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Thread: Homemade Steel Target Help

  1. #1
    HuXXXford
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    Homemade Steel Target Help

    I ordered a heavy duty steel target online and built a mount using spare 2x4s and $2 sawhorse brackets.

    Using the sawhorse legs holding a 2x4 with two holes drilled, I attached the steal target first using zip ties thinking that if they got shot, they would be cheap and easy to replace. These would only last a few hits from a 5.56 before breaking.

    Next we tried some heavy duty wire wrapped through the holes a few times. This lasted much longer, but no more than a couple mags.

    Does anyone use or have any suggestions of anything else I could use that would be more durable? I hesitate to use chains because I feel like if those get shot they will be expensive to replace.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Hux

  2. #2
    65hunter
    Guest
    maybe a wire coat hanger? cheap and strong

  3. #3
    HuXXXford
    Guest
    That's what we used the second time around that held a little better. It was spooled wire that was just about as thick as a coat hanger.

    I'm starting to think maybe some redundancy would work better. Maybe two additional holes on the 2x4 placed wider than the current two holes for a total of four.

  4. #4
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
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    Perhaps a wide and thick leather strap, or a section from a conveyor belt, would work.
    Drifter

  5. #5
    LRRPF52
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    Tire rubber or heavy duty neoprene will take hits all day long, and self-heal to some extent-moreso with the neoprene. Bolt that onto the back of the target, and you'll not have to repair the target hangar.

  6. #6
    Moderator bwaites's Avatar
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    Conveyor belt strips are the hanger of choice for us. Cheap, easily found, and work great. I have also seen fan belts used. They are really cheap if you have a friend at a mechanics shop!

    Some guys use chain, but as you have seen, metal tends to break pretty easily under these conditions.
    ”You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  7. #7
    JohnOD
    Guest
    Heavy chain will survive for a long time with all but a direct hit. That’s what I’m currently using. A section of fire hose or as mentioned conveyer belt is best.

    Even with direct hits on the steel the bullet splatter will chew up wire, rope, etc.

  8. #8
    Chieftain txgunner00's Avatar
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    I've used just about everything on the targets I have made. Even 1/2" chain can only take one good hit. The best and cheapest so far is 3"+ wide strips of old tires.

  9. #9
    terrywick4
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by HuXXXford View Post
    I ordered a heavy duty steel target online and built a mount using spare 2x4s and $2 sawhorse brackets.

    Using the sawhorse legs holding a 2x4 with two holes drilled, I attached the steal target first using zip ties thinking that if they got shot, they would be cheap and easy to replace. These would only last a few hits from a 5.56 before breaking.

    Next we tried some heavy duty wire wrapped through the holes a few times. This lasted much longer, but no more than a couple mags.

    Does anyone use or have any suggestions of anything else I could use that would be more durable? I hesitate to use chains because I feel like if those get shot they will be expensive to replace.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Hux
    Mine came using rubber tow straps, the hooks bent to hold when target swings. They take the swing of target when hit and will take a stray bullet or two

  10. #10
    ricsmall
    Guest
    I have 3 steel targets, with two swinging, they probably have 1000-1500 rounds each of 5.56, .308, 22-250 with several "flyers", I use 3/8 DOT approved transport chain which unless im mistaken is grade70?, I havent had to replace yet. But we only shoot the steel from 300yds and out so that could make a difference. Thats just my experience, sure most of these guys have shot a hell of a lot more than me!

  11. #11
    LRRPF52
    Guest
    The thing about chain or any hard metal hangar is that they are quite durable, but in the event that they do get whacked and your target goes down, it puts a damper in your long-range shooting time to service the target. The neoprene/rubber hangars are the way to go in my opinion. My .260 Rem still has 1000ft-lbs of energy at 800yds, so imagine clipping a steel chain with that kind of force.

  12. #12
    ricsmall
    Guest
    youre probably right LR, Ive just had good luck with mine. It would seem that anything of neoprene or rubber would be better, and you have no what ifs. You hit it, just keep on shootin!

  13. #13
    bertrunner
    Guest
    Old fire hose is tough as hell and if u can get ahold of some can make several strips and u can easily change out a strip if it does eventually give way

  14. #14
    Chieftain Variable's Avatar
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    Without pics of exactly what you guys are talking about I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but for my big IPSC sized steel plate (AR500 and thanks to the forum guy who made it for me-- can't remember his name) I put grade 8 bolts through the holes and mounted super heavy duty chain to the bolts behind the steel so the only thing that could get hit is the head of a very large bolt or the really heavy chain. Never any trouble so far. I'll try to take a pic when I'm home. I've hit the chains at 600 before, and a Grendel round doesn't even phase them one bit. Heavy bast#%d to set up though.

  15. #15
    mlmiller1
    Guest
    We have dozens of hanging steel hung with drive belt or conveyor belt from cotton gins. I always fold the end up to where it sticks about 3" above the target in front of the support part of the belt & use it for a "splash" guard. The belt will absorb many, many bullets through it but if you hit the top edge of the steel target & frag the bullet, it will act very much like a saw & cut through the belting. The extra loose end sticking up gets cut but protects the main support part of the belt. When it eventually is cut, I either shorten the belt & stick it up for a guard or add a small piece & just let it stick up, again giving a splash guard. I put a slug through one of the belts one day & the hole was only about the size of a 40 s&w bullet. Chain will only take one solid hit before it gives up most times.
    MLM

    MLM

  16. #16
    Lead Chucker
    Guest
    Go by your local fire department and ask if they have any old fire hose. Its stiff and will swing. Easy to replace and cheap if for free. If you can mount it so the steel angles down, most of the splater will go towards the ground and not towards your hanger, it will last longer!

  17. #17
    HuXXXford
    Guest
    Thanks a ton for all the tips everyone.

  18. #18
    saiga12
    Guest
    Maybe you could find an old rubber mudflap off a semi truck. That would probably work well also. Good luck cutting it though!

  19. #19
    Deezil
    Guest
    my home made steel target




  20. #20
    Very cool, Deezil!

    Question: You've probably seen frames for various things made with that white plastic PVC plumbing pipe? Would that work with your gong and chain setup?

    John

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