Making a Better Soda Can for Plinking, With a Fitted Carrier

Introduction: Making a Better Soda Can for Plinking, With a Fitted Carrier

The problems with plinking aluminum cans, regardless of the caliber of the ammo, or the power of the Air Gun, is that they are easily blown over in a light wind, and are destroyed in less than a dozen shots.  Also, if you need to transport them to or from an area that you can safely shoot - since they are so flimsy, they get crushed.  I have a fix for all that.

Items needed:
Two  – 12 packs of your favorite soda
One - 16 oz. can of “Great Stuff”  (pressurized expanding insulation foam)
(You can substitute those nasty "plastic foam packing peanuts", or even use those plastic shopping bags that you've been saving and don't know what to do with).
Four - scrap washers, nuts and bolts per can.

Step 1: Making a Better Soda Can for Plinking, With a Fitted Carrier

Step 1 – .

Open the 12 pack carefully. Remove a can of soda.   Drink the contents.  Rinse the empty can, drain it and let it dry.  Remove the pull tab.  Repeat for all 12 cans in the case. Mark the case "MT" (Empty).  Add the empty, dried cans back to the cardboard carrier. Repeat for the 2nd 12-pack.

Step 2: Making a Better Soda Can for Plinking, With a Fitted Carrier

Step 2

For each of the 24 empty cans, carefully spray in enough Great Stuff (follow the label directions, especially about wearing plastic gloves, if you get this on your hands it can take hours to remove), to allow expansion to fill can, being careful to NOT overfill the can, as this will cause can to deform.  Allow the foam to set for 24 hours. If you overfill, the foam will come out of the top of the can, and once set, will need to be sliced away.  Once the cans are set (8 hours), return the foam filled can to the empty case.  Repeat for all 24 cans.

Step 3: Making a Better Soda Can for Plinking, With a Fitted Carrier

Step 3

After the foam is set (8 hours), use a sharp knife to carefully trim off the excess from the top of the can. Store in the original paper carton.  One 16 oz. can of Great stuff can fill up to twenty-four 12 oz. soda cans (once you learn how to properly fill).

Set the cans up on a proper support, in front of a proper pellet-proof backstop.  Step back about 10 meters (33 ft.), and plink.  The foam will keep the cans from deforming as quickly as a non-filled can. The weights in the bottom will keep the can upright in a light breeze.  Cans can be re-used for dozens of shots, and can be easily transported or stored in the original 12 pack case.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Better solution: Fill with water (food coloring optional).

    It's cheap!
    Doesn't get blown over!
    Fun to see the can leak out water (or food coloring).


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've heard of this before. how does it hold up to bb guns, .22lr and .223?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    Thank you for asking, and checking out the Instructable. Since most BB guns are using .177 cal. BBs, but usually are shooting at lower velocities than a pellet gun, you get more "shots per can" with them. Lower powered (400 fps and under) airguns tend to have the BB penetrate the face of the can, but get trapped inside, thus making the target last longer.

    Firearm ammo tends to (if the can is properly weighted to keep it upright longer) pass completely through, leaving a tunnel of the same diameter through the target can.

    When I have used a hollow-point .22 pellet in my Benji Marauder air rifle, the exit hole is much larger than the entrance (the hollow-point expansion works as designed). With a firearm, the cans do tend to rather spectacularly jump when hit. Wish I could post a video of them here to go with the PDF file. Beer cans also work well (as with any aluminum drink can). However, this being a "family oriented" site - I went with the soda cans! LOL

    If you can find the "Great Stuff" on sale, that's the best time to get it and build up your stock. I've also had a lot of success stuffing those plastic grocery bags tightly into the soft plastic bottles (Gatorade 6 oz.). The .177 (600 fps) and .22 (1000 fps) go in, but don't come out (10 yards). Great for dozens of shots.


    9 years ago on Step 2

    Sorry ... forgot - Edit needed as follows: "For each of the 24 empty cans, place four metal washers, screws bolts or nuts in the bottom of the can, then carefully spray in enough Great Stuff (or substitute plastic foam packing 'peanuts', or plastic shopping bags to fill the can, being careful NOT to cut your fingers - you may need to use a stick or screwdriver to pack these into the can; once these are in, the can is finished and ready for use. For the Great Stuff, follow the label directions ... "