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DIY Collapsible / Portable Stand for Hanging AR500 Steel Targets


Active member
I did a quick search but it seems as most of the threads are 5+ years old on this subject. I am looking for something that meets the following criteria:
  • Metal (I'm tired of wood splinters and PVC is too flimsy and lightweight) rebar? conduit?
  • Easy & fast to break down for transport (preferably without tools)
  • Compact enough to fit into the back of my 2 door Jeep (preferably no pieces longer than 4')
  • Capable of holding the weight of two 3/8" 12" round AR500 steel targets with enough room on each side of the hanging targets to allow for swinging
Does anyone have an inexpensive DIY setup they want to show off / share?


What, me conspiracy?
Five pieces of 1" x 4' square tube, one piece of 3/4" square tube, six 3/8" x 3" bolts with nuts. I cut two lengths of 3/4" square tube about 4 inches long, then drill holes about 1" from each end. I take two pieces of 1" square tube, hammer them about a foot into the ground until they are solid, angled a bit towards your shooting location. This way your target hangs well in front of the uprights, and bullet fragments won't tear up your square tube uprights. Drill the same 3/8" holes about an inch from the end. Insert a piece of 3/4" square tube and use a bolt to hold it in place. Then install another piece of 1" square tube over the 3/4" tube, drill more holes and use another bolt to hold the top pieces in place. Now you have a pair 7' upright posts that can be disassembled into 4' lengths. Drill more holes at the top of the top posts, and use another piece of 1" square tube to brace across the two uprights. Drill holes in the middle of that as required to mount your chains, then hang your targets.

I'll try to get some pictures of mine later. I've been using this method for years, works great. You can also cut various length pieces of tube to have height adjustable uprights. You can also connect lengths together to make a wider target stand to hang more targets from. It's plenty strong and stable if your ground is stable and you hammer them in far enough. Bring a 3' sledge and deadblow hammer with you and you should have no trouble.

I usually bring a socket and wrench with me to tighten the bolts, but I often don't tighten them and they never loosen up if I get them tight enough by hand.

Just remember to angled the target towards you a bit so the bullet fragments don't shred your target frame. It doesn't take much, just make sure the target is noticeably in front of the uprights. Your target will hang vertically no matter what angle your uprights are.

Edit: I may not have specified, I'm talking about steel square tube.
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Bearer of arms
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I pack the metal conduit of my stands into ABS pipe for transport. The bullet holes can be very sharp. Fortunately electrical metal conduit is cheap so I usually replace them if they get more than a couple holes.


Active member
Thanks for the ideas and info, keep ’em coming, there are some great ideas and tips in here that I am sure will benefit a number of people

I've seen you shoot. Pretty sure your stand needs to be AR500.
Yeah, maybe I should get one made out of that super duper strong unobtanium metal that deflects everything from rim fire, nuclear blasts and the ultimate strength test.. a wife that finds out how much $$ I am putting into “shooting stuff”

Been using these stands for years. This company usually was at the bigger shows at Cashman - they are out of Upland, CA, IIRC. Were always friendly folks in person, who would give me a bit of a discount for cash and multiple purchases, etc. Since they are just a couple of hundred miles away shipping should be reasonable. The pipes and simple, small hardware pieces (see link below for the specific end pieces and hangers) are lightweight and easy to assemble and disassemble and move around.

Can purchase in 24" and 36" pipe lengths - the shorter stand will be more stable and less likely to fall, but the taller stand is necessary for larger/longer steel hanging targets. They work well if placed on a flat surface, and making sure you spread the legs to put tension on them for maximum stability (just pull them apart with your hands when setting up to do this, so no wobble). I also find that using longer hangers so that the center of gravity of your hanging steel targets is closer to the ground makes it less likely the stand will fall - several shooting sessions have taught me these tips and I almost never have a target stand collapse during even long shooting sessions.



The end pieces that hold the 1" pipes together are sturdy and if/when the pipes get more than a few hits on them the pipes can be easily and cheaply replaced - I've had the same 3 pairs of end pieces for several years, several dozen shooting sessions and I expect they will last longer than me.

I prefer the hangers that don't require bolts - used to use the ones that bolted to your targets, but even with lock washers the repeated impacts would loosen the bolts and require tightening every time. The ones that just hang also allow the target to react/move more freely to hits, which is both more satisfying as a shooter, and IMO puts less stress on the targets.


Will add that the end piece hardware and hangers are ALL AR500 steel, so much more rugged than using chains, etc (I have tried chains as hangers years ago - chain will break when hit by a rifle round - the AR500 hangers only show a slight dent when hit directly - and continue to be useable for years)
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I currently use a steel sawhorse from Homeboy Depot. I drilled holes on each side to insert an eyebolt to hang the chains on. The eyebolts are inserted from the bottom and wingnuts screwed on from the top. It only takes a couple of moments to remove the eyebolts, the bolts and chains stay attached to the steel, then the sawhorse folds up.

It will only handle one steel the size you're thinking about, though. You could stuff two of them in your Jeep without too much problem, HD sells them in a two-pack.

Stock photo from Home Depot's website:

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uber Member
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My son told me about these https://laststands.com/product-category/target-stands
They use 1/2 re-bar and then fold up and are easy to carry. If you shoot up the legs just get more re-bar.

They use 2 bars for the cross piece and I welded them together to make it stronger. Welded on some cut chain links to hold the targets. You can see in the picture some of the legs are a little bent from getting hit.
I also welded some bars that are 90 degrees from the cross bar to hold paper targets.



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I use std 3/4" black pipe. Cut a 8' stick in 1/2 for the legs & crossbar. Then get these to support & hang.

I then weld 2 pieces of chain on each piece near each end. I use that to string some rope through so that I can bundle the whole set together to carry and keep together.

target 1.png

target 2.png