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I need a metal gong-like target for practicing 223


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#1 Stiff Neck

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 02:44 PM

For me, punching holes in paper gets boring quickly, and sometimes it's frustrating too. Never good enough... But I LOVE steel targets that let you know when you hit them. I had some good ones made from thick steel pipe for use with my 22lrs in college, but I donated them to the community desert range. There's some public BLM land 25 min from my house where I can shoot anywhere I want. I'd really enjoy having a small portable steel target to shoot at with my 223, 17HMR, and 22lr. Something that's about the size of a box of ammo perhaps, or maybe just a 6-inch circle, something simple. *THWACK* I love that sound. I plan to use it for shooting offhand and from shooting sticks to practice hunting situations at distances from 50-300 yards. It needs to have some sort of base or legs to hold it steady so it won't fall over after each shot. And something that is a few inches off the ground might be handy to clear the grass, but it's not a requirement.But I don't want to spend big bucks to have something made and shipped to me. Most of the commercial ones I've seen are pricey! Does anybody have any ideas for something I can make myself? Has anybody attempted a project like this before? I'm thinking something like a round 6" piece of steel with some thick rebar welded onto the back and bent to form a brace. Maybe a place for a tent stake to stake it to the ground? Any ideas?

#2 ShooterJohn

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 03:23 PM

I've made lots of them over the years. It's my welding background coming out in me. I like a 1/2 thick round circle plate. I hang them from some chain or a rod with a tube swivel at the top. But you don't want to shoot it a 50 yards with your .223. The .17HMR is fine at that distance. Any decent steel yard will have lots of scrap and usually round cut outs or similar shape. You can drill and bolt the chain to make it easy. As you mentioned a piece of rebar bent into a U can be pushed into the ground. I like to us angle iron with a base like an H and two uprights attached at the top. Let me know I can help you put one together I have all of the equipment to build anything from steel.

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#3 ShooterJohn

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:15 PM

I think it's 3/16" thick.

That's a bit thin. But free is free. Railroad tract tie plates that hold the track to the wood ties are great too. They're made from good hard steel and plenty thick unless you shoot the big stuff.When I was a kid I had a several cases of 30-06 black tipped armor piercing rounds. Just cheap fun stuff to shoot. It went through most everything Many years later a guy brought up these steel plate targets he had made to a friends house to shoot at our range. We had an old hydraulic gold mining pit on my friends property and we had a 600 yard range set up. Anyway he goes about setting up his targets and says try hitting them. Art my buddy said no problem you pick them and John will knock them down. But art handed me some armor piercing rounds to use. His friend pointed one out and I shoot and nothing. He says you missed it you hit long. So this goes on a few more times and I tell Art I don't know what the problem is I'm dialed right in. :) So I shot again and he says missed long you're shooting over them. Art says, "I don't think so, here have a look through the scope I see marks on the targets." The guy looks and says stop shooting you're putting holes in my targets. We had pulled one over on him and laughed like little kids. That target looked like premium Swiss cheese. :(

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#4 ShooterJohn

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 08:52 PM

I like where the guy said.

I even shot one with some .50 BMG incendiary rounds at 700 yards and it did fine.

Because before 700 yards there would be a shiny 1/2 inch hole in it. And if he'd used an armor piercing round he couldn't see the target it would be so far away. ;) They're nice but heavy and a fair piece of change. I'll make you one Ben! :o

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#5 joel1316

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 01:33 PM

My cousin works with heavy machinery and is making me a target from 3/4 inch steel. He's not sure of its hardness rating so when I get it, I'll start at 100+ yards with a soft nose 223 to try it out.... It supposedly will be square 12X12, now my problem will be figuring out how to hang it and how to lug it out there :blink:.

#6 Cranky Farmer

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:31 AM

Lug is right! What's the weight on a piece of 3/4" plate cut down to 12"X12" ???

#7 joel1316

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 02:24 PM

I've never weighed it, but its a good 25 pounds I'd say... It was a disappointment as it was a pretty soft metal. 223's made some real damage at about 75 yards. 30-06 at 165 yards did some major damage too, the plate isn't going to be around much longer :rolleyes:

#8 Shoot-it

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 07:43 PM

I have access to alot of scrap metal . Is it safe to shoot in too thick metal ? I allways thought it would come back at you.One time like 10 years ago I shot my uncles 357 mag useing 38 special loads into a peice of 1x1 foot x 1/2 thick steel plate and it came back and hit me in my stomach I just about freaked out all it did was leave a red mark,but i never did that again i was 20 feet away too. I still shoot steel sometimes but i shoot light gauge stuff too make sure it gos through.

#9 glockster

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:03 PM

I'm also a welder, this is one of the targets I've made 3/8" mild steel, holds up to any handgun and .223 leaves a small dent. You get the nice sound and a good visual swing.Posted Image

#10 ShooterJohn

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 09:53 PM

Lug is right! What's the weight on a piece of 3/4" plate cut down to 12"X12" ???

That would weigh 30.6 pounds for that piece. :(

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#11 Shoot-it

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:19 PM

I'm also a welder, this is one of the targets I've made 3/8" mild steel, holds up to any handgun and .223 leaves a small dent. You get the nice sound and a good visual swing.Posted Image

You did a good job on that did you use a plasma cutter on the targets .I was thinking on making one too I was just going too make a circle target. :(

#12 glockster

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:46 PM

No, I've got a pantagraph burning table at my shop, make a drawing and it will burn it out with flame cut.

#13 Shoot-it

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:58 PM

Wow I never heard of that machine thats some high tech dog poop...............I just use the old stuff like cutting torch and plasma cutter.......... :( any way it looks like fun too shoot at i will make one of mine and post it too... :(

#14 glockster

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:16 PM

Wow I never heard of that machine thats some high tech dog poop...............I just use the old stuff like cutting torch and plasma cutter.......... :( any way it looks like fun too shoot at i will make one of mine and post it too... :(

Its by no meens high tech, the machine is probably older then me. It works though! I've made other targets also, farm animals, african game, north american game got about 14 different animals, this is the only one I got a picture of, was thinking anout selling them on GunBroker for some side cash, got a whole $11.50 for one like pictured, that sucked :(

#15 Iron Worker

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 12:59 PM

My cousin works with heavy machinery and is making me a target from 3/4 inch steel. He's not sure of its hardness rating so when I get it, I'll start at 100+ yards with a soft nose 223 to try it out.... It supposedly will be square 12X12, now my problem will be figuring out how to hang it and how to lug it out there ;).

Nothing to try out. Your 223 will not pentatrate 3/4 plate even with AP ammo.

#16 Shoot-it

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:42 PM

Nothing to try out. Your 223 will not pentatrate 3/4 plate even with AP ammo.

I have some plow steel you can use...................it is very hard .........for 223 I would start with some 1/2 inch and see what happens.Then it would be easy too haul around too....... :P

#17 Iron Worker

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 10:08 PM

I have some plow steel you can use...................it is very hard .........for 223 I would start with some 1/2 inch and see what happens.Then it would be easy too haul around too....... :P

3/8ths plate is the ticket. 1/2 inch is still too much. That is for a 223 or any 22 centerfire. 30-06 with 165gr and under won't pierce 3/8 either. But with AP it will pierce 1" at a 90 degree angle under 100yds.

#18 joel1316

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 07:01 AM

I must really have some soft steel... Shooting the plate from about 75 yards with the 223, the other side of the plate bulged already. I had to stop shooting it with centerfires so that it would last longer :lol: A slug from about 20 feet didn't even scratch it.

#19 ShooterJohn

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 11:10 AM

I must really have some soft steel... Shooting the plate from about 75 yards with the 223, the other side of the plate bulged already. I had to stop shooting it with centerfires so that it would last longer :lol:

No, you have mild steel it isn't very durable. I'd watch the plow steel depending on age. It could shatter older high carbon steel like glass. :lol:

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#20 Shoot-it

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:49 PM

I'd watch the plow steel depending on age. It could shatter older high carbon steel like glass. B)

Well shooterjohn i was never planing on useing it just costs too much per ft to waste as a target.If the plow steel is already hard faced it will shatter.Every year I have too re hard face the ripper shanks because of the wear from the soil. I have a piece i think laying around somewhere I will get back and shoot at it and see what happens dont worry i will go back 100 yards or so...... ;)

#21 Iron Worker

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 06:08 AM

I must really have some soft steel... Shooting the plate from about 75 yards with the 223, the other side of the plate bulged already. I had to stop shooting it with centerfires so that it would last longer ;) A slug from about 20 feet didn't even scratch it.

Joel let me get the facts striaght. Are you saying your shooting at a piece of 3/4"plate steel? Even if its mild steel(Which I'm virtully certian it would be IF its steel) Ok and a 223 is bulgeing out? If so it isn't steel.Do you have a magnet? See if it sticks. I'm an Ironworker by trade I work with steel and heavy plate daily.3/4 inch plate is tough &heavy stuff.If you have a target made out of 3/4" plate you should be able to shoot it over and over again with a 223 with no fear of pierceing it.

#22 joel1316

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 06:57 AM

I'll check it with a magnet tonight. Its origin is unknown as my cousin found it at work just laying around and his boss allowed him to take it for free....

#23 ShooterJohn

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 08:52 AM

I'm an Ironworker by trade I work with steel and heavy plate daily.

Hey then I want to get my former background in here too. I was a welder by trade for several years before I was crippled up by a drunk driver that hit me as a pedestrian. But I have a degree in Metallurgy too. I went on to choose a different profession but I know a little about metal too! ;)

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#24 Cranky Farmer

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 10:13 AM

Hey I know about metal, too.. It's darn heavy!!

#25 Iron Worker

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 11:07 AM

Hey then I want to get my former background in here too. I was a welder by trade for several years before I was crippled up by a drunk driver that hit me as a pedestrian. But I have a degree in Metallurgy too. I went on to choose a different profession but I know a little about metal too! ;)

Nothing funny about drunk drivers,what happend to him? Jail,lawsuit? Hope you stuck it to him.What type of welding did you use to do? Ya high carbon means it can shatter like Cast Iron.I shot at a 10LB cast iron weight you use on barbells with an AP round. It shattered it!!!!!

#26 Shoot-it

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 02:14 PM

But I have a degree in Metallurgy too.

Oh am sorry I dont have that degree yet,but i am working on it............. ;) I got a degree in getting my ass burned with hot mettal................yah Iron i was thinking the samething 3/4 is sure heavy stuff.

#27 ShooterJohn

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 03:25 PM

Nothing funny about drunk drivers,what happend to him? Jail,lawsuit? Hope you stuck it to him.What type of welding did you use to do?

He was 16 and bought the car without his parents knowledge. No jail time they let him go to his father a hotshot surgeon in town at the time. About two years latter he killed a young girl walking to school and crippled her friend. I think he lost his license that time. I got crushed between his car and the back of my truck. Broke my right leg in seventeen pieces and my left in five. He almost severed them and they said I'd never walk again. Guess they were wrong. I spent a year and a half in a bodycast. I tried suing he and his family but they had just changed the law. It only held the parents responsible for $5000. So I was the one that got hosed.I worked for Southern Pacific Railway for a few years in Special Projects. We built the first closed in rail cars to transport automobiles. We also designed and built a new mining ore car to haul coal to power plants. Mostly heavy stuff and fabrication. We did other stuff too like special repairs. I got some crane experience which was good. They had a big lay off so I went to work at Mare Island Naval Ship Yard repairing ships. Also worked for a truck trailer manufacturer building aluminum tank trailers. I never cared for that claustrophobic crawling through the baffles welding on the inside of those tanks. ;)

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#28 glockster

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 05:00 PM

They had a big lay off so I went to work at Mare Island Naval Ship Yard repairing ships.

Thats interesting my father was a machinist there for close to 30 years, and I can now look out my window and see the place. as far as the 3/4" I don't think my mosin(7.62x54) would go though with steel core ammo, It goes through 1/2" but not 1". I also know for a fact that the .223 won't pierce my 3/8" targets, but they do swing so that could help them some. Your right about the weight of 30 lbs for a Sq foot of steel, My guess if the 223 is leaving a large bulge is that it aluminum, but I'm not sure even about that since I would think it would penatrate aluminum. Mabye its brass/bronze or something?

#29 Iron Worker

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 05:56 PM

He was 16 and bought the car without his parents knowledge. No jail time they let him go to his father a hotshot surgeon in town at the time. About two years latter he killed a young girl walking to school and crippled her friend. I think he lost his license that time. I got crushed between his car and the back of my truck. Broke my right leg in seventeen pieces and my left in five. He almost severed them and they said I'd never walk again. Guess they were wrong. I spent a year and a half in a bodycast. I tried suing he and his family but they had just changed the law. It only held the parents responsible for $5000. So I was the one that got hosed.I worked for Southern Pacific Railway for a few years in Special Projects. We built the first closed in rail cars to transport automobiles. We also designed and built a new mining ore car to haul coal to power plants. Mostly heavy stuff and fabrication. We did other stuff too like special repairs. I got some crane experience which was good. They had a big lay off so I went to work at Mare Island Naval Ship Yard repairing ships. Also worked for a truck trailer manufacturer building aluminum tank trailers. I never cared for that claustrophobic crawling through the baffles welding on the inside of those tanks. ;)

Wow how long ago was that John?How long did it take you to get over it emotionally?I wonder if his parent were ever able to sleep at night again? That surgeon was a sucsess in occupation but a failyer as a father. This kid did he do any jail time for the Deaths and crippling of the young girls?There are no words to describe my discust,my outrage of this experience that was laid upon you and those young girls......You know there is a fact that gives me a sence of resolve.The fact is that there will be a judgement day Do you believe in God? Do you believe OJ is guilty? Do you have a Bible? Look up Hebrews 9:27 and Revelation 20:11-15. The Bible teaches that God is the standard for right and wrong and that the guilty won't go unpunished....... I rarely ever weld in a closed space,must stay away from those fumes.To weld at Mere Island I'm certian you were a competant welder.

#30 joel1316

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 07:08 AM

Wow, the kid got off like that! Just plain rediculous! Glad to see the doctors was wrong about not being able to walk again John....I'll try taking a picture of the plate, the bulge is not really visible on the other side of the plate, the only way I could really tell is because I painted the plate and the paint flaked off on the other side. The plate is hanging, but didn't swing much when hit, probably due to its weight. Oh well, time to order up some AR500 steel plate :blink:




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