stef_m96

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Apr 22, 2021
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My crew and I want to make several falling target for our range. We have several ideas how to make these target on our own and some of those ideas include wooden instead of steel targets which would ideally by easily replaceable.
The falling mechanism is based on slight incline of the target relative to the vertical plane (pretty basic stuff). I am concerned with two things:
1. Target stability when the weather is windy - because the wooden target is lightweight compared to its steel counterpart
2. Will the target even be able to absorb kinetic energy from the bullet and fall - because there is the possibility that the bullet will very easily penetrate the wooden target and, therefore, fail to transfer its momentum to the target. In that case the target will get hit but stay still.

Does anyone have any experience with wooden falling targets? Does it work? What weapons did you use? What caliber?

Thanks a lot and sorry for any mistakes in text, English is not my native language.
 

Jumper

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  • Dec 15, 2008
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    I doubt that very little kinetic energy will transfer to a wooden target. You could overcome this with tuning its balance point to be just barely upright but then it would probably blow over easily.
     

    MarshallDodge

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    Jul 19, 2007
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    I have shot at wooden targets, basically scraps that I would place on top of a stand and would get knocked off when you shot them. Wood bowling pins work okay.

    For something low energy, like a pistol caliber or 22LR at 50 or 100 yards, it works okay. Bowling pins at distances beyond 100 yards hold up well against 223 but bigger calibers will destroy them pretty quick.

    The harder the wood, such as oak, the better.
     

    brianf

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    As far as energy, if the wood target stops the bullet from going through...it has absorbed 100% of the energy

    sorry just re read post.

    From the wooden boards/junk I have shot with center fire, there is enough energy transfer even though the 30 caliber bullet passed through a 2” piece of wood.
     

    6.5SH

    Old Salt
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    Another thing to look at would be backing the target with rubber, it would add some weight but also some durability as the rubber tends to just leave a pinhole relative to what happens to the wood. It also provides drag for the falling action. The old "Tactical Ted" reactive foam dummies used this method.
     
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    Fritzfritz

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    Jan 3, 2021
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    Consider recreating something like a field target (pellet gun) type target. I have made wood and steel versions, an all wood one would have sacrificial parts, but should work, mine fall with only 4 ft lbs of energy, but do not fall with 30 lbs outside the kill zone.
     
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