MIKE GIBSON MANUFACTURING, probably better known as MGM Targets
888 -767-7371, *102 for Sales. Travis’ cell 208 869 2947. Mike’s cell 208 870 6789
Mike Gibson here. Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. Our regular steel target website (AR550 Steel) is www.mgmtargets.com.
I’m personally rewriting this because the old text was done by a sales and marketing person. The text was great and legit, but much of it was a bunch of fluff that I don’t think you are interested in. I have left some of it below, but I really hope I can get to the meat of the matter (about towers) in short order.
Most of our tower customers are trainers, shooters, and gun fighters, or all of the above. They are not construction guys, and their bosses aren’t construction guys. And most of the time THEIR bosses aren’t construction guys. I AM a construction guy. My job is to make your job easy, and make sure ALL the questions are answered before they are asked, so nobody in your chain of command looks like they dropped the ball. Embarrassing your boss is a good way to get a new and much less attractive assignment. We don’t want that to happen to you (or him), so here is what we do to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ll try to be brief, but suffice it to say we don’t take any short cuts, and we can PROVE that we do everything right from the very first day.
Before any tower can be designed, a Geo Technical investigation of the soils at the proposed construction site is required. A guy with a back hoe is going to dig a hole 10-30 feet deep at the proposed tower location to make sure that we aren’t building it on a subterranean swamp, or old land fill, or quicksand or ….. This GT report is typically 15-18 pages and it will be signed and stamped by the professional engineer who oversaw the site testing and the compilation of all the technical documents. Interesting side note: The water table in El Centro, California is 6’ below the surface of the desert.
We give the GT report to our structural engineer, so he can adequately design the concrete footings that will be required to support the tower. The local county building department usually identifies and sets load requirements such as wind load, snow load, seismic considerations, etc… Our structural engineer needs all of that info to design a structure that won’t blow over in a tornado, or tip over in an earthquake. When the structural engineer is finished, we have a complete set of design drawings AND a huge stack of structural calculations proving that the design members he identified for use in the tower are sufficient to meet the loads. Then he puts his PE (Professional Engineer) Stamp, license number, and signature on those documents.
At that point, we have a design, but nothing that can be actually fabricated by a steel fabrication shop. So, we have a professional steel detailing company working in accordance with the AISC (American Institute for Steel Construction) guidelines prepare actual drawings that shows how long each beam or column needs to be cut, exactly where the bolt holes need to be, where the beam connection plates need to be, where the moment connection plates need to be, what size all the welds need to be, what size and grade all the structural bolts need to be, etc., etc..
In the past, MGM has fabricated 100% of the structural steel components of the towers at our shop in Caldwell, Idaho. After fabrication, our crew would load the steel on trucks to ship it to the job site. Then that same crew would GO to the job site to unload the trucks, and start the physical erection of the tower. Most recently, we have worked with AISC fabrication shops that were close to the respective towers. Fabrication typically takes about 8 weeks. This frees up our shop crew for other work, and saves lots of money on freight. We still have a great erection crew, and a certified crane operator who goes out on every job to do the erection. The erection typically takes 3-4 weeks, depending on tower size and features. The time of year and weather conditions also sometimes impact the erection schedule.
After the Structural engineer is finished with the concrete and steel designs, and while the steel is being detailed and fabricated, we will have someone start with the concrete footings and foundation. This most often includes leveling the site, removing a layer of unsatisfactory soil, importing a good quality structural fill, and compacting the structural fill before we can start doing anything with the concrete. As part of the engineering process, we will have an independent testing laboratory perform tests from time to time, so we can certify that the proper amount of soil was removed, that the proper amount of structural fill was imported, and that the structural fill was properly compacted to make a solid base for the concrete to be placed on. When all of those activities are completed, the testing lab will give us signed/stamped documents certifying that this phase of the work was done in accordance with the structural engineer’s design.
From there, we can start placing the forms and the rebar for the concrete. In a tower such as this, there is a LOT of rebar (reinforcing steel bar), and it all has to be placed and tied properly so it doesn’t move when the concrete is being poured in on top of it. If your tower is going to have lightning protection on it, now is the time to make some of those electrical cable connections. Again, we use the testing lab to physically measure critical components of the rebar placement to make sure that it is all within the published industry guidelines, and the structural engineer’s requirements. Again we get a formal document stating that everything is perfect before we move ahead.
It takes concrete 28 days to come to a full cure. While concrete seems to “dry”, there is actually a chemical reaction taking place that makes concrete hard and strong. The engineer designs the structure around 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) compression strength. While the concrete is being poured, the testing lab takes test samples to ensure that the right mix of concrete was used. We get certified documentation of the samples they took, AND we get the certified compressive “break” test reports of the test cylinders, which the lab will break at 7 days and at 28 days. Concrete typically reaches 80% of its final strength at 7 days, hence the 7 day test. It would be virtually impossible to “fix” substandard concrete, so we always err on the side of extra strength. The increased cost is so insignificant it is not worth mentioning, and the product is better. Why would we NOT do that?
The erection of the tower is always the exciting part, because you can see it happening. This is also when someone can get seriously hurt. MGM has always gone out of our way to adhere to the strictest safety guidelines as developed by OSHA and others. It is common for us to be lifting 25,000 lbs with a crane, and have multiple guys in man lifts 70’ in the air, and working on floors that are 60’ in the air. This is no place for safety compromise of any sort. We have daily safety meetings, document reports as required by any government agency, and require that any man be safely tied off if his beltline is above 6’ in the air, as required by law. We do everything right, and we don’t care if anyone is watching or not. Safety is that simple.
If any questions arise, please call me. For rappel towers, we have all the answers.
Mike Gibson, President 208 870 6789 (cell)
The original About Us text is below.
www.mgmtargets.com • 888-767-7371 • Mike Gibson Manufacturing
At MGM, our background in steel fabrication, manufacturing, construction, and competitive shooting gives us the marketplace edge. No other company in the business has such a well-rounded background, with permanent, full time employees in critical management positions. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, exceptional product designs, superior installation service, and a benchmark customer support program, coupled with a genuine desire to make the best products available puts MGM in a position that competitors can only envy. With the right mix of people and motivation, we give our customers the most comprehensive line of targets, ranges, training structures, and service available, at any price. Our job is to make your job easy. Please let us know how we may best serve you, and your training program.
Years of experience
When Mike started his competitive shooting career in 1993, he already had 19 years experience in the metal fabrication business. Seeing the need for truly professional grade steel targets and innovative target designs, he set out to make the best products in the industry….. and he succeeded! Proof? Look at all our competitors and you will see that MGM offers the highest quality, best value, most copied products in the target industry. That is just the way we like it! We innovate ….and they react. But that’s not the only reaction we get. Our customers have enjoyed years of top quality products and the knowledge that MGM stands behind every product we sell.
Over the years Mike has assembled a team of highly motivated, hard working professionals. Our entire staff is motivated to make our customers happy. From the time you pick up the phone to place an order until the time you’re shooting on the range, our goal is for the customer to have an enjoyable experience with our company. “What makes an “enjoyable experience” for a customer? Working with trained professionals. Talking with people, not a machine. NOT hearing “please hold – click”, or being required to “Push 7 for sales”. Working with people who know what they are talking about. Getting straight answers to EVERY question you ask. A quote that includes the shipping charges. An exceptional warranty. Shipment of my order TOMORROW, not in 2 weeks.
Many of our customers don’t know exactly what they need. We will gladly educate our customers on what products are best suited for their needs. Whether you are buying a single static target or an entire range complex, our goal is to provide the most pleasant buying experience you have ever had, and for our products to exceed your expectations in every respect. Our people do that.
Designed By Shooters
Having a background in both manufacturing and competitive shooting gives us a distinct advantage over other target providers. As a government contractor, MGM has met the exact needs of our military and law enforcement agencies for years. We travel the country to see how ranges and targets are made, used, and abused. We listen carefully to our customers. Innovation never stops at MGM. There is an elegant simplicity to MGM target systems. Anyone with a wrench can change our target plate, perform target maintenance or actually have a truly mobile training system.
We are destructive…and that’s good.
We are confident that we put more live fire bullets on to products than any of our competitors. Why? Because somewhere beyond the mechanical engineering and mathematical models is a place called “The Real World”. We shoot lots of equipment to death. That’s a good thing. September ’05 was our high round count month to date. We shot roughly 8,000 rounds onto test steel and rubber. 5,000 of those were 5.56 (.223) 62 grain steel tipped rounds, shot at 15 feet or less. What’s the point in testing 55 grain hollow points, if that isn’t what your customer is using? We need to know our products longevity, to keep us ahead of our competitors. We recently tested one of our pneumatic target activators, for 3 weeks, 24/7. Why? So we can tell our customers with certainty that the life expectancy of that actuator is 530,000 cycles. Why? Because second place is 1st loser. We want to make the best equipment, and that’s what it takes. If you find any other company in this business, who has done that amount of testing on ANY product, we’d sure like to know who it was! We need to know our products longevity to keep us ahead of our competitors.