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Old October 21, 2013, 04:30 PM   #26
southjk
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I think for first time shooters a silhouette would be better. You are not trying to teach them bulls-eye accuracy but rather just to get familiar with the gun and the way it operates. If you start with the bulls-eye targets then there is always that chance they'll get frustrated or maybe even discouraged when they see right off that they are not able to hit consistently near the bulls-eye. The silhouette on the other hand is just a big body shaped target. You hit it? Yea, good for you now let's work on COM and tighten up your groups. Save the bulls-eye for later.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:16 PM   #27
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southjk
I think for first time shooters a silhouette would be better. You are not trying to teach them bulls-eye accuracy but rather just to get familiar with the gun and the way it operates....
Actually, for that reason the best target for beginners is some plate sized circle without scoring rings.

Here's what we use for our Basic Handgun class.





BTW, she had never fired a handgun before our class.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:19 PM   #28
wayneinFL
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I think a blank sheet of paper works well for a brand new shooter. You're mainly emphasizing safety at that point anyway.

That said, if you want to avoid any political issue, let them pick the target.
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Old October 21, 2013, 11:15 PM   #29
JimmyR
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I love the smell of electrons frying in a good discussion:

For the multiple folks suggesting I should let them pick their own targets- you are correct. My biggest reason for asking is that my range can be somewhat unpredictable as to what they have in stock, and as I have issued an open invitation, the unpredictibility is exacerbated greatly. I wanted opinions basically to see if I should start stockpiling "non-humanoid" targets. I'm greatly appreciating the opinions.

I'm also somewhat limited in my target options, as the indoor range has the overhead mounts that are designed for the full size silhouette targets. I can make smaller targets work with a used target and masking tape, but I'm assuming minimal preperation and advance notice.
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Old October 22, 2013, 02:15 AM   #30
NRAInstructor
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In the NRA courses they suggest blank pieces of typing paper for first time basic shooters. It has been found that people can more often hit the blank paper than trying to concentrate on a bullseye. As shooters progress through courses they switch to bullseye targets and then "tombstone" targets.

If you are just fun shooting, I'd try some of the above, and if you want to take some zombie targets or whatever go for it, or if the range sells targets let them choose.

Last edited by NRAInstructor; October 22, 2013 at 02:25 AM.
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Old October 22, 2013, 04:41 PM   #31
camsdaddy
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I mostly shoot 4 1/2" plates and also shoot at a piece of paper that I have laid a CD on and spray painted that leaves a relief of the CD and a dark black dot. I find when I switch to a more human like target it helps me to focus on where I want to place my bullets. I find I make faster shots and more accurate shots on the target. I dont know why but someone pointing a gun at me flips a switch and adds to the intensity.
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Old October 22, 2013, 05:08 PM   #32
Nick_C_S
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My range does not allow humanoid targets. I guess maybe it's to maintain a "family friendly" atmosphere, or whatever. (I never questioned it. It's a clean, classy, well-run range, so I can live with this quirky rule.)

That said, I think shooting at your basic circular targets is good practice anyway. Especially for the novice shooter. It helps with learning sight alignment, etc.
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:44 PM   #33
3.Shot.Group.
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I remember when I first entered the military, one of the first ranges we went to during basic training was a pop up range with human silhouette targets.

At the time I didn't have any views or opinions on the matter, but the fact that we were shooting at targets that looked like humans really struck home and made me realize just what we were training for.

It didn't take me long to completely forget those feelings, and adopt a completely different mindset about it all, one that I won't share for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who's ever served in a combat unit.

Point is, I was in the military, and was conditioned to not only accept, but to embrace the idea of shooting human beings; However, I wouldn't expect a civilian who has no experience with guns to warm up to the idea so easily.

If the goal of the shooting is for fun, I'd go with bull's eye type targets, if the goal is self defense, then at some point you'll have to get it across to them that they might have to actually shoot another human being.

Something about shooting zombie type targets at Halloween disturbs me though.
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Old October 22, 2013, 09:20 PM   #34
zincwarrior
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I would use normal nonhumanoid targets for ambivalent new shooters. Then graduate to pics of rubber duckies or zombie pigs.

You want real love put out water bottles full of water. When they get hit the new shooters love it. My daughter loves them and also loves killing the post hallloween pumpkins. She's already suggested I buy the new shotgun I keep talking about and take it for a test drive on them. Thats my girl!
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:26 PM   #35
Skans
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For static shooting, regular circle targets are the best. It permits you to focus on trying to attain tight groupings around a single point; and it tells you what you are doing wrong.

Shooting at blank paper for newbies is no fun. They want to know how they did, and the circle/ringed targets give the proper kind of feedback.

I'm pretty cheap and lazy, so I just buy some ringed targets and bring a roll of electrical or masking tape with me to the range. Big targets are too hard to store, carry, and mount.
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Old October 27, 2013, 06:43 AM   #36
kln4
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In the "good 'ol days" at mcrd we had circle targets at only one distance, 500yds with M1 garand. The 1911 targets were the same size as the 500yd targets but at 50ft. You couldn't miss that one,
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Old October 27, 2013, 03:43 PM   #37
Waspinator
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I just use the replacement centers for silhouette targets. the same center mass target area without the human element. I just throw a bunch in my range bag before I leave for a day of shooting.

These are what I use. I like the green, as it shoes up in darker ranges.

http://www.amazon.com/Champion-12-5x.../dp/B0048KCXPI
I usaully shop around and can find them cheaper then the link above.
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Old October 31, 2013, 11:28 AM   #38
tirod
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I'd say it was just as bad forcing people to use PC targets as it is using targets that resemble political figures.

The fallout from the latter tends to make the national news, tho.

When I was in the military, we went from sighting in on bullseyes to pop up tombstones in qualification to humanoid on combat courses. It was a stepped procedure, the shooter was introduced to targets in an escalation with his need to know the primary focus.

Fundamentals first, then application, and then more experience dealing with the emotional component as needed. Jumping ahead doesn't do the new shooter any good if the end goal is shooting humans.

Once the combat course humanoids were dispensed with, then MILES gear against an OPFOR of live targets, supplemented with indoor video shoots progressed.

The latter puts the point to CCW class attendees if they hadn't contemplated it before. The use of role player games with POV shooters has accelerated the exposure, tho, now ten year olds are doing things a basic trainee didn't even get until much later in his career.

I find it ironically funny to take an experienced video gamer to a range that doesn't allow tombstones, much less humanoids. They could have progressed far beyond the suburban mindset of Soccermomville. Goes to them being completely surprised when violence does pop up, they had no clue the kids were practicing shooting schoolmates in the basement.

Don't assume your new shooter is that much a tenderfoot, pretest and find out their acceptance level. Nonetheless, a progressive exposure is preferred when teaching en masse simply because you have to consider the least exposed student.

PS if your range doesn't like tombstone, will they accept five round targets stacked in a similar shape? If you are an experienced shooter, there are plenty of alternatives, get creative.
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Old October 31, 2013, 01:32 PM   #39
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tirod
I'd say it was just as bad forcing people to use PC targets ...
...

When I was in the military, we went from sighting in on bullseyes to pop up tombstones in qualification to humanoid on combat courses....
The OP is not talking about training people for combat. The subject is basic skills for raw beginners. For such purposes there are advantages to the use of non-representational targets, and it has nothing to do with political correctness. It's about avoiding unnecessary distraction.
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Old November 1, 2013, 09:59 AM   #40
cnimrod
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I get a lot of smiles

introducing new shooters using old canned goods. I do have the luxury of shooting on my own property. Being involved in boy scouts we stay PC with bulls eye targets and clay pigeons. Tho we did just shoot zombies and aliens with a big slingshot we built for a fundraising/recruiting event we had in town. (not to digress but the police chief did say we technically needed a firearms id to have one (slingshot). I think he was kidding but you never know in NJ :-/
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Old November 3, 2013, 02:24 PM   #41
Erno86
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Ahem...shooting photo targets of space aliens? Hmph...well that strikes a raw nerve with me, since I consider most of the space aliens out there as my friends, not as my enemies; especially the likes of any Sasquatch out there.

I also find the target shooting of actual photo's of hostage targets as a disgusting behavior of our shooting sports --- especially with new shooter's involved --- since most of them can't hit a lick anyways. So why provoke them to shoot a hostage target, when most likely their going to accidently shoot the hostage on the target paper?

Cheers,

Erno
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Old November 3, 2013, 09:46 PM   #42
dyl
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blank paper

I remember shooting the blank paper when I took an NRA class a few years ago and I thought it was an interesting method. Recently when taking a friend out he had a bit of trouble with all the multitasking that goes on with good fundamentals. Sight picture, consistent grip, trigger control, front sight focus, stance, breathing (or not breathing)... Shooting at a tiny bullseye antagonizes learning to focus on the front sight. The setup is saying "focus on the tiny bulls-eye, it really matters" but the instruction is saying "look at the front sight" which can be confusing. We switched to paper and it helped. Plus, beginners would be less discouraged so long as they are still on paper. I've still shot some tight groups on blank paper. As a bonus, it would train someone to approximate the center of mass which might be useful someday.
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