Cowboy Action Staging Strips- DIY

I wanted to build a few “Staging Strips” for Cowboy Action Shooting competition. These are used to bring ammo to the loading table during a competition. I was using a plastic ammo box that holds 100 rounds and I was concerned that I might put too many cartridges into my rifle and find myself disqualified at a match. I needed “Staging Strips.

I wanted them to look “Period Correct”. But considering that they probably didn’t shoot CAS in 1860, I’d at least make them look old.

I decided to make them out of wood.  And I needed old, distressed wood. Shipping pallets would be perfect. I cut up a bunch of old shipping pallets to have a few pieces of wood to work with. For hinges and closures I’d use leather so a stop at the local Goodwill store found a whole bunch of leather belts for $2 each!

The first type is a Staging Block.

This device holds ten cartridges. Five for each pistol and ten for the rifle. The holes were drilled on my DRO milling machine using a Forstner bit. But they could easily be drilled on a simple drill press. The Forstner bit cuts a very clean hole with no tear out.


For the hinge I used a simple piece of the leather belt and a few small screws I had in my junk drawer.

The closure is more of the belt and a simple brass eye hook to which a clasp can be attached and the block can be hung on your belt or the handle of one of your revolvers.

I think these Staging Blocks are going to work out just fine!


These were a lot of fun to make and took about three hours from start to finish.

Thanks for looking!


(Update!…..I find the new and improved staging strips I am now making and selling to be much better to use during an actual shoot. Check them out here:




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