FAQs

 

MGM Targets & Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

MGM Targets' decades of experience in both the shooting industry and steel fabrication enables application of this unique combination of knowledge to create world class products that are practical, affordable, and exceptionally durable.

 

Every MGM center fire & rifle rated target is made of premium 500 Brinell steel, also known as AR-500, the equivalent of Armor Plate. To further insure the longevity of every target, we require certification of the steel's hardness rating.

 

Setting industry standards in quality and innovation for over 20 years, MGM Targets has grown to be the most well known brand of Steel Targets world wide. Preferred and specified by every branch of the US military, Law Enforcement agencies, State Governments across the country, numerous departments of US Government and great sport and competitive shooters internationally... They all call for MGM Targets - Leave Nothing To Chance™.

 

Combine all that with our "No Bull" warranty and our outstanding customer service and you won't find a better product anywhere at any price.

 

What Are You Shooting At?©

 

What is the MGM "No Bull" Warranty?

If for any reason you don't agree that the performance design, craftsmanship, and overall quality of our products constitute the best target value in the country, return your purchase within two weeks for a 100% refund. No questions asked.

 

Every component of every product not intended or anticipated to be shot has a limited lifetime Warranty If you are using a PISTOL EXCLUSIVELY we will warranty the target face plate FOREVER. If it EVER doesn't do what you think it should do, let us know. You WILL be satisfied. If ANY weld breaks, we'll replace the part for free, including shipping. With that said, we all know and expect that targets shot with a center fire rifle will show a mark for every shot, and ultimately they will crater (because of multiple hits in the same spot), crack, break, and get holes shot through them. This is not a manufacturing defect, nor is it a defect in the steel, and therefore it is not covered by the warranty.

 

We manufacture a full line of steel targets for competition, Law Enforcement, and Military firearms training. We would be honored if you would consider us the next time you need steel. Our products are competitively priced, and you can't buy higher quality anywhere. Please call us at 888-767-737 or send us an email atsales@mgmtargets.com

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What are your targets made of?

All our targets are made of 500 brinell steel, which is the same hardness as Armor Plate. AR 500 is comparable to roughly a 52 on the Rockwell C scale, which is also about the same hardness as a good knife blade. While 'AR-500' steel is a common  industry term, its manufacturing processes vary resulting in varied hardnesses, often as low as 465. MGM Targets has considered this and to maintain more consistent material and the highest standard of performance from our products, we require the hardness of the AR-500 steel we use be not less than 495.
In addition to the chemical composition of the steel, a 'quench and temper' process at the steel mill further enhances the steel hardness and toughness. In comparison, your car is made of mild steel, about 135 Brinell, and T-1, (the old steel for targets) is about a 235 hardness. AR500 can withstand literally thousands of rounds from reasonable distances without significant damage.

 

"AR 500" is a steel mill designation, but, not all AR 500 actually has a Brinell hardness of 500. Often it will be as low as 495. MGM has had a standing internal requirement that no steel would be used for our targets unless it was a 495 BHN (Brinell Hardness Number), or higher. MGM's acceptable tolerance measurements on steel is the tightest in the industry and we require our steel suppliers to contract and supply to this tolerance.

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How long does it take to get the product after I place an order?

Usually an order will ship within 3-5 business days after receipt of the order in to our system. On occasion the order may take longer if we are in production of that specific product. Always ask about availability if you have a deadline. We will most likely be able to accommodate you.

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Payment methods and terms

MGM accepts all major credit cards and will process credit card payments at the time the order is placed. MGM happily accepts payment by check and will ship orders paid by check promptly upon the bank’s notification that the check has cleared. Of course, MGM also accepts US dollars for cash payment. Distributor and government agency accounts are welcomed and can be established. Please contact our office for details at 888-767-7371. We appreciate your business.

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What methods do you ship?

We ship UPS, DHL, and FedEx Freight. UPS and DHL are used for smaller orders that do not require the use of a forklift for loading and/or unloading. If necessary, we can also ship via the US mail.

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Where do you ship?

We can ship all over the world though additional shipping charges will apply for orders being shipped out of the continental US.

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How do MGM's costs compare to other Vendors?

MGM's costs are all competitive with our competition. Comparing 'apples to apples', in every case we are aware of, MGM's prices are less than our competition. If you find a competitor's product that sells for less than MGM's, there is a darn good reason for it! VALUE has almost nothing to do with 'cost'. If you are only going to be shooting for a year, there are a mountain of products that our competitors offer that will meet that need adequately, and will cost you less than MGM's product. If you anticipate extended usage of your targets (like 5-10 years), you can't afford NOT to buy our products.

 

We have put out two challenges. First, to our competitors - We'll match our product against theirs, with real guns and real bullets, anytime, anyplace. The only stipulation is, there will be a third party there to photograph and write up the test results, and the test results will be published on the web pages of BOTH companies.

 

The second challenge is to our customers - We'll pay $100 to the first person who is able to show us a competitor's product that is better than ours at ANY price!

 

Like the first classroom scene in 'Top Gun', Maverick answers "YES" to Viper's question "Do you think your name is going to be on that wall?" Viper's response is "That's a little arrogant, don't you think, considering the company you're in." With all due respect, we can afford to be a little arrogant. We make the best equipment in the business.

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How close can I shoot steel?

MGM strongly discourages shooting ANY steel closer than 15 yards. Period. Shooters AND spectators (especially children) should always wear ear AND eye protection, regardless of target composition (steel or paper). Any closer than 15 yards presents a significant risk of the shooter or spectators being hit by bullet fragments. Generally speaking, MGM targets will easily handle hits from any traditional defense caliber handgun without significant marking.

 

Regarding bullet fragments hitting shooters and/or onlookers, ANYTIME you are shooting steel, this is a possibility. I don't know anybody who has shot steel, that hasn't been hit by a fragment hard enough for it to draw blood. It is usually so insignificant that it doesn't even require a BAND-AID®, but I suppose that it could be much worse.

 

The MAIN reason bullet fragments hit people is because the surface of the target is damaged. Damage is usually the result of 1) the target was shot with a rifle (or shotgun slug, or .44 Mag -or larger-), or 2) the steel was too soft to be a satisfactory target, in which case, traditional pistol rounds could have damaged it, or 3) any combination of the above. If the target face is smooth, bullets hit it and splatter like an egg thrown against a wall. If it is dimpled or cratered, bullets hit it and ricochet out of the craters in any direction. I personally know of bullet fragments from a high powered rifle that flew back over 200 yards, to then hit the wall behind the shooter. (That was NOT an MGM target!!) Damaged steel should not be used, even with extreme caution, regardless of the distance the shooter is from the target.

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Can I shoot my rifle at your targets?

Of course, that is what many of them are designed for! MGM targets can withstand an incredible amount of wear, but even Armor plate can be abused. Every shot from a centerfire rifle at 100 yards is going to put a visible mark on the target. We recommend shooting the target at this distance a couple of times so you can determine if the mark is acceptable to you before moving it closer. These small marks are what cause the bullet frags to come back...


* MGM 3/8" AR500 targets can be shot with pistols from 15 yards or more. Closer range risks increased incidents of fragment bounce-back.


* MGM 3/8" AR500 targets can be shot with rifle ammunition up to 2800fps and 175gr., non steel core, non bi-metal, non multi core bullets, at distances of 150 yards or more. Depending on firearm and ammunition, following checking of targets after initial shots, the MGM TAC BCC-Zone target can be shot at 50 yards or more.


* For long range firearms using high velocity ammunition - over 2800 fps, non steel core, non bi-metal, non multi core bullets, MGM recommends shooting at distances reasonable for the rifle and ammunition, 200 yards or more. In this case, The MGM TAC BCCZone target can be shot at 100 yards or more.
PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT SHOOT STEEL TARGETS WITH 'XM-193' AMMUNITION. SUCH AMMUNITION IS INTENDED TO PENETRATE STEEL AND WILL CAUSE SEVERE DAMAGE TO TARGETS, INCREASING THE LIKELYHOOD OF FAILURE AND PERSONAL INJURY. DAMAGE TO TARGETS RESULTING FROM THE USE OF 'XM-193' WILL NOT BE COVERED BY THE WARRANTY.


* MGM 3/16" AR400 reactive targets can be shot with rim fire ammo at range of 15 yards or more.

 

Shotgun slugs will also significantly mark the steel, and are not recommended at distances less than 50 yards. Steel shot should NEVER be used with steel targets. Buck shot of any size will not damage the steel, any more than twelve .38 caliber pistol bullets fired individually will. 00 Buck is fine.

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Why Steel Targets Live or Die...

We don't have the time or space to address every conceivable factor impacting the life (and death) of steel targets. Nor will we deal with the highly technical side of bullets impacting steel, such as how deep did each bullet penetrate a specific type of steel. I don't care how deep one bullet penetrated a piece of steel. I want to know what thousands of rounds will do to it! Hopefully the following information will simplify this target business, and eliminate some of the "mystery metal" characteristics that tend to surround targets today.

 

Hardness is of course the single most critical element affecting target life. The hardness of steel is most typically measured on one of two scales. Brinell or Rockwell. Rockwell is used primarily in machine shops. Brinell would most commonly be used in a welding or heavy equipment repair shop. There are conversion tables available, but we have not included them here.

 

To put hardness into perspective, please consider the following:

  • Mild Steel (like I-beams, angle iron, channel, pipe is 112-163 Brinell.
  • T-1 (ASTM A514) which has been the target steel of choice for years, has a Brinell hardness of 235-293. All our standard targets are 500 Brinell (495-540). This converts to roughly a 52 on the Rockwell scale.
  • ARMOR PLATE is 500 Brinell, and has been Ballistically tested and certified.

You will notice that each material has a range of hardness that is acceptable to the manufacturer and the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials). I suspect that, with the exception of the Armor plate, this is because each material is designed for a particular application or purpose. The hardness will affect that application, but hardness is not the primary design criteria. It is easy to see that the harder material is, the better it will stand up in a target application, as long it is not brittle. Some steel (like tungsten carbide) is harder, but you can break it with a hammer. Target steel has to have the right amount of hardness, coupled with the necessary chemical properties to make it tough, and able to stand up to the impact and vibration a target is subjected to.

 

Two other major factors to consider in target design are weight and movement. Physics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest. If your target is too heavy for the bullet to move, or is designed to not move, the target face has to absorb 100% of the bullet energy, and is consequently going to sustain more damage than a target that can fall down, or is spring loaded. The same is true for a stationary target. We have seen penetration much deeper on a 3/4" 500 Brinell immobile target, than on a 3/8" target of the same hardness, that could move. There are some applications where you have to go thicker, simply because the bullet carries enough energy to penetrate the target plate.

 

Check out our section on target repairs, and how heat affects the hardness of target steel.

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Target Maintenance and Repair Suggestions

Someplace back in time, maybe 50 years ago, U.S. Steel developed a product affectionately known as T-1, designated by the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) as A-514. Some time after that, shooters decided it was a great steel to use for targets. It did a great job then, but there are better products out there now. The catch is, virtually all of them are heat hardened steels, so there are some complications related to repairing them.

 

The easiest and best way to repair damage to steel targets is to purchase steel that isn't easily damaged. Pretty basic, but frequently overlooked while trying to save a relatively inconsequential amount of money. That's why we use the 500 Brinell hardness material on everything we sell.

 

If your organization has old steel, like most do, I hope the information that follows will help you make better repairs until you can replace the old stuff. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me - I'll be glad to help however I can.

 

One of the most misunderstood, or overlooked factors impacting target life is heat. Virtually all target steels in use today are "quenched and tempered", meaning that at the time they are rolled (at the mill) they are heat treated. The chemical content of the steel certainly plays a big roll in target life, but any heat applied after the mill heat treatment will adversely affect the life of your targets. This stuff isn't mild steel, so you can't treat it as such.

 

There are some manufacturing processes that affect hardened steel during fabrication. The first thing that comes to mind is the cutting process. The hardened steels cut nicely with an oxy-acetylene torch, but the heat that is put into them when the torch travels at 30-40 inches per minute is great. We cut all of our steel with a high definition plasma, laser, or water-jet. The heat affected zone is minimal, basically only at the extreme edge of the target. You'll never notice it under pistol fire, but it can be seen to an extent when you begin to hit the edges with high power rifle rounds.

 

If you have to repair cracks, our recommendation is to use the edge of a grinder to grind the crack out, all the way to the bottom. You may need to grind some from both sides, rather than all from one side. If you don't remove the cracked material, and just weld over a crack, the life you'll get out of the repair will probably be half (or less) than if you do it right. It is unreasonable to think that your repair will never crack again. You have a heat treated, hardened area, coupled to a chemically hard but soft area (softened by the heat you introduced into it), coupled to a soft weld area. "Ductility" is the technical word describing the rates with which metals flex or bend. The ductility of the three areas of your repair are all different. You WILL get another crack there. The only question is, when? If you are the person who did the welding, don't take it personally. Without the technology, welding facilities, (and expense) of NASA, everyone should expect a new crack at some point in the future. Like death and taxes, it's inevitable.

 

When you weld on any heat treated material, use multiple small, hot beads, rather than a large one. The object is to limit the amount of heat you put into the steel as much as possible. Let the first weld get cold enough to touch before you make the second pass, or before you make a pass on the other side. This will minimize what is technically called the "heat affected zone", and consequently minimize the amount of temper that is removed from the parent material. Heat on mild steel has very little effect on it, but it is critical when you are working with heat hardened steel.

 

If some a) clown, b) moron, c) yahoo, d) expletive deleted shoots a hole in one of your targets, or if they shoot it with a shotgun slug, castration is always in order. After that, you've got two real problems. First, all of the area surrounding the weld repair (or plug) will be softened because of the welding heat. Second, your welding filler material will be the same hardness as mild steel. The trouble with this is, you have a spot of 135 Brinell hardness on your target. This is going to significantly crater the first time it sustains a direct hit from a .38 Super, or something similar. Your welding supply store may be able to suggest a much harder filler metal than the traditional E-7018, or E70S-6 wire, but in any case, it's never going to be as hard as it was before the repair.

 

In general, re-heat treating damaged/welded steel isn't cost effective. If you happen to have a high tech heat treater in your vicinity, You'll find it terribly expensive. It will probably cost you half the replacement cost of the targets, or more, especially if you have to pay freight there and back. Additionally, they usually need to know specifically what type of steel you have, and what you want done to it. They might be able to recommend a generic treatment, but it is a safe bet they aren't going to guarantee anything without knowing the specific chemical composition of the material.  If you are the original purchaser of the material, you can probably find that out from your supplier.  If the purchaser has moved on and you can't locate the source of the steel, you may be out of luck.

 

We don't have all the answers, but we'll be glad to help you to the best of our ability. Just give us a call.

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