The quality of a shooter depends on his accuracy. The more accurate a shooter is, the more success he will have on a hunting session. That’s easy. But the accuracy does depend on the stability of the gun when shooting.
A shooting stand is the greatest gadget to help to make the shots more accurate. But they are unfairly costly. Instead, you can make your own shooting stick for much cheaper. But how do you make your own shooting stick?
Making a shooting stick is fairly inexpensive and simple. Your goal is to make a stand that will be able to carry the weight of the firearm and keep it fairly stable. To the barebone, all you need is a couple of sticks and a piece of rope or strap to tie the sticks together. That’s it. But You can do much more to improve.
As far as DIY projects go, there are several levels that you can aim for. You can aim for a quality product that is capable of competing with the products available in the market, or you can aim for a simple one that is nearly free or done with scrap materials.
For our shooting stand, I will describe a few methods and try to cover as much ground as possible. So –
How To Make A Shooting Stick?
I will describe two methods of making your own shooting stick. The first one will be a delicate one. You will likely need to buy a few materials, but the finished product will be a good one. The other method is more of a desperate one what you can do in the field instantly.
A Decent Shooting Stick
Our goal is to end up with a stick that has all the qualities of a professional shooting stand. Our goal is that it has to –
- Be stable
- Be adjustable
- Look decent
With our parameters in mind, we can get to work. For the project, we will need –
- Three gardening sticks, preferably solid plastic or wood.
- A bolt, nut, and a couple of rubber washers.
- A few foot caps/spikes.
- Foam, rubber, or soft plastic tube of at least 30 inches, the diameter should be so that it can barely house the sticks inside.
Some tools we will need includes –
- Power drill.
- Any sort of strong tape.
- Glue and measuring tape
That is about everything we will need. Most of the items should be readily available at most of the houses. A few things that might not be easily available are the sticks, the rubber tube, or the foot caps. But they should neither be costly nor be a pain to collect.
Let’s Make The Shooting Stick:
We will begin work by processing the sticks. So –
Take the gardening sticks and cut them off about your size in length. When you extend the stand, it will get shorter and reach about the comfort zone to shoot. This way, you will be able to shoot standing. Smoothen the cut edges.
Now take the measuring tape and mark a spot about 10 inches on both ends. Do this for all three. Take your drill and make a hole on one of the marked spots. The bit size of the drill should be convenient for the bolt that you picked earlier.
Do this for all three, and remember, one hole on each stick. We will get back to the other mark shortly. Remember the foam tube? Take that and cut three pieces with a length of 9 inches. They will act as soft padding for the gun to rest on. Wear one on each of the sticks on the short end.
On the other mark, make a band of tape. Make a somewhat thick band, but not too thick. This will keep the sticks from rubbing against each other.
Okay, our sticks are ready. Now we will assemble them together.
Take the bolt and feed a washer to it. Then push the bolt through the hole of one of the sticks. Then a washer again, and then the second stick. Another washer and the final stick. Feed a last washer before the nut. We should end up with a washer between each stick and the nut.
Tighten the nut, and we are all set. Do not tighten the nut too much. We are not making it rigid and immovable. Just tighten enough for it not to come off on its own. Theoretically, our stand is ready and functional. But we can do more. Apply glue on the ends of the foam padding for it to be more stable.
And last but not least, we will install the foot caps/spikes. Make a hole on the bottom end of each of the sticks and install the caps. If your sticks are hollow, then you will need to add filler instead so that the caps have something to hold on to. Use glue to make the caps permanent as well as the filler.
And we are done.
You can spread the legs apart and give the stand a go. You can also pull the two outer legs apart, thanks to the rubber washers, for extra stability. The stand should stand on its own and also, quite stably.
The Desperate Shooting Stick
As I mentioned before, this one is mostly for the emergency. For example, if you forgot to bring your stand, or it broke, or you simply did not realize that you will need it. Anyway, let’s get to business.
The other one, the decent one, you could get by making it bipedal. The third leg is to give it more stability. But you will need to make this one tripod. It’s not a must, but it is really helpful. Let’s say you are at the field and need to make a shooting stick. For that –
- Method 1
Find a dead tree branch that is about an inch thick. The brunch has to be of a “Y” shape. You know, when the branch splits in two, it makes a “V” shape in between. We will use the “V” to rest our gun on it. The length of the edges of the “V” can be anything between 3 to 10 inches. But the most important thing is the length of the third end.
We will be placing it on the ground, resting on the third end. So you can say, the length of this arm will be the height of our stand. The length should be what is comfortable for you. If it is too short, then unfortunately, you will need to find a new one. Otherwise, you should be able to improvise.
But what if we fail to find such a branch? We can still make our stand. For that-
- Method 2
Find two/three long straight poles that are fairly strong and rigid. Take a piece of rope to tie them together. If you do not have the rope on you, you can use the straps of your gun, or binocular, or other accessories. Make a knot about a foot from one end of the sticks.
As long as the knot is strong enough, the structure should be strong enough to carry the weight of the gun and keep it stable. A bipedal structure will be enough, but a tripodal one is so much better.
A shooting stick is often overlooked and thought to be a luxury. But it is really not. It helps a lot in keeping the gun steady. A shooting stick will increase your accuracy over a decent range by a significant margin. But honestly, they are overpriced in the market.
Making a shooting stick is easy and inexpensive. Also, it does get the job done fairly well. With the process I mentioned above, you should get yourself a shooting stick without much effort. And for the desperate methods, you need to improvise based on the situation.