Cheapest gong hangers?

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Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by bladeracer » 02 Dec 2020, 7:25 pm

I've been using star pickets and hanging gongs from them on short lengths of high-tensile wire, works great as we have hundreds of star pickets across the paddocks for electric fence lanes for moving cattle. A length of wire holds the gong about 150mm out to the side of the picket, threaded through two holes and using the weight of the gong to hold it in place - very easy to set up and remove, even the cows can pull them out.
But not at all portable when I want to shoot where we don't have star pickets.

So I made some gong hangers.
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I bought a bunch of 130mm AR500 gongs from Sterk a few years ago for $10 apiece.
These are 4.5-minute at 100m, 2.25-minute at 200m, 1.5-minute at 300m, and 1.12-minute at 400m. At 500m they are .9-minute, which is about as far as I can shoot them...on a very good day. More importantly though, is they're a decent representation of the kill zone on most larger animals you might be hunting, from foxes upwards. If you can consistently hit these under field conditions you should have no trouble placing your bullets precisely on game.
What I use them for is putting them out at random distances and hitting them without ranging them with a laser first. With high-velocity centrefire they're pretty easy due to the flat trajectories, with .22LR or .38 Special they're considerably harder, especially out past 100m.

I used Bunnings 6.3mm steel rod, eight 2000mm lengths for about $4.50 apiece - https://www.bunnings.com.au/australian-handyman-supplies-6-3mm-x-2m-steel-round-bar_p0917435 - and used the vice, lump hammer, hacksaw and stick welder. I didn't measure anything, I just made one, tested it, then copied it nine more times.

I designed it to loop around the gong while being staked on the central axis, so it wouldn't spin when hit - didn't work at all, every .22LR spun the thing 90-degrees to me.
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So I had to weld a second spike to the base to prevent it rotating, while also giving a step to make it easier to push into the ground.
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And it now works just fine.
Took me a couple hours in the vice to bend them up and weld them together.

Height needs to be enough to see them over the grass, I made eight 750mm overall, the centre of the gong is about 550mm above ground level, and two about 150mm taller. It can be useful to have them still partially hidden in the tops of the grass sometimes.

I started by putting one end of the rod about 60mm into the vice, and bending it 90-degrees, then pulling that back to leave 40mm in the vice and bending it another 90-degrees to give me a hook for the gong. Then I just squash the loop in the vice so as not to lose the gongs in the ute or when carrying them around.

Then about 40mm up from the loop I bend it 45-degrees, then pull it about another 30mm out and bend it 90-degrees, then pull it out another 100mm and bend it 45-degrees (to make the vertical that runs down alongside the gong), then another 100mm and bend it 45-degrees. Then I find roughly where I need to bend it finally to have the spike pointing straight down from the centre of the loop, about 120mm, and bend it back the other way 45-degrees.

Then I cut a 300mm length, put it in the vice, and bend it 45-degrees 80mm from the end. I lay these on the bench so the bottoms of the spikes are roughly level, and weld them together at 45-degrees. Then I tack one end of an offcut to the main leg about 80mm up from the bottom, at 90-degrees. Cut this piece off flush with the inside of the other spike, about 180mm, and weld it together.

Tidy up the welds, and maybe paint it with Killrust if you like, but the spatter will blast the paint off fairly quickly.

They push into the ground pretty well, but some of the clay is tough, I may decide to spend a half-hour sharpening the spikes on the bench grinder if I struggle too much with them.

Very cheap, very quick, and all ten can be comfortably carried in one hand.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by Barbarian » 04 Dec 2020, 11:18 pm

Mint mate, I’ve been making my own hangers out of scrap water pipe 48.4 OD, perfect fit for scaff couplers which can be picked up for a couple of bucks or free if your lucky. Will throw up a couple of photos when I get the chance.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by bladeracer » 05 Dec 2020, 3:55 pm

Barbarian wrote:Mint mate, I’ve been making my own hangers out of scrap water pipe 48.4 OD, perfect fit for scaff couplers which can be picked up for a couple of bucks or free if your lucky. Will throw up a couple of photos when I get the chance.


Definitely want pictures.

48mm water pipe and couplers sounds bloody heavy though :-)
I can carry ten of these very comfortably in one hand to wander out and plant them across a couple hundred meters of paddock, and collect them again afterwards.

I do still have to make some hangers to hang some larger plates for longer-ranges. I'm thinking something like an A-frame sandwich board design for those. I have some 240mm square plates and a big 600mm-square one for ultra long-range .22LR and other low-velocity stuff. The big one is heavy enough that it doesn't need hanging at all, but I'd like to get it higher above the grass.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by marksman » 06 Dec 2020, 8:03 am

ingenious blade :thumbsup:
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by CAVEMAN » 06 Dec 2020, 9:17 am

What are you using for your gongs? Scrap bisaloy or something off the shelf.
"Well if it ain't an 8 inch, i'm not paying"

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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by bladeracer » 06 Dec 2020, 12:36 pm

CAVEMAN wrote:What are you using for your gongs? Scrap bisaloy or something off the shelf.


These are AR500 from Sterk. He bought a huge batch of them and sold them for $10 apiece a few years back.

For low-velocity cartridges 5mm mild is fine for longer distances.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by CAVEMAN » 06 Dec 2020, 1:09 pm

Ive used 10mm thick mild before, good for one outing with CF but scrap after that. 300x300 was perfect for a bit of 303 fun at 200.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by bladeracer » 06 Dec 2020, 4:17 pm

CAVEMAN wrote:Ive used 10mm thick mild before, good for one outing with CF but scrap after that. 300x300 was perfect for a bit of 303 fun at 200.


I have a four-foot section of 410UB60 (410mm by 180mm, 60kg per metre) that I bought for a long-range gong a few years back. Web is 8mm and flanges are 13mm. Anything doing more than about 2200fps at impact goes through the web, even cast lead bullets, so it's best for very long-range high-velocity zeroing, or just stick with low-velocity. 1200mm is more than enough to check HV bullet drop out to any hunting distance, and the width is usually sufficient to check wind drift. With low-velocity cartridges I have had to hold the entire 400mm width against wind even at relatively close ranges.
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Re: Cheapest gong hangers?

Post by Diesel » 29 Jan 2021, 11:22 am

Fork tines....
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