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Greetings All;I am wondering, when using sheet metal for target practice what gauge does the sheet need to be and what distance back do I have to be in order to be safe. Also are these answers different for rifle as opposed to hand gun. Are the answers different for different calibers?ThanxFlanman
 

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Sheet metal? Are looking to poke holes in it? If not, you want AR500 steel for anything centerfire and A36 for rimfire. I shoot steel at least weekly. I often shoot AR500 gongs as close as 15 yards with handguns. For centerfire rifles, I try to shoot no closer than about 50 yards.
 

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I use AR500 steel 3/8" to 5/8" and i have some 3/4" to 1" in mild steel just depends on what im shooting at them.
 

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No matter what kind of steel, you can catch a richochet from shooting metal. Your best bet is to angle the metal so that the bottom of the target is further away from you. This angle puts the bullet into the ground very close to the target. If the target is square to you, you might get a bounce-back. I was shooting metal turkeys sitting on metal stands at 50 yards. The first three full over, but the fourth spun a full 360. I guess the bullet spun too, as I heard it coming back in like a bumble bee. It hit my stomach and bounced off (I guess as I never found it). I've seen a lot of bounce backs since CAS come in. A buddy had a rifle round bounce back fifty yards and a spinter went into his chest. He wore a bullet proof vest after that. Angling targets is the best solution.
 

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Steel Plate would be more the term, if one wants the Bullets to 'splatter' or not to go through.

Sheet Metal usually denotes a 'thin' section which conventional Hand Gun Bullets would tend to dent or to shoot through.

Most Hunting Rifels anyway, would require a much thicker Plate than conventional Hand Gun Bullets would.


1/4 Inch cold rolled Steel Plate will stop or 'splatter'most conventional Hand Gun Bullets.

But it would not stop most of the more powerful Hunting or Military type Rifle Bullets. For those, you would need something quite a bit thicker, or something thicker which is also of a special Alloy and or Temper.
 

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Don't shoot jacketed bullets or steel core bullets at steel. There is a U-Tube video of a shooter doing just that and the bullet came right back at him.:rolleyes: WEAR SAFETY GLASSES ! :cool:
 

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I'm not sure where I found the descriptions of backstops made by Colt but if anyone would like a PDF copy, send a P.M and I'll send them by e-mail.
They are made from 3/8" AR 500.
Mac
 

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Few years ago someone set up a range with iron targets of 3/8" steel plate apparently just torch cut from sheet. They seemed to stand up well with my .40 cal and .44 Mag I was shooting at the time. It was interesting to me, cost $5 per session, as long as you wanted, also paper targets & a rifle range. Here in small town OK few people would pay to shoot, most like me shooting out in the woods down into a gully so as not to endanger live stock. Didn't last long.

I suspect the good old boy who set it up learned about insurance costs and shut down the range as a bad idea. It was fun for me while it lasted, the iron targets & he would reload my .44 Mag for cheap.
 

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Backstop Informaton

I'm not sure where I found the descriptions of backstops made by Colt but if anyone would like a PDF copy, send a P.M and I'll send them by e-mail.
They are made from 3/8" AR 500.
Mac
I am interested in this information but an new here and cannot send you a PM.
:(:(:(
 

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I'll wait until my wife throws out old aluminum frying pans and use them. I'll rattle can them orange, jam the handle into the ground at a frontward facing angle to avoid ricochets and fire away. Not intended for long term usage but they didn't cost me a dime and they have a "thud" when I hit them. Call me a redneck.
 

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I'm sorry HdLady and ColtsDad but I seem to have misplaced the PDF of the Colt Backstop information.
Mac
 
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