I’m always looking for exciting new ways to have some fun with my guns, and I think I’ve come up with what is quite possibly the ultimate DIY shotgun course. I want to share it with you.
You’ll need a little land or a friend with some. It’s best to have no neighbors for at least half a mile on three sides and ensure that it is safe to shoot on. You could also use a long driveway, again with no neighbors. Before doing any shooting, verify there are no people or animals out in the field. Always stay in contact with everyone involved to make sure the area is safe and clear before going hot.
The course is pretty simple. It consists of water jugs sitting on pieces of wood or cinder blocks roughly 3 feet high and 20 yards apart. Wood, especially old blocks or timbers are ideal as they will tend to absorb more shot without the chance of a ricochet. Place them in two rows with a path down the middle for a vehicle to pass.
All of this serves as a starting point. You can always get more creative with placement — just remember safety always comes first!
You’ll need someone to drive. A pickup truck is great because you can put the tailgate down and sit on it. In my case, I sat on the back of my 1984 Honda 200cc Big Red 3-wheeler. This makes it a bit more challenging.
Always sit facing backward on the vehicle for safety’s sake. Engage the targets as they go by but never swing around with the weapon or break the 180-degree rule.
Trigger discipline is extremely important! Keep in mind that you don’t want to take a header off the end of the vehicle with your finger on the trigger. Always consider the gun loaded so practice good muzzle discipline as well and never point it at anything you don’t plan to shoot.
You’ll need a multi-shot shotgun. I used my Mossberg 500 series pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. This is a sweet gun and pump-action makes it more challenging. My gun holds five rounds of 2 3/4-inch shells. I also mounted my Trijicon MRO red dot on it. It made it ridiculously easy to aim.
I invited my brother and a friend to shoot the course. I gave them a safety course before we loaded up and then I set them loose. They had a blast competing against each other to see who could come out on top. What better way to get people interested in shooting? By the time we were done, both of them wanted to buy shotguns!
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
- A field or some land that you have permission to use with no neighbors or roadways for at least three-quarters of a mile in three directions.
- A multi-shot shotgun. I used my Mossberg 500 series shotgun. It’s pump action which makes it more challenging than a semi-auto.
- Lots of ammo. I bought 100 rounds of Winchester 2 3/4 #8 birdshot. We could have used 1,000. Get the cheap, low-power stuff.
- Water jugs. You can pick these up at the grocery store for less than a dollar. You can also use your discarded empty plastic containers for free.
- Pieces of wood to put the targets on. You want the targets roughly three feet high.
- A vehicle that you can securely sit on the back of and face backward without a fear of falling off. A pickup truck is ideal. However, in my case, I used my classic, albeit bumpy, 1984 Honda 200cc Big Red 3-wheeler.
- A skilled driver.
- Eye and ear protection for all involved.
- Don’t cut corners on this stuff, you want to be safe.