They Built A Better_Bullet_Trap

Document Sample
They Built A Better_Bullet_Trap Powered By Docstoc
					Savage Range Systems                                                                                                                  9/2/03 4:21 PM

  May/June 2000 Reprinted with permission from The Range Report

  They Built A Better(Bullet)Trap
  By Robert Hausman

  Savage Arms, an innovator of rifle manufacturing
  for over a century, is now on the cutting edge of
  technology to improve range air quality.

  "Why smash a bullet, creating a great deal of airborne lead
  contamination, when you can decelerate the bullet and minimize the
  resultant pollutants from firing a gun?" was the question Ronald
  Coburn, Savage Range Systems inventor, asked himself one day in

  Coburn, who is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the
  famous centerfire rifle manufacturer, decided there had to be a
  better way of handling the necessary job of test-firing the newly-
  made firearms his factory produces.

  "We make 550 guns per day and shoot one proof and two function
  rounds through each," Coburn says. "Air quality tests found we had airborne lead in the factory and some employees were
  found to have lead particles in their blood streams. We, like most firearms firms, were using a smash plate system in our
  range. In thinking of how to solve the lead pollution problem, I realized it made much more sense to slowly decelerate the
  bullet as there will be less damage to the bullet and less damage to the stop plates."

  Simply put, Coburn's idea, called the Snail®, uses the principle of deflection to direct a bullet into steel entrance ramps using
  scientifically-calculated angles and, finally, into a deceleration chamber. In this round, wetted chamber, the bullet's kinetic
  energy is directed against itself, as the projectile spins around until it loses energy. Then, coated with lubricating fluid to
  capture the lead dust, it drops out the bottom of the unit ready for recycling.

  For example, a .30-06 bullet will make 160 revolutions in the deceleration chamber before its energy is expended. It takes
  between one to two seconds from the time a bullet is fired until it circles through the trap and loses all its energy.

  The deceleration chamber is designed to not impact with the bullet, thus the bullet remains in one piece, further reducing
  airborne contamination. The lubricating fluid continually being recycled to flow over the angled approach baffle plates
  prevents metal-to-metal contact. It is the lead on steel contact, such as occurs in older smash plate range systems, that
  produces airborne lead contamination.

  There is no head-on bullet contact with the plates in the Savage Snail® system, as the bullet actually slides along the
  lubricated plate surface, virtually preventing the formation of airborne lead.

  In 1991, after a couple of years of testing and development, Savage introduced the world's first environmentally safe bullet
  trap. Savage has since expanded its range systems to provide a one-stop, full-service to the shooting industry for all indoor
  and outdoor firearms traps and ranges.

  Originally designed for firearm, ammunition and accessory manufacturers, Savage bullet traps/range systems are also
  successfully utilized by gunsmiths, armorers, ballistics labs and private, public and military ranges, and training facilities.
  Today the company offers bullet traps and complete ranges in various product levels to accommodate handguns, shotguns
  and rifles.

  "In addition to the standard items in our brochure, we at Savage Range Systems pride ourselves on building personalized
  custom bullet traps tailored to the needs of each individual customer," says Denette Leader, the company's Operations

  "We consider ourselves as the leader in health and environmentally safe bullet trap technology," Leader says. "Our bullet
  containment systems are designed to capture the bullet safely without risk of ricochet or lead dust inhalation, virtually
  eliminating health hazards, environmental damage and the need for costly lead remediation. The systems not only offer long-

file://localhost/Users/mary/Documents/CLIENTS/Snailtraps/2003-Website%20Redo/2003_website/2003/article1%20copy.htm                        Page 1 of 3
Savage Range Systems                                                                                                                  9/2/03 4:21 PM

  term solutions to environmental and health hazard concerns, but to longevity and maintenance cost concerns as well."

  The Snail® concept consists of several separately engineered and patented facets:
  • Non-Impact Deflection: In order to create a nearly impervious surface and to complement the angle of the bullet, entrance
  ramps are designed at 15 degrees or less to the horizontal. This allows the bullet to progress into the deceleration chamber
  without encumbrance.
  • De-energizing the bullet: The deceleration chamber is circular by design, to complement the curve of the bullet and allow
  the bullet to forfeit its energy and drop into a container, ready for recycling.
  • Liquid Lubrication to minimize lead dust: The lubricant plays an important role in this unique system. Liquid coats the bullet
  and any small particles or dust preventing them from becoming airborne. The liquid is continually recycled throughout the
  entire system and need not be replaced, although water needs to be added as some will evaporate.

  Indoor & Outdoor Systems
  Savage Snail® Technology Ranges are free from the fire risk, hazardous waste generation and high cost of maintenance
  issues that plague smash plate and "rubber based" bullet trap systems, according to Leader.

  Customers can customize their range system to include safety ceilings and baffles, along with automated bullet conveyor and
  recovery units. The company can support the range owner with a variety of services including design, engineering,
  equipment selection, installation and maintenance programs, even retrofitting and remediation of existing facilities.

  When planning a shooting range, Leader says it is important to specify a bullet trap and containment system that is 100%
  compatible with the shooting practices of the range's intended users (i.e. handgun, shotgun, centerfire rifle, armor piercing
  ammo, full-auto fire, off-center firing, tournament and/or training).

  "This is the most pivotal decision to be made. A truly safe and functional indoor shooting range is actually built around the
  bullet trap and containment system," she says.

  "Selection of an indoor or weatherized outdoor 'wet' trap and containment system with deflection ramps having angles not
  greater than 15 degrees, custom-rated for your projected shooting practices, will not only ensure maximum functionality of the
  range, but will also provide for the greatest level of protection of users and the environment (consequently reducing the
  prospect of liability exposure for architects, designers, engineers, builders and range operators)," Leader notes.

  After choosing a compatible wet trap and containment system, an integrated HVAC and filtration system can be designed.
  Modification of existing and/or installation of new systems should effectuate a continuous balanced flow of filtered air past
  the shooting line at the recommended rate of 30-50 CFM.

  Since wet trap and Snail® containment systems do not generate perceptible levels of atomized airborne lead, filtration
  requirements are greatly reduced (typically, inexpensive 95% HEPA systems are specified for re-circulating systems).

  For added assurance, the company recommends including safety ceilings and down-range, ceiling-mounted range baffles as
  integral components of your range.

                                        Properly installed, composite safety ceilings (extending to at least 10 feet past each
                                        shooting line), and an adequate number of strategically placed complementary range
                                        baffles (suspended at 15 degree angles from the range's ceiling) protect against errant
                                        discharges and straying of projectiles from the range proper. These considerations help
                                        illustrate the evolving complexity of the shooting range systems industry, which is
                                        adapting new technology to meet the growing needs of range operators.

                                        Tabletop Units
                                        Five variations of the Snail® trap design are available as smaller table top and stand-
                                        alone units. All use low-angle steel plates to guide the bullet over the entrance ramp into
                                        a deceleration chamber where the bullet loses energy and safely drops into a collection
                                        area, ready for recycling.

                                     The "Frugal" series is designed for infrequent use by the cost-conscious gunsmith or
                                     armorer. Mountable on a bench or table, this miniaturized trap can be used to test the
  functionality of handguns, shotguns and rifles up to .338 Winchester Magnum. Its dimensions are 24" x 7" x 21" and weights
  just 107 lbs. Gasses from the muzzle of the firearm are trapped and distributed through the system, then exhausted via
  upper and side vents.

  The "Tabletop Gunsmith" has a few more features, including a front door and a perforated bullet tray for easy removal of the
  trapped bullets. It is designed for low volume function testing.

  The "Box Trap" series is constructed of one-piece welded or bolt-together construction with an impeller pump, collection tray
  and tank to contain and recycle liquid. This series also includes a model suitable for testing large-caliber machine guns up to
  .50 caliber using steel core bullets. Three models are available, ranging in size from 108" x 24" x 72" on up to 168" x 48" x
  96" and weigh from 1,300 lbs. to 6,800 lbs. These models are suitable for velocity, accuracy, and proof and function testing.

file://localhost/Users/mary/Documents/CLIENTS/Snailtraps/2003-Website%20Redo/2003_website/2003/article1%20copy.htm                        Page 2 of 3
Savage Range Systems                                                                                                                   9/2/03 4:21 PM

  The "Gunsmith" series of four Snail® traps is specially designed for the gunsmith or armorer desiring to test the functionality
  of a broad assortment of firearms. Lead, lead dust, powder and combustion gases are contained within the system and the
  expended bullet is collected automatically after being flushed down into a tray beneath the trap. An impeller pump returns
  lubricating liquid from the holding tank, to wet the ramps and deceleration chamber. Dimen sions of all models are 44" x 18" x
  52" and weights range from 525 lbs. to 750 lbs.

  The "Check It" trap series is an indoor or outdoor firearms clearing trap used to dry fire guns to insure live ammo is not
  present. It is an essential tool for law enforcement, military and security personnel while providing safety in a space-saving
  design. It can handle 12 gauge 3" magnum slug shotguns as well as .308 ball rifle ammo. Dimensions are 24" x 6" x 21" and
  weight is 110 lbs.

  For the commercial shooting facility, Savage Range Systems also provides complete range services, including engineering,
  equipment selection and installation support, along with initialization and maintenance programs.

  Full-scale indoor or outdoor range design and construction services utilize the same Snail® technology. Accessories and
  equipment available include target systems, safety ceilings, baffles and sound proofing wall coverings. Almost any style bullet
  trap can be fitted with conveyor systems to automatically convey spent bullets to a collection drum for easy disposal.

  The National Rifle Association's headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia recently installed the most sophisticated state-of-the-art, 12-
  station, indoor handgun and rifle range in the country utilizing Savage's Snail® design to provide superior lead control and
  bullet collection.

  Many government and private ranges use Savage Snail® equipment, including virtually the entire firearms manufacturing
  industry. In fact, the list of users of Savage range equipment reads like a virtual "Who's Who" of the shooting world, and
  includes Alliant Tech Systems, AmChar Wholesale, Beretta Firearms, Blount, Speer and CCI, Browning, Colt's, Davis
  Industries, Federal Cartridge, Glock, Inc., Hodgdon Powder, KBI, Inc., North American Arms, Remington Arms, Smith &
  Wesson, Sturm, Ruger and U.S. Repeating Arms/Winchester.

  Military and law enforcement users of Snail® bullet trap and containment systems includes: Aberdeen (Maryland) Proving
  Ground, Arkansas State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, Connecticut State Police, Delaware State Police,
  Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Massachusetts State Police, and the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine
  Corps and National Guard.

file://localhost/Users/mary/Documents/CLIENTS/Snailtraps/2003-Website%20Redo/2003_website/2003/article1%20copy.htm                         Page 3 of 3

Shared By: