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I have recently gotten into pistol target shooting and noticed that there a lot of steel targets used at different ranges, like the poppers... How safe is this. I shoot a 9mm. Do the bullets bounce off this type target and go very far or do they kindof splatter when they hit. They look like they are standing pretty straight up and not tilted as to deflect he bullet down. I know they are made from ballistic plate which is pretty hard - thus making the bullet bounce - as opposed to a soft plate that would absorb the bullet energy. Help me understand - where is my bullet going to go.

Thanks, Steven
 

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Shooting soft-nose or even FMJ at relatively low velocity, with the plate reasonably square to the bullet's path, the bullet just kinda mooshes flat against the target, consuming almost all of its energy. If they rebound at all, it's a very short distance.

Go downrange when it's clear and scrounge around in the dirt below the targets.... you'll find all kinds of lead/copper "pancakes".
 

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Most injuries that I see are caused by the copper jackets flying back and cutting people.
 

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15 yards. You can always use frangible ammo, and shoot as close as you want, as the projectile turns to powder on impact, no richocet, no jacket to worry about.
 

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I shoot steel plates every Saturday. Routinely you'll feel what seem to be raindrops on your head, but we've yet to get anyone cut. Still, wear long sleeves (weather permitting) and make sure your eyes are fully covered and you'll be OK. The chunks of metal bouncing back have very little energy left; some of the guys fashioned cardboard 'blinders' to hang off the sides of their glasses and those deflect most of them. If you have practice plates angled down approximately 20 degrees, the amount of shrapnel drops considerably, but a plate rack can't really function like that.

Steel plates are pretty hard, at least the ones I shoot, so 'splash' from the plate itself isn't much of a problem; however, the target hangers at most indoor ranges are something softer and throw all sorts of shrapnel if you're unlucky enough to hit one. *Those* can draw blood pretty well. Of course, you're good enough to not hit those.
 

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i think it not to safe with that range but it is ok but you always be careful because not all ballistic plate are soft.,,yes may bounce .,i think you're will go inside your body if you are not careful.,.,





____________________
hot rolled steel plate
 

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At Front Sight , a couple of years ago, I had a student who was shooting at 7 meters and got hit in the chest with a good sized piece of copper coating. It lodged there and it had to be surgically removed by an EMT. Minor surgery at best and of course he bled a bit as well. I believe he was shooting 40 S&W.
 

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I have no personal experience of this, but a shooting buddy of mine was doing bowling pin shooting, and stated that were calling it off as to many ricoheting, they were all shooting 45 acp. Have not heard of any bowling pin shoots in my area since
Jim
 

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Re: re: steel targets - bullet bounce

ColoradoKid said:
At Front Sight , a couple of years ago, I had a student who was shooting at 7 meters and got hit in the chest with a good sized piece of copper coating. It lodged there and it had to be surgically removed by an EMT. Minor surgery at best and of course he bled a bit as well. I believe he was shooting 40 S&W.
Surgically removed by an EMT???? That had to be some minor surgery if it didn't need a surgen!! Whats the name of that range again?
 

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Front Sight in Nevada.. We had certified EMT's on every range. He simply poked and pulled the sliver out with a pair of sweezers....no big deal, but as is the case with all flesh woumds...it bled a lot. It looked worse than it really was.
 

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In setting up courses of fire for a match, using steel poppers, it's also a good idea to angle the targets to lessen the chance of jacket material coming straight back at the shooter or other members members of the group waiting to shoot. Seems to help.
 

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I know that this thread has been dead/stagnant for a while but I've been researching the use of steel targets and of my findings differs from a statement made in the thread. ...soft steel targets to absorb the energy of the bullet...

You want your targets to made out of the hardest steel you can get. It is somewhat counter intuitive but according to every other source I've found on the net FBI and LEO included harder is better (OH THAT"S WHAT SHE SAID TA DUMP DUMP CLASH!). AR500 seems to be the best performance price point steel for target applications. It has to do with consistent and smaller back splatter. Other observations pretty much agreed with what I've found with some new stuff and helpful hints added in

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/training/shooting-range/articles/67903/

Angle targets down about 20 degrees, Plyood blinders on sides of target frame, Higher velocity is best, eye protection, long sleeves, hats hope this helps
 
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