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Started on another forum, but quickly fell out of love there so I will bore you all with a tale, tail? of the life of a target holder on my home "range".

Now others do come out to play, for you see it is not me that shoots this bad....at least this is what we tell ourselves right?

Target holders in question are an old trampoline frame, being a country boy you know to never toss away something made of metal as you could "use it one day for something".

This old frame has had fence around it for chicks, baby chickens not girls you sicko's. The cover as it was kept them in shade and hawks and owl away, I had good luck with keeping chicks alive, not so much with full grown chickens, but that is another story. After the chickens burned down their house (yet another story). I had nothing to do with these frame bits. Then I got the idea to set them in the back pasture and use them for air gun target holders. I can shoot (about) any air rifle out of my garage door, sit inside and be under the AC and just shoot out. But I only used one "leg" for that, well it works great for that, how about with "real" guns.

So they have been giving service for about 10 years now and have taken a bit of a pounding. In serious some people that come out flat can't shoot, and others are new to shooting. But I am sure I am responsible for a hole or two. They started looking a bit rough so I figured why not reinforce them a bit....so I armored plated one of the legs, and plugged and welded in many of the holes, as well as putting little T's for the targets to hang from. For the target hangers I don't think I did any two the same as I just wanted to try some different ideas.

This was a fun project:

Below are some before photos showing the damage they have taken over the years.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wood Tire Vehicle

Motor vehicle Wood Vehicle Automotive tire Gas

Wood Automotive tire Gas Motor vehicle Automotive wheel system


My phone crapped on me so I lost all of the "repair" photos for some reason, and only have a finished photo of the entire mess sitting on the range, you can see where the angle iron was welded into the worst leg, this made the thing heavy as all get out. I used 1/4 mild steel and the leg is roughly 3.5 feet tall, HEAVY. If you look you will already see hits on the steel, this was intention as I wanted to see just what it would take. shrugged off all hand gun rounds I tossed to it, but even my powder puff 6.5 carcano rounds zipped right through.

This photo is taken in the middle of clean up as it had dried off enough to get the tractor and loader down into this area, when standing at the base of the berm ball park the top is roughly 9' above you, and it is shaped in a U so I have little fear of something leaving my range, and if it did it would hit one of my barns on the way off my property. I feel safe here.

Tire Plant Plant community Wheel Automotive tire


Some things I would have changed in doing this, like most things, but over all pretty happy with all this.

Working on some other touches for the home range, T posts with range markers are in the future, but for now I had a couple big trees at some good spots that got a little home made sign from the 3D printer.
Plant Tree Branch Natural landscape Terrestrial plant


Yes that is poison ivy....I hate that stuff.
Plant Wood Natural landscape Terrestrial plant Trunk



What say you.....lets see your setups.
 

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For years I have been saving circular saw blades for sharpening.....until it became more practical to just replace them then sharpen them.
Wondering what to do with these blades I decided to start using them for targets for .22 practice.
30 - 40 rounds and the blades started to tear apart.
So I decided to grind off the teeth and weld 4 or 5 of them together.
This creates a steel plate, 1/4" to 3/8" thick, depending on the saw blades.
The .22 rounds do not affect them other than scuffing the paint.
 

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Lots of people use steel plate for targets which is fine - to each his own.

I prefer to shoot into earth or wood though as I dont have to worry over zingers landing somewhere they shouldn't. Hanging from above helps deflect things down some but I still would have no idea which directions zingers may bounce off towards when shots may be off to the sides or top edge of the plate.

The military has ranges long enough to land bullets in regardless of which angle they are fired or bounced in but most private land and ranges do not so it is risky shooting at steel - IMO.
 

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Made these three awhile back. The dueling tree uses an angled section of angle iron and AR500 paddles. The center hangers are AR500 (1/4" and 3/8" thick) and the other set of six swingers are inexpensive 4140 steel plate, great for any pistol caliber, but can't handle .223 centerfire or higher. So far I don't have any holes from bad shots but the saw horses were not the best idea - the bullet fragments from striking the plates leave little, very sharp, copper embedded in the wood.

I'm in the process of welding up a fold-able stand to hold a AR500 12" X 24" silhouette target. Might have it done tomorrow.

Plant Tree Land lot Grass Shade


Plant Tree Land lot Grass Shade
 

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We make plates from side rails of mine machinery. It’s not armor plate but hard steel to guard against erosion of tons of rock scraping along on them. For 22s we save circular saw blades, tac 2 with stick welder. They hold up good at 25’ and farther. We use center hole to bolt them to swingers on steel rod.
 

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We make plates from side rails of mine machinery. It’s not armor plate but hard steel to guard against erosion of tons of rock scraping along on them.
The "armor plate" sold by most companies for use as shooting targets and the like is nothing more than ARxxx steel used in mining and ground moving applications.
The AR in e.g. AR500 stands for Abrasion Resistant and the number for the hardness of the plate. AR400 will stop rifle rounds from > 100 yards and AR500 will stop nearly anything, even .50BMG barring AP of course. (.50 BMG will bend it like a banana though :D )

If you are looking for steel targets it may be cheaper to buy from local smiths instead of buying specific steel for shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The "armor plate" sold by most companies for use as shooting targets and the like is nothing more than ARxxx steel used in mining and ground moving applications.
The AR in e.g. AR500 stands for Abrasion Resistant and the number for the hardness of the plate. AR400 will stop rifle rounds from > 100 yards and AR500 will stop nearly anything, even .50BMG barring AP of course. (.50 BMG will bend it like a banana though :D )

If you are looking for steel targets it may be cheaper to buy from local smiths instead of buying specific steel for shooting.
I was just going to type this very reply. It is for "ground engaging" tools. I have a grapple, (kinda a big claw thingy) for the front of my tractor, on the side of it is stamped AR400.

There are different levels of hardness depending on the job the "tool" is looking to do. The real trick is making it "harder" without it getting "brittle" and wanting to crack or shatter.

If you ever get a wild hair do some research on the history of steel in general, and armor plate specific. There was a what I will call a "floating battery" during WWII, it did have an engine, but really did not move, it was to guard a river, or harbor during the US Civil war. (i know other from other countries read here). IIRC it was the CSS Georgia. Anyhoo, it sank and was a danger to shipping, they (core of engineers) went down on her several times trying to figure out what to do with the wreck. I don't remember it being a war grave, just a big thing at the bottom of the river that was in the way. A little like USS Maine. I think they just ended up taking some bits off of it as it was too expensive to do the entire "Maine" type thing to it.

The "armor" they used was rail road rails laid one up, the other upside down.....I can't imagine the weight....and that was her armor. After the war you get a real "arms race" on good steel to use on these new metal warships. Harvey steel Krupp steel, and there are a bunch of others cooking up new ways to make metal that was harder, lighter, less brittle....it is some interesting stuff.

For years I have been saving circular saw blades for sharpening.....until it became more practical to just replace them then sharpen them.
Wondering what to do with these blades I decided to start using them for targets for .22 practice.
30 - 40 rounds and the blades started to tear apart.
So I decided to grind off the teeth and weld 4 or 5 of them together.
This creates a steel plate, 1/4" to 3/8" thick, depending on the saw blades.
The .22 rounds do not affect them other than scuffing the paint.
I did the same thing with old lawn mower blades. "normal" blades do 22 just fine, but would crack with a center fire pistol. Whatever Woods makes their blades out of is some good steel.

Made these three awhile back. The dueling tree uses an angled section of angle iron and AR500 paddles. The center hangers are AR500 (1/4" and 3/8" thick) and the other set of six swingers are inexpensive 4140 steel plate, great for any pistol caliber, but can't handle .223 centerfire or higher. So far I don't have any holes from bad shots but the saw horses were not the best idea - the bullet fragments from striking the plates leave little, very sharp, copper embedded in the wood.

I'm in the process of welding up a fold-able stand to hold a AR500 12" X 24" silhouette target. Might have it done tomorrow.

View attachment 279880

View attachment 279880
The only thing I will say is you might want a little protection from splatter for the wood.

Back when I first made up my range I had a hanger inside an old tractor tire (you never throw anything away, this is why most country places have a bunch of crap lying around) I drilled a hole in the tire and hung the plate inside. This was before I had the sides built up on my berm. The one thing that really shocked me was that splatter. It was chewing the inside of that old tire to shreds in very short order. Cool thing was everything stayed inside the tire, so you could really see how much there way, but the damage to the inside of that tire really made me respect that splatter.

Currently I have one wood holder and it is in shreds as it sits next to the plates. It has taken a few years for it to get to this state, but I don't think it has much life left in it, perhaps a year or so at most. I have an old bed frame that I am going to cut up and use for another hanger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We make plates from side rails of mine machinery. It’s not armor plate but hard steel to guard against erosion of tons of rock scraping along on them. For 22s we save circular saw blades, tac 2 with stick welder. They hold up good at 25’ and farther. We use center hole to bolt them to swingers on steel rod.
I have several bits of metal from some rail road switches, as well as a small hunk of rail I use as an anvil....heavy as all hell, and a bucket of old spikes.

I might have told this story here before if so forgive me.

I had a buddy come over and we are goofing around in the shop like only two men with beer can. And he sees the bucket of spikes.....hay where you get those, father in law, he found them mushroom hunting....really can I have a couple, sure......what you going to do with them. Make a couple knifes out of them, so and so worked for the rail road and I think it would be a cool gift. Yea that is a cool gift, but it will be a real crappy knife. Why is that....the steel is real soft. You mean the rail road uses crappy steel, I can't believe that. I never said that, they use very good steel, this stuff is just not hard, it does not need to be for the job it has to do....I doubt it will hold an edge. Eh doubt it. Look here this rail....yea, the top of it where the trucks ride is very hard steel, it has to be because of the metal on metal contact it has....but down here in the "I" part of the rail, this is very soft. Ever sit at a RR crossing and watch the train go by....sure....see how the rail flexes and bends with the weight of the train....sure. The steel has to be softer for the bend to happen, otherwise it would crack, but the top has to be hard for the wear.....ok. Now you really want to see cool go look up welding RR rails.

The knifes are cool that he made, with a tie being in the grip....but they did not hold an edge for anything.
 

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Last mine production was shut down. They will be retracting and pulling out all sorts of good metal junk. Most people have no idea of the cost of metal products. I have seen people literally speechless i
at counter of Metal Yard. They have no connection with buying raw material. When their little craft project requires a 10” piece of aluminum bar stock they think of picking up a piece of scrap for a buck.
 

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I went a different route with targets today.
I remodeled a couple of bathrooms and had two toilet that I cannot get rid of.
A few well placed 9mm rounds and the pieces easily fit into a box for the garbage pickup.
I didn't want to risk getting hit by shards if I hit it with a hammer.
 
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