The Falling Plates Range and the Handgun Silhouette Range are intended for handgun use. Evidence suggests that not all members are using these range areas appropriately and safely as centre fire rifle cartridges have been left behind on more than one occasion on both of these handgun range areas. Using rifles on the steel targets in these range areas not only inflicts significant damage to the club targets, but it is also dangerous.
While there are guidelines from target manufacturers and various shooting organizations that specialize in gun vs steel target disciplines, distance from the shooter to the target is not the only factor to be considered for safety. The hardness and the condition of the steel and the type of ammunition must also be factored in to the equation, as well as the angle at which the bullet hits the steel.
How close is too close? On a pristine piece of reactive or properly angled hard steel, using your handgun, a minimum of 10 yards is probably fairly safe. The harder the steel, the more it can withstand repeated hits without deformation, but every time a round hits that metal target, a degree of deformation results. The more that target is hit, especially if made of a softer steel, the more it is deformed. This deformation of the target surface will cause the bullet to ricochet in unpredictable directions. Ricochets from steel at 100 yards with a hunting rifle are not impossible. All shooters and spectators should be wearing safety glasses when involved in reactive metal shooting activities.
Club members are reminded that each range area is designated for a specific type of firearm for safety and licensing reasons. These designations are determined by the range topography, the target material, distance from firing line to the target and ballistics. As a responsible shooter and responsible club member you are expected to comply with the range rules.