View Full Version : Good Ideas For Homemade Targets, Tell Us Some Of Your Favorites And Ideas

January 23, 2007, 01:10 AM
I thought this would be something interesting to start, looking for different ideas for homemade targets and general things to use, spinner targets, spring loaded bounce back targets, target holders anything fun to make an outing enjoyable, I have used different things from tin cans, apples, oranges, lemmons cause there easy to see but only good for one good shot, i think my favorite to see how good ya are are to place popsicle sticks in the ground in various ranges, lined up, staggard, even old shotgun shell casings, shooting them and watch them fly for no telling how far, am gonna make me a pvc rack to put misc, round disc of different sizes on made of metal and hung up by wire so i can watch them swing as i bounce the lead off of them, i like to shoot 22's a lot and always looking for different things to do, what is some of your favorite homemade targets. nothing is to dumb because its all for fun:D

January 23, 2007, 01:14 AM
Take a dozen or so 16 or 20 oz. Diet Pepsi bottles (yes the brand matters) and glue or screw lids to a 2x4. If you use screws use some rubber washers. Fill the bottles with water and screw them onto the mounted caps and then invert. Aim for the little round part of the logo. It's impressive when you hit them with .30-06 ballistic tips at 200 yds......lotsa water flying.

You can use 2 liter bottles if you like too.

chris in va
January 23, 2007, 02:35 AM
Bowling pins. Alleys give them away free usually. Drill a hole in the top, swing them from a tree limb.


1# propane tanks.

Old scuba tanks (empty).


Golf balls. Hit them dead center, they fly like Tiger hit them.

January 23, 2007, 07:24 AM
Nothing exotic, flamable or explosive, but I go to this site for indoor targets that I print off the computer. Maybe you'll see one you like.

January 23, 2007, 11:31 AM
all sounds like cool stuff, always looking for new ideas:D

January 23, 2007, 11:55 AM
Try vanilla wafers.
Cheap, tasty, and good for the enviroment.

January 23, 2007, 12:38 PM
I really enjoy filling water/milk jugs, pepsi cans, etc with water and freeze them. Not hard to do in winter here, but even if you have a freezer with a little room you can do it. The jugs dont empty quite as quick with .22's. Shotguns also make nice patterns. High power rifles kind of destroy them quickly though. I blew a 2L Pepsi bottle with a ghetto muzzle loader which was REALLY fun. Random sheet metal is kind of cool too. ust make sure your load will go through them.

January 23, 2007, 01:24 PM
"Old scuba tanks (empty)."

I've always wanted to get an old tank that fails hydro, bribe someone to fill it one last time, and take it out to the desert...


January 23, 2007, 02:33 PM
I've used all of those "AOL" CDs that just seem to show up in my mailbox. I'm very careful to pick up the remnants.

Another good target is Necco wafers candy. A little on the small side, but at least biodegradable.

January 23, 2007, 02:54 PM
My daughter and I have an annual "Easter Egg Shoot" to get rid of all the rest of the dyed eastereggs....after we've had our fill of egg salad samdwiches :D

January 23, 2007, 03:10 PM
along the same line as the vanilla waffers, I use saltine crackers...hang them from fishng line and hit them as they move in the wind, or just rip a groove in a board and stand them up. they break nicely to show hits, and there is no cleanup afterwards!

January 23, 2007, 06:43 PM
The ticks off ole Blue are fun.

January 23, 2007, 07:21 PM
We get horse food (oats and molasses) in 50 lb. bags. The picture of the horse on the bag is perfect for 10-25 yd. handgun or any range scoped rifle. It has a somewhat cathartic appeal, given my wifes propensity.

January 23, 2007, 09:29 PM
Charcoal briquettes, eggs and old fruit are some of my favorite plinking targets.

January 23, 2007, 10:40 PM
For close up old brass works nice, farther out shotgun shells, olives, old pumpkins, random chunks of metal, and my personal favorite old cars.

January 23, 2007, 10:45 PM
Paint balls @ 100 yds.

January 23, 2007, 11:06 PM
Big plastic Santa's, reindeer's and snowmen. Usually a couple bucks after christmas, and fun to shoot at. Always get a few wierd looks at the range, but after the first few rounds to Rudolfhs nose, the looks turn to envy:D
Alot of looks that say "why didnt i think of that". Obviously not a great idea if there are little ones around:o

January 23, 2007, 11:19 PM
charcoal briquettes has already been mentioned.
anything filled with water.
old potatoes.
spraypaint cans.
bottles filled with baking soda and vinegar.
balloons filled with liquids/powders.
shotgun shells.
old propane tanks(with a little propane left)
shook up sodas.
old lightbulbs.
beer bottles.
old toys.
golfballs(they fly far if you hit them right)
cigar tubes.

January 23, 2007, 11:40 PM
Squash, Zucchini, Pupmkins

Actually pretty much anything from the garden

Pop cans filled with water, old cans of stuff (propane wd-40 whatnot)

Old CDs, old cars

When i bring out the 597 remington at 25 yards i have to shoot hairs off of mosquitoes cuz thats the only thing small enough.:cool:

January 23, 2007, 11:43 PM
When I went shooting with one of my friends, we used old shotgun shell that we threw into his pond. They float by themselves until you hit them directly, and because they sink, there's no cleanup.

Oh, and shooting an intact PC monitor with my Lee Enfield and having the entire screen turn to dust sized particles AND having the monitor do a backwards roll because of the impact has got to be my favorite plinking moment.

Also, with rifles chambered in 7.62x39 on up, bricks are fun. .303 will turn them to dust inside of a hundred yards (probably even farther).

January 24, 2007, 02:45 AM
usually, I'll dip into the pantry, and find all the cans of stuff that no one will ever eat (those canned beats that have dust on em from 1936)..and take them to the range..not only do they splode, but if its soup then you get a weird gory splatter too! It keeps it fun for the kids and me!

January 24, 2007, 03:39 AM
You guys know how to make coke bottle bombs? Those are awsome for airgun or rimfire shooting. Not so good for centerfire guns because the muzzle report is louder than the exploding bottle. Another good twist on the coke bottle bomb design is the drano bombs. The the cool thing with that is if you put a lit candle next to it and then shoot the bottle and it explodes, the hydrogen gas that builds up inside the bottle explodes with a good fireball.

Now here is my personal favorite. Be sure to do this in a wide open area where there's nothing flammable nearby. All you need is a large garbare bag. The biggest you can find. And a oxygen and acetelyn tank. Fill the bag with the oxy-acetelyn mix until it looks like a huge balloon. Then get back at least 100 yards (depending on the size of the bag you use). Shoot the bag with a tracer bullet and then check your pants! :D The concussion sound is tremendous and the heatwave it makes is very impressive.

Other than those fun devices, I like to shoot my brother's and my old toys and stuffed animals. No, i'm not mean, I don't do it without his consent. He used to be really into that Pokemon stuff and had Pikachu doll. My shotgun made mincemeat of it. :D Action figures work good too. Especially the kind with removable limbs. You nail the feet down to a piece of wood and with your rifle you can shoot off indvidual limbs. Water balloons are cool to especially on a hot day. Have a friend throw it in the air and shoot it with a shotgun. It then rains down on you for a quick cooling.

Just experiment with whatever you got laying around the house. And use good judgement especially if you try the first 2 devices I mentioned in this post. Shoot safe and have fun!

*Note to moderators*
If you feel the first two things I mentioned is too dangerous then please edit it out or PM me and i'll edit it myself.

January 24, 2007, 03:50 AM
yea, i would have mentioned the drano one, but figured it get deleted. so i went with the bakin soda/vinegar one. not flammable, but pretty loud. also, the oxy/acy one... use a garbage bag, then tie a looonnnggg string to it, make a little fire, back up, pull it over the fire and booom. takes away the expense of tracers. also i heard if you shoot it with shotgun itll go off. but never tried it. oxy/acy is too expensive to experiment on.

January 24, 2007, 10:49 AM
Over-ripe watermelons! Other over-ripe fruits, out-of-date eggs. If you're in a "wilderness" area, no clean-up necessary, and the crawly critters will love you!

Helium-filled balloons for shotgun. Put a small amount of powder (talcum or ?) in the balloon before you inflate for a smoke effect.

Movie posters and/or full-sized printed cardboard cut-outs. Sometimes, the movie theatres will GIVE you their old posters or the cut-outs of actors. I got several full-sized "Crocodile Dundee" cut-outs with Dundee holding a Foster's beer, from a local liquor store. (Funny story: Before shooting Dundee, two of my buddies stood beside the cut-out for a photo. It looked like Dundee was a REAL person in the photo, and someone who wasn't there at the time asked, "How did you get him to go out shooting with you?")

Cardboard boxes or paper bags filled with shredded paper. Blast them enough, and it turns to confetti.

Mild steel plate suspended between trees. I have one that I've used for 10+ years, since it's only for .22's. "GONG!" Just bang out the dents and give it a fresh coat of paint after it has been "splattered" sufficiently.

Cheap 4x4 R/C vehicle. No, not the vehicle! Tie a long piece of string on the rear, then add an empty soda can on the other end. Moving target! When the soda can is full of holes, drive the vehicle back to you for a fresh target. This can also be used with helium-filled balloons that are tethered to the 4x4 vehicle. Just be sure to not hit the tow vehicle!

Rope and pulley: You need a high side and a low side. Attach a fairly long (3') piece of wood onto the pulley, then attach either wood or cardboard targets to the other end of the wood.
On the high end, put an "eye" screw in, thread some string through it, then tie it to the pulley. The string should be long enough to allow the moving target to reach the low end AND to where your shooting position is. Pull the string so that the pulley/target goes to the high end, then let go of the string and allow gravity to send it to the low end. Pull the string to re-set the pulley/target at the high end again. Great for handgun shooting at moving targets, but be sure to have plenty of "safe" shooting space!

January 24, 2007, 11:03 AM
Using corn starch in a ballon works as well. and it's biodegradable. whereas talic is just ground up rock. I do believe its cheaper too.

Helium-filled balloons for shotgun. Put a small amount of powder (talcum or ?) in the balloon before you inflate for a smoke effect.

January 24, 2007, 12:44 PM
1. I save ALL apple juice bottles (large ones) and fill them with water. They serve 3 purposes: (A) Put as many will fit on top of each gun safe, to slow a fire down a bit. (B) Take to range and make explode with high-power rifles. Require cleanup of course, though. (C) Use for cutting in half in one swipe with sword.

2. Buy the cheapest possible, generic, charcoal briquet bags - take to the range and place on top of target stands. Drawback is hands get dirty.

3. Potatoes are cheap, very explosive, last longer than most veggies/fruits, and don't get you dirty like the charcoal.

4. I have a commercially-bought "T" target on which I hang balloons with standard office clips - doesn't NOT work when windy, though.

5. Commercially bought Dueling Trees just rock - they bring competition to any range trip if your buddy(ies) are with you.

6. For something really cheap and good - maybe the best overall cheap reactive target system, for rifles & pistols, is the "Easy Roost" clay pigeon roost things - they are just steel sticks with a holder for a claybird - easy:


January 24, 2007, 02:56 PM
Zombie milk jugs :D

January 24, 2007, 04:41 PM
I've got a funny story about the oxy-acetelyn mix that Maser was talking about. I used to be a firefighter. One day my crew (4 of us guys) were just sitting in the shop being bored. One of the crazier guys I've known filled a rubber glove with the mix and blew it up. Ok so no big deal. It was loud but not too bad. So the other two guys and I are talking and not paying attention to the fourth. Without warning we pretty much go deaf. You know when you shoot a handgun too close to a wall without hearing protection? You could actually feel the concussion. Well needless to say we were all pissed off because we couldnt hear anything for about a minute. Turns out he filled a garbage bag and lit it up. It was the first time I'd seen him scared. Yeah...... he got in some serious crap for that.

January 27, 2007, 02:37 PM
I just brought home 3 mannikins(sp?) from work, go to clothing stores and ask if they have any to throw away, seems like we're always throwing them away b/c people like tend to drop them from time to time or a part of the body falls off moving it throughout the store and gets damaged.believe it or not they have to be together as a set, arms and legs with certain bodys. I promise to take video and post it up.

January 27, 2007, 10:39 PM
I have shreaded a couple microwaves.
I shot up a car door with the window up.
I have splintered 2x4's into a milion pieces.
I have exploded cans of shaving cream. That was fun.
I shot a couple computer moniters.
I shot a couple computer towers.
I shot a couple computer mouses.
I shot milk jugs, water bottles, pop cans, paint cans.
I shot bricks.
I shot metal those plates that cover electrical boxes.
I shot a electric fan
I have shot golfballs. That was fun. Stand in one place and shoot it. Where ever it lands shoot it again. Then shoot it again. Keep going untill you miss. My best was 6 hits in a row.

I shot a bowling ball and had a piece of it come flying back at me so fast I never even seen it coming and hear a loud thud against my truck I was standing in front of. Thank God it didn't hit me in the face. ;)

January 27, 2007, 11:01 PM
I thought about the manaquins, but wasnt sure were to get them cheap.

January 28, 2007, 04:48 AM
Great Sledge-O-Matic ideas here.

I cut scrap 2x8s or 10s or plywood into 16inch lengths ... hang them for reactive and multiple targets.

January 28, 2007, 08:54 AM

Just kidden.
I love cats.

They taste like chicken.

Varmint Eviscerator
January 30, 2007, 08:16 PM
dumb dumb lolly pops-really explode when hit! Try to shoot them off the stick, also, staples in stick form are rewarding as well.
By the way,any candy will work very well-tootsie rolls become like glass in the cold. If you are good, shoot .22 duds(live but FAILED TO FIRE) they WILL fire when you hit em at 50-100yrds, nice pooof sounds, no shrapnel or anything because the powder cant build up PSI!

M3 Pilot
January 30, 2007, 10:14 PM
Neighbor's cats, necko wafers, M&Ms

January 31, 2007, 08:26 AM
stuffed Barney dolls.

January 31, 2007, 11:05 AM
The only really fun thing I have shot at was already mentioned.

The dollar stores are fun to shop at for targets.

You can get 22oz cans of shaving cream.

They explode with the cream covering everything like snow.

January 31, 2007, 01:16 PM
Great story, stuckon. :)

January 31, 2007, 04:42 PM
Dud AT-4 rockets. :)

Guy B. Meredith
January 31, 2007, 11:46 PM
Tried oranges the first time I took my daughter to the action pistol range. Duds. Bullets puncture holes and everything smells like orange juice, but they don't even move.

My favorite was my daughter's pager. Some people at the range or who learned about it acted like I'd shot the Bible. I now have two cell phones that will be making the trip. I hate "in" gadgets: Bluetooth thingees, cell phones, Blackberrys are all my list of desirable targets.

February 1, 2007, 11:53 AM
you need to get out of California or you'll never make it to adult, at least out on the street and not behind bars. :-)

February 1, 2007, 12:01 PM
A friend of mine used to live near an old unused railroad trestle bridge. There were some steel posts that had once had cable strung through them where the cable holes were the exact size of a 12 ga shotgun shell. We would take birdshot shells and stick them through the rail and back off about 40 yds with a scoped air rifle. We would bet on who could ignite the primer first. Usually within 2 or 3 shots it would go boom.

February 2, 2007, 07:09 PM
Maybe this has been posted and I'm wasting my time, but here is a link to a ton of targets you can print off. I pick which ones I like then go to Office Max and print off 100 or so at $.07 a piece. http://www.reloadbench.com/pdf.html

This may be too dangerous and might upset a moderator or something but they can take it off I guess if they feel that way, but when I was younger a friend and I would fill a soup can halfway with gasoline and make a small trail and light it. It wouldn't explode or anything, it would just sit there and burn like a large candle, then we'd get out a .22 and shoot it and it would cause all of the gas to vaporize very fast and of course it would erupt into a large ball of fire. It's a good show. Make sure you do it in an open field not near anything that will cause a forest fire or something. Use some common sense. I doubt I'd even be brave enough to attempt doing it again.

February 2, 2007, 08:28 PM
I thought about the manaquins, but wasnt sure were to get them cheap.

I have seen them in dumpsters behind department stores, but always worried that someone would think I was some sort of a perv if I took them. I'll stick biodegradable stuff, thanks.

February 3, 2007, 12:08 AM
i get 4 x 8 sheets of cardboard from work,cut them on a tablesaw into 2 x 2 squares and make 1" squares on them with a giant size marker.I never have to buy targets ever !

February 3, 2007, 12:41 AM
Lots different kinds of shooting, but the three main types I would say are off a bench shooting paper, plinking, and hunting practice. For big game hunting practice I kinda like milk jugs of water. If you can raise your hunting rifle and blast that jug at 100 then 150 then 200 yards off hand in just a few seconds your chance of getting that deer when you don't have but a few seconds have gone up considerably.
Minute of deer kinda. I know a milk jug is pretty big but at 200 yards it isn't so big and if you can hit that jug your in the kill zone of a deer. I used to do this mostly from a standing position. Pretend your walking along hunting, then just try to raise and shoot in say 5 seconds. don't take time to really think about the shot once you start just get those crosshairs on that jug and blow it up.
If its to hard to hit standing try sitting down fast using your knees as a rest and then shooting. I have killed more than one deer like that

February 3, 2007, 01:27 AM
(,22s & BB guns)~A rag slathered with sticky sweet stuff (honey is good) and hang up all spread out. Shoot the flys off of it. Pictures of politicians. Burned up car hulks. Dollar store screwdriver handles, driver ends stuck in/on posts/stumps. Old bricks/blocks. Old wooden slats set sideways. Tin (not aluminum) cans still work good.