Steel targets

This is a discussion on Steel targets within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I purchased some steel targets to practice with. They are rated for 45ACP and now that I've opened the boxes and started to decide where ...

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Thread: Steel targets

  1. #1
    Member Array Kaneco's Avatar
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    Steel targets

    I purchased some steel targets to practice with. They are rated for 45ACP and now that I've opened the boxes and started to decide where to place them, they all say to shoot at a minimum distance of 25 yards and only shoot lead (not jacketed).

    1) I can barely even see a 3" circle at 25 yards! If I am 25 yards away from the BG, I'll just get in my truck and drive away, or drive closer to shoot him...

    2) Most of my guns require jacketed rounds (Kimber, PPS, HK, etc).

    Any advice here? I watch shows like Handguns on TV, and they sure don't seem to be shooting from 25 yards, and I'll bet they're shooting FMJ most of the time. Do I need a different type of steel target?
    NRA Member

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  3. #2
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    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you have bought, but, remember that the warnings on the package is written by lawyers to minimize liability as much as possible.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    When I shoot steel plate knock down targets at SD distance's I'll set them up with a slight downward cant. No problems using FMJ and with splatter, wear your safety gear & keep others away.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    I've made several steel targets with standard 1/4" steel plates and only the paint gets scratched off when fired on w/ any handguns. .45acp, 357, 9mm and 22's (22 rifle or pistol). Rifles, on the other hand, put very clean holes thru them (AR-15 and .270), and some 50 cal muzzle loaders w/ a 300 grain slug bent them up pretty good.
    If they are close to 1/4" thick, you won't have any issues with them w/ a .45 handgun.
    Mine are hanging targets with a downward cant on them like JAT40 suggested.
    I enjoy the sound of steel more than seeing a hole in a paper target.

  6. #5
    Member Array BaserRonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAT40 View Post
    When I shoot steel plate knock down targets at SD distance's I'll set them up with a slight downward cant. No problems using FMJ and with splatter, wear your safety gear & keep others away.
    That is the key. The possibility to bounce a jacketed bullet is higher then many realize. Setting it at an angle to force whatever is going to bounce back at you into the dirt instead will save you a headache. Maybe literally, I had a piece of copper under my eyebrow for about 18 months once...it prompted me to start shooting at round steel and angling my flat plates down so it sends whatever is left of the bullet into the dirt instead of back at me.

  7. #6
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Minimum distance from shooter on steel targets per USPSA rules is 23 feet. There is a reason for this. Jacketed ammo doesn't seem to be a concern. Steel at 25 yds seems a bit much. Be sure to wear your eye protection.

  8. #7
    Member Array Japle's Avatar
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    Steel Challenge targets are placed from 7 yds to 35 yds. As I mentioned in a previous post, you can expect to get hit by bullet fragments at a SC match. It's not a serious problem. The occasional "owie" is part of the game.
    John
    Cape Canaveral

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    Actually splatter is more of a problem with slow movers, especially .45 ACP. 9 and .40 tend to break up on impact while the .45 tends to stay together. We stay back 10 yards (though the USPSA rule IS 23', 26' is using a fault line).

    I only use 1/2" thickness if it's soft steel, even with handguns. 1/4" will tend to dish out (go concave) and/or dimple more readily. Bear in mind that we are "High Volume" shooters, and this may not be a concern for you for YEARS.

    Dan
    "What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK like?"

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaserRonin View Post
    That is the key. The possibility to bounce a jacketed bullet is higher then many realize. Setting it at an angle to force whatever is going to bounce back at you into the dirt instead will save you a headache. Maybe literally, I had a piece of copper under my eyebrow for about 18 months once...it prompted me to start shooting at round steel and angling my flat plates down so it sends whatever is left of the bullet into the dirt instead of back at me.
    Bingo! ^^

    YouTube - 50 Caliber Bounce Back

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEbKVE094XY

    YouTube - Watch the bullet bounce back and almost kill the shooter

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  11. #10
    Member Array llongshot's Avatar
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    The secret is to turn the target (right/left/down) so that you don't have to worry about bounce back. Notice I didn't include "up". It might be ok but you could be the recipient of some "air mail". Canting the target to the right or left makes for an oval target that forces a little better right to left sight picture. If you're going to shoot the reactive targets remember that your instinct will not lie to you. Your brain can override it but the "gut" will, if you let it, always serve.

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