Help me build a Target Stand

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Dec 25, 2002
Lo$t Wage$, Nevada
Living in nevada I have a great deal of open desert to suit my training needs, but naturally they lack any place to hang a target. So I would like to build a stand to post standard silhouette targets. I'm open to any design and have considered just buying one if the price is right. Thanks in advance for the help.
Could build something that looks like an overgrown saw horse.

Or if you can get a standard metal swingset you could probably use that as well.

Set it up and rig something to hang the target's from. Clothsline and a clothspin would work well I would imagin.
Having good target stands is something that's vexed me for a while but eventually some good Internet searching came up with some good stuff.

The Jammits in the previous post are decent enough. You can buy them from Cheaper Than Dirt. The manufacturer packages them six to a carboard box, so if you order six at once they'll just ship them to you in one nice convenient carboard box. :) But they're short and sometimes it can be a bit of a pain to pound them into hard dirt or sand. has a nifty full-size stand that you can build yourself if you like woodworking. There's another design at and a total redneck (cheap & effective) design at

In my opinion for your situation, the folding metal kind that you plunk 1" firring strips into are the best for your situation (I'm sorta in the same boat, except I have to drive farther to get to Forest Circus or BLM land). I bought some folding ones from here that are great. Just get some serious stakes and a hammer, cut some firring strips in half, and you can set up a great target range anywhere.
When I was running a DCM rifle program I was faced with the target stand problem. I had built stands using dimension lumber only to eventually have them shot apart by people who could not keep their shots in side of a 40 inch square target stand at 100 yards. (Kids, new shooters, oops & oh no's)

I solved the problem by using pieces of 3/4-inch plywood. I used a 4ft X 4ft piece on which to place the target. On one edge (the bottom edge) of this 4X4 target board I cut 2 notches about 1 inch wide and 6 inches deep. One notch is located at each corner of the bottom edge of this 4X4 piece of plywood about 6 inches from the outside edge.

I next cut 2 pieces of the same type of 3/4-inch plywood 1 ft. X 4 ft.

In the center, on one 4 ft edge of each of these 1X4 pieces, I cut the same 1 inch X 6 inch notch as I had cut on the bottom edge of the 4X4 target board.

The three pieces can now be assembled into a self-standing target board by simple placing the notched out 1X4 into the notches cut into the 4X4.

When finished the 1X4s will be on edge 3 feet apart and parallel, the notches facing upwards. The 4X4 section of plywood will be standing vertical with its notches mated (slipped together) with the notches cut into the 1ftX4ft pieces.

In this way the target is self standing and easy to put up and take down. No nails, wire or other hardware to be concerned with. It will not be blown over by the wind, it will stand on reasonable level ground and most importantly It will not be put out of service by a few misplaced rounds.

The biggest draw back is the size, 4 ft X 4ft. No problem if you own a pickup or trailer to move it or maybe store it at the range if possible.
I actually made 16 of these and kept them in a designated target trailer.

A base coat of light colored paint was applied to protect from the elements and 200 yd short range targets were glued to the target face. New target centers were either pasted or stapled to the target.

Eventually heavy cardboard had to be stapled onto the front and changed from time to time as the center of the plywood was shot out.

These were built for rifle practice but I think that the 4X4 piece could be substituted with a 4ft X 6ft piece and thus be taller for handgun shooters. This would also allow for one complete target holder to be constructed from one 4'X8' piece of plywood.
I hope that this verbal description and explanation of procedures is understandable.

a piece of 2x4, a couple slats, a couple pieces of PVC, and


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When the election is over hit the roads for campaign signs. Most now a days have a wire holder.
I used to make stands out of 1 1/2" (or maybe 2") PVC pipe from Home Depot. The also sell these 2ft X 4ft, 1/2" thick (or maybe 3/4") pieces of foam that I'd simply tape to the PVC frame to hang targets on. Total cost was around 12 bucks and it worked great.

The frame was just 4 Tees and 9 3ft lengths of tubing (which you cut out of longer lengths.) 4 of those lengths are for feet (it stands on its own.) Two other lengths extend upwards to give it height and the last 3 make a "U" to hang the foam backing. It's very simple.

I'd always carry a couple of extra Tees and pipe in case they get hit. Although, the PVC held up well and could usually take a few hits before becoming unuseable.
2" pvc pipe 4 corners 2 Ts and 2 4' 1x2s 2 set screws, caulking or foam, pvc glue and some sand. make (2) half a frame with 2 corners and 3 pcs of pvc that looks like |___| fill with sand and plug. attach the Ts to the |___| pieces. drill holes in the top part of the T for the set screws and nuts. the sand makes it so it wont blow over and with the removeable 1x2s it breaks down so can fit in small areas. and if the 1x2s get shot up you can replace them easy. and you can make them what ever size you want.

edit to add that it helps to add a 6" pipe to the top of the T fitting than add the set screws. it keeps the 1x2 from ratteling around
Cheap & Dirty

1 8 foot 2x4
1 8 foot 1x2

cut each in half.

Notch the 2x4s at the center to just accomodate the 1x2s.

place 2x4s on ground same width as cardboard target.

Staple one side of target to 1x2 and insert in associated notch

insert other 1x2 in other notch and staple other side of target to it.

Advantage: stores perfectly flat.

For added stability, C-clamp 1x2s to 2x4s.
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If you can wait until the next election, work for a candidate.

Many election signs nowadays are "bag-type." The sign is printed on a plastic bag (or sometimes on a cardboard fold-over that is stapled to form an envelope.) These signs are issued with a hefty U wire, which is shoved into the ground and the sign placed over it.

After the election, go back and gather up your signs -- and recycle the U-wires as target holders!:eek:
go to walmart and get one of those cloths drying stand doflinkie's.

8.95 and it folds up for easy storage...providing you dont miss the target and destroy it lol
go to walmart and get one of those cloths drying stand doflinkie's.

8.95 and it folds up for easy storage...providing you dont miss the target and destroy it lol

That's why I like the U-wires -- I've shot a dozen or more of them:eek: , but I still have about a bazillion in the shed.
What has worked well for me is a common pallet, held up with two metal fence posts driven into the ground so that the pallet can be lifted up and put down on top. The two posts are then at the edges of the pallet, between the two layes of wood. Pallets can be had cheap and will last quite a while, as they are not solid, if you position the targets right, most of the bullets pass on through.
whitebear said:
Here's a link to the The Maryland AR15 Shooters MSN group website with a good looking collapsible PVC stard:
That's almost exactly what I used to make, except that I didn't have the connecting pipe on top, and I only used one Tee cross member instead of two. I just taped a foam sheet to the PVC and staple-gunned the target to it.
At Action Target, we usually sell these PT Holds for $40, super stable and strong. Let me know if you have any questions.

My range provides wood frames for holding targets but for the most part they are pretty well shot up after a month or so. The frames typically have cardboard stapled to the frame and individual targets are taped to the cardboard.

Go by your local radiator shop or auto repair shop and ask if they will give you the cardboard cartons that new radiators come in. These boxes are usually a pretty heavy corrugated cardboard and the shops toss them in a cardboard recycle bin. Get 8 or 10 of them and you can wind up with a bunch of target backers. Build a wood frame and staple the cardboard to the frame. Carry a roll of 2" masking tape with you to tape targets to the cardboard.
About the lowest-tech thing I ever used was coat hangers, hooks cut off with sidecutters. Bend them into a U shape to frame your target, then duct tape them together, and stick the two ends into the ground. It looks like a big croquet wicket. You can tape the target to the wire or use metal clips. Welding rod or brass rods from a hobby store look a little better and stand better in a wind than coat hangers, but it's the same idea. Very light and portable. Especially usefulif you can't leave a permanent structure behind, or and have a small vehicle. (Mine was a 1970 Bug at the time.)
I made two 4' tall T stands and put a 2"x4"x60" across the top with 4 carrage bolts with wing nuts to hold the 2x4x60. I get 18"x22" plastic/rubber roofing tiles for free. I paint them yellow or blaze orange and hang them. They have a semi-self-healing thing going so they last for rifle and pistol.

Using the carrage bolts and wing nuts make it easy to take down to transport to the range. I also have holes drilled in the top for coat hanger "wickets" for smaller hanging targets.

I'll see if I can get a pic of the whole thing set up to post.

A local lumber store offers free pallets. I nail a junk 1"x4"x8’ to one side for a diagonal prop, flip the pallet top to bottom when needed, and burn the whole shootin’ match when it will no longer hold targets.
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