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Homemade Moving Target System

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  • Homemade Moving Target System

    Can anyone offer advice for making a moving target system? This system will be used with handguns and pistol caliber carbine/SMG training. I am interested in advice for any type of system. Whether it be gravity, motor powered, or manual. I think a gravity type system with a wire suspended from a high point to a low point is very feasible. Or possibly some type of track for a target/hanger to ride in. I would like to have something that is actuated by a falling pepper popper. I would also prefer to have the moving target be made of steel, but this would necessitate having a strong guide wire and a smooth pully/roller system for the target hanger to ride on. Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

  • #2
    For about $15.00 you can build a nice one. Hopefully I can explain it...

    Items needed:
    3 sturdy poles (4x4 or larger)
    several hundred feet of good nylon cord
    No less than 7 small pulleys
    Light weight frame to hold target

    Take a look at the attachment it will make more sense as I explain this.

    1. Sink two poles apart from each other. Keep in mind the farther apart you put them the stronger and more taught your guide lines must be and the lighter your frame needs to be. 50 feet is an easy distance to work with.

    2. Hang a top and bottom guide line. This is what your target frame rides on.

    3. Attach 2 pulleys to the top of your frame and it should ride along the top guide line. If the guide line sags too much you need a lighter frame of stronger guide line. Next attach atleast one pulley to the bottom guide line. The bottom guide line only keeps the target from swinging.

    4. Now attach a pully to one pole and two pulleys to another. And one pulley to another pole away from target area.

    5. Using a long piece of cord... Tie one end to the right side (as you are looking at it) of the target frame. Take that cord and run it to the far right pulley. From there it stays behind the target and goes all the way to the left top pulley. Then take it all the way back to the anchor or pole that you have away from the shooting area and run it through that pulley. From there it goes back to the left bottom pulley. From that pulley it goes back to the target frame and attaches to the left side of the target frame.

    To operate a person will grab the cord near the anchor and walk with it moving the target in the desired direction.

    On the picture the red dots are pullueys. I hope this is clear enough to give you the general idea. Anyone with a mechanical mindset can figure it out.... I hope
    Attached Files
    I don't have time to bleed


    • #3
      Hey CB,
      Great post Bro! I pinned it so it will be more easily reached in the future.
      "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
      "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
      "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.


      • #4
        CB, Great design. Are you using one like that currently at one of the ranges you shoot at?

        I considered getting one of these beam trolleys and hanging a steel target from it and sliding it back and forth across the beam.

        Beam trolley

        I may be able to get an I beam from one of the companies near my home.

        Thanks again.



        • #5
          HSS International sent two outstanding USMC snipers to our county for a sniper school. This is the system they used for moving targets. I have set one up at my personal backyard range from time to time.

          I'll try to refine the diagram so it is easier to understand.
          I don't have time to bleed


          • #6
            Bravo, great post. Ill be setting one of these up while im home.


            • #7
              Great post CB. Simple, cheap, easy, just the way I like em.
              "Do the right thing even if it means dying like a dog when no one's there to see you do it." Vice Admiral James Stockdale, NAVY PILOT

              "Honor, Integrity, Commitment to core values. When they become abstract concepts or "ideals", all is lost." Me.

              "Character is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking." J.C. Watts

              "I have never seen a projectile turn in flight and come back at the ship that fired it, I cannot however make that same statement regarding missiles." Me.

              Deus lo vult! = "God wills it!"


              • #8
                Typical Navy!
                I don't have time to bleed


                • #9
                  I tried to edit my original post but was not able to. Here is a better diagram. [attachment=2338:attachment]
                  Attached Files
                  I don't have time to bleed


                  • #10
                    skip the trolley system thing, the trolley will gum up after a while and you'll have to clean and repack bearings. It's also difficult to build the whole apparatus with wideflange beam (and also REAL expensive these days).
                    "Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win a War!" George S. Patton

                    Everything I needed to know about islam I learned on 9/11.


                    • #11
                      So what happens if you accidentaly hit the string going accross the target?


                      • #12
                        It collapses. (Ask me how I know!)

                        Not a problem with good shooters, especially rifle shooters. But put about 20 pistol shooters on the line of varying skill and the line will get shot eventually.

                        Still, it's a good setup for the money. We put one together on my old SRT and used it for years without the cable ever being shot.

                        It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

                        Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

                        "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier


                        • #13
                          Hunter, The string actually goes behind the target frame and I drew it in the middle so it didn't get too confusing. Just lower your pulleys so the string falls lower behind the target. You can also add extra pulleys to direct the string lower but remember the more stuff the string hits the more drag you have. And if you hit the string just tie it back together. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome Devil Dog!
                          I don't have time to bleed


                          • #14
                            Get with Sniper1 he was the master at rigging up moving systems when he first started running matches.

                            After many shoot up systems i am sure he has this topic mastered!!!


                            • #15
                              I have way too much experience building these types of things. In short, I tried to redesign the wheel over and over again. If you get any of the actual "professional" made moving target systems out on the market these days you'll see why. For what you get and what they actually have into the system, you pay about 10x more. A $1,500+ system has about $200 in parts and maybe 2 hours of labor cost involved.

                              I have pictures and designs for several systems. Sorry I didn't see this when it was a fresh topic.

                              Here is a unit build from a golf cart. The cart was stripped down to its frame and drive system. An electric pulley was used as the motor and set to drive the system with 2 pulleys and a short belt. The remote control was built from an RC Car unit and made it go forward and backward. There was no steering on this unit so every few trips back and forth you go readjust it to keep it going in the right direction. I could have/could add a steering system but the servos powerful, strong, enough to steer it would have doubled the cost. The armor on the unit is the good stuff.

                              [attachment=5297:attachment] [attachment=5298:attachment].
                              Attached Files
                              Knowledge comes from retaining what is learned,