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Login Name Post: Safe shooting distance for roundballs and steel targets?        (Topic#308491)
Flint62Smoothie 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1476
Flint62Smoothie
10-12-18 07:39 AM - Post#1706652    

    In response to fleener

Our black powdah woodswalk and range is set up with non-AR500 steel hangers or otherwise swinging targets, probably rough cut boiler plate. Closest targets are 15-20 yards & positioned or hung so that the vertical face tips forward towards the shooter a bit.

In 30+ years there I’ve yet to even hear a whisper of any alleged bounce back from a lead RB ...
All my MZLs will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG... it's just the 2nd & 3rd shots that open the group!


 
Sparkitoff 
40 Cal.
Posts: 123
10-12-18 09:11 AM - Post#1706667    

    In response to Runewolf1973

I have several 3/8" thick plates. I do not know the composition of the metal. Some are hanging plates and the others have a base that create about a 60 degree angle towards the shooter, in other words it angles downward from the top to the ground with the top towards the shooter. Shooting lead .452's under 900 FPS doesn't produce any "richochet" or "bounce back" from 15 yards out further. However, past 50 yards the lead doesn't splatter and tends to wing flat pieces into the ground on angled targets and down or off to the side on the hanging targets. With a PRB from a rifle I see domed or curved disks of lead, not splatter. Some are deformed more than others and the actual shape varies but flat to curved disks are what I see most. The grounded angle targets always put the projectile in the dirt under the target. The hanging targets send the projectile pieces down or to the side depending on the angle that is created when the projectile pushed the hanging plate. I don't have any falling targets but have shot them. I suppose the projectile pieces would go up and over the plate as it creates that angle when moving from impact. With rifles, the further away hanging targets (especially 100 yards - our furthest one) will send bigger pieces of projectile further up-range than when shot at closer range. We used to have the hanging targets anchored on 4-corners and they did send more lead back up-range but it varied widely. Taking off the bottom two anchors reduced this greatly. I would feel safe with an angled target at 15 yards but with the hanging target 25 yards would be more comfortable. If you made the projectiles and observed them on the steel you could kind of predict what will happen but if you are shooting various projectiles of different origin you can't really tell how "hard" or "soft" they are and that will make a big difference.

 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 15524
Colorado Clyde
10-12-18 09:49 AM - Post#1706680    

    In response to fleener

  • fleener Said:
I have been hit with pieces off lead on several occasions. One was shotgun slug that bounced back from 50 yards.

Fleener




Yep!....I had a slug bounce from 10 feet, missed my head bound off the wall behind me and landed at my feet. That'll make you change your shorts.

Had a 45 (acp) bounce off a plate rack and hit me in the shoulder and fall into my shirt pocket....I was well behind the firing line as an observer.

Had a 45 round ball bounce off a 2x6 cutoff I was using for a cheap knock down target, hit me square in the chest (center mass)....That one was scary.

The ball was completely intact.

Sometimes I think we forget these things are deadly weapons.


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14825
Rifleman1776
10-12-18 09:52 AM - Post#1706681    

    In response to Grey Whiskers

  • Quote:
We shoot at lots of steel targets of differing kinds. They are set up anywhere from 20 to 175 yards.



At a club I formerly belonged to a 'dueling tree' competition was very popular. I shot this event many times with both modern pistol using hard cast bullets and c&b revolver with soft cast balls. The range was very short, under 10 yards. The targets easily swung away when hit. Eye protection was mandantory but I do not recall anyone ever experiencing being hit with back splatter. BTW, very fun and challenging match.

 
theDuck 
40 Cal.
Posts: 134
10-14-18 04:51 PM - Post#1706978    

    In response to Rifleman1776

Years ago we used to have steel silhouette shoots using patched round ball at our Club. The 25 yard target were a squirrels lined up on an old barn beam. We used to shoot from in front of the shooting shack. The young lad shot one squirrel with a .50 and we all congratulated him. Then we heard a clang rattle plop as the ball hit the steel roof of the shooting shack, rattled down it and hit the ground. It had came back in a big high arc and hit behind us. Round ball can come back towards you.

 
Runewolf1973 
32 Cal.
Posts: 10
10-15-18 11:53 PM - Post#1707177    

    In response to theDuck

  • theDuck Said:
Years ago we used to have steel silhouette shoots using patched round ball at our Club. The 25 yard target were a squirrels lined up on an old barn beam. We used to shoot from in front of the shooting shack. The young lad shot one squirrel with a .50 and we all congratulated him. Then we heard a clang rattle plop as the ball hit the steel roof of the shooting shack, rattled down it and hit the ground. It had came back in a big high arc and hit behind us. Round ball can come back towards you.




Out of curiosity, how were those squirrel targets set up? Were they mounted solidly to that beam or something?


 
vinconco 
32 Cal.
Posts: 22
10-17-18 08:55 AM - Post#1707412    

    In response to Runewolf1973

Steel with dents or craters will ALWAYS spit back bullets and should NEVER be used as targets.

Velocities should never be below 750 fps or bullets will bounce.

Always use good quality AR500 steel

plates should have a downward angle like these targets from HANG FAST TARGETS



Edited by vinconco on 10-17-18 08:59 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
smo 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4061
smo
10-17-18 09:09 AM - Post#1707417    

    In response to vinconco

Good looking target, I bet I could hit the post!

I don’t no if the fence post would cause a ricochet or not, but that would be just my luck.
Good Luck & Good Shootin'
Smo


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14825
Rifleman1776
10-17-18 10:10 AM - Post#1707423    

    In response to theDuck

  • Quote:
Round ball can come back towards you.




Operative word is "can". I never say never.
As I have said before, the way a steel target is mounted has almost everything to do with how and where any detritus flys after it is hit with any projectile.

 
vinconco 
32 Cal.
Posts: 22
10-17-18 10:45 AM - Post#1707428    

    In response to smo

  • smo Said:
Good looking target, I bet I could hit the post!

I don’t no if the fence post would cause a ricochet or not, but that would be just my luck.



You are correct to point out that the post could pose a splatter back hazard in theory. However my experience with shooting these target setups for the past 5 years and selling thousands of kits that use T posts indicates otherwise....so far

 
smo 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4061
smo
10-17-18 11:41 AM - Post#1707439    

    In response to vinconco

I really didn’t think the post were made of that hard of steel , they bend too easily which makes me think they are made of softer metal.

I’m cheap so I use what’s available mostly old farm implements , if the get destroyed it’s just a short trip back to the bone yard.

What surprised me was the old broken disc blades I use for gongs.

Sometimes my .54 shooting shooting 70 grns of fffg at 25 yards will penetrate the disc..


Good Luck & Good Shootin'
Smo


Edited by smo on 10-17-18 11:42 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 15524
Colorado Clyde
10-17-18 12:27 PM - Post#1707455    

    In response to vinconco

  • vinconco Said:
  • smo Said:
Good looking target, I bet I could hit the post!

I don’t no if the fence post would cause a ricochet or not, but that would be just my luck.



You are correct to point out that the post could pose a splatter back hazard in theory. However my experience with shooting these target setups for the past 5 years and selling thousands of kits that use T posts indicates otherwise....so far



I've made those before....using both T-posts and U-posts....Both eventually break off from misses just below the plate....T-posts are thicker but the metal is soft and work hardens becoming brittle from the vibration of repeated hits.
U-posts are harder but thinner and cost more...They succumb to the same fate in the end....

I've had splatter off those too....

I do like using T-posts because they are super cheap for me....I also like how you made your hanger.....quick to adjust the height.


 
theDuck 
40 Cal.
Posts: 134
10-17-18 01:39 PM - Post#1707467    

    In response to Runewolf1973

  • Runewolf1973 Said:


Out of curiosity, how were those squirrel targets set up? Were they mounted solidly to that beam or something?



They had a flat base and were set on the beam so they were free to fly if hit.

 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14825
Rifleman1776
10-17-18 03:12 PM - Post#1707484    

    In response to theDuck

  • Quote:
They had a flat base and were set on the beam so they were free to fly if hit.




Most the targets I made had flat bases. When I started it took some testing to find the right size base to allow them to stand but not have too much inertia to create blow back, indentations and cracked welds. In my situation, I tried to save cost by making the bases from mild steel welded to T1A steel targets. Not being a welder I soon learned from my welder that joining two different steels was not an easy matter. He finally worked it out and I stayed with that mix. As said, too large a flat base creates problems.

 
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