Indoor Steel

Mr. Completely is preparing to once again head to the European Steel Championship in Holland. What intrigues me is that the entire event is conducted at an indoor shooting range. It looks like they surround the steel with a ring that would appear to prevent ricochet and splatter. I actually talked to Mr. C. about this in Reno, and he assured me you could step up a steel course on an indoor range that was safe,. The Dutch certainly seem to be doing it! Given that Steel Challenge competition rules don’t require draw from holster for rimfire, it’s at least one speed game we might be able to do at my club if people could be convinced it could be done safely. When I tired Steel Challenge out at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno, it sure was a lot of fun.

3 thoughts on “Indoor Steel”

  1. For a number of years, the police here in Western Australia insisted that all steel targets used in IPSC shoots have a surrounding shroud to prevent splatter being a danger to competitors and spectators.

    Interestingly, other pistol matches using the same targets did not have to have the shrouds.

    When we clearly demonstrated that the shrouds in fact INCREASED the chances of splatter bouncing back at the shooter, we were instructed to remove them.

  2. In Holland they shoot all classes indoors at steel, including centerfire. Under Steel Challenge rules, all centerfire classes start from a holster, though.

    The rings around the round plates are car tires with the sidewalls cut out. Around the rectangular plates the shields are steel. The primary reason was to protect the light bulbs on the ceiling, and the flood lights on the floor in front of each target. When the bullet strikes the target it shatters into a million (+/-) tiny lead flakes that stay in the plane of the plate. This assumes that there are no pock marks in the steel. If there are pock marks, lead can go just about anywhere if the bullet strikes the pockmark just right. That’s why making your targets out of armor plate is a good idea.

    Have you suggested to your club that they should send someone over to Holland on a fact finding trip?

    Mr. C.

  3. Mr Completely is right about the million (+/-) pieces of spatter typically staying in the plane of the plate.

    We found and demonstrated to the idiot-thorities that putting another plane of steel orthogonal to the plane of the plate meant that splatter was now re-directed in the up range and down range directions.

    Most of the time the lead pieces were small enough and of sufficiently low energy that it wasn’t a problem – BUT, all too often a larger chunk of lead came whistling back at the shooter.

    As to using tyres – they proved to be worse than steel because the natural resilience absorbed the energy of the fragments and then launched the whole chunk rather than breaking it smaller on impact.

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