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By Tom Kampert   AZOD Staff Writer


How often have you wanted to just do a little target shooting but didn’t really want to go to one of the established shooting ranges in your area?  Well, If you’re at all like me, it’s more fun to find a secluded, safe area to set up your targets than to go to an established shooting facility. 


My usual “drill” was to stand beer and pop cans in a line at the base of a berm—shoot until they all fell over—and go set them up again.  This was fine until it got boring and I got tired of having to keep setting things up.  Then, one day, my neighbor came over and gave me a box full of bowling pins.  SUPER COOL!  Now I had targets that I could use to test my prowess at close-in defensive shooting.  The very next time out I set up the bowling pins amid an array of pop and beer cans and went to shootin’.  Beer and pop cans were spinning and jumping and bowling pins were falling over as empty cases piled up around my feet.  But, I still had to reset the targets after every fusillade. I needed a better idea.


Enter my shooting buddy ”Heavy-D.”  “Heavy–D,” better known as Lyle Schipper, is just about as lazy as I am when it comes to resetting targets. Maybe even more so. Because, it was his idea to improve the target set up.  He came up with an idea that nearly removed the need to reset targets and it was so simple that I am here to share it with you.  All he used was a bunch of scrap wood that he had lying around, some scrap re-bar and the remains of an old beer display. We ended up with a platform that put the bowling pins at chest level, a holder to allow the use of playing cards as targets and a hanger for the beer or pop cans. Now, the only reset needed is for the bowling pins but that’s no problem because we shoot those at seven paces or less. Here’s what he did:


For the bowling pin platform he took an old 2X4 that was about six feet long and cut two 4-inch pieces off the end.  He drilled a half inch hole in each piece and screwed it to the bottom of the remaining length of 2X4.  Then he scrounged up a couple of pieces of half-inch re-bar that were long enough to pound into the ground and still have around   feet exposed.  This re-bar fits into the holes in those pieces attached to the bottom of that 2X4 and when everything is set up, provides a nice platform to stand the bowling pins on.  (Check out the pictures.)


For the cans and playing cards he used an old beer display, a length of scrap 1X2 lumber, wooden clothes pins and some wire.  I know that not everyone has an old beer display laying around … but you can use wood to build the frame needed, and, even if you have to buy the wood, the cost is negligible.  In our case, the only items that had to be bought were the clothes pins.  If I remember right, I bought them at “Wally World”—$3 for a bag of 100.  Anyway, it would be better to look at the pictures than for me to try to explain how simple it is.  The wire is used to hang the cans on and the cloths pins are there to hold the playing cards..  Important tip: SOAK THE CLOTHS PINS OVER NIGHT BEFORE TRYING TO DRILL THE HOLES FOR THE SCREWS (OR TRYING TO ATTACH WITH NAILS).  If you don’t, they’ll split on you and you will use a lot of foul language. 

click to enlarge

These are only my buddy’s ideas, but they made our shooting a lot less labor intensive.  Give it a try. Who knows, maybe you can come up with an improvement that you’ll want to share with us. 

Here’s the pictures.