22LR steel target for upcoming Boy Scout campout ...


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Once a year our Troop has a shooting events campout where under supervision of NRA instructors the Scouts get to shoot with shotguns and with 22RL rifles. For the 22LR rifle, we basically have shooting at the range towards the Rifle Merit Badge, but we also have a "fun" event of some sort, where for the last couple of years I have made/welded several steel targets.

Last year one of the parents and I came to the campout with scoped precision/target 22lr rifles and I had both a 3" and 6" steel plate to shoot at about 40-50 yards - me thinking that the 3" plate was going to be very hard to hit. Well, it turns out that the 3" diameter target was actually too easy to hit even at the back of the berm past the creek - not enough of a challenge. Once you hit it a couple of times, there was no challenge, no excitement - it gets boring really quick. It is tough to keep interest especially with the older boys "since it is always the same every year".

Well, since I am optimistic we will be able to do our yearly shooting event in Dec 2020, this year I am working on a new, more "challenging" steel target, and perhaps a way to have some "friendly" competition as well, specially for the older scouts and of course, the dads :)

Like with past steel targets, I try to do these for "free" - using left-over steel from prior projects, trying to buy/spend the absolute minimum as I find it makes the project more rewarding and requires a little bit more creativity to use whatever I have on hand. I look for steel plate material in the 1/4" range or so - being shot from about 40-50 yards:

The swing target is based on a common "difficult" stage on the 22LR precision rifle series, shot with a scoped 22lr rifle, which tests both the equipment and the shooter, with a diminishing target size. I am designing and building a smaller version of that common target for the December campout. Moving left to right:
3 inches
2 inches
1.5 inches
0.75 inches (same size as an US quarter, by the way!)
0.50 inches (my son says it is WAY too small to hit!)

I found some extra horse shoes from a previous projects which I cut in two to create a portable, modular target:

Once I had everything cut, this is how the target would look like (that small ruler is a steel 6" long by 0.5" wide for scale):

Again note that hitting the 3" target with the scoped 22lr rifle was relatively easy last year. The smaller targets, however, will be much harder to hit this year.

Course of fire:
Shooters get 10 rounds, and as they move left to right, if they hit the larger target, they score a higher number of points as the target gets smaller and smaller:
- 1 point for the 3" target ("have" to hit this one before moving to the next smaller one)
- 2x points for the 2" target ("have" to hit this one before moving to the next smaller one)
- 3x points for the 1.5" target" ("have" to hit this one before moving to the next smaller one)
- 4x points for the 0.75" target ("have" to hit this one before moving to the next smaller one)
- a big 5x points for the 0.5" target (once you get here, you can shoot all remaining rounds at this smaller target)

Max points:
- hit 3" target = 1 point
- hit 2" target = 2 points
- hit 1.5" target = 3 points
- hit 0.75" target = 4 points
- hit 0.5" target 6x times (assuming 6x rounds left out of the total of 10 rounds) = 30 points (5x points times being hit 6 times)
Max score = 40 points

- If the target "moves" at all, it counts as a hit. Does not matter if it was a "light" hit or a direct or solid hit. We will always need a spotter with binoculars or another scope to verify "hits". The shooter does NOT call his/her hits. The spotter calls a hit or miss.

- You have a timed max. of 2min to shoot all 10x rounds. It is PLENTY of time, but necessary in order to have many people participate in the course of fire.
- You "have" to start with the first leftmost 3" target, and can only move the next smaller target (in order), and so on, until you run out of ammo.
- After hitting any target (say the 2" inch target) you can then try the next smaller target (1.5") to the right, but you don't have to. Note that if you try the smaller one and miss, or miss a couple of times, you can go back and hit "any" of the larger targets you already have hit in order to be given points for each hit.
- Any smaller target hit out of order is always zero points.
- If there is any problem/challenge/dispute between the spotter and shooter, etc., the NRA range officer in charge makes "the call" and that is "final".

Note: This type of target is also known as "know your limit" which forces you to decide when to keep getting easy points (on a target you know you can hit) vs trying for the smallest/most difficult ones and running out of ammo.

Since you really need to use a scoped rifle to even be close to be competitive, and since I expect many would like to try, to entice the older scouts to participate/attend, we could limit this event to only scouts that have earned the rifle merit badge and again, any adults present.

I cleaned up all of the metal parts:
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This was yesterday end of day - had all of the steel prepped and ready for welding today:

Got my trusty welder out:

The only thing I had to purchase were the two cheap steel posts at Lowes. I am welding the half horse shoes at two positions to have some flexibility depending on the terrain:



To make it easier on the shooters, I am making the center of each target as close to the same level horizontally, so that the shooter only has to adjust the rifle left-to-right, and not much at all up & down:

To aid in alignment, I made a "fixture" to weld each one of the 5 arms as consistently as I could by eye:


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Swing arms welded:

Then to weld an additional arm support piece near the swing portion:


Final check with the spacers (some other cheap metal tubing I had around that fit around the free piece of rebar I am using to hold everything:

And some left over hose clamps to keep everything in place:

Note that I made the targets so that in their resting position there are slightly inclined down in order to encourage splatter downwards as much as possible, while still presenting a target to aim and hit:

Just needs a coat or two of black paint now. Just 3x pieces to take to camp:

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
Well done!

Those metal "T" style fence posts are often driven into the ground with post driver (basically a pipe with handles and one closed end)
A conventional post driver probably wouldn't fit over the horseshoe brackets but you could make one with a larger diameter pipe that would fit over the horseshoes.

You can drive those posts in the ground with a sledge hammer but a post driver is MUCH easier.


Notorious member
You can't drive them into the ground here even with a pneumatic Mansaver unless you bore a 1-5/8" hole with a rock drill first.

I seen pictures where this will go, he (or an able-bodied Scout) will be able to knock them in plenty far enough with a piece of fire wood.


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Thank you guys. For the 3" and 6" bong targets I made last year I also used the same posts:

Luckily the terrain here by the creek is soft enough that simply using a sledge hammer was enough to drive the posts into the ground.

Since I donated those previous steel targets and the campout site is the same every year, we leave the posts in the ground, and just take home the top portions back to storage. This year the plan is the same, drive the left and right posts into the ground, and simply take back the central rebar piece with the spinners.


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heh that 1/2" one looks like the bar just got a little wider at the bottom.
probably don't want to be drinking too much 'cocoa' before giving that one a run.


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Has that gong bolt been tightened to bind the spring coils on purpose?
Yes, just enough that the metal "disk" is not making contact with the post. When it gets hit, it still has enough range of motion to move backwards and kit the post, but then come back. We shot it with 22LR and also a few rounds of my suppressed 300Blk and it held up perfectly as those are AR500 steel.

The new target in this post I would not shoot with the 300Blk - just with the 22LR :rofl:


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One of the shooters in the Texas 22LR precision rifle group made a suggestion for another "demanding" 22LR target, one which you have to "time" your hits to be able to make it do a full revolution. I found this video on youtube with the 22LR Spinner Pro ($185 plus s/h):
video ...

Target looks like this:
Screenshot 2020-11-15 at 1.24.17 PM.png

So I started working on the second target for the scouts yesterday - again, not sure I will have it ready for the Dec campout, but I will post pictures as I get more done :)

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Rick H

Well-Known Member
I love the video of that target but I would be tempted to hit it with a big bore and get it over with. Up and over the top with one shot.


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I love the video of that target but I would be tempted to hit it with a big bore and get it over with. Up and over the top with one shot.
LOL. I hear you loud and clear. Bring the big guns!

Since I have never made one of this, I have no idea how much weight is needed for a 22LR at 50yards. If it is too easy to spin you simply increase the distance and mover it further back, but in this particular campout we don't have much ability to place targets further back.

I am using sealed ball bearings for the inner section, but what if it is not enough to spin properly? I have no idea - I am going to build it and see what happens. Here is a teaser photo of the almost-completed middle section with bearings in place:

For this one, I am trying to make it of a little thicker metal - enough to handle my "cast" 300BLK and 358Win plinking loads ;)


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OK, got the body done today. No - it is not pretty. But it is functional and "very" cheap to made :)

Here is a video of the target in my garage - hope to try it with live ammo soon:

I started with a scrap piece of rusted steel:
20201114_130254 (2020-11-15T19_29_56.508).jpg

Which after much machining in the lathe became this assembly:

Even those little rings/spacers I made from the scrap piece:

Then spot weld at 3x places on each one - keeps the whole assembly together:

Then weld the "free" cut-offs from the posts from the other target. This I later reinforced with a steel piece on each side welded 3-ways to each arm "and" the center piece:
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And then weld some heavy 1/4 scrap pieces: 3" for the small one and about 5.5" for the large one:20201123_142711.jpg

Here is the whole spinner:
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