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Thread: Shooting steel targets dangerous?

  1. #1
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    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
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    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 23:53.
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  3. #3
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    Wow. Maybe I should do some re-calculating here..

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    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
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    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.

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    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
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    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?

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