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Help with steel target holder - Advice Needed


Buckshot Bear
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G'day pardners,

 

I have received our water cut AR500 steel plates for our new SA range that our club is setting up (brand new discipline for our shooting club).

 

I'm still stumped as to how to make the target holders to hang the steel plates. The police down here (who approve shooting ranges) dislike the use of reinforcement rod as holders because it increases the odds of not knowing where lead splatter can predictably go.

 

So we will be buying round steel to make the frames, just really need some photos of the backs of steel targets so I can get an idea of what needs to be fabricated to hold the plates in place and how the angle is achieved.

 

If anyone could be so kind the next time they are at their club if they could take some photos, it would be incredibly appreciated. 

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I hang my targets from electrical conduit.  Drill holes where you want your J hooks to come through the use chain to hang from there.  Can use bolts or S hooks or bolts on the target holes.  Very easy to turn around if target ever dishes.  Then support the conduit how you see fit.  Mine are set in the ground.  I’m sure you can come up with a working solution that will eliminate ricochet concerns.

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Edited by Tucker McNeely
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Ar500 steel will warp from repeated hits of even cowboy loads. Unlike mild steel which deforms in a concave manner. The center of AR500 deforms by bowing out (convex).

 

You need to reverse the steel every 2 to 3 months to prevent this.

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12 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Re-read your previous thread.

 

 

 

 

I really need to see detailed photos of the backs of the targets to work out what exactly needs to be done. We're a rural club in the middle of no where and I can't go to another club range to have a gander.

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Damion Faith use my drawing to make his stands.

You are correct to use round rod instead if reinforcement rod. (Rebar)

In this page you will find several different targets and stands.

There are also drawing with measurements but you can use your own.

The stands are on the "Stands and anti-knockdowns" link.

http://www.cliffhangershideout.com/SteelStable/CHtrgts.htm

 

There is also drawings on the Target Hangers used to hang steel plates.

You can drill the hole in the plate.

Just do not stop once you start the drill through the AR500 plate.

IT will work harden and you may not be able to continue drilling in the same spot.

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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G'day Cliff, and thank you.

 

I can fabricate and weld up these stands no problem out of round steel bar -

stand1.jpg.21ca71acbea8b3b19d5fa0290cbda0e4.jpg

 

What's got me totally beat is I don't understand what I need to do at the back of the steel target(s) to hang the steel targets off the stand.

Do you guys incline them at an angle so that the lead is directed downward? That's where I'm stuck.

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The stands lean forward about 15 degrees.

The target hangers use springs to take up the impact shock.

The springs are used engine valve springs I got form an engine rebuilder.

They were toss out as scrap and my cost was $0.

 

http://www.cliffhangershideout.com/SteelStable/Hanger.htm

 

The anti knockdown (back legs of the stand will stop the stands from falling backwards when hit.

The stands were made so they stack together.

20 stands take up about 3 feet of room when stacked tight together.

 

As far as height, 42" is tall enough.

At 48" the stand become unstable.

36" tall down to 24" is idea.

 

I made a jib that clamped to my welding table and all the stands are the same except for height.

I built stands for several clubs and the stands are still in use after more than 25 years.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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Sorry for the rough drawing. I use this setup at home and have seen it at several clubs. Pretty simple and cheap.  Treated 2x4 for base, 3/4 pipe flange screwed to base, 3/4 pipe at whatever length for the post. Drill hole through pipe, mount plate. You can drill the hole at an angle or use a heavy spring between the pipe and plate. Lot simpler fabrication, might get you started sooner. Can always build different stands later if you find the need. 
LF

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You are way over thinking this and making it way more difficult than it needs to be.  Just follow Cliff Hangers detailed plans.  It will all make sense when you start putting them together.  Gravity will take care of the angling the plate to direct splatter down.

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Thanks one and all very very much appreciate all the replies and help offered up.

 

There's a lot of pressure on me to get this right first go.

 

Our club has always purchased commercially made steel targets before (IPSC falling forward poppers etc).

 

Also working out a way to be able to use a method to pull up the shotgun targets with a rope system.

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We use a bolt through the targets with a large washer and nut on the back. The bolt behind the targets is slipped down onto a "fork" on the top of our stands.

Easy on, easy off. When you need to reverse the plates, just take off the nut/washer and run the bolt in from the other side.

Edited by The Rainmaker, SASS #11631
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Posted (edited)

Friend and I welded one up. Used some angle on the back that the post slips into and then a welded cross piece that holds it very snug.

Its got a bit of a very slight wobble when pushed hard, I'm thinking (not sure till its test driven) whether or not we're going to have to weld the extra brace on to it.

 

IMG_20210722_132402_resized_20210727_090721581.thumb.jpg.14585c4c71ea4f435cd9814cf5a5393e.jpg

 

IMG_20210722_134725_resized_20210727_090723308.thumb.jpg.f4b20e815e3d3d60b9fd9721061bc0b3.jpg

 

IMG_20210722_132411_resized_20210727_090724035.thumb.jpg.c7ad1e68850059fc4ece83ec535910b2.jpg

Edited by Lever Jim
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Looks nice. In the future instead of welding angle to the back of the target buy some square tubing and BOLT it to the target. In only a couple years of heavy use with even light cowboy loads the steel will start to deform by bowing out towards the firing line.  You will not be able to straighten it out without the target cracking. By flipping the targets every year they'll last a long long time.

 

If you don't have the tools to drill the holes pay a shop to do it for you. You'll save a lot of money vs replacing the targets in just 2 or 3 years. 

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SD I was a little worried about having bolt heads as pills hitting those.....you don't know where there gonna' go.

 

We are what's called a NDR 'No Danger Range' we don't have a fall out zone, no projectiles or splatter can leave our range ie metal targets need to be shrouded.

 

We have it pretty good down here, but not as good as you have it in the US. The police firearms licensing branch inspect our range (all ranges) every three years and either approve or disapprove a continuing range licence. I'm pretty sure that they would question even dome headed bolts as where projectiles would deflect to.

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Do you know what a Plow Bolt is?  Below is a picture. hey are used to hold the cutting edge to the buckets of road graders and bull dozers The shear to the mouldboard on a farm plow, Secure cultivator sweeps. and any other applications where a flush self locking bolt is needed. 

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Some use a countersunk square hole and others us a key way. You should be able to use them with a standard hole  even if they are not seated flush because the heads are flat and the exposed part of the bolt between the head and the target will direct any splatter back towards the target. 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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Plow bolts will work in round holes, just like a carriage bolt. Sometime you’ll have a little problem with them spinning while tighting. But if round hole is tight to squares’s shoulders it’s not too bad 

i use carriage bolts on my targets. Head is convex, so bullet deflection doesn’t seem to be an issue. But can’t say for sure I’ve ever hit on of the bolt head. Mine are on upper edge of targets

Edited by Arkansas Jim 107095
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If you use the hangers with the spring, the carriage bolt does not tighten on to the plate.

The 2 nuts tighten on to the square hanger tube.

www.cliffhangershideout.com/SteelStable/hanger1.jpg

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Second. Welding to the plate does not allow you to turn the plate around when the plate distorts.

Also from experience, welding on to the plate will crack and break off as the plate distorts.

They you have to grind the plate smooth to turn it around.

 

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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Just on plate distortion.

 

We have IPSC plates (albeit smaller diameter) that are now around 15 years old made out of the same bisalloy steel as this and they have had countless rounds hit them and they are all perfectly flat.

 

What would cause these to be any different, the larger size?

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The larger the target the more pronounced the distortion.  It is also dependent on the target thickness. The thinner the target the more easily it distorts.

 

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Hey @Lever Jim, this is how our targets are set up, the two flange things at the back allows you to set them as a square target or diamond. They hang at a good angle and soak up hits by moving back a bit. The cross bar at the top of the stand stops them from swiveling around so they stay front on to the shooter. We had to add defenders on ours to meet regulations but that's another story.  

Regards

JP

 

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10 hours ago, JP Remington said:

Hey @Lever Jim, this is how our targets are set up, the two flange things at the back allows you to set them as a square target or diamond. They hang at a good angle and soak up hits by moving back a bit. The cross bar at the top of the stand stops them from swiveling around so they stay front on to the shooter. We had to add defenders on ours to meet regulations but that's another story.  

Regards

JP

 

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IMG_3422.JPG

IMG_3423.JPG

IMG_3424.JPG

 

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JP Remington,

Our set up is almost exactly like yours, except we use smooth 0.75" dia. smooth rod.

I absolutely hate having any divots or protrusions on the target faces.  I got rid of all of our old targets that had hex or carriage bolt heads sticking through the faces.  The few that have bolts through them are using plow bolts.

 

We have never had any splashback reports on our targets.

 

 

 

Edited by Mustang Gregg
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On 7/18/2021 at 6:11 PM, Lever Jim said:

Also working out a way to be able to use a method to pull up the shotgun targets with a rope system.

 

Use chain for the last 6' or so at the target end.  Rope will get shot to pieces.

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10 hours ago, Mustang Gregg said:

JP Remington,

Our set up is almost exactly like yours, except we use smooth 0.75" dia. smooth rod.

I absolutely hate having any divots or protrusions on the target faces.  I got rid of all of our old targets that had hex or carriage bolt heads sticking through the faces

 

We have never had any splashback reports on our targets.

 

 

 

This ^^^^ 

Just my two cents worth...

 

I was ROing a local level USPSA match at our local club which used the carriage bolt attachment method. A PCC shooter was on the line and I was immediately behind him off to his right. He fired at a plate (of legal distance) and I saw the round ricochet off the bolt and come back at me hitting me in the forehead, just above my safety glasses, then went on to hit another person behind me in the cheek. I later needed 5 stitches to close the wound, bled all over everything and the guy that was hit in the cheek stated that he took two to close. That next week, the club president called an emergency meeting and it was voted to remove the plates that needed the carriage bolts with the rear hung style. It cost us several hundred dollars but we never had any more backsplash. We don’t use that style of attachment any more. YMMV :FlagAm:

Edited by Derringer Dan
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1 hour ago, Mister Badly said:

Was that a jacketed round?

Yes it was. Good call. :FlagAm: USPSA allows them and they DO bounce off. I’ve caught jackets half a dozen times, but this one was the worse.

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What worked really well for me in the backyard are the cheapo short shepherds hooks from Ocean State for a couple dollars. They haven't fallen over yet. The only issue may be that the target hangs straight down. So far I haven't had any issue with splash back. I use the $10  7' one's for my rifle targets. They bend a bit like a fish pole, but seem to do OK.

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