making steel targets

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting Forum' started by board917, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. board917

    board917 New Member

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    I want to make some steel targets for pistol shooting. I have a welder... has anyone ever made them out of old weights? like the type u put on bars for bench presses?
  2. Oldeyes

    Oldeyes Member

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    The majority of steel weight lifting weights that I have seen have been of cast construction. They 'might' work for a while as a .22 LR target, but a centerfire round will probably quickly shatter or crack it. Cast iron is fairly strong, but it is often actually quite brittle and can be broken just by dropping it on a hard surface. Getting some higher carbon content tempered steel plate is probably what you want for making your targets. And then when you select your steel plate metallurgy composition and temper, be sure that you match your choice of steel to the down range energy dynamics of what you will be shooting at it. I watched a gentleman at the range the other day shoot a number of .17 HMR rounds at one of those fairly heavy steel plate constructed 'lollipop' spinner .22 LR targets at 100 yards. By the time that he went down to retrieve his target at the end of his shooting session the 'lollipop' looked like swiss cheese with a bunch of neat little holes punched through it. It was totally ruined.
  3. board917

    board917 New Member

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    i found some plate steel thats about 6mm thick, im going to be shooting 22 and .40 at it only. I made main support pole a bit flimsy so it rocks back and absorbes some energy. I have shot it with my 1200fps air rifle and it shatters the pellets on contact and drops the remains right at the base of the target. It also has a VERY loud ping, louder than any other steel target i have shot.
  4. moosebox76

    moosebox76 New Member

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    try some old rotors from a car they should be hard enough
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i have shot rotors before, and they will just shatter, and it's actually pretty dern cool.
  6. moosebox76

    moosebox76 New Member

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    did u shoot them with a high power rifle or hand gun.
  7. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    I would caution you NOT to shoot any flat steel at pistol ranges. I had a 45 auto bounce off one and hit me in the hip knocking me to the ground like I was hit with a baseball bat. There is no doubt it would have killed me had it hit me in the head or my ass because at the time thats where my head was for shooting at steel. I also had someone send me a video a while back where a guy was shooting a 50 BMG at a steel plate as I recall at about a hundred yards and it came back hitting him but thank God not killing him. Until my incident with the 45 auto I had shot thousands of rounds at steel plates with just about anything you can think of but that one incident stopped that forever.

    Ron
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  8. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    best i recall i shot it with an ar 15 using ss109 ammo.
  9. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

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    I've made several steel targets & here's what I use as rules of thumb:

    use 2 round plates like 2 lollipops [round plate welded to a pc. of angle iron], welded to a piece of pipe. Make sure 1 of the plates weighs a little more than the other so it will stop spinning.

    use plate that is 5 times the thickness of the caliber being fired @ it.

    use angle iron or square tubing w/ the heel or edge of the angle facing the incoming rd, so the rd has less of a chance to come back @ the shooter.

    DO NOT use cast iron or hardened plate, unless you plan on replacing them often!

    anneal the plate w/ a torch to soften it

    I use cast iron frying pans [for molds] to make lead plates & then drill, tap, & mount them to the face of the spinners to increase the lifespan of the targets. Using 4ea - 10x32 machine screws [heads of screws on the backside of plate!] works pretty good up to 2" thick plate.

    Hope that gives you some ideas....

    SR
  10. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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  11. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Check with Academy Sports, I bought one from them for $35. It's called the Double Blast, and will stand up to anything from 9mm to 30-06. It's a spinner target, so there will be no bullets bouncing/ricoching back at you. I have also purchased a couple of .22 spinner targets from this company, and I love them!
  12. JTWY

    JTWY New Member

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    Hi Guys,
    These are the home made targets I made and are making.
    These targets are for 22 Caliber Short, Long or Long Rifle olny. (For bigger calibers use thicker steel. Hope this helps you with ideas.

    I call this target Tin-Can-Alley. The metal frame is made of 1" square Stock Steel. Then I drilled holes on each side and slid 7/16 steel rod through them. The 7/16 steel rod is drilled on each end for the 7/64 x 1-5/8 Hair pnsi that hold the rods in place. This way you can remove the hair pins and slide the rods off and slide soup cans ( or other targets ) on to the rods. You can also remove the 2 bottom rods and hang things from the top rod to shoot at.

    [​IMG]

    The 2 targets on top of Tin-Can-Alley I did not make, I purchased them from sportsmansguide.com . They are cheap and don't work very well when on the ground, so I mounted them on top of Tin-Can-Alley and they still don't work so well up there..

    [​IMG]

    Here is a little better picture of Tin-Can-Alley with the 2 spinning targets on top.

    [​IMG]

    This is a Prairie Dog target I made. The prairie dog I cut out of an old 1/4 steel Plow I had found. I cut it out with my torches and cleaned up the edges with my 4 1/2 in. angle grinder and I also used my Dremell tool for the hard to reach places. I then welded 3/4 in. gas pipe to the top of the prairie dog. I slid the gas pipe over some 1/2 steel round stock I had found and then welded some 1/2 re-bar I found to the ends. I drilled holes in the 1/2 round stock and welded nails in it to stop the target from moving to the left or right.

    [​IMG]

    This is a steel duck target I made. I made it the same way as the prairie dog target.

    [​IMG]

    This is a steel Rabbit target I made. It's also made the same way as the duck and prairie dog.

    [​IMG]

    This is a musical target I am in the process of building. I cut the pieces out of the old cutting edge from my old snow plow blade. They are 1/4 thick steel. They range from 1 inch to 8 inches. I'm going to weld the 1/2 in. gas pipe to the top of them and then hang them on Tin-Can-Alley. Each target should have a different note when it's hit with a bullet. Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Te-Do .......... then we'll see if we can play a tune on them. LOL

    [​IMG]

    And finally, these are just scraps of steel left over , I will weld gas pipe to them and hang them on Tin-Can-Alley as well.

    [​IMG]


    JT
  13. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    Just to reiterate the caution with steel targets. The home made types. One of my guys a retired army ranger. Shooting his .38 was injured with a ricohet off a metal target at 50 feet....
    Be safe and stay out of the emergency room. Use safety rules at the range!
  14. JTWY

    JTWY New Member

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    I've had a 22 bounce back and hit me in the chest. But it didn't have any energy left and just hit me and fell in my lap. Other than that one time ( out of thousands and thousands of rounds ) I've never had a problem. But I only shoot 22 at steel targets, nothing bigger.


    JT
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