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After a lot of searching on the internet and at the local gun show, I have found what I believe to be the ultimate target stand. I found these stands at the Ontario, CA. gun show that is sponsored by Crossroad's of the West Gun Shows. It is not a big show so it was easy to spend more time looking at the various target stands offered for sale. I started at one end of the show and zig-zagged my way through the show. Searching on the internet you can see the target stand but you cannot get a good feel for how heavy (which is a plus) and how it is constructed (quality).

I had seen on the internet this small company that is sort of near my home town and was hoping to check out his stand at the show. As I wound my way through the aisles I came across 223 Targets and Tactical. Just a couple of tables with an assortment of target stands manned by the owner, Dan Billups. Just looking at the stands I could tell the quality was there. Dan was not pushy which I appreciated as most salesmen are and that drives me away. I did not have to ask very many questions about the stands, I could see the quality and pick up the various stands and feel the weight. These stands are very well built and thought out, not to mention the thickness of the steel used to construct them. The other stands that I bought were of no comparison compared to these. They didn't even come close.

Dan started this company because he was tired of the poor quality stands the were out there. Just talking to him made me realize that he is quite knowledgeable about guns and everything that goes with them as my knowledge is very limited. I like to target shoot.

After talking Dan's ear off, I purchased a folding stand that you buy your own 2 x 4 for the upright. That way you can make it the right height for yourself as I am 6'4". It folds up to a convenient size in which to carry and carry in the truck of you car. No assembly, just grab the legs of the stand and rotate them to 90 degrees from each other. You don't have to guess the 90 degree part because the stand has a stop built in.

Now it is off to my favorite shooting spot to try out this new stand. Had to make a stop at the local big box lumber store to get a 2 x 4 and have them cut it for me to a size that I thought would work for me. Set up was a breeze as the stand and the head have thumb screws attached to clamp the 2 x 4 tight. One thing I really like about the design of the stand is that (as Dan explained to me) is the 20 degree angle of the steel target as it attaches to the stand. He also uses a spring behind the target to absorb the impact of the bullet and thus increases the life of the steel target. Time to unload on this stand and see how it handles my poor aim but that 20 degree angle Dan was talking about.

Well, after about 400 rounds with my AR-15 and the stand set at 100 yards I have to tell you that I am IMPRESSED! As I mentioned before, I am not the best shot and having a 2 x 4 as the post, it held up just fine because there is a lot of "meat" to take the strays. As for the 20 degree angle of the plate and the spring and the bolt to hold it in place, the splatter of bullets on the ground were basically in a nice little circle underneath the steel target. The bullets hit and are directed downward just like Dan said. With the others, I could see why the bullets would ricochet anywhere and that is not safe.

As far as I am concerned, this is the stand to purchase if you want something to last. Dan has other designs to choose from and I will most definitely be buying another stand from 223 Targets and Tactical.

Below is a video of Dan's target stand in action by a guy that is a much better shot than me.

My search for a better target stand continues.  I went to another gun show looking for a better target stand and came across some rather interesting targets and stands.  These were such that you would hang them with chain from either a stand or a tree or whatever. They had a variety of stands and mounts in which to choose from. 

As I was mulling over the different stands and which one I was going to buy, I decided on just getting the stand in which I could hang the target on with chain or these fancy brackets that the sell.  Being on a budget, although I said I was willing to spend a little bit more money this time around.  I opted not to buy the brackets this time because one of my cousins (who has a tractor business) has some tie-down chains which he cannot use anymore because they are "too old".  Seems that when you are tying down heavy equipment, the CHP doesn't want you to use chains that may be too old because after awhile, they stretch and metal fatigue.  It wouldn't be good to have your backhoe come off the trailer on the freeway, or anywhere else for that matter.  Enough of that. 

So off to the target range with my new target and stand.  As I am setting up the target stand, it is fairly easy in its design and simple to set up.  When I was looking at the stand at the gun show, it didn't dawn on me that it sat so low to the ground.  Not really a problem.  It is just that I am used to them being at head height.  Personal preference.  Once I got the stand set up, it was easy enough to attached the chain to the target using some bolts I had purchases from the hardware store. 

Now it is time to start shooting at the new target.  My aim is getting better so hopefully I won't destroy the stand as it is all metal this time.  Safety goggles, ear protection, ammo, clean gun (with Gun-Werkz of course) and I am ready to rock and roll!

After 100 rounds, I am ready to report on this set-up.  Having the chains seems like a good idea so the target will move and take some of the energy out of the bullet thus making the target last longer.  However, what seems to happen on occasion is that if I hit the target on the right or left side, the bullet would then ricochet to who knows where.  Luckily I am in an area that has dirt piled high on three sides to contain any strays, kind of like a canyon.  I thought I saw a "puff" of dirt off to my right a couple of times which made me believe that it was a ricochet.  It makes me a little concerned and nervous as to where the bullets end up if this targets is kind of swinging in the wind?  Maybe that is why the fancy brackets they were trying to sell me.  To keep the target straight and swing straight in order to contain the ricochets. 

Much to my amazement, my aim is better as there weren't that many dings on the stand.  However, one did drill itself thru the top bar which will weaken it and will need to be replaced at some point. 

The search continues...

Posted by Staff on August 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

Ladies, you shooting a pistol that your man selected for himself works just as well as him wearing a dress that you selected for yourself.

This video is about selecting your pistol and several steps that go into it.
1. Training and Familiarity
2. Purpose
3. Fit
4. Action and design
5. Safety
6. Caliber
7. Cost

A brief overview of importance of each category and why I like certain pistols over others. This is also a framework for future videos comparing and reviewing different pistols.

Check out the video below for more information.




In today's article we are going to discuss target stands.  Targets stands are an important and necessary component of owning a gun.  Important in the fact that in order to become experienced and accurate in your marksmanship you need to practice, practice and practice more.  Whether for self defense, competition or hunting.  Necessary because you need something to gauge your accuracy.  Something that you can transport and set up easily, will hold up to the rigors of the impact that will be imposed upon it and is stable enough so that you don't have to walk for yards to set it back up.

When we first get into target shooting, we often build our own stands (like I did) out of wood, either nailed or screwed together because it is cheap.  If you shoot like I did when I first started my wooden stand looked like Swiss cheese after a few hundred rounds.  My next venture was to go to the local gun show and buy one out of metal. 

With a tight budget I was looking at all the different designs that everyone had on display.  My purchase that day was a couple of simple stands that was made out of rebar and a rectangular piece of metal in which you could insert a 1 x 2 length of wood in each stand to hold your paper or cardboard target.  There were some problems with this design, you had to have a reasonably level surface to place the two stands next to each other on or bring a shovel to level out the area.  I tried to put sticks, rocks or what ever I could find to place underneath the legs to keep the 1 x 2's upright and parallel to each other in order to attach the target.  Using cardboard or plastic sign board was sufficient to keep the stand fairly stable.  Paper targets by themselves attached to the uprights was an effort in futility, especially when the wind started blowing.  The other thing I discovered was that I had to find rocks to stack on the rebar legs to hold it down when the wind blew.  If you don't, the stand moved about two feet to the left while I had it in my sights.  It was just a weird gust of wind that came out of nowhere.  Then one of my "stray" bullets from my AR-15 hit the rectangular piece of metal that held the 1 x 2 in place and went thru the front side, thru the wood and out the back.  I did not think to much of this until I went to take the stand down and head home.  The bullet, as it went through the front deformed the metal and created a ragged hole in which the metal was now holding the wood strip in place as if it were bolted in place. At least that is what I thought as I tried to remove it from this thin little holder.  Not being able to get out the upright by pulling on it, I had to break it off.  Lucky for me, I had a few other "stray" bullets that went through the wood that created a weak spot and I was able to break the wood at that point....until I went to put it in the truck of my little car.  I couldn't get the trunk lid to close because the piece of broken wood was just a bit to long to get the trunk lid to latch.  So out comes the stand, I set it on the ground and put one foot on the rebar leg and take my other foot and give it a karate kick to break it off at the level of the rectangular metal pocket.  As I kicked it, the wood did not break like I expected.  The metal pocket twisted and bent where it was welded and I proceeded to step on the stand to "fold" it up flat so I could fit in the trunk. Tempted to leave it, I make sure I clean up my surroundings and take everything I bring in and sometimes more.

Once I arrived home, I decided I would do the responsible thing and recycle this mangled scrap of metal which was once a target stand.  When recycling, the proper way to do it is to separate the different types of materials.  The problem was that the wood was broken off and stuck in the stand and I needed to get it out.  First I had to saw off the wood flush with top of the metal pocket so I could work on the wood that was left in the stand.  Once I got the broken and splintered stick cut of, I needed to get the rest of it out.  So I grabbed an old wood chisel and hammer and figured I could just chip it out in pieces. Wrong. It just made matters worse.  My last resort was to grab the drill and a 1/4 inch drill bit and start drilling holes into the piece of wood to create some relief areas and then I could take the chisel and split the wood where the drill bit did not get.  I finally got this mission accomplished and then had a pile of wood chips and slivers to clean up.  

I don't think I will buy this type of stand again.  I know that God has a sense of humor and I must have given Him a chuckle or two as He was watching me in my adventures of my quest to find an affordable target stand.  The lessons that we learn, sometimes we have to learn the hard way. Now it is time to clean my gun.  Taking time to do a good gun cleaning tends to relax me, calms my nerves.  Especially after today.

I am off to the next gun show to find another stand and I will be willing spend some more money this time. 

As I sit here cleaning my .38 special, I dip the bronze bristle brush in Gun-Werkz and run down the barrel.  Since I just put 300+ rounds thru it at the range, it was a bit dirty as I looked down the barrel with the light reflecting off the inside.  I could see that just running the patch thru it wasn't going to be enough. 

The bristle brush did a fine job of loosening and getting out the majority of the carbon and all that was left was to finish up the barrel with the standard patches.  I never did enjoy this part with the patches as it is time consuming and having to keep changing out the patches on the end of the cleaning rod.  When you have big fingers like me and sometimes they don't work all that well, it can become frustrating.

My friend happened to come over while I was in the midst of all this and told me about a new cleaning patch that he came across in a magazine ad.  Told me that he will never use patches again.  Went on the internet to look for them and found out that a local outdoors store stocks them.  Called them up and they had the size I needed in stock.  Wrapped up the .38, put it in the safe and headed over to the store to buy "the new way to clean your gun".  The Swab its Bore Tips are a little pricey compared to the standard patches but you need to understand the difference between price and cost.  What I mean by this is after using them (washable and reusable) for a while, they just last and last.  And the best part is how nice of a job they do as compared to patches.  So in the long run they cost less in terms of not only the time you save and the better job they do, you don't end up with a trash can full of patches.  Check them out on my storefront and buy a package, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  The only thing you have to be careful of is to not drop your cleaning rod. I know, I did, the end broke off.  With that being said, I will never use patches again!


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