Backyard Pistol Drill Targets

Discussion in 'General Airsoft Discussion' started by mangulator, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. mangulator

    mangulator New Member

    Redford Township
    20210724_175141.jpg I'm not sure if this subject has been posted here before so if so I apologize for the duplication.

    But has anyone built there own target stands to setup in their backyard for pistol drills.

    I shoot real pistols often and the price of ammo is ridiculous and I even reload my own. So I had run across a video of reviews on airsoft pistols and I thought what a good way to do drills without the high cost of real ammo.

    I did a lot of research on GBB airsoft pistols that used green gas and found the KWA M1911 Mark IV pistol and a Umarex H&K HK45 Compact both fit the bill as great replicas of my carry firearms. I purchased everything I would need to run both pistols along with extra magazine's.

    So I figured to do some pistol drills at ranges between 15 yards and 7 yards I would need to make up some targets. I wanted target stands that were light and easy to store after use and also to be able to capture the BB's so that my backyard would not look as if there was a hail storm. Also I do not want any BB's to accidentally leave my property.
    I had seen a video where they used "Beach Towels" attached to the wall and just hanging behind their target as a way to stop the BB's from damaging their garage walls. So I thought that if I designed a target with a beach towel behind my cardboard target then that would be a cheap way to make up some targets for my pistol drills.

    I took two 6 foot long 1" x 4" and two 20 1/2" 1"x4" and by using some #6-1 1/4" wood screws and glue I glued and using three screws per joint I attached the 20 1/2" board to the top of each 6 footer and the second 20 1/2" board I glued and screwed as I had for the top, I attached this board 28" from the top. In essence I created a 6 foot tall target with a target frame of 22" wide by 28" high. These 1"x4" are all edge on as viewed from the front.

    The target box size was based on the size of regular poster board that is 22"x28" I needed something to attach the targets to that would stand up to a little pressure and the poster board was cheaper then cardboard sheets.

    So behind the front poster board I drilled two 1/2" holes 1 3/4" from the top on each side. The first hole is 1" from the front and the second hole is 1" from the back. I took two 1/2" diameter dowel rods and glued them in place. I then took an old beach towel and cut it to a width of 20" by 58" and ran it across the two dowel rods and then brought it to the bottom board and drawing it tight I used a staple gun and stapled it a 1/2" from the back of the board. I then took some 1/4 panel board I had laying around and cut a piece 22" x 28" and with 8 screws I attached it to the back of the target box.
    I then took and made a base out of cheap 2"x4" boards. I cut two 24" pieces and two 22" pieces and two 3 1/2" pieces. I assembled the base with glue and #8-2 1/2" wood screws. I took the two 24" pieces and attached the two 22" pieces between them using a scrap piece of the 1"x4" to space the apart. Using the 1"x4" again I took the 3 1/2" pieces and pressed them against the 1"x4" for a tight fit so that the upright target fits snugly in these openings.
    After constructing three identical target stands I had purchased some exterior house paint that had been rejected at The Home Depot really cheap and after a light sanding I painted all the wood.
    I ran into a problem after the paint had dried the uprights were difficult to slide into the slots of the base due to the tight fit used during construction. So I sanded 3 1/2" of each leg of all three target stands and then using some flat black spray paint I sealed the ends again. To further assist in making the uprights easy to slide in and out of the bases I sprayed a little white lithium grease into each slot on all three bases.
    I have just done some testing so far using some cheap paper "Man Size" targets with 6" diameter peal and stick Reactive Splatter targets stuck to center mass on the man target. So far I have not had one BB leave the target box. I forgot to add that at the base of the bottom board on the target box I glued across the bottom board a 1 3/4" x 1/4" board to make a sort of BB catch box. I can say so far that it is working and it makes it easier to collect the BB's after a change out of the poster board. I have only done one poster board change out just to see what things looked like after a couple of hundred shots.
    I have taken a length of rope and at every 36" marked it so I can use it to place flag sticks at different distances from each target for my practice pistol drills.
    I have been using my holsters and practice my draw and fire drills plus a few other drills I practiced with live ammo.
    I am very happy with my DIY Targets, they disassemble easily and are light and easy to store in my garage. It cost me around $60.00 for all three and this includes the 100 pack of poster and 100 pack of targets. The 6" diameter reactive targets I already had in my range bag. Here are some images of what I made. 20210724_175155.jpg
    Here are a couple of images after construction. These will give you an idea of how I constructed each target stand.

    Here is the completed target stand with poster board and a small man target. You may notice that on each base there are holes drilled at all four corners. These are holes I drilled so I'm able to slide through each hole a 3/8" x 12" spike/ nail I got from Home Depot for $0.75 each to hold down the target if it's windy when I wish to practice. I have so all I have to do is to slide in the spike/nail into each hole and push them into the ground using my shoes. I did a trial run and they worked out great and made the target stands very stable.

    Here without the poster board. You can see how I angled the beach towel at the top its wrapped around the dowel which is close to the front and at the bottom its stapled to the rear of the target box. I figured the little bit of angle would help keep the BB's from coming back out.

    I hope this was not covered in another thread, but I am happy now that I can practice my pistol drills using airsoft pistols that are extremely close in weight and size to my real pistols and most of all not litter my backyard with BB's. These are cheap and easy to build an light and break down for easy storage.

    I hope this helps out those who do pistol drills with airsoft pistols in their garage or basement and wish they could have a target for outdoors.
    ma_airsoft likes this.
  2. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Very nice work...

  3. mangulator

    mangulator New Member

    Redford Township
    Thanks, it took me a few days to design them. I wanted to be able to have a complete list of everything I would need to make three. I even did a cost out by getting prices of everything I would need from the two places I planned on making my purchases from, Amazon and Home Depot.
    I was lucky that my wife had some old beach towels or I would have needed to purchase them from a local Walmart for around $6.00 each. I also had some extra lumber in my shop that I used for making the 1 1/2" high lip to coral all the BB's and I had the some 1/4" mdf sheets that I used to close up the back. If I were to guess as to how much it would have cost me for these parts I already had I would say around $25.00 in additional costs.
    The pictures don't show this but I lowered the height of two of them, one by 8" and the other by 16", this provides me with variety of point of aim going from 6 foot to 5'4" to 4' 8". I can arrange them in any order and this helps me with adjusting to different scenarios. Like I mentioned I plan on building a few more so I will be able to have 180 scenarios that will make it more difficult and allow for additional scenarios.
    I really like the KWA M1911 Mark IV GBB airsoft pistol I purchased. It is almost perfect in weight and fits all my 1911 holsters. I have been practicing drills to where I have to draw from my concealed holster ( just as if it were real world ) and put two shots center mass. The KWA feels perfect and is very accurate. The only difference is the felt recoil and of course the time in reloading a bunch of 45 acp. and the approximate $0.65 a round it costs me.
    The Umarex H&K HK45 Compact is just as accurate and fits my holsters perfectly. It is just as accurate as the KWA and being it has a double stack magazine it holds more gas then the single stack KWA.
    In my real 1911 pistols I have 7+1 round capacity so to add some realism the KWA magazine will hold 20-21 rounds but I only load 8 in the first mag and 7 in the second mag. I will do my drill as a 8 shot then reload a 7 shot drill. I have found that I can average around 25 shots before I notice a drop off in pressure. The Umarex mags provide over 40 shots before I feel a difference in pressure. I am surprised at how accurate both pistols are out to 15 yards but my practice sessions usually are from 7 to 10 yards with some at 7 feet. I like the idea that this target system captures all the rounds and I don't have to worry about my yard being full of spent bb's. I have noticed though that I'm picking up the bb traveling to the target and it is a little distracting, much like shooting tracer rounds with a real firearm. I have seen online a few sources of bb's that are dark or earth tones but most are in .12 gram weight. I don't know if they will work in my two pistols. They are both rated to shoot .25 gram bb's So if anyone knows if you can shoot .12 gram rounds out of a pistols rated for .25 gram rounds without damaging the pistol, please let me know.
    I downloaded a "Shot Timer" app on my phone but have not tried it out yet. I hope it works because my Shot Timer is not sensitive enough to work on airsoft pistols. So I guess I'll see soon enough if it works, if not no big deal it was a free app.
    I'll be sure to post some more pictures of my target layout as soon as I remember to take some pictures. I keep forgetting to take pictures. I'm planning on setting up a few GoPro's to get some videos of me going through my drills and I even purchased a GoPro/Cellphone Mount that will attach to the rails on both of my pistols. I am looking forward to viewing the video of me shooting. I plan to video views of both forward and back towards myself just to see how goofy I look when trying to get on target. Being new to this forum I'm not sure if I would be able to upload a video here but I'll check into it.
    I hope my trials and errors will help someone here and if anyone has any questions please just ask. Thanks.
  4. GrimWolf0770

    GrimWolf0770 Active Member

    Pittsburgh area
    Don't forget you can a broad horizontal and make shelf
    Then get some reaction targets(I think thats right) off of amazon, spinning targets and alike help with your reaction speed and just make it fun.
  5. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Another thing to do is set the targets at varying distances and number them. Like 1-5 if you have 5 targets and have a second person as a caller.

    Then turn your back with weapon holstered.

    Caller calls the 5 numbers in the sequence that you have to hit them. This drill adds additional mental stressors to your training. Add in a timer and that also increases training intensity and the last one is the caller adds a baby into the picture.

    One of the target s gets a baby picture in the upper center...don't hit the baby...

    Goes like this from the caller

    5, 2, 4, 1B, 3 - Click...timer starts.

    Pop, Pop, Pop, pause-Pop, pop.

    Reload and reset.
  6. mangulator

    mangulator New Member

    Redford Township
    Thanks for the input.

    I haven't tried out the Shooting Timer App I downloaded to my phone yet. I've been really busy and haven't had the time.

    I pretty much practice by myself, occasionally I will try and get the wife out with me.

    Although I will add, the other day my neighbor must have seen me practice because I seen him this morning walking his dog and he mentioned that he seen me practicing. Maybe I can get him interested in joining me someday soon.

    I found a way to vary my target sequence and drills years ago. A fellow shooter had told me about how whenever he was practicing alone he used a set of index cards with different drills he had written on each card. He made up a bunch and would mix them up before each drill session and would use them like a deck of cards. I followed his lead and made up a bunch for myself.
    I probably could use a few of my old drill cards but some involve mag changes and I'm not confident enough with my airsoft mags to start dropping them on the ground. I just got into airsoft and I have read and seen that dropping your mags or even the pistol could cause some serious damage. So I'm going to be doing my drills with caution until I'm really familiar with the equipment.

    I really enjoy the instant feedback of steel targets when shooting pistols. I had thought of trying to design something that would give me that same feedback with these airsoft pistols. Unfortunately I haven't figured out a way that would give me a similar sound and yet still contain the bb's and keep them from deflecting all over the yard.
    I did have a thought of taking some thin steel plates about 3 inches in diameter and hanging them with fishing line inside the target boxes. Hanging them right between the poster board and beach towel in the area of center mass of the target. But I haven't figured out if I want to add something that could possibly deflect the bb's back out and defeat my bb catch.

    I have been using some old 6 inch diameter reactive targets that I have been sticking to the center mass area of each man target. But they are so old that the little bullet hole patch stickers for extending the life of the target just fall off after a few rounds hit the target again. I found a roll of 250 3" diameter reactive targets on Amazon that have adhesive backs and I plan on placing one in the center mass area and one over the head area of each target so I can get visual feedback of a Mozambique Drill. With the reactive type targets I at least get a visual form of feedback.

    I noticed that when I changed the heights of the target stands and changed out the distance between each and the shooter position helped make it feel more competitive.

    I like your idea of "Don't Shoot the Baby" LOL!
    Maybe I could design a type of pendulum target that I could mount to the target stand. I could possibly set it up so I could get it to swing in front of the main target with a string that I could pull to get it in motion just before the timer beeps at the beginning of a drill. I think you have given me something to really think about.

    I think I read or viewed a video somewhere about someone using a fine mesh netting to capture bb's, something about the bb's going through the netting but not escaping. I'm not sure if I am remembering correctly so if anyone has read or heard about using netting to capture bb's please let me know.

    The three target stands I have made up so far have really got me thinking of the different ways I can expand my backyard airsoft pistol drill range. Like I mentioned I think Im going to build enough targets, maybe six or so more to create a range with 180 degree sweep of different height targets. I will always have the choice of how many I want to set up on any given day and as to what drills I want to practice that day.

    I'm also looking into getting a 2011 style airsoft pistol and I'm wondering if anyone out there could give me some input on which brand and or model would be a good choice for pistol drills. I've also been looking into the SIG M17 M18 in green gas. I do not want to get into CO2 because of the higher costs even though I see that CO2 offers a higher FPS.

    Again thanks for the input everyone.
  7. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    CO2 "initally" gives you high FPS...but this drops quickly. Plus its a bad gas to use in both cost and performance.

    You run a drill and you burn half a jet. Now you have a cooling jet and your FPS is going to drop and when it gets near the end...its going to be really weak. So, do you waste half a jet by changing out the half empty one now...or do you run a short drill?

    Plus in rapid fire you will notice a rapid drop in FPS. It can drop by 60fps in some cases.

    Here is 2011 with CO2. It drops 60 fps from Shot one to near last shot 26

    As for Which 2011?

    TM is the Gold Standard - HiCapa.

    As for a M17/M18...I have GG options for you...
  8. mangulator

    mangulator New Member

    Redford Township

    I have looked over the Tokyo Marui line but from what I have read it seems like they are made up of mostly plastic parts. I do have to compliment their true to life appearance, in the review videos I have seen of their pistols the finishes that they are incorporating really make them look as if they were made of blued steel.

    The Umarex H&K HK45 Compact I purchased has a polymer frame and what appears to be aluminum used for the slide. Now even with the magazine in the pistol it still falls short on comparative weight with the real firearm. The KWA 1911 Mark IV is all metal with the exception of the fake outer barrel but with the magazine installed it comes close to the weight of an empty 1911. I went with these two airsoft pistols mainly because both are GBB and are very close to their real world counterparts.

    I have come across some reviews of replicas of the Taran Tactical 2011 and Glock pistols used in the John Wick movies. However I have seen very little information on how well these perform and if they are worth the higher cost. In some of the reviews I have seen it appears as if those who purchase these airsoft pistols due so more for display than actual field use and in a way I can understand why with their high cost.

    What about the "Army Armament Costa Comp GBB Airsoft Pistol ? Does anyone own or know the brand and if so are they worth consideration as a "Drill Airsoft Pistol " I see that they are constructed of metal and are gbb along with running off of green gas.

    I have looked at the SIG AIR P320 M17 and it looks to be worth considering. I have researched the real civilian version that SIG is offering and viewed some review videos and I am really thinking of purchasing one in all black. As for the airsoft version I have read a few reviews but not so much on how well it performs. I see that it is both a green gas and co2 pistol based on which magazine you choose. But as I mentioned I'm only interested in green gas and I agree that co2 is a poor choice for running pistol drills. But if anyone can share their thoughts on the SIG or Army Armament offerings please let me know.
  9. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    There are very few objective reviewers of Airsoft.

    Airsoft Mike has a good one for the M17...that may be due to him being a Brit.

    TM is plastic...but they are the "Gold Standard". But, if weight is your issue...then wouldn't want a good pistol that is a good 18 oz lighter than a Asia Only EMG TTI 2011 in Steel, like this (For Sale for $500.00)

    IMG_20210801_065534.jpg IMG_20210801_065452.jpg

    And yes, this Model runs on Propane.

    The Army runs have "issue" lack of QC have allowed a several with leaks go, bad followers get out. Efficiency is not there and but they are okay. Finish is not "durable"...but its a cheap pistol from a second tier maker from Taiwan.