A while back Instructor Michael Lake did an excellent “DIY” on shooting sticks made from fiberglass driveway poles. This DIY is similar, however gives you another option. The fiberglass is undoubtedly lighter but also more flexible, this translates to more movement under recoil and potentially less stability. This option, which makes use of wooden dowel rods, is heavier, so a bit less pack friendly. It does, however, result in a more stable support, which is especially important if you are taking more than one shot. Your shopping list:
- 7/8 in x 36in Oak dowel rods qty of 3. (you can use ¾ in for a bit less weight, but a bit less stability) The big Blue home store has these, the big Orange one only had ¾ only last time I looked. You could use 48in tall here as well, but I don’t believe it’s of any better use than 36in.
- Rubber Leg Tips or Rubber Bumpers from that same store, of your dowel size. Either the screw on type or the slip over will work fine. One pack.
- Square leather shoe strings. The wally world ones are Kiwi 72in models. One pack will do two sets of sticks.
- From that same store a pack of hair ties. Something in tan or brown will be fine.
Step 1: Take one of the leather shoe strings and wrap it slightly loosely around the three dowel rods, then simply tie the ends like such:
Step 2: Slide the leather up and down to make sure they can move freely, but aren’t too loose. You will probably wrap this tighter than you need to the first time. Keep that in mind as you’re doing this, but you can always adjust it once it’s all together and you see how it works.
Step 3: If you have slip on Rubber Leg Tips, you don’t need to drill the rods, just slip them on and skip ahead. If you have screw on rubber bumpers, keep reading. Drill one end of each dowel with an 1/8 in drill bit somewhere around ½ in deep. Screw on your three Rubber Bumpers.
You now have a rubberized end for shooting off smooth, relatively flat surfaces, and a wooden end for digging into loose surfaces. Best of both worlds.
Each design, whether you use wooden dowels or fiberglass rods, has its advantages and disadvantages, but this is another viable option.