I realize this is an oder post but if you are still looking for answers perhaps I can also give some ideas.
What drsfmd said is accurate in fact I would have kept it at a minimum of 25 feet and again I say that is a minimum.
This will eliminate most of your pistol practice for self defense training which is usually done inside 20 feet down to 3 feet to be reasonable/meaningful practice.
Also, what is your area behind and around your steel and are you shooting small plates or using a large, steel [late for a final backstop? All of this is going to be important in using any kind of steel in any configuration, for a backstop. If you are shooting plates, (falling) or for that matter solid, the area around as well as behind are important because no matter what you use or shoot, you are going to cause "splatter".
You have to be extremely careful of the angles of the steel you are shooting to deflect as much as possible away from shooters. Even when done professionally, it is not unusual to get pieces back at you and some of them will have enough energy to sting a bit.
Please let us know more about your intentions, what you are shooting, type of ammo and the area behind and around the target. I have been the the range business for nearly 30 years now and don't know it all or probably for that matter, very little, but in addition to my own range, I have had the opportunity to help other s design ranges as well as having the chance to shoot at dozens of ranges around the USA and some foreign countries in my experience.
I'll give you the benefit of whatever small amount of experience but need some more info from you in order to do so .
Good luck and at any distance, please be very careful and watch the angles.
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