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Thread: Gong size

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Gong size

    My gun club has a long range shooting section that is 500 meters for the longest shot, which has a fixed metal gong type target, along with some smaller metal plate shaped targets. There is one hanging gong at 100 meters and just metal fixed round targets at 200, 300, and 400 meters. I have a piece of 3/4" steel plate that is 40" by 19" that I am going to donate to the club. The metal is oval shaped and I was going to cut it twice and make 3 gongs out of it. If I cut even, than the pieces will be 13"x19". I know this size will be very visable at 200 meters, but will this size be visible enough at 300 and 400 meters to shoot open sights blade type or creedmoor with globe front sights? The ones I will put up will be suspended by chain, so they will swing or twist when hit, plus make that nice sound. I am not a youngster any more, but I can see the metal fixed gong at 500 meters, but it is 18x24.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Simple test is to cut a piece of corrugated card board to that size, Paint one side white and one side black on a stake and place at the desired yard lines to see how they sand out. The grey of the steel tends to bend I to others so most paint flat white or flat black. This will give you a good idea of what you want24" at 500 yds is just shy of 5 moa 19" will be just shy of 4 moa.
    I would cut the card board and a stake to hold it at the height it will be suspended at and see what it looks like. Quick easy and your only out some cheap card board not the steel

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    My best groups at 100 with my Sharps 45-70 have been about 1.5", so if I call my 100 yd, 3 inches, then I assume that that would be 6" at 200yds, 9" at 300 and 12" at 400. by this assumption, then 13" wide by 19" tall should work at all 3???

  4. #4
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I think it's marginal at 400 yds., and I'd cut it in half if I was going to put it up at 400 yds. for iron sights. Two proper sized targets will be better than 3 you can't see well, or hit.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thats about 2/3 ipsc size. Practical size in my opinion.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Thats about 2/3 ipsc size. Practical size in my opinion.
    Not for 400 yds. and iron sights! Your front sight blade will cover up the entire target. And even if you use a 6 o'clock hold, the target would be so small that you can't tell if you're centered on it with iron sights.
    This is a picture taken when I was shooting at the 990 yd. dinger, which is 30" square. Not 400 yds., but you can get an idea of how small a 30" dinger is at 650, and see that 13" x 19" is way too small for 400 yds.
    The 650 yd. dinger is that tiny white spot in the top right area of this picture. 30" The 990 is the tiny speck just to the right of my cross sticks, and I believe it's about 48" square.


  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Great picture Marlinman really puts things in perspective for anyone not used to shooting at a distance

  8. #8
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oily View Post
    Great picture Marlinman really puts things in perspective for anyone not used to shooting at a distance
    Even a standard front post of about .050"-.060" is too wide for 400 yd. and farther work. A .040" width front post is much better, as it's closer to the dinger or gong size, and easier to center on the target. Skinner used to sell special order .040" front blades, but he is busy with standard sights, and wont do custom special order now.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by shafer44 View Post
    I have a piece of 3/4" steel plate that is 40" by 19" that I am going to donate to the club. The metal is oval shaped and I was going to cut it twice and make 3 gongs out of it. If I cut even, than the pieces will be 13"x19".
    The following might help some. The NRA black bull on most targets (not all) run about 4.5 MOA. Simple math goes like this,
    100y = 4.5"
    200y = 9"
    300y = 13.5"
    there is not 400y NRA target but if there was...
    400y = 18"
    500y = 22.5"

    Using this as a guild as to what someone is expected to see at these ranges, I don't think you have quite enough metal. Almost, but not enough for three targets.
    Maybe cut in half and post at 400y and 300y only

    Someone else can make the 200y.
    Chill Wills

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    By the way, if anyone will be shooting these and your steel is of the mild kind, your targets won't last anytime before they look like the moon.

    Maybe you know this and I am over stepping.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Chill Wills, thanks for the insight. There is a square fixed metal plate at 100 meters that is 9x9 and a swinging gong that is probably 12 x 17. Those 2 are pretty easy to hit. We have nothing at 200m, as they have shot them to pieces. At 300m is a 10" round plate and a couple smaller ones, at 400m, maybe 12" plates. Mostly high power rifles with scopes shoot all these. Today, no one was out at the range, so I walked down to the 100m to get measurements. I was too lazy to walk to the 300 and 400m... Yeah, I was thinking that cut in 3 pieces, one would probably be good for 200m, but the 300 and 400 would be small for open sights. I pm'd Marlinman93 and he also said cut it in 2 pieces. It was given to me, so no big deal, just trying to make it go as far as I can. By the way, it is mild steel, but it is 3/4" thick, so it will take a while at 300 and 400 for those guys to blast thru it, I hope. I wonder if I heat the plates up with my cutting torch and then spray them with water, if it will quench them enough to harden them up some???

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Do you know what the steel composition is? You could do the old bone meal in an oven treatment to surface harden it if it doesn't have enough carbon.

    As far has high power rifles shooting modern jacketed bullets if it's mild steel it will dimple/crater/hole it immediately depending upon which bullet (FMJ, steel core, AP, SP) they are using.

    Before I cut it up I'd do a cardboard test at distance.
    je suis charlie

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Most steel plates wont take a steady diet of jacketed bullets, even in pistol calibers. And moving out farther helps, but jacketed bullets will still make divots in steel at over 500 yds. I'd restrict all shooting on metal gongs to cast lead, but at a gun club that's tough to enforce. Guys will do whatever they want when nobody is watching them.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    yeah, unfortunately there are a LOT of members, over 1000, but there are times when no one is out there, like during the week when I go, there may be 2 or 3 other shooters...makes me like being retired!! There are guys that will shoot their ak's and ar's even at the pistol only bays that we have. Some shoot at the wood supports for the target backers, just to see them fall apart. The fixed metal plates at the different distances are beyond looking like the moon, they are almost completely shredded. I would love to have a rule of cast bullets only....but, that will never happen. I have about decided to cut the metal in two pieces and to keep from having to drill more holes, there are two that could be used to hang one plate if I cut it 22" and use that at 400 (22x19) and the 300 would be 18x19

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I don't believe that there's a hard and fast rule for it. About all I can say on the subject is that I've fired at several ranges that used the top cut out of a 55 gal. drum for a gong at 300 & 350 yds.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    wow, a 55 gal drum is about 22-24" in diameter

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have steel to 700 yds and have gone with 6" per hundred yards ,12 @200/24" @ 400 and so on and find it difficult but doable with my C Sharps and long range vernier and my aging eyes even with new glasses .Can"t imagine shooting smaller being hobbyist/amateur ,but it is a challenge/Ed

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Edward, that is a pretty good suggestion. My 300 will be 18x19 and 400 22x19, so that is pretty close. I was wondering about the size for 200. Someone put up a gong at 100 that is 17 tall by 12-13 wide and I think that one should be at 200 and a 6 or 8" gong at 100.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Our club only has one dinger plate, and it's at 150 yds. The rest of our range is target holders out to 1,000 yds., so we have to shoot paper. Not an issue usually, but it's tough to spot holes over 500 yds. Our 150 yd. dinger is 8", and not a problem seeing with iron sights when it's painted white. The background is dark, so if it gets dingy or painted black it's tough to center sights on it. I use the 150 dinger to sight in my old single shots for hunting season.
    I think Edward's 6" per 100 yd. is a good scale.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Well, I finally cut the plate steel in 2 pieces and took them to the range where the range officer helped me hang them. Man, the 19 x18 one weighed about 70# and the 19x22 was about 90#. They are heavy!! After hanging them, I could not stand it, I had to shoot at them. Of course during the week, no one else was there to spot. I shot at the 150m gong and was still on target with it and then adjusted my Vernier tang mid-range sight supposedly to 300m. I used QuickLoad and then imported into QuickTarget and the table said +80 clicks to get from 150 to 300m. I fired probably 6 shots and never saw dirt fly from the berm or anything, so I gave up and moved back to 150m. Yesterday, being a weekend day, I went out figuring someone would be there and we could take turns spotting for each other. There was finally 2 guys that were shooting an AK-47 type rifle, resting it on the banana clip...lol. Those poor guys could not even hit the 14x17 gong at 150, but about 1 in 10 times. I let them use my sand bags and they finally hit it more consistently. I shot once at 150m to make sure it was still on and hit the gong. Then I moved the sight(setting at 150m was 1/4") to 1" +1 line, which should have been 80 MOA movement as QT said. I let them use my spotting scope and nothing, nothing and on the third shot, the guy said I hit at the very top of the berm. I could not believe that, so I moved back to 150m, shot and was 1 ft below the top of that berm, I moved the sight down until it was at 1/2" and then it was about 2 ft high. I moved back to 300m and then hit beside it twice and finally the third shot hit the gong. I hit it a couple more times and then they had to leave. When I got home, I went back to QuickTarget, called my new friend at LSStuff, Glenn, who is very familiar with Quickload and he stepped me thru everything. There was a sight adjustment tab that I never saw that had 0.36" per click, so when I changed it to 1" per click, then QT told me 25 clicks, which was just about what I had moved. I truly felt like a dummy....I moved the sight 3 times what I should have. It would sure help to have someone else shooting creedmoor type sights, but all the other guys are into the long range scoped rifle shooting. Oh, well, lesson learned. I am still getting used to shooting these mortar rounds. I have never shot rifles that drop 2 ft between 150m and 300m.

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