Backyard Marksmanship


The Backyard Marksmanship club is dedicated to encouraging safe, recreational, and accessable marksmanship through postal matches, product reviews, and helpful information on setting up a shooting range in your home or backyard. Members are encouraged to participate by shooting in the postal matches, reviewing products, and developing and administering postal matches. Although geared primarily towards airguns, firearms participation is welcome, although use of low powered ammuntion (CB caps, rubber or wax bullets, pellet conversions) is encouraged (this is, after all, backyard marksmanship).

Suggested format for posts

This is a list of keywords to put in the subject lines of posts so that readers can easily find the information that they need. This format is not required, but we encourage you to use it to keep the messages more readable.

  • RFC: Request for Comment. This means that you are asking for people to comment on your post. For example, if you have an idea for a postal match that involves standing on your head, but want to get other member's feedback before you finish making the rules, your subject should read "RFC Headstand PM" (and hopefully people will tell you you're looney).
  • REVIEW: This post contains review of some piece of Backyard Marksmanship related equipment. For example, "REVIEW Daisy 693" would contain a review of a Daisy 693. Archived reveiws can be found here.
  • TIP: This post contains a tip about some aspect of Backyard Marksmanship. For example, "TIP Daisy 717 Accuracy" would have a tip on making the Daisy 717 more accurate.
  • HELP: This post contains a question that a member would like answered. For example, "HELP Pellet Trap" might mean you want information on building a pellet trap.
  • PMR dd/mm/yy, PMP dd/mm/yy: This post contains the full description of a postal match starting on the given date, with PMR being a rifle match, and PMP being a pistol match.

Postal matches

There has been a major revison of our postal match system. We are now running open matches with no predetermined end point. The scores are submitted from a form, one each for pistol and rifle. And stored in a guestbook. These entries will be archived when a match ends. Feel free to shoot the match more than once, compare your score, compete with other scores posted, you know all the usual stuff. We hope that this will make the matches more convienent for you, the shooter. There is also a regularly scheduled club championship series of traditional 10M.

Current Pistol Match

Current Rifle Match

Postal Match Format

Every postal match will provide the following data:

  • Type of match, rifle or pistol
  • Maximum caliber for the match (maximum should be no less than .22 caliber or 5.5mm)
  • Target type, prefferably with an NRA target number and a link to a image file
  • Range to target
  • Number of shots fired
  • Time limit of match
  • Any special equipment required
  • Any special rules

Score Posting Format

Scores will be posted anonymously; only the winner's name will be announced. Shooter's are encouraged to submit the equipment used for a match (gun and ammunition). If they win, this information will be posted along with their score.

Club and match etiquette

No flame wars, no insults, and no profanity! Violations of this rule will result in suspension from the club and postal matches, and continued violations will result in banishment!

Off topic posts are discouraged. But don't be afraid to speak up!


Although we cannot enforce them, we strongly encourage everyone to follow these rules when shooting the match:

  • All guns are always loaded. Always treat the gun as though it were loaded and cocked. Never trust a mechanical safety--the real safety is located betweent he ears of the user.
  • Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the gun is pointed at the target.
  • Never cover anything with the muzzle that you do not wish to destroy. This doesn't just mean don't point the gun; watch where the muzzle is facing when you're carrying and handling the gun as well. Never point a weapon, loaded or not, at any person. Keep the muzzle downrange at all times, including loading and cocking.
  • Know your target, know what's between you and your target, and know what's behind your target. Even a low-powered BB gun can carry nearly 1/4 mile, so make sure there's a solid fence or wall behind your trap, and never shoot at anything you have not clearly identified.
  • All shooters and observers should wear eye protection.
  • Always inspect your backstop before you shoot--every time!
  • Check your local laws before you start to shoot--many cities do not allow airgun shooting outdoors in the city limits, so you may have to shoot inside.
  • If you are a minor, have your parents help; if you are a novice shooter, find an expert to help ( has lots of instructional materials).
  • If you're using a firearm with practice ammuntion, make sure there is plenty of ventilation, since most priming coumpounds contain lead. Also make sure to wash your hands throughly before eating.

Frequently asked questions

Under Construction

Do you guys have a review of __________?

  • Archived reveiws can be found here.
  • If you would like to write a review of something feel free. It will be archived by a founder shortly after it is posted.

I have a "real" gun, but no airgun. How do I participate?

  • If your gun is a .22 Rimfire, then you can use BB or CB "cap" ammunition. This ammuntion uses a lightweight bullet or round ball powered by just a primer. It is very quiet and low powered, and can even be safely shot indoors with a magnum airgun backstop.
  • For handguns or .22 caliber centerfire rifles, there is a kit called the "Convert-a-Pell." The handgun kit uses a .177 caliber barrel insert and dummy cartriges that contain a large pistol primer and a pellet. The rifle kit consists of dummy cartridges that hold a .22 caliber pellet and a shotgun primer. The power levels of these kits are similar to the CB and BB rounds for the .22 rimfires, and they are fairly accurate.
  • For handguns, you can also use plastic, rubber, or wax bullets. Speer makes plastic bullets for .38/.357/9mm, .44, and .45 caliber guns. Radical Concepts makes "X-Ring" rubber bullets in the same calibers. Both of these are resusable and primer powered. The cheapest option is the wax bullets, which use cases pushed into a pan full of warm wax to form the projectile, and they are also primer powered.

How to I build and care for a backstop?

The simplest solution is to take a cardboard box, line the back with 1 to 2 inches of packed paper (newspapers and magazines), then fill the box with lightly pack crumpled paper, and seal it up. The layer of solid paper in the back will stop the pellets or BBs, and the lightly packed paper will keep them from bouncing back out. Before you shoot each time, examine your backstop to make sure that the back layer is still solid (patch it when needed) and replace the wadded paper when it gets too chewed up. Move your targets around on the face of the trap, so you aren't always hitting the back in the same spot, and it will last longer. If you shoot CB caps or a magnum airgun, then you might want to add a couple of layers of plywood to the back for extra protection.

Where do I find practice ammunition?

  • Link to Speer plastic bullets
  • Link to X-Ring rubber bullets
  • Link to CB caps
  • Link to wax bullet page
  • Link to Convert-a-Pell

What is a postal match?

  • First a basic explanation of the postal match concept. Most people understand a shooting match where you and a bunch of your friends go to the range and all shoot the same targets at the same distances, at the same time. Traditional matches are not very convient for groups with widly dispersed populations, like this one, or people with schedules that don't allow them to go to a regular match, or live where there aren't any.

How do postal matches work?

  • Postal matches run over a set length of time, days, weeks, months..whatever. That way the shooters can shoot their targets/cards whenever and where is convenient. All shooters use the same targets and distances. So it is much the same as a tradition match but without physical proximity.

    Some matches require that the physical targets be mailed back, some require that the targets be returned and witnessed by someone other than the shooter. In those matches the coordinator or sponsoring club scores your target for you. Others allow you to score your own and just submit a score. We are among that last group.

How do Postal Matches work at Backyard Marksmanship?

  • Here we are a lot less formal. We post a new match every Monday, the matches run for two weeks. We alternate pistol and rifle there is one of each running at all times. The messages which contain postal matches start PMR: or PMP: for Postal Match Rifle or Postal Match Pistol

    You can shoot your entry at any time in the two weeks, and email your score to the match coordinator, who is listed in the original post containing the postal match.

    All of the targets we use are available on the club photo area (click Photos on the left) in the Offical targets area. Print these at their actual size..most have a scale in the corner you can measure to make sure they printed correctly.

    This is where the postal match comes in. In a postal match, named postal because the scores are mailed(posted) in, a shooter can shoot when and where it is convient for them.

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