What Is AR500 Steel and Why Is It the Industry Standard?
With Grizzly Targets launching the exclusive SR500 collection, it is easy to overlook the bread and butter of the steel target industry — AR500. This guide will dive further into what makes AR500 steel a solid choice for targets that are built to last.
What is AR500 Steel?
AR500 is a type of abrasion-resistant steel that is commonly used in applications where high levels of wear resistance are required, such as in body armor, targets for shooting ranges, and steel plates for heavy equipment.
The “AR” in AR500 stands for “abrasion resistant,” and the “500” refers to the Brinell hardness number (HBW) of the steel, which is a measure of the material’s hardness and ability to resist deformation under high pressure. AR500 steel has a Brinell hardness of around 500 HBW, which makes it highly resistant to surface abrasion and penetration.
AR500 steel is known for its durability, toughness, and ability to withstand high-impact stresses, making it a popular choice in applications where durability and protection are critical.
How is AR500 Steel Made?
AR500 steel is made by a process called alloying, which involves combining iron with other elements to create a material with specific properties. In the case of AR500, the alloying process involves adding carbon, manganese, and other elements like chromium and molybdenum to the steel. These elements are added in precise proportions to create a steel that has high levels of strength, hardness, and abrasion resistance.
After the steel has been alloyed, it undergoes a heat treatment process to further enhance its properties. The steel is first heated to a high temperature to make it more malleable, then cooled rapidly in a process called quenching. This rapid cooling causes the steel to harden and become more resistant to wear and deformation. Finally, the steel is tempered by heating it to a lower temperature to relieve any internal stresses and improve its toughness and ductility.
Once the heat treatment process is complete, the AR500 steel is typically formed into the desired shape and/or cut to size. It can be used in a variety of applications where high levels of abrasion resistance are required, such as body armor, shooting range targets, and steel plates for heavy equipment. Over here at Grizzly, we further enhance our steel targets in process called hot-dip galvanization where the steel is lowered into a kettle that contains molten zinc (at 850 degrees F) where the steel and zinc metallurgically react to form three zinc-iron intermetallic layers and one pure zinc layer.
Why Is AR500 the Industry Standard?
AR500 steel has become the industry standard for applications where high levels of wear and impact resistance are required because of its excellent combination of properties. Here are some reasons why AR500 is the industry standard:
- High hardness
AR500 steel has a hardness rating of around 500 HBW, making it highly resistant to surface abrasion and penetration. This level of hardness makes it ideal for use in applications where heavy wear is expected.
- Excellent toughness
Despite its high hardness, AR500 steel is also tough and durable, able to withstand high-impact stresses without breaking or deforming.
AR500 steel is a cost-effective option for applications where high levels of abrasion resistance are required. Compared to other materials like ceramic or composite armor, AR500 steel is relatively inexpensive to produce and manufacture.
AR500 steel can be used in a wide range of applications, from body armor and shooting range targets to steel plates for heavy equipment. Its versatility makes it a popular choice across a variety of industries.
AR500 steel is widely available from a range of suppliers, making it easy to source for most applications.
AR500 steel targets are easy to set up and use. They can be used indoors or outdoors and can be set up in a variety of configurations to suit your needs.
Overall, the combination of high hardness, toughness, cost-effectiveness, versatility, and availability has made AR500 steel the industry standard for applications where abrasion and impact resistance are critical.
What types of ammunition can be used for AR500 steel?
AR500 targets are designed to withstand a variety of ammunition types, but it’s important to choose the right ammunition for the type of target you’re using to ensure safety and longevity. Here are some guidelines on the types of ammunition that are generally safe to use with AR500 steel targets:
- Pistol ammunition
Most pistol ammunition, including standard FMJ rounds, is safe to use with AR500 steel targets. However, it’s important to avoid using high-velocity or armor-piercing rounds, as these can damage the target.
- Rifle ammunition
Many types of rifle ammunition are safe to use with AR500 steel targets, including standard FMJ rounds and some hollow-point and soft-point rounds. However, it’s important to avoid using high-velocity rounds or rounds that are designed to penetrate armor, as these can damage the target.
Shotguns, in some cases, are generally not used with AR500 steel targets, as the pellets can fragment and ricochet, creating a safety hazard. However, some shotguns rounds, such as slugs or buckshot, may be safe to use with AR500 targets that are specifically designed for shotgun use.
It’s also important to choose the appropriate caliber and size of ammunition for the target you’re using. AR500 steel targets come in a range of thicknesses and sizes, and the manufacturer will usually provide guidelines on the types of ammunition that are safe to use with the target. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use common sense when choosing ammunition for AR500 steel targets.
Why choose AR500 steel targets?
AR500 targets are a safe, durable, and effective training tool that can help you improve your shooting skills and have fun at the same time. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a law enforcement officer, or a recreational shooter, AR500 targets can provide a challenging and rewarding shooting experience. For more information on our new SR500 steel targets, you can check out our introduction to SR500 or head over to our latest guide detailing everything you need to know about SR500 steel.