Second son, Matt called me last night. He's built a reactive target stand with 1" thick steel plate. We made plans to take it to our private range and do a little shooting.
This is the first design, and we've got some tweaking to do. Basically it's a wooden frame holding three steel plates. 3 inch, 6 inch and 9 inch. Shooting steel gives immediate feedback to the shooter. If the plate dances, you've hit it.
Yeah, we managed to shoot the chain a couple of times, immediately severing the link. In the above pic, you see elder son Barrett looking at the 3" target. Matt managed to cut the chain at the weld, smooth as with a cutting torch.
Here's a closeup shot of the 3" steel plate. The uppermost shot is a 30-06 fired from Barrett's Remington 760. The handload features a 155 grain Hornady A-Max traveling at about 2800 fps. The lower shot is a 7mm Rem Mag, with a 140 grain Nosler BT traveling at 3025. If a deer could tell the difference between getting whacked with either of those bullets, he wouldn't have long to think about it.
We shot about six different calibers, from the .22 LR to the 7mm Mag. I really enjoyed shooting my Win 94 and rocking the steel plate. My cast bullet handload of the Lyman 311041 and surplus IMR 4895 powder requited itself well.
Here's a photo from the 50 yard line. Barret is shooting my Marlin 1894 with a .357 magnum load. That little load rang the steel with authority. This morning we were shooting the Lee TL358158 over Alliant 2400, which gives me about 1400 fps from the Marlin. It's not the hottest load I have for the caliber, but it is an altogether satisfying load, and plenty accurate.
We've got some work to do on the steel swinger target and we learned a lot from shooting it this morning. Revision #2 is already in the works. The best part is that I got to spend the morning shooting with two of my sons.