STAYING ON TARGET AT HOME DURING COVID-19 WITH AN AIR GUN
Social Distancing and the statewide lock down got you down? At this time, the indoor range at Coyote Creek Outdoors is temporarily closed due to the efforts to flatten the curve. If you are like me, you are looking for something to do that does not involve watching Netflix all day. This is a great opportunity for keep up your shooting skills at home with a Home Air Gun Range. An air gun, be it a handgun or a rifle, is not quite the same as a firearm but it may give you the opportunity to practice your stance, hold, sight picture, and trigger control in your own home.
Selecting and Airgun
If you do not already own an air gun. Now is a great time to buy one! I personally own 3 air guns; a Crossman CO2 pistol, a Daisy Red Rider BB gun, and a Beeman 22 caliber air rifle. Conveniently enough, they are available in the Coyote Creek online shop and in our retail gun store in Southeast Minnesota. If you want to check them out in person, you can always stop in at Coyote Creek to see them for yourself and select one that works for you.
Now to set up your home range, safety is the first priority. You need to identify a location that you can secure from children and pets, and allows you some distance. Also, anybody shooting or spectating needs to stand behind the firing line and should always wear safety glasses. Most air guns are not loud so hearing protection may not be required but eye protection is a must.
I have set up a couple of indoor ranges. I had a 10-yard air rifle range in my basement when I lived in south central Michigan. One winter, I fired so many rounds through my Beeman air rifle that the mainspring broke and I had to replace it. The layout of my home here in Rochester does not allow for a range in the basement. However, my garage is perfect for a safe, short air gun range. The garage is not that large but I can shoot at distances up to 9 yards (27 feet).
Next, you will need to construct a BB/pellet trap. You can Google: “DIY Pellet Trap”, and there is a wealth of information out there on how to make a wide variety of devices from the complex to the very simple. I have a tendency to follow the KISS rule here.
During this shutdown, we have been ordering a metric ton of material from Amazon. We have, on hand, a huge amount of cardboard boxes. I selected one that is 12” high x 17” long x 12” deep for my trap.
I then cut a scrap piece of ½ plywood (or drywall) 12” x 17” to fit in the center of the box. Installing the plywood, I then filled the space to either side with cardboard, old T-shirts, scraps of carpet, etc. Basically, you want something to absorb the energy of the BBs or pellets. The plywood/drywall is to assure that no projectile passes more than ½ way through the box. This allows you to use two faces of the box as a surface to tape your targets to.
After a while, surface that you are shooting and the material inside will become shredded and you can then turn the box 180 degrees to use the other side. When both sides are shredded, you can simply dispose of the box in your trash and make another.
Targets are definitely something we carry at Coyote Creek Outdoors, or you can find them online. You can easily make your own targets, (or have your children draw them for you). One useful website is MyTargets.com. One of my favorite targets for a home indoor range is the 10 yard target from Project Appleseed. The target is the old U.S. Army “D” style silhouette targets scaled for 100, 200, and 300 yards. You basically fire 3 shots at each of the 3 silhouettes and score yourself on the available scale. The target is available here: Appleseed 10 yard target. As shown in the photo, I mounted a clamp lamp to illuminate the target.
Shopping with Coyote Creek
Whether you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids; or you want to keep up your own skills. This DIY Home Air Gun Range is a great way to get creative during this time of crisis. Currently the Coyote Creek Outdoors Retail Store located at 3600 S. Broadway in Rochester, MN is still open for business. We have had a temporary adjustment to our hours and always keep our hours up-to-date online at our gun shop’s website. Even better, our online store is open around the clock at shop.coyotecreekoutdoors.com.