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Steel Target Thickness

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Unread 01-16-2008, 05:43 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 73
Steel Target Thickness

I am starting to put up a 1000 yard range out on our farm. We have empty land behind the targets for a honest 2 mile clearance beyond the 1000 yards. And on top of that you are shooting slowly downhill until you get to a bank a couple 100 yards past the 1000 target.

But to the main question. I want to know what thickness of mild steel I am going to need to stop these bullets. The biggest hitter we currently have is my .300 Win Mag firing 200gr GameKings at 2850. But since I am really looking at either a 338LM or 338EDGE I need something that can stop them as well.

The 100-300yd targets will be railroad ties w/ sheets of plywood for sticking on targets. Its the 400-1000yd targets I need an idea of what thickness I should be looking at. I am thinking I wan't 10x10 1/2" for the 400-800 and 12x12 3/8" for 900-1000yds. Is that too thin or good enough?

any help is appreciated.
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Unread 01-16-2008, 07:24 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 668
I would look into some harder steel unless you like to weld alot. Ar500 comes to mind.
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Unread 01-16-2008, 07:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,194
Steel Targets


I would recomend that you find some farmer or a tractor place
and talk them out of some of the used disc,or high tensile steel
like A 387or SA387 d that have about 100,000lb tensile strength
as compaired to 60.000 lb tensile of mild steel.

If you have a fab shop near by you could settle for some 516-70
plate ,still better than mild steel.

A .338 300gr SMK will shoot through a 1/2 inch mild steel plate at
600yrds so maybe it would work at 1000yrds but I would'nt count
on it.

The disc are hardened and might work if double stacked, but if you
had a good supply who cares if you shot a few holes in them,

And if you left the center hole open when you missed you could claim
the bullet went dead center. Ha Ha just kidding.

Also suspend the plate using some chain so it can give when hit.

I hope this wil help
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Unread 01-16-2008, 08:39 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 558
From what I have seen using mild steel no matter what the distance is a waste of time, it will either dent or go through. If you get a piece of AR500 or better yet Hardox 500 in 3/8" you can throw almost anything at it and it wont even scratch it as long as you have it suspended.
It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
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Unread 01-16-2008, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: El Reno, OK
Posts: 1,497
A buddy of mine has a great range out to 750yds behind his house. I believe he uses mild steel and we frequently beat the crap out of it. at 250yds he has a circular disc that is 3" thick and nothing has shot through it yet but at 338 Allen Mag will do a HELL of alot of damage to it, we only shot it once because of the 1.5" divot it left in it. He also has some 3" wide by 1" thick discs set up on spinners but the problem with them is that big 30cals and 338's have torn the disc off of the rod it hangs from.

At some of the steel shoots i have gone to my 270 Allen mag was banned because I was punching holes in the 3/8" steel targets out to 950yds!!

Get some strong steel or be prepared to weld alot!!! Tractor disc's area good idea.

Steve Elmenhorst
Third Generation Shooting Supply
"Products for shooters, by shooters"
monday-friday 8:30-5:30 CST
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Unread 01-16-2008, 10:11 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: spokane wa
Posts: 162
hi you need to ask shawn carlock he shoots a lot of steel and i think he would know defensiveedge.net
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Unread 01-16-2008, 10:43 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
A piece of 3/8 T1 plate would work for must of the rounds at 500yds untill you start pushing realy high velocity rounds at it. AR500 is better but cost a bit more. At a few places I have shot they used old flanges from large pipelines they are generaly about an inch thick and when they are suspended from cables or chain they last alot longer.

If you can't find any T1 or AR500 that I would just use two piecs of 3/8 bolted together with a piece of 1/2" plywood between them , this laminated effect will destroy the bullet enough with the first plate to keep it from passing through and the playwood will allow the energy to dissapate alot so that the second plate doesen't get damaged to bad , but you are still gonna have to replace steel everyso often , the only problem with this setup is you don't get that awsome THWACK when the bullet hits its a much more muffled WHOP
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Molon Labe
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