Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 105

Thread: Shooting steel targets dangerous?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    179
    Feedback Score
    11 (100%)

    Shooting steel targets dangerous?

    Hey guys I had a simple question before I try out my new range I built at my place. I have a dueling tree made of AR-500 steel that I shoot handguns at all the time and have no issues with richochets,however, I used softer steel about 3/8 inch thick to construct my rifle targets. I have 3 stations. Station 1 is at 75 yards, 2 is at 125 yards, and station 3 is at 200 yards. should I be concerned with ricochets at my 75 yard target once it gets alot of cavities put in it after extensive use? I will be using anything from 30 carbine,556,76239,308, to 30-06. The targets are about 40 pounds and are suspended from a chain.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,187
    Feedback Score
    19 (100%)
    If those targets are mild steel, they well be Swiss cheese in short order.




    Even this cast iron brake rotor (.450" thick) is no match for the 110 AB @ 100 yards.



    Last edited by Clint; 03-13-11 at 22:53.
    Black River Tactical
    BRT Covert Comp Flash Hiders 7.62 & 5.56
    BRT MicroPin Gas Blocks
    BRT MarkBlue Gas Tubes
    BRT CustomTune Gas Ports
    BRT MicroTune Gas Blocks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    179
    Feedback Score
    11 (100%)
    Wow. Maybe I should do some re-calculating here..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    The Nether
    Posts
    647
    Feedback Score
    0
    I would think twice about shooting at cratered mild steel at 75 yds with a rifle. Jacket ricochets are pretty random.

    Either way: Boiler plate is pretty good if you can find it, leaf springs off of trucks as well (depends on thickness). Brake discs are cast iron (or ceramic composite) and will shatter/disintegrate (like in the above photo).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    4,786
    Feedback Score
    3 (100%)
    I shoot at steel all the time, but buying anything less than 1/2 inch AR500 for rifles is pretty much a waste of money, IMHO. Even with the AR500, be careful about what you buy and whom you buy it from. The scammers will sell, at best, AR400, and at worst 1/2 inch mild steel at AR500 prices. Likewise the small backyard shops will sell you 1/2 inch AR500 targets that have been cut with a torch rather than underwater plasma, leaving you with a target that's lost its temper around the edges. I can tell you that those targets don't stand up either and will fragment when hit.

    Ricochets can be an issue, but I angle all the targets slightly downward, don't shoot them at less than about 40 yards, and always wear shooting glasses. I've been hit with jacket fragments at those shorter distances, but that's rare.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    The Nether
    Posts
    647
    Feedback Score
    0

    Notes on above

    For reference AR500 is about 430-530 Brinell . RHA (rolled armor plate) is 500-ish Brinell. SA516 boilerplate is 500-ish Brinell. 500ish Brinell is Rockwell C52~. Difference is composition for end use.

    These are all ballpark figures and assuming they have original heat treat. You will not be able to drill any of them easily.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    179
    Feedback Score
    11 (100%)
    Do you think the fact that i have it suspended from a chain and it can give a little will allow the bullet to not penetrate the steel?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Decatur, IN
    Posts
    1,499
    Feedback Score
    64 (96%)
    no, anything less the the AR500 steel 1/2in thick WILL NOT stand up to use with Rifle, no matter how's its "suspended"

    Suspension has nothing to do with it.
    Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
    Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
    Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
    Safe guard the helpless and do no wrong.


    In the end, as you fade into the night, who will tell, the story of your life?
    ---------------
    JF Arms Company - Owner
    Indiana Multigun - MD @ Hillside Shooting Sports

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    930
    Feedback Score
    0
    Hanging it from a chain will not matter. I always keep my olg rotors for targets and hang them from a wooden frame. Swiss cheese with a rifle in no time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern Mississippi
    Posts
    390
    Feedback Score
    0
    Any time you're shooting steel targets there is an element of risk from the inherent nature of the activity. The way that you mitigate the risk to an acceptable level is to use well designed and constructed targets.

    First and foremost, if you're shooting rifle rounds, you need AR-500 steel. AR-500 is the minimum hardness needed to fragment bullets safely. Anything less than AR-500 will crater and pock and will eventually send jacket back at you.

    How the steel is mounted is another major consideration. Ideally, the mounting systems should have some "give" in it. By allowing the target to move when struck, you can dissipate some of the bullets energy by converting it to movement. The problem is that as the plates gets bigger, for instance moving from an 8" to 12", it moves less and you get less benefit from the movement. Also, the mounting system should direct the bullet fragments in a safe direction, which is generally into the ground underneath the target. The accepted optimal angle for this seems to be 15 degrees.

    Finally, you need too consider the distance the target is placed. Steel is damaged by velocity. A good guideline is 3000 fps. If the bullet hits the target at greater than 3000 fps, you'll see accelerated wear. Thus, if you shoot a 55 grain .223 bullet from a 24" barrel and a 77 grain .223 round from a 14.5" barrel, they will damage the steel differently. The 24" barrel may require 125-150 yards to minimize damage to the steel while the 14.5" barrel may be good at 75 yards. If you're shooting less conventional calibers, like a 22-250, you may need several hundred yards to keep the steel happy.

    FWIW, I think the best all around target on the market is MGM's Lolli-Popper. The flexible shafts really allow the steel plate to move out of the way of the bullet and you can shoot rifle, shotgun, and pistol rounds on it without concern. All of MGM's designs are well-made, my Lolli-Popper was bulldozed into a berm and had to be dug out, requiring two guys about fifteen minutes. The only thing damaged was one of the fiberglass arms.
    Last edited by John Hearne; 03-14-11 at 07:20.
    http://www.dvctargets.com - Promoting realism and excellence in combative shooting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    284
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)
    This seems relavent,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc

    he was lucky
    Last edited by Toyoland66; 03-14-11 at 10:02. Reason: fix link

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    20,496
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)
    I've been shooting this 450 stuff I got for free for over 5 years. We have put literally 10s of thousands of rounds on this stuff from 50 yards out to 200 plus.

    Iraqgunz has put thousand of rounds on these ugly things too.

    Never a single speck of jacket or core has hit us.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    Posts
    6,194
    Feedback Score
    0
    JH's post nails it. Shooting steel safely requires attention to a variety of details, especially if it's something you're making or configuring yourself. Material composition, hardness, mounting, deflection angles, distance, projectile, etc.
    2012 National Zumba Endurance Champion
    Hi Point 9mm, Lorcin .22, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Norinco SKS, Leapers 10x

    الدهون القاع الفتيات لك جعل العالم هزاز جولة الذهاب

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    The Nether
    Posts
    647
    Feedback Score
    0
    This thread is some good info. Going to add some how to find it if you don't mind picking scrap/machinist type for reference.

    If you go looking for it in a scrapyard: The teeth of excavator/backhoe buckets, the wear strip on the bottom of grater planes, some wear strips on snow plows, are almost always AR500. Quarries throw this stuff out (sell it for scrap) by the ton, they use it for bed liners in dump trucks.

    You can forge weld it. I know it isn't popular as getting it from a rolling mill but way cheaper. Just keep in mind these type of steels have a much lower eutectic point than mild steel.

    If you want or have to re-temper/heat treat it: Heat it to a uniform cherry red (1600F, 1 hour per inch of thickness) and quenching it in oil, if oil quench doesn't work you might have to try a larger dunk tank/circulating oil. Water quench will crack it. Hit it with a file, should skate across it like glass. Then you treat it at 400F (steel at 400F, not just the oven) for about an hour. Test it with file, should be able to cut into it but it wont be soft.

    MIG and TIG will only do thin pieces of this stuff. If you HAVE to arc weld it stick works best.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    179
    Feedback Score
    11 (100%)
    I know this is a dumb question, but that video of the guys shooting the fifty freaked me out. If a ricochet does occur, would it most likely be the whole bullet ricocheting or just a tiny fragment of the bullet? By the way, you guys are doing a great job of helping me understand this.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    The Nether
    Posts
    647
    Feedback Score
    0
    More likely to get hit by a jacket fragment. Lead is pretty soft and sticky but the jackets peel and tend to fly off. http://books.google.com/books?id=Vbr...page&q&f=false

    The USPSA handbook has crazy warnings about shooting slugs at steel targets, not sure how much is just being totally safe vs actual accidents but it makes you think.
    Last edited by ZRH; 03-14-11 at 19:49. Reason: uspsa not uspa

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    20,496
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)
    Quote Originally Posted by jwfuhrman View Post

    Suspension has nothing to do with it.
    Agreed. I see this myth posted all the time. It's obvious that those who post it have never seen a bullet impact high speed video... or they have and the connection never got made.

    The angle the gong is suspended definitely helps, however. But getting targets that deflect the bullet downward means money..... FORGET THAT!!
    Last edited by markm; 03-15-11 at 08:20.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    71
    Feedback Score
    0
    I think you have it backwards OP.

    Softer steel is ok for handguns, but you need ar500 for rifles.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins Colorado
    Posts
    2,672
    Feedback Score
    4 (100%)
    what sort of injury is one likely to see from jacket ricochets off mild steel 75+ yards away?
    obviously eye protection is always required, anything else? I can deal with welts and cuts... are we talking emergency room visits?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    20,496
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)
    Quote Originally Posted by skyugo View Post
    what sort of injury is one likely to see from jacket ricochets off mild steel 75+ yards away?
    obviously eye protection is always required, anything else? I can deal with welts and cuts... are we talking emergency room visits?
    I suppose there's always a risk of a freak accident of some kind.... as with anything in life.

    But I've never seen anything more than a tiny cut at most. Pistol steel has probably been more risky to me than any rifle steel.

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •