Homemade Shooting Sticks For Under US$20

Petey J

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Even though my first trip to Africa is probably not going to happen until 2023 or 2024, I'm working on compiling gear and practicing skills because it satisfies my lack of patience.

One of the easiest things seemed to be building shooting sticks to practice (as this has been probably the most common advice to work on before going).

And while the African Sporting Creations sticks look great and I'm sure are very high quality, one of the reasons I'm not going for a while is getting financially set. So I built a practice set for cheap. I can't take credit for this design. This design came from a video on YouTube by HuntersVermin.

Supplies:
Bamboo plant support poles at least 6' long (could also use the plastic ones, I think). (last I looked, $2 a piece)
1" of PEX water line 1/2" dia. (Talk to a plumber about scraps).
4-5 inches of wooden dowel (dowel is cheap, or finds a scrap)
1 bungee canopy strap (an 8- pack can be picked up at a big box for $4 or $5)
One 2" wood screw
Wood glue
Gorilla tape ore duct tape (optional)
Para cord (optional)

Instructions
1. Cut one of the 3 legs 4-5 inches shorter than the other 2.
2. Drill out the top of the shorter leg if there is a joint in the top 5 inches. Drill to the size of your dowel, probably a 1/2" will be about right, depending on your bamboo.
3. Glue the dowel into the top of the short leg. If the bamboo cracks or splits, use tape wrapped as a clamp to hold it in place.
4. After the glue dries, pilot drill a hole for the wood screw.
5. Drill a hole in the PEX line large enough for the head of the screw to go through. Drill a hole tube same size as your pilot hole opposite the larger hole.
6. Screw the PEX to the top of the short leg. If you really feel like it, you can file a rounded groove in the bamboo and dowel for a better seating.
7. Double over the bungee and feed the doubled side through the PEX.
8. Slide the double loop over one leg and the ball and other end of the bungee over the other. You may need to stretch tube bungee a little and loop over again.
9. Slide the bungee down so all 3 bottoms are even.
10. Optionals: para cord the longer legs for a softer rest for the rifle. Wrap the ends of the bamboo with a 1" wide strip of gorilla tape to prevent splits. Wrap 1" wide strips of gorilla tape above and below the bungee to prevent sliding.

To set up, I kick the short leg forward, and cross the lower portions of the longer legs.

I haven't been to the range with them yet, but they feel really stable, without a lot of weight.

I did try making these with a para cord tripod wrap, but didn't like the results.

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Ridgewalker

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Very creative!
 

CoElkHunter

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Red Neck shooting sticks! Love them! Now, if you could figure a way to get the poles to fold back so you could carry them easier, it would be perfect. I’ve done this with 2”x 2” range target pole frames using screws, but the sides are flat?
 

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Red Neck shooting sticks! Love them! Now, if you could figure a way to get the poles to fold back so you could carry them easier, it would be perfect. I’ve done this with 2”x 2” range target pole frames using screws, but the sides are flat?
Being bamboo, I would think you could cut the poles in half and glue a dowel section into the upper half, then drill holes through the bamboo above and below where the dowel inserts into each section, then use some of the bungee to tie the 2 halves together tightly. Then all you have to do is pull down on the lower section to disconnect and fold it up alongside the upper half for carrying.
 

CoElkHunter

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Being bamboo, I would think you could cut the poles in half and glue a dowel section into the upper half, then drill holes through the bamboo above and below where the dowel inserts into each section, then use some of the bungee to tie the 2 halves together tightly. Then all you have to do is pull down on the lower section to disconnect and fold it up alongside the upper half for carrying.
Nice idea! Or, like an aluminum tent pole with the bungy inside the pole which connects two poles together? I’m not sure how you could make that work with the bamboo poles? Maybe just use tent poles instead of the bamboo? Maybe they would flex to much? Maybe it’s too early in the morning here to think about it much?
 

Albert GRANT

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Nice idea! Or, like an aluminum tent pole with the bungy inside the pole which connects two poles together? I’m not sure how you could make that work with the bamboo poles? Maybe just use tent poles instead of the bamboo? Maybe they would flex to much? Maybe it’s too early in the morning here to think about it much?
I'm sure something could be done with the bamboo to have the bungee inside, but I think it would be fairly involved and complicated. The tent poles probably aren't a good idea, just from the noise alone the metal would make, IMO. Honestly I think I'm going to try it, cause I think, even with the bungee going through it, it would actually work very well. The only thing I'll probably add is hemp rope wrapped around the ends at the cut and soaked in glue to prevent it from splitting
 

Albert GRANT

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Actually now that I think about it a little bit, if you could get the dowel to go far enough into the lower half, you could cut a section of dowel, say 5 inch long, then cut one end of it off at about 1.5 in. Drill a hole through the center of both halves big enough for the bungee then thread it through and tie it tight. Take the long side and glue it in the upper half so you only have 1.5-2in of the longer section sticking out the end. Once it sets, you could then insert it into the lower half and lock the short cut off end with small short screws. Again I'd wrap and glue both sides with hemp rope/twine. Then the bungee is inside and you could just pull down and fold
 

Petey J

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Another reason to love this forum. Start with an idea, and talk it out to make it great. I was trying to figure out how to make it more collapsible for transport.
Actually now that I think about it a little bit, if you could get the dowel to go far enough into the lower half, you could cut a section of dowel, say 5 inch long, then cut one end of it off at about 1.5 in. Drill a hole through the center of both halves big enough for the bungee then thread it through and tie it tight. Take the long side and glue it in the upper half so you only have 1.5-2in of the longer section sticking out the end. Once it sets, you could then insert it into the lower half and lock the short cut off end with small short screws. Again I'd wrap and glue both sides with hemp rope/twine. Then the bungee is inside and you could just pull down and fold
These are great ideas for knock down legs. Ireally like the thought of the dowel into the hollow to make a socket with either a pin or the bungee to pull it tight like a tent pole.

Here's another thought. What if the legs were cut in half and a piece of all-thread expoxied into one side and a nut into the other? Or maybe a threaded sleeve of some sort for longer lateral strength. Then you would have threaded legs that could actually be interchangeable.

I've got a an extra bamboo pole, maybe I'll play with it if I can get to the hardware store.
 

Bullthrower338

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Is that a M6oo I spy in the pictures @Petey J
What is it chambered in?
 

Petey J

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Is that a M6oo I spy in the pictures @Petey J
What is it chambered in?
Good eye. Yes, it is a Rem 600 (not a mohawk) chambered in 6mm Remington.

I bought it off a friend who used our extensively in Arizona.
 

Albert GRANT

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Another reason to love this forum. Start with an idea, and talk it out to make it great. I was trying to figure out how to make it more collapsible for transport. These are great ideas for knock down legs. Ireally like the thought of the dowel into the hollow to make a socket with either a pin or the bungee to pull it tight like a tent pole.

Here's another thought. What if the legs were cut in half and a piece of all-thread expoxied into one side and a nut into the other? Or maybe a threaded sleeve of some sort for longer lateral strength. Then you would have threaded legs that could actually be interchangeable.

I've got a an extra bamboo pole, maybe I'll play with it if I can get to the hardware store.
The threaded rod and sleeve would certainly be the strongest, but I think it would take too much time to get all 3 legs threaded together, whereas the bungee sockets you'd be ready to shoot in a couple seconds. The pin is a good idea, but I'd be afraid of losing them, even if attached they could catch on something and snap off. There is also the possibility you would wear the holes out fairly quick and/or possibly split the bamboo. Who knows, maybe they would all work great, but it sounds like we need to start some experimenting! It would be sweet if there was an easy way to do a twist lock with metal insert and sleeve- 1/4-1/2 turn and lock in place.
 

samu

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Just make a spigot joint from either smaller diameter bamboo or whatever hollow pipe you can work with. Carefully sand the taper so it slides into the other piece with minimal wobble, then insert bungee cord through whole stick and tie into some plug at ends. When the fit is good, glue the insert to one side of the joint. It’s good to have the cord run through whole length of the stick but you need to get creative to make hole in the section walls inside the bamboo. You can also thread wrap and epoxy coat the joint area to prevent splitting. Done right, you could possibly just flip open the folded tripod and it seats on its own or do it leg at the time if being quiet is necessary.
 

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The threaded rod and sleeve would certainly be the strongest, but I think it would take too much time to get all 3 legs threaded together, whereas the bungee sockets you'd be ready to shoot in a couple seconds. The pin is a good idea, but I'd be afraid of losing them, even if attached they could catch on something and snap off. There is also the possibility you would wear the holes out fairly quick and/or possibly split the bamboo. Who knows, maybe they would all work great, but it sounds like we need to start some experimenting! It would be sweet if there was an easy way to do a twist lock with metal insert and sleeve- 1/4-1/2 turn and lock in place.

Twist lock like a hydraulic jack handle.
 

AES

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By the time you get there, everyone is going to have you shooting off of Stable Sticks and you are going to be really thrown off. j/k
 

Petey J

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I was in the hardware/grocery store today (the beauty of small town living, the local Ace Hardware is also half grocery- particularly nice in this time), and spent a few minutes looking through hardware for an idea.

These are what I came up with. Coupling nuts with an all-thread. Should be long enough for support.
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The other would be a clevis pin. And a metal sleeve with a hole drilled for a clip. This would be quicker, but not as stable as the all-thread. It doesn't have the bungee, but should still work.
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buck wild

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Only issue I have had with bamboo is that if left in the elements, they will eventually dry rot and splinter. I had a bamboo set I left in the bed of my hunting truck and a year later they basically fell apart. I have been using the plastic coated tomato stakes- the heavier duty ones for my shooting sticks lately.
 

buck wild

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Petey J

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Only issue I have had with bamboo is that if left in the elements, they will eventually dry rot and splinter. I had a bamboo set I left in the bed of my hunting truck and a year later they basically fell apart. I have been using the plastic coated tomato stakes- the heavier duty ones for my shooting sticks lately.

That is absolutely a consideration. The original video I found of this design used the heavy duty 6' plant stakes to make a bipod and tripod. They are a little more expensive than the bamboo, and would present a different set of challenges to be able to collapse the legs, but would certainly work. I've actually considered making a set using these exact same poles (except I wouldn't get them at Walmart :-D
 

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