Dead Trees Don’t Always Make for Good Target Stands

Several years ago I got a call from a friend asking if I had the weekend free to head out to Central / Western Pennsylvania for ‘Man’s Weekend’. The event boiled down to a group of friends going out to hunting cabin on 550 acres.

During the day we would work around the property. After a few hours of labor, we would hit the makeshift gun range and send lead flying down range. In the evening we would have a massive dinner and finish off the night with cold beer.

One of the land owners (there were several – it was kind of like a private timeshare hunting cabin owned by about a dozen friends) works for the department of transportation. This meant that targets were made up of any sort of road scrap metal you can think of. Pieces of boiler plate, old street signs, car wheels, and so on and so forth.

Our makeshift range was setup against a natural berm. Beyond the berm was probably a half-mile of forest land. We hung targets from branches (leaving them three to four feet off the ground), propped them against stumps, and sometimes even built metal stands for them.

I had an incredible amount of fun that weekend and it sparked a fondness in me for guns that I never knew existed.

One thing that stands out in my mind, from that weekend, was the destruction that our 7.62×39 rounds did to tree stumps. The rounds blew right through them and embedded into the natural berm beyond.

Had a situation like this happened to us that weekend, I probably would have a different outlook on shooting.



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