How to Build a Catapult to Launch Targets for Shotgun Practice
By Ben Philippi
It’s been a few years that I wanted to build a catapult to launch targets into the air to shoot with my shotgun. Thanks to COVID, I finally got around to it. It has provided hours of fun and entertainment for my whole family.
FATHER & SON PROJECT
Before setting out to build it, my father and I watched a few videos on the internet to get acquainted with medieval launch devices. Once we understood the parameters, we drew up a simple sketch of a catapult, bought the supplies and got to work.
Rough sketch of the catapult.
EXERCISE BANDS FOR PROPULSION
Within a few hours, we had what resembled a catapult. At its core were pine 2x4s held together with screws and metal straps. A solid metal bar served as an axis for the 2×2 launch arm. I bought some super-stretchy rubber workout bands. With three of these acting the propulsion system, we were able to launch pop cans roughly 100 feet into the air.
A metal dustpan with a wood shim to get the launch angle right. Very important to release the pop cans on an effective trajectory. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
A dustpan at the top of the launch arm acted as the pop can