Pellet Catcher- for Plinking With Air Pistols.




Just a very quick Instructable.

I took my Air pistol around to my pals'  house.

They instantly enjoyed shooting every can from the recycling box.
(They acquired their own pistol within a week.)

We sit in the garden talking and taking it in turns to fire; it is relaxing and addictive.

But because I don't like spreading lead around, I elected to make a pellet catcher.

I used:
Various chunks of wood
Some old magazines and newspapers.
Some fabric or old clothing.
Some nails.
Any small metal lumps or brackets. (or just soda cans )
Some twine.

It took twenty minutes to make and looks like it took ten; and is odd shaped due to the wood available but it works fine.

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Step 1: The Outer Part.

I wanted to be able to easily change the paper wadding in the catcher when needed.

I made an inner part that would hold the wadding in place.

THe outer part is simply a board with some batons nailed on.

Step 2: The Inner Part.

Again, very simple.

Just an open box sized to fit snugly in the outer part.

The odd shaped sides are due to the odd assortment of wood available; it worked out well,  though, because the large piece became an overhang to attach the targets.

Step 3: Fitting It Together With the Wadding.

I put in about a two inch thickness of paper and magazines.

I used an old t-shirt  (When he went out  , she gave me his t-shirt ).

Push the inner piece into the outer piece and it should hold together all nice and cosy.

Step 4: Add Some Targets and Test It.

I like things that go ding when you hit them.

I used a various washers, an old bracket that makes a great sound.

It works perfectly.

Because the targets are heavy, with some movement, the successful pellets just  fall to the floor. with a slight ringing sound.

The pellets that miss the targets either stick into the wadding or rebound no further than about 3 inches from the target onto a little mat; the sound is reduced too.

I am able to collect every used pellet, which will either go to the local salvage yard or become part of a project.

Happy Plinking!

Step 5: Nice Things.

Here are some nice guns; for targets only.

Step 6: UPDATE ...

We have discovered that a piece of roofer's lead placed in front of the padding makes a superb pellet catcher; they just stop dead with a thud and stay there.

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    14 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    plumber's putty is cheap, reusable. and doesn't make a sound


    7 years ago on Introduction

    nice quick instructables..

    i made one also using an old desktop computer cover!!!

    2012-07-31 17.20.03.jpg2012-07-31 17.19.31.jpg2012-07-31 17.19.46.jpg
    2 replies


    the handle came with the wood, from an old hard wood drawer front.. i am planning to build another one from an old drawer that i pickup from the dumpster.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    This is a wonderfully illustrated and documented instructable! I will have no problem building one. I had to comment for that and another reason. This is such a responsible way of enjoy lead based projectiles. I sure think you are inspiring more people to think responsibly. Oh, and I too like the ping sound!

    1 reply

    Dear jlyvers743,

    Thanks, I'm glad that you like it.

    If you want to go even easier; At home I used an ammunition box that simply has a phone book jammed in the back. . . . or just look out for an old drawer .

    Many Pings.



    7 years ago on Introduction

    A great upcycling project! I found it interesting that you used an old shirt to contain the wadded paper. Why not just wedge in a square cut from the side of a corrugated box? Cheap, plentiful and easily replaced when overly perforated.

    I've found that using a layer made from discarded telephone books in back of the paper wadding does a very effective job of stopping any .177 or .22 lead pellets which may drill past the wadding. Not as much of an issue with air or CO2 pistols, but it can be with air rifles, given their higher muzzle velocities. The pellets can still be collected if you just "let your fingers do the walking" (sorry, dating myself a bit, there).

    Your gallery frame design would also be easy to adapt for paper targets, by stretching a pair of thin parallel cords horizontally, then clipping the target(s) between the cords. Nice project and Instructable!

    1 reply

    Dear Denga,

    Thanks for your suggestions

    This was a ' and-by-the-time-that-you-get-back-from-the-shops-in-half-an-hour-I-will-have-built-it project '; I did and still had time for a cup of tea.

    I used what was to hand, making it up as I went along.

    All I could find for the 'padding' were some phone directories and magazines; these were odd sizes and the T-shirt was just used to hold everything in place.

    I think the term " wadding', that I used was maybe incorrect. It was not shredded or scrunched up; it was just whole directories which become wadded as more pellets tear them up.

    The idea of using corrugated cardboard squares is a good one, because it creates a softer layer to hold the pellets before the back-stop of phone directories;  I may use it in the future, but unfortunately there were no boxes available at the time. (I tried rubber pond liner firstly but it caused too many rebounds).

    At my own home I have metal ammunition box that simply has a directory in the back and because it is a tight fit, it needs no t-shirt, and it works fine . . .  I fear that I may be rambling . . .

    ( I was right about that saddle . . .)

    Happy Shooting


    Dear Dream Dragon,

    Hmmmm, interesting idea.

    Size is pretty crucial though ; there is a noticeable difference between 5.6mm pellets and 5.5mm pellets.

    Also pellets need a hollow skirt that expands when fired.

    I don't think that I would have the skill to do it.

    If you or anyone has tried making them I'd certainly be interested in reading about it.