When it comes to making some shooting targets, there are a wide variety of materials for you to choose from. Among the available options, metal proves to be hugely popular in a lot of areas from plinking to tactical training. Compare to other types of targets, metal shooting targets deliver cleaner as well as more efficient practices at the range. In addition to that, such targets require little time and effort to make so you could set them up in a blink of an eye. That being said, there are a couple of issues that you must know before attempting to make metal shooting targets.
In the case you are new to metal shooting targets and really don’t know what to expect, you need to check out this article. Down below, you would be introduced to characteristics of targets that are made from metal along with their field performance. Furthermore, a step by step guide on how to make metal shooting targets is also present to help you manufacture safe and high-quality products. Take a look at the provided information and you should be able to improve your range experience with metal targets.
Table of contents
Metal Shooting Targets: What You Need To Keep In Mind
- Advantages Of Metal Shooting Targets
The moment a bullet strikes the surfaces of your metal shooting target, you would hear a pretty loud “bang” sound. As a result, there is essentially no need for you to use a scope to determine whether you manage to hit the target or not. Moreover, since metal is much stronger than wood and paper, targets that are made from metal could last for a long time without requiring replacements. That means you don’t have to go down range and change targets too frequently. Just spray some thin paints onto the target at the end of each shooting session and that should be it.
- Disadvantages Of Metal Shooting Targets
Generally speaking, the most notable danger associated with metal shooting targets is the bullet bounce off the targets and hit someone (also know as ricochet). In fact, a couple of ranges see so many ricochet incidents that they simply decide to put an end to the use metal type targets. Nonetheless, the risk of ricochet could be reduced substantially as long as people follow rules and regulations at all times. All thing considered, it’s much safer to shoot at metal than at unknown materials.
Making Metal Targets By Yourself: Tip And Tricks For Novices
Important Note: While the process of making metal shooting target is not too complicated, consider getting commercials product if you don’t have enough equipment or suitable materials on hand. Shooting at poorly made metal target might lead to a disastrous result, think of your well being before doing anything.
- What You Need To Get
In order to make metal shooting targets, it goes without saying that you need to get some high-quality metal.
Considering the considerable shockwaves caused by bullet impacts, even regular steel is far from sufficient.
In most of the case, hardened steels work reasonably well as materials for shooting targets thanks to their structural strength. You should be able to acquire steels like that from the local steel yard and similar places without much difficulty. Don’t use random steel plates and sheets you find around your house as shooting targets unless you are certain that they are hardened steels.
About the tools and gears, it’s highly likely that you must take care of some rough edges so ensure that you have a sander. As you could decide the shape of the steel you order, you don’t have to prepare metal cutting tools. In term of gears, you about to process steel and that require suitable safety measures. At all times, wear a pair of glasses, gloves and facemask to shield yourself from flying particles and so on. Work in a well-lit space so you know what you are doing, you don’t want to accidentally damage the integrity of your targets. Once the preparations seem ideal, you could start making some metal targets for your uses.
The Process Of Making Metal Shooting Targets On Your Own
- Step 1: Construct A Stable Stand
For most of the time, standard metal shooting targets would be mounted on stands and that mean the stands would largely influence the targets stability. You could put together a solid stand using ordinary materials like wood blocks and metal poles, there are no restrictions here beside that the target stand must be able to absorb bullet impacts without flipping. Reinforce the stand if you have to but refrain from making it too heavy in the case you intend to move the shooting targets frequently. Outfit the feet of the stand with wood pieces to prevent it from sinking in when used on soft grounds.
- Step 2: Mount The Angled Target
There are numerous ways you could mount a target on its standard: bolts, rivets, screws,… In any case, you should make sure not to expose the joining components to bullets path as the target may fall off from the stand.
Aside from that, it’s a good idea for you to keep the target slightly angled forward (at least 20 degrees) instead of mounting it vertically. That setup considerably reduces the likelihood of ricochet and if a bullet does bounce off from the target, it would go straight to the ground.
- Step 3: Send Rounds Down range
With an up-and-ready metal shooting target by your side, the only thing left to do is to test it out on the field. Needless to say, don’t use hard-core ammunitions here since they could penetrate the metal target or simply ricochet. Lead core rounds are excellent choices because they disintegrated upon impact which also simplifies the task of identifying hit spots. But no matter what type of ammo you use, remember to pay attention to the shooting distance. For pistol calibers (9x19mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP,…), 10 yards is enough but some powerful calibers (300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum) often demand a distance of 200 yards.