My new portable plate rack trailer


PDA






Cortland
March 22, 2005, 02:07 AM
About six months ago I had a chance to shoot some home-made plate racks in a gentleman's back yard and I was immediately hooked. A few weeks later I began looking into getting a plate rack to call my very own. After some research, I decided to buy from Metal Spinning Targets, Inc. (http://www.metaltargets.com/). My dilemma was that I live here in Virginia Beach and belong to an outdoor range here (while it lasts), but frequently go shooting on my parents' property about 3 hours northward. I e-mailed Dave at Metal Spinning Targets and asked if it would be possible to get the plate rack mounted on a trailer. Dave was more than willing to take on a custom job and was very helpful throughout the process. Two weeks ago I drove to just south of Rochester, NY and picked up my trailer. (It was a one day 1000 mile drive in just over 21 hours -- right now I'm a PhD student, but if that doesn't work out it's nice to know that I might have a fall-back career as a long-haul trucker once I learn to snort crank off a hunting knife.)

Zee pictures:

Here you can see the plate trailer. It's a six plate rack with 8" plates and rope activated reset linkage. I know the spare tire looks like a tempting target, but it's probably in the safest spot on the trailer (behind the plates is where all of the lead splatter shoots down).
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer1t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer1.jpg)

I'm still trying to find the person (or persons) who hit the splash guard. Because it definitely wasn't me. The plates and splash guard are 500+ Brinell hardness.
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer2t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer2.jpg)

An effective brass-retrieval system is perhaps the most important requirement for an enjoyable shooting experience. When it's not collecting brass, the tarp pulls double duty by keeping rain off the trailer.
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer4t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer4.jpg)

The entire plate rack trailer only weighs ~600 pounds, so it can be towed by just about anything -- even my Ford Focus (in background).
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer5t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer5.jpg)

There's a storage trunk on the back of the trailer for keeping spray paint, the tarp, furring strips, extra plates, bungees, etc. I had to bolt a piece of plywood to the top of the trunk to protect it from lead splatter coming down off the plates (see splatter at left).
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer7t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer7.jpg)

If you enjoyed reading about "My new portable plate rack trailer" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Cortland
March 22, 2005, 02:09 AM
Here's a view of the reset linkage with rope attached. It's amazingly easy to reset the plates, even at 50 yards or more.
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer8t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer8.jpg)

See the boxes behind the splash plate with the thumb screws thereaded into them? You can slide in furring strips (as seen the storage trunk), tighten them in place, and staple up paper targets. It's not just a plate rack -- it's a complete target shooting system! :D
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer9t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer9.jpg)

Here you can see that the individual plates slide on to a pintle and are held in place with a clip. This lets you easily change to different size or shape plates. Also note the bolts behind each plate. You can loosen the jam nut and turn the bolt to adjust the tilt of the plate -- tilt it farther forward for heavier calibers, or near vertical for .22s.
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailerAt.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailerA.jpg)

I also bought a Metal Spinning Targets "Tallboy" Gong. I have other gong targets, but what makes this thing so great is that it breaks down for easy transport. The vertical portion lifts up off the base so they can both be stored flat for transport (I have some eyebolts in the deck of my plate rack trailer to which I lash the gong). The 12" gong can be removed from the stand and replaced with any other size/shape target.
http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/gong1t.jpg
Bigger (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/gong1.jpg)

So if you want to have yourself a heckuvalotta fun, get yourself a mess of handguns (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/guns.jpg), a shot timer (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/timer.jpg), and a plate rack (http://www.vbrpc.org/plate_rack_trailer/trailer6.jpg).

I paid $859 for the plate rack, $500 for the trailer (so $1359 for the whole thing), $125 for the gong, and $149 to the Virginia DMV to get the damn thing titled and licensed ( :fire: ).

Worth every penny... :D :D (except the DMV part, of course)

Preacherman
March 22, 2005, 02:16 AM
Looks like a great setup! When are you driving down to Louisiana with it? :evil:

S_O_Laban
March 22, 2005, 02:20 AM
Very cool... I've wanted my own plate rack since the first shoot we had here in the KC metro area at Vonfatmans personal range. I think I would put a plate over the spare.... IMO it's only a matter of time before you know what happens.... :D

Cortland
March 22, 2005, 03:27 PM
We talked about putting a plate over the spare, but when once you've shot the rack you realize how difficult it would be to hit it. I've let about a dozen people shoot the rack so far, and they've all done so with the very clear understanding that if they shoot out the spare, they're buying me a new one. The good news is that you'd have to shoot out TWO tires to put the trailer out of commission.

I don't think I'll be driving to Louisiana any time soon :neener: , but the thing is more than capable of it -- I've had it up to about 80 mph with no problems.

If all you wanted was the rack (no trailer), it breaks down far enough that it can be shipped UPS.

g56
March 22, 2005, 03:48 PM
That's a great setup! I love shooting falling plates, it's just a pain to have to go down and manually reset them, the reset that one has is really nice, but it is an expensive setup.

You will have to watch who you let shoot at your target trailer, I've taught a lot of marksmanship and seen plenty of students, and even certified law enforcement officers, bouncing rounds off the ground half way down range at 50 yards, that kind of stuff could really mess up your trailer.

If you enjoyed reading about "My new portable plate rack trailer" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!