Sunday, September 30, 2012

Airgun Target Stake

Airgun Target Stake

I love shooting paper targets.  There's nothing more challenging (or frustrating) than trying to get 5 or 10 shots into a little tiny group.  But once in a while you just want to have some fun and hear the satisfying ping of lead hitting steel.  So I decided to build a new airgun target.  I had the idea of supporting some empty CO2 cylinders with magnets; hoping they would go flying when I shot them.

the parts

At first I was going to orient the cylinders on a horizontal plane on some sort of rack.  I decided to go with a vertical spike instead because it would take up less storage space.  I looked through my scrap pile and found a 1/2" x 28" control rod from an old radial arm saw.  It had a nice knob on top that would serve as a handle when pushing the rod into the ground.  It is made out of some odd alloy I think.  It feels, machines, and corrodes like aluminum.  But it attracts a magnet and sparks when you grind it.  Not sure what it is but it seems resistant to rust so it should be perfect for a ground spike.

boring the recesses

I was going to just epoxy the magnets to the side of the rod but I was afraid I might shoot the magnets and break them.  So I machined 6 recessed holes in the side of the rod spaced 1.5" apart to hold and protect the magnets.  The magnets were supposed to be 5/16" in diameter, but they were just a bit larger, so I ended up using a 3/8" end mill to make the holes.  The holes are too large but they serve their purpose.  I really just wanted to get this thing made in one evening; function over form this time.

ready for paint

Next I ground the end of the rod into a point on a belt sander to make it easier to stake into the ground.  Then I cleaned the corrosion off the rod with a scotch-brite pad.  The magnets were fixed into place with some JB Weld.  A few coats of paint and it's done.


It functions just as I expected.  Really nice action on the cylinders when you hit them; very satisfying.  This new target should provide hours of shooting fun in the backyard this fall.  Check out the video to see it in action.

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