Well Hung Gongs
If you are going to shoot at Target GONGS you are going to need to hang them well and safe. The better they are hung the more enjoyment you will get from them. What is a GONG? It is a large, usually round or somewhat round, piece of very thick steel, that has holes drilled into it for hanging. They are used for long range shooting, usually with a rifle. When you hit them right they GOOOONG! or at least "PING" (it is more of a ping when you hit them) and you know that you hit the Target. With the bigger caliber Rifles, the GONG also swings. If they are hung well from a very stout and stable frame with heavy duty "junk yard" chains, you will not need to reset anything before refiring at them. If they are not set well you might find, with bigger calibers, you will be walking out to reset or rehang the GONG.
ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN SHOOTING AT STEEL TARGETS! MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE SWINGING OR KNOCK DOWN, NOT STABLE STANDING. STAND WELL AWAY FROM AND BACK AWAY FROM ANY STEEL TARGET YOU AIM AT AND SHOOT WITH A LITTLE SLANT TO YOUR AIM (don't stand right straight in front of the steel target you are aiming/shooting for)
The first thing you need is a GONG. Or a very thick piece of steel at least 10" in diameter That has holes in it (usually two, one on either side) for hanging. Our Gongs are 1/2" AR 500 Steel. We used three nice RR Ties to hang them between with 3/16" chain and " stays. Deron wanted smaller chain because it is cheaper to replace then anything larger. The price of chain pretty much jumps with the next sizes. You will also need two very large eye bolts to hang the chain on.
Deron and his son Blake dug holes 3' deep, yes, three foot deep, for the RR Ties to set down in. If your RR Ties are not nice and deep they will not be as stable for long term use. The set the two into the ground so that the third would fit on top correctly.
We are wondering <jk> about setting up several different sizes of metal Gongs, using different calibers of guns, playing music, much like the Hand Bells they use in Churches. I can just here Jingle Bells!
Our Shooting Range is set up with what I call a "To" and a "Fro". Our first set up was set up East and is, more or less, our Pistol Range. We have our first two Gongs at 50 yards and 100 yards. We have so much fun with them. We set Golf Balls on top of them <see our Shooting Golf Course page at this site> and shoot them with AR15s. The 50 yard Gong is shot often with our Pistols. We only shoot 22 rifles at the 50 yard gong.
Well, when you are having that much fun one thing leads to another, and more Gongs are needed at further range. So Rail Road Ties were driven out to the South via the ATV and at first a Bowling Ball was set up on the RR Ties, then we added a few Gongs laid against the RR Ties. The Range to the South, I call "Fro". However, the soil here?
This is a note I sent out to friends who know a little about the soil here due to my complaining. "This morning (4/29/13) early we went out and did a bit of digging. And the small started holes, were FULL of water. About 12" down though, hard as a rock! Weirdest soil. Hardest soil, Sloppiest soil. I am not even sure it is "soil".
I wore my new Hiking Boots and won't be able to take them back. They worked out well anyway though. <smiles> We hope to get back out tomorrow morning and dig a bit more....and start working on those til they are up (there is another at 250 yards). We were out about an hour, just over. Joy and Raya <two of our dogs) were hoping for a picnic and went down to see if they could swim in the creek, nope, they came back dry."
So last Summer, when the "soil" was concrete, Deron and his son Blake had started digging and it was just toooooo hot outdoors and the soil was just toooooo concrete like, so we all decided to wait til we had some rain. Rain? Never really got it. But we had snow this April, lots of snow.... So this morning we started digging again. Here are a few photos.
Proof that we really did dig this morning, not much on my shovel and it is HEAEEAAAVY! This soil!!!!
Who's hole is deeper???? <ok, we might have taken them at different times Ha3> Note my brand new, first time out, Hiking Boots
Ok, if you look really hard you can see our Home in this photo below, well, it IS a small house, <smiles>, it is just over 500 yards away
This photo is out South from under the arch of where the Gong will set
Marna trying to get the Gumbo Soil (what I call Dinosaur Poop) off her new boots using dried sage brush.You can see the Gong RR Ties and two smaller Steel Targets we have been shooting, as they lay here, look close and you will see a Bowling Ball between the targets. See from our shovels how deep we did not get, they are down in the holes to mark them for the animals so that they do not step in them.
The following day it rained....and it was a good thing. Today we were able to dig in the holes that had been as hard as concrete. We took out the Breaker Bar and Deron's heavy duty Post Hole Digger. His Post Hole Digger is marked on the handles at 3' and 4'. Deron digs our RR Ties in at 3'.
We did get one of the Posts for the Gong Arch up, but only half back filled. Tomorrow I will back fill as Deron Post Hole Digs the other side. We hope to have these in by Saturday and get photos posted of us shooting out the 500 yards at it.
Our animals love to be with us, to see what we are doing, they hope we bring/bought treats for them with us. I love that they do this.
We had, or so we thought, forgotten to take a photo of the Post Up. I wanted that for the website. So, I added a couple of bottles of water to my GHB and we walked back out, you can see I have my G22 on under my jacket <smiles>....I need the excersize anyway. <smiles>
The following day Deron and I went out in the morning and worked on the Gong Arch for our hour. Did we finish? Almost. So that afternoon we "hiked" (I wore my pack again with just a little more weight added) and finished hanging the Arch.
My husband is very fit. These RR Ties are NOT light weight.
We are planning to pick up the chain and other parts needed to hang the Gong or Gongs tomorrow on a trip to town (50 miles on direction).
MY HUSBAND IS LIKE HERCULES!
This soil is very heavy and not like normal soil to dig. After finishing the first Gong Arch and going out and shooting the Mosin Nagant (at other targets), my arms had had enough for the day. Deron however figured that the soil at 250 yard might just be moist enough to dig for the Gong Arch there. He dug both holes and dug them deep enough for the RR Ties to go down into.
That's not all Deron did that evening! He also built a "Swing Set Bowling Alley". He took an old Shade Frame and cut it down. It looks much like a Swing Set, but has a double peek. Bowling Pins will be hung from both peeks so that they swing when you hit them. He got the idea from a shooting buddy, Craig, who lives in WY and built one for himself. His grandchildren had outgrown their Swing Set, and really, don't we shooters make everything into targets? Ha3
And the Gong Arch at 250 yards? The next morning we set up the Gong Arch Legs and back filled them in at 250 yards. And my arms, after just moving that heavy soil to stand the Gong Arch Legs, tired. Very tired.
More to come as we put up these two more Gongs! And another at 100 yards on the Fro Side of the Shooting Range.
Deron and his son Blake hung these two Post Gongs in a couple of hours. They only dug 2' deep holes for each of the two posts they hung at 300 yards and 400 yards. The post are a 4" x 4" by approx 6' long. If you look close at the post you will see that Deron has holes drilled in so that he can move the Steel Gong, up or down the post, if he chooses to.
The Gong is set up with a long bolt, washers and nuts. You can see from the photos how Deron set this up. I like the fact that these Gongs sound different when you hit them, than the other RR Tie Hung Gongs.
-- The Far Out Guns Team