The best way to avoid a ricochet accident is to use steel targets that have been heat-treated. These targets are made from AR 500 or AR 550 grade steel that retains its flat shape after repeated impact. Steel targets come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Understanding them helps you pick the right one for your personal needs.
The accuracy of Origin Target Systems shooting depends on several factors, including the type of ammunition used. Low-velocity rounds like rimfire and centerfire handguns can penetrate thin steel plates, while large rifle and magnum rounds need thicker targets. Another factor is the distance intended for shooting. Bullets lose more velocity at longer ranges, so higher-velocity rounds need more comprehensive targets to avoid impacting the back of the target. Lastly, the design of the target and steel hardness affects the amount of fragmentation a bullet will have when hitting it. Softer steel, for example, deforms and flexes with impact, deflecting bullet fragments in unpredictable directions. This can cause injuries to bystanders and shooters, so using only ballistically safe armor steel for your shooting targets is essential. This is usually referred to as AR550, and it helps ensure that bullets fragment completely and disperse evenly. It also allows you to practice without replacing your targets as often.
Shooting steel targets is a popular choice in the world of target training. They’re tough and reusable, ideal for high-use situations and professional training. Steel targets are made from hardened (martensitic) steel that absorbs the energy of a bullet impact. This makes them an excellent choice for target shooting because shooters receive instant feedback on hits and misses. They’re also a good choice for long-range shooters because they deliver a loud dinging sound when hit. This ding is especially helpful for training new shooters, as it lets them know they’ve hit the target without having to focus on a specific bull’s eye or small group sizes.
Most people are concerned about shooting steel targets, but it can be very safe if the mark is used correctly. The key is to use the correct ammunition type and at the proper distance. The most common concern with using steel targets is the risk of ricochets. However, this is quite rare when shooting steel targets properly. This is because the steel is hardened and helps to disintegrate the bullets after they hit it, thereby limiting shrapnel and ricochets. You can also avoid using armor-piercing ammo or soft shells, which can lead to a higher risk of ricochets.
Unlike paper targets that are constantly needing to be stapled and replaced, steel shooting targets have a lifespan of hundreds of thousands of rounds. They also come in various shapes, metal types, and reactive features to meet your needs. The steel used in these targets must be hard enough to withstand the impact of a bullet without pitting or warping and be resistant to ricocheting. These targets are typically made of 3/8′′ thick AR500 steel plates with a Brinell hardness rating of at least 500. Shooting target steel should have a Brinell hardness number of at least 500. This makes them ideal for both handguns and rimfire ammunition.
Some steel targets are designed with a swing or auto-reset spring action, which allows closer shots. This angle reduces distortion and prolongs the lifespan of the target. It also helps to direct more of the splatter away from the shooter and dissipates the energy more effectively.