Monday, July 21, 2014

18" IDPA & IPSC Target Stands

There are many target stands available for shooting enthusiasts in today's market, and, for the past year & a half, I've been running Davis Metal & Powder Coating 18" IDPA & IPSC target stands. I purchased four of them online for about $20/ea, shipped. Each stand came with 4 stakes and 2 thumb screws (to secure the wood furring strips). The price has gone up since my purchase, but you can find the same model/style on eBay for close to what I had purchased them for, just do a basic search for: IPSC Target Stand. I suggest avoiding the adjustable stands as they tend to be flimsy and have more points of potential failure, but maybe you've had better luck with them. There is nothing fancy about the DMPC stands, they are simple & robust, welded all steel construction, and powder coated in black.

Besides purchasing the stands, you will need to get some wood furring strips from the local lumber yard, a good staple gun, and paper/cardboard targets.

[1] Setup

Before any setup begins, survey your surroundings and confirm your backstop no matter where you are.

I suggest taking everything needed to set up the target (stand, wood furring strips, staple gun, cardboard) to the spot you plan to have it secured to the ground, as opposed to setting it up and then moving the target setup to the downrange spot where you intend to stake it down. So, locate a spot and secure the target stand to the ground. The stakes that come with the stand are very flimsy, so you have to be careful when staking to avoid bending them, because they will bend in hard packed earth. I also always position a decent sized rock onto the crossbar of the stand. Sandbags are another viable alternative. The BLM spot I shoot at can get extremely windy as the day progresses, a dust devil is not uncommon in the summer months, and a well placed rock usually saves your target from getting thrown about.

Next, align the wood furring strips on the ground in front of the target stand post openings. Once down on the ground and in position, staple your target onto the wood furring strips. I recommend something rigid, single corrugated cardboard is sufficient. Use the cardboard as your target (IDPA cardboard silhouette targets are great, official or DIY) or tape/staple a paper target on top of the cardboard. Once your target is stapled to the wood furring strips, place the wood furring strips in the target stand post openings.

I then grab a couple of shotgun hulls and shove them into the openings to secure the posts to eliminate any wiggle. The target stands came with thumb screws for this purpose, but the spent shotgun hulls do the job and I have no idea where the screws are now.

[2] Cleanup

The stands allow for quick cleanup and are easily broken down. Be careful about splinters as the wood furring may have taken a bullet and beware of the staples. No joke, those annoying staples have gotten my  fingers a few times. The target stands stack together to create a compact unit, ideal for storage and transportation. It's a good idea to also tie a rope across the stacked center-bars during transportation in a truck bed otherwise they might rattle loose, all depends on the terrain you're navigating though. These things have taken a beating without any issues so far, another reason to like them, so toss em in the back if "you ain't got time for that".

Final Notes: The shots from this post were from last week when a buddy & myself went to a great BLM spot for some run 'n gun practice/fun. However, I have been shooting in Southern California for close to 25 years and many great BLM spots have been closed specifically because of irresponsible shooters who have no regard for the land. If you are ever shooting on BLM or anywhere, cleanup after yourselves and, if possible, take more out than you brought in. Pack your trash!

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