Author Topic: Steel Target Thickness  (Read 3604 times)

Offline Niederlander

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Steel Target Thickness
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:35:05 pm »
Hello!
     We intend to use mild steel to make some new targets.  We've always used half inch steel, but many people online say 3/8" is fine for lead bullets at our velocities.  Any opinions here?  Thanks!
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Offline River City John

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 05:45:46 pm »
I would stick with 1/2" if you're going to blast away at 'em with the military longarms.

RCJ ;)
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Offline Drydock

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 06:11:43 pm »
All my testing was done on 3/8" plate, with no adverse affects using lead bullets at no more than 1400 FPS.  I cannot say what the hardness was, but you should be OK.
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Offline Niederlander

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 06:45:57 pm »
I'm tending towards the 3/8", as we'll get more targets for the money.  We're getting close to a test run of the new half scale Blunt skirmish targets.  I'll keep everyone informed of our progress.
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 10:58:33 am »
Hi Ned
My big tombstone/quigley bucket target is 3/8" I've shot it for several years. I regularly shoot it with a full .45/70-535. It's mild steel and the only discernable damage to it is where a 535gr bullet was tumbling and impacted the target sideways. You can make out part of the bullet profile including the lub rings.  I've even shot it with FMJ .45 ACP from my Thompson with only a few minor dimples.

With the velocity and bullet weight restrictions we impose on GAF shooters I think you can have the targets cut from 3/8" and not need to worry much about target damage.

Another thing to consider is that if at somepoint down the road we do start seeing target damage, the club will probably have save enough money to replace the target,s so return on investment would also seem to favor 3/8''.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 11:03:17 am by Pitspitr »
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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 07:08:53 pm »
Of course you may have to add some sandbags to weigh it down if Rattlesnake Jack is gonna shoot it with his cannoh.....errr.....Martini.....

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 08:59:43 pm »
I intend to do the testing with a .50-70 Springfield.   That should give me a pretty good idea how they'll hold up!
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 06:40:09 am »
I've shot mine with a lot of the .50/70 that you've loaded for me with nary a dimple. My .45/70/500 and 535's have been harder on it than the 50/70. Heavier bullet, faster velocity.
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Offline Drydock

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Re: Steel Target Thickness
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 07:30:14 am »
Yeah, with bullet weight its sectional density that really kills targets.  IE for the same velocity, long and heavy is worse than wide and heavy.  More mass/force concentration at point of impact.  Thats why we limit the .45s to 405 grains, but let you use a 480 in the .50s
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