You know those “ten hacks for making life easier” posts that make you wish you had your five minutes back? This isn’t one of those. This little target system can be had for around ten bucks or even less if you’re the least bit resourceful, and it can liven up your range time substantially.
The guys at Fire Speed Tactical (no connection whatsoever to the author) have come up with, and shared with the world, a brilliant DIY target system. Having rounded up parts and assembled (“built” would be too technical) target stands according to their instructions, we found these targets to be exquisitely portable. They’re lightweight, yet can be weighted or staked down to perform well in wind up to about 18 mph. Above that, stability gets a little dicey, but hey, since when can you have it all for less than the price of two large lattes?
The supply list (at retail per-item price) is as follows:
One 10’ section of 1.5-inch OD PVC 5.16
Four medium binder clips .63
Cardboard IDPA target .65
1x2x8” wooden stake 1.97
Two PVC elbow joints, 51 cents each 1.02
Two PVC T-joints, 46 cents each .92
Cost before tax and shipping: $10.33
Add 15% for tax/shipping: 1.54
TOTAL COST PER TARGET: $11.89
Our real cost was much less. We raided the plumbing repair goodies in the garage for the PVC, the home office drawer for the clips, and volunteered to clean up the range after an IDPA match—but those cardboard targets never made it to the dumpster. Turns out, these stands are also a testament to recycling!
A few cuts with a hacksaw and we were off to the range for fun. This link gives detailed instructions, so that’s not repeated here. The instructions say a person can build these even if you sucked at Legos as a kid, and they’re not kidding. It’s that easy.
The use of binder clips was our own adaptation. Stapling cardboard to the stakes would work as well, but is a little more work on the next shooting session in terms of removing the old staples.
Portable PVC targets can be a little wobbly, but the upside is far greater. They’re almost infinitely accommodating in terms of setting up a more dynamic range experience. No more static locations, distances, and angles… the possibilities are endless if you make more than one or use them in combination with other targets. And the construction is flexible too—with some creatively cut cardboard and imaginative use of T-joints, a veritable gallery of big and small game or bad guys can make an appearance on your range.
Have fun and remember Safety Rule #4: Be sure of your target and what’s around it… and always use a good backstop.
Did you build some of these? If so, show us how you use your own PVC target stands in the comments! And thanks to Fire Speed Tactical—whoever you are—for sharing a brilliant idea.
Cover: Fire Speed Tactical