Shooting Steel Plates Safely

EdWalton

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Oct 4, 2014
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55
Location
Albany, GA

I’ve been fascinated with long rang shooting since I found this site. So I bought a Schmidt & Bender scope (5 – 25 x 56mm) for my Remington 700 chambered in 300 Winchester Mag.

The power-line on our club’s lease has a rise of about 40 feet, at the bottom 600 yards away I’ve setup my target, it rolls slightly but it’s fairly level for the next 1800 yards, with a large rise on the other side of our property line.

I’ve hung a steel plate with two 2 foot chains from a swing set like contraption that I built, the plate is 24 inches in diameter, 5/8 inch thick, and weighs 120 lbs.

I’ve been shooting Barnes 165 grain Triple-shock bullets, my last five shot group was high and right, but the group was less than 8 inches.

I’ve watched too many movies, as I was expecting dents in the plate, with the plate swing around the cross beam several times, and my gong rattling teeth and toe nails for miles around.

Reality is the bullets leave a small copper dust circle that will wash off in the rain not leaving a mark in the paint; there’s no thundering gong, just a slight ping that can be heard only if the electronic earmuffs are turned all the way up.

Hopefully everyone’s had a laugh, but my problem is the plate doesn’t pendulum and redirect the bullet in to the ground past the plate as I planned; the bullet isn’t going to come back up the hill, but if I keep going out at some point it’s going to get dangerous. Other than not shooting how do I maintain safety?

I’ve seen the YouTube video where the 50 cal bullet returns and takes off the shooters headphones.
 

trazman

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Nov 8, 2011
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Slovenia
I don't know about safety, but for downrange power you will have to switch to a better bullet. With lets say a berger 210gr vld or maybe 215 hybrid with a much better BC than yours you will have a bigger effect on target, specially if you are planning to hunt at that distances.

However good choice on the scope. I have this scope for several years now and it is just perfect!
 

Garycrow

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Jan 30, 2011
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503
At longer ranges like that a ping is usually all you get. One way to make it swing more would be to switch to a lighter gong, either make it smaller round or out of thinner steel. Too much mass will keep it from moving much. A lighter gong will also ring louder.
 

ATH

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Oct 7, 2003
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Lizton, IN
I am not sure why you think you have a safety problem. If you are hitting the gong more or less perpendicular and it's leaving a circular mark, it is likely that the bullet is destroying itself on impact. Steel gets dangerous when people use a cratered and pocked piece and not a flat one.

What you've experienced is simple physics. A 120lb gong won't get knocked around any more than a similar weight person firing the gun, and far less at extended range. I'd second using a heavier bullet that makes better use of the cartridge's potential if you want better results at extended ranges.
 

Dgd6mm

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Jul 14, 2008
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All things are good. If I were to make a change it would be this, 12"x12" x1/2" ar500 steel, and go to the 208 Amax. With the smaller steel you will get your visual and audible effects.
 

EdWalton

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Oct 4, 2014
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55
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Albany, GA
Most of the times it's just me on the property, but I want to share my long range shooting with others, and I don't want to risk Hurting others. If it's safe, then the difference between my expectation and reality are just amusing to me.

I was expecting to transfer an enormous amount of energy, the first remark was we could use my swing set to lift the engine & transmission out of the truck when needed.

When I improve my consistency I'll try shooting hogs from my stand, but come deer season there'll be to many club members wanting to hunt the power-line, so I'll not be able to hunt deer safely from my perch on the ridge.

Jokes about my cluelessness will be enjoyed.
Laymen's comments about the physics involved would help.
All comments about maintaining & improving safety are greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ed
 

cowboy

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Jul 14, 2007
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Location
Mt., Id. , SD
[I’ve hung a steel plate with two 2 foot chains from a swing set like contraption that I built, the plate is 24 inches in diameter, 5/8 inch thick, and weighs 120 lbs.] Quote

You might consider adding 2 more chains to the bottom side of your plate and fastening them with chain so that your plate has a downward and back angle to it so that the bullets would be deflected in a downward trajectory upon impact. It shouldn't take too much of an angle to accomplish this - experiment and adjust the length of your lower chains accordingly.
 

EdWalton

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Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
55
Location
Albany, GA
[I’ve hung a steel plate with two 2 foot chains from a swing set like contraption that I built, the plate is 24 inches in diameter, 5/8 inch thick, and weighs 120 lbs.] Quote

You might consider adding 2 more chains to the bottom side of your plate and fastening them with chain so that your plate has a downward and back angle to it so that the bullets would be deflected in a downward trajectory upon impact. It shouldn't take too much of an angle to accomplish this - experiment and adjust the length of your lower chains accordingly.
I do believe that is the answer.

Thank You

Ed
 

engineer40

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May 5, 2015
Messages
977
Location
Rockford, MI
I also like the steel gongs that have the center bulls eyes that move independently of the gong. Those really go flying and provides a lot of visual feedback. And since they are AR500 steel and chained to the gong, they always just fall right back into place. Vuuuuury niiice!
 

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