Home made steel targets

RAGGED EDGE

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Jun 16, 2012
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Yellowstone Country
If you have a heat source you might try hardening one for comparison. If no other choice, build a bonfire and look for a cherry red color. This will take a while. Then throw it in a 50 gal. drum half full of water, CAREFULLY. Depending on alloy, might work, might not. I know they are heavy, and too big to treat with a torch. Good luck, and, again, Be Very Careful. Good luck.
 

redneckdan

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Aug 2, 2007
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MN Iron Range
For longer distances, they will work fine. I have a 12" x 12" pieces of A36 at 100yds for zero verification. Its pretty chewed up and throws splatter but nothing comes close to the firing point. Try to hang it so it is angled down. Pick fragile bullets like a thin jacked cup and core versus a solid like a barnes. Eventually, it will be too chewed up to use.
 

DJ Fergus

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I do not expect to shoot this at shorter ranges with anything other then a 22, I have plenty of political signs for my big rifle, I want to have them for longer shots
I would think you would be ok with a 22lr at 100yds. These would probably be fine at 500 yds with a non ultra mag sized center fire as long as no one else was within 500 yds either. My mother who is now 70 y.o. used to shoot all kinds of varmints with a Ruger revolver 22 pistol. Years ago she shot at a possum in front of a tree and some how hit the tree. She was about 15 foot from the tree. The bullet come back and hit her low on her shin. It didn't break the skin but left a bad wep. It was an all lead bullet.
 

ntsqd

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Upper SoKA
In all of these scare stories no one mentions whether the plates were fixed or swinging. That is a hugely significant omission. All of my own richocet & spatter experiences came from fixed plates or plates that used to swing but due to a poor shot no longer did so.

Due to these experiences I prefer the pivot to be close to the target plate. The shorter lever length induces more angular displacement for the same horizontal displacement.
 

DJ Fergus

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In all of these scare stories no one mentions whether the plates were fixed or swinging. That is a hugely significant omission. All of my own richocet & spatter experiences came from fixed plates or plates that used to swing but due to a poor shot no longer did so.

Due to these experiences I prefer the pivot to be close to the target plate. The shorter lever length induces more angular displacement for the same horizontal displacement.
I use two heavy chains on my ar500 targets and they pivot nicely
 

esshup

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Mar 23, 2008
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N. Central Indiana
Like others have said the plates will crater. If possible, make them fixed, not swinging, and angle the top towards you at 30°. That will minimize any spatter coming back at you. Good find!!! At the range they have a 3" or 4" thick piece of steel hanging straight down, at IIRC the 500 yd mark. It's almost shot through due to all the craters, next time I'm there I need to take a picture of it.
 

ntsqd

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Thanks, but I have a piece of .45 ACP projectile in the the top of my left hand because the plate no longer swung. I'll keep them moving. By allowing them to move it takes some of the impact energy and diverts it into making the plate move thereby improving the life of the plate. When it moves it is no longer face-on to the shooter creating a deflecting angle for anything that might try to come back towards the shooter.
 

esshup

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Thanks, but I have a piece of .45 ACP projectile in the the top of my left hand because the plate no longer swung. I'll keep them moving. By allowing them to move it takes some of the impact energy and diverts it into making the plate move thereby improving the life of the plate. When it moves it is no longer face-on to the shooter creating a deflecting angle for anything that might try to come back towards the shooter.
That's true for vertical plates, but the downward angle deflects to the ground. Remember we are talking about 100+ yd away too, not a close pistol target. Even so, they are now finding out that the angled targets are safer, even for close range pistol targets.

How far away was the target that you shot with the .45 where it splashed back and hit your hand?
 

Mike Gunn

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Dec 20, 2019
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Tennessee
I was at a wedding and noticed on one side of the property they had a scrap metal pile so I walked over and saw about 7-8 thick steel circles, so I talked to the man and bought 3 for $10

They are 16” diameter and 1.25” thick, not sure the type of steel but figure they would work fine for small cal up to 100 and then the main reason is for the “longer” ranged shots to place across a field. Question is does anyone think that this will not work for my purpose?
I worked in a welding shop fo 40 years we've made targets from everything half inch thick and up right now I have a piece of 1 inch thick plate that we've shot with 300 rum, 7mm rem mag 223 it will eventually wear out but it's lasted about a year and still going
 

Texanjohn

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SE Pa.
If you hang the plate so it swings, a good way to do that is to weld a chain-link To the back of the plate about a quarter of the way down from the top if you hang it from that link it will be angled slightly down and will result in a much safer shooting target, as always error on the safe side.
 

ntsqd

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That's true for vertical plates, but the downward angle deflects to the ground. Remember we are talking about 100+ yd away too, not a close pistol target. Even so, they are now finding out that the angled targets are safer, even for close range pistol targets.

How far away was the target that you shot with the .45 where it splashed back and hit your hand?
Closer than 100 yds. I wasn't the shooter and the shooter didn't notice that his last round had locked up the hinge.

The thing about a swinging target is that it IS angled down, or angled more down depending on the initial set-up, in the minuscule time between initial contact and spatter or a ricochet occurs. The act of swinging the target also absorbs some of the impact energy, leaving less to power a ricochet.

Until there is a peer reviewed scientific study done on free moving vs. fixed steel plate targets, angled down or not, that concludes that a fixed target, again angled down or not, is safer than a swinging target I'm simply not going to believe that an angled down, fixed target is safer than a free swinging target so long as that swinging target is set -up with an initial vertical to angled down face orientation. Texanjohn's suggestion sounds like a good one to consider using. How that swinging target that injured my hand swung was NOT.
 

Joefrazell

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Apr 29, 2017
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I use a 1/4 mild steel plate for longer ranges. My 6.5 cm won't go through unless 600 or less shooting 147 eldm at 2715 and the 300 win mag with 225 eldm's at 2850 will put holes in it until it's past 800 yards but will really beat the hell out of it.
 

DJ Fergus

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I use a 1/4 mild steel plate for longer ranges. My 6.5 cm won't go through unless 600 or less shooting 147 eldm at 2715 and the 300 win mag with 225 eldm's at 2850 will put holes in it until it's past 800 yards but will really beat the hell out of it.
My old 500 yard target was 1/4" mild steel. Most everything I had would go through it except a 25-06 with 80 gr Barnes ttsx. Lead bullets from the 25-06 would go through it.
 
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