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Thread: Gonna try to make my own steel targets.

  1. #1
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    Default Gonna try to make my own steel targets.

    As the title suggests, I'm gonna try my hand at Steel targets. A friend made some a while back that were made out of generic steel and the big boy rounds(.308+) ate it like candy. What kind of steel would you suggest for putting up with up .308 power and what kind of thickness should I look for? Thanks for any input fellers!
    "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke

  2. #2
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    I shoot long range precision match's and the targets are AR500 steel and typically 3/8 inch thick. Stands up to .308 great. My understanding is most of the targets are cut by water jet. Trying to cut them with a torch, heat, ruins the abrasion resistance and then they don't stand up. Most of the match's I've shot have a speed limit,3000-3100 FPS, or to a max of 300WM. A lot of guys shoot 6mm and 6.5mm variants and get up to those speeds and speed is what kills steel.
    Last edited by akmike; 03-18-2013 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    half inch ar500 should stop anything you got for years and years

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftz240 View Post
    half inch ar500 should stop anything you got for years and years
    Gets awful heavy if you're packing it any distance, lol!

    One of the guys I shoot with, against runs a youth ranch and to raise funds for the ranch they sell AR500 steel targets. He sponsored a match in eastern WA recently and had a IPSC target out of 1/4 AR500, I want to say it was out at about 1000 yards and Jake say he usually shoots them at 600-700 with no problem.

  5. #5
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    I started making my own steel targets since I own a small machine shop. I have 4 targets cut now. They are about 6"x9" in the normal silhouette shape and are 1/4 thick out of some mild steel from material left over from a previous job. If anyone is interested in these or having others cut please feel free to contact me.

    bmachfab@gmail.com
    www.bmachfab.webs.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbbjr View Post
    I started making my own steel targets since I own a small machine shop. I have 4 targets cut now. They are about 6"x9" in the normal silhouette shape and are 1/4 thick out of some mild steel from material left over from a previous job. If anyone is interested in these or having others cut please feel free to contact me.

    bmachfab@gmail.com
    www.bmachfab.webs.com
    I appreciate the heads up partner but that's only really good for pistol rounds. Quarter inch will only hold up to so much, my dad brought some spare mild 1/8" and 1/4" steel he had laying around and my 5.56 SS109 ate right through the 1/4" and standard FMJ through the 1/8" like it was butter. I need half inch hardened steel, if you can get a 12"x20" sheet of that I'd be highly interested, thanks.
    "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke

  7. #7
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    whitewolf001,

    Is it just the "ding" you are looking for? IIRC, there was a website at one point that provided weighted (and non-weighted) PVC piping and wood stake target holder designs and plans.

    Not trying to be snarky, I am just trying to figure out the actual use, especially for a .308/7.62mm round that is already punching through steel targets.

    I know they are used in a lot of sport shooting applications (as noted above) but if you have to trudge them back and forth, up and down range, seems like they would get to be weighty and time consuming.

    If it is penetrative qualities you want to test, then it seems like it might get expensive. Also, if you punch through it with your round, it pretty much makes it worthless later.

    In CAS shooting, we use steel, but at close range for shotguns, and have limited power rounds for our rifles and pistols to avoid ricochets and lead splatter.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. - Erasmus circa 1510

  8. #8
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    Default Gonna try to make my own steel targets.

    I know my question is little off topic but hopefully I can get some answers. I've been wanting to build my own target stands (for paper) to take out to BLM land. I thought framing with metal pipe would be good to prolong its lifespan. But would I have to be concerned about a ricochet if someone shoots the frame? The last thing I would want is a bullet flying back at us. When searching online most homemade ones are made out of wood or PVC.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brien View Post
    I know my question is little off topic but hopefully I can get some answers. I've been wanting to build my own target stands (for paper) to take out to BLM land. I thought framing with metal pipe would be good to prolong its lifespan. But would I have to be concerned about a ricochet if someone shoots the frame? The last thing I would want is a bullet flying back at us. When searching online most homemade ones are made out of wood or PVC.
    For a paper target your best bet is to build it out of a pallet or motor/trans crate(used one of the latter a while back). I've seen the steel piping used but it gets chewed up pretty easily AND when a bullet passes through it, it frays the metal on the exiting side making these lovely jagged edges to grab onto when moving the target. Stick with wood, plus, you're going paper, you can staple a target to it no prob. As to if it causes ricochets, this won't be a problem except in the case of anything with less than 250ft/lbs of energy. .38SPL will dent it but 9mm will penetrate.
    Last edited by whitewolf001; 03-21-2013 at 10:38 PM.
    "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronsch View Post
    whitewolf001,

    Is it just the "ding" you are looking for? IIRC, there was a website at one point that provided weighted (and non-weighted) PVC piping and wood stake target holder designs and plans.

    Not trying to be snarky, I am just trying to figure out the actual use, especially for a .308/7.62mm round that is already punching through steel targets.

    I know they are used in a lot of sport shooting applications (as noted above) but if you have to trudge them back and forth, up and down range, seems like they would get to be weighty and time consuming.

    If it is penetrative qualities you want to test, then it seems like it might get expensive. Also, if you punch through it with your round, it pretty much makes it worthless later.

    In CAS shooting, we use steel, but at close range for shotguns, and have limited power rounds for our rifles and pistols to avoid ricochets and lead splatter.
    Yes, I'm just looking for that ding report so that I can audibly tell if the target has been hit. We will be shooting with 7.62x39 and .308 for our training purposes(hence why I need 1/2" thickness), just want something that I can tell I hit without having to run to the target to see if I hit it. This will be more or less a rifle only application at 100yds +.
    "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke

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