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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Didn't know where to put this:

I really like shooting metal gongs. Instant feedback, no resetting of targets. Really helps you focus on the important parts of range-time. I'd like a couple for our own private range. Ideally I'd like something that can handle everything from .22 up to .45 ACP, FMJ, HPs, you name it. So what kind of steel should I be looking for, where can I find it (cheap!), &c. ? If possible I'd like to find the metal and have it cut myself or get some scrap as opposed to actually purchasing a gong from somebody. Trying to save some $$$

Thanks in advance,

-'bridge
 

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You can go to pretty much any steel supplier and ask for a piece of 1/2" ar400 and that will stop everything in your arsenal and never wear out. I have a piece of 7/8" ar400 and it stops hi-powered rounds like they were spit balls. It turn ss109 steel core ammo to dust while barely scratching the plate. This plate is also more vocal than regular steel since it is so much more dense. it also tends not to rust for the same reason. I am currently considering building these for selling if anyone is interested.
 

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Just give me an Idea of how big you would like it and I'll see what I can do price wise. I have aCNC plasma cutter so these will be professionally built not half-a$$ed
 

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You can go to pretty much any steel supplier and ask for a piece of 1/2" ar400 and that will stop everything in your arsenal and never wear out. I have a piece of 7/8" ar400 and it stops hi-powered rounds like they were spit balls. It turn ss109 steel core ammo to dust while barely scratching the plate. This plate is also more vocal than regular steel since it is so much more dense. it also tends not to rust for the same reason. I am currently considering building these for selling if anyone is interested.
Im going to severly disagree wiht you there. our steel silhouette range uses 1/2" AR500 steel and at 50 yards a 223 will punch a 1/4 inch deep crater in it. at 200 yards a 8mm mauser steel core will go through it like its not even there. we have to use 3/4" thick or better for military rounds. we have to replace the targets every three years because they are cratered and bowed to the point where shrapnel comes back at a 60 deg angle. we deal with this every weekend, we've also discussed banning steel core military ammo but that would let out many military rifles from teh shoots so we put up with target damage to get more shooters.

if you want a gong buy THICK steel as hard as you can get. our 1000 yd 50 cal gong is 1" thick ar 500 with surface hardening welded on. it still gets chipped up.

for short range small targets for high velcoity rifles, go at least 3/4 if not 1" or 1 1/4" of at least AR400 or AR500 grade steel. trsust me when i say it is NOT cheap. we buy most of our bulk stock from chapel steel.

http://www.chapelsteel.com/ar500-ar500f.html

you may be able to buy some small leftover pieces or check with a local welding shop to find the best deals.

SW
 

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do you suggest 3/4"? I can get the plate at decent prices, we buy steel a couple dozen sheets at a time. I am currently using dilidur400 with excellent results. I believe for a single person, and not a shooting range, that this would provide many years of service.
 

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depends on what calibers they intend to use. our silhouettes take a beating but only sustain maybe 20-30 hits per day due to shooting cycle timing, on a personal range i could hit that many in an hour or less. 3/4" on a swinger or chain would last quite some time unless they were hitting it with big calibers or steel core. if they just want to shoot it with cast lead 30-30s a 1/2" mild steel will do. if you want to shoot it with steel core military ammo 1" may not hold up.

SW
 

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Guys, I just got to looking and I cannot compete with the price already out there. Try this out;

http://www.wideners.com/itemview.cfm?dir=16|49|890
 

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good prices but those are for pistol calibers for IPSC, IDPA etc. they wopnt stand up to rifle rounds for long. we tried them for short range targets and rifle rounds punch right through them.

SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I'm starting to grasp the subject a little better (my metallurgy skills are non-existent).

Let's set rifle rounds aside for the moment (we have dedicated pistol and rifle ranges at our place) and focus primarily on pistol.

I want a hanging gong either on a chain or hanging on a rebar H (?) that can stand up to any pistol shooting any type of ammunition up to and including .45 ACP. Maybe I should make that .44 mag though. Basically the point is for the gong to be able to handle anything that one of my students shows up to the range to shoot, with any type of ammunition they may have found along the way, excluding little old ladies shooting CorBons from X-frames of course.

I used to use bowling pins but then I took a 9mm WWB in the belt and another ricochet from a .44 blackpowder revolver put a quarter-inch divot into the metal security door of the classroom a scant 5 inches from my head. Time for a change.

-'b
 

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Well, if your talking strictly pisto, then ar400-500x1/2" think should do you just fine. I can get ya a price of that material and build them if you are interested.
 

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if its JUST pistol rounds pl;ain old mild cold rolled steel in 3/4" or 1" should do just fine. plus its WAY cheaper than AR400 or AR500 hardened steel. when they get warped out of shape you can replace them for minimal cost. a 12" x 3/4" thick square plate only costs about 30-40$ in my neck fo the woods. rifle rounds will zip right through that stuff though.

SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No worries about various types of rounds? We have people show up with mil-surp, FMJ, hollow points, cast lead, you name it.

-'b
 

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pistol bullets generally arent mving fast enough to damage plain steel that 3/4 -1" thick. hot rods like 460 S&W, 500 S&W, 480 linbebaugh, 5.7mm FN etc will hurt them but 9mm 45 ACP 44 mag 357 etc just go splat regardless of bullet type. jacketed rounds will warp the plate faster than pure lead will but none of them should penetrate it.

SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In my mind I've envisioned something I can set up at the range but easily toss in my car when I do classes away from home. I thought about bending some rebar and having the gong with a curled tag on top to act as a hanging point and hinge to swing on.



Feasible? I know some people hang them on chains but I'm thinking that would bring more accessories into the equation plus more things to get hit by stray rounds.

-'b
 

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That's do-able. I will check the prices tomorrow. for a smallsection of AR, it shouldn't cost that much. And I have a ton of roundstock lying around the shop.I would probably add some stops to keep the target from traveling side to side.
 

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chains are easy. just weld two pegs to the back of the bar at a 45 deg angle or so. and weld the chains to the gong. hang the last chain loop over the peg. if someone hits the chain it just flies off the peg instead of ripping the weld off.

SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What's the closest I can get to the gong while training? I'm still looking for some good in-your-face training techniques for my upcoming advanced classes since that's most likely what my students will encounter. I'm already looking to add a 'ground bag' which is basically a heavy bag you wrestle with on the deck then draw and shoot from your ground position. That'll obviously be one of the last techniques we try.

I like gongs for the instant feedback but I also like to get in close. Oh, for a dueling tree...

-'b
 

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you dont want to be closer than 15 meters to any steel surface when shooting at it or risk severe personal injury. with rifles our 50 meter targets have to have a specially prepared setting surface to avoid ricochet and even then we get zingers come back at us once in a while. one guy got popped in the shin with a come back that drew blood last year.

if it is your choice to engage steel targets at less that 15 meters you MUST wear high impact ballistic eyewear, some sort of body armor/flak jacket protection, and preferably a ballistic mask. jacket fragments hitting shooters at close range steel targets have caused severe, life threatening injuries at shoots in the past. part of the reason i stopped doing it and went to trap. shooting steel is great fun but if you get too close it can kill you.

SW
 

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I personally would say no closer than 50 meters. I ocassionally get zingers from my target back towards me at 100yds. they don't happen that often but they are not uncommon. 99 percent of the time the bullet is stopped dead. but that one percent scares the sh** out of me every time.
 
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