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Thread: steel for targets

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    Default steel for targets

    Anybody interested in going in on some steel for targets?

    Although not needed for some rounds, steel targets need to be made of special steel. I found this out when a friendly shooter I met at Birchwood told me about spending nearly $200 to have a hanging steel target made locally. The welder he was working with assured him the hardened 3/8" steel he was using was really good, but his 30-06 pockmarked it and my 257 Wby drilled clean 1/2" holes through it at 300 yards.

    I guess the steel to use is AR-550 or Hardox 500. Check out this thread.

    http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...04#Post1702404

    So I e-mailed the guy and asked about a 20" plate, and he quoted me $275, shipped. Ouch! I guess the shipping must go through the roof for larger stuff.

    I thought I'd test the waters up here. I'll bet Alaska Steel carries this stuff, and if there's enough interest we could get together and split a sheet. Even better if someone on this forum has a commercial account with Alaska steel. Anyone?

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    A good source for steel if you are willing to weld it together or only need small chunks is or cutting edges off of earth moving equipment. Loaders bulldozers, and graders all have bolt on plates at the lead edge of the bucket. This stuff is very hard and tough and works well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bandhmo View Post
    A good source for steel if you are willing to weld it together or only need small chunks is or cutting edges off of earth moving equipment. Loaders bulldozers, and graders all have bolt on plates at the lead edge of the bucket. This stuff is very hard and tough and works well.
    And snowplows.
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    Has anyone tried hard facing over both sides mild steel for targets? I was thinking make your target from whatever then when it gets holes just fill with hard face and sooner or later maybe no more holes will happen. One of my first (and most hated) jobs was hard facing the edges of screw conveyers and that stuff is harder than any steel I have run across but because its applied to soft steel it is not as likely to crack as most things that hard.
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    Default :-)

    I know some dump trucks are made with Hardox (not sure what grade), but most of those guys aren't willing to let me cut a piece off their truck, even if I had the tools to do it with.

    I was looking for something large enough to use for 600+ yards. I know some aces could keep it in a 12" square out to 1000 on a good day, but I'm nowhere near there. I was thinking of something a little wider than the edge of a snow plow, yet also not so heavy that I need a crane to move it!

    Another issue is that AR500 gets it's hardness from heat treating, so if you weld it, you have to know what your are doing or you can ruin it. Cutting it with a torch or plasma cutter will ruin the heat treating in the vicinity of the cut.

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    If you have a place you can make a permanent set up, short pieces of railroad track hung side by side should work. Ak Railroad sometimes sells removed pieces of track cheap and its pretty hard. I bought a 10 foot piece of 115lb (IIRC) rail for $10 a few years back.

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    Find a few track pads from a Cat. You'll need to buy the special rod to weld them from the CAT dealer.
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    T-1 plate in 1/2 inch would be my first suspect for your traget. It would realy surprise me if you could punch it at with STANDARD bullets and non giant magnums unless you point blank it. It is quite hard and tough --lots of ground engauging equipment is made from it but the real buisness end of them are cutting edges which is a fair amount harder but they are also thicker --3/4 to say 1-1/2" range. Track pads are quite hard and you will NOT need special electrodes to weld it. For all the above use 7018 electrodes or a wire gun that has enough snort to put on a good big Goopy weld. The little 110 volt wire guns are very marginal and you are going to have to push it for all it can do with multiple passes. Preheat in the 300 - 350 range and let it cool slow. Put on good large welds and back fill craters. I don't think hard face will be worth the effort and expence as you still have a soft core and any of the harder overlays will break off with that kind of impact. Unless you have a free bunch of hard face the cost is PREMIUM. I would not recommend whacking steel at any thing under say 50 yards with any kind of fire power as you may get a face full right back at you. A swinging plate has a little less tendency to punch than a firmly supported solid mount. Good THICK logging style chain makes a good hanger and it can take a moderate amount of abuse but a good solid center punch will wad it up.

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    I see I am reading this a little late in the game. I few years back I made quite a few silouhettes (sp?). I made them from cutting edges and AR 500. Many were torch cut and some were cut with a plasma cutter. The heat affected zone from the torch cutting seems to be pretty meaningless, same goes with the plasma cutter. The plasma only seems to affect about 1/8th inch or so of the outside edge and torch cutting affected just a little more. In my oppinion I would say use what you have. 7018 stick electrode should not impart any brittleness when used and the only welds I had break were made by nr-211 flux cored wire. Even though it is 70 series it seems to be brittle with the AR plate.

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