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Thread: Range Upgrade Ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Range Upgrade Ideas

    I live in the country and am fortunate to have pasture land where I can shoot. There is a nice swath of acreage about 350 yards or so in length that ends at the bottom of about a 15 foot vertical ridge line- a great backstop. The rifle range is marked with concrete markers laid in the field at 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 yards. They've held up pretty well, but the cattle sometimes break them. I generally shoot steel, mostly round targets from ShootSteel.com hung on shepherd's crooks. These work really well- simple to move around and maintain. Also have a torso target that swings on bungee cords suspended from a 2 x 4. The 2 x 4 is placed on top of a couple of 4 x4s I have sunk in the ground. This has worked pretty well, too. Now, after several years of use and weather, it's time to think about repair and maybe upgrading the setup. Also, I'd like to have some sort of paper/cardboard target system to train for close range shooting (when it's too close for steel). Would also like to have some more friends over this year to shoot for fun. Dueling tree maybe?

    So, here are my questions:
    (1) Any recommendations on specific designs for cardboard target holders? (I'm handy with woodworking, don't have metal working skills though.)
    (2) Ideas for improvements to the range that will withstand the elements and cattle?
    (3) Shooting activities that are fun for small groups, including some new to shooting? What's worked for you?

    Thanks for your suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Feedback Score
    17 (100%)
    I would consider not having steel targets where the cows graze as the jacket pieces and shards along with the usually lead disc from pistol rounds are likely to be eaten.

    For paper/cardboard, simple metal bases with 1x2" strips that insert at the base, light and easy to move.

    Small groups, maybe the dueling tree and a plate rack. Bowling pins on a table. .22 swingers are fun and challenging, especially for the younger ones.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Feedback Score
    range markers flush with the ground at 3, 7, 10, 25,50,75,100 yards... When I do this at our public range, I will make Alaskan tacks out of 1/4" rebar with flat discs welded on top, and the markings plowed out with a plasma cutter, because morons will shoot at the markers at a public range.

    cardboard holders:
    • make jigs to make the parts, because wood versus .223 always ends up bad for the wood.
    • a dado down the middle of the uprights and bottom, 1/4 X 1/4, to retain the cardboard.
    • I would make the opening for a pistol target 12 X 18, because that is the target size for CCW qualification in NM.
    • I would make a Masonite sheet at 12.5 X 18.25 as a template for the inserts, so you can more inserts quick and easy with any sharp knife.
    • shelf brackets and drywall screws and a fresh battery in the DeWalt, because fancy pants joinery is incompatible with field expedient repairs
    • more frames, sized for coyote and antelope and what you got where you live
    • if you just dado every 2 X 4 1/4 X 1/4 or 1/4 X 1/2 deep, you can use plywood or Masonite inserts on windy days, or double up cardboard

    Walmart has fluorescent balls and cubes that react to .22s. don't put them at measured distances, just throw them. herd them downrange, for experience with random targets at ground level, small game sized

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Louisiana, west of NOLA, east of BR
    Feedback Score
    I pick up abandoned political, real estate and other corrugated plastic signed along roads to use as target backer. The plastic hold up to the weather better than cardboard.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Feedback Score
    42 (100%)
    I have bought reactive steel targets, bases, and a dueling tree from Bobcat Steel and RSR Steel Targets. I like the bases for cardboard targets that use 1x2's and also for hanging bigger steel with 2x4's. I also use the shepherd's crooks for hanging smaller steel.

    Dueling trees, plate racks, and the spinning propeller-type targets are fun for groups.
    To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. --Theodore Roosevelt--

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Feedback Score
    1 (100%)
    Look up "Hickok45" on YouTube for some range target ideas!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Feedback Score
    Hang Fast Targets has a T post hanger that is super easy to use and allows for a very reactive target.... good sound too.


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