Going plinking is always fun, particularly with a nice airsoft rifle that a friend brought over for the day. Not wanting to go out in the sub-zero weather, we built a simple pop-up range at home using some spare servos and an Arduino.

The servos are all held in place using a soldering octopus. The entire assembly is hidden behind a concrete flowerpot to prevent damage from stray bullets. The backstop is an old, thick carpet that is hanging in front of a concrete wall. Together, this ensures that any hits and misses are absorbed and do not ricochet.

The targets are propped up using cotton swabs glued to them, and have to be stuck onto cardboard to work properly. If not either laminated or glued to cardboard, they tend to tear instead of of being cleanly punched through, or deform when struck off-center. This an interesting mechanical example of impedance mismatch, something we don’t often have to think about.