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Paper or steel?

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Old 03-03-2003, 12:13 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,515
Paper or steel?

Hi all. Wasn't sure where to plunk this question so I plunked it here. Give me a day or two and I'll get the hang of where stuff goes. Anyway...

What types of tatgets do you like to use for practice and getting the dope on your loads? Do you preffer to shoot paper at shorter ranges and switch to steel gongs at the longer distances or do you go for paper all the way out?

Also does anyone have any suggestions for building gongs? I'm looking for input on materials (T1, 4140 plate or other steel),sizes (10", 12", 18" or does it matter),and maybe a few ideas for construction (simple and quick to set up but wont fall apart as soon as the frame or hanger gets shot).

GRAVITY. It's not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
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Old 03-03-2003, 07:30 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: mi
Posts: 991
Re: Paper or steel?

This is an old post that may help
crow mag
If you think something is not possible move out of the way so the ones that are doing it can
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Old 03-03-2003, 09:12 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Central Minnesota
Posts: 22
Re: Paper or steel?

I have pictures from the weekend. Is there anyone who I can e-mail them to that can post them for me?!?!? It is funny that there is a post about this today. Me and a friend were trying to decide that exact thing this weekend. We went and found a steel plate that is about 2 1/2 feet across. 5/8" thick steel. We were shooting at it from 609 yds. It was alot of fun. Next weekend we are going out to 1000 yds and trying it for the first time. Anyone who could post pics of our steel plate please contact me at casey.weber.jn9e@statefarm.com Thanks!!
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Old 03-03-2003, 09:57 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Paper or steel?

We have to take our steel with us for each shoot, as opposed to having permanently placed targets. We are using simple 2"x4" four foot tall, five foot wide, saw-horses for 1, 2 and 300 yards, placing a 2'x4' piece of plastic corrugated board for a target backing. From 400 to 1000 we are using either old swing-sets or the same saw-horses for holding sheets of steel that are also 2' high and 4' wide. We have three weights of steel plates, 0.5", 0.375" and 0.25". Most bullets are still pretty rough on the plates at 400 so we hang a second 15"x15"x 1/2" square plate down the middle of the big one and beat it up, saves bending the big one into a bow. All plates have a 1/4" hole drilled into the top corners and we use "S" hooks and pieces of light chain to hang the plates. The weight of the plate holds the saw-horse together, we use the cheap tin legholders with an aligator jaw on top to hold the crosspiece. You have to watch the 2"x4"'s when you handle them, they get some nasty shrapnel in them. Old swingset is better, it is big enough that it rarely gets hit. We haul our steel plates in an old flatbed trailor, 1/2 plates get very heavy quick. Make sure you have lots of white spray paint and you are in business.
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Old 03-03-2003, 11:09 AM
Writers Guild
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Paper or steel?

For load testing and making drop tables, I use paper. I need to see and measure where the bullets land relative to the bullseye.

For plinking, I will use plates 8" square and bigger. This indicates the boiler room of different game and allow hits to be seen and sometimes heard.

Get the thickest stuff you can find. Any scrap mild steel will work. At 385yds, my 308 and 155gr Amax went through 1/4" plate so gives you an idea of how much energy and damage our rifles can do. At 1000yds, the impacts don't dent the plates much.

Use contrasting paint and have at it. If you can make a swinging target, this will be easier on the plates in the long run. For a lot of my LR plinking, I also choose suitably sized rocks.


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Old 03-05-2003, 02:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 1,173
Re: Paper or steel?

I've got an article at Varmint Hunter Mag. that will be published "soon", entitled, "Portable Range Design for Long-Range Testing". Here's what it is in a nutshell. For long-range testing i use a very simple target that is very portable, light, simple and cheap to make. I use 5' pieces of electrical conduit that i can put any size piece of cardboard between, by attaching it to the conduit with plastic cable ties along both edges. I use rebar or any metal rod i can find for stakes hammered into the ground and the whole works fits right over the stakes. Conduit and stakes are easily found at most any junkyard, and the cable ties are cheap at Dollar General stores. I setup all the targets at once wherever i'm going to shoot, and shoot either from my tailgate or portable bench. If the terrain allows i have a spotter downrange (in a safe position) with walkie talkie, so we can communicate. The system works great, and I can carry 8 or 10 of these targets in the back of my pickup, along with my bench.
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Old 03-08-2003, 01:37 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,515
Re: Paper or steel?

Thanks everyone for your input. I now have a few good ideas on whatI need to build and a great answer to what I am doing with the kids old swingset frame.
GRAVITY. It's not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
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