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Old 05-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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Ricochet

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With summer approaching in the Midwest, that means outdoor shooting.

Goodbye dimly-lit, 25 yard lanes at the local Shoot N Stuffs. It's time for the real nitty-gritty! Hello rifles, hello shotguns, hello OUTSIDE pistols!

I have been working to build or acquire a target stand that is lightweight, practical, portable. I have watched the IDPA target stand build video on youtube- and it was on my agenda to begin gathering the materials.

Before taking on the minor project, a friend offered me a little tripod. The build is made up of 4 poles of hollowed out aluminum-- imagine a tripod with a pole running through the center, between the three legs.

I went to Lowe's to buy some 1x1 pieces of wood in order to slide in the middle in place of the aluminum, and intend on stapling targets to this center pole while using the tripod as a base (duh). This is easily/cheaply replaced after being torn up by rounds.

My concern is that the base, or tripod itself, is still (strong) aluminum and does not come to a point until about thigh-height (I'm 6'0). It would be possible for someone to miss the intended target, shoot low, and hit the aluminum base.

I usually will setup some bottles, cans, pumpkins, signs, clays, or just shoot at a wooden post with a target stapled to it when shooting outside. But with angled aluminum I have some concern about a bullet ricocheting.

My intended use is 50-100 yards with a .22, and a .308, and about 25yards in with a 9mm pistol. Obviously would not hold anything against anyone, it is my own choice if I choose to use this stand- but just want to know everyones thoughts about ricochets in this instance? My biggest concern is the 9mm at close range.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Good old photoshop.. orange is the piece of wood, *it is suspended by an adjustable screw in the center plate (square part) of the design
Attached Images
File Type: jpg stand.jpg (36.4 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by Boogs; 05-24-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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Ricochet off of aluminum tubing at 25yds? I wouldn't worry unless I was on the set of the A-team.
My guess (not knowing the dimension of the tube) is a 9mm will go right through it. People shoot steel closer than that. Bullets tend to fragment to dust on steel. I had a .45 jacket tear itself from the lead and bounce back about 6 feet on a nice gentle arc. Totally harmless.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Boogs, I think it unlikely if not impossible for ricochets to come off the aluminum base. With alloy or thin metal, you'll damage the material itself.
Of greater risk of bounceback are things like railroad ties or mine belt when struck with not very powerful rounds, like .38 WCs.
With a really solid surface, the bullet will simply disintegrate; a neighbor to a local range was having kittens that we were shooting steel plates. He was sure there would be ricochets. We put a steel plate inside a cardboard box and shot it with a hardcast .45. Nothing came out of the box but very small fragments.
Inside 21' is where the danger is greatest with any kind of target holder, and good glasses are a must in any kind of shooting.
Moon
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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May be a mute point but not 100% on the type of metal.

I only saw/measured the design briefly and the material is hollowed out, it is also very very strong, so not sure about the bullet going through- definitely not camera tri-pod material.

The angles of the tripod legs combined with the almost certainty a bullet will not penetrate the material should a round glance off, makes me a bit hesitant to use it if I'm sharing a shooting range with other brothers in arms.

Anyone ever used a setup similar to this as a target stand?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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I usually make my target stands out of wood. A few 2 x 4's to make the frame and some hardwood planks to make cross-members to staple targets to. I get most of the wood from tearing apart pallets from my uncles' shop with a prybar and salvaging the planks. Then you can build anything your heart desires.

Speaking of targets, you must try this trick: Get yourself some pumpkins right after Halloween when the stores are unloading their stock on the cheap. Bring them home and cut the top off like you're making a Jack-O-Lantern but leave the guts inside. Now, fill Mr. Pumpkin with water and place the top back on.

Produce your favorite 12 gauge with hollow slugs or a big nasty powerful rifle with soft-nose bullets. Prepare for a damn good time, complete with hooting, howling, and deep belly laughs! Beware of "ricochets", though... I've pulled 'punkin guts off my shooting glasses and found seeds on the windshield of my truck 60 meters away!

-Pilotsteve
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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Everything was great til the last 1 1/2 sentences
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogs View Post
May be a mute point but not 100% on the type of metal.

I only saw/measured the design briefly and the material is hollowed out, it is also very very strong, so not sure about the bullet going through- definitely not camera tri-pod material.

The angles of the tripod legs combined with the almost certainty a bullet will not penetrate the material should a round glance off, makes me a bit hesitant to use it if I'm sharing a shooting range with other brothers in arms.

Anyone ever used a setup similar to this as a target stand?
For portable stands I use ones made by Arntzen target on my place. There made of flat steel in a folding tripod form. Canít tell you how many times theyíve been hit without serious damage and Iíve yet to see a ricochet, other than a glancing forward in over 5 years. They also allow for canting the steel downward, which cuts down on splatter. It's a very sound design and pretty portable. Part of the reason I donít worry is that I cut into a hill to form my berm; as long as the ricochets head backwards itís a non-issue.

Arntzen stands with a couple 2/3rds IDPA steel in AR500 :


My berm with a COF setup:



All of my steel is AR500 plate, which has held up very well. Expensive but worth it, once steel dimples or craters you start getting bounce-back and splatter.
Chuck
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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Your berm?! Is that you with the Nike socks?

Anyway, they look great, where could one obtain such targets?

The stand I referenced did alright. After just a few magazines the wood post in the middle (1x1) split, leaving me with a tripod. When I went to retrieve the target attached to the wood post, a few of the legs had a couple holes, very gnarily (too early to think of a better, real word) punched through
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:47 AM   #10
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If you are going to make your target structure from wood, try to keep the wood parts away from direct bullet hits, the wood will not last long. Try to create an area/frame that you can cover with cardboard and mount your targets to that. Or set your targets on top of the wood structure using it like a shelf. I have a wood structure that I put steel targets and Hugs* on top of.

*Hugs are an inexpensive, grenade shaped bottle drink, that is sold by the case
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