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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, can I shoot at resetting metal targets from 20' or so safely? I have the room at my farm to shoot, and these targets sure look like a good way to do it. I have not found a lot of info on safe distances for these things. I am not concerned about ricochet except back at the shooter (me..
). This is what I am thinking about...











Thanks for your help!
 

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Shooting steel always has a certain amount of danger. Regardless of your distance from the target, be sure to wear ballistic rated wrap-around eye protection and a brimmed hat.



Most ranges restrict shooting at steel to 10yd and farther away. Some allow it as close as 7yd and some require 15yd or farther.



If you want to spend the money, you can shoot frangible ammunition which is safe to shoot at steel from point blank range.



Make sure the steel you buy is rated for the ammunition (caliber, velocity, bullet type) you're shooting. If the steel becomes dimpled or deformed, the target should be discarded.
 

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The quality of the steel has a lot to do with shooter safety. Take a look at Auto-Poppers.



This is from the mgmtargets.com FAQ:



MGM strongly discourages shooting ANY steel closer than 15 yards. Period. Shooters AND spectators (especially children) should always wear ear AND eye protection, regardless of target composition (steel or paper). Any closer than 15 yards presents a significant risk of the shooter or spectators being hit by bullet fragments. Generally speaking, MGM targets will easily handle hits from any traditional defense caliber handgun without significant marking.



Regarding bullet fragments hitting shooters and/or onlookers, ANYTIME you are shooting steel, this is a possibility. I don’t know anybody who has shot steel, that hasn’t been hit by a fragment hard enough for it to draw blood. It is usually so insignificant that it doesn’t even require a BAND-AID®, but I suppose that it could be much worse.



The MAIN reason bullet fragments hit people is because the surface of the target is damaged. Damage is usually the result of 1) the target was shot with a rifle (or shotgun slug, or .44 Mag -or larger-), or 2) the steel was too soft to be a satisfactory target, in which case, traditional pistol rounds could have damaged it, or 3) any combination of the above. If the target face is smooth, bullets hit it and splatter like an egg thrown against a wall. If it is dimpled or cratered, bullets hit it and ricochet out of the craters in any direction. I personally know of bullet fragments from a high powered rifle that flew back over 200 yards, to then hit the wall behind the shooter. (That was NOT an MGM target!!) Damaged steel should not be used, even with extreme caution, regardless of the distance the shooter is from the target.
 

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I have been tagged with ricochets many times in competition. I like to shot steel from an angle whenever possible now. On guy actually had one penentrate his shirt and "cut" him open. Listen to the above posters.
 

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I've always enjoyed distance shooting at steel. I hate shooting steel up close as I have been hit many times with sharp pieces of copper jacketing that came back off the steel. Be careful and use common sense. Personally, under 25 yards... I'll stick to paper with a cardboard backing.
 

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I have a large number of spinning metal targets on my range and put about 10k rounds a year into them. ALWAYS wear good full coverage safety glasses. The bullets reliably splatter when they solidly hit the target which means there are no big ricochets but it also means the lead is getting sprayed around. The closer to the targets you are the more splatter you can feel. It does not break the skin but you can feel it and a sharp piece of metal at any velocity is bad for the eyes.



At 20+ yards I very rarely feel any splatter but about once every 500+ shots I feel something fall on me. I can feel it but there is no "sting". At 10 yards I feel a piece of splatter every 200 shots and is has a mild sting if on my face or back of the hands. At 7 yards I feel a piece of splater every 100 shots but I only feel them on my face or hands.



The most dangerous are shots that hit tubular steel like a target frame or glance off the very edge of the target. The tubular steel will deform enough that the bullet will not dissintegrate and sometimes leaves it with enough velocity to ricochet. Shots just hitting the edge of the target can also be dangerous. The target absorbs enough energy to change the bullets direction but not enough to tear the bullet into small pieces.



The safest spot I've found is to be the shooter or behind the shooter. Hitting anything (metalic target, target frame or a rock) head on pretty reliably destroys the bullet so it is almost impossible for the bullet to come directly back at the shooter. But the further you get off the shooters' centerline the more the chance of catching a ricochet goes up. Most ricochets I've seen are in the target plane (straight out to the side of the target which also can be straight up) or to the rear of the targets.
 

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Personally I like shooting steel at about the 3-5 yard range! That's how real men do it
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback guys. Forgot to mention that it will be exclusively .45.
 
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