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Thread: steel reactive targets

  1. #1

    Default steel reactive targets

    Does anyone have experience with building a reactive steel target?

    single stand reactive target silhouette that falls when shot. thinking about whether or not it would be a good idea to put a hydraulic control to put the target back up. im thinking more about the mechanical features for help thanks

  2. #2
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    Default targets

    Back when i was a welders assistant i used to make targets of all sorts from scrap and here is what i found.

    1. for centerfires go with at least 3/8ths plate 1/2 is better, i've seen a factory soft point from a 22-250 burn a hole right through 3/8 plate @ 75yds.

    2. for any distance to far for a pull cord i could never devise a reliable reset feature using springs , shock absorbers, etc.

    3. build a thick protective sheild for the hinge one centerfire round to the hinge pin pretty well seizes it all in place for good.

    I usually just built a frame of some sort and put a swinging gong on the bottom. chains work well until you hit one then they tend to blow off, I like to use a tennis rachet shaped gong welded to a piece of 1" tubing with a 3/4" rod through the tube with washers for stops to keep it from sliding around.
    The steel will give a resounding clank with even a 22 rimfire @100yds so there wont be a question as to whether or not it was a hit.

    Just my experiences take them for what they're worth,anyway hope this helps.

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    Member hunterelk2002's Avatar
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    Default target steel

    I've built some steel targets for pistol shooting and know that you have to use AR rated steel for this to prevent cupping in the surface of the target. If the surface gets pockmarked you will have ricochets.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    I am with bear slayer87……… reset mechanisms, ropes, cables, springs, hydraulics etc. are all a huge pain in the rear, and seldom very effective or useful unless set up in a permanent fashion. If you looking for something to pack up and take with you to the range (first make sure your range will allow it) I would suggest simple silhouettes cut out of ½” plate with a base welded onto them. Gongs are great as well, but tend to be much heaver and considerably more difficult to pack around.

    Also, I respectfully disagree about the pocked mark surface adding to the possibility of a ricochet. I don’t really think it matters if it is smooth or not, if you are shooting jacketed bullets at steel plate, you are very likely to get jacket material bouncing back at you.

    Lead bullets (in my opinion) are the best choice for steel targets.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  5. #5
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a hanging 10" gong and it's attached with chain to the stand. When the chain gets hit it's out of commission until you replace the blown link, but it's easier to replace the chain than it is to replace a rod or hinge.

    Build your hanging gong with a slight downward angle and most bullets that hit it will bounce down into the dirt behind the stand. Mine is only turned down a few degrees and that's sufficient.

    FWIW, if you can find scrap armor that works best for targets. I got my gong from a company that armor plates vehicles and they cut some round and square targets out of scrap. I've fired my .458 Win Mag at it at 25 yards and it clean knocked the stand over a few tumbles, but there's no pock marks in the surface.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default

    I usually hang my targets with twine. if someone shoots it it's not a big deal to just retie.

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    I've seen them hung from a frame using wide strips of conveyor belt rather than chain so that if they are hit the bullet just passes thru. So far I have just used chain myself.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  8. #8

    Default thanks

    thanks guys gave me some real great ideas!

  9. #9

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    For a hanging gong what size do you recommend for 300 yds.

  10. #10
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I prefer vitals-sized gongs...either 8 or 10 inches. That way I know if I could kill an animal at that distance. If I don't hit the gong 9 times out of 10 then I won't take a shot at that range while hunting.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A friend picked up a few of these, and he said they worked fairly well.

    http://www.mgmtargets.com/products/p...page.php?cat=1

    I'd say the key is to keep it simple, as it's something that is going to get abused. Why go with hydraulics if a spring will suffice.

    I'd also say if the target doesn't have to be portable, a gong or plate hangine from chains is tough to beat.

  12. #12
    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Default Not steel but still lots of fun

    I hang tennis balls useing safty wire hung from a wire frame that I made. You'd be surprised at how many shots a tennis ball will take from any round before needing to be replaced. The setup weighs/cost nothing. That and a nice yellow tennis ball is very visable at almost any distance through a good scope. I have three balls hung from the frame and it's a hoot to see who can get all three swinging and come back through and shoot them on the move. Just thought i'd throw another idea out there.
    IF GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN CAN I BLAME MY PENCIL FOR MISSPELLED WORDS?

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