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DIY 3D Archery Target: A Beginner’s Guide to 3D Targets

DIY 3D archery target
Written by Erik Himmel

If archery is to meet perfection, you need to do it in real. But, you must prepare yourself for accuracy. Using a 3D target for practicing is somewhat a popular way to develop one’s archery skills. A good one that doesn’t harm your arrows, wear from the core too quickly and require a new purchase may not be an easy pick. A DIY 3D archery target is a fine alternative to the more expensive market options. Psst! Hey, afraid of tackling the job? Don’t worry, I’ll help you!

I would like you to know a few things about the contemporary 3D targets before you take on the learning curve. These facts will help you determine what to keep in mind while crafting a DIY 3D archery target.

3D Archery Target Facts

3D Archery Target Facts

The following information is intended for those who want to get a 3D type and be ready for that to take their skills to the next level.

  • These objects can be crafted to mimic any kind of animal/beast you prefer shooting in real life.
  • Some of these objects come in various overlay options.
  • For example, one of those shows you the vitals on the outside so that you know exactly where the arrow would hit.
  • An outdoor range is the best place for these objects.
  • Middle sections of some of these targets are replaceable when they wear out.
  • Experts recommend the use of field points and a thorough setup while going with a 3D model.
  • Users of broadhead arrows would want to get/make a different type of target since these arrows can cause the foam core of the target to wear out quickly.

DIY 3D Archery Target: A Quick Project for DIYers

Now, you want to learn the steps, and I’ve informed you of what you should know in the first place. Remember you should not rush the job as 2-3 days will be required for the target to be in a perfect shape. So, here you go…

1. Required Supplies

Since you’re making one for long-term uses, a few supplies (affordable and durable) will be required. I hope all of the following items except the foam are already available at your home.

  • Spray foam (aerosol polyurethane)
  • Board: 1 piece measuring 2 x 4/1 ft. long
  • Board: 2 pieces measuring 2 x 4/3 ft. long
  • Drill
  • Foam-based turkey trap/One-dimensional cardboard
  • Newspapers
  • Screws

2. Applying Coating to One Side Completely

In this phase, you need to build the primary part of the target. Follow the steps below.

  • Put the newspapers one after another unless the pile become several layers and able to serve as a good cover for the target’s flat exterior.
  • Place the cardboard and the turkey trap on the layers.
  • Now, you need a foam coating that covers an entire side of the target. Use aerosol polyurethane foam to make sure the bulk forms.
  • Leave it for 24 hours so that the foam dries properly.

3. Apply the Same Coating on Another Side

It’s time you got prepared for applying the Polyurethane spray foam coating to the remaining side. These are the steps to follow.

  • Now is the time to turn the turkey trap right over.
  • Use a foam layer using the spray foam, so you can apply a coating to the decoy’s other side.
  • Leave it for another 24 hours, so it dries thoroughly.
  • I advise some cautions when you’ll work for creating the foam layers. Make sure none of the layers becomes coarse/thick. They have to be thin enough.

4. Checking the Bulk

This phase is about checking the portion of the decoy you already have created.

  • An extra foam layer has to be applied to decoy.
  • Then, you should wait once again until the trap becomes dry.
  • Turn the thing over (not hastily but slowly) to apply some extra foam spray.
  • One more instance of waiting for a dry job is required.

You may repeat the above procedure as long as you think the target already has the appropriate amount of mass. However, your preferences are what determine if the target is bulky enough or it requires some more.

5. Making the Stand

A stand is what allows your target to remain in a position you want or require to practice archery.

  • Take the two board pieces and place them, so they stay parallel to each another. This way, you’ll make a stand.
  • Now, take the one-piece board foot-long board (2 x 4/1 ft.) on top of the two boards laid a few moments ago. Place the three pieces, so they form an “H” shape.
  • Use your drill and screws to make sure the boards stay fastened and positioned properly.

6. Joining the Decoy with the Stand

Following the same way using your drill and screws (as you did for the boards) to fasten the 3D target.

  • Place it in the middle of the stand (the decoy should be in the shape’s middle).
  • Check if the target stays straight up.
  • Also, check that the target remains steady as you start releasing arrows through it.

You’re Done! But, Keep These in Mind…

  • You may use boards with higher length if you need your target to remain in a higher position.
  • Apply foam spray as long as it takes the target to be able to stop the speedy arrows from piercing through or prevent any damage of the arrows.
  • Don’t start shooting unless the foam coating gets dried thoroughly.

Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to make 3D archery targets. Go, start shooting at your new found DIY 3D archery target. By the way, don’t forget to shoot me a message if you think you want to share similar projects or need some more advice.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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