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A SWINGING GONG STYLE TARGET PROJECT

FOR THIS PROJECT I'VE BUILT A BASIC SWINGING GONG STYLE TARGET USING PVC TUBING, A STEEL PLATE AND SOME SIMPLE FITTINGS.

LAST UPDATED: 05/MARCH/2017


CONTENTS:

PARTS LIST
CONSTRUCTION AND ASSEMBLY
FINAL PHOTOS
TESTING AND CONCLUSIONS




PARTS LIST

There are plenty of commercially available targets out there, but I really like the large Swinging Gong type options- what I don't like are the quite frankly insane prices- 300-500 dollars for what is essentially a bent steel tube, a steel disc, and a couple short lengths of chain. No, so I decided to make my own smaller version suitable for use with Nerf blaster and Air guns.. air cannons too that matter.

I didn't require many parts- below is a complete list of the parts and tools I used:

2x 1 meter lengths of half inch outside diameter pvc pipe/tube
4x Slip-tee connectors
6x End caps
2x 6mm Eye-bolts 2x 4mm Shackles

4x suitable small wood screws- about 3-4mm diameter and 10mm long will do fine
Tools:

Drill Press- a mains powered drill or decent cordless drill will work fine too
Cordless Drill
3mm Drill bit
8mm Drill bit
Hack Saw
Electrical tape- you might not need this, depending on how snug the pvc fits together
Super glue- again, I only needed this since the end caps were a bit of a loose fit
Masking tape
Sharpie Marker




CONSTRUCTION AND ASSEMBLY




I started by marking the pvc tube every 30cm, then cutting it with the hacksaw- using masking tape will help avoid putting sharpie marker directly onto the pipe, giving a neater result. Clean up the cuts with a file or sandpaper if needed, but it doesn't matter too much, so long as you end up with four 30cms lengths for the legs- the remaining 70cm length will become the cross bar from which the steel disc hangs.

Next I slid on the Slip-Tee fittings so that they sat flush with the end of the tube, and drilled a 3mm hole with the cordless drill through the Slip-Tee and into the tube; I had some random small screws in my collection and they required a 3mm pilot hole in order to screw in tightly- you can use whatever you have laying around. I then secured the first Slip-Tee with a screw, and using an angle measurer rotated the second Slip-Tee until it was at 45 degrees to the first one- the angle isn't critical, but both pairs of Slip-Tees need to have the same angles. I then drilled and screwed it in place the same way as the first, and repeated the procedure for the second pair of Slip-Tees on the opposite end of the tube.

With the frame of the target completed, I turned my attention to the Steel Disc. Laying the shackles and eye bolts out next to the disc, as though they were attached and hanging from the frame, I roughly measured the distance they needed to be apart on the top edge of the disc, and marked two locations to drill 8mm holes. I secured the disc to my Bench Drill table and drilled through slowly using an 8mm drill bit, stopping to add a drop of oil a couple times- be careful, the drill will spit out hot bits of swarf ( metal shavings ), so lower the guard if your drill has one, and/or wear eye protection.

With the holes drilled, a attached the shackles to the Eye-bolts, then to the steel plate, and once again offered up the assembly to the pvc cross bar, measuring roughly what distance apart I needed to drill the holes to mount the Eye-bolts to it. Using a 3mm drill bit to drill pilot holes, I then drilled two 8mm holes so that the 8mm Eye-bolts would pass through without any force required, finally securing them in place using the provided washers and nuts.





FINAL PHOTOS






TESTING AND CONCLUSIONS




The nice thing about this design is that you can scale it up or down depending on what you need- use longer or shorter pvc tube, thicker too if you want it to be more heavy duty, or if you want to fire live ammo at the target, consider using some cheap 'malleable iron pipe' fittings- these will take hits from small calibre weapons without shattering like pvc will. The design is so simple and only requires basic tools, there is non reason to buy horribly over priced targets when all you really need is a basic frame to hold a steel disc- spend real money on a target when you are shooting large calibre and/or high powered rounds, chances are you won't be worried about spending that money if you are playing with 'big guns'.

Shooting Nerf darts at this target is a challenge once you get any kind of distance- Nerf darts are notorious for being inaccurate at the best of time, so hitting is a 20cm target is a tall order, but you get a nice little 'ding' when you do; with a modified blaster it's not quite so hard as the darts fly it bit straighter and hit harder- I imagine the Rival Rounds from Nerf will be much more accurate but you won't get the same satisfying 'ding' on impact. With Airgun pellets, the ding is much nice, and the target swings more noticeably- just be sure to wear eye protection in case of ricochets. I think I'll wait to test the target with my air cannon, doing so indoors might not end too well...

I like to build things...

PROJECT VIDEO NOW LIVE ON YOUTUBE, CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO GO CHECK IT OUT!

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