Scaffolding for a raised shooting platform?

RickyRodney

Private
Belligerents
May 4, 2014
223
38
34
Has anyone tried this? I was planning on using just one frame for height, and mounting on concrete piers. I was concerned it might be wobbly if the wind blows at all. I would set it up long ways so you would have about 5' x 8' platform to shoot off facing down range. I was considering this as option for the platform so it could double duty as scaffolding should I need it for a little DIY around the house or something.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/MetalTech-Saferstack-6-4-ft-x-5-ft-Mason-Walk-Through-Arch-Scaffold-Frame-4-Pack-M-MA7660PSK4/206733514?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-203504547-_-206733514-_-N

https://www.homedepot.com/p/11-1-2-in-x-8-in-x-11-1-2-in-Concrete-Block-10550005/100350712
 

spaniel

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 26, 2006
401
202
49
Has anyone tried this? I was planning on using just one frame for height, and mounting on concrete piers. I was concerned it might be wobbly if the wind blows at all. I would set it up long ways so you would have about 5' x 8' platform to shoot off facing down range. I was considering this as option for the platform so it could double duty as scaffolding should I need it for a little DIY around the house or something.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/MetalTech-Saferstack-6-4-ft-x-5-ft-Mason-Walk-Through-Arch-Scaffold-Frame-4-Pack-M-MA7660PSK4/206733514?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-203504547-_-206733514-_-N

https://www.homedepot.com/p/11-1-2-in-x-8-in-x-11-1-2-in-Concrete-Block-10550005/100350712
I have used those a lot; you will not be happy as a shooting platform.

Here is my solution. Not done, now installing stairs and platform at the top of this. Then a roof above on poles not yet bolted up.
 

Attachments

Jakebrake300

Private
Belligerents
Feb 15, 2017
114
77
34
Sagle, Idaho
I’ve been a plaster/mason for 25 years and built thousands of scaffolding setups, you can brace it up with a couple of 2” pipes and clamps as well as the regular cross braces and it will be pretty sturdy but not near as good as a wood framed structure. Maybe rent a section of scaffolding first to try it out and see if your satisfied.
 

Diver160651

Who cares
Belligerents
Feb 7, 2013
3,364
1,885
219
BELMONTCA
Are you needing to shoot over dead space? Or are you trying to switch up angles?

I know this sands like a dumb question, but they are two very different things when using a CF cartridge
 

spaniel

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 26, 2006
401
202
49
Spaniel, I like your solution; it stimulates 'wild and crazy' (ala Steve Martin...) thoughts...

Greg
What started out as a desire for shade over the shooting position in the hot Indiana summer has certainly morphed. I figured, why not use the opportunity to get past the pesky issue of not being able to shoot the full 300 of the range from prone due to land contour....Then the kids were begging me for a treehouse/fort....now we all win. But it is about $2K in materials by the time I am done, which is a far cry from what the OP is looking for. But you could do a 6ft platform on 4X4 posts for perhaps $100-200 and still be better off than those scaffolding pieces. They just aren't stable.
 

RickyRodney

Private
Belligerents
May 4, 2014
223
38
34
Now if I build the structure could I get away with the concrete above ground 4x4 holder blocks vs. concreting the posts in?

Yes it’s to defeat a land contour and make the range 700 yards as well put more angle on our shots “increasing,” the safety.
 

spaniel

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 26, 2006
401
202
49
I doubt above ground concrete blocks will be stable, and if you have any wind there it won't be up for long. My kids' real playhouse had a single 4X4 set 3ft deep with concrete holding it in, a 70mph storm from pulled it up 3 inches so I sunk 3 more.

For this platform I used an auger on a tractor 3pt hitch and went down about 2.5 feet. I would have liked 4 but this maxed the auger. About 1.5 bags (120lb) of concrete on each post.

For a simple 6ft platform on 4X4s, go as deep as you can go with a hand posthole digger and put a bag of concrete on each pole. As long as there is no sides/roof to catch wind you should be GTG.
 

Sniper266

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Apr 16, 2018
233
66
34
California
www.california.gov
You can safely set up scaffolding with out setting it into the ground. That being said, if you can sink some posts with concrete to really secure it then more is better. Unless this is going to be a permanent structure i would do some research into scaffolding set up and take down and you’ll be fine. You shouldnt need the concreate pires, if anything they may make the structure unsafe. A lot of contractors build scaffolding on ply wood or wood planks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: davidb187

spaniel

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 26, 2006
401
202
49
You can safely set up scaffolding with out setting it into the ground. That being said, if you can sink some posts with concrete to really secure it then more is better. Unless this is going to be a permanent structure i would do some research into scaffolding set up and take down and you’ll be fine. You shouldnt need the concreate pires, if anything they may make the structure unsafe. A lot of contractors build scaffolding on ply wood or wood planks.
I don't think anyone is questioning the safety; this stuff is designed to be set up on the ground without concrete or reinforcement. It's about stability. I have plenty of time on scaffolding from summer painting jobs and it's fine for what it is designed for, but by the time I put enough work into stabilizing it to make it worth trying to shoot groups from I'd be ahead building a 4X4 and 2X6 platform set a couple feet in the ground.
 

hermosabeach

Everything is true on the internet- Abe Lincoln
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2012
9,407
32,845
219
Southern Cali
We have had a bunch of scheduled power outages as the power poles from 1940-1960 are being replaced.

I asked for a section and they left me a 6’ log.
(It’s a side project)

I wonder if you could contact the local utility company to help them dispose of their trashed power poles?

It seems like 14” diameter power poles dropped into holes could make for an awesome structure.

Sink 4 into the ground
Connect them with 2x6 or 2x8’s
Nail down a plywood top
Coat plywood with red waterproofing
Paint

Build some type of open top mesh sun shade or canvas

Muzzle blast reflecting off a roof is a nightmare
 

Blutroop

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 25, 2018
598
742
99
Alaska
That is light duty, only rated for 25#sf. I was a scaffold carpenter in another life before the military. You could make that work if you had to.. but you’ll spend a lot of time and/or a lot of money. If you have a budget build a small shed like others are suggesting. If you have more time than money, consider a sandbag room
 

Pbgt

Private
Minuteman
Nov 13, 2018
57
30
24
I did the container platform as somebody mentioned in one of these threads. I used 2x4 walls to temp shore the inside roof, welded a 1/4 x3 a36 flat around the entire outside perimeter, used #4 rebar @ 2ft centers. Poured concrete and finished it off with a broom for a slip proof surface. I welded poles for a canopy( covered with military netting) in the corners and fabricated some structural stairs along one side. I put (2) 680 lb shooting benches and also have 42 sandbags for the 3rd shooting position. Very stable, and has lockable storage inside. I will post some pics when I figure out how. I never thought of doing the oversized deerstand idea as someone posted, that looks a he'll of a lot simpler and much cheaper! Great project!
 

RickyRodney

Private
Belligerents
May 4, 2014
223
38
34
I did the container platform as somebody mentioned in one of these threads. I used 2x4 walls to temp shore the inside roof, welded a 1/4 x3 a36 flat around the entire outside perimeter, used #4 rebar @ 2ft centers. Poured concrete and finished it off with a broom for a slip proof surface. I welded poles for a canopy( covered with military netting) in the corners and fabricated some structural stairs along one side. I put (2) 680 lb shooting benches and also have 42 sandbags for the 3rd shooting position. Very stable, and has lockable storage inside. I will post some pics when I figure out how. I never thought of doing the oversized deerstand idea as someone posted, that looks a he'll of a lot simpler and much cheaper! Great project!
You should post some pictures, we all can see exactly what you built.
 

Pbgt

Private
Minuteman
Nov 13, 2018
57
30
24
Bear with me, I ended up with more of my range pics than intended.


DSC_0025.JPG 43 ft tower, hidden among the trees.
DSC_0027.JPG 43 ft tower

DSC_0242.JPG 100 yard benches
DSC_0245.JPG 100 yard benches
DSC_0216.JPG 517 yards to target, the 20 ft container. The 3 inches of concrete is solid, very little transfer or vibration. Forgot to include an pics from on top....
hDSC_0218.JPG 2 benches and sandbags. Alum diamond plate keeps sandbags from falling over the side. Love my home made camo job??
DSC_0219.JPG Cargo net shades our camera monitor. From ground to bench tops is approx 12 ft.
DSC_0220.JPG Stairs up the backside, with rope railing. Stairs could have been wider, it was what I had left over on a project. (30 inch tread width)
DSC_0224.JPG (2) platforms I made at 750 yards, the benches are rr ties and are separate so one shooter cannot vibrate the other.
DSC_0227.JPG Steps on back of rr tie platforms.
 

Decoy

Nobody
Belligerents
Jan 5, 2010
684
2,763
99
Washington
I have one I put up last year to raise my shooting position due to drop off to get more distance. Its simple and I will post some pics later.
 

Decoy

Nobody
Belligerents
Jan 5, 2010
684
2,763
99
Washington
OK OK Sorry:) I wanted to get you newer photos but I forgot.

Here are some during the construction to give you something to go until I get newer ones. Its still a work in process.

IMG_8073.JPG
Helping to dig the holes


IMG_8080.JPG
Front View (still has temp bracing up) Replaced with 45 degree 4 x 4's front, back and sides. Metal roof added later.

IMG_8338.JPG
Some of the side bracing up and back wall

IMG_8104.JPG
Back wall and hurricane straps are not installed yet. Half side wall was also installed to help keep the brass in which made it even stiffer. I am going to add a second side wall too.

IMG_8109.JPG
Front header with straps in (I built it low to keep the weather out, can't stand up) Shooting table on the left.

IMG_8774.JPG
View looking back at it

IMG_8776.JPG
View looking back zoomed (iphone - sorry)

IMG_9806.JPG
looking up range during our yearly pumpkin shoot - ready to shoot the exploding pumpkin

If you look close you can see the telephone poles for the main shooting shack yet to be built. I have a depressed area from 440 to about 550 that I want to put target down into that you will only see from the higher platform which will have two levels with a wood burner.

The berm at 200 has the plate rack and pistol steel which is color coded for pistol only. Did a lot more work to the berm and range since these photos.

IMG_9807.JPG
My eleven year old shooting the AR he stole from me!

IMG_8252.JPG
Happy day he clean all 21 steel targets from the plate rack at 200 all the way to 8 targets at 600 yards

My terrain slopes off so to get more distance and more shooting locations in why I place the shack where it is now. There are two dirt platforms to shoot from also.

Hope this helps, I'll get some more photos later when the weather permits.
 

Pbgt

Private
Minuteman
Nov 13, 2018
57
30
24
Very nice, I wish I had rolling hills on my range.....Where I'm at in MN its pretty flat and full of trees!
 

TRP173

Private
Belligerents
Aug 12, 2011
183
998
99
TN
Can we see the pics of Bigfoot or do you mean that critter playing in the dirt :)
 
Last edited:

BattleBorn

Private
Minuteman
Apr 10, 2018
51
19
12
Nevada
OK OK Sorry:) I wanted to get you newer photos but I forgot.

Here are some during the construction to give you something to go until I get newer ones. Its still a work in process.

View attachment 7018357
Helping to dig the holes


View attachment 7018358
Front View (still has temp bracing up) Replaced with 45 degree 4 x 4's front, back and sides. Metal roof added later.

View attachment 7018359
Some of the side bracing up and back wall

View attachment 7018360
Back wall and hurricane straps are not installed yet. Half side wall was also installed to help keep the brass in which made it even stiffer. I am going to add a second side wall too.

View attachment 7018361
Front header with straps in (I built it low to keep the weather out, can't stand up) Shooting table on the left.

View attachment 7018363
View looking back at it

View attachment 7018366
View looking back zoomed (iphone - sorry)

View attachment 7018367
looking up range during our yearly pumpkin shoot - ready to shoot the exploding pumpkin

If you look close you can see the telephone poles for the main shooting shack yet to be built. I have a depressed area from 440 to about 550 that I want to put target down into that you will only see from the higher platform which will have two levels with a wood burner.

The berm at 200 has the plate rack and pistol steel which is color coded for pistol only. Did a lot more work to the berm and range since these photos.

View attachment 7018368
My eleven year old shooting the AR he stole from me!

View attachment 7018370
Happy day he clean all 21 steel targets from the plate rack at 200 all the way to 8 targets at 600 yards

My terrain slopes off so to get more distance and more shooting locations in why I place the shack where it is now. There are two dirt platforms to shoot from also.

Hope this helps, I'll get some more photos later when the weather permits.
Damn nice set up. I need to buy up some land.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pbgt

hermosabeach

Everything is true on the internet- Abe Lincoln
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2012
9,407
32,845
219
Southern Cali
I had a project where we had to scaffold a 4 story building... the steel scaffolding moves a lot even when wired to the building...

I know I'm bumping an old thread, but scaffolding would be a horrible base for a shooting platform
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pbgt

hrt4me

Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2001
989
0
18
Dallas, Texas
I use pallet racks, they are easy for me to set up and level by myself, and I can easily adjust the height of the shooting platform; I have two, one platform is 6'x8' and the other is 5'x10'... I can shoot out to 900 yards on my own 102 acres.
 

Mach1pilot

Private
Belligerents
Feb 9, 2010
27
14
6
53
Ashville AL
www.alashooting.com
I doubt above ground concrete blocks will be stable, and if you have any wind there it won't be up for long. My kids' real playhouse had a single 4X4 set 3ft deep with concrete holding it in, a 70mph storm from pulled it up 3 inches so I sunk 3 more.

For this platform I used an auger on a tractor 3pt hitch and went down about 2.5 feet. I would have liked 4 but this maxed the auger. About 1.5 bags (120lb) of concrete on each post.

For a simple 6ft platform on 4X4s, go as deep as you can go with a hand posthole digger and put a bag of concrete on each pole. As long as there is no sides/roof to catch wind you sho
 

Mach1pilot

Private
Belligerents
Feb 9, 2010
27
14
6
53
Ashville AL
www.alashooting.com
Been working on mine. It's done except for the safety rails and some cross bracing.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nebulous

Pbgt

Private
Minuteman
Nov 13, 2018
57
30
24
Some great look'in set-ups with a ton of work into them, very nice guys.
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2009
3,414
541
219
Pacific Northwest,USA
This thread reminded me of a rifle match I attended years ago. They put up scaffolding that was equal to three stories (yep, it was quite a way up) tall with ladders and platforms on the four levels (ground, 1st story up, 2nd story up, and roof top). Each level had a little smaller platform from which to shoot, but the higher you went up, the higher the point value for each target. The stage had a par time, and the time was enough that if you hustled, you could make it to the top stage to shoot. At the very top, the shooting platform was about 2 feet wide by about 5 feet long. I was able to get the bipod of my rifle on the platform, and had the end of the platform just above my knees.. I thought it was a very interesting and challenging stage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pbgt

Pbgt

Private
Minuteman
Nov 13, 2018
57
30
24
In our advanced precision rifle course, students shoot from our rappel tower @ 36ft deck height, one target is near the tower base so you have more than a 45 degree downward shot, and it confuses shooters in part cause most are a lil nervous at heights, most shooters stand , hanging the muzzle over the edge with the bipod legs keeping the rifle from falling. The second target is at an unknown distance, partly obscured so range finders are useless, its a human torso and has a diagonal band about 4inches wide as a hit/score zone(target is about 239 yards away) so somewhat challenging. I like the scaffold idea, portable and easy to change up.
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2009
3,414
541
219
Pacific Northwest,USA
I'm not really afraid of heights, but I have to admit that when I finally got to the top level, I realized how high up it seemed when looking down from the little platform from which I shot. Not only does a shooter have to know the distances to the target, but when targets go from 75 to 550 yards there is a significant amount of elevation and wind drift to calculate. The elevated heart beat from carrying gear up the ladders, and then the added "zowie, it didn't look this high from the ground" effected my concentration.

It was a good course of fire. I think anything that makes people shoot under stress is good. I think the saying "Sweat more in peace time, bleed less in war" applies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Prebanpaul and Pbgt