Do you train for self defense and want something life like, long lasting, and cost and time efficient? The ultimate rubber dummy discount code is to make your own.
The old standby of paper targets suffers from some problems. Although fairly cheap, they’re flimsy and tape doesn’t always stick. If you’re outside, the wind loves to rip them and by the time you reinforce everything, you’re out time and lots of tape. Thankfully, there’s no need for that anymore.
Rubber dummies that are professionally made are amazing, no doubt about it. But they’re also not cheap. They are 3d, which this homemade version isn’t. But at less than $20 per rubber dummy, who’s going to complain?
The material I used is a rubber floor mat made for livestock trailers. Being a country boy, I had one on hand which I up-cycled, but even if you buy a new one they’re very reasonable. An internet search showed prices ranging from $20 (on sale) to $70. Sizes also vary, but the exact size isn’t critical, so do some basic math and decide what will work the best for you. Just remember that you want a target roughly 18″-22″ wide.
My mat was 4’x6′, so I chose to make the targets 18″ wide as that gave me the most targets. 4′ tall is a little more than needed, but there’s no need to trim the excess at the bottom. The $20 mat that I mentioned earlier was 3’x4′, and I would split that one down the middle, leaving you with two targets that are 2′ wide by 3′ tall. You want a mat that is 1/2″ thick. The really thin ones won’t seal the holes and will wear out very quickly.
I only needed two tools.
- A jig saw. I was skeptical using what I had on hand, which was a 14tpi worn out blade, but it worked great. I also tried a brand new 6tpi blade on a Sawzall, but the jig saw worked better.
- A drill. I had some drywall screws left over from another project and they’re working fine. It’s probably ideal to have some washers to grip more of the mat, but not critical.
Measure and cut the mat to the desired width. Trim off the corners at the top, leaving a head that’s ~6″ wide by 9″ tall. Screw that to a 2″x4″ that’s 6′ tall and affix a simple brace to the bottom. I used 6 screws, ~6″ apart to hold the rubber mat to the 2″x4″.
Set it up and spray it with paint. Automotive primer is best, as it has a lot of filler which will help seal the surface and make it easier to see your shots. Stand upwind while doing this. 😉 A light layer is plenty.
That’s all there is to it! I had old 2×4’s on hand which I used for the backer, as well as the screws, so I had a total of $3 out of pocket for the primer. It’s doubtful you’ll get off that cheap, but even if you buy every component, it should cost $20 or less per rubber dummy target. Check Craigslist for some old wood, or ask to raid a dumpster at a construction site for free material.
Shown is the first two head shots. Easy to see, but self healing. Over time, your paint will build up and make the holes even more visible. I’ll update this post once I’ve put lots of rounds into it and get an idea of how long it will last.
Train safe, train smart. #graylivesmatter
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy: How to build a VTAC barricade.