Train On A Budget: DIY Target Stands

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Money you don’t spend buying target stands is more you can spend on ammo and training, so here’s a DIY target stand recipe that costs less than $20 each. Maybe nothing, if you already have some supplies on hand. 

Necessary supplies and tools are dirt cheap, available everywhere, and common enough that they’re already in most households. 

This stand design will work with almost any target, up to and including a B8 stapled to cardboard. Not only that, if anything they’re overbuilt. They work, and you’ll have them for years. 

Let’s get started. 

DIY Target Stands: Supplies

You will need the following: 

  • Four (4) 2-foot pieces of 2×4. Most large chain hardware stores sell pre-cut 2′ lengths for $2 to $3 each. Failing that, you can have a 2x4x8′ cut to size. 
  • Eight (8) 3″ wood screws. 

There are a lot of things you can use for uprights, but 1×2 works very well and they’re cheap. I find 4′ lengths fit easier in most vehicles and since the most common size is 1x2x8′, that means you only have to buy one and have it cut in half. 

Typically they’re $2 to $4 per. 

That’s less than $20 in lumber…and a lot of people have some scraps that could be used for the purpose as well. 

To make them, you’ll need:

  • A speed square and a pencil. 
  • A cordless (or corded, it doesn’t matter) power drill. You’ll want at least one drill bit to make pilot holes and a Phillips (or other) head screw bit for seating the screws. 

It’ll take you all of a few minutes to make them. 

Assembling Your DIY Target Stands

Putting these DIY target stands together is ridiculously simple. The design is a 1″ lateral  “channel” with two outer legs running perpendicular, an H with a double cross bar in the center. 

Start with the outer legs. Now, since a 2×4 is actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, that means the “crossbar” will be 4 inches in total width. That leaves 20 inches of board space on either side, and therefore 10 inches from the edge of the crossbar to each end of the outer leg. 

Measure 10 back from one edge on the outside of the leg. Use a speed square to draw a vertical line. Draw one more 1.5 inches further away. This marks where you’ll set one of the crossbars. Then repeat on the opposite edge. 

Then, do the same thing with the other outer leg. 

Once marked, drill pilot holes for the wood screws. 

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Set a crossbar between the marks, and fasten the boards together using the wood screws. The first will be a little weird, but once it’s in place it’s smooth sailing. Repeat three more times until all the boards are put together. 

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Voila. To use, set your uprights in the stand and attach your target. 

Having a whole bunch of Caldwell or other brand gear is nice, but with a little craftiness and some cheap supplies, you can put together a lot of range gear for not a whole lot for your own practice and training purposes. 

Ammo is never going to get cheaper, so you might as well figure out how to save elsewhere. 

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