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Looking at purchasing a 150mm (6”) gong, a couple of queries I have as I usually use a piece of ply with a paper target on it for practice/ zero. I assume a gong is used for practice rather than precise zeroing as you can’t be certain where you have struck the target? However for practice, consistently hitting a 6” target proves good technique and a heart lung shot deer would result in a dead deer.
In terms of back stop a good back stop such as Base of large steep bank or hill suffices as would a paper target or do you need to dig a small pit? If you clip a paper/wood target the bullet penetrates and hits earth, with a gong if you clip the hardox/ar500 will it cause a ricochet?

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Most people give a gong a lick of white paint before use. You're not going to get much of a ricochet from the gong itself


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It would be interesting to set up an extremely fast camera to see the strike. I shoot a 6" gong with my 308 & 223. Find the odd bit of copper jacket and lots of paint chips on the poles it hangs off but not had a ricochet issue. I do hang mine tilted slightly down to minimise risk and on a big bank as a backstop anyway


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If you clip anything hard, the bullet is going to go somewhere you have no control over, Charlie. Half the edges on a circular gong are going to deflect the bullet upwards at varying degrees, I would think. Sh!t happens!


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I just use the same back stop as with any other target and don't treat a gong any differently, never experienced a ricochet of them yet even when chucking 308 fmj.

I have them hanging with 'd' shackles from chains, I have had to weld the threaded end of the shackles or they just strip the threads, but the shackles seem to get eaten from the splatter and break eventually anyway.


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My hardox target is set up so I can shoot a light gauge steel plate target for a zero and the hardox takes the strike.
Whacking any AR steel gong you just get the splash so very hard to dial in on, also if you miss it then you still don't know where you are apart from not on the gong!


Glyn 1

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I have tried to get to the bottom of producing a risk assessment for shooting steel targets and its very tricky. If the surface stays smooth (proper hardened steels) then it appears that bullets are generally splattered. If the surface gets pitted or holed (cheap targets or homemade stuff from the farm scrap bin) then ricochets are likely. Quite a lot of other stuff to take into account too.