For a long time now the coaches at USA Shooting have recognized the need to get youth involved in
competitive shooting at a younger age. One of the problems is most airguns are just too heavy for smaller
shooters. By reducing the felt weight of the pistol, smaller shooters can safely handle the airguns much

Outlined are the instructions for two designs of inexpensive, easy to build PVC based support slings. The
pulley and counterweight system allows the coach to reduce the perceived weight of the airgun by any
amount they wish. All the parts except the pulleys were purchased from local stores.

A girl aims a pistol

Material List

12” x 12” wood base
1 ½“ PVC cap
1 ½” x 1 ½” x 1 ½” PVC sch. 40 tee
48” of 1 ½” PVC pipe
(2) 1 ½“ x 1/4 “ bore pulleys
(2) ¼“ x 2 ¼” bolts/nuts
(20+) ¼“ washers
(2) 1/8 “x 3/4“ fender washers
3’ of 1/8“ steel rod
10lb. braided fishing line
¾“ washers or suitable material for counterweight

Additional supplies Required for Adjustable Model

24” of 2” PVC pipe
2 ½ “hose clamp
2”PVC cap or 6” x6” drain trap
2” PVC connector
The PVC fittings fit tight enough to preclude the use of glue. 

Assembly Instructions

Start the project by grinding the top of the 1 ½“ cap flat so it lays level on the base board. Then screw the
cap down to the board. 

The top of a 1 1/2 inch cap is ground flat.

It may be easier to purchase a bell drain trap and coupling and attach these to the vertical pipe. 

A bell drain trap and coupling are attached to a vertical pipe.

A pipe stands, attached to a bell drain trap and coupling.

The length of the vertical pipe will depend on the height of your table and the height of your shooter. For a
table that is 36” high a good length to start with would be 36” and shorten it from there if needed. The
recommended lengths for the adjustable model is 24“ for both the 2“ and the 1 ½“ pipes. 

To make the 2”pipe: Hold the slip fit 1 ½“ Make several cuts 4“ long down one end. Enough material (kerf)
must be removed so when the clamp is tightened the inner pipe is held tight. 

A clamp is tighetened around a pipe.

The cross arms are made of 1 ½” pipe 4” long on the weight side and 6” long on the shooter side. This offset
gives the shooter room to move the gun and reduces the intrusion into the next firing point. Plastic pulleys may be purchsed online. Do not skimp on the pulleys. They must roll smoothly or the shooter will not be able to hold the pistol in their normal area of hold. Good quality ones can be had for less than $3.00 each. Drill the axle hole back from the end of the cross arm the radius of the pulley plus 3/8“. Keep the pulley centered by shimming the ¼“ axle bolt with ¼“ washers. 

Cross arms are formed from a pipe. A pulley is shown inside.

Cut a notch no more than ¼“ wide and ½“ in for the line to run through. This will be used to trap the fender
washer and keep the pistol hook from being pulled into the pulley, derailing the line. 

Next, build the pistol hook and the weight bracket. The 1/8“ steel rod is heavy enough to work
well and can be formed by using two pair of pliers. 

Hands holding two pairs of pliers form a pistol hook out of a steel rod.

The sizes shown in the picture work well but are by no means mandatory. It is recommended that you do not
put an up turned “hook” on the horizontal bar that the pistol rests on. It serves no real purpose and snags the
gun if the shooter does not lift the gun all the way up. 

Two hooks are measured by tape measures.

Cover the bare metal with something to keep the gun from getting scratched and slipping off the bar. Plastisol base tool dip, duct tape, electrical tape, or a small rubber hose slipped over the metal will work.

Run the string through the pulleys and thread through the fender washer. Leaving the washer free, tie the
string to the pistol hook. 

A string is run through pulleyes and through the fender washer within a PVC pipe.

Repeat the process for the other side, making the string long enough so that when the weight is just
touching the base the pistol hook is just touching the cross arm.

Two completed T-stands of different sizes stand on a table

There you have it: two very simple pistol slings that are inexpensive and easy to build. To adjust the amount of
lift on the pistol simply add or remove washers to the counter balance. You will notice the weights swaying
when held in suspension by the pistol. This movement can not be felt by the shooter.

Feel free to modify, improve, and customize these slings to suit your needs.