I am a lucky guy. My father in law, and a best friend work for a local steel plant. During breaks, and down time, they created a steel target for my use at my home range.
Three 'ringers' on a central rod. Rings and swings when hit. Each plate is 4" in diameter and 3/4" thick.
I shot the plates with several selections of ammo and calibers today.
.22 Long rifle. Nice black mark on the steel, not much movement, nice 'spink' sound when it impacted.
.380 (Wolf?) Nice black mark on the steel, barely moved the plate. More of a 'bang' than the .22 long rifle, but not much. 1/4 of a flip, but not all the way over.
9mm (PMC?) more effect than the .380, moved the steel plate one complete flip. Sometimes 2 flips.
.40 SW, Flat nose, 180 grain. Flipped the plates, 3-4 times. SMall indentation in the steel, but not remarkably more than the 9mm.
.40 SW Federal Personal Defense, Flipped the plates 3-4 times. Small indentation. Seemed to have identical impact of 180 grain bullet.
.45 LC, Nice! Flipped the plates slower (?), but seemed to hold its own for the effect against the .40 SW.
.223 25 yds. Ooops! 1/8th inch impact crater. Wolf ammo, not a green tip. Spun like crazy.
.270 90 Yds. Yup, bigger oops! 1/4"+ crater. Spun the heck out of the plates. Spun like it was motorized. Dented back of the steel plate.
BTW... SAFETY GLASSES MANDATORY against steel, pplease!
We shoot at 6" by 6" by 1" thick plate steel targets. The 223s will put a small crater in the metal and the 30-06 will put a larger crater in the metal. These targets hang and pivot at the top. Once hit they will move back and forth like a swing. A dead on hit will completely disintegrate the bullet. I had used a cardboard box to carry out some clay birds to the range. The box was to the right of the target, about 24" away. The box looked like it had been hit by a shotgun with #9 shot. These were the bullet fragments tearing the box apart.
For handguns, we use a 12" diameter 1/4" thick plate. No handgun bullet will damage the steel. After a days shooting, there will be a 1" line in the ground directly under the target where the bullet fragments have impacted the ground.
I prefer metal targets, and if you shoot at them straight on, there will be no ricochets.
I always wear safety glasses ever since a broke a hardened 1/4" mill cutter and it hit my safety glass so hard it gouged the plastic. Always.
on another note, i always wanted to get an old car door just to see what would penetrate.
We did some similar testing with some plate at our club. It was armor donated to make some baffles on our new outdoor ranges.
6.5x55 just vanished with a slight mark on the plate.
7.62x39 also no dent
.375 H&H 3/8 inch dent
.338 Laupa...BLEW RIGHT THROUGH IT>
We also tested some armor plate used to make the MARINE LAV personel carriers ( they make them near our club)
The .375 dented (5/16) but did not penetrate it.
We are going to throw some .338 at it and see how it goes.
I can answer that SkaerE.
It was an old late 70s model 4 door Ford.
22s would sail through one door, but not both.
9mm would not go through the door. It hit the door reinforcement and would role around in there.
The windshield was different. A standard 9mm would gouge it badly, but would not go through. Gold dots on the other hand had no problem. The 223 would sail on through with a good size hole. A 223 at 90 degrees to the windshield would make a very nice clean hole.
I noticed the flying pieces of bullet and jackets were very common. There is an old tree next to the steel target and it was literally peppered with shrapnel. 15yds from the target, there were pieces of jackets hitting the ground.
Macloud, I am curious what kind of damage it would do to the plates to shoot them with a .223 from 25-50yds. I figure the metal is cratering, and a small amount of the steel is liquifying and flying off the plate. How many rounds have your 1" plates absorbed?
4" plates are tough to hit, BTW. I am certain my pistoleering will improve after using these. Paper is much more forgiving.
My father in law has mentioned some ideas he has for improving the targets. I am going to try to get a set of thicker plates to use with the larger caliber rifles. I don't think they are going to last long stopping .270 rounds.
Anyone ever shoot a metal silhouette target with a center hole cut in the vitals with a 'ringer' in the hole? I saw some like this at tacpro, and was curious about ricochetes from the stationary, flat steel plates.
If I could ever talk my wife into letting me put an old car on my range... Man, that would be soooooo sweet! Too bad the range is visible from the house. I am certain it would be an eyesore, but man oh man, what fun!
Wives can be sooo picky about some things, you know!
Several hundred??? They look like the surface of the moon though.
The biggest problem is that we use 3/4" water pipe for the frames. This way there are no rounds straying off into the sunset. After a summer of shooting, or when the frames are shot up to the point the target falls over, I replace the frame. We have been using the actual targets for 6 or 7 years now.
We had a 20" dia 3/8" plate that was supposed to be for pistols only, but we could not see the 6" targets at 225 yards so we used the 20" target. It is now in the form of a disc shaped cheese grater. You need at least an 1" for rifle targets.
Our 6" targets are setup at 70 yards, which is all the longer are "at home" range is.
Edited for spelling.
My father and I put five layers of one inch thick lexan plastic together and compared the penetration and expansion of various rounds. I thought it would just explode. We shot that 24 inch by 24inch plate with about every rifle we had. A 270 was the only round that made the slightest exit hole. I will try to figure out how to post a photo of our experiment. If you can get some thick lexan be sure to try it.