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Questions on shooting steel

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by Stinger260, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Stinger260


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    Nov 11, 2009
    My father inlaw gave me some steel to make targets out of. I would like to shoot .22 9 and 40. What things should I look out far as far as ricochet and target placement. What about steel hardness / thickness
  2. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    Nov 3, 2002
    Lake Charles, LA
    Most steel that the normal guy can form into targets is not good to make targets out of. Professional manufacturers use steel of very specific standards to make the targets, otherwise you are liable to have a lot of trouble with deformation, pitting, etc., particularly at relatively close pistol ranges.
    Having said that, I'd suggest contacting Action Target, in Provo, Utah, and asking if they still give out a report from NASA on using steel targets. The NASA security force did some great research on how different types/hardness of steel respond, how target placement and postioning impacted thigns like ricochet and splashback, and so on. That will give you something to go on if you still decide to make your own.

  3. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Feb 28, 2001
    I make my own targets out of 1/4" 304 stainless steel and they work very well. Some of them have seen 3000-5000 hits from .38, .357 or .45s. I do not shoot them with the .22s just because I'm a little concerned about ricochet. For pistol range shooting I feel a little safer using a swinging type target. I have been hit three or four times with copper jacket material, not hard enough to break the skin but they certainly could have taken an eye out.

  4. FillYerHands

    FillYerHands you son of a

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Kennesaw, GA
    A word on .22 ricochets, based on observation at my local range that provides steel targets.

    If you shoot a fixed steel target with a lead .22 bullet with any decent velocity, it won't ricochet, it will disentegrate and spray in a 180 degree pattern. So angle the steel down slightly, and it will just direct the lead spray into the ground in front of the target, out to about 3 feet or so.

    This also happens with jacketed pistol ammo, if you shoot a fixed steel target. But I find that pistol ammo will ricochet off the kind of falling plates used in Bianchi matches, because part of the energy that disentegrates the bullet is spent getting the plate to fall over backward.

    Those are my observations.