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Posted: 2/12/2006 10:39:31 PM EDT
I have been looking into getting a few steel targets for ARr and pistol practice. I have looked at several manufacturers inlcuding MGM. All of the companies say not to shoot FMJ at them though. What kinds of ammo do you all shoot with? I don't want to have to buy fancier ammo just to practice with. Thats why I get the more inexpensive stuff like Q3131 and XM193. If the rifle rated targets with hardness ratings of 500+ are out at 100 yards or more will the FMJ bullets go through it? Also, all of the pistol popper targets must be shot at from at least 25 yards away. That is a long shot for me with a pistol. If the targets are falling down wouldn't it be ok to get a little closer without the bullets ricocheting back? Any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 11:21:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 11:21:54 PM EDT by gmtmaster]
I can give you some good advice on those railroad plates... Dont shoot them...I have an entry and exit scar on my calf as proof that they dont make good targets.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 12:28:42 AM EDT
I use AR500 High Abrasion steel plates, and shoot at ranges as close as 25 yards on falling plates, with no damage. You can use standard FMJ ammunition without any problems, but DO NOT use M855, or any other steel core / AP ammunition, or you will tear up your plates.

If you want to check out some REALLY good targets - www.portatarget.com
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 4:23:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gmtmaster:
I can give you some good advice on those railroad plates... Dont shoot them...I have an entry and exit scar on my calf as proof that they dont make good targets.



Damn, sorry to hear that, What distance were you at from the plate ???
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 7:49:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 8:04:13 AM EDT by Spiff]
I have several MGM reactionary steel targets for pistols, and have shot at steel targets in IPSC competition. I mostly shoot plated reloads (RN), but others shoot FMJ RN as well as HP. With steel targets you get the occasional splash back consisting of either a bit of lead core or jacketing material.

Wear your safety glasses and everything is ok (you should be wearing them anyway). No one has ever been even mildly hurt by this splash back AFAIK.

The reactionary targets we use are the small 14" auto poppers MGM sells (top row, middle). They are fun because you don't have to constantly walk out and tape them or set them back up. Another "fun" thing about them is that with these small steel targets your aim had damn well better be spot on, because if it isn't, instead of a hole 1" away from the X, that steel target just sits there and mocks you!!

I also picked up the triangular stand for them, the one about half way down the linked page.

ETA: We shoot at these from a distance of about 10 to 15 yards.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 7:56:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
but DO NOT use M855, or any other steel core / AP ammunition, or you will tear up your plates.



No you won't!

M855 is much less penetrating than M193. We shoot M855 on our gongs all the time. The higher velocity of M193 is more damaging to the ARMOR than 855. The penetrator offers NO penetrating capability on hard armor.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 7:59:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
I use AR500 High Abrasion steel plates, and shoot at ranges as close as 25 yards on falling plates, with no damage. You can use standard FMJ ammunition without any problems, but DO NOT use M855, or any other steel core / AP ammunition, or you will tear up your plates.



You must have some sissy AR500.

The plates I shoot laugh at M855/SS109. Really they do.

3/8" AR500 High Abrasion Plate steel, plasma cut into 12"x12" squares with plasma cut "hanger holes".

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:02:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
3/8" AR500 High Abrasion Plate steel, plasma cut into 12"x12" squares with plasma cut "hanger holes".




all your plasma are belong to us
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:32:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
but DO NOT use M855, or any other steel core / AP ammunition, or you will tear up your plates.



No you won't!

M855 is much less penetrating than M193. We shoot M855 on our gongs all the time. The higher velocity of M193 is more damaging to the ARMOR than 855. The penetrator offers NO penetrating capability on hard armor.



Tell it to the hole in my plate. What distance are you shooting at markm? At 25 yards, you will see damage.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:51:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 3:54:30 PM EDT by markm]

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:

Originally Posted By markm:

M855 is much less penetrating than M193. We shoot M855 on our gongs all the time. The higher velocity of M193 is more damaging to the ARMOR than 855. The penetrator offers NO penetrating capability on hard armor.



Tell it to the hole in my plate. What distance are you shooting at markm? At 25 yards, you will see damage.



ANY distance. As close as 25 yards some times. Granted M855 will put some damage to armor at 25 yards, but M193 will do worse. M193 will outpenetrate M855 on hard targets if the distances are equal. I've done the research. We shot Hardened steel AND ArmorGard. In both instances M193 is much more damaging to my expensive GONGS. I'll post the pics if it becomes necessary.

Now if you are talking about a softer medium, M855 might outpenetrate M193.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 4:19:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
Tell it to the hole in my plate. What distance are you shooting at markm? At 25 yards, you will see damage.



....

I believe that your plate is damaged.

However, if it's damaged as you say I am not so sure it AR500 High Abrasion steel though, or if it is, I got some special stuff from Regol-G.

Not very much has hurt the plates I have.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 4:35:48 PM EDT
A guy standing 20ft behind me during a steel target shoot had a piece of copper jacket puncture his sinus just above his left eye. He was wearing safety glasses, but I'm guessing they might not have stopped the fragment from going into his eye if it were a little lower. The doctor said they couldn't remove it without causing a bunch of damage. His nose was bleeding off and on for a month before it stopped. The piece was about half the size of a dime. We were shooting IPSC steel from 20yards. We were using full metal jacket taget loads from a Glock 22. I love shooting steel, but you can't always perdict what the reation is going to be. Wear you safety gear!
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:39:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
Tell it to the hole in my plate. What distance are you shooting at markm? At 25 yards, you will see damage.



....

I believe that your plate is damaged.

However, if it's damaged as you say I am not so sure it AR500 High Abrasion steel though, or if it is, I got some special stuff from Regol-G.

Not very much has hurt the plates I have.



Actually we have punched holes thru our ARMORGUARD gongs. Not from penetration, but from Metal Fatigue. Even ARMORGUARD will deteriorate under a consistant pounding from M193.

It's strange because the rest of the plate will be entirely intact, and then all of the sudden there's a hole in the middle of nowhere.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:04:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:
Actually we have punched holes thru our ARMORGUARD gongs. Not from penetration, but from Metal Fatigue. Even ARMORGUARD will deteriorate under a consistant pounding from M193.

It's strange because the rest of the plate will be entirely intact, and then all of the sudden there's a hole in the middle of nowhere.



How many rounds do you think, before you actually defeated the plate?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:15:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:

How many rounds do you think, before you actually defeated the plate?



Wow... Definitely Hundreds... Maybe a thousand. I'm confident that had we not made regular habit of shooting inside of 50 yards the plates would not have been damaged.

The damage to the armor drops off DRAMATICALLY as you get out to a hundred yards and further where M193's velocity really decreases.

The plates are still serviceable as targets.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:23:21 AM EDT
I'm gonna log an estimated round count on the next plate I drop in service.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:53:02 AM EDT
We've got a lot of MGM steel on our range. Pneumatic carbine range, running man, static steel, pistol plates, plate racks, and more. Steel is only as good as it's manufacturer. The edges will always be harder than the middle due to welding, cutting, etc. so stacking 2, 1/2 inch plates is better than a single 1 inch plate.

The mistake many people make is shooting pistol rounds, up close, at rifle steel. Once you dent the steel with high velocity rifle rounds the pistol rounds CAN hit a dent and follow it 180 degress to come back up range. Rifle round tend to fragment and chew up the base of the stand or shield, but pistol rounds like to bounce around.

If you're shooting pistol up close, you should be using an angled or falling plate. Even then you'll be getting some splash from time to time.

+1 for MGM. Mike is a great man, and his customer service is top notch. If you have questions about steel, his website is full of information.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:56:32 AM EDT
I have one of the auto-poppers from MGM that Spiff linked to. 9mm & .357 magnum don't dent it at all, even at 10 yards or so and I've yet to feel anything come back at me. IIRC the IPSC stage design rules say no steel within 10 yards and the sticker on the auto-popper I think says 15 yards.

I tried a couple shots with .223s at it and at 25 and 50 yards Win white box 55gr FMJ (.223) left little craters but at 100yds it didn't. A WWB 45gr JHP left a bigger crater at 25yds than the 55gr did.

If you stick with AR500 targets, keep the rifles back at least 100yds and pistols back at least 10yds you should be OK and have your targets last nearly forever. Just make sure everybody on the range is wearing eye protection when you're shooting, not just the shooter, as it's usually a bystander that gets the fragments.

If the steel face is flat then the fragments go straight off to the sides, but if you have a crater dent the curve of it can direct fragments back. Mike at MGM said not to shoot rifle and pistol at the same target at close range because the craters from the rifle will allow the pistol fragments to come back. gmtmaster said "railroad plate" and I don't know if he means a rail section or a base plate, but either has a curved shape that could send a whole bullet back if it hit in the right place. Not good.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:59:27 AM EDT
Markm, would you mind posting pics? I'm interested
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 9:20:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Frens:
Markm, would you mind posting pics? I'm interested



Sure! But these pics are NOT of ARMORGUARD Plates. Just Hardened steel. And I don't know the brinell rating or anything specific about the material other than they outperform mild steel by a long shot!

Stand by...
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 9:26:37 AM EDT
thanks markm
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 9:27:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 9:29:58 AM EDT by markm]
The results are not DRAMATIC, but It is obvious that the M855 does less damage to the plate than M193. These results are nothing new. They are similar to an old SWAT magazine article that was published about the time M855 was adopted:

Note the title of the article under the AR on the cover!



Both plates were shot at about 47 yards with the same 20" HBAR. The first pic is M855:


And the second pic is M193:

Link Posted: 2/14/2006 10:42:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spiff:
I have several MGM reactionary steel targets for pistols, and have shot at steel targets in IPSC competition. I mostly shoot plated reloads (RN), but others shoot FMJ RN as well as HP. With steel targets you get the occasional splash back consisting of either a bit of lead core or jacketing material.

Wear your safety glasses and everything is ok (you should be wearing them anyway). No one has ever been even mildly hurt by this splash back AFAIK.

The reactionary targets we use are the small 14" auto poppers MGM sells (top row, middle). They are fun because you don't have to constantly walk out and tape them or set them back up. Another "fun" thing about them is that with these small steel targets your aim had damn well better be spot on, because if it isn't, instead of a hole 1" away from the X, that steel target just sits there and mocks you!!

I also picked up the triangular stand for them, the one about half way down the linked page.

ETA: We shoot at these from a distance of about 10 to 15 yards.



Thanks for the link!
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