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Posted: 7/29/2010 7:28:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/29/2010 5:48:46 PM EDT by Objekt]
You may have been lectured on the evils of using steel-containing ammo on steel target plates. I have been the target (pun intended ) of a few rants and attempted guilt-trips for even THINKING of shooting steel with either 5.45x39mm (which is actually steel-core) or 7.62x54R surplus ammo (which is *often* merely steel-jacketed, BIG difference!). I got tired of relying on "conventional wisdom" and unconfirmed Internet lore, so I bought a 6" x 6" x 1/2" piece of AR500 plate from Widener's and did my own testing.

Photos of the results:






(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)




(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)




(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)

If you're not sure what the pictures are showing, or have questions about the ammo or methods used, please ask. I already "shot my bolt" by posting a much more extensive workup on another forum, and I don't feel like duplicating it here.

I will probably test the plate with M855 and steel-jacketed 7.92x57mm at some point, as well. Description of results immediately, photos eventually.

FWIW, not doing any more testing at less than 200 yards. Although the 100 yard hits didn't seem to bother the AR500, there's just too much risk of ricochets, even with the plate angled toward the dirt.

Discuss.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 9:49:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Objekt:
You may have been lectured on the evils of using steel-containing ammo on steel target plates. I have been the target (pun intended ) of a few rants and attempted guilt-trips for even THINKING of shooting steel with either 5.45x39mm (which is actually steel-core) or 7.62x54R surplus ammo (which is merely steel-jacketed, BIG difference!). I got tired of relying on "conventional wisdom" and unconfirmed Internet lore, so I bought a 6" x 6" x 1/2" piece of AR500 plate from Widener's and did my own testing.

Photos of the results:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/4839691582_817bca4200.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/4838901667_351ac418f2.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/4838901677_aff17c9cfe.jpg
(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/4839649504_d6c3ce6dda.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4145/4839649512_d57cd6b92d.jpg
(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/4839649524_a929764d42.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4108/4839649522_a7084fb3db_b.jpg
(Plate in profile after above-noted ammo hit.)

If you're not sure what the pictures are showing, or have questions about the ammo or methods used, please ask. I already "shot my bolt" by posting a much more extensive workup on another forum, and I don't feel like duplicating it here.

I will probably test the plate with M855 and steel-jacketed 7.92x57mm at some point, as well. Description of results immediately, photos eventually.

FWIW, not doing any more testing at less than 200 yards. Although the 100 yard hits didn't seem to bother the AR500, there's just too much risk of ricochets, even with the plate angled toward the dirt.

Discuss.


Link to shenanigans: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=535564

My discuss:

Testing would be more valid if the plate was shot with 200-300 rounds at 50 yards, which would be more typical of 2-3 months wear at the matches that I’ve seen.

A few rounds at 200 yards doesn’t prove much. BSW

Link Posted: 7/29/2010 11:02:42 AM EDT
the link to the highroad is busted above (has an extra http: and a space in front of the actual URL).
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=535564

Fixed it for you
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 12:55:26 PM EDT
How about we DON'T drag that crap over here? That thread turned into an absolute turd-fest nearly immediately.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 1:00:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 1:03:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 5:47:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/29/2010 5:49:29 PM EDT by Objekt]
Hey, thanks for the comment. Yeah, that's pretty much the conclusion I reached in the other thread too, at least when I was still reading it (I'm pretty much done with that other forum Which Shall Not Be Named). A few folks offered similar commentary. One related how .300 Weatherby Magnum will go through AR500 as if it weren't there, using an ordinary lead-and-copper projectile.

Velocity is one of those things where quantity is a quality all its own. I believe the phenomenon you witnessed is why our club rules disallow belted magnums on the rifle gongs.

One thing that would really help me in my testing would be: a stable way to hang the plate. A wire coathanger doesn't work very well. The plate pictured above usually fell off after a direct hit, due to the crappiness of the hanger. I have a friend who welds, so I'll probably beg a suitable piece of scrap. He might even be willing to weld me some sort of hook.

ETA:
What sort of surplus 7.62x54R has a steel core? Most of what I've seen offered for sale has a lead core, with thin steel jacket, like my Bulgarian milsurp for example.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 6:18:59 PM EDT
The majority of surplus 7.62x54r IS steel cored. Unless it is 1950's vintage, odds are that it is steel cored.

The 150 yard gong at our club range has taken thousands of hits from 7.62x54r and 7.92 Mauser steel core, not to mention all of the M-855 and 7N6 and 7.62x39mm PS. Damage is minimal (mostly the edge hits), but the whole 12"x12" plate looks to be slightly bent-in concave from all the hits. We once put up cardboard all around the plate to see what happens when the steel core rounds hit it. The projectiles splatter and fragments fly everywhere. No ricochet danger like when using true AP...

1DD
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 7:09:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 7:27:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Forget about welding. The weld joint will crack. I would use chain attached with bolts and preferably some thick rubber washers to absorb the shock of impact.


Should have been more clear; I didn't want to weld anything directly to the plate. I'm not sure what the heat would do the hardening. Like you say, it probably would just break off anyhow.

Having a hook/handle attached with a nut & bolt is actually excellent. It means I can break the whole thing down to stow easily when it's not in use.

Chain would be a good way to keep the shock of impacts from knocking the whole works ass over teakettle. Also I can attach lots of things to the other end to the chain, to hang it off whatever's available (wood 2x4, metal frame, etc.). Probably the way I'll go.

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 5:28:59 AM EDT
When I rebuilt my clubs indoor range I ordered Brinell 500 1/2" Armor Plate.
2'x 3-'6" Plates were mounted center of the impact zone, angled at 45 degrees which is very important to do.
4 brackets were welded to the back of each plate and to the back stop.
Grade 8 bolts were used to attach each plate so they could easily be replaced.
Weld cracking was a concern so I chose to weld the brackets SMAW process and chose a Low- Hydrogen electrode
1/8" 7018 full weldment with return welds around the corners. 3 passes were used.
My club has over 600 members and the 20 station range is heavily used. Its been 7yrs since the work was completed
and the welds and the plates look like the day they were installed.
As are all my welds(same process as above) on my personal Iron Maidens no cracking whatsoever. 10 yrs and going strong!(.556-308 and 300 Win mag) I have seen steel targets at the same club welded with the MIG process and witness weld failure.(cracking)

Link Posted: 7/30/2010 5:48:11 AM EDT
I posted this awhile back showing the results of M2 AP on AR500 steel. This plate has taken hundreds of rounds of M2 ball, m193, m855 and everything else shot at it (200 yds) without damage. The M2 AP did the most significant damage (until recently when I think someone shot it with a 50BMG that completely penetrated the plate with a 1/2" hole)

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=502074
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 4:14:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Patriot262:
When I rebuilt my clubs indoor range I ordered Brinell 500 1/2" Armor Plate.
2'x 3-'6" Plates were mounted center of the impact zone, angled at 45 degrees which is very important to do.
4 brackets were welded to the back of each plate and to the back stop.
Grade 8 bolts were used to attach each plate so they could easily be replaced.
Weld cracking was a concern so I chose to weld the brackets SMAW process and chose a Low- Hydrogen electrode
1/8" 7018 full weldment with return welds around the corners. 3 passes were used.
My club has over 600 members and the 20 station range is heavily used. Its been 7yrs since the work was completed
and the welds and the plates look like the day they were installed.
As are all my welds(same process as above) on my personal Iron Maidens no cracking whatsoever. 10 yrs and going strong!(.556-308 and 300 Win mag) I have seen steel targets at the same club welded with the MIG process and witness weld failure.(cracking)



Impressive. And you shoot rifle rounds at them indoors. Really big indoor range? Or do you figure the 45 degree angle should prevent any ricochet problems? Sounds like it does.

By turning every hit into a glancing blow, I'm sure you've extended the life of your targets. Smart idea. The effective thickness is about 1.2 times what it would be with vertical plates.

Sounds like an awesome setup. We don't have anything remotely like that here. The only indoor range is a commercial one in a gun store, and is perhaps 50 yards deep. It's mainly intended for handgun use. 5.56 NATO is the most powerful round allowed, and only FMJ bullets (M855 would get you kicked out). I suppose their backstop is not rated to stop anything with more punch.
Link Posted: 7/30/2010 4:27:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2010 4:31:35 PM EDT by Objekt]
Originally Posted By A6BN:
I posted this awhile back showing the results of M2 AP on AR500 steel. This plate has taken hundreds of rounds of M2 ball, m193, m855 and everything else shot at it (200 yds) without damage. The M2 AP did the most significant damage (until recently when I think someone shot it with a 50BMG that completely penetrated the plate with a 1/2" hole)

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=502074


Interesting, thanks for the link.

Both in this forum and others, some have expressed skepticism at my results, claiming they "don't prove anything" because I am not willing to burn 1000+ rounds of my 5.45 stash to prove a point. I'd have to shoot more like 3000 rounds of 5.45 to get 1000 hits, because it's really frigging hard to hit a slightly <3 MOA target with iron sights with an AK. At least I find it so.

If your AR500 plate stood up to all that without a scratch, excepting the true AP ammo, I doubt all the 5.45 I can shoot will damage mine. The special case is edge hits. Those are different, for some reason.

eta:
I'd like to thank everyone who's participated so far for keeping the discussion civil and contributing informative and constructive comments. Even those who disagreed with my results have done so politely and without namecalling. You're head and shoulders above the, er, ...individuals ... in certain other forums.
Link Posted: 7/31/2010 3:17:31 AM EDT
My iron maidens are used outside at a different range 100-1000yds
The indoor range is for FMJ pistol rds.
I was trying to address weld failure (cracking) and my experience with reguarding welding 500 Brinell.
45 degrees will direct your impacts towards the ground and prolong the life of your targets.




Link Posted: 7/31/2010 4:44:13 AM EDT
What exactly is an "iron maiden?" I get that it's a metal target of some sort, but that's it. I've found a few references via Google (including this thread!), but 99% of them are about the metal band or medieval torture device. Maybe it's also known by another name?
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:41:51 PM EDT
How would this hold up to 7.62 x 39 FMJ lead core and 7.62 lead core?

Would this be safe at 100 yards?
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:54:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CaptHowdy:
How would this hold up to 7.62 x 39 FMJ lead core and 7.62 lead core?

Would this be safe at 100 yards?


AR500 will hold up great to anything 7.62x39 and fling at it at 100 yards. I shoot my AR500 plates at 100 yards with AKs, ARs and FAL. No problem. Just keep impact velocity under 2700 FPS or so.
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 10:50:38 AM EDT
I shoot my AR500 plates at 50 -75 yards angled down. Never a problem. I will say that M855 will put a small crater in them at these close distances.
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 4:32:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2010 5:59:26 PM EDT by Objekt]
Originally Posted By fuzzy03cls:
I shoot my AR500 plates at 50 -75 yards angled down. Never a problem. I will say that M855 will put a small crater in them at these close distances.


Good to know. M855 is next on my test list, right before 196 gr. Yugoslavian and 150 gr. Romanian 8mm Mauser (aka 7.92x57mm). I don't plan to test at any closer than 200 yards, because I'm not entirely sure it's safe, but the "ricochet-safe" distance is largely a question of individual judgement. The supplier of my AR500 plate, Widener's, recommends shooting it at no closer than 100 yards.
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 5:20:43 AM EDT
I have a 12" circle of AR plate.
On the back is a piece of 1/2 welded to the AR plate with a 3/4 hole in it. It hangs on a 3/4 piece of Rebar.
The rebar is L shaped where it goes through the bracket, then comes up and has a hook at the top. ( to hang over a tree limb)
The Plate was designed, when hanging to have a slight downward angle. It helps prevent ricochets.
It swivels on the rebar upon impact to absorb some of the shock.

I have shot it with steel core 5.45 , 7.62x39, and M855 ( plus lots of 9mm, and .45)
Ranges of 25 yards +.

Had some very small divets in the plate, hardly any damage at all.

I'll post up some pictures next time I take it out.

Link Posted: 8/15/2010 11:15:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Force:
I have a 12" circle of AR plate.
On the back is a piece of 1/2 welded to the AR plate with a 3/4 hole in it. It hangs on a 3/4 piece of Rebar.
The rebar is L shaped where it goes through the bracket, then comes up and has a hook at the top. ( to hang over a tree limb)
The Plate was designed, when hanging to have a slight downward angle. It helps prevent ricochets.
It swivels on the rebar upon impact to absorb some of the shock.

I have shot it with steel core 5.45 , 7.62x39, and M855 ( plus lots of 9mm, and .45)
Ranges of 25 yards +.

Had some very small divets in the plate, hardly any damage at all.

I'll post up some pictures next time I take it out.



It sounds like welding on that back piece didn't compromise the hardening of the impact surface. That's good to know. It's an issue I've been concerned about, when thinking about a long-term solution for hanging my small piece of AR500.



Link Posted: 8/15/2010 11:17:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Objekt:


Good to know. M855 is next on my test list, right before 196 gr. Yugoslavian and 150 gr. Romanian 8mm Mauser (aka 7.92x57mm).

Looking forward to the results of the 8mm testing. I have a M76 that I love to shoot and am very curious as to the results. What specific Yugo 8mm load will you use, M75?
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 8:28:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Liquidmetal:

Originally Posted By Objekt:


Good to know. M855 is next on my test list, right before 196 gr. Yugoslavian and 150 gr. Romanian 8mm Mauser (aka 7.92x57mm).

Looking forward to the results of the 8mm testing. I have a M76 that I love to shoot and am very curious as to the results. What specific Yugo 8mm load will you use, M75?


I don't really know. The ammo came to me unlabeled, in a cardboard box. It has brass cases, is Boxer primed, is apparently reloadable, and the headstamp says "RPR 21." All of it came on 5-round stripper clips, wrapped in paper. That's all I know.

I've found one or two posts on various forums suggesting it might be either Yugoslavian or Romanian ammo, depending on who you ask. Could be 196 or 198 grains. Or another bullet weight entirely. I've never pulled one to find out, because I have so little of it that I don't feel like destroying a round just out of curiosity. I figured someone else would know what it is just by the description - any luck?
Link Posted: 8/16/2010 9:51:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2010 10:02:26 AM EDT by Liquidmetal]

Originally Posted By Objekt:
Originally Posted By Liquidmetal:

Originally Posted By Objekt:


Good to know. M855 is next on my test list, right before 196 gr. Yugoslavian and 150 gr. Romanian 8mm Mauser (aka 7.92x57mm).

Looking forward to the results of the 8mm testing. I have a M76 that I love to shoot and am very curious as to the results. What specific Yugo 8mm load will you use, M75?


I don't really know. The ammo came to me unlabeled, in a cardboard box. It has brass cases, is Boxer primed, is apparently reloadable, and the headstamp says "RPR 21." All of it came on 5-round stripper clips, wrapped in paper. That's all I know.

I've found one or two posts on various forums suggesting it might be either Yugoslavian or Romanian ammo, depending on who you ask. Could be 196 or 198 grains. Or another bullet weight entirely. I've never pulled one to find out, because I have so little of it that I don't feel like destroying a round just out of curiosity. I figured someone else would know what it is just by the description - any luck?

I've heard of the RPR 21 ammo. Supposedly it's Romanian, "RPR 21" standing for Republica Populara Romana, Plant 21. Dates back to the early '60s from what I gather. Unsure about bullet weight. All I know about it I read on the internet, so take it FWIW although the sources I read seemed pretty credible.

Link Posted: 8/17/2010 7:14:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Liquidmetal:
I've heard of the RPR 21 ammo. Supposedly it's Romanian, "RPR 21" standing for Republica Populara Romana, Plant 21. Dates back to the early '60s from what I gather. Unsure about bullet weight. All I know about it I read on the internet, so take it FWIW although the sources I read seemed pretty credible.


I don't think anyone's done a visual catalog of military surplus 8mm ammo, as has been done for 7.62x54R over at 7.62x54r.net. Like you, I had no luck finding anything definitive online. So, speculation and Internet "widsom" is all we have to go on, with respect to 8mm surplus.

Whatever its provenance, the RPR 21 ammo comes in sturdy, Boxer-primed brass cases, which I've been saving. Once I've shot it all up, I just might have to start reloading 8mm, to see what my M48 can really do.

The other 8mm I have is definitely Romanian, the steel-cased, 150 gr. bullet surplus that AIM has been selling for a while.

What's been holding up my testing is, lack of an appropriate mounting solution for the plate. Hanging it off a wire coathanger did not work very well, and it was annoying to have to go downrange and re-hang it after almost every hit.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 10:10:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2010 10:13:19 AM EDT by MHP237]
OP...Thanks for taking the time to post your pics., etc.

I've got a few ARM 500 10" diam steel plates hanging at 100 and 200 yds that have been taking a beating for 10 years now. Velocity and bulet construction go together to determine how much or how little they are damaged.

Varmint slugs from the .222 Rem or .223 Rem Family do very little at 200 yds..... but do seem to leave a small "dimple" or maybe better described as a "pock mark' on the 100 yd plate. 5.45x39 and any of the mil spec 5.56mm rds seem to do the same. It's apparent something hit the 100 yd plate, but the damage is minimal. At 200 yds paint is missing...thats about it.

Yet hit the 100 yd plate with a .220 Swift rd @4k fps and it leaves a far larger mark. As Scottie is always saying on ST... "Ya can't change the Laws of Physics".

The 7.62x39 and 7.62x51 Family of ctg's are the next step UP in damage. The velocity may be lower, but the weight of the slug is 125-168 grs. So damage to the 100 yd plate is a bit more pronounced,but still allowing hundreds maybe thousands of hits before it needs to be turned.
The 200 yd plate gets a little bit more of a beating but again..it would take several hundred rds before pronounced cratering if not thousands of rds.

The only holes and serious damage have been from an Ass clown who felt he needed to shoot his Wby .30-.378 mag with 150 gr Barnes solid copper slugs at nearly 4K fps at my 100 yd plate. Perfect .30" holes through and through.

I do not hit my 500 plates closer than 100 yds so they are holding up VERY well IMHO. Good thing too as NOW they are rather co$tly compared to a dozen years back when they were relatively cheap.

I've got a ARM300 IPSC sillhouette that has been getting beaten up by pistols and the occasional sub gun from 15 to 50 yds...for 15 yrs now. It has taken thousands of hits from FMJ 125 gr SIG .357 rds at 1350 FPS.

I have turned it twice now. It gets "dished" a bit every few yrs. I turn it around, and shoot it for a few more years. So buying QUALITY targets probably pays off iin the long run.

FN in MT
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 6:38:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 3:10:22 PM EDT by Objekt]
I finally got a hook welded on, so further testing has a chance to occur. Assuming I didn't do something really dumb-assed, like make the hook too small to fit over the frame at the range. More photos of non-damage to AR 500 forthcoming.

ETA: Yep, the hook was too small. The target frames are made of 1.5" reinforcement bar, so the hook will have to be opened up.

I still managed to hang it, courtesy of some wire someone had left behind. But I only got 2 hits, because the second one spun it sideways.

It will be a while before I post photos, because it's kind of a pain in the ass. Suffice to say for now, today's shooting proved that the SS109 is BAD news for anything that gets shot with it. It is the only thing that's damaged the AR500 so far.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 3:36:46 PM EDT
Test the 8x57 yet?
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 3:47:02 PM EDT
No, the plate is still with the welder. He had to open up the hook a bit, as it was too narrow to fit over the 1.5" rebar frames at our range.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 12:55:59 PM EDT
If you can, shoot it with Turkish 8mm Mauser. When we chrono'd the diff surplus in 03 (Greek, German, Yugo, Turk, Romanian, Polish) the Turkish was a bit over the top, something like 3000 FPS out of a K98.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:22:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 9:25:30 PM EDT by Objekt]
M855 update. Picture the first: plate "before," at 100 yards.



It's hooked over a piece of 1/2" fiberboard, because that was the only thing available to hang it on. The plate was still at a slight downward angle.

Picture the second: Plate after 7 hits with M855.



Little dimples in the middles of the splats. Yes, the mighty SS109 did slightly dent the plate. There was no evidence of deformation on the other side of the plate.

I tried shooting the plate with M855 again, after repainting the steel and hanging it off a proper frame on a different part of the range. I got pretty much the same result, although the dimples were in different places.

The top-most crater doesn't count. It's in the heat-affected zone, where my buddy arc-welded a hook on the back of the plate. Obviously the metal became softer there. Which brings up an interesting question: did the heat of welding screw up hardening on the entire plate, so that these results don't really prove anything?

My buddy the welder says no, that only the part of the plate nearest the welding spot may have had its hardness reduced by heat. I do know that the plate was left in the shade when he was done welding, but was still warm to the touch after half an hour. The plate as a whole never became hot enough to glow, so I don't think the hardening overall was affected.

Clearly, the SS109 is a nasty little bugger. I might put some more SS109's on my plate at 200 and 300 yards, just to find out when M855 runs out of steam enough to not damage AR500.

8mm results will have to wait until the hook is opened up. The welding guy is in the middle of moving, so it will be a week or two more, minimum.

Bonus side "after" shot, showing the hook more plainly:

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