Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Portable Practical Range

If you've been hankering to try one of the practical shooting disciplines (IPSC or IDPA), but haven't found a league yet, are out of practice, or are too self-conscious to jump right into competition in front of a group of strangers, you might try setting up your own practice stage.

Before I started going to Cactus League matches regularly, I'd accumulated several target stands and some bowling pins. My friend Jon and I used to head out to a berm in the desert (since swallowed up by city limits, the bastards!) and set up our own informal match. Some gardening stakes fit into the stands and cut cardboard approximated IPSC-style targets stapled to the stakes. Shooting boxes were drawn in the dirt with a stick. Jon taught me the range commands and we took turns as Range/Safety Officer timing each other running through the improvised stage with a stopwatch. This did a great deal to prepare me for the league matches I enjoy every month now.

As a retirement present, Jon gave me a pair of steel tip-over silhouettes and a steel woodchuck. Cardboard and stakes included, the whole kit takes up only a fraction of my truck bed. I brought the portable range out to the Tucson Rifle Club for Kevin Baker's first taste of practical shooting at our BlogShoot in February. If you're only used to standing in one place blasting bulls-eyes or steel turkeys, the movement and rapid multiple target engagement of practical shooting will be a whole new world to you. Kevin caught up and passed me in only a short time.

(Yeah, I know bowling pins and woodchucks aren't "practical" targets!)


  • At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am coming down and the beer you owe me.. I am colecting and we can test this range...

  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    Just let me know when...I've got matches on three weekends this month and a roadtrip the next. Of course, I'm free most weekdays!

    I owe you a beer? You can collect *after* the range!

  • At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I knew you would be good for the beer.

  • At 1:50 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    Now that I'm on the wagon, I need to find extraordinary excuses to have one.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger Daisycat said…

    I went to my first IDPA match the Sunday before last and had a blast! If you ever set up a similar match please let me know. I scored second place in the women's division. For my first time I was so proud!

  • At 1:12 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…


    Does IDPA let you shoot your .380, or did you get something bigger?

  • At 7:45 AM, Blogger Daisycat said…

    They were cardboard targets, so I was able to shoot my .380. I was told with steel targets the .380 wouldn't be powerful enough to knock them over. But, some people were thinking if I used hollow points that may knock the steel targets over.


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