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I am going to be putting together some steel plate targets at home for USPSA practice. I already have the dimensions of the targets from the rule book but am missing a couple details. I don't want to spend a lot of money for an expensive grade of steel, the cheap stuff would be fine.



My question is what type of steel (if there is any certain name for it) is used in making steel targets and what thickness of steel should be used for use with a 9mm pistol ?





Thanks guys.
 

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Don't know much about steel, but I

used to shoot a lot of metallic silhoutte

pistol and I always heard them talking

about T-2 steel.



Zeke
 

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I heard of someone using scrap steel made from worn out backhoe shovels because they were dirt cheap (no pun intended). Apparently they are as solid and durable as armor steel.
 

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3/8's will hold well, I don't know what type we use.
 

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Type of steel is not important with normal handgun rounds.



Ask for 3/8" cold rolled steel - it's pretty cheap as steel goes. - JM.
 

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Wouldn't use normal "mild" steel in anything less than 12mm. check out the link that choochboost has...



Don't use FMJ and be sure that the targets will deflect the shot to the ground... 8)
 

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I use whatever 1/2" thick scrap I can scavenge. Most pistol rounds will just take the paint off. Rifle rounds over .22 will dimple or penetrate the plates. I don't use the plates for my long guns, so that's a non issue for me. Allowing the plate to swing rearward insures that slugs will redeploy to the rear. You'll get a bit of lead splash, but most of that will be to the bottom and sides. This is a simple plate swinger; it disassembles for transport. We were plinking with a suppressed USP yesterday and did some farming before we got our minds right.







 

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3/8" steel works well and the standard USPSA/IDPA targets are made from 3/8



If you are only going to use Pistol rounds T1 plate will do. Regular mild plate will bend quickly if you make poppers or USPSA targets out of mild plate.

I use nothing but 500 Brinell plate as I leave mine out and morons will occasionally plink at them with rilfes.



500 Brinell plates last me about 3 times longer than T1



I buy all of my targets from metal spinning targets



http://www.metaltargets.com/LawEnforcement.htm
 

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Yep, this is what happens when rifle rounds encounter mild steel. The surface is dimpled and in a couple of places the plate is shot through. Pistol rounds just removed the paint. Twenty minutes with a mig welder and a grinder and it was as good as new. I gave my permission for these particular "morons" to shoot at my steel since they were having trouble putting pistol rounds on it at the range at which we were shooting.





 

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I built this and it has had about 5000 rounds shot at it. It has a HD spring and the face is at an angle so it not only absorbs some of the impact, it drops the round to the ground. I have found a few flaws that I will correct in later ones I build.
 

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The above steel target is only 1/4" thick. It has just resently started to "concave" Just as if you took the ball of a ball peen hammer to a thin piece of metal. The type of metal is unknown. Somewhere I either read or was told that an "industrial grade" steel would work fine. I don't know the break down of that type of steel is. Bullit proof is a 4140 grade( I think?) the last digits is its carbon content. That tells how work-able or brittle it is. Files are brittle as they can break if you drop them. The first #s I don't know without researching them. The target works great for me. My next one will be a little different. For instance, thicker metal and the tripod stand doesn't work too good. I think I will make it have 4 legs and either add weight or most likely add a tray to add removeable weights. From 20' +/- my .45 cal 1911 will knock it over before empting the clip.

When I shot it for the first time. The paint was new and a 230 gr .45 ball ammo moved the internal spring inside the target almost 1/2" and the lead was shaped like a star directly below and was about the size of a quarter or larger.
 

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I've been thinking about making something utilizing a spring setup myself. Maybe later on this winter when I can scavenge some more steel.
 

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(Info:6355 is what bullet proof steel is made of.) I have been kicking around the idea on building one that is shaped like a childs swing set (only alot smaller) where the target plate hangs down from some type of hinge point. I just want the plate to reset or spring back without oscillating. Again I will have to use some type of spring set up. As for the first one I built, I was an commercial aircraft mechanic and the spring I used was the seat back return spring from an unservicable passenger seat. I'm not sure what I can use now
 

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The Lincoln Electric district rep is trying to score some armor plate for me from one of his customers that makes armored cars. One of my customers is a PhD engineering instructor. He thinks he might be able to come up with something that utilizes a spring for a delayed reset. Design ain't exactly my strong suit.
 

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Welder said:
I use whatever 1/2" thick scrap I can scavenge. Most pistol rounds will just take the paint off. Rifle rounds over .22 will dimple or penetrate the plates. I don't use the plates for my long guns, so that's a non issue for me. Allowing the plate to swing rearward insures that slugs will redeploy to the rear. You'll get a bit of lead splash, but most of that will be to the bottom and sides. This is a simple plate swinger; it disassembles for transport. We were plinking with a suppressed USP yesterday and did some farming before we got our minds right.









Hello, Did you make this? or buy it? Looks like a nice set-up. PM me if possible
 

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I made a few out of ¼” plate and they concaved after around 500rds of 9mm and 45acp, but I just flip it around and “flatten” it back out. My newest target is 3/8” and is holding strong so far. I have mixed thoughts regarding which is better as the ¼ plate is cheaper, lighter (easy to move and makes a better gong sound), and easier to cut but dose not last as long. Most of my targets are dictated by what I can scrounge up in the scrap pile at the steel yard.



Here is a good site go get ideas from:

http://www.mgmtargets.com/products/index.php
 
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