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Old January 13, 2017, 12:40 AM   #1
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handguns, AR500, and distance?

hello all,
I recently bought a nifty AR500 hanger plate that hangs the plate off the side of a tree and would like to test it out asap. my question is what is the minimum distance to shoot AR500 with handguns? I've been hit with ricochets and would REALLY like to avoid repeats of the fun of flopping around on the ground shouting profanity.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old January 13, 2017, 01:20 AM   #2
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I shoot mine as close as 10yards or so. Haven't been hit yet.
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Old January 13, 2017, 02:45 AM   #3
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Handgun minimum distance should be 25 yards !!!
It's always better if the target is set at a 45* angle so the bullets hit and deflect downwards ! A swinging target absorbs some of the energy also.
My target is set at 45* and has been used for up to 44 mag with no problems .
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old January 13, 2017, 08:07 AM   #4
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I regularly shoot my steel as close as 7 yards. The target should either angle downward or be sufficiently free-swinging to absorb impact and not send ricochets back your way...preferably both. I've never had a problem, even with copper jacketed ammo. Of course, eye protection and long sleeves/pants are standard.

Of course, your mileage may vary.
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Old January 13, 2017, 08:38 AM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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I've shot professionally made steel targets as close as 5yds; maybe even closer than that on occasion. However, I've also caught jacket fragments in the face and arms on a number of occasions.

I've also watched an IDPA bystander go down when a bullet into a popper base ricocheted and penetrated into her stomach about an inch or two from about 20yds away (Freakish shot where it hit bolts mounting popper to base just right).

Oddly enough, the three times I've been hit by ricochets were all on indoor ranges and the round was moving slowly like someone threw it, so no damage - though one that came in under the range table did get my attention through excellent shot placement despite the low velocity But it goes to show that even at 25yds with a good series of baffles, stuff happens if you shoot enough.
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Old January 13, 2017, 08:40 AM   #6
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Lead bullets can ricochet and make you bleed, too.
Flattened out quarter size lead with sharp edges can come back like Ninja knives.
If you want to avoid the problem all together, use hanging bowling pins instead.
Or bottles, preferably plastic, filled with food coloring tinted water.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old January 13, 2017, 09:01 AM   #7
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AR500 can take the hits at PBR. But that does not mean you won't get fragged. Heavy slow bullets tend to come back towards the shooter more than lighter bullets. Targets that are angled with the top towards the shooter tend to push more of the bullets and frags down, but that will also allow some to come towards the shooter if hit near the top. Good steel, set up right and shot with high enough velocity handgun bullets is the best bet. If they cup or pit, they will tend to have more comebackers.

I have seen worse frags off bowling pins and we do not allow them at our range.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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Old January 13, 2017, 09:17 AM   #8
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Splatter is possible at pistol distances and beyond.


Somewhere I have a pair of shooting glasses with a piece of lead imbedded in the lens.

I already have sever hearing damage, I want to at least be able to see to shoot in my remaining years.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old January 13, 2017, 09:27 AM   #9
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Bowling pins can become a threat if they're used too long and get full of bullets.
I've used them for years without harm.
Just replace them when they get heavy, like they do at the pin matches.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old January 13, 2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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An informative video by Hickock45 I watched a while back
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Old January 13, 2017, 12:17 PM   #11
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At the very least metal targets should lean toward you at the top a few inches. 15 degrees is enough to deflect most of the splatter towards the ground. 7 yards (21 feet) is typically as close as you should be.
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Old January 13, 2017, 12:45 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
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The minimum distance will depend on the ammo. Mostly what bullet. A cast bullet will flatten upon impact. Doesn't mean bits of a flat bullet won't break off and come right back though. Buddy of mine took a slice of cast .45 in the forehead, years ago, shooting steel pins from 7 yards. Wasn't fatal, but the wee bit had a point that bent on his skull and stuck in the hide. Required minor surgery to get out. Wasn't there with my Swiss Army knife. snicker.
Like mete says, 20 to 25 would be my choice. Really isn't an 'if' thing. It's a 'when'.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old January 13, 2017, 03:27 PM   #13
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I've been hit hundreds of times from bowling pins, steel targets, hits on the target hanger, and plain 'ol backstop. It's par for the course when you shoot in steel league.

I've told this story before, but one time I was at a match with my Dad and saw him full-body-flinch and he turned to look at me and there was a flat piece of lead about 1/4" stuck in the end of his nose!

Eye protection: Always. Always face the targets while others are shooting. If I was the on-deck shooter I might hold up a 2' x 3' cardboard target backer to soak up the hits.

I've heard that 15 yards is the minimum, but our range was only 50' long, so we often shot closer.

I play paintball, and 99% of the returns I've been hit with are about the same level of ouch.
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Old January 27, 2017, 01:54 PM   #14
Dr Watson
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Eye protection is a must- even then Iv almost lost my left eye to a piece that hit my shirt then flew up under my glasses!?

Also as others have said angle on the target makes a big deference.
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Old January 27, 2017, 04:04 PM   #15
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usually about 15 - 20 yds. On a good day.
Avid hunter and outdoorsman, and full time construction worker. I also dabble in blogging.
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