Shooting sticks are an essential part of a hunter or target shooter’s arsenal. If you don’t want to head to the outdoors store and spend the money on a new set, you can take a few minutes to make a set for yourself instead. In this article I want to show you how to make shooting sticks for your rifle.
Why Are Good Shooting Sticks Important?
A well-made shooting stick can mean the difference between making a shot and completely missing your target. If your shooting stick slips, breaks, wiggles, wobbles, or just generally gives you issues while you’re using it than you won’t be able to make the best shots possible.
There is no point in having a shooting stick if you can’t get your normal shooting activities done with it. If it doesn’t work well for your rifle, isn’t sturdy enough for the woods, lacks proper camouflaging, or if it simply isn’t a good shooting stick than you might be in trouble.
Having a high quality shooting stick made with a useful design and the right materials is irreplaceable. One of these will stay with you for a while and will remain useful whenever you need it the most. If you want to really make sure you get it right, build the shooting sticks yourself.
Types of Material to Use
Wooden dowels are the most common things used for making shooting sticks. Most dowels will work, including broomstick handles, laminated hockey stick handles, or driveway markers. As long as the wood is sturdy and it won’t fall down once you place the weight of the gun on your setup, you can use that wood for your purposes here.
For some sticks, paracord is used to keep the sticks from opening too widely at the base. In this case, it’s good to use paracord instead of any other thinner strings. You want something that is going to last you well, no something that will need a lot of fixing over a short period of time.
Lastly, if you plan on using the shooting sticks to help you hunt, you will want to camouflage them in a way that they will be disguised for your particular environment. This can be done with patterned tape, spray paint, or anything else creative that you can come up with on your own.
How to Make Shooting Sticks?
Two-legged bipod shooting sticks are some of the easiest types to make and are highly adjustable for whatever you need. While they are very stable, they won’t have the same level of stability that a tripod would give. However, they are easier to carry and generally only take a few minutes to create.
- 1. Take two wooden dowels of the same thickness and cut them to equal lengths. Ideal length for most people is around 32 inches tall. If you are taller than 6’5” you may consider increasing the height slightly, but not too much as you will still want to use it effectively.
- 2. Measure 4 inches down from the top of each dowel and mark the spot. No matter how long your dowels are, this is a good measurement to keep consistent for the best usability.
- 3. Drill holes at the level you marked before. The holes should be large enough for a small bolt to fit through without much trouble.
- 4. Insert a wing bolt through the holes in both dowels and secure it with a washer on the opposite side. This should be secure enough that when the washer is tightened, the sticks cannot be moved or twisted at all.
- 5. To use the shooting sticks, loosen the washer and spread the sticks until they rest at the desired height before securely tightening the washer again.
- 6. Cover the sticks in camouflage tape, spray paint, or any other camouflaging material you have to avoid being obviously out of place in the woods when you’re hunting.
- 7. Tip: For added stability, drill equal holes 2 inches above the bottom of each stick. Make sure they are facing the opposite way of the top holes. Put a 20 inch paracord through each hole and knot it on both sides. This will keep the shooting sticks from opening up too wide or moving while you’re aiming.
Most tripod designs for shooting sticks are similar to the bipod design above. Using the same supplies, you can create a more stable tripod. There is also a much simpler method involving only paracord and three wooden dowels. That is the method I want to give to you.
- 1. Line up 3 wooden dowels of equal widths. Cut them to be the same length. These can be between 28 and 36 inches, depending on how tall you are. The average length for most people is 32 inches tall.
- 2. Line each dowel with camouflage using your preferred method. This could be camouflage tape, paint, cloth, or otherwise.
- 3. Take a long paracord and tie a simple knot at each end. Melt the knots with a flame to keep them closed.
- 4. Line up your camouflaged dowels and find a spot about 4 to 6 inches down from the top of each dowel. Take the paracord and begin a clove hitch at this point. Tie about 4 hitches in each direction from the middle to make a large, sturdy knot. (https://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/clove-hitch)
- 5. The tripod shooting sticks are now complete. To adjust them, push the knot tightly together and move the sticks how you want them. For storage or travel, pull the knot out so that it tightens completely over the sticks and holds them together.
These are two methods of making your own shooting sticks for hunting, target shooting, or any other needs you may have. While there are other ways to do it, this simple guide demonstrates how to make shooting sticks out of the most basic materials you might already have at home.