First off let me tell you what I have. I have turned part of my farm into a rifle range. We have the ability to shoot out to about 980 yards. What I am looking for are steel plates to place on the range to, well I'm lazy I want to save some leg time. We are in the process of building a pistol range as well and would like some steel for this as well.
I have researched this and I have found that I would be better going with armor plated steel. Really??? Let me tell you my design plans and you guys tell me what is best for my range.
Two 6ft landscaping timbers, drill a two inch hole in the top of the timbers, one piece of pipe (stiff enough to support the steel target), two chains, one piece of steel.
What I am want to do is seat the timbers in the ground with about a two foot depth. Then come in with ready-mix and concrete them in. Take the pipe and run it through the 2" holes that are in the tops of both timbers. Secure the chains to the pipe so that the chains do not move, kind of like a weight letter would secure the weights to the pole for doing bench presses. That way I can remove the pipe, chains, and target from the timbers and secure them in my barn when I am not there. For the steel target, I am going to create two attachment points for the chain.
The steel target is going to be suspended and will have the ability to "give" when the round impacts the target. So in this case, do I really need this armor plated target? I know nothing about what thicknesses steel comes in. I have read that 3.8" is what a lot of folks use. As far as what calibers would be used on my range. I want everyone who I bring out to be able to shoot what ever gun they have and my steel handle it. If I have to go to armor plated steel, I am going to only do it for one or maybe two targets, since the majority of guns that will be on range will be a 300 or smaller.
Now if my design plans need some work, please tell me how you would change them and why. What thickness do I really need both for gun calibers 300 RUM and smaller. What thickness for guns over 300 RUM?
For the pistol range. I have some rough plans drawn up for it. But I would appreciate any plans or ideas for this range. As far as the pistol range is concerned, if you could build your dream pistol range, what would you do? Maybe you already have your dream pistol range, so can you post some pics of it? Could you please tell me the things that I should have, things I do not need, things to consider when building, and things to avoid. We are wanting to design a pulley system for the pistols. So if you have some good ideas for this, please share them.
Where is the best place to get adequate steel for my range? Welding supply? If I have to get a sheet of armor plated steel, where in the world do I get this stuff?
We are in the works of designing shooting houses for both the rifle range and the pistol range. I want it to be as comfortable as possible. We are also designing a location behind the shooting houses for those who just want to hang out while others shoot. A place to set up a grill and cook or just chill out and relax and have a beer or whatever.
LRH Classifides had AR 500 steel.
Id recomend the thickest steel you can afford, for longevity.
I have cheapo weldable steel plates (3/4"x 14"x 18" bases for steel columns) they pock mark HORRIBLY from 400- & closer. They're great for 500+ on out for 338 win-Partitions, 300Wby-Accubonds, 270WSM-Accubonds, 223 -BALL/fmj etc.
I will say, that they do "star crack" the paint on the opposite side of the plate where the bullets strike. It's cheap (free) steel tho, so I couldn't complain too much.
Wally world sells .99cent white enamel spray paint. Everywhere else is almost $3.00. When all your doin is painting for spotting bullet splashes, its handy to know.
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'
GOD,GUNS,&GUTTS MADE AMERICA, LETS KEEP ALL 3!winmag
"I have No idea why that cop made me ride in the back seat, when I Clearly called Shotgun!"
I use scrap metal. 1/2 - 3/4". Buy it at the local steel supply house. They have mountains of scrap plate all shapes and sizes. Usually pay a few bucks a plate. It divets, I don't care. My targets have taken years of pounding. I hang them off little collars. A piece of 1.5" pipe welded to the plate and slipped over the hanger rod. I've also used webbing to hang them with. You will likely shoot your chains now and then, dropping the target.
+1 for scrap metal. There's no reason to pay top dollar for something you're just going to shoot at. Go to a machine shop and see what they have lying around that they will sell you for a few bucks. They could probably even cut it to whatever size/shape you want and also drill a couple holes for you for hanging.
That being said, generally, harder steel will last longer and will also give you a nicer "gong" sound when hit than softer steel will. And spray-painting the target will allow you to see exactly where on the plate you hit.
Good luck bro!