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I was working in the yard yesterday afternoon, to the sound of someone down the road shooting a heavy caliber rifle. No problem, I shoot in my backyard sometimes and we are out in the country. It became a problem when I heard BANG.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzTHUNK. A daggone ricochet came over and impacted somewhere in my woods. A few more shots, then again, BANG.... zzzzzzzzzzzz - that time no thunk, it kept going. Getting a little concerned, I stopped what I was doing and it came again... then a fourth time. I duckwalked to the house and made sure the Mrs. was OK, then hopped in the Jeep and went down the road to see if I could figure out who was shooting. I went a good 1/2 mile or so and pulled in a couple driveways, but couldn't find them. I came back, went and checked on the neighbors, and went back to work. There were more gunshots, but no more zzzzzzzzzzzz.
We got our membership approved at the gun club about 20 miles away. Last Sunday, we headed over so my wife could take the new member orientation and I was scheduled for a skeet lesson. I've shot durn near every type of recreational shooting there is, but never skeet or trap. I was hoping to use my Grandpa's old Winchester Model 12 Featherweight, but when I dug it out of the safe, I found it was a full choke... no good for clays. I ended up using my SxS coach gun that I use in Cowboy Action Shooting. I could have used the instructor's Perrazi (probably a $10-15,000 gun if you are not familiar with it), but I wanted to "run what I brung." After 30+ years of rifle and pistol shooting, I had a lot to learn - or perhaps unlearn. I used muscles I didn't know I had. I probably got about 20% of the birds, and had a lot of fun. I think I'll save up and buy another 28" full choke barrel for the 12, and get it cut down a few inches and removable chokes installed. That gun has a super smooth action, it's lightweight, and will do me just fine for as much as I anticipate shooting.
For the rifle and pistol ranges at the club, you need to have your own target holders that fit into sunk PVC pipe. The manager sells them for $10 or you can make your own. I decided to make my own.
They are made of 2x2 with scrap chipboard for corner supports and super thin (about 1/8" maybe) plywood for grooves to hold the cardboard. 7.5' tall, with 20" cross pieces. For the grooves, I have two layers of about 1/2" wide plywood supporting 1.5" wide plywood across the bottom and on the sides. It is glued and nailed. The chipboard is cut in triangles and glued and screwed with short wide screws. The crosspieces are glued and screwed with 3" screws. My bar clamps really made it possible to do. Why the crazy paint you may ask? Members can store their holders in a locked shed, and they suggest wild paint to identify yours easily, and chaining/padlocking two together to discourage "borrowing." I am really looking foreward to sending a lot of rounds down range this year and shooting some video for the YouTube channel.