This DIY Target Stand is a great summer project anyone can do.
As we roll into week 29 of the quarantine/lockdown/mandatory stay-at-home order, I’ve started looking at various projects I can do around the house. Since most of my projects involve guns in some form or another, and in the interest of keeping my shooting skills sharp, I’ve been working on my range here at home.
This week's project was building a target stand. My goal was to keep the price low, the design modular, and the parts list as simple as possible. After successfully completing my project, I decided it would be a great opportunity to share.
Most target stands are fixed, and in many ways, that can be frustrating and lowers your training potential. A target stand that’s mobile allows you to get the most out of your training. A movable target stand will enable you to change the angle of your target, move distances at will, and even train with an airgun at home.
Not only that, but a target can quickly become an improvised barrier you can use to train shooting from behind cover. A portable target stand becomes a handy piece of gear that can be taken apart and carried in a trunk or range backpack for various range outings. I built mine with dreams of performing drills like the El Presidente, or the Hackathorn Headshot standards.
I built mine from PVC pipe because it’s cheap, readily available, and easy to work with. I used 1 ½ ich pipe because it’s wide and can be filled with sand on a windy day. You’ll need eight feet of pipe in total.
Your pipe should be cut like this:
Four - 12-inch sections
Two - 18-inch sections
Two - 6-inch sections
Most hardware stores will make the cuts for you but if not, a handsaw can tackle the job easily. In addition to these sections, you’ll need the following to connect the whole thing:
Four - 1 ½ inch PVC 90 Degree Elbows
Two - 1 ½ PVC T Sockets
Lastly, you’ll need two stakes of some sort. While furring strips seem to be a popular choice, I used wooden yard stakes. These wood stakes are replaceable and will likely take around or two eventually. The height is all up to you and what’s safe for your berm.
The 18-inch sections will be your front and back portions, that’s how they’ll sit when you face the target. Place two 12 inch sections on the right and two 12 inch sections on the left.
Attach a 90-degree elbow to each of the four corners, then place a T-section between the right and left 12-inch portions of pipe. Pushing everything together is elementary, however, you may run into an issue if your sections are not cut properly. Remember to measure twice and cut once.
Once you shove the proper sections of pipes together, insert your wood stakes.
Once it comes time to hit the range, all you need to do is staple a little cardboard between the stakes and put your targets on the cardboard. Now you got a practical target stand that can work for handguns, rifles, and even shotguns. The wider nature ensures you can staple full-sized silhouettes, multiple small targets, and even massive shoot the shapes targets.
As I mentioned before, a few of these can be used as improvised training barriers. This allows you to get practice getting lower and shooting around cover and running the fun drills like the ones Pat McNamara posts on Facebook!
A target stand is an excellent tool to have to spice up range trips, to make at home dry fire more engaging, and in general to improve your ability to win a gunfight. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we are all trying to do?
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.
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