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Posted: 3/20/2006 1:45:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 1:45:21 PM EDT by RBS-reaper13]
Just wondering if anyone uses steel targets. I have two Blackwater steel targets that have lasted for about 5 years.

I also like to use the railroad tie plates for targets. But they are hard to find. Curious to know what others use.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:21:02 PM EDT
We have a few from www.metaltargets.com we love them. It's great to see and hear the hits. A fun addition to the targets at the range

Joe
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:11:54 PM EDT
MGM is clearing out their TN warehouse. I spoke with someone else familiar with this company and they said MGM makes some high quality targets.

http://www.mgmtargets.com/
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:46:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RBS-reaper13:
Just wondering if anyone uses steel targets. I have two Blackwater steel targets that have lasted for about 5 years.

I also like to use the railroad tie plates for targets. But they are hard to find. Curious to know what others use.



Do NOT shoot railroad plates! I have an entry and exit wound on my leg to prove my point. You are lucky they are hard to find.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:20:09 PM EDT
My brother cuts 1/2" plate circles 6" in dia. and welds a foot on them. We shoot them with Winchester white box 45 grain varmint loads which splash on contact. Great fun, they fly off the rail with a nice clang.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 5:49:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jmulloy1:
We have a few from www.metaltargets.com we love them. It's great to see and hear the hits. A fun addition to the targets at the range

Joe



+1 for metaltargets.com.....great budget minded steel.

Cheers.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:30:28 AM EDT
+1 for MGM. Mike is a great guy. We just bought 6 more pistol plate racks from him. He did our pneumatic carbine range and mover as well. I think we'll probably be getting his shoothouse too, as it seems leaps and bounds above the quality of his competition.

He makes some really fun steel. Take a look at the website if you haven't already.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:35:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 6:35:36 AM EDT by wildearp]
I make my own for pistols. 15 degree tilt and all of the lead goes straight down. Keeping the face of the target dressed with a grinder periodically, eliminates splash back. I bought armor plate locally for a rifle target that laughs at .308 and XM193, at 100+ yards.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:39:15 AM EDT
the railroad plates are hit from always over 100 yds. I know they are not the best steel to be shooting, but for free you can't beat them. I don't use pistol on steel, so I am never very close. The Blackwater targets I have ar AR-500 and they are great. It's just that AR-500 is very expensive. The local range has HUGE 2" think steel plates that they use on the 1000yd range. These thing have to be made of only like T-1 or so, as my .300 Win mag make big ugly craters in them at the 300 and 500 yard lines.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:54:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 8:49:21 AM EDT
I've got a few disc brake rotors back in the shed....wonder if they could be turned into a target.
Just wondering if anybody ever tried something like that.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:07:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 9:12:07 AM EDT by CTKurt]
I've got a few disc brake rotors back in the shed....wonder if they could be turned into a target.
Just wondering if anybody ever tried something like that.


Originally Posted By gmtmaster:

I also like to use the railroad tie plates for targets. But they are hard to find. Curious to know what others use.




Do NOT shoot railroad plates! I have an entry and exit wound on my leg to prove my point. You are lucky they are hard to find.

^^see what being cheap gets you? Just buy the right thing for the job and you won't regret it.
I'm sure GMT will agree
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:30:21 AM EDT
is there atechnical work out there that tells about potential for splashback, unsafe areas, distances, angles of the steel targets, etc? I have access to a metal working foundry/production facilty that can do about anything. Am curious what thickness and description of metals need to be used. Any info would be appreciated. Alan
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:44:05 AM EDT
http://mgmtargets.com/hardness.htm

We thought about using the BEAR system here, but the waiting list is too long and the production is too slow. Mike brought his stuff to us himself, probably due to the purchase size and construction that went into the ranges.

I think that disc brake rotors will be pretty brittle from all the heat.

Just like taking a piece of AR500 and cutting it with a torch. The edges where you cut aren't ar500 anymore, as they have become brittle and will chip with edge strikes.

We have some lanes setup outside of town that the LD guys shoot, but there is no comparison between that junk (literally) and a quality target. Mike makes some interesting things that provide a fun challenge. If you want to see how good you are, try his trailer on 1/4 second exposure times. It's rough.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:44:03 PM EDT
MGM Targets is the only way to go for steel targets. And, Mike's a hell of a nice guy. You oughta see him work his Garand at a 3-Gun match. You wouldn't know that he was having to load so many clips at the rate he shoots. Great, great person.

An alternative is using the teeth from bulldozers and hanging them from some chain. They are as hard as you can just about get steel and by hanging them won't cause ricochets. Good size targets too!

SPC Richard A. White, Senior Medic
249th MP Detachment (EACF)
Camp Humphreys, ROK
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:19:46 PM EDT
i don't know where to get AR-500 or i'd make my own. does anyone know? i've checked with the local guys that bring us all our steel for work and they didn't even know what the hell AR-500 was.



jake
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 8:41:17 PM EDT
Same here. they have no clue.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:04:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 9:08:11 PM EDT by CK]

Originally Posted By TalonArms_M:

Originally Posted By Chainsaw1:
MGM is clearing out their TN warehouse. I spoke with someone else familiar with this company and they said MGM makes some high quality targets.

http://www.mgmtargets.com/



We use MGM targets at Camp Talon.



Yes, I bought a MGM steel target, the Colt Speed Plate Auto popper with the sniper base. At 100 yards, XM193 knocks it over pretty easy and really tuff plate. Being a relative small target it makes a great target at 300+400 yards for the prone shooting with the 308. MGM

Edit: Note post #308?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:22:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FiftyCalAl:
is there atechnical work out there that tells about potential for splashback, unsafe areas, distances, angles of the steel targets, etc? ... Am curious what thickness and description of metals need to be used.


I don't know of any technical studies (but haven't looked). These three links are a good place to start:
MGM Target Hardness info
MGM Target Repair info
The Truth about Steel and Steel Targets

I have one of the MGM auto-poppers and I can say that even with AR500 steel and being free to move backwards a 55gr FMJ at ".223" velocities will crater it at 50yds or less. At 100yds it didn't hurt it. 9mm and .357 Mag from 7yds didn't hurt it a bit. There's a clear line of splatter in the dirt in the plane of the target extending for quite a ways on either side of it. I find little caliber-sized discs of bullet on the ground in front of it. I have no idea what path they took to get there. I find far fewer than shots fired, so I also don't know if the others are just in the dirt or if they're getting sent up farther on the backstop and I'm not finding them.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:17:57 AM EDT
Good articles -still looking for splash concerns and distances and what "angle" to place flat target face at. I assume that angleing the traget means the top pf the target should be closer to the muzzle than the bottom of the target?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:35:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FiftyCalAl:
Good articles -still looking for splash concerns and distances and what "angle" to place flat target face at. I assume that angleing the traget means the top pf the target should be closer to the muzzle than the bottom of the target?



You are correct on the angle, but it's just an extra precaution. I wouldn't sweat it unless you're inside of 40-50 yards. The bullet from a rifle nearly vaporizes on an armor gong.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:37:32 AM EDT
I get mine for free. My brother in law cuts the leading edge from front loader buckets into pieces for me. I just wire them to A-frame real estate sign thingies. Cheap, Easy, and fun for the whole family!

Here's a pic of one that I used to prove the ineffectiveness of the M855 penetrator.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:45:31 AM EDT
If the target face is flat and smooth--is hard enough to not crater and hasn't been shot from too close with rifles--then as far as I can tell all of the "splash" comes straight off the edges of the plate. The splatter marks in the dirt by my auto-popper are maybe an inch or two wide; nothing to indicate that anything is fanning back more than a few degrees.

A far as angle goes, I thought I saw 15 degrees mentioned somewhere, but can't find it now. Whatever edge of the target you place "back" is the direction the bullet would deflect to. So bottom back--top forward--would obviously be the safest as it directs the bullet down into the dirt. The backward-tipping auto-popper should kick the pieces upward, but since it's lower than the gun as I have mine set up I have some downward angle, which would cancel that out. I'm almost always a little off to one side or the other of the target so there would be a slight angle to the side too. Sometime I should get a refrigerator box to set up around it and see where the pieces go...

I believe the more you angle it the easier it would be on the target, but the bigger the fragments would be. I've not tested this idea, but if you think about it a straight-on shot would not deflect the bullet at all so all of its energy would go into splattering the bullet off the sides. At the other extreme would be a very glancing hit that would deflect the bullet but not damage it much. Most of the steel I've seen has been angled far less than 45 degrees. Probably more like 10-20 degrees, and usually as a side effect of the way it was hung. (Often a nut welded on to the back. With the center of the plate directly under the center of the bolt the top is forward by the radius of the nut.) If you're expecting the steel to move or activate something you need to keep the angle pretty close to 90 degrees so that enough energy is transferred to it to do that.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:03:11 AM EDT
15 degrees is about what I've heard too. Call Mike and ask him. He'll talk to you, or maybe Leon or one of the other guys can help.

If you're going to make your own steel, here's an idea.

Put two holes in the top of the plate. Get a strip of thick rubber and bolts thick enough to extend through the plate and two thicknesses of the rubber.

Weld up a couple of angle iron a frames and grab a piece of thick walled conduit.

Use the rubber to make a looped hanger for the plate, stick the conduit through it, and hang the whole thing on the a frames. This is nice if you want to bring your steel home with you, lest someone need it more than you and take it from the range.

AR-500 is EXPENSIVE. There's not a lot of profit in what Mike does. He makes a living, but he's just so nice to deal with that I wouldn't consider anyone else.

Have you guys tried the sniper target with the T slot? Its the one that you can shoot to open and close. Really nice to hit that at 400 yards or so. Not an easy feat for me, that's for sure. The eye slot, is the one I'm talking about.
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