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Thread: Texas Star Build

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Texas Star Build

    I am contemplating building a Texas Star for my personal range. I have most of the details worked out, but looking for some simple ideas for attaching the falling plates to the arms. Has anyone used magnets? How strong do they need to be?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I used springs on the ones I built, copied the original TX star design.

    I used another with spring steel clips, flat like pallet wrap but stronger, I wasn’t impressed.

    There are likely magnets that would work and I have seen a couple stars that use them that seemed to work ok but shock and magnets isn’t the best combination and even worse if they are brittle. Time will tell how well they hold up.

    How strong they need to be depends on how heavy the target and stand are. If a center hit on the stand or arm knocks a target or targets off that won’t work at all. Same as a hit on a plate close to the holding mechanism that doesn’t dislodge the plate won’t work either. A good test for me is a hit at the top edge with a .22 will knock them off but a hit at the bottom by the holds device will not. Using an 8” diameter 3/8” plate, that makes it so any “minor” load will knock them off if hit anywhere but you don’t have other plates falling off “sympathetically” from hits that are not on that specific plate.



    Some photos of the latch here.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-steel-targets

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    I used springs on the ones I built, copied the original TX star design.

    I used another with spring steel clips, flat like pallet wrap but stronger, I wasn’t impressed.

    There are likely magnets that would work and I have seen a couple stars that use them that seemed to work ok but shock and magnets isn’t the best combination and even worse if they are brittle. Time will tell how well they hold up.

    How strong they need to be depends on how heavy the target and stand are. If a center hit on the stand or arm knocks a target or targets off that won’t work at all. Same as a hit on a plate close to the holding mechanism that doesn’t dislodge the plate won’t work either. A good test for me is a hit at the top edge with a .22 will knock them off but a hit at the bottom by the holds device will not. Using an 8” diameter 3/8” plate, that makes it so any “minor” load will knock them off if hit anywhere but you don’t have other plates falling off “sympathetically” from hits that are not on that specific plate.



    Some photos of the latch here.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-steel-targets
    Great reply. Thanks. I'm hoping to stay away from springs and clamps. Have really seen anything commercial I'd trust to take heat from welds or strong enough to hold. can't remember what the stuff is called, but they use it to join TAPCO sign post (Holes drilled) pieces together. It fits tightly in the holes of the post engaging a couple of holes, in conjunction with magnets.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub Txcowboy52's Avatar
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    I used small shock absorbers ( don’t know the proper term ), similar to what comes on certain tool box lids or like on the rear window of some suv’s. Targets fold back instead of actually falling off . I’m to old and fat to pick up targets! LOL

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Txcowboy52 View Post
    I used small shock absorbers ( don’t know the proper term ), similar to what comes on certain tool box lids or like on the rear window of some suv’s. Targets fold back instead of actually falling off . I’m to old and fat to pick up targets! LOL
    I thought about that, but do you get the same spin that you get when the targets fall?

  6. #6
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    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    Having traveled to many ranges for USPSA matches, I
    subsequently have spent a lot of time resetting steel, including a lot of Tx star's. My advice is make it as simple and rugged as possible. Minimize the amount of fasteners you use. When we have range equipment failures, its usually fastener failures. Magnets sound like a hot ticket but as mentioned, they are really brittle and don't like shock. And you have ferrous buildup to deal with. I've been tempted to build one too. I plan on using spring rake "teeth". Plentiful and cheap from fleet farm stores.
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
    Accuracy, Power & Speed

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mytmousemalibu View Post
    Having traveled to many ranges for USPSA matches, I
    subsequently have spent a lot of time resetting steel, including a lot of Tx star's. My advice is make it as simple and rugged as possible. Minimize the amount of fasteners you use. When we have range equipment failures, its usually fastener failures. Magnets sound like a hot ticket but as mentioned, they are really brittle and don't like shock. And you have ferrous buildup to deal with. I've been tempted to build one too. I plan on using spring rake "teeth". Plentiful and cheap from fleet farm stores.
    Yep. I agree with the KISS principle. That is exactly what I'm trying to accomplish. Since it is for my private use, it won't take the same amount of abuse as a competition star. We use one for our CAS range that uses complex spring loaded stabilizers. I don't particularly care for it as the petals don't always drop clean. Shot a magnet on at a match last weekend. Pedals dropped clean and was fairly easy to re-set. Looked at the spring rake teeth. How would you attach them. Sorry, not visualizing it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    The spring that holds the plates in their registers need's to be pretty resilient, preferably easy to find and cheap to replace. Attached is the kind of rake spring I had in mind. That particular one is for a John Deere rake bit there's many styles to pick from. I think it would be pretty easy to mount with a simple bolt through the pigtail end. I would prefer to use minimal fasteners though, especially parts that are taking a lot of shock load from bullet impact. The other thought was a welded tab with a circular boss that the coil of the spring slips over and a tab that captures the pigtail end. With some preload on the spring, it should stay in-place and be mechanically locked in position without needing a fastener, in theroy!

    Probably a lot of ways that would work, the simple, the better.Click image for larger version. 

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    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
    Accuracy, Power & Speed

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mytmousemalibu View Post
    The spring that holds the plates in their registers need's to be pretty resilient, preferably easy to find and cheap to replace. Attached is the kind of rake spring I had in mind. That particular one is for a John Deere rake bit there's many styles to pick from. I think it would be pretty easy to mount with a simple bolt through the pigtail end. I would prefer to use minimal fasteners though, especially parts that are taking a lot of shock load from bullet impact. The other thought was a welded tab with a circular boss that the coil of the spring slips over and a tab that captures the pigtail end. With some preload on the spring, it should stay in-place and be mechanically locked in position without needing a fastener, in theroy!

    Probably a lot of ways that would work, the simple, the better.Click image for larger version. 

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    Got it. Thanks Chris. Looks like a visit to Tractor Supply is in my future.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub Txcowboy52's Avatar
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    I have limited experience with the other types, I have shot a few, I can tell no difference!

  11. #11
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's my completed star.

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