Long Lake 25 Yard Turning Targets Project

Full view of ten point system with then club Vice-President

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The Long Lake Range, located within the Adirondack Mountains of Northeastern New York State, had only a couple sets of benches, and 4x4 target holders at the 25 yard line, into which tall pipe stands were inserted. About 2003, the Bullseye members started planning for a turning target system and NRA sanctioned matches. By August 2006, a fully working ten point system was in place and their first Annual Match was fired. The Match grew into what is now known as the Long Lake Black Bear Annual Championship. In 2015, the lower bank of ten targets was constructed using the same design as the original bank.

As noted, the range has two banks of ten targets each, both constructed very close to the same. In the above picture, bank two, with targets 11 through 20 is shown. The benches were resurfaced and everything else for the system was purchased or fabricated. Although off-the-shelf items were used as much as possible, there was still a tremendous amount of work done by members, including many hours of seemingly tedious mill and lathe work.

As mentioned above, off-the-shelf items were gathered, but none of them quite fit together in the manner needed. One example is that the 3/4 inch square bar for the target post ends needed to be slightly smaller and radiused to give it a good fit into the 1 inch square box tube used for the holders. Even the box tube had its challenges, including the need to remove the inner weld ridge so the frame ends could be inserted. Additionally, the washers used to hold the box tubing had to have their holes enlarged. Further, the opposite end of the square bar was turned down to fit inside the existing pipe of the original target holders.

Bank two of the range has a permanent cover and bank one is covered only for the tournaments, by a pair of large canopies. This page covers some of the specific materials and work that accomplished the construction of the initial bank of ten turning targets.

Basic Overview:

Air System - consists of a small compressor with integral one gallon tank, air hose with fittings, a regulator, about 100 feet of 1/2 inch tubing with connectors, a solenoid operated valve and a cylinder. The backup air system includes a five gallon tank and 100 feet of air hose.

Electricity and Electronics - consists of 110 VAC power coming from the main club panel through a 20 Amp breaker, out to the podium where it is controlled by a 15 Amp breaker and then through a GFCI outlet. A switch controls 110 VAC fed downrange and 110 VAC fed to a 24 VAC transformer. The output of the transformer is also fed downrange where it is rectified to 24 VDC through a bridge. The 24 VAC line is broken by a 1/4 inch switching jack to provide for automated control. Downrange a connector is provided for the solenoid to get 24 VDC from the rectifier. A backup transformer can be used to control the solenoid from the 110 VAC provided at the targets. These outlets are controlled by the switch at the podium and by a local switch.

Stationary Structure - consists of several posts which were driven into the ground in a (somewhat) straight line at 25 yards from the firing points. We mounted two twenty foot sections of six inch wide channel steel to these uprights, using washers to maintain a straight, level and plumb length to the channel. At four foot intervals we welded modified washers, top and bottom, to carry our turning system components. We also fabricated a bracket on which to mount the removable cylinder/valve assembly and mounted some brackets to hold the rubber end stops.

Moving Components - consist of ten sections of one inch box tubing, each with a washer and crank welded in place, as well as a connecting piece of angle steel. A separate section was used to allow the cylinder to drive the first two (numerically, the last two) targets, which, in turn, drive the connecting steel and ultimately the rest of the targets. The one inch box tubes rotate ninety degrees and accept the base end of the target frame center post tubing.

Target Frames - each consist of an upright pipe with a mating connector for the one inch box tubes at the bottom, a crossbar and two, 2-foot lengths of 3/8 inch threaded rod with nuts and lockwashers. The two-foot wide cardboard backers are simply attached via document clips.

Detailed Descriptions (with pictures):

compressor showing ~100 PSI - the blue hose connects to the regulator

As can be seen in the above picture, we use a simple (and inexpensive) compressor with a one gallon capacity tank to supply our air. The tank combined with the volume of our underground tubing seems to deliver an adequate supply for our needs. The compressor kicks on when the tank pressure falls below 70 PSI and shuts back off when it reaches 100 PSI. The compressor does not seem to be running too often throughout a match. Alternately, the valve/cylinder assembly can be connected directly (or through a hose) to a five gallon tank if the compressor fails.

regulator showing ~50 PSI - the blue hose is from the compressor

The regulator brings the pressure down to around 50 PSI as it enters the underground system. Further below on this page, there is a picture showing the downrange quick connect fitting. This allows connection of the removable valve/cylinder assembly.

GFCI and switch to control downrange power

All power runs through the GFCI prior to being used by the system. The GFCI outlets provide a connection point for controller systems, laptops, audio systems, etc. The switch in this picture controls the downrange outlets and a separate 24 VAC transformer located within the breaker box. The transformer provides power to control the solenoid for the air valve.

this jack provides a control point for automated target control systems

The transformer input is controlled by the above switch, but instead of switching 110 VAC with a controller, we opted to switch a safer, lower voltage, the 24 VAC transformer output. This line is connected through a 1/4 inch, internally switched, jack allowing for a 1/4 inch plug equipped control cable. A simple short within the controller completes the link and sends the 24 VAC downrange to a full wave bridge rectifier, which converts the AC to DC and drives the solenoid to swap valve sides - energized is faced.

downrange connection to include air and power

In the lower left of this picture the underground line comes up with a quick connector to mate with the blue hose going to the air valve. If the underground system fails, a hose can be connected in its place. The grey electrical box houses a switch, duplex outlet, bridge rectifier and a 1/4 inch jack. The jack, located in the bottom of the box, allows connection of the solenoid to the output of the bridge rectifier. The black wires can be seen traveling from the bottom of the grey box to the solenoid on the air valve. A backup transformer (seen further down the page) can be plugged into the duplex outlet to provide a control signal to the solenoid if the primary system fails. The switch allows for local control of the duplex outlet. This is used mainly for maintenance purposes. To control the solenoid using the backup transformer, the power is switched at the podium.

the solenoid controlled air valve

This valve is from Surplus Center and works great for only about $20.00. It is documented as needing a pilot air input, but if the end away from the solenoid is removed, the gasket can be flipped to its mirror position and the pilot air is channeled internally from the input port. The item# is 20-1423. The blue hose coming in from the top left is the input which was seen earlier connected to the underground system. On either side of this input port are the exhaust ports. In the picture, the left port has a restriction in the form of a plug with a hole drilled in the center. The right port has a different restriction in the form of a valve taped in a partially closed position. These are used to dampen the swings of the target system and to even out the facing and edging motions, since double action cylinders have an unequal force due to the shaft taking up some of the volume in one direction. The two blue hoses in the upper right attach to the cylinder which can be seen in the next two pictures.

cylinder in the closed (edge) position

cylinder in the open (face) position

Not seen clearly, is that the air valve is mounted to the carrier for the cylinder so they form a complete assembly. The carrier (black tubular steel in above pictures) is mounted via pivot pins, held in place by clips, so it can be easily installed and removed. It is stored when not in use. The clevis on the cylinder shaft drives the first two (last two numerically) target positions which transfer the motion to the rest of the targets via a length of one-inch angle steel.

high end target showing several items of interest

This picture shows the very first target position (last numerically), one of the two that drive the bank. The lower bar (actually a set of two pieces of angle steel) is connected between the two target positions and has the cylinder connected in between. This drives the two targets via lower cranks, connected with a bushing under each bolt. The next bar up (again, really a piece of one inch angle steel) connects to the cranks for all ten targets. These are also connected via bushings under each bolt. Both directions of travel are arrested by a rubber stop at each end of the line. The two stops for the highend can be seen here. These are adjustable to orient the face and edge positions correctly. In this picture the target frame is also in place.

target position with frame post fully and partially inserted

In the above two pictures the moving parts can be seen. Under all the grease, is a piece of box tubing with a washer and crank welded in place. This washer rides on a duplicate washer that is welded to the top surface of the six inch channel steel. There is a third washer welded to the bottom surface as well. The box tubing extends through the bottom washer and pivots freely with its welded washer riding on the fixed washer under it. All the washers had to be turned open somewhat, to allow the box tubing to fit. The tubing also has a cotter pin through the bottom to prevent raising.

lower end of target frame post that inserts into the box tubing

The frames took quite a bit of machining and labor to complete. Here you can see the bottom end which mates with the box tubing to allow easy insertion and removal. We modified existing frames, so we started with a piece of square bar steel and turned one end down to fit within the existing tube of the original frames. First, we milled and radiused the bar so it would fit in the box tubing. We also added a slight chamfer to aid in setting the frame in its holder. Next, we turned the end for the frame tubing and finally we used a small piece of box as a collar. Everything was then welded in place. In the above picture, you can also see some of the spacers used when we trued up the mounting of the channel steel to the uprights.

full upper part of frame from rear

This shows the entire upper portion of the frame with a cardboard backer in place. We used a piece of bar steel for the bottom and 3/8 inch threaded rod for the uprights. We drilled and tapped the steel and secured each rod with a lock washer and bolt at the base. As you can see we went all out for clips to hold the cardboard to the rods.

bar steel used for bottom edge of target holder

cloesup of bar steel mounted to original frame assembly

closeups of threaded rod mounted in ends of bar steel

backup 24 VDC power transformer

As noted above, to use the system with the backup transformer, the 110 VAC is switched. This takes the automatic control out of the system, but still allows for target control at the podium. An interesting side note is that this particular 24 VDC supply has a filter system that holds enough power after losing its input, to keep the targets faced for an extra second. The Range Officer has to keep this in mind when using this backup transformer.