Some Help From the Woodworkers Who Shoot Guns? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Question Some Help From the Woodworkers Who Shoot Guns?

Hey guys. I need some suggestions. I went to the firing range today and was talking to my shooting buddies about building us our own custom target board/holder. See, my friend was shooting an 8MM Mauser and I had my Garand (30-06). We tore up that firing range and destroyed the supplied steal targets and paper target holders. There was broken chain and rubber bungee all over the place, and we were constantly calling the range cold to run across the field to get the targets up off the ground.

I thought it would be good to make something - one for each of us, probably - that dug into the ground for stability, but maybe had a stronger spring at the base so it won't fall completely and come back, but fall part way to take the blows coming at it. This way, maybe we can reduce the amount of running across the field we do and shorten the end of session range repair at the end.

Now, I can build the target holder, that isn't a problem. I'm not going for fancy, as it will most likely need to be left behind at the range, which means everyone is going to use the darn things and I'll have to do repairs as needed when I get up there (plus, we're going to tear them apart ourselves). What I need assistance with is the spring action. How would I go about installing that? My one friend kept talking about welding, but I'm hoping to not go that route. I want to do all wood other than the spring. I need the thing to be strong enough to hold up to his Mauser, as it is the rifle he brings most often. And it has to handle a lot of other military surplus and hunting rifles of various calibers.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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post #2 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 04:08 AM
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search for target holders

Check these out:
https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...holders&fr=sfp

Most have some sort of H frame at the base with tubing for a wood frame to insert into.


Some are made from metal like above or PVC like this:





Others are made from all wood:


I don't understand your need for a spring mechanism, so post a photo or sketch of what you are referring to.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 07-04-2017 at 04:32 AM.
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post #3 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 06:16 AM
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I vote for option c, buy one. Honestly, unless you already have a shop set up for working with 1/2 ar500 steel, nothing you can make is likely to hold up to large bore rifle calibers. Personally, I'd go for something like this:
http://www.rmpstore.com/RMP-Spring-L...4100_p_12.html

Secure it to the ground with some long metal stakes. Spring loaded target, made from steel that's nearly bullet proof and will last a good long time, plus that particular company is absolutely fantastic. There are very few places I think actually deserve business, but Rose metal is one of them, fantastic people to deal with

If you're determined to build your own, I'd keep it simple with a swinging target:
http://www.rmpstore.com/RMP-Small-Si...500_p_583.html

One of those will withstand anything up to a 50, and probably even that. Knock together a simple frame with some 2x4's, think a swingset, hang the target with something sturdy. I'd be inclined to use steel cable over chain or rope, less likely to fail when struck with shrapnel. Don't bother making the stand fancy, it won't last long
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 07:21 AM
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It has been a long time since I did any range shooting so my memory is faded. I do not remember steel (or any metal for that matter) being used downrange. The rationale being that it caused a danger of ricochets.

Anyway, are not you supposed to be shooting the target and not the frame?

George
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 07:44 AM
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destroyed the supplied steal targets? Using property not your own and shot things up? I donated some armor plate gongs to my local black powder club range and three days later somebody shot them full of holes with armor piercing rounds. in early May three guys shot a bunch of glass bottles leaving busted glass shards all over the place. The neighbor caught the culprits and they were charged with littering, criminal trespass, malicious destruction of property and I can't recall what else. I have competed in target matches for 50 years, had a scholarship to college shooting a match rifle and I no longer win as often since my eyes have started failing me. Nobody destroys target holders or steel targets/ chains by accident.

Because I practice so frequently, I have my own private range here on the farm. I have been using the same wooden target holders for fifteen years. That wooden target holder has been hit four times. By my grandchildren as they were being taught to aim.
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 08:56 AM
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Go to 6mmbr.com and ask them how to make a suitable target holding frame. These guys will tell you.
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post #7 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 10:02 AM
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I misread this post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildflower308 View Post
Hey guys. I need some suggestions. I went to the firing range today and was talking to my shooting buddies about building us our own custom target board/holder. See, my friend was shooting an 8MM Mauser and I had my Garand (30-06). We tore up that firing range and destroyed the supplied steal targets and paper target holders. There was broken chain and rubber bungee all over the place, and we were constantly calling the range cold to run across the field to get the targets up off the ground.

I thought it would be good to make something - one for each of us, probably - that dug into the ground for stability, but maybe had a stronger spring at the base so it won't fall completely and come back, but fall part way to take the blows coming at it. This way, maybe we can reduce the amount of running across the field we do and shorten the end of session range repair at the end.

Now, I can build the target holder, that isn't a problem. I'm not going for fancy, as it will most likely need to be left behind at the range, which means everyone is going to use the darn things and I'll have to do repairs as needed when I get up there (plus, we're going to tear them apart ourselves). What I need assistance with is the spring action. How would I go about installing that? My one friend kept talking about welding, but I'm hoping to not go that route. I want to do all wood other than the spring. I need the thing to be strong enough to hold up to his Mauser, as it is the rifle he brings most often. And it has to handle a lot of other military surplus and hunting rifles of various calibers.

Any ideas? Thanks!
So, you want a spring loaded target that will "lean over" when hit, and then return to vertical? An 8 mm Mauser has quite an lot of energy, so the target itself needs to be "bullet proof" or armor plate. All this is going to be quite heavy depending on the size, so the spring mechanism will have to allow the initial strike, yet return to vertical. I don't think that will happen unless the target doesn't exceed 45 degrees when it leans. However, I don't know the engineering that would determine the correct angle. If that is indeed the case, there won't be that much "visual effect" from longer ranges.

The audible sound of a bullet striking a steel plate is all most shooters want. Others prefer a spinning target, and others like one that is suspended and will move but not spin. All these are much easier to accomplish than what you want. The mechanism you seek would be energy dependent, that is tuned to the ballistics of your round. Different distances and bullet weights would effect the delivered energy so there are several variables. One idea that came to mind is a weight on a pulley that returns the target to vertical and can be adjusted be adding or removing weights. Spring tension in a given spring is not adjustable, so they may be be the best choice here. And of course if you switch calibers, the delivered energy would be different, so one setup won't work for more than one caliber.

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post #8 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 10:42 AM
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My gun club has wood frames with the corrugated plastic used for signs- easily replaceable. Check with a sign company for a 4X8 sheet. For the kids BB guns, I use a yard sign of plain ol' steel rod and a piece of plastic corrugated sheet. Got the yard sign at Wally World; Lowe's might also have them. I wouldn't think soft point ammo would destroy a metal target unless it was thin metal. After all, steel targets are used for silhouette targets with soft point ammo.
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 11:09 AM
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Nah, just go swipe some street signs. The city won't mind you blowing holes through all the stop signs in town..That's what they're there for isn't it?
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 11:33 AM
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No way on springs.

Part of shooting steel is the correct angle of deflection for the round. If there is a spring involved then the angle becomes variable, not good for ricochets. I personally have been hit by shrapnel from a swinging target, you can't imagine what a paper thin piece of copper jacket the size of a pencil eraser feels like when it thumps you in the ribs. Broke the skin as well....

So you need a sturdy base, and/or a sturdy rack to hang the targets from with chains. Only shoot the targets, I know that sounds obvious, but the sound of your post makes me think you were hitting other things.

Unless you have the equipment to make the targets properly from steel, you are better off buying them. Make sure you get the correctly sized targets for the calibers you are shooting.
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Last edited by shoot summ; 07-04-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 12:43 PM
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Be better shots

Care about what you are shooting at. Don't shoot any of the framing.

Most of all, at the range most rifles are shot at, 100 to 500 yards, you need BIG targets. A huge frame with a large cardboard back. 3 feet X 4 feet.

For your short distance and rapid fire stuff, make them with the idea that they are disposable.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 06:47 PM
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If one wants to make the PVC holders seen in the video posted by woodnthings, use ABS (the black stuff) instead. I built four similar PVC stands and they work great for non-reactive targets. BUT... if a wayward shot hits the PVC stand, the PVC gets BIG chunks taken out of it. An errant bullet will just poke a hole through the ABS ones.
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post #13 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 07:13 PM
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I go to the range, and for the most part, I tear holes out of the center of targets. I might miss the center once in a while, but it's been decades since I shot a frame or got a "Maggie's drawers".
Sounds to me like you need to own up, buy replacements for what you destroyed and learn how to shoot better. If you can't control rapid fire shooting, then don't do it towards targets.
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post #14 of 27 Old 07-04-2017, 08:03 PM
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Looking through the comments I feel its worth pointing out that a miss isn't the only way to hit a frame. If you're shooting steel, the bullet will fragment on contact and blast sideways. A proper spring loaded target will be angled to direct the spelling downwards, but a suspended swinging target will likely send the spelling right into the supports. Its not enough to kill the stand in one shot of course, but its enough to make the stand disposable
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
One of those will withstand anything up to a 50, and probably even that. Knock together a simple frame with some 2x4's, think a swingset, hang the target with something sturdy. I'd be inclined to use steel cable over chain or rope, less likely to fail when struck with shrapnel. Don't bother making the stand fancy, it won't last long
That's what we're tearing up now. I may get some steel cable, I didn't think of that. The range supplies the chain and the bungee. The guy who owns the range shoots matches, and he uses small stuff, so he's not thinking about us. :)

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post #16 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
It has been a long time since I did any range shooting so my memory is faded. I do not remember steel (or any metal for that matter) being used downrange. The rationale being that it caused a danger of ricochets.

Anyway, are not you supposed to be shooting the target and not the frame?

George
If you smash the target dead center, it rips it off the frame and destroys the chains.

The targets are 300 yards down range, so we're good. The Single Action Shooting Society uses steal targets as well at much closer range. Steel targets are actually extremely common.

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post #17 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
destroyed the supplied steal targets? Using property not your own and shot things up?
Hence the repair time. By club rules, anything down range is free game for any shooters on the range. The targets have been replaced by everyone there at least twice, so we've all got money in them. Also why I'm not too concerned with leaving anything I make behind. I know people will shoot them up, I expect it, and figure on making repairs if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

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post #18 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
My gun club has wood frames with the corrugated plastic used for signs- easily replaceable. Check with a sign company for a 4X8 sheet. For the kids BB guns, I use a yard sign of plain ol' steel rod and a piece of plastic corrugated sheet. Got the yard sign at Wally World; Lowe's might also have them. I wouldn't think soft point ammo would destroy a metal target unless it was thin metal. After all, steel targets are used for silhouette targets with soft point ammo.
The targets themselves are surviving. They need replacing every so often due to paint build up and eventual wearing out. But they are swinging targets. The chains don't hold. My friend was averaging 3 shots before he blew the target off the chains. We go through massive amounts of chain.

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post #19 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subroc View Post
Be better shots

Care about what you are shooting at. Don't shoot any of the framing.

Most of all, at the range most rifles are shot at, 100 to 500 yards, you need BIG targets. A huge frame with a large cardboard back. 3 feet X 4 feet.

For your short distance and rapid fire stuff, make them with the idea that they are disposable.
Ok. We're not hitting the chains or the frames. The steel they supply isn't very large, I'll give it that. About the size of basketballs. But we are hitting the targets just fine.

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post #20 of 27 Old 07-05-2017, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, guys. I will probably talk to him about purchasing some stands that we can use instead of using the hanging targets from here out.

The times I've shot in matches they had spring boards, and there was a guy who made them. I haven't talked to him in a few years since I stopped shooting in the matches. What he made wasn't strong enough to hold up to larger rifles, his only could withstand up to 5.56 (otherwise the springs gave out). It doesn't seem like I can make one that is strong enough to do what those did for large calibers. So I'll have to invest in something that we can just dig into the ground and replace the backing as needed, avoiding the hanging targets altogether.

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