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My wife and I are in the process of buying some land and I am thinking about setting up some outdoor targets. Anyone have any recommendations?

I’m thinking about getting some metal ones…but wondering if the bullets ricochet off them?

Thanks!
 

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Sooo, how much basic science do you understand? By the time I was 8 or 9 years old I understood that metal bullets can't just disappear.

Of course the bullets ricochet off of the metal.
 

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Much would depend on what kind of bullets you’re talking about and how you targets are set. If you’re firing 30-06 or 5.56 or any other military surplus with steel core or AP, you’ll get ricochets. If your targets are angled toward the ground the ricochet would go down into the ground. Angled top back and it’s on its way to Cleveland. Setting up a home range is a bit of science, geometry and common sense. Philmo is our resident home range builder.
 

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One might wonder/ask what caliber and bullet composition OP is planning to shoot, and at what distance. Certainly bullets hitting steel plate do not disappear into thin air. But properly hardened and gauged steel such as from shooting7targets.com (no affiliation, yada yada) and similar steel purveyors, correctly positioned might cause a projectile to shatter, splatter into small pieces, be directed into the ground nearby, and at sufficient distance be mostly safe from "ricochet" without danger.

So bobgeorge, maybe additional details about your plans might contribute to your basic science knowledge ;)

-jb, having shot at lots of steel, properly contrived

ETA "Stamps6 more eloquently read my mind :D"
 
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Hang your metal targets so that the bullet strike moves the plate and allows the deflection to go towards the ground. Keep at least 7 yards between you and the plates when shooting handguns. Likewise hang plates for rifles at a much further distance. Use of full metal jackets will enhance the ricochet effect…:cool:
 

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Like aged warrior said, hang plates on chains or if you can get some old fire hose that works great too. Some are hung on bolts with a spring behind it. Bullets mostly disintegrate when they hit steel and the tiny fragments splatter into the ground and often all that is left is the base of the bullet. They rarely if ever ricochet if the targets are moveable. Here i what it looks like is slow motion.
 

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Just wanted to add something. While you probably won't get ricochets you may get some splatter if you're shooting in close proximity of the targets. You should be wearing eye protection when shooting anyway but it's a must, especially if you're shooting 15yds or less.
 

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If you want paper targets, make you own. I got a gallon jug, set it on a piece of copy paper, drew a circle around the bottom of the jug. Then, a 1" black dot in the middle. Copy all you need. Cheap, easy, tape it to a home make target stand made from scrap lumber.
 

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I bought and use what was sold to me as "target grade steel plates". These plates are affixed to metal fence posts that have been hammered down into the ground. One 3/8-16 bolt and nut, loosely hold the plate in place so it can wobble a bit and direct splattered bullets downward and into the dirt:



We mostly shoot .22 rimfire at these plates, yet I will occasionally empty my 9mm CCW magazines on these plates, only to refresh with ammunition every two weeks or so.
Centerfire rifle bullets have put "pock marks" in the same type of targets at 100 yards, but have not gone completely through.
 

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Let's start with basics. First, you are going to want to build a bullet backstop, commonly referred to as a "berm".
One popular method is to get old car tires, build a 8 foot wall with them, and fill them with dirt. This not only gives the berm a solid structure, it saves the amount of dirt you need, and is environmentally friendly, as you are repurposing old
tires.
Simply make two rows of tires, placing the largest at the bottom. You can tie tires together, with cheap rope, at intervals, to increase structural integrity. Suggested length for a small berm is 12 feet wide, but you can build it any size you like.
Once you have the tire structure built, merely fill the tires with dirt, cover the tires with some more dirt, and you are done.

A berm of this size and type will withstand most common pistol and shoulder fired rifle ammunition.

In the event you are short on used tires, most tire stores in town have to pay, for disposal of their customer's old tires. So they will generally be happy to allow you to haul away as many old tires as you like.
 

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Like Rus said, a berm is necessary unless your property is a gazillion miles from no where or hundreds of acres, You will have neighbors who do not like bullets coming their way. I have 10 acres and have a 20’x6’ dirt berm but only use it to test loads. You should also check your state and county law. Florida law says you can only have a private range on 1 acre or more and the surrounding neighbors have to have 1 acre or more.
 
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