Shooting steel

Shooting steel

This is a discussion on Shooting steel within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was playing with the 45/70 Sharps today shooting it at 250 yards with a 300 gr JHP at between 1770 and 1825 FPS. When ...

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Thread: Shooting steel

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    Shooting steel

    I was playing with the 45/70 Sharps today shooting it at 250 yards with a 300 gr JHP at between 1770 and 1825 FPS. When it hits the 3/8 inch steel chest size gong it just splashes the lead and makes just a little dent. After I finished with that I decided to play with the Bushmaster Varminter by shooting some Blackhills 75 JHP match bullets at 2817 FPS. Since this is a civilian match load I didn't figure it would do much more damage then the 300 JHP from the 45/70 would. Wrong, Now I didn't have any trouble hitting it at all even with a 20 MPH cross wind. That is one of the reasons I picked the 75 gr bullet for it's wind bucking abilities. It actually bucked the wind much better then the 45/70. At 250 yards I only had about 10 inches drift to the left and the 45/70 had about 23 inches. What really surprised me was that the 22 cal 75 gr bullet punched .40 caliber holes through the steel in every hit. You would think sure that AP rounds would punch a hole but a thin jacket around a lead core should have just splashed like the Jacketed 300 gr loads. Anyone got a viable reason for this? The last time I punched holes in steel was using a 30-06 AP rounds on 1/2 inch boiler plate. While the bullet was destroyed the steel that was punched out looked much like a mushroomed bullet after I dug it out from 12 inches of sand behind it.
    Life member NRA since 1983
    I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a Crossbreed SuperTuck. My wife carries a Walther PPS .40 w/Crossbreed holster.


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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    You must be using mild steel plate. That wont hold up at all.
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    Have you ever tried to push a 16d nail into board? You cant. But, take the same board and a pin, its easy. Add some more speed behind the bullet, you have your answer.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    I've got some T2 armor plate that a friend built me a couple of swingers with. One is a pig and the other is a chicken. I've shot the fool out of them but they keep on swinging. I'm going to have to track down some bigger pieces of T2 plate and make some more spring loaded gongs. Man that a satisfying sound when you ring one.
    Life member NRA since 1983
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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Have you ever tried to push a 16d nail into board? You cant. But, take the same board and a pin, its easy. Add some more speed behind the bullet, you have your answer.
    Exactly right, simple physics at work.

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    A bullet with half the diameter traveling 1000fps faster? Imagine that :)

    I had a similar 'oops' moment a while back. My friend had his gong out around 30 yards, we were shooting it with .22 rifles and handguns up to .44mag. It held up just fine. I took a few shots at it with a .17hmr, and found that it gouged into the mild steel. Didn't penetrate, but it left 'splash' indentations half the thickness of the steel. Speed makes all the difference!
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    When my IHMSA club started up in Anchorage in the 70s, we were cash poor, so our first set of 40 silhouettes were cut from mild steel plate. After one match, they looked like Swiss cheese. After some serious fund-raising, we were able to purchase a set of targets cut from T2 armor plate.

    Never had a problem after that. Unlimited Class cartridges that punched through the mild steel targets like a knife through hot butter barely left a mark on the T2 steel.


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