I decided to take advantage of some of the tools and make myself some steel targets. I completed the first one today, and I'll test it this weekend.
My target had to do three things:
- Deflect bullets downwards
- Swing to absorb energy
- Not cost a lot (ideally, free)
I met all three requirements using scrap metal, a band saw, belt grinder, drill press, oxy-acetylene torch, and MIG welder.
After cutting 8" octagons with tabs out of 1/4" steel plate, I ground the edges to make sure they wouldn't cut me or catch any bullets. Then I placed the tabs in a vice and used the torch to heat the metal to red-hot. Once it was soft, a hammer bent the targets over to the 90 degree angle.
I cut a 2" wide strip from the same scrap steel, and began drilling 5/8" holes in it on the drill press. Once the holes were drilled and the 2" squares cut, I ground the edges and corners and headed down to weld. With the tabs mounted, I found some 1/2" steel round stock, cut it, ground spikes into the ends, and welded it into the upside-down U shape.
The plate angles downwards when it's hanging, and swings easily. The whole project cost me about five hours.