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welding 3/8" AR plate

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  • welding 3/8" AR plate

    So I'm looking into making steel targets (spinners & gongs) and don't know how to weld AR 500 without ruining the plate from the heat. I'm using a diversion 180 and will have to make multiple passes to complete the weld so I was thinking I could make short welds and quench the part before the next pass. Or a wet rag etc to control the heat? I don't have any experience welding high carbon steel and could use some pointers. I've welded several pistol targets out of 3/8" mild steel but .223 tears it up and .308 destroys them. Any tips how to make them out of AR plate in my garage w/o ruining the steel with heat?

  • #2
    I would preheat the 500 series and would not quench.


    • #3
      Friend of mine makes some targets. Preheat won't hurt but stuff welds like butter in my experience. Shouldn't have any trouble. I know he doesn't use any preheat when just making targets


      • #4
        welding 3/8" AR plate

        It would be nice if I didn't have to preheat the ar 500, but I don't want to sell rifle targets that don't hold up. I may just have to weld one up w/o preheating and see how it handles a .308


        • #5
          welding 3/8" AR plate

          Preheat will not hurt, it will only help & u will hv much higher success rate with heat.
          No big deal, just preheat to 500 area, weld, wrap in fiberglass insulation (cheap) cool slow, metal will retain all it's properties.


          • #6
            Quenching and keeping the temps down are the exact opposite you want. Preheat and cool very slowly to let the piece normalize.


            • #7
              Safetys no accident

              Pre-heat to about 350.

              Be aware for ricochettes, .308 will go thru this **** as well as thru mild steel so don't kid yourself and .223 will definelty make some dings in that stuff as well.

              Problem is when you shoot this stuff it tends to send the bullet in directions that you didn't intend it to. So make sure the target is angled slightly towards the ground. Spinners are not cool.

              Know your target and whats beyond.

              Safe shooting


              • #8
                Originally posted by Electric4Life View Post

                Problem is when you shoot this stuff it tends to send the bullet in directions that you didn't intend it to. So make sure the target is angled slightly towards the ground...

                Safe shooting
                Correct. Never forget that "Steel Shoots Back." The last commercial AR500 steel targets i purchased, included a warning to NOT shoot at the pistol targets within 25 yards, and NOT shoot the rifle targets inside of 100 yards.

                The usual issue is that a bullet can impact the target, turn inside out and come back up range at the shooter. Otherwise, there is frag from the bullet breaking up on impact, that will come back up range occasionally. Everyone must wear eye protection, even observers!

                Shooting steel, either a stationary "gong" at distance or a dueling tree up close, is a very good training tool, and more fun than punching paper. With some common sense and understanding of what is going on, it is relatively safe. Be prepared to occasionally pick a pc of bullet jacket material out of your cheek, if you don't heed the warnings above. Or worse.

                My sordid past includes a bit of blood, shed due to very dynamic use of steel targets. Consider carefully where and how you use them. Many public and even some private ranges, will not allow the use of steel targets due to all the above.

                Regret not being able to mfr my own steel targets but of late, i cannot source AR500 for less than the cost of buying a commercial target. There are no AR500 drops at my local suppliers.


                • #9
                  welding 3/8" AR plate

                  A little common sense goes a long way. Now if I could sell common sense, I'd be a very rich man!

                  Best advice for steel targets is to use non jacketed bullets. Much easier to do with pistol, but as long as you don't get too close, you won't get bit by a returning copper jacket.


                  • #10

                    This is what can happen when you shoot a steel target, scary!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ja baudin View Post

                      This is what can happen when you shoot a steel target, scary!!

                      Almost positive that target in the video was set on the ground/against the bank. WRONG.

                      Target steel should be hung by two chains, so as to deflect upon impact. The sound at impact tells me they did NOT have that target set up properly (safely).

                      It's a good example of what not to do, thanks ja for posting it.

                      Also, anyone thinking of making a dueling tree should take a look at the high speed and $$$ newer commercial designs, which angle fwd, toward the shooter slightly, so that any misses into the frame, etc. are deflected downward.

                      Take a look at the Action Target brand. The only kind i will buy or suggest at present. You won't wear one out if used properly.


                      • #12
                        welding 3/8" AR plate

                        What type of fiberglass insulation would work best? Would fiberglass welding blankets suffice if I wrapped them up in it? Or do I need to look at something else? I've used fiberglass header wrap, and it isn't durable once it gets hot- will the same happen to the blankets? What about sand or other ways of controlling a slow cool down?


                        • #13

                          Shooting the correct fragabile ammo helps to.
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