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Steel calibration considered unreliable?

hedgehound

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Recently I ran into an interesting situation with Range Equipment failure, namely, forward falling steel popper.

I was shooting PCC (load: 9mm; 147 grains; ~980fps). On one of the stages the steel popper failed to fall even though the hit was in the round “scoring” area. OK, no problem, re-shoot, still no fall. One more shot into the round area, no movement. The match folks assembled around, and found an apparent cause of the problem: the forward falling popper was sitting on the sand and, once fell, kept digging the front end of the base into the sand deeper and deeper, making it hard to tilt back to release the latch. OK, corrected the base, and I was asked to shoot the steel again. Again, hit into the round area, no fall.

The folks from the club gathered around again and found the second problem: the rear limit screw was apparently set too far, allowing popper, when hit, to tilt into the “rear” stable position. They corrected the screw and the match went on. I really appreciate the help from the folks at the club, and their persistence in solving problems.

What got me curious is the fact that the second issue could pass the 9mm pistol calibration, since the bullet would be less likely to tilt the popper into the rear position, the front latch would release and everything looks OK. Bullet from PCC has more energy and more likely to tilt the popper into the rear position.

So, with rear falling poppers calibration makes sense, but what about the forward falling ones? The calibration might actually produce false negative results?
 
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milktree

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You might want to check your assumptions about "more energy"

A guy at one of my clubs did some tests and he found with a fast powder that velocity would go *down* sometimes.

I wouldn't say "it always happens" because that wasn't the results I found doing similar testing, but it's worth considering.
 
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Popper f*cked !

Forward falling poppers should be setup to not have a second resting position.

Forward falling poppers, even more so than standard rear falling poppers, require knowledgeable match staff to set up and calibrate properly, and maintain proper calibration after settling into position (often an adjustment after a half dozen first hits/falls is required, and would be done during setup day of a major match, and not during scored shooting)
 

hedgehound

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You might want to check your assumptions about "more energy"

A guy at one of my clubs did some tests and he found with a fast powder that velocity would go *down* sometimes.

I wouldn't say "it always happens" because that wasn't the results I found doing similar testing, but it's worth considering.

Unfortunately, I do not assume in this particular case.
 
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hedgehound

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Popper f*cked !

Forward falling poppers should be setup to not have a second resting position.

Forward falling poppers, even more so than standard rear falling poppers, require knowledgeable match staff to set up and calibrate properly, and maintain proper calibration after settling into position (often an adjustment after a half dozen first hits/falls is required, and would be done during setup day of a major match, and not during scored shooting)

Yes, I see that those things require more thorough setup, and even knowledgeable people (as the club folks were!) may miss something.

Don't take this wrong, I am not complaining, I do not have anything to complain about! but to highlight that the "standard" calibration might not always work on the forward falling steel. And I am not sure how popular this issue actually is, since in about 10 years I saw it only once.
 
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