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  #1  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:56 AM
KRMF KRMF is offline
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Home made steel targets?




I want to build some 8" steel targets to practice on but I'm not sure if there are any standards for them.

What kind of steel thickness/weight would they be?

A bigger question, where do the slugs go after they hit a steel plate? Are the plates generally vertical or are they angled up or down?

I'm thinking simple... round target plate with a base to hold it up.

Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:08 AM
jumbo72 jumbo72 is offline
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i'm a member of a gun club that has a pistol range that is exclusively steel targets. It seems that almost all of them are 1/4" steel plate, and none of them are solid mounted. I'd say if you just want a target, mount it on a hinge or something so you can knock it down, then set it up where you can pull a rope to reset. Or something like that. Just some other ideas: we have a post with 6-5" circles on it that pivot on the post, when you hit it swings to the other side, a silhouette hung on chains from a frame that the center mass is cut out and on a hinge, a set of 5" circles that are on hinges where when you knock them over, you can pull a rope that resets them all, several circles hung from a frame, etc, etc.

You can pretty much do anything you want, but the rule seems to be no centerfire rifles on the pistol range. Like i said, everything is 1/4" plate and it's all dented a little, but they have a 12" circle hanging in front of the awning that's the result of being fired at by rifles, it's not pretty. So as long as you use 1/4" plate (or something similar), and don't mount it solid, you should be good with any handgun.

As far as the slugs, i have no idea, sorry. It seems like most of mine end up in the dirt behind what i'm aiming for

Last edited by jumbo72; 02-28-2009 at 01:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:35 AM
Greyson Greyson is offline
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AR-500 steel is the "standard" steel for targets I have observed.

Regards,
Greyson
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:58 AM
1911.it 1911.it is offline
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Check this out http://www.lvsteeltargets.com/

I have one of his pepper poppers and it is GTG.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2009, 02:16 AM
KRMF KRMF is offline
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I've seen the type that swing to the other side when you hit it... I like that idea. I think they have one-on-one games to play with those that sound like a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, my local range is an unsupervised "free for all" outdoor setup and you have to assume that anything you put out there permanently is going to get hammered with (at least) a .375 H&H within a month and a .300 Winchester within a week.

I was thinking about portable targets I can take home with me. The fortunate part of my local range is I get to do pretty much whatever I want while I'm out there, just so long as it's not something stupid.

Thanks for the help... I'll have a chat with the local welder/fabricators and see what I can come up with.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2009, 09:31 AM
RonT RonT is offline
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Here's some that I made for our club. Used .700 steel plate, two steel tubes that slip together and a ~45* cut for the pivot point. The center tube is welded to the bottom tube, the outer top slips over.
R


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  #7  
Old 02-28-2009, 10:48 AM
Rinspeed Rinspeed is offline
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I make my own out of 304 SS using 1/4" plate. Shooting steel is much more fun than paper.



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  #8  
Old 02-28-2009, 11:04 AM
HarryT HarryT is offline
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Its safer to shoot steel targets with lead bullets. I you are shooting jacketed bullets, angle the target away from you to avoid ricochets. Always wear eye protection.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2009, 11:09 AM
Mike'sgooddeal Mike'sgooddeal is offline
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Since it sounds like you are new to steel shooting, here's some basic safety rules.

1) minimum safe distance to shoot steel with handgun is 10 yards (30 feet).

2) ALWAYS wear safety glasses, long pants and long sleeve shirts are a good idea also. This includes non shooters loading magazines or watching. To answer your question about where the bullets go... They basically shatter upon impact with steel and generally spray outward from the steel paralel with your target line. (the lead causes the grey on the targets in the pictures posted above) Some pieces will inevitably fly back at you and small cuts can result from copper jackets and larger chunks. Bring a few band-aids.

3) If the target starts getting significantly dented from round impact, replace it. Curious thing about steel...if a bullet strikes any of these little cups, there is a much greater likely hood the bullet will bounce straight back at you.

4) Moving targets help with the bullet ricochet, but stationary ones may also be used. Generally stationary ones have the top angled forward (down) so the fragments and ricochet chunks are more likely to hit the dirt than your forehead.

5) Don't eat or drink on the range. With steel targets you are much more likely to handle the target to reset and everything is covered with lead.

This is by no means an all inclusive list.

As stated earlier Brinell 500 or A 500 steel is basically armored steel and designed to withstand impacts. It does cost more. If you want to use centerfire rifles on your steel, spend the money and move your minimum distance back to 50 yards. There's a cool video of some guy catching a ricochet from a .50 BMG in the head. They were too close and probably shooting dimpled steel.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:16 PM
JohnC JohnC is offline
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I've ordered both steel and paper targets from these guys several times. http://www.letargets.com/ Always received fast service. I tried to get two local welding shops to make me some steel targets. The first one wasn't interested and the 2d wanted way too much money.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2009, 05:21 PM
Dreadnought Dreadnought is offline
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Another good steel target maker is Nevco. I shoot matches with the owner, great guy.
http://getngrip.com/nevco.aspx
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2009, 08:31 PM
Agent6-3/8 Agent6-3/8 is offline
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Mine are made of plain old 3/8" plate steel scrap my dad had laying around his shop. I cut out 7" (as I recall) circles and welded them onto a stip of 1/4" 1"x1" angle as a base. Very low tech, but they work wonderfully. Only catch is that I have to walk down range and reset them after knocking them down.

I usually position them so that any ricochet will deflect down or off to the left or right. I usually shoot from 15 or 20 yards.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2009, 09:00 PM
KRMF KRMF is offline
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That's kind of what I was thinking about, just some plates with a base. I'd be shooting from 25 yards most of the time.

I do like that gizmo in Rinspeeds picture. Looks simple enough.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2009, 09:59 PM
radren radren is offline
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One of the best places I have found for quality steel targets is Arntzen targets.
They have several grades of steel for different needs, they also have many shapes.
You may be able to get by with less costly steel if only shot with pistols.

Angle the targets so the splatter goes into the ground.
Have fun,Ren
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