Codeuce spinner targets: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What is a spinner?
  • Enter Codeuce
  • How they differ
  • The bearings
  • Two power levels
  • You can help

There have been some steady threads among the comments that have nothing to do with the topics of the report. One that has lasted for a long time is spinner targets. Some of you veteran readers may remember back in March of this year that reader Vana2 wroter a guest blog titled,
DIY spinner targets. Today I’m starting a report on some serious spinners made by reader Codeuce. He is relatively new to airgunning but we have already seen his innovation in the form of an assisted hand pump jig he built. So, when he offered to let me test his new spinners, I jumped at the chance. When you write your comments he will be reading and answering, so this report is being written by both of us.

What is a spinner?

I’ve been an airgunner for more than 60 years and a firearms shooter for most of that time. Like many of you, I have seen and shot at lots of spinners. For airguns the simplest ones are a flat piece of metal that’s twisted 90 degrees at the top with a small hole drilled through. A rod passes through the hole and serves as the axel upon which the spinner spins when hit. This Birchwood Casey spinner gallery is a good example of that.

commercial spinners
Birchwood Casey’s spinner gallery is the simplest type of spinner, described above.

This design can be modified by putting the twist in the middle of the steel and putting a target both down low and above the bar. You need two 90 degree twists for this. The heavier target hangs at the bottom and ensures that the spinner will always return to the upright position, like this Air Venturi spinner. One of the two paddles must be heavier or this spinner can stop in a position that makes it both hard to see and to hit.

Air Venturi spinner
Air Venturi spinner has a target paddle below and above the central bar. Often the top paddle will be smaller than the bottom one.

Enter Codeuce

Codeuce felt the market was underserved for action targets — especially good quality ones that have larger paddles for longer distance shooting. So he made some that he would like to use. He told me about them and I asked if I could test them to show to you. He consented and sent two targets for me to test.

How they differ

These targets have real bearings on axels, so they spin freely. I will try to show that to you in a future report. But today we can examine the targets and see how they are made.

coduece spinners
Two spinners made by codeuce. I mounted them on some 2 by 10 boards. Notice the left target is angled to miss the bottom target paddle when both paddles spin.

Take a good look at those two spinners. The one on the left side is angled so its paddles clear the ones on the bottom target. The two targets can be mounted closer to each other than you see here. I made this mount in 30 minutes out of 2 by 10-inch lumber.

There is more to these than you can see on first glance. For example, the maker counterbalanced the top paddle on the bottom target so it would spin freely. The bottom paddle being larger is heavier than the top, but with washers he made the two weigh nearly the same, so they spin a long time. Take off the extra washers and the spin stops sooner.

coduece spinners counterbalance
The top spinner paddle is counterbalanced to allow the spin to last a long time. It also makes the spinner easier to move, so less energy is required.

The other target’s top paddle has no counterbalance, so the spin stops quickly. As you can see, these features are quick and easy to change to suit your needs.

coduece spinners no counterbalance
This spinner has no counterbalance, so it slows down fast.

The bearings

The maker uses conveyor bearings on his targets, but he thinks skateboard wheel bearings would work as well. Those are readily available at discount and sporting goods stores. I can tell you the paddles move very freely, even though they are made of heavy steel.

coduece spinners bearing
The hub of the spinner (arrow) is a conveyor bearing.

The bearing runs on an axel that is bushed to remain centered in the target frame. Everything has been done right.

Two power levels

The targets as shown have higher power paddles installed. He also sent me thinner paddle faces for airguns of lower power. I plan to test them with both high and low power airguns with the high power paddles installed, because I think the bearings makes this setup universal — especially with the counterbalance. The lower powered guns may not spin the paddles as fast, but I think they will work. We shall see.

coduece spinners lower power paddles
These thinner paddles lower the target’s power requirements.

You can help

Codeuce wonders whether there is a market for high quality spinners like these. They obviously have to cost more than the simple spinners I showed in the beginning.

I plan to test these spinners with powerful airguns and with weaker ones, as well. I will also listen to any suggestions you readers have.

98 thoughts on “Codeuce spinner targets: Part 1

  1. I like these, while making holes in paper is fine for sighting in.
    Once you are zeroed, I prefer tatgets that ring and move.

    Heavy duty, rebuildable, versatile, simple.

    What’s not to like?


  2. I don’t understand the benefit to freely spinning paddles with bearings, let alone evenly weighted ones that spin longer. That would be good for windmill spinners that give you a moving target but it would be a pain to wait for your next shot with a rapid firing gun because the target wasn’t, “in battery” yet.


    • Coduece,

      Way to go dude! Not only are they rugged, but it is easy to change out the size of the targets.

      Is there a market for a spinner target that can withstand 100 FPE? Yes. I have several spinners, but I do not dare shoot them with my HM1000X. It would probably send them cartwheeling through the air.


      • R.R.
        I can’t tell you how many times I thought of you when I was working on the targets I really only have .22 airguns, the only .177 that I shoot regularly is my Umarex Browning break barrel pistol. So I only have a range of power from 2.5 FPE to about 20 FPE with the pellets I use so I don’t know about 100 FPE. however it would be very easy to incorporate a guard on either target to protects the bearing from higher powered airguns. As usual full of good insight thank you.


        • Coduece,

          When I saw BB’s setup I immediately thought of taking four of the angled targets and building a “box” and mounting one on each side inside the box for a shooting gallery. To make it more portable you could attach a couple of handles on the outside. You could get even fancier and make a stand for it.


          • I didn’t even think about mounting the targets in that way. So that just illustrates how valuable this test was for me. New ideas and thoughts about the spinners was exactly what I was hoping for.


    • Sean,

      Sorry about that, I hit the wrong button.

      As for the spin time, that can be adjusted. If you are using a rapid firing gun, you will likely want more than one target or you are going to get bored pretty quickly.



  3. Coduece,

    Very nice. I like the idea of changing the plates to accommodate different powered air guns. I also like the idea to vary washers to affect spin rate/duration. The bushings too. The angled one is interesting. Used by itself, what is the advantage of the angle?

    I like the idea of the bearings. I have seen many conveyor rollers in the steel scrap at work in the past. The welding of the arms to the bearing looks tricky. I imagine that the bearing shell is rather thin. Maybe you brazed it?

    All in all, fine job and wish you the very best should you pursue marketing.


  4. Coduece,

    Way to go dude! Not only are they rugged, but it is easy to change out the size of the targets.

    Is there a market for a spinner target that can withstand 100 FPE? Yes. I have several spinners, but I do not dare shoot them with my HM1000X. It would probably send them cartwheeling through the air.



  5. Nice job, Codeuce and B.B. My wife and I love spinner targets and have a variety. Our favorites are probably the animal silhouette spinners–hog, ram, turkey, chicken. I’ve told my wife if I ever open a bar for shooters it will have a swinging sign over the door that says “The Dizzy Hog”!


    • Hiveseeker
      Thanks, I thought last night when B.B. responded to your comment that my targets might be the topic today. You have no idea how hard it was not to post something about them the past two weeks, absolute torture.


  6. Codeuce,

    These look very nice, indeed.

    Do the bearings allow the paddles to turn easily (and though a full rotation) with hits from a low-powered air gun? To me an ideal spinner would be extremely responsive to low fpe guns but still be durable enough to last a long time. I have the simple Air Venturi spinner pictured above, but a 550 fps air rifle shooting it from 20 yards moves it back perhaps 90 degrees at most.

    Michael




    • Codeuce,

      You are quite a designer. I also see that you favor the rugged, overbuilt approach to materials. Good for you! Thanks very much for your contributions.

      Michael



  7. Hi Codeuce,

    Nice design! Like the construction. You might want to look at steel “garage door rollers” as they come with an axel.

    On the spinners I make I use a piece of foam to act as a clutch to dampen the spinning so I don’t have to wait so long for it to settle down.

    I am in the process of welding up a couple of heavy-duty spinners for my .25 caliber FX, might borrow a couple of your ideas 🙂

    Hank


  8. BB– My targets are small plastic medicine containers. I hang them from a line ( between 2 trees or steel fence posts. ) The containers will move when hit by pellets ( or bb,s) at any velocity. The plastic is tough enough to survive multiple hits, even from .22 rimfire rifles. The containers move in the breeze and allow me to practice shooting on moving targets. If you attach the string to the side of the container, between the top and center, they will spin erratically in the breeze. Since the wind will vary in direction and strength, each shot presents more of a challenge than my stationary spinners. As long as my doctors cooperate, I will always have plenty of free replacement targets. ——Ed


  9. BB—-My gun club,s high power rifle range had holes in the ground for the legs of the target carriers. Many of the members built there own carriers, because the club carriers were soon shot to pieces. All of these carriers were heavy and clumsy. When the members were moving the carriers, it looked like they were rehearsing for a passion play ! I took 2 old broomsticks and a large piece of cardboard ( from a discarded box). I drilled a few holes, and laced the cardboard to the stick,s. I had a light weight target carrier that worked just as well as the heavy carriers. It was easy to replace and the materials cost nothing. Well, almost nothing. I had to buy new brooms for my mother in law. The old ones were just lying around in her garage. They had so much flying time on them, that I thought that she would never miss them ! ——- ed


    • Lol. Just what I was thinking as I started to read your last line. A friend of mine posted a great photo on face book the other day, a picture of a brim lying in a parking lot space at a store. Comments were hilarious.

      Fred formerly from the DPRoNJ


    • Zimbabweed,

      The wire “H” shaped contraptions that they use to post signs for “Discount Mattresses” , ” Want to Lose Weight ” and ” Natural Viagra ” at almost every busy intersection that has some dirt for them to be stuck into, make good, lightweight carriers. They will hold corrugated cardboard just as well as the corrugated plastic they were meant for, and foam board works too. They are an eyesore in their intended role and are never removed by their owners once put in place, so I feel duty-bound to repurpose them!



  10. CD-Wonderful job!
    How would these hold up after being all rusted up. I live near the sea and EVERYTHING rusts. I buy a new tool at 10am and by 1pm I already see rust on the surface.
    -Y


    • Well I haven’t done any testing in that regard, but by screwing them to a short piece of lumber they are very portable. So it’s easy to bring them inside when done shooting.


    • Hi Yogi,

      I keep some of my large tools (table saw, band saw etc.) in an unheated garage where rust can be a problem.

      I spray the exposed metal surfaces and hardware with a MOISTURE DISPLACING product that is used to protect cars from rusting (salt is used to melt the ice and snow from the roads in the winter and rust is a concern).

      The “Krown” spray I use is made in Canada, maybe you can find a suitable product in the automotive section of your hardware store. I would be careful about using any kind of “PENETRATING” fluid on blued surfaces because these products are designed to dissolve rusts/oxides and may damage a blued finish.

      https://www.krown.com/products/aerosol-products/rust-protection-and-lubricant/

      Hope this helps,

      Hank


  11. Coduece
    You sir, have some brilliant ideas, and do excellent work..I’m especially interested in your PCP pump assist. As a paraplegic of over 40 years, I’ve been trying to figure out a way of using a high pressure pump using just my arms. It’s a main reason I’ve put off buying a PCP. I’ve seen a few Micky Mouse designs on YouTube, but nothing that looks as practical as yours.
    Thanks again for your input.
    Ciao
    Titus


    • Titus, so glad you read my post the other day. I was thinking of your advice about letting the arrows fly free to the target. I had no idea that you are no longer doing archery since you write about it with such passion. Perhaps you could go to a lower weight. I get plenty of enjoyment out of my 30lb fiberglass recurve bow. Yes, the longbow and the recurve model were a natural match-up as part of the clash of East and West during the Crusades. From what I can tell, the recurve was the clear winner. There is an old archery range called Finnesbury Fields in England where they recently unearthed target butts at 400 yards. But there are accounts of people shooting 500 yards with the Eastern style recurve. The documentation from that time is suspect, but one telling bit of evidence is that around the time of the Crusades, the Western longbows developed a slight recurve at the ends known as a “deflex/reflex” feature, and that kind of imitation tells you something. I’ve heard that longbows are smoother and even more accurate because the string doesn’t actually touch the bow, but I doubt that the difference in accuracy is significant. I understand that Olympic archery is performed with recurve bows.

      180 yards is way beyond any distance that I’m likely to shoot. So, what group sizes did you get around the clout? I can see the historical application of that game since shooting at that distance and angle, you are unlikely to get a direct hit but are striving for coverage of a “beaten zone” not unlike techniques of volley fire used with bolt-action rifles before WWI.

      I believe that I do know the push pull technique you’re talking about. I learned it from a Korean martial art which called for raising the bow and arrow above the head and then lowering it down in front of you. In the resulting motion, the lead arm would push forward while the rear arm pulls back, even though the lead arm remained at full extension. Otherwise, it is fun to speculate on the lost methods of the English archers. The only other clue I’m aware of is a contemporary document that said the advantage of the English archers over all others is their way of “throwing their body into the bow.” What the heck does that mean? One enthusiast claims that it consists of throwing your chest forwards as the bow comes down. Given the bladed orientation of the body, “forwards” here would be at a right angle to the target. The advance of the chest would be coordinated with the spreading of the arms in the push-pull dynamic that you described; this was the Steve Reeves move from the Hercules movies that I referred to. I’m sure there is a name for this mechanical principle, something like “camming” or “cantilevering”, but I don’t know what it is.

      Is that the full-extent of the mysterious technique? I don’t think so. Contemporary accounts also refer to the English archers stepping forward to fire their arrows, and I don’t think they were stepping for fun. The step would put their body in motion, generating momentum, and then it’s just a matter of rerouting this momentum into the bow. But beyond that is guesswork.

      Matt61


    • The pump assist is pretty early in the design stage just a proof of concept really. But its very promising, I’ve just been busy with the targets. You know even with the simple things the devil is in the details. To get to this point from my initial build with my targets has been eye opening for sure. It has taken a lot of time to get things just right, even for something as simple as my targets. As far as the pump,I definitely will need someone to help test it, let me get a few bugs worked out and I will get ahold of you.


      • Coduece,

        Nice job on the pump assist. Folding for storage would be one concept. Braced sufficiently, light weight materials can be very sturdy, another thought. For low cost targets, strap and punched holes with 90 degree twist are hard to beat for efficient building. Efficiently incorporating bearings is a challenge. The only thing that readily comes to mind is a “press fit” of something that would press onto the bearing and eliminate the need for welding. If you were to bend strap in a circle, but smaller than the OD of the bearing, that would be a press fit and may only take a tack weld to secure. Perforated strap and angle are other options. The frame could be bolted together that way. U-bolts are cheap and can be set up with 2 nuts per thread to allow slippage in the case of a pivoting shaft or used in the conventional manner for clamping. Spring loaded, adjustable tensioners could be used to add or reduce spin rate instead of varying the weight.

        I admire your innovation as I have set out on many a “mission” only to find that the “devil was in the details” as well,.. as you said. 😉 Best wishes on the Gen. 2, Gen. 3, Gen 4, etc., etc..

        Hang in there and I will be keeping a mind set out for you on improvements in building for the targets and spinners. If you are anything like me, you will obese over something for every waking hour until you perfect it.


        • Yes that’s for sure,there are so many ways to Skin the cat,it’s one of the more frustrating aspects of building things. Deciding what worth the effort and what isn’t.


          • Coduece and Chris
            That’s the fun part of trying things.

            The what works and what don’t part.

            But I do not like when the overthinking part kicks in.

            Simple but effective. That’s what I always say. 🙂



  12. These products seem to be very well-made versions of a common product. So the question is whether people are willing to pay for quality. I don’t know. I generally look for cheap prices. However, I am no end of pleased with my heavy duty airgun trap that can withstand rimfire and use it for all my shooting. It’s hard to predict the market reaction.

    Matt61


  13. Coduece
    Nice spinners. And so that’s your top secret hand pump assist.

    Can you give a estimate of how much percentage it reduces pump effort? I do like that’s for sure.



      • Coduece,

        Could you estimate how long the stroke is and do you use it one handed or two, seated or standing. I’m excited to try your design out, as using my Air Venturi G6 pump to fill to 3200 psi, injured the A1 pulley in my left hand because of the force it took to get the pump handle down all the way. The way I was gripping the handle put most of the force in the palm of my hand, right at the first knuckle of my ring finger ( be careful if you feel an impact at the bottom of the stroke at this area of your hand. Modify your grip.) I found a way to grip it so that the force was exerted elsewhere on my hand but the damage was already done and I had to have surgery. I bought a carbon fiber tank and the Air Venturi compressor but I’d like to be able to use my hand pump, as well, if I needed to. Your gadget could be just the ticket.

        I just received my Diana stormrider (that’s the way it’s labeled on the box, on the instructions, and on the gun, proper. All lower case. ODD!) and it’s so CUTE! I have only fired it twice with no pellet and just the air charge that it was shipped with and it’s definitely louder than my Wildfires, which are my only other unsuppressed PCPs. It will be a candidate for your assisted pump since it pumps to 3000 psi. The gun is packed to withstand UPS and FEDEX. The Diana box is equipped with a closed cell foam ( the stuff that PA packs your pellets in) insert that is hollowed out with a very formfitting cavity to hold the gun and it’s accessories. My more expensive guns did not receive this level of care in packaging, including RWS and FWB guns that I bought in the ’80s

        If I haven’t said it already, kudos on your targets.



        • Halfstep
          That is nice packaging.

          And you know that the gun should be quieter when you actually load a pellet and fire the gun verses a dry fire.

          Figured I would bring that up just incase someone did not realize that.


          • GF1,

            I was pretty sure that it should be. That’s why I pointed out that it was not loaded, but, you know, it was also only charged to about 900 psi. It may be this loud when fully charged and loaded with a pellet. I’ll know after tomorrow ’cause I’m gonna be shootin’ it as soon as I get home from my hand surgeon’s office.

            I really hope this thing is accurate because I already like its look, size, and the trigger.


          • GF1,

            And,… (no) dry firing for springers,.. at all,.. ever! “Figured I would bring that up incase someone did not realize that.” 😉 That is a PCP for anyone that may not realize it. They (can) be dry fired.


            • Chris
              I almost said that but didn’t.

              Yep sure don’t want someone testing the sound on their springers with no pellet loaded.

              I’m afraid after a few test dry fires with a springer they might just encounter more noises than they bargained for. In a bad way.



      • Coduece
        At what psi and what amount of pounds of pump force does it take. If you can give the pumping pounds at 2000 psi.

        I will have to check my Benjamin hand pump the next time at 2000 psi when I fill the Maximus. With and without the shop compressor booster assist.

        Then maybe we can both post some numbers to see what the differences are. I would like to know.



          • Coduece
            How many pounds of pressure though on the bathroom scale. I want to know so I can compare how much difference in effort.

            I fill my QB79 regulated bottle to 3000 psi. So I can get that pounds of pump pressure from my bathroom scale too.




              • Coduece
                Here is how many pounds of pressure it took to pump my Benjamin hand pump at 2000 psi at the full fill on my Maximus.

                I used a bathroom scale like you used. I put the base of the hand pump right on the scale. I stood on the floor.

                With the shop compressor booster assist and set at 30 psi of intake pressure it took me 105 pounds of pressure to push the pump handle down to the bottom of the stroke.

                With no shop compressor booster which is like a normal hand pump would be out of the box it was received in. It took me 95 pounds of pressure to pump to the bottom of the stroke.

                When I fill my HPA pcp QB79 to 3000 full fill the next time I need to refill it. I will give the with and without pumping pressure like above. And I do know it takes more effort at 3000 psi. So I’m sure it will be higher.

                But I will post results when I fill the QB79.


                • GF1
                  The best I can tell it’s around 35 lbs at 2000 psi. However i have some spring scales at work and I’m going to try to remember to bring one home tomorrow, I just thought of using it. The base of the pump stand doesn’t fit my bathroom scale so I’m just balancing the scale on the handle and pushing down. I feel it’s a suspect way of measuring. The scales at work are like heavy duty fishing scales, I can attach it to the handle and pull down. So I will let you know if the numbers change much. I can say that at 2000 psi it’s very easy to pump.



                    • Coduece
                      I’m pretty sure I’m getting a accurate reading on my test of pounds needed to pump a hand pump.

                      And I have to think that you are getting a pretty good reading right now too.

                      If it is truly 35 pounds of effort. That is way over half the pumping effort from your pump assist. To me that’s excellent results.

                      And like you just mentioned. Add the booster assist I gave results from to your reduced effort of pumping. I think it’s a good combination.

                      The added boost air to the hand pump cuts pumping time in half pretty much. Then add in your pump assist to reduce effort by more than half sounds like a win win situation to me.

                      I can see it now. A boost and leverage assist hand pump that can perform with a Shoebox or a Air Venturi booster pump. To me that’s a very important combination and should be definitely addressed. It needs built in my opinion.



  14. I would just like thank everyone here for their valuable insights and informed opinions it is very gratifying, I’m so thankful for this blog. One side note my 18 yr old daughter was reading this and commented how nice it was that everyone is very proper and professional, something else to be proud of for sure!


  15. And here’s the odd name. And to think I have been focused on whether to print it as one word “Stormrider” or two words ” Storm Rider”. Turns out both were wrong


  16. Matt61— You need to read ” Long Bow, by Hardy”, the later edition that has a chapter on the long bows recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose (sank 1547). Some of these bows show reflex-deflex. You should also view the videos on youtube that show people shooting copies of these bows. The British long bow assn has a warbow catagory at their shoots. A bow must draw at least 80 lbs for this event. Some shooters are using bows that draw 100 lbs and more. They are trying to rediscover how these bows were shot in the middle ages. You can find them on youtube. Watch and enjoy.—–Ed



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