‘Building a new Lead Catcher’ . . . w/no plans on the internet & little information…hmmmm? . . . Part 1
“Guess I’ll have’ta punt this one!”
Years ago I saw a video on the You-Tube with a fella showing a steel target backstop/lead catcher and thought it was a good idea, but never got around to building one. This video was helpful to some extent, but it still lacked specific details I have been looking for…I am groping in the dark here…
Then recently Kyle Lusk had a video out showing a backstop/catcher that he built…
“Well boys…I’ll just punt this one.” I have to get this party started. What information I did find was commercial manufacturers using hard plate, ‘AR-something’ rated. I don’t want to spend that much to build this thing and I think, or I should say I suspect, that mild steel will do a fine job of ‘ricocheting’ those cast pistol rounds into the lead catcher without any problem.
Next, I went out to the garage to draw the plans on the floor of the shop; that floor has been my drawing board for full size drawings for as long as I can remember. Many times I can’t figure the math for certain compound angle projects so after seeing it full size and taking measurements and determining the angles from the drawing I am able to proceed with the build. Here’s the catcher I’m thinking about building…’SIDE & TOP VIEWS’
The foam filled wheelbarrow wheels and axle, along with the tow tongue, are not shown. It will be mobile; I’ll back the mower up and hook it to the 2″ ball to pull it out of the way for mowing around the backstop.
Why such a large opening? As some of you know, I have been coached by James Pollard in practice with the 1911. His instruction has caused me to re-think my old standby targets and come up with new ones as the training changes. In short, I want to be able to put two of my silhouette targets side by side in the opening of this new catcher. Then I’m sure that James will be more flexible in his coaching with me having two targets to train on at the same time. I am after attaining ‘speed & accuracy’, but do not have any inspirations for competition. This is a personal improvement project, that’s all. Here’s the target I am currently working with… it is next to a template I routed out of plastic corrugated sign board that I use to spray paint the targets in mass.
If you followed the #what_I_did_today conversation you know that the big problem I need to solve is…”What size steel plate can I use and not break the bank investing in some type of ‘AR’ rated plate.” As I said before, this catcher is for pistol revolver practice; it will not be on a range where I shoot rifle. Another duty it will have is when I test pistol loads…it’s very convenient having it set up behind my shop.
The next item is actually shooting/testing the steel plate before deciding on plate thickness, and actually place the order for the pre-cut plate. First thing this morning I made a wooden jig to fasten a steel plate on, positioned at the proper angle of 30º relative to the ‘backstop pipe catcher’, and 60º to the ‘bullet’s flight path’. This is the bracing placed on my old catcher >
This is the front side where the plate will be screwed to the plywood, the corrugated box board was just for the curiosity of how the casts splatter off the plate, I wanted to see that somehow >
Next, I placed an old iPhone 4 in front to catch the action…here’s the testing >
Building a lead Catcher Backstop ‘testing steel plate’ Part 1
That’s all I have for you boys at this moment…the order was placed this afternoon for 3/8” plate and it pert-near broke the bank. I was shocked at the price of steel today but the longer I wait to build this…the more it’s going to cost. So, as they say…”Just bite the bullet and geterdone!” The steel should be ready the middle of next week; I’ll once again call on my brother Manny to help me fit it together. All that will be in Part 2…
‘Building a new Lead Catcher’ . . . doing the ‘MIG Boogie Woogie’ . . . Part 2
“Till then boys, stay safe…as you know, our Great Republic is in an historical moment of great & significant importance…it may get violent. Once again I’ll say…Watch that 6, have some fun, be careful out there and don’t hurt yourselves!”
c h a r l i e
Born in 1950…HS grad, some college, no degrees, served in the US Marine Corps, educated there by the Navy in Electronics. Worked as an Electrician all my life and Contracted Heavy Industrial Control & Power Distribution for 20 years before retirement. Drive a black Chevy 4×4 and a Harley V-Rod. Married 40+ years, 3 great kids all 45 & older. Love my shop & do it all right there…