Safe distance shooting steel, Magnums

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by CDR_Glock, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock

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    What is a safe distance for shooting steel targets with magnums, such as the 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, and up?

    I know they’re set up for lesser calibers where they say it’s safe for 15 yards. I shoot at 25 yards.



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  2. R*E

    R*E

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    Bullet type matters a lot. I shot a .38 special Lead SWC at a steel target and the bullet came right back at me, hit me in the gut. .38 special FMJ on steel is safer since those bullets flattened and dropped to the ground.
     
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  3. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    25 yards is more than enough for those calibers. I'd recommend getting rifle rated steel and angled hangers to extend the life of the targets. Big impacts can bow the steel over time so getting 3/8" AR500 will help prevent that. Using angled hangers will deflect much of the energy instead of absorbing it. That will make the targets last longer and decrease the chance of ricochet.
     
  4. Mr Meeseeks

    Mr Meeseeks

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    AR 500 steel that’s kept painted and free of rust/pitting will go a long way in helping with safety. Correct angle to deflect spall is big too. You may even find that AR500 gets dimples from magnums. Uneven surface= less predictable ricochet pattern.

    25 yard should be safe with properly maintained, hard steel set up correctly.
     
  5. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Silver Member

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    I'm an RSO and responsible for setting up stages at some Steel Challenge matches. Like Mr. Meeseeks said, it is partly dependent on what type of steel you're shooting, plus watch out for proper angles and damaged steel. Oh...and type of bullet.

    This is just me, but I wouldn't shoot jacketed or semi-jacketed magnum at steel placed less than 50 yards. All-lead I'd be comfortable at 25 yards.

    IMHO, I'm not sure what you gain by shooting plates with magnums unless you're going for distance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  6. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    My hanging plates are angled so the bullets bounce down after impact, and at the gravel pit I also shoot from the side a little bit to help minimize the chance of a direct reversal ricochet. Also have to be careful about shooting a plate that is still swinging as it can be at any angle. There is usually a line of spent bullet chunks directly under the plates.
     
  7. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I wear a baseball style cap, with brim in correct forward position. Bounceback from BB gun to Magnums tends to be in an arc.

    I don't need something slipping in over the top of my safety glasses. Also protects from ejecting brass, from me or from others shooting next to me.

    25 yards seems good for magnum handguns. 50 yards for centerfire rifle. You might still get hit, if you shoot enough rounds over enough time, but shouldn't do much damage unless hitting eyes.

    :)
     
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  8. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Hang the steel something like this and you can shoot fairy close.
    Depending on the bullet, about 15 yards with pistol rounds.
    Always, as with most any shooting, wear glasses.

    Steel bullet stop 2.JPG
     
  9. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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  10. techiej

    techiej

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    YMMV but I shoot angled ar500 with 44 and 357 @ 20 yards but they are rnfp or swc and all lead tipped. Even then you do get some back at you but as long as you're not wearing shorts or short sleeves haven't had a problem.
     
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  11. fasteddie565

    fasteddie565 Combat Diver

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    I have been hit with frag from as far back as 50 meters. I still shoot steel from rifle or pistol as close as 5 meters. I believe as you say above, its the angle of the target. If you get a round fly back at you, it likely hit a divot in the steel that prevented the spall from ricocheting down directly in front of the target.
     
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  12. CAcop

    CAcop

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    15 yards would be my minimum with plates in good shape with a good angle down. It also helps if you can flip them around because over time they will get bowed.
     
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  13. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

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    I agree with 25 yards, I’ve never had a problem at this distance.

    The poster above who said 15 yards may be correct with stricter setup guidelines. I’m not familiar enough with how to set up the proper angle to risk it myself.
     
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  14. Gokyo

    Gokyo

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    Bullets splash perpendicular to the face of the plate.

    I have never seen any bounce.
     
  15. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    You skipped this video?? I figure with the plates angled down and free swinging to absorb the majority of the force, and me a slight angle to the side, I'm minimizing any chance of a surprise coming my way.

    You can do what you want.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QokV7HzJhG4
     
  16. Gokyo

    Gokyo

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    Yeah granted the video nicely illustrates 50bmg.

    But my experience is with pistols and baby rifle calibers.
     
  17. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Ever play pool? It's all about the angles.
     
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  18. Gokyo

    Gokyo

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    Bullets are not balls that experience elastic collisions.

    If a pistol or >308 caliber sized bullet hits AR500 the Bullet sprays at an angle perpendicular to the surface they are hitting.

    I am not sure about 50 bmg.

    My experience with bullets is illustrated by this 100,000+ FPS video.

     
  19. 686 AR15 G17Fan

    686 AR15 G17Fan

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    ^^all this^^

    If target is angled down and you're to the side it would be virtually impossible to get hit by splash or a ricochet.

    Unless of course you're shooting from in orbit around the earth and end up shooting yourself in the back
     
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  20. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    That's a rifle bullet, and most likely moving along pretty fast, amybe 2,000+FPS. .45ACP rounds move a lot slower, have more mass and don't always disintegrate on contact...some big chunks still found on the ground.

    But like I said, shoot how you want, and I'll shoot my way. Remember to wear your safety glasses.