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Thread: Shooting Surplus Steel Core Ammo

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    Member qiu_lijie's Avatar
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    Shooting Surplus Steel Core Ammo

    Hi,

    From what I have seen, the general opinion is mixed about shooting steel core ammo on steel targets. I just want to ask what is your opinion on this, can't seem to find anything about it on your website. I know it is not ideal to shot steel with steel, but can the targets still hold up for a reasonable amount of time?

    Thanks!

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    Newbie Yari's Avatar
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    >>>>>CHIMO<<<<<

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    Business Member Range Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qiu_lijie View Post
    Hi,

    From what I have seen, the general opinion is mixed about shooting steel core ammo on steel targets. I just want to ask what is your opinion on this, can't seem to find anything about it on your website. I know it is not ideal to shot steel with steel, but can the targets still hold up for a reasonable amount of time?

    Thanks!
    Great question!
    The reason that opinions and experience are so mixed is that not all steel-core ammo is alike. Milsurp ammo especially varies from case to case, and even from bullet to bullet! I've had several customers tell me they're shooting steel-core ammo at 100-200 metres with only minor scuffs and divots, so those targets will last a few years of personal use.
    One customer shot several mags at an AR500 gong, and when he went out to retrieve it, it had two holes clean through it! I replaced it, and I have that target as a weird souvenir; a whole bunch of small divots, and two perfect holes.

    My current position is this: if you damage one of my targets by shooting at it, I'll replace it, just to hear the story of how it happened! After that, once you know that your ammo damages steel targets, you shouldn't shoot expensive AR500 plates any more. If you're unsure, buy a small AR500 gong and go for a test-drive; I'll cover you.

    Glenn.

  4. #4
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer DT741's Avatar
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    My experience is that past 100m with a free swinging tartget (chains, straps, conveyor belts) it will leave some small divots and scuffs. If the hanging system fails and you keep shooting at it on the ground, pock marks and perforation will happen.

    Experience may vary. I now have "surplus ammo" gong only (1/2" AR500) and my regular 3/8" AR500 for everything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by qiu_lijie View Post
    Hi,

    From what I have seen, the general opinion is mixed about shooting steel core ammo on steel targets. I just want to ask what is your opinion on this, can't seem to find anything about it on your website. I know it is not ideal to shot steel with steel, but can the targets still hold up for a reasonable amount of time?

    Thanks!
    Steel bullets on steel targets has a 100% chance of ricochet. You can mitigate this ricochet risk by understanding the angle of fire, angle of impact, and setting the angle of target in such a way that ricochets will not come back to the shooter. While this math is not difficult, it does involve a certain degree of probability that always yields a certain element of danger. Few people take the time to understand the math in any detail, nor do they wish to have to take such a strict approach to placement and engagement of targets that be design are supposed to be mobile. Swinging gongs for example, part of the fun is shooting them while they are swinging, and yet shooting a moving gong is leaving your odds of a dagnerous ricochet almost completely to fate.

    As a result, the general consensus is don't shoot steel bullets at steel targets.

    There are numerous videos on youtube of being being struck and injured by ricochets.

    You should also know that the BC CFO has set particular rules for the use of steel targets on approved shooting ranges.

    As for durability, you should know that angle seriously matters on how well the plate will hold up. Some ammo will penetrate 3/8" thick AR500 steel plates at 0 Degree obliquity (perpendicular) all day long, but at 20 degrees barely make a mark.

    As range rabbit said, steel ammo varies significantly, and so too does the quality of the steel target itself. I have some of his plates, and they are a quality product. I have yet to shoot them with steel core ammo, but if you want to reduce the likelihood of damaging the plate, hang it at a more extreme angle, like 45 degrees in stead of the minimum 20 that the BC CFO requires. This will also significantly reduce the change of a ricochet coming back towards the shooter.
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  6. #6
    CGN Regular Tsalt's Avatar
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    I purchased a cheap 1/2 inch thick gong from Amazon and shot at it sub 100 yards. Just some small peck marks from 7.62 and a couple dime sized dents from the 35 Remington lol. Held up much better than expected

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    CGN Regular Ridersfan's Avatar
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    Most importantly, are they your targets? You can poke holes in and wreck whatever you like that you fully personally own... but if you are at a range then, no... you don't ever shoot steel core at them just because!
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    CGN Regular Bigrounds8mil's Avatar
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    Myself and a range buddy usually shoot suspended steel at 200 m or more for a couple reasons, ricochet with steel core ammo as mentioned above, and because anything less than 200 m is too damn easy. Lol

    The gong we shoot at is from range rabbit, 3/8 AR500, 7.62x54r 147gr steel core leaves the tiniest of divets @ 200. This has been going on for a couple years now about twice a month, this thing looks like it'll last a long time
    Anything with tits, tires or tracks, its gonna cost ya.

  9. #9
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    Cdn. issue 5.56 leaves little pock marks in AR500 plates. This is because of the hard steel insert.
    Lead core bullets smash/disintegrate against AR500 plates.
    Steel cores (7.62x54R, 7.72x39 being most common) aren't going to, could create a hazardous situation. Something to think about.
    Have observed that a soft core .308 bullet takes the paint off a 3/8" AR400 gong; a bullet from a .300Mag makes a hole.

    The point about ownership of the targets is a valid one. Don't risk damage to someone else's stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridersfan View Post
    Most importantly, are they your targets? You can poke holes in and wreck whatever you like that you fully personally own... but if you are at a range then, no... you don't ever shoot steel core at them just because!
    Exactly. Steel core at shorter ranges destroys targets. Id shoot at my personal steel targets after they were pockmarked or damaged but at the club they get pulled immediately. I have many targets here that are shot full of holes at distances from 10-25m. Its likely the offenders were using improper bullets and or calibres.

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