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Author Topic: Shooting Steel... dangerous?  (Read 7501 times)

Offline engelwood

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Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« on: July 06, 2011, 04:20:07 PM »
This is a dumb question, but for shooting long distances I picked up a 14"X14"X1/2" chunk of steel. I was planning on hanging it from something, painting it white, and shooting it to make a "gong". Is there any danger to this? I'm shooting some solid copper bullets such as Barnes TSX and Nosler ETips at it if that makes any difference. Thanks for the input.

Online h20hunter

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 04:24:16 PM »
If you are long range shooting you shouldn't really have an splatter issues. There is a vid somewhere on YouTube showing a loooonnnng ricochet from some guys shooting .50's. Bang away if you are in a safe area.
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Offline Rick

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 05:51:47 PM »
If you're smart about it,shooting steel isn't any more dangerous than paper.

Offline boots

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 07:30:34 PM »
I think if its angled correctly it shouldn't be an issue. Lots of people do it  :twocents:

Offline kitsap

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 07:37:49 PM »
....... for shooting long distances ...........

I would have to ask what do you define as long distances?  How may yards away from the firing line will the target be located?

You need to stay away from military surplus ammunition with steel or other types of metal penetrators.

DougF
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Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 07:38:43 PM »
I've done it with no problems at all.
I could care less about what anybody says..............

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 07:40:05 PM »
....... for shooting long distances ...........

I would have to ask what do you define as long distances?  How may yards away from the firing line will the target be located?

You need to stay away from military surplus ammunition with steel or other types of metal penetrators.

DougF

Why do you need to stay away from military ammo ?
I could care less about what anybody says..............

Offline demontang

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 07:12:16 AM »
steel core can and will cause a fire  :twocents: reg ball ammo is fine.
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Offline FC

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 10:42:31 AM »
steel core can and will cause a fire  :twocents: reg ball ammo is fine.

How?
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Offline sebek556

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 10:57:26 AM »
used to shoot steel once a month in the army at 300-200 yards we called them "iron maidens"

Offline demontang

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 11:21:37 AM »
steel plate getting struck by a steel core round spray's sparks like you wouldnt believe. Been there done that and luckly I got to the  fire before it took off :bdid: I grabbed a steel for round by misstake and well it only took one shot to catch some grass on fire.
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Offline jeepasaurusrex

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 11:23:14 AM »
I build my own targets from steel all the time. If you want a good gong, us AR-400 plate. It is really hard and will ring good. I have used 3/4" A36 (fairly soft) and almost penetrated all the way though with a .270 at 100yds. There is no ricochet backwards.

The square is 3/4" A36. The Mickey Mouse is 1/4" AR-400. The little pock mark is a .22 @ 100yds. :chuckle:

More 3/4" A36


The pig is also from A36. The brass looking holes are from some Barnes bullets we loaded up.

The small pock marks are from a .22 my daughter was shooting @ 100yds
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Offline kckrawler

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 11:46:08 AM »
If you are long range shooting you shouldn't really have an splatter issues. There is a vid somewhere on YouTube showing a loooonnnng ricochet from some guys shooting .50's. Bang away if you are in a safe area.

http://www.military.com/video/guns/rifles/50-cal-ricochet-that-smarts/658235492001/

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Offline CementFinisher

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 02:04:13 PM »
To truly be safe not all steel is okay. you need a hardness of a minimum of 475 for large rifle calibers. Softer steel will divot when shot, increasing the likely hood of ricochets.

Online jackmaster

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 02:18:49 PM »
i know at paul bunyan the 200yrd gong is made out of steel but it is also hanging inside a tractor tire with a serious dirt hill behind it
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline jeepasaurusrex

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 02:20:27 PM »
As you can see from the pictures above, the softer steel actually contains the bullet while the harder steel deflects the bullet. The bullet will ricochet off the harder steel easier.
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Offline CementFinisher

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 02:52:33 PM »
500 Brinell or hrc is what is really needed. The steel is not catching the bullets, those big divots in the pics you've shown is what causes ricochets to come back toward the shooter. With the 500 hardness rating you will not get divoting so the plate can do its job of deflecting the bullets to a known location. I.E. the angle of the plate directing the bullets downward. These plates will last for years also.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 03:00:59 PM by CementFinisher »

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 02:56:21 PM »
I've noticed that the shooting shows when showing their weapons, shooting steel, the steel is slanted downwards to avoid ricochet.
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Offline jeepasaurusrex

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 03:09:30 PM »
With the softer steel, the kinetic energy is dissipated and the bullet fragments travel only a very short distance. A lead core bullet is going to disintegrate upon impact anyways so there would be no mass left to ricochet.

The last gong I made with AR-400 hangs on chains from a 1/2" diameter steel rod hoop. As the plate hangs, it will deflect what is left of the bullet downward.
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Offline CementFinisher

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2011, 03:27:00 PM »
With the softer steel, the kinetic energy is dissipated and the bullet fragments travel only a very short distance. A lead core bullet is going to disintegrate upon impact anyways so there would be no mass left to ricochet.

The last gong I made with AR-400 hangs on chains from a 1/2" diameter steel rod hoop. As the plate hangs, it will deflect what is left of the bullet downward.


Jeep Yes the ar400 is hard enough it often has a hardness of brinell 380-425. So its a hardened steel.  I'm just trying to show that a guy should not just grab a piece of steel off a job site like something for a column or gusseting, soft steel is bad for shooting. Once it is dimpled it is dangerous.

Offline jeepasaurusrex

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 03:37:29 PM »
That's why anything I make out of A36, 572 etc is one time use. The targets I make out of T-1 or AR-400 hardly show any signs of use after hitting them multiple times.
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Offline demontang

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2011, 05:59:50 PM »
Ive used a piece of 5/8" ar400 and it stopped my 338 win at 100yds but had a huge hole 9/10 of the way throw it. I moved it out to 300yds and it didnt do to much to it. Ive since found some thats 1.25" thick and its my long range gong now :tup: O I leave it out there hidden so I dont have to pack it lol.
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Offline yorketransport

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2011, 08:40:39 PM »
I've shot a lot of steel with a bunch of different calibers. As long as the plate can swing, I've never had a problem. The large calibers (338 and up) are the best. You'll hear that gong ring like it's right next to you. I have a 12" T-1 gong hanging down 12" that my 375 Ruger will flip over the stand if you get a good hit.:tup:

Andrew

Offline jeepasaurusrex

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2011, 11:06:32 PM »
I am the shop foreman at a heavy equipment attachment company. We have tons of scrap laying around to build targets out of. I can make them pretty easy. I tore my left rotator cuff on Tuesday, so I am down to one arm for while but I could whip up a couple of prototypes if someone is interested.
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Offline demontang

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Re: Shooting Steel... dangerous?
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2011, 07:37:53 AM »
I would love to get some another gong but unless I could meet when I go over at the end of the month, I could get another piece around here for the price of gas :bash:.
Hope you heal fast thats not a fun injury been there.
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