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Old 08-21-2015, 08:52 PM   #1
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Shooting Steel Targets

I have never shot steel targets. Is it safe. I saw a YouTube video of a 50 cal ricochet straight back at the shooter. Where does the bullet go? Does it fall by the target on the ground? I like the immediate sound feedback. Spray paint new target. Your thoughts?
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by glokrok View Post
I have never shot steel targets. Is it safe. I saw a YouTube video of a 50 cal ricochet straight back at the shooter. Where does the bullet go? Does it fall by the target on the ground? I like the immediate sound feedback. Spray paint new target. Your thoughts?
I only shot at steel targets once. They were tilted slightly forward so that the ricochets struck the ground in front of the target.



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Old 08-21-2015, 09:32 PM   #3
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here's a friend of mine shooting steel targets with my Kimber Tle. We both shot several rounds no problems



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Old 08-21-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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Normally with lead ammunition and steel targets it falls to the ground. It can glance off if it isn't a solid hit. I never experienced one coming straight back.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:24 AM   #5
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I shoot steel almost every weekend, there is rarely a course of fire that doesn't include it. For IPSC we have a minimum distance of 7 metres between the shooting position and the steel. I can't count the amount of times I've been hit by a richochet either as a spectator or as an RO but that's why we wear 'eyes' on the range. We have the targets setup with a slight forward cant, but depending on where it gets hit depends on where the splatter goes I guess. Most strikes we get only sting for a while and very rarely draw blood.

At my club FMJ is forbidden and most of us use hard cast or copper wash projies, some use JHP. I think there is more chance of an FMJ richochet due to their construction, the hard cast and copper wash projies tend to get squashed and the splatter goes sideways.

We have a saying here concerning richochets "if it doesn't bleed, it doesn't count" but they can be unnerving.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:54 AM   #6
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We shoot thousands of round of FMJ on steel. 10 yard rule. Occasional splash from low velocity fragmentation. If the target are of good design and quality set on level ground of leveled on their base, their is no issue.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:08 AM   #7
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Thanks Coolbreeze for sharing your knowledge and experience. I never had a ricochet using paper, that I know of anyway. I also have a low pain tolerance. #pansy
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:12 AM   #8
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Since retirement, I joined a local sportsmen club with numerous ranges and the clubs very safety minded. Never shot steel before, but they have a plinking range, and several metal disks which hang from chains about 7 a 10 yards out, about head high. I've taken to plinking on them. When hit, they move backwards and the rounds appear to deflect down behind the target at varying degrees. I've not seen anything deflect back towards the shooters. I've only been doing it for about a year, though I personally generally shoot 5.7x28, which are jacketed and high velocity. I asked when I first started, and experienced steel shooters advised I could shoot pretty much any caliber with them. Haven't tried .460 magnums, though lol.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:58 AM   #9
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I had a bad experience about 20 years ago when steel started being used more frequently. I was a RO at a law enforcement range of another agency and they had steel to shoot. I have always liked the reactionary targets for training, I think the student learn quicker and has more fun. We had a ricochet where a piece got embedded in an agents arm. Nothing like learning after the cow gets out of the barn, but we found out the quality of steel they were using was not hard enough. What was happening is the round would cause a crate in the steel and if another round happened to hit that crater it would follow the path of less resistance and come back at the shooter. Due to this incident they changed the hardness of steel they were using and all is good today. I know nothing about steel hardness so I can't discuss it with any knowledge but someone here may know what is needed.

Yes, there is a minimum distance from target required for each specific ammunition. If you go to Gander Mountain and look at their steel targets it gives you their recommended distance per caliber. Probably a lot more than needed just for liability reasons.

My portable shooting stand has a place to put a 3/8" steel rod horizontally where I hang empty 16 ounce coke bottles. I drill a hole near the neck and run the rod through them. I can't tell you how much fun people have shooting at those bottles, especially female shooters, they love a reactionary target and remember if you have fun you shoot more and learn faster. After we are done the bottles go in the garbage and start new. If you don't think people like reactionary targets, go t any range and look at ll the broken glass bottles, shot up fruit and similar items strewn around the range. A real pet peeve of mine for sure. I have a box of garbage bags in my range bag and one always comes home full of someones left behind garbage. Remember clean up after yourself!
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by glokrok View Post
Thanks Coolbreeze for sharing your knowledge and experience. I never had a ricochet using paper, that I know of anyway. I also have a low pain tolerance. #pansy

Same here......
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