Reasonable Cost for Bowling Pins?

This may seem like an odd question, but there is a point. I am planning on setting up an area on our home range to practice bowling pin shooting. There is a local bowling alley that I will stop by and see if they discard or sell their worn out pins. If they just toss them for free, all well in good. If, however, they want some funds, candidly, I have no idea what would be reasonable.

Anyone involved with pin shooting have some thoughts? Thanks.
the real trick in 'bowling pin match' is not just knocking them over;

in ARPC version, there are (at 10-20 yards away) 4 pins in the middle of a 4x8 sheet of plywood, plus a stop plate on the ground between the tables. You have 6 rounds to knock them OFF the sheet of plywood AND hit the stop plate first.

Right load & right POI, no problem. If you miss or they just fall over on the table, you have a reload of 6 more rounds. Then if you still miss, one more reload for a total of 18. You are competing with 1 other guy trying to do the same thing at the table next to you.

The stop plates are smaller steel plates set so that whichever one falls first is on the bottom, covered by the 2nd to fall, which is on top. Which is the loser. Better than a clock ticking off milliseconds....the fallen plate identifies who was there first.

So that's the single elimination version. Usually there's a double elimination where the lineup is whittled down by people losing twice, then you're out.

It's a simple game with simple rules. And totally demanding. Given the entire match may consist of the winner firing only 6 rounds per bracket. You need to be fast AND accurate AND unflappable AND concentrate AND not use up all your ammo because the other slower guy may well have his target fall long after your rapid pace ran dry.

No matter how many megaround magazine or ultrazombie revolver cylinder you have. Load 6.

The 22 version is closer in and uses only the small upper tops cut off.

The easy versions are closer to the firing line and the pins are farther to the back, sometimes nearly sitting on the very edge of the plywood.

Even a 9mm in the exact sweet spot of the pin will knock it off the table, although it really is very demanding. 40s do mostly 'OK' but 10mm really move the pins back several feet before they have a chance to fall over. 44 mag is really too destructive to pins, while 44 special or 45 acp work very well.

There's some national rules you can look up somewhere, I'm not familiar with the details.

It is perplexing how something so simple can be so challenging.


I was surprised at how tough bowling pins are. I shot my first pin match at Safe Fire a month or so back. I was expecting the pins to break, splinter etc. but they took shot after shot then bounced off a concrete floor each time they were hit. . They lasted the first 5 rounds that I perticipated in without a single failure. You'll get good use out of those pins.
I have about 100 pins that I picked up a few years back, waiting. Right after getting them, I bought steel targets in varying sizes down to 3" that have had more use. The pins will eventually get holes in them after I make rail to stand them on.

I've got a few pins that have been hanging the past couple years. They don't do well wet/dry, wet/dry after being shot up. ;)
Anyone involved with pin shooting have some thoughts? Thanks.
The ones I buy from a local bowling alley are $2 a pin. @GWS says they are tough and he isn't kidding. The only thing I've managed to damage mine with is to set them on a pound of tannerite, anything less will just launch them into the air harmlessly. I've tagged mine with everything from .22LR to rifled slugs and 700 grain bullets from my 500 Magnum and they pretty much are still good to go.

One thing I like about them is they are easy to make a stand with. Home Depot sells some rebar that I use that fits perfectly in the hole in the bottom and if you grind a spike on it, you can easily pound it into the ground so you don't have to constantly reset the pins.


Years back I got some from a bowling ally that was going out of business and being torn down. The real score was the large cuts of the lanes they let me have for free. They made great butcher block dining tables.
Some body had left a bowling pin at one of the Darrington pits last fall. It was there for a few of our shooting adventures. My grandson got some use out of it. I'm sure other people used it as well.
Probably one good thing to leavie behind when shooting in a pit to be picked up and thrown away on another day.
I always pick up old shotgun hulls, steel rifle & pistol cases, all the brass cases and aluminum cans every time we go shooting.
A three gallon bucket of steel cases or brass cases weigh thirty pounds.



Lead Farm Precision Rifle Match
The Lead Farm
34006 Gwinn Rd, Prosser, WA 99350, USA
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912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Rimfire Challenge Dec 12th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA


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