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Alternative to steel for indoor shooting


danjordan78
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Wondering if anyone has alternative targets besides steel for shooting indoors. Setting up reduced targets at 50 and 33 feet to simulate actual stages. I am looking for ideas for targets that allow the bullet to pass through into the backstop but still react so you can see if you hit. Thought about hard plastic like semi truck mud flaps, but wondering if anyone has different ideas or ones that work.

Thanks!

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I shoot a match locally in the winter where they have set up multiple knock down rubber targets. The rubber is approx 3/8 inch thick. I am sure its recycled from some industrial purpose. Some of the plates have doubled up rubber. They have all sorts of plate racks and a Texas star as well. All in all its quite impressive and gives great practice for those of us who live in the snow belt. The only downside is that sometimes the bullets pass straight through and don't knock the plate down. This is mainly observed using rifles due to the increased velocity

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Thanks for the ideas (especially the feral cats!). We are using the resealable rubber gongs and spinners right now. The spinners work great cause you can see if you hit them. The big gongs dont always move much so I may cut them off their stands and hang them by fishing line or something so they move more.

I like the thick plastic idea but not the knockdown. You would have to go down range everytime to reset. Probably could make some pvc stands for them though and hang them so they swing. I want to be able to cut the material so I can make reduced size plates and round targets to practice the actual stages.

Got to figure something out. 8 months of winter in Alaska leaves a lot of training time indoors!

Any more ideas?

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There used to be a company called Newbold that had a line of self-healing reactive targets made of some rubber substance. I just had a google and don't see the name jump up at me. But there are other companies that have them in various shapes and sizes. The ones that I have shot have a base that attaches to a stand and you knock them down just like a plate.

Found them: http://newboldtargets.com

Edited by Graham Smith
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  • 1 month later...

Feral cats?

Now thats funny, I have two and it's still funny

No spinners with top side targets, when they flip back on impact they tend to send piecs upward. And don't mix rubber targets and pellets They will come back from 25 yds away.

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Very interested in this as well. We have a weekly indoor steel match, and the range owners are gonna put in a new target system, and very likely will not let us shoot steel afterwards. We would prefer falling plates, but they need to be durable. If I heard correctly, the guy in the video said his healing plates were only good for 1k rounds? That would not equate to too many matches before they had to be replaced.

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Thought I would post an update for those that are also looking for indoor options. I wanted to be able to practice the actual Steel Challenge stages indoors with .22s, but not on steel. Here's how I made it work.

I converted the actual distances and target sizes to fit at 33' but still look like they should (I would have liked 50' but i didn't have enough width without hitting the walls). For instance, if the max distance on the actual stage was 105', 33' is .314 of the distance. I multiplied all of the downrange distances, side to side distances, and targets by that number. That made the 18x24 plates 5.5"x7.5", 12" circles were 3.75", etc.

After trying a couple different materials, the best thing I have found are hard plastic semi-truck mud flaps (the softer rubber ones won't work, they have to be the hard stiff ones). They are 24"x36" and about 3/16" thick. I can get them for $12 a piece and get all of the pieces cut out of 3 of them (2 if you don't do smoke and hope). Used chalk to draw the shapes and a jig saw and band saw to cut them out. Drilled 2 holes in the top of each piece and hung with string from a frame (mine are metal, could be PVC as well.

With the harder plastic they swing, twist and flip when hit. The bullets are still able to pass through when shot though so the bullets go into the backstop and I don't have to worry about lead shrapnel on the floor. They should last at least a couple of matches so I just get evryone to pitch in a couple of bucks to pay for new ones.

Works pretty good. Will let you know if I come up with anything better!

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Thought about this after I posted earlier. The plastic reactive targets work well for training. Only thing is that you don't have the ding of steel so you have to look for the movement. Slows things down a little, but at least we can work on muscle memory and still get some shooting in during the winter!

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