'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

28 October 2011

Rebar Target Stand Pt.2. The Failing.

So we loaded up and headed out for a nice shoot today. Me, Lu, Sarge and MomInLaw. We had a good time and I found out the limitations of the stand.

Here's the stand in the back of the truck, broken down for travel.

Lu and i brought the cowboy guns. From left to right; Lu's Ruger vaquero 44-40, Lu's Marlin 336 30-30, my Ruger Blackhawk 45LC and my Marlin 1894 45LC.

Sarge brought his Sig P226 in .40, a Remington 870 12 ga. and his Sig P230 in .380.

Sarge and I set up the stand with cardboard. I later glued 3x5 index cards to the cardboard for targets.

Here's the back of the stand with cardboard attached.

Ummm. We might have a problem here. I took a deliberate shot at the left upright with Lu's 30-30.

It failed pretty spectacularly. You all saw this coming, didn't you? I was just sooo sure it'd be too hard to smack it dead center and a glancing hit would just ring and maybe turn it. Sigh.

Still, that's a pretty direct hit. Not a bad shot but a dismal failure of the steel. The target stand was still usable though. I broke it at the failure point, stood it back up, put the cardboard back on and we shot for another 30 minutes. At least it still worked. That's something. I guess.

There was one other issue. Someone managed to hit the tip of the lower left hanger and bend it into a U shape. It was instructive but still kinda cool. I mean, what are the chances?

So. What did I learn? Having the steel and hangers directly behind the cardboard and targets is a bad idea. On the next stand I'll drop the height by one foot, from 6 to 5 feet. I'll widen and lengthen the target area so it's a larger opening than the cardboard. Since my cardboard is 30x40 I'll go just larger, probably 32x42. I'll change the hangers so they protrude into the target space instead of sticking directly out from the frame. I'll also go thicker on the rebar. 1/2 inch instead of 3/8. The hangers need to be immediately replaceable. Something with bolts drilled through the rebar is about as far as I've gotten. Tips and ideas will be great appreciated.

A failure but not total. I now know where the weaknesses are and have a fair idea how to address them. I'll fix this stand but reserve it for .22s and shotgun patterning only. The feet worked perfectly and with the addition of Instincts U-pegs wind isn't going to be an issue.

Meh, live and learn.



innominatus said...

You shoot too dang good. I wouldn't have that problem because I wouldn't have been able to hit the rebar. 'Cuz I can't hit paper targets (or the frames) to save my bee-hind.

Gimme something that reacts - like a potato or a soda can or a squirrel, though, and I'll NAIL it.

Dunno why I suck hitting paper.

Keads said...

You never know until engineering meets the real world, but I have to say that's not bad!

Six said...

It's because paper just doesn't fry up well Inno. If it tasted like bacon we'd all be perfect shots.

Thanks Keads. I'll do better next time.

nzgarry said...

Gidday Six and friends,
Looks like you all had a fun day.
Umm.. about the shot through re-bar.
My theory is that bullet energy is transferred very quickly into the mild steel heating it red hot and the remaining steel gouges out, probably with a spray of molten lead which is the remains of the bullet.
In my Army days (NZ Army 1980-84 TF Infantry) I carried both the SLR(308) and the M16.
We would do falling plate shoots (3/8" foot sq m/s plate painted white). The 308 would punch holes in the plate at 50 metres. The paint would be burned off in a ring around the hole, like it had been cut through with a gas torch. The 223 wouldnt go through but there would a bulge on the back side of the plate and again, the paint would be burned off.
Of course this is FMJ ammo.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Target stands in general remind me of the movie... "THEY WERE EXPENDABLE"...

Dann in Ohio

Six said...

I think you're right Garry. I'm just going to have to live with the occasional shot through steel.

Yep Dann. I've just got to get over that whole "but I'm sure mine will be better" thing!

nzgarry said...

Look on the bright side, yourself and the rifle both seem to be shooting straight and I think the frame is great

instinct said...

I had an idea that worked! :D