|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.
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.