Bell Ringer


Cree Vicar Dave – SASS Life # 49907

Freedom resonates from the heart of mankind. Therefore the sound of a bell ringing appeals to our yearning for liberty. I enjoy shooting targets that ring. But targets made from old oxygen cylinders and the like; expose themselves to the hazards of the dreaded ricochet. It says in John 8:32 "then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Let us endeavor to shed some truth on the matter of eliminating hazards and setting us free from this problem of ricochets.

A while ago, I spotted an oxygen cylinder target enclosed in an anti-ricocheting shroud. I set out to construct one for our Church Stage at Sucker Creek Saddle & Gun Club. The one I saw was made out of 4"x 4" treated lumber. After some price checking I found that treated landscape timbers 3"x5" cut the cost by over half. The shroud inside measurements are around 30"H x 22"W x 31"D.


        10 – 3" x 5" x 8’ treated landscape timbers

        2 – 2" x 4" x 8’ treated lumber

        6 – ½" x 36" standard threaded rod

        16 – ½" standard thread nuts

        14 – ½" flat washers

        2 – ½" standard thread eyebolts (One around 8" long for shroud top and one 6" for bell)

        2—5/8" flat washers (For eyebolt on bell top) (Double nut & jam nut bell)

        1—Quick link (Large enough to use on ½" eyebolts)

        And a handful of 3" deck screws

I cut the 3" x 5" x8’ landscape timbers in three parts, two 31" pieces for the sides and a remaining piece of around 32" for the roof top. This ends up producing ten pieces for each side wall and ten for the roof top. Next drill holes in the side wall pieces 9/16" to allow for ease of assembling. It is paramount that the holes align properly. A good way to maintain alignment is to make a template the length of the pieces and around 3" wide and drill a 1/8" hole in each end where you want to space the holes. Then place the template on the flat side of the pieces and use the nail to mark the hole centers. Before using a drill press to drill holes through, I used a chisel bit wood drill to counter bore the two holes in the top and bottom pieces of the side walls and also the front and back pieces of the top. The counter bore should be large enough to fit a ½" flat washer and deep enough to accept the height of a ½" nut and flat washer, around 1 ½" diameter x 5/8" deep. On the side wall pieces I placed the holes at 5" and 26" on the center line, and the roof top pieces were drilled at 7" and 25" from front. Assemble the side wall pieces using the threaded rods, flat washers and nuts. Keep the threaded rods flush with the nuts on the bottom of the side walls. There will be around 5" of rod protruding from the wall tops. These four extending rods are used to fasten the roof to the side walls.

Next assemble the roof pieces using the rods, washers & nuts. The assembled roof will be close to the side wall depth. If the top is under 31"deep, simply add a 2" x 4" x 32" treated piece to the back of the top. Roof timbers are set crosswise to the walls and may extend a little at front and rear. Mark bottom of roof where the threaded rods will pass through when roof is aligned fairly even with sides and front. Drill holes through with around a ¼" drill from bottom side. Where the 4 holes come through the roof top, counter bore 1 ½" dia. to accept flat washers and nuts, around ¾" deep. Then drill ¼" holes in roof top out to accept the threaded rods protruding up from the walls. Assemble roof to side walls. Using proper safety procedures trim and install cylinder. I used eyebolts and a quick link to suspend it. The cylinder was placed in the center between the side walls and a little to the back of the front to back center line. Then cut the two treated 2" x 4" x 8’ at about 32" long to be used for the top opening guards on the back and front. These were attached with deck screws, three 2" x 4" x 32" extending down from top of back opening around 12" and one or two placed on the front to cover the cylinder top sight pattern. The 2" x 4" front /back guards greatly reduce any ricocheting off the top of the target. Treated 2" x 4" can also be used as angle braces on the back.

The bell target works very well. We use it on our Church Stage for a bonus shot. The bell is rung after the rifle targets are engaged with a round loaded from the body. If the bell rings out 10 seconds is deducted from your score, while a miss is not recorded. Let freedom ring and ricochets be suppressed. Remember to always follow all safety rules when working on or using projects.


Hope ta see ya on the trail.

Cree Vicar Dave