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Thread: I need steel pistol target recommendation

  1. #1
    Boolit Master






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    I need steel pistol target recommendation

    I am going to make some swinging steel targets to shoot 380 acp- 44 mag and was wandering what steel and thickness should be used. I appreciate any and all recommendations!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    3/8th will work. 1/2 will do better.

    I've got a sit on the ground steel flipper thing that's 1/2" plate and it's rated up to .30-06.
    I tag it with .45ACP and a few .30 cal cast and its only had the paint knocked off.

    Our range has their approx. 10" round steel knock down targets on the pistol range made from 3/8ths.
    The only damage to one of them is a hole from a guy that hit it with a 7.62 NATO AP.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Dragon targets has a sale going for 8” targets of 3/8” steel for $9.99 each (limit of 2) plus $10 flat rate shipping. That’s hard to beat.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    I’ve always used 3/8ths plate mild steel. You can get much tougher stuff, but probably wouldn’t want to pay the price. A .45/70 flat nose will put a nice ding in it, whereas a.30-06 ball round will go through it. Thicker would always be better.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMC87 View Post
    I am going to make some swinging steel targets to shoot 380 acp- 44 mag and was wandering what steel and thickness should be used. I appreciate any and all recommendations!
    I have found the thickness only to be critical for rifle gongs/swingers and dueling trees.
    You can buy A500 gongs/swingers at most Walmart's, big box sports stores, Ebay, even Amazon!
    and that's the steel you need.
    Mild steel works for 22LR only.
    jmo,
    Size/Prime a few cases when starting off with a progressive and put them aside. You can plug them back into the process when a bad/odd case screws up the priming station and continue loading.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master






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    Thanks a lot for all the help guys, really appreciate it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I bought these and have been really happy with them.

    For just pistols you could probably get away with 3/8 or even 1/4 inch but the thicker plates will standand up to 45gr 223 and surplus Mosin Nagant loads from 40 yards in my experience.

    I welded up a frame out of junk rebar and short lengths of scrap chains to hang the plates from. I used 3/8" carriage bolts with 1/2" washers to attach the plates to the chains. One thing I would change is make the chains a few links shorter because the smaller plates will wrap around the top bar.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Minerat; 02-16-2020 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Ebay link removed
    quando omni flunkus moritati

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    My steel targets are all homemade, from junk that I already had. Some are made from 1/2" steel that used to be a smokestack at a factory. (that is what I was told). Other targets are made from worn out plow shares. Those are relatively thin, but tough. A couple of targets are made from disc blades. All of those targets hold up very well to everything from 9mm to .45 Colt. The disc blades do eventually succumb and will begin to crack, and eventually chunks break off. Also, a .223 will put a nice, neat little hole in a disc blade, and the blade will barely even wiggle.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master






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    Thanks guys I really appreciate the help, I just want to get started and be able to "hear" a strike instead of looking at paper and having to switch it out all the time.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    For what it's worth, my Number 1 concern was ricochet -- primarily the fired bullet bouncing back and hitting me or someone! (I still recall the "you'll get your eye shot out, or shoot someone else's" admonitions from Mom when I went "huntin'" with the BB gun ~60 years ago...).
    Cutting to the chase, I had a new roof put on house probably 45 years back, where contractors found quite a few patches of rotten wood which they adroitly replaced with plywood. One of the first thing I noted was their throwing 7 1/4 inch saw blades in the trash. Contractor told me he buys "the cheapest", as cutting roof material is such that it is more economical in the long run for his toss and replace policy, then to use good, carbide, blades -- the needing to have them resharpened with regular carbide tips rewelded on...
    The "wheels" in my head turning, I reckoned if I took some T-Bar wire -- the stuff used to hang the tracking material for suspended ceilings, and made a carrier so the hung saw blade would be on between a 20 degree and 30 degree angle so ricochets would go down -- I'd be all set. I even came across a few 10 inch blades -- and that's all I use.
    I shoot from .22 rimfire through to .30-'06 and while a few have been "bent" -- they sure are a cheapo way to have gongs. I might add, though, they do NOT ring as I'd hope -- but, generally at 75 yard range -- there is no mistake either visually or from the sound when you hit one.
    geo
    Last edited by georgerkahn; 02-16-2020 at 02:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Problem with soft steel and bounce back comes from dimples in the steel. Even tilted downward you never know where that bullet’s going to go if it hits a dimple. How do I know? It happened to me. I picked fragments from my forehead for about 6 months. Fortunately I had on safety glasses or it would have been much worse. I had a shop towel with me that was soaked in blood by the time I got to the house from my private range. It made a “believer” out of me.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    The local farm store used to have 3 plate 22 rimfire spinner targets for 7 dollars each. I would buy them and shoot them with what ever, hammer the targets back flat-ish once they got really bent up and keep going till they were completely destroyed. Until the time me and a buddy were shooting a 45 colt at those targets and right after I shot by buddy doubled over complaining that I hit him in the dick. I called BS until he came up with the slug from the ground. Fortunately it was cold out so he was wearing heavy bibs over his pants so he had no real injuries but after that I scrapped all the bent targets and confined the new ones to 22 only.
    quando omni flunkus moritati

  13. #13
    Boolit Master






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    I was going to hang my targets with pieces of conveyor belt, Do you guys think that will be okay? I can use chain, Cable or what ever I would need.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


    Ickisrulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMC87 View Post
    I was going to hang my targets with pieces of conveyor belt, Do you guys think that will be okay? I can use chain, Cable or what ever I would need.
    I use rebar that I bend to hold the target and fit over my horizontal hanger.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-steel-targets

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I used 3/4" EMT conduit for my target frame. It packs down nicely into a tent bag. It consists of five 5' long sections, two brackets, and the steel plate. I cut my own brackets nearly identical to these out of 1/4" steel plate. https://www.atlastargetworks.com/pro...e-leg-brackets

    Hard steel is best for the plate, but both of my steel plates are big covers from industrial piping, likely a boiler. One is about 10" across, the other 12", both about 7/8" thick. They are starting to show some dimpling. I won't shoot at them from closer than 50 yards. I only shoot cast bullets at them, and they just splatter in all directions on impact.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMC87 View Post
    I was going to hang my targets with pieces of conveyor belt, Do you guys think that will be okay? I can use chain, Cable or what ever I would need.
    I have used chain and think conveyor belt would work too.
    I've seen conveyer belt at the local TSC store and may try some, could be safer than chain.
    I'd still use some carriage bolts though, to angle the steel down for bullet deflection.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Size/Prime a few cases when starting off with a progressive and put them aside. You can plug them back into the process when a bad/odd case screws up the priming station and continue loading.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    I made this bell couple weeks back, I am not be best welder, but I can at least repair if necessary.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    5 1/4 x 5 x 7 3/4 with a 2 3/16 ringer hanging off the bottom All 3/8 thick

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Nice! How does it sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cast_outlaw View Post
    I made this bell couple weeks back, I am not be best welder, but I can at least repair if necessary.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    5 1/4” x 5” x 7 3/4 with a 2 3/16 ringer hanging off the bottom All 3/8 thick

  19. #19
    Boolit Master






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    That is where I got the idea to use belt, I am going to have short pieces of pipe as spacer to angle the plate down. I like the bell that was made and was wandering what the sound effect was?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Our club uses strips of industrial conveyor belt for hanging steel targets on the high-power rifle range and it works much better than chains. Targets are 1/2" AR500 and, after over a year in service, only show mild dimpling, probably from SS109 or steel-cored 7.62x54 ammo.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check