Falling plate questions

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by farmer-dave, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    I'd like to build my own and have some questions. I found a website that had some good pictures of how one is put together. He was using 1/4 steel for .22 shooting. Would their be any more chance of richochet if a person bumped that up to 3/8, and if I did make it out of 3/8 plate would it hold up to 9mm or 45acp. Is 8" circles the standard size. I'd be constructing it out of standard steel no special hardened stuff, just leftover plate.
     
  2. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    Can you post the website? <-- that's a question mark, by the way. :tongueout:
     

  3. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

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    Standard size is 8 inches. The plates at my range are made out of 3/8 plate and hold up well to 9mm .45 .40. They will get some minor surface dents over time. The reason for the 1/4 inch plate for .22's is that the .22 seldom knocks the heavier plates down.
     
  4. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    I'm computer illiterate but I googled falling plates and it came up under mrcompletely falling plate details. Hope you can find it.
     
  5. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    That's what I needed to know, probably easier to have a set of plates for .22 and then a set for centerfire pistol calibers.
     
  6. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

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    We only break out the .22 plates during competition. Too many people can't see the sign that says NO MAGNUM AMMUNITION ON STEEL PLATES.
     
  7. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    Here's a neat picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. gearjammer351

    gearjammer351 EnemyOfTheState

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    Frangible ammo is the answer to ricochet issues as it disentegrates upon impact. My range has several steel targets and plate racks, and I have had a bullet ricochet and whiz past my head. Frangible target ammo is sometimes hard to find, but it's becoming more popular so this should change. It also makes the plates last longer, which is why some training centers require it (like Thunder Ranch and the SIG SAUER Academy). They also don't foul the barrel as much, making cleaning easier.

    Basically, they don't have a downside- other than poor availability.

    Examples: http://www.ammoengine.com/find/stor...ss-9-mm-luger-115-gr-fneb-50-rds.aspx?a=87942

    http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catal...chi 100gr. Non-Toxic Lead Free Frangible Ammo
     
  9. NW-Warlord

    NW-Warlord

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    Awesome thread!

    I just made two plate racks to practice with for the falling plate league at my club. I used 1/2 inch plate (mild steel). I then heat treated the steel using a forced air charcoal fire to turn the steel yellow then quench in a salt water bath. The plate racks I made have only been in use for a few weeks, but so far they are holding up very well. I shot some full bore 10mm at them and it chipped the scale off that was left by the heat treat, these babies are harder than second grade.

    I can post some pictures of the racks tomorrow if anyone is interested.
     
  10. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

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    Please post your pictures.
     
  11. OLEDAVE

    OLEDAVE What you said?

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  12. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    I'd also like to see more pics. Does anyone put a twist on their plates or angle them downward just to reduce any possible richochet effect. I'd hate to be shooting a 9mm and have one bouncing back at me. Frangible would be great but it's hard enough to find regular ammo and it's not exactly cheap yet.
     
  13. NW-Warlord

    NW-Warlord

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    I angle my plates downward at a slight angle. I think this reduces ricochets, but I am just a dumb hillbilly, what do I know? My total cost for both racks is around $200, I got some of the steel free from some fringe benefits. I will take pictures and elaborate further on the construction of the racks when I have some daylight tomorrow. This project requires some knowledge of welding and such (such=drinking beer).
     
  14. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    Would this work? Just drew it up on paint shop, don't make fun. :tongueout:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    I just realized a flaw in my "drawing". It wouldn't be very easy to change out damages plates. Might need to make some changes.
     
  16. NW-Warlord

    NW-Warlord

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    Alright got some pics today. The plates are 1/2'' mild steel, roughly 8'' across (some are kinda potato shaped, I aint no oxy torch master). I welded sch 80 pipe to the bottom of the plates to serve as a hinge. The other part of the hinge are 2x2x.25 angle iron with a .75'' hole drilled. The hinge pin are some .75x6'' bolts I pulled out of the scrap yard.
    [​IMG]
    I welded the the other side of the angle iron hinge pieces to the much larger angle iron cross member which is 3x4x.375 and about 6 feet long. The plates tilt angle is adjusted by some all thread that is threaded through the plates and locked down by a jam nut. The cross member is also angled downward which deflects any 'low' bullets downward. When the plates fall they rest on the back side of the angle iron, which prevents the reset bar from getting too beat up.
    [​IMG]
    The reset lever is actuated via a pulley system and a long arm to give adequate leverage to lift the plates. The pivot point for the reset arm needs to be slightly forward of the pivot point for the plates to ensure there is enough weight to allow the arm to fall again.
    [​IMG]
    I heat treated the plates using a forced air charcoal fire. All I had to do was dig a hole in the ground and trench a piece of pipe into the center of the hole. I then hooked up a hair dryer to the pipe to force air into the base of the charcoal fire. I then fired the plates to a nice orange yellow glow then quenched them in saltwater. This developed a very rough scale and what appears to be a higher carbon content than originally in the steel. These plated have held up pretty well so far, I have shot hot 10mm at them and it only chipped the scale off slightly.
    [​IMG]
    So if you have some metal working skills and are up for a fun weekend project this is not too hard to do. I only have $200 wrapped up in both racks. I got some of the steel for free so my cost is lower than if I was to buy virgin materials. I would guess virgin materials would bump the cost to around $200-250 apiece. Head to head matches at 20 yards is a hoot.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Mr V

    Mr V

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    Range I belong to has a plate set up somwwhat like NW-Warlord.
    They work well!!
    One thing to consider is how portable do you want it to be..
    The ones the club has breaks down to 3 pc's. Sides and main frame. Easy to store, but that center section is still the pits to move to and set when its all man muscle power.
     
  18. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    Thanks for the pics nw-warlord.
     
  19. Brad454

    Brad454

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    Making my own, 2 days spent working on them. Should have it done tomorrow or soon.
    Portable..load into trailer...go to the range then take back home.

    Still need to add some braces and reset arm.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  20. farmer-dave

    farmer-dave

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    Looks Good, nice jeep in the background. I've got one just like it in grey.