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Steel Plates at 300 yards - A Comparison of 3/4" T1 and AR400 Plate Steel

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Unread 03-13-2004, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 837
Re: Steel Plates at 300 yards - A Comparison of 3/4" T1 and AR400 Plate Steel

I hang my A-514 plates from 3" bolts in the corners through chains, this allows the plates to angle down. Even at 400 yds a 6 X 8 inch plate will jump a foot when hit. The "dents" look the same as Brents plates when hit by the HV boomers. In contrast, when I use a 308 Win match load all it does is knock the paint off.

Some time ago I ask an old time silhouette shooter about hanging plates at angles to help lessen the damage to the steel and he said it won't make any difference. I ask then what do you do with the dings, he said you weld them up. Maybe this is what will have to be done when firing at closer range.

Has anyone considered using railroad tie plates? They are very hard and would be cheap as scrap and even have prepunched square holes in the corners for hanging. I think I'll try a few and see what happens.

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Unread 03-13-2004, 10:08 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: Steel Plates at 300 yards - A Comparison of 3/4" T1 and AR400 Plate Steel


Great question. If you could see the local range, and its layout you'd probably agree it's best with an angle to them to deflect them down, I think.

The berms between the ranges are about 10' tall. Problem is, after years of growth, there's good size trees on top of the berms. The reason it's a "potential" problem with trees on top of the berms is just that bullets deflected up into them can pretty easily be turned back down and even reversed down into the ajoining range.

As you know, I've used tie wire to hang my plates for some time. The nuts I welded on the back just so happen to cause it to hang with a very slight angle, hardly any at all on the larger ones really... a total byproduct of the nuts and a place to tie my wire to is all that was.

As far as a recommendation for building in some amount of an angle to a hanging plate, I guess that's just in case you feel you need to for your situation.

The pipe welded to the plate worked out well, but mainly was just a bit extra insurance that guys would have a harder time making off with the plates in the event they were so inclined. The range gates can be opened 24/7 by anyone with an EPM membership card (the magnetic card opens the gate), so unattended, the unscrupulous do have access to even disassemble the stand and take the plates, or the whole darn thing if they wanted to. S hooks and chains would just be easier for them to they figured, I think "that" had more to do with it than anything.

I told them I wouldn't build any setups on the 200 yard range, as I'd never ever feel comfortable about going down past guys shooting on steel at the 200 yard range with only a berm seperating it from the 300, nor would I be responsible for erecting one on the 200 for that reason.

They decided to push the back berm on the 200 yard range out to 300 yards this spring as a result. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] We'd push them all back further but there's a cliff just yards beyond the 300 yard mark that falls into the ocean, which really sucks. So, this range will never be any longer than 300, that's a guaranteed deal there.

What's even more stupid IMO is, there is an airport less than 1/4 mile right to your 6 o'clock to the shooting lanes, and further behind that, there's mountains fairly close. Consequently, the downwind leg of the landing pattern is right out in front of the lanes (12 o'clock) we shoot down! Big friggin deal if the planes are at 1000' AGL in the downwind leg, what's a 1000 feet to a bullet going that fast! How they even allow it is just beyond my comprehention. Not to mention, the berms at the end of the lanes are nearly what I call dirty pit run gravel, very little fines even in the stuff. They should be dirt!

First time you hear a bullet ricochet from another range and then fall at your "feet" when you're walking down range to your target, you become keenly aware of the danger shooting at this place! Another reason I prefer the river bar for shooting.

The only reason they wanted the legs on the stands to be 5 feet long was because of the snow build up, and snow berms from plowing a little road to the back of the shooting lanes for people to drive down to set up targets. Snow usually isn't more than a foot or two deep really, but they plow down the right side of the lane to the 200 yards then straight across the lane, then down to the 300 yard mark on the left side of the lane for the guys shooting on the left end of the benches to shoot further out. It's ridiculous they way they plow it, and most everyone sets their target stands out in the deep snow and not in the road anyway. But, the way they do it they leave snow berms all over the place so 5' high is just another fix for a problem "they" created.

I was going to make them frames the way your last ones were, as they're simple to set up, and work great, just the theft issue was still there. I had it all worked out just that way, chains and all, they just didn't like the idea from the get go. Hell, they even had tons of 3" thick wall gas pipe from the pipe line and it wouldn't have cost nothing for the frame materials.

I told them about the small threaded pipe setup I used and they figured it would be deturant enough for anyone to remove the plates from it.

I'm going to build one like you guys use for out on the river, as it's so much quicker to setup and break down each time. I don't want to leave it standing out in the open, and I don't want to keep toting the steel frame out there in my Bronco either. I figure I can pop the top off of the legs and stash everything in the bushes a few feet behind the spot we shoot. Unscewing the pipe legs etc just takes longer than it needs to.
Brent Moffitt
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