Where do you guys get your bowling pins?


September 6, 2009, 11:48 PM
just like the title says

Where do you get used bowling pins to use as targets?

ive had no luck doing an internet search and most of the bowling alleys here are tight lipped about what they do with used pins once they are done with them

any help?

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September 6, 2009, 11:59 PM
I would also like to know :confused:

September 7, 2009, 12:01 AM
go to ebay -- search for "bowling pins" ... there's lots ;)

for instance, 15-seconds later i found a lot of 10 used bowling pins for a "buy it now" of $12 (not including the $20 shipping).

September 7, 2009, 12:04 AM
Gun shops sell them where I used to live. Haven't seen any here.

I'll have to go to eBay.

I had some, but I lost them. One day, I might find them.:)

September 7, 2009, 12:04 AM
I go to bowling alleys and ask for their worn out pins. I usually have a 50% success rate, and can get about two pins with each success.

Silent Bob
September 7, 2009, 08:41 AM
This is one of the perks of having your stepdad work as the head mechanic at the local bowling alley (the other is I get to bowl for free when I'm with him) As long as I don't abuse the system (i.e. filling the back of my pick-up everytime I show up) and just take a box of five pins every once in awhile, I can help myself to the worn out pins.

September 7, 2009, 08:51 AM
I stop a diffrent alleys and ask, usuall a buck or two. I have found out in the past it works better if you say they are for art projects. I know a couple of places are anti gun and the art excuse wworks well and somtimes there free. Shipping is just so much.

September 7, 2009, 12:17 PM
My local bowling centers both sell them to me for $1/pin

September 7, 2009, 12:34 PM
thanks guys ill HAVE to search ebay i guess (i hate ebay because ive been burned before and there ANTI gun)

ill try a few other alleys around here and see if i cant finagle a few here and there

September 7, 2009, 02:05 PM
I had never thought off this for a target. When hit say by a 223 or 7.62x39 do they penitrate or shatter?

Silent Bob
September 7, 2009, 02:16 PM
Rifles will tear them apart. They are better suited as handgun targets.

tasco 74
September 7, 2009, 02:20 PM
old bowling pins make great reactive targets.... i friend of mine owned the bowling lanes here a few years ago had a lot of old pins..... i managed to get a box ox 20 or so from him..... it's pretty amazing how many shots a pin will take sometimes before coming apart..... i have few left in the loft of my garage.... a friend of mine cut me a steel bowling pin target out of 3/8 or so thick steel to hang as a swinger and i was shooting it yesterday with my rws air rifle.... it will stand up to .357 magnum loads shot at it....


September 7, 2009, 02:31 PM
Don't stand too close to the pins when shooting them, though..........and wear eye protection! (Maybe groin protection, too).

Larry Ashcraft
September 7, 2009, 03:01 PM
Unless things have changed since I worked in a bowling center (they hate it when you call them "alleys") many years ago, the pins can be recycled by replacing the plastic covering. The centers are maple and unless that cracks, the pins are turned in when re-covered ones are bought.

That explains why there are so few thrown away.

I did once have a pickup load of them, but they've long since been shot up or burned (they make great firewood after the plastic skin has been removed).

September 8, 2009, 03:54 AM
The guy at the bowling center told me that prices are so cheap that its easier to replace than to recover.

September 8, 2009, 04:36 AM
I've had pins stop a 7mm rem mag round. They are a LOT more fun than just shooting paper.

September 8, 2009, 01:01 PM
I've never heard of recovering them. I was pretty much raised in a bowling alley. Got my first ball at 5, started junior leages at 12, got bored, moved up to the men's leagues when I was 16. They didn't like the young kid coming in and showing them up.

From what I understand, after a pin has been beat around enough, the maple inside the plastic shell is so beat up it won't react the same way a new pin will. I fail to see how a new plastic skin will recover the pin action.

September 8, 2009, 02:02 PM
I've always had good luck. I stop by the local bowling alley, ask if they have any old pins they would like to sell.

I've been given up to two cases at a time.

September 8, 2009, 02:19 PM

I think Larry is talking about the OLD Brunswick FLYER. When I first started at the bowling center back in the mid to late 80's these where the pins that they used.

They had a really thin (1/32?) plastic cover that was susceptible (sp) to "Scalping". The plastic would crack off of the top of the head and the pin would look like it was bald but the pin was still good. When this happened you could recoat the top and it would look better to the bowler.

You are right about the wood. Once the wood inside cracks the pin is junk. It might still look "good" but it's dead. A bullet doesn't know that though. ;)

I've gotten about 5 sets off of them in the past few years. The 55gr Varmint nightmares I load for 22-250 rip pins apart pretty good.


September 8, 2009, 04:54 PM

That makes a little more sense. I've never seen any pins like that before. Maybe none of the lanes I've thrown on have used those pins. I used to work at a couple bowling alleys when I was younger, maybe I'll stop in one of these days and see if I can't score a few.

September 8, 2009, 04:59 PM
I've purchased several case's of pins for 50 cents a pin.

September 8, 2009, 05:41 PM
The bowling alley I go to sells used pins for $10 per box. 10 pins to a box. I tried to buy used balls from them, but the guys that work there keep those for themselves. They like shooting stuff too.

Larry Ashcraft
September 8, 2009, 06:00 PM
Keep in mind I worked at a bowling center back in the late 60s and early 70s. I assumed things had changed since then.

September 8, 2009, 06:48 PM
When my club was into pin shooting we could go to the local alley and they would give them to us just for hauling them away. Literally fill a pickup bed with them. I guess things have changed. Be very careful when shooting pins. Most 9mm and .38 spl rounds will bounce back to the firing line. Some light .44 spl. and .45 ACP semi wadcutter loads will too. Eye protection is absolutely necessary. They are lots of fun though.

Average Joe
September 8, 2009, 07:40 PM
go to your local bowling alley, look in the dumpster, I find cases of them just being thrown out.

chris in va
September 8, 2009, 07:45 PM
I was told the alleys aren't allowed to throw them away, and they stack up in the back. I scored 6 cases a couple years ago for free at the local alley.

And it helps if you mention this is for a Boy Scout troop 22 pin shoot.:D

September 9, 2009, 04:17 AM
Just call your local bowling alley and ask. We got together with a bunch of colleagues one time and bought like 180 pins. The guys at the alley initially said $1 a piece, but, seeing the quantity we were buying, made us a discount so they came to something like 83 cents a piece. Pretty good handgun targets. Work for rifles too (anything less than .50). If you hit the neck it'll break them, but body hits are just fine.

September 10, 2009, 06:03 PM
Well I did what you suggested and called a Bowling Center in a nearby town. Owner called me back today, Has 400 waiting on me..... FREE

Owen Sparks
September 10, 2009, 06:22 PM
The going rate in my town is a buck a pin. I go in from time to time and buy a few. I guess I ought to start checking their dumpster in the morning before they open.

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