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Hardware For Back Yard Shooting Range

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Just ordered me some gongs for my back yard range. I got an e-mail from Shoot Steel and they had a 30% off sale on all targets, that ends today. I ordered 3, 1/2 inch thick steel gongs. The 1/2 inch is good for up to a 338 Laupua rifle caliber and good for all handguns. The 30% off more than paid for the shipping from Missouri. 

I have purchased some cheap ones that were for 22 long rifle or 38 Spl and they will not hold up.  

The 1/2" plates are heat treated and will stand up to anything I have. I wanted the 6" and 8" so I could practice head type shots at distance, and the 16" so I could make myself feel better after missing the other two.  

Looking forward to spring and dry weather. I have already used the range several times this winter on warmer and dryer days. So far no one has complained about the noise. I hope that last, but I am thoughtful and don't shoot but during the mid day or early afternoon.   We have 3 acres and my closest neighbor is about 300 feet away with dense woods between us. Trying to be considerate and good neighbors with this shooting. 

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Good luck. I’m not sure it is ever going to stop raining here.

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Be sure the plates are held at an angle such that any ricochets are directed down. 

Edited by peejman

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Thanks peejman. They will be swinging on chains and not be hard fixed. I experienced a bullet coming back and hitting my shin, drawing blood, while firing into a piece of seasoned hard oak board, once. Seems impossible, but it sure happened so I know what you are saying.  

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I have some experience with shooting steel. Yes, I know it can be dangerous so I want to set my gongs up where they will be as safe as possible. Thanks for the links, I have watched some of them. I like Hickock video on shooting steel. Hickock has a great place for steel targets because he shoots across a ravine which changes the angle of the ricochet up close, and his rifle targets are on the far side of the ravine. He stands above the close targets on his range. I can do that also, but my range is not on that steep of a grade and I will be standing on a large rock to raise the shooter up an additional 2 feet, thereby changing the angle also. My gongs will be hung on chains swinging with a slight downward angle also which will create a greater angle to deflect splatter and bullets down into the ground instead of back toward the shooter.

Guys any time you shoot there is a danger of accident so I want to eliminate as much risk as possible.  Again thanks for the posts and advice.  

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I've got designs on a backyard shooting range as well.... Wanted to put in one of those pistol dueling tree's, but this got me to thinking about the ricochets... since the target is designed to yield to the projectile (and swing back to the other side), are splatter and ricochets less likely? I too have experienced fragmentation coming off steel targets, which were over 50 yards away!

Thanks.

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One will always have splatter from shooting steel. Any very hard surface will produce the same result. Usually the steel targets that are NOT mounted solid will give way, somewhat, when hit. A pistol tree, swings from one side to the other and not firmly affixed, if I am understanding you correctly. That swinging will dissipate SOME of the danger, and redirect some of the splatter, but not eliminate it 100%.

Any time one shoots steel precaution needs to be taken, (IE distance, eye protection, angled bottom back,  or swinging plates). I always wear eye protection and stay a reasonable distance away(no closer than 10 yards with pistols and 50 yards for big rifle.  If I am by myself, I may fudge, a little, on that distance with pistols(move in to 20')  but not too close with rifles. On my range I have a unique situation with rifle fire. I have a small berm (30 yards away from the targets) in front of my range that can eliminate a small amount of danger, but I still do not trust getting very close.   

My plates will be angled backwards, on the bottom, and on chains which should deflect most of the splatter downward in front of the targets. Anyways, that is  my plan. Will use longer mounting screws, on the very tops of the gongs, using the weight of the gong to shifting the bottom of the gongs rearward, while hanging on the chains. When doing this one must use grade 8 bolts(very hard) or over time they will bend. One also needs to use high grade steel heavy chains. Cost a little more to do this, but I can get hard bolts from Tractor Supply and achieve this.  

When shooting steel, you must take proper precautions because it can be dangerous.  

Edited to add; ReeferMac, everyone wants to shoot steel because you get that instant ping when you hit them. When visitors come most don't understand the danger from splatter and you must educate them to be safe. I have some steel now and everyone wants to see the swing so the get too close, but I cautiously  watch them so we can shoot safely.  

Edited by pop pop
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Thanks Pop Pop. I used to love playing the 'chimes' at the club I used to belong to.... figure if I can cut a few tree's down and make myself a berm, I can enjoy it at home, too!

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My berm consist of 7 single axel dump truck loads of red clay dirt and is 20' wide at the bottom. Wish I had 3 more loads so I could make it a little wider. I also need to cut 3 large trees to make my range perfect, IMO. Plan to have some good days out there L/w. Go for it ReeferMac. You won't regret it and you wont miss the money next year.  

Edited by pop pop

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I live on flat land, so I poured a foundation and used railroad ties stacked over 8' high and pinned together. It's formed like a wall with wings out to the side. Then I rented a Bobcat and took the dirt that was excavated for the pool and piled it on both sides of the railroad ties: one side to stop bullets and the other side to support the railroad ties. The Bobcat couldn't pile the dirt high enough so I have to do a bit of shovel work. The very hot weather set-in so I didn't get a chance to pile the dirt up higher on the bullet side. When the weather cooperates I have to get back there and get that done and then I'll be in good shape.

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Yall dont like showing pics

AR500 4.jpeg

AR500 3.jpeg

AR500 2.jpeg

AR500 1.jpeg

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