Loading/Unloading Tables


Cree Vicar Dave – SASS Life # 49907

Our club, Sucker Creek Saddle & Gun Club, started out like most Cowboy Action Shooting™ clubs.  We had a few targets, a couple portable store fronts, and a lot of big ideas.  Our loading/unloading tables consisted of those large wooden spools that wire or plastic pipe come wrapped on.  They served their purpose for a few years.  We added patio umbrellas to help fend off the elements but we continued to look forward to a better way.

Sucker Creek is fairly unique.  Many Cowboy Action Clubs are part of a larger organization and share the shooting range with other activities.  This mandates removing everything after each shoot.  Some are part of an organization but have their own berms and as so can put up permanent stages.  Then some like ours have their own berms and are not under a larger gun club.  This offers a little more freedom of choice but with it also comes a lot of responsibility.

Because of this freedom we are able to construct permanent stages as well as permanent LOADING and/or UNLOADING tables.  We put a lot of forethought into our tables.  After looking at what other clubs had and reflecting on old and new ideas we decided upon combining the loading/unloading tables and placing them at the end of the side berms.  There is a seat between the tables wide enough for a loading and unloading officer to sit on at the same time.  The tables are a little over three feet wide with a protective wall on the back and sides to protect from spatter.  The total width is 10’ but 12’ would give ya a little more table area if ya have the extra room and cash.  And best of all they have a roof that protects the tables as well as the shooters from the elements.

The basic support of the structure is four 4”x6”x16’ in line treated posts.  Treated 2”x4” were used to frame and brace the tables and roof.  Treated 2”x8” were used for the back wall and 2”x10” for the seat.  Various types of roofs were installed to depict different looks.  Then facades were installed to the 4”x6” posts that extend above the roof.  Each board member took on the responsibility to design and install the façade of at least one table to resemble a building between the permanent stages.  As you look down Main Street of Sucker Creek from Bay 1 to Bay 7 the stages and loading/unloading tables resembles a row of 19th Century buildings.

Bay 1 Between Bay 1 and Bay 2 Between Bay 2 and Bay 3 Between Bay 3 and Bay 4 Between Bay 4 and Bay 5 Between Bay 5 and Bay 6 Between Bay 6 and Bay 7
Loading table - Feed Store Loading/Unloading table - Sucker Creek Stage Co. Loading/Unloading table - Trading Post Loading/Unload table - Dr. Snook Spectacles Loading/Unloading table - Sleepy Vulture Undertaker Loading/Unloading table - Sucker Creek Train Depot Loading/Unload table - Mine Supplies
Bay 1 Stage: Livery Stable Bay 2 Stage: Jail Bay 3 Stage: Shoe Shoppe, Saloon, Hotel Bay 4 Stage: Gallows Bay 5 Stage: Sucker Creek Community Church Bay 6 Stage: "John Bull" Train Bay 7 Stage: Lucky Strike Mine

Because of the cantilever/overhang design of the tables, hold back chains were connected between the top of the two center 4”x6” posts and anchors in the side berm.  (Posts could be added to the table front on the right and left side.)  Side shields were also added to the tables to protect from spatter and to diminish the chance of an accidental sweep off the table.

If your club is in the market for tables, I would hope this article will stimulate the gray matter between the ears in a positive way.  It says in Proverbs 24:3 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.”  When ya get the urge to build something process what ya know and use God given wisdom so as to construct a product that will last.  Always follow all safety and health rules when working on things or playing with them.

If you would like to see pictures of the construction of these tables, click here.

Hope ta see ya on the trail

God Bless,

Cree Vicar Dave