Easy and Cheap Steel Target Stand

Easy and Cheap Steel Target Stand In order to get good at anything, you have to practice the necessary skills involved with the activity. CAS is no different. I wanted to have my own set of steel targets so I could go out to the range any time I want to and ring the steel. After shopping around and seeing the high prices in the several hundreds of dollars, I decided to make my own. I also wanted a simple setup that I could handle by myself. This target stand is the result.

I had my local welding and steel supply cut five 15-inch square targets from 3/8 inch thick hot rolled steel. I also had them punch a hole in one corner and a hole in the middle of one side. That way I can hang the targets as either a square or a diamond for some variety. The majority of the target stand is made from 1/8" wall 1" square and 1" X 2" rectangular steel tubing.

I wanted to be able to carry the unassembled stand in my pickup so I had the two main cross supports cut to 8 feet in length. I found the ideal hanging hooks at the local Surplus Center for $1.00 each. The pivoting support for each hook is made from heavy duty steel chain links I cut in half. I bought two links of chain at the Surplus Center and they gave me the two halves of the link they had to cut in order to cut the links off the bulk roll. They also had some 1/2" X 2" steel pins with a large rivet head on one end and cross drilled hole on the other end for a spring pin. The four pins and spring cross pins cost me about $3.00.

Target Stand Support - View 1 Target Stand Support - View 2

Using a tape measure and some eyeballing, I decided to have the 1" X 1" tubing cut to 54 inches in length. I had the welding supply cut a 5 foot piece of the 1" X 1" tubing for making the cross braces on each end support. The support cradles were made from 6" pieces of 3/16" X 1 1/2" X 2 1/2" angle and 3/16" X 2 1/4" flat stock. I had the them do all of the cutting with their big band saw with the exception of the miter angle cuts which were done during assembly using a metal cutting power chop saw.

I brought everything over to my friend's farm shop as he owns a nice Lincoln MIG wire-feed welder. We eyeballed the angle for the "A" support and cut the angle marked from the two pieces overlapping each other. The first one was tacked together and then welded. The second one was made over the top of the first one to copy the shape exactly. The cross braces for the "A" both are 24" long. The top end of the "A" support was squared up and the angle/strap cradle assembly was made on each one. The drilling was all done with a hand drill and a 1/2" drill bit.

I can set up or take down the target stand by myself in about 5 minutes. I have been shooting the targets with .45 Colt ammo loaded with cast lead 250 grain bullets at 785 fps. There has been absolutely no denting or pitting to the targets whatsoever. This dispells the myth of having to have a special steel for targets as far as I see it. The stand itself will dent if hit as my friend the welder and my son proved with their shooting skills. So far, I have not hit it myself.

I have the targets I need to hone my skills without breaking the bank and it's easily transported and set up by one person. Mission accomplished!

Total cost was about $175.00 + beer.