Mild steel targets vs AR500 steel targets on a pistol range (observations and photos)

I stayed at a buddy’s place this weekend, and he’s got some steel from me on his home range. One plate is an old piece of mild steel I scrounged for him, the other was an early prototype target for his department (he’s a deputy in CA).

I took the opportunity to take a couple photos and write down my observations, because I typically never have mild steel on my ranges. If I’m going to shoot pistols, I’ll downgrade to 1/4 AR400.

The targets have been up for about a year. It’s a pistol range, but occasionally a rifle sneaks onto it. When something other than a non-magnum pistol caliber is used on the range, he’s careful to make sure it only goes at the AR500 target. As a result, the mild steel target is holding up very well, but the difference between the two is obvious when you look at it close.

I’ll probably be swapping out his mild steel target for more AR500 this summer, before the surface turns into a moonscape.

1″ mild steel rectangle on left is approximately 15×20″. The target on the right is an IPSC Metric less the D-zone, in 3/8″ AR500. Hung with 1/4″ chains against a railroad tie backstop (basically no swing).

As of May 5, 2014, targets have been hung for about one year. A total of approximately 2,000 rounds fired down range, the majority of which are 40S&W.

Closeup of mild steel plate. Visible impacts are all 9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP. On this private range owned by a law enforcement officer, pistols are used as close as seven yards. MOA recommends no closer than 12 yards for pistols due to concerns of lead and copper jacket splashing back.
Closeup of AR500. Visible impacts are from 5.56×45 at 75 yards and 357 mag from a 16″ barrel (lever action) at 25 yards.

Places paint has been removed and repainted with no impact mark are from 9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP. On this private range owned by a law enforcement officer, pistols are used as close as seven yards. MOA recommends no closer than 12 yards for pistols due to concerns of lead and copper jacket splashing back.

There ya go. Thought you guys might enjoy this. As always, use common sense. I personally wouldn’t have mounted these the same way that my buddy did, there isn’t enough forward angle, it’s against a hard backstop so it can’t swing, and he shoots at it closer than I recommend. Plus, ewww, mild steel target?

 

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