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Old June 9, 2018, 12:27 PM   #1
AL45
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Steel targets-strike two

My Wife and I started shooting steel targets about 6 months ago. We have had no issues when shooting rimfires and handguns from.22 to .45. The problem has been my .308. I have a 3/8, AR500 target which said it was good from 150 yards with a .308 under 3000 FPS. I'm using reloads of 150 grain jacketed soft points and according to the load data should be at 2800 fps. I'm shooting from a 16" barrel, so it is probablly a little less. From 300 yards it is still making a small dimple in the target. So I purchased a 1/2" AR500 target from a different company that said it was good from 100 yards. Well, a 165 grain jacketed soft point at 2500 fps at 110 yards is making a small dimple in it. So I loaded some 150 grain jacketed soft points all the way down to 1200 fps and by golly they worked fine. I did have to aim 12 inches high to hit the taget at 110 yards though. The 3/8 target is made by Champion, the 1/2 target has the Cabelas name on it. Is there a such of thing as a steel target that works as advertised?
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Old June 9, 2018, 04:22 PM   #2
Sharkbite
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I use “shoot steel.com”targets for all my training usage. Check em out.
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Old June 9, 2018, 05:43 PM   #3
10-96
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I always assumed the rating for XX thickness of plates to stand up to XX caliber at XX distance was for the projectile not to pass completely through.

With added weight comes added energy upon the impact point. Would it be possible to look at bullets in the 125 to 130 grain ballpark? Or even bullets engineered towards the Varmint Bullet style of construction and weight?
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Old June 10, 2018, 04:26 PM   #4
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3/8” AR500 should be pretty much untouched from .308 at 100yds and definitely at 300yds. Dimples/dents would be caused more by energy rather than directly by velocity. AR500 is generally rated to 2,800fps and 3,000ftlb at impact. But the 150gr at 2,800fps you mentioned would only be around 2,600 ftlb at muzzle.

Most companies do consider a certain level of denting acceptable. That being said, if you’re sure of the loads’ velocities then I am surprised you’re getting anything from a JSP. I’ve tested 150 gr FMJ @ 2900fps and 180 JSP @ 2700fps both at 100 yards on 3/8” with no ill effects.
If you’re able to post some images that would be useful
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Old June 10, 2018, 10:19 PM   #5
AL45
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Redhoundtargets, maybe I can get my Wife to post the pictures. I'm a technology inept cuss who still carries a flip phone. The dimples are 5/32" diameter and 1/64" deep. I don't believe they pose a riccochet hazard. I was expecting the rifle rounds to respond like the handgun rounds and just knock the paint off. By the way, this was on 1/2" AR500 steel.
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Old June 11, 2018, 02:44 PM   #6
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For hi-power, 30-06 on down the list of smaller calibers...may I suggest that you should invest in AR550 steel targets. They are less prone to crater, compared to the AR500 targets. I would also avoid buying the bunny eared bolt hole steel targets, because they are prone to break where the ear connects to the rest of the steel target.
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Old June 12, 2018, 01:40 PM   #7
Chainsaw.
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Rifles will dimple steel. Period. As stated 550 should dimple less but its getting hard enough to where it might crack someday.

308 is a stout round, its supposed to damage things. Your steel will last a good while, just know not forever. Once it starts curving spin it and shoot the other side.
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Old June 13, 2018, 08:40 AM   #8
RedHoundTargets
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As Erno and Chainsaw stated, over time you will see some damage show up with riflerounds, and even magnum pistol. While a totally flat surface is the ideal, the size dimples like you’ve mentioned shouldn’t be a big concern.

Higher hardness (AR550) will mostly help prevent chipping/pitting - though really only slightly - which is arguably a greater concern than dimples/bending. The chipping is due to essentially heat treating the target material with heat generated from impact which makes it brittle such that it breaks off. That heat is mainly a factor of velocity so fast movers like 5.56 or .220 swift are going to do that kind of damage if not accounted for.

Thicker target material will generally help with denting/bending. Same idea as pushing your finger against a single piece of paper vs an entire ream. More layers of material backing up the spot you’re pressing on and keeping it in place.

I’m not sure of your setup but it will definitely help if you ensure the target is hung so it’s bottom is angled away from you - about 20 degrees or more is ideal - both for targetlongevity, and especially for safety.
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