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The hanging targets usually have short chains so they don't get any kind of a pendulum swing going that would make you wait to shoot. The weight of the target you describe will keep it in place I would think for any kind of rapid fire you want to put on it. I don't imagine the 9mm will move it more than a very little and with the 357 the plate will probably settle back before you overcome the recoil. I have shot a lot of steel so take this to the bank: there will be splatter that comes back on you if you get closer than about 15 yards so absolutely everyone including nonshooters who are near the action need eye protection with side shields. Steel shooting is great fun but you need to be smart about it.Enjoy
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Old April 29, 2015, 03:31 PM   #3
dyl
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Shotgun Slim - thanks, I was going to order a kit with 10 inch chains, hope that doesn't allow for much swing. Interesting, most of the vendors of AR500 targets state 10 yards minimum for distance - but I believe you though.

I'll see how it goes. I'm a bit torn as I have quite a few shoot 'n see targets but the allure of ringing steel in the warm weather has me itching for something new.
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Old April 29, 2015, 05:41 PM   #4
Shotgun Slim
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10 inch chains should be ok. I and my shooting buddies regularly shoot steel as close as 8 yards. My point about 15 yards is you will still get splatter at that distance. We shoot a dueling tree at 10 yards a lot and the downward deflection splashes small gravels and raggedy pieces of bullet jacketing back at us. Not life threatening but you would not want to catch it in your eye. 10 yards seems to be the standard recommended safe minimum from target makers but splatter will go farther. I hope you reload so you can shoot cheap because you will become addicted.
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Old April 29, 2015, 06:40 PM   #5
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The more targets, the better. Variety will keep the fun from fading.

Absolutely 100% on the eye protection at all times. There is almost no chance that you or anyone near won't get fragged but as long as it's not in the eyes, it's minor.

The very best way to ensure safety after the eye protection is to keep your targets in good condition and FLAT faced. There is no maintenance here -- simply care in what you hit them with. If you put divots and pock marks in them, they get HORRENDOUSLY prone to violent, dangerous ricochet. If the face of the target is flat, you are in fine shape.

They needn't be so flat that you could hand-write a story on them but if they have the kind of divots in them that could catch a BB from rolling off (if you laid it flat) then RETIRE the target or literally be prepared for what amounts to a gunshot wound.
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Old May 5, 2015, 12:34 PM   #6
dyl
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I checked out your website, the only concern I have is that the single bolt is mounted close to the center of the plate and I'm concerned a direct stoke would close the curtain on that bolt.
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Old May 7, 2015, 08:19 AM   #7
Hunter Customs
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I've shot a lot of steel matches both bang & clang and reactive, targets were anywhere from 12 yards to 60 yards.

Besides your normal safety protection gear ( especially eye protection) I highly recommend you do not shoot hollow points.

The jackets have a tendency to separate from the bullets and come back at you like mini saw blades.

I've witnessed some pretty nasty cuts from the jackets of hollow point bullets, some of the shooters actually had to leave the match to get stitches in the cuts.
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Old May 7, 2015, 08:25 AM   #8
WVsig
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I use this setup...You can adjust the angle by changing the angle of the hole drilled. The spring gives enough to allow for movement. Easy to setup and breakdown and costs almost nothing. I used scrap for the bottom base and then got a 10 ft board cut into 2 5ft pieces.

The vertical pole is not screwed in or nailed in it is simple fit tight so it can be removed making the setup really portable. Setup and break down takes no time at all.

If I am shooting it at 25 or 50 yards an occasional round will hit the wood but it will take a lot of hits before it fails and a 2"X4" is pretty cheap and available everywhere. I have not had to use the second piece and I shoot at it pretty regularly.











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Old May 7, 2015, 11:37 AM   #9
hartcreek
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KISS is my moto too. you can see how simple I keep it at the range I keep for the cabin tract. And I use scrap steel no AR 500.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg range.jpg (170.0 KB, 60 views)
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Old May 7, 2015, 05:41 PM   #10
JohnMoses
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I take about 20' of log chain between 2 trees. From this chain I hang about a foot long chain to each side of the ar500 gong. I have a 8",10",12" & 1/4 ipec at 15 yards from the firing line. I have the same setup with a 1/2 ipec at 27 yards. (that's where the trees were). My shooting platform is elevated about 10 degrees. ( I believe this is the most important). I have fired tens of thousands of pistol rounds out of handguns and carbines and have yet to get even the slightest sliver back to the firing line. I use standard bolts mostly because grade 5 didn't seem to last any longer. I usually lose 1 small chain per session caused by multiple direct hits on the bolt head. I think my success is due to plenty of swing and good angle of deflectance. The 20' chain has never had an issue. I hung it 5 years ago and it's still there.

Last edited by JohnMoses; May 9, 2015 at 03:18 PM.
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Old May 8, 2015, 01:39 PM   #11
wild willy
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I can tell you from personal experience that a steel 55 gal. drum is about the worse thing you can shoot at.It works just like one of the snail bullet catchers only instead of containing the bullet it comes right back at you .You shoot at those drums enough you will find out what I mean.
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Old May 10, 2015, 10:46 AM   #12
DMK
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I picked up my AR500 targets on Amazon.com. They came from shootingtargets7.com though. I'm really happy with them and they weren't very expensive. (They have sale coupons every once in a while)

I don't like hanging steel from chains. The best things to use are old conveyor belts, rubber truck mudflaps, or used fire hose.

Right now, I'm actually using an old Serpentine fan belt from a Ford Bronco cut into 8" strips. . I already had it in the garage so it was free, it will absorb a bunch of hits without breaking, highly unlikely that you'd get any ricochet off it and it is stiff enough to resist twisting.
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Old May 11, 2015, 08:52 AM   #13
BombthePeasants
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I Have been picking up ratchet straps off the shoulders of the highways I drive every day; I have a large collection of them now. People don't have any idea how to use them apparently...
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Old May 11, 2015, 01:15 PM   #14
Sevens
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Question about using scrapped tires to hang steel targets...

What is the best tool for cutting and manipulating these strips of tread?
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Old May 11, 2015, 08:20 PM   #15
DMK
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Quote:
Question about using scrapped tires to hang steel targets...

What is the best tool for cutting and manipulating these strips of tread?
For steel belted radials, hacksaw or sawzall with a medium or fine tooth blade for cutting metal
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Old May 11, 2015, 08:29 PM   #16
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To cut the tread scraps (I used to pick up the big tread pieces from blown tires & retreads too) I found that a metal-cutting blade in a circular saw works best. No binding or kick-back, quick and straight cuts.
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Old May 12, 2015, 09:19 PM   #17
Dragline45
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I built a wood frame that I bring to and from the range and hang various size targets from chains on them. Since they swing when you hit them, even with a .22lr pistol and 3/8 thick AR500 steel targets, it can be quite challenging, though it add's to the fun.
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Old May 18, 2015, 08:51 AM   #18
DMK
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Quote:
I found that a metal-cutting blade in a circular saw works best.
Good idea. I never even knew they made metal-cutting blades for circular saws.
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Old May 19, 2015, 04:13 PM   #19
mightyoakwildlife
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Yup, pretty common & inexpensive. It's an fiber reinforced abrasive wheel, similar to what your 4 1/2" or 6" grinder uses. If you have to, you can also use an masonry blade. Same type animal, different composition. Metals wear them out a bit quicker.
If you have a problem finding some, send me a PM & I'll stick one in an envelope for you.
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Old May 27, 2015, 11:29 PM   #20
dyl
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So in the end I placed an order for a 2/3 IPSC target made of 1/2 inch ar500 cut with plasma rather than laser (cheaper since it's a blem) with a single hole for static target. And one of those hang fast target adapters from the website that was spammed repeatedly - I know you have to get the word out there somehow no hard feelings. And also a small 5/16 7 inch plate for a shooting buddy for strictly non magnums.

I waffled between 1 or 2 mounting holes but then found out that I would be able to leave a T-post driven in on this property so went with the adapter. If I'm not happy with it I may try to construct a frame like WVsig has so kindly taken the time to provide pictures of. I found plans for a rebar and turnbuckle frame that could be made cheaply for hanging gongs but I'm trying to avoid setup times.

Thanks for your help, I hope to get back to you after the goods come in.
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Old June 14, 2015, 05:43 AM   #21
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We use a lot of gongs at my club. if you have a 11x13 1/2 steel plate hung by 10" of chains have no worry pistol won't even budge that steel as far as swinging. I frequently shoot gongs 14X18X .500" hung down about 16" at our 200 meter rifle range and even a .300 win mag will only swing the gong about 4". A few tips about gongs , first like others suggested try to hang the gong with heavy rubber straps. Chain while it works does not stand up well to missed shots hitting and breaking the links. The other tip is the angle of the face of the gong. You don't want the gong perpendicular you want the gong about a 10 degree angle downwards so the shots ricochet downwards into the ground. We use short pieces of 1/2" pipe nipples to offset the mount points. lastly be vigilant of bullet jacket shrapnel at closer shooting distances , wear wraparound eye protection.
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