M*CARBO Brotherhood

DIY Target Stand

My favorite range in my area is MCTArange.com MCTA Mississippi Combat Training Academy. I love shooting at the many metal plates they have set up at the ranges. Hearing the sound of that DING!! at 100 yards shooting the S2K is very rewarding. But sometimes the plates are missing because some jackass shot the chain or the bar above it.

To get around that dilemma, I came up with an idea for having my own DIY portable target stand that’s easy to breakdown & store. I will post pics of my project from start to finish. But here are the basic ingredients you will need:

*two 10ft sections of 1.0" PVC Sched 40 or Sched 80 pipe ($3.97/ ea at Lowes)

*two 1" PVC “Side Exit Elbows” - approx $2.81 ea at Lowes

*can of aerosol paint. I went with Neon Red. $3.97 at Wallies

I have a friend who has a plasma cutter and we’re going to burn two holes near the corners for attaching the chain or wire we’ll use to hang it from the Target Stand. I need to figure out how far down from the top we want to burn the holes so that the plate will hang at a slight angle; cantilevered to deflect the bullets down into the sand and reduce the chance of ricochets.

Since 1" PVC isn’t the beefiest of material and the plate weighs approx 17lbs, I envisioned one potential problem where the legs could “spread” and break under the weight of the plate and the jarring from bullet impacts. So I reckon a piece of light chain or rope from the bottom of one leg to the other leg on each side will eliminate that.

Any critiques or suggestions here are welcome. After all, this project is sprung from the mind of a Dumb Swede using Cajun Engineering, so all kinds of crap could go wrong. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My first suggestion mirrors @KM55 - I think you should go for AR500 steel. Them little dents, dimples and craters impacts make on mild steel have a way of making ricochets unpredictable.

Regarding the PVC … going larger than 1" will substantially increase rigidity for about the same $.

Finally, make sure your range is ok with you setting up your own metal targets. At my range, I can shoot the range targets, but I am only allowed to set up paper. I have metal targets, but they aren’t welcome at my range (I also shoot on open property).

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. But my range allows you to set up your own targets, including steel. They even allow Tannerite as long as you give them a heads-up. I went with the 1" PVC because freakin’ Lowes didnt have any Side Exit Elbows in any larger sizes. I also went with PVC because it’s cheap, it’s readily available, it’s a project that I could do with the tools that I have on hand. As for the steel, The 8" gongs are a wee bit too small for me.


It’s not finished yet. Not by a long shot :rofl:

I still need to put the rope or chain at the leg-bottoms to prevent the ol’ cheerleader-spread issue. And of course, I need to install two lengths of soft wire on the cross-brace so that I can hang the steel plate.


/pro-tip do NOT construct target stand using PVC cement whilst drinking beer and wearing your nice Guayabera shirt that your wife gave you as a present.:scream:


*I completed the target stand over the weekend and will try to post some pics this week.

*I am still waiting on MetalsDepot to send my steel plate. No tracking number cuz it’s not shipped yet. Not a satisfied customer right about now. I reckon these folks process their orders in batches.

After I shoot the hell out of this plate I will take y’alls advice and buy a completed steel plate target from the AR500 site listed above. Their 12" round - 3/8" thick target is only $51.69 including shipping.


maybe they should change their name to AAARGH500…


I got an update from Metals Depot. The plate shipped yesterday and will arrive sometime Wednesday.

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Here’s the raw plate from metals Depot. Still need to use a plasma cutter to burn holes in two of the corners and paint it neon red.

Here’s the completed stand. Portable, breaks down, light weight, inexpensive. BTW, I got the 1/4" AR500 8inch diameter plate from WALMART of all places. $28 bucks. I attached two pieces of rope to the leg bottoms to prevent spreading under load. I used cheap Romex wire to hang the targets with.


My neighbor used his plasma cutter to burn a couple holes in my steel target plate for me. Then I primed it with white paint and did a topcoat with neon spray paint. The only stuff I could find at my hardware store was this shade. (Well, my wife likes it. She thinks it’s adorable.)

Since I had one of the 50 yd pistol ranges all to myself yesterday, I didnt bother setting up my portable PVC stand. I hung the plate from the target frame. I took the pic after I’d shot one 15 round mag thru my Glock 19. I only managed to hit it 8 times so yeah, I clearly need more range time.


This is the stands I use. They tear down and will fit in any car trunk. R S


@RodSlinger I made the same setup. Works great. I put it into a gym bag with targets and a stapler , easy to carry and store. And I bring "Bruce the terrorist "20180715_13393720180710_155209


The PVC pipe is 1 1/2" and I use a stapler gun for the cardboard. I made 6 of them so I can set up my own combat course. If it is windy fill the U shape stand with water. R S


I get the cheapest wood that will fit inside the PVC pipe. I teach shooting and so we stare out shooting the wood and the target. Had one student shoot one of the pips. So cheap wood in important. Having a stand the you can move as you teach is good also. Thank you for your interest. R S Remembering Col Jeff Cooper


I worked at a st forest and part of my job was taking care of the range. They had made all the targets out of 2x4s and plywood and wouldn’t listen to my suggestions until i built a pvc one with my own funds.
Didn’t glue sections together, just drill and a small screw so blown out pieces can be replaced. Guys actually shot the pvc less than the wood, don’t know why. I was still using luan for the target backing until i could find pipe furniture slings to hang between. That set up lasted incredibly longer than the wood for far less.


This is a photo of my revised 200 yd. portable target stand. I usually use this when I shoot my 45/70 Sharps, but it is a absolute ball to burn up some 9mm with a Sub 2000.


@denniscoon Can you please show me how you attach the legs to the 2x4 ? Looks better than my PVC rig. :+1:


I think I purchased the 2x4 brackets from E-bay, not too costly. I had to extend the conduit lets some, at 200 yds if there was tall grass, could not see the targets. Amazon has them for $13.00 Type in 2x4 shooting stand brackets.


Very nice, at 200, I probably won’t even be able to see the stand without some glass…:persevere:


@denniscoon I like your stand. nice to have a portable that can be set up anywhere.

This is something I sometimes use.
These signs are made out of a corrugated plastic that is like cardboard.( used for election campaigns, cheap internet service, etc.) They have a wire stand that they slide over on the top half and the bottom half is pushed into the ground. I then tape or staple my targets to them.

This is an aluminum realtors sign.

They are mounted to the much heavier frame that pushes into the ground.
you can attach your targets to the aluminum sign itself or take the sign out and use only the frame. If you use the aluminum sign the bullet holes will leave sharp edges. (Bad for hands, fingers, and car interiors etc.)
I have used just the frame and mounted a couple small clips like those used for potato chip bags on the top and bottom. Then I can clip new targets in and out easily. It would also be good for hanging steel or clay targets.