Bullet penetration on steel plate

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Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby don taylor » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:08 pm

I was wondering if anyone had an idea what thickness steel has to be to stand up to multiple shots with a high powered rifle at 100 yards.

I build boilers, steam generators and that kind of stuff for a living and have all of these pieces of steel left from the process. For a couple dollars each I can weld up really sweet gongs and silo's to shoot at. I only have to pay the scrap price we are paid. Half inch is pretty thick stuff. I was hoping 3/16 will be enough. I've made some 1/4" ones that have a 3" circle that are easily handling a .22 at 25 feet. My 7mm mag punches right through 1/4 at 100. What about plates for pistols, for use up close?

Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby apexhunter » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:17 pm

I would think if you have the chance to use 1/2" to go with that. All things equal, the thicker will last longer with most anything shot at it and won't have to be replaced (more time & money invested to buy the scrap & fabricate). Like the Fram filter commercials go..."Pay now or pay later".
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby waterfowlhunter » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:36 am

when I was making plates for 30-06 they had to be heated cherry red and quenched in oil to make them hard enough to resist denting and eventually getting holes, We used 1/2" boiler plate and it worked even with the 300. The interesting thing was that the 50cal Muzzle loader with a 350gr Buffalo bullet did more damage to it than the 06 before hardening them.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby apexhunter » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:48 am

That is a good example of energy transfer. Even though the 06 has more velocity, the heavier Buffalo bullet trudging along at decent speed still carries a helluva lot of energy in and of itself. It definitely wouldn't be a bad idea to heat treat the plates, especially if somebody may shoot them with fmj rounds from black rifles or large bore handguns.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby REDGUN » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:08 am

Our club has a couple of "falling plate" setups. They are made out of 1/2" steel. They must not have been heat treated because they are getting "gouged" by the lead pistol bullets.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby JRSpicer426 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:36 am

I got some 3/8 hot rolled steel and used it for plinking at 200 yards with my 223 and 55gn NBT's sailed right through it. Custom Competittions didnt go figure. What you want is AR-500 Cold rolled steel. Its expensive, heavy but it can take a beating-
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby Preacher1011 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:16 am

My cousin shot my dad's falling pistol targets made of 3/8" steel with his .30/06 and it went right through it. So you'll need something thicker than that. :lol3: :hi:
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby MOwaterfowler » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:14 pm

you need to either resist penetration i.e. 1/2" or thicker. or absorb and deflect i.e. hang a plate freely and add some lose bunjee straps to keep it square. evetuall it will all break as the impact work hardens the metal.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby lunatic » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:51 pm

At a minimum 1" I have shot at a 1" thick steel plate at 200 yards with a 7X57 Mauser 160grns Barnes XXX bullets and the bullet penetrated about 3/4"
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby bgoldhunter » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:01 pm

Don...when banging steel at 100, be sure to angle the steel down a bit. Deflection is a very present danger if vertical. A box filled with sand (preferably wet) in front of the steel isn't a bad idea when shooting that close.

AR500 steel is what I'd use, and 3/8 works at distance, but probably not great when used that close. 1/2" with angled steel should work OK with AR500. I'd go at least 1" with mild steel.
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby Sagebrush » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:52 pm

At the rifle range in Reno, the 300 yard plates were replaced with a harder metal, so they would last longer.

Regular metal plates looked like swiss cheese after six months of shooting with high powered 30 cal bullets.

Maybe I can get a picture....?
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Re: Bullet penetration on steel plate

Postby Sagebrush » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:07 pm

Went out there to take a picture and someone took it !!

Even the Range Master was surprised.

Bummer.
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