View Full Version : Some ideas for targets....

Dave McC
February 12, 2002, 07:36 AM
This came up on a thread here, and I had an E mail inquiry, so here it is...

Back in the mid 70s to early 80s I hutned shot and hung out with about 8-10 GOBs of my age. We all had Appalachian roots, too much hair and drank too much beer.We listened to the Allman Bros and Merle.We also had lots of guns, especially shotguns.

The standard piece was a long bbled, tight choked
repeater, often an 870, 12, A-5 or 37. We liked heavy loads, 3" chambers,and much of our discretionary income went into ammo.And,we weren't well off, so we made our fun as it came along.

Fortunately, there was plenty of stuff to shoot at, in or off season. In season, we shot doves, quail, pheasant, woodcock, geese and ducks. We drifted canoes down some of the Patuxent's many feeder creeks,shooting mallards and woodies as they came off the water, and taking many squirrels from the trees.Mallards also got jump shot off tiny farm ponds, and a cut corn field often had a dozen or two old Canada decoys set out not long after the combine left.

Off season, we shot starlingsand other vermin, groundhogs and possums, coons etc. We waged Jihad against crows, regarding them as feathered thugs that ate the eggs of better birds.

We'd set under Mulberry trees and shoot tweeters as them came in for the fruit. Sorry, know better now.

And yes, we'd go to the dump at dusk and shoot rats off the trash. Told you these were GOBs...

We had access to a stone quarry after working hours, and spent many a pleasant hour pass shooting pigeons, much to the joy of the quarry workers. Most of what we shot, we ate.

But, even then, we'd run out of live targets every now and then. Priding ourselves on our creativity and self reliance, we came up with targets and things to shoot, some of them quite extraordinary.

Of course, we threw clays with a handthrower, and devised strange ways of shooting them, like throwing them straight up and trying to hit them coming down. We also frisbeed them by hand, direction and speed varied greatly, and they had to be hit fast.

And, we tied balloons on two foot strings and secured them to the ground on breezy days, and gave an extra point if we could cut the string with a shot and then hit the balloon with a second one.

For slugs, we'd mount a piece of cardboard in an old tire and roll it down a hill. Like that rabbit target in SC, this was a hummer.

For Practical shotgunning, a brown paper grocery bag set on a stick or wire hanger made a good replacement for a tombstone or Q target.Various drills, including El Presidentes made up a nice COF series.

Beer cans made good plinking targets, and two or more shooters could try to move a can beyond a given line,kind of a race.

Overripe melons, water filled milk jugs, etc, served as blowup targets, instant gratification at its finest.

This should give folks some ideas, how about what YOU do?....

February 12, 2002, 08:58 AM
Old burned out cars make excellent targets for shotguns.

February 12, 2002, 01:19 PM
I'm starting to get all kinds of ideas now! I need to try paper bags and balloons.

Last weekend, I took a bunch of cardboard juice cartons (the kind milk and OJ come in), filled with water and froze them. It allowed them to be reused a couple of times with birdshot, although buckshot and slugs pretty much did them in for good.

I also put some old AOL cdroms on the branches of bushes and popped them off.

I watched a program on the History Channel about Firing Ranges and live fire excercises. One range was hanging a balloon down from a string(just air, no helium) and slipping a cardboard box over it so that the box was hanging on the balloon. The box was generally shaped like a man and they even put a t-shirt over it to hide where exactly the balloon was in the box. When you hit the balloon, the box fell simulating an incapacitated bad guy. They even ran this thing down a cable towards the shooter to simulate an attacher. It looked like pretty interesting practice and something that could be made cheeply.

February 12, 2002, 04:50 PM
As I posted in a thread I had started. The brown rectangular cardboard soda cases make excellent targets to use on the range.

Dave R
February 12, 2002, 07:27 PM
Whenever you get a new phone book, gather up the old recycled ones. Soak in water. Tie together or put in a box. Use for expansion testing fun. How many phone books will a slug penetrate? 00 buck? 000 buck?

Rifles & pistols, too.

Dave McC
February 13, 2002, 07:11 AM
Good ideas, folks, let's keep them coming. I bet there's lots of folks reading this not posting, but getting ideas on becoming better shooters...

And thanks!

February 13, 2002, 07:36 PM
My friend and I are experimenting with using oreo cookies in my pigeon chucker. So far we have been able to chuck them about 100 meters. The problem is that any wind will pretty much force these to the ground, and unless you have a bringht background to shoot into like a skyline then you can't really pick up on the cookies very easily. When we first tested these we were throwing them against a tree line, and thought they were breaking right out of the throwing arm, until we walked down there and found a bunch a very far distance away from the thrower.


Vang Comper
February 13, 2002, 07:55 PM
12 pellet 3 1/2" 0000 load will penetrate 21" of wet phonebooks.

Al Thompson
February 13, 2002, 09:42 PM
My serious shotgun target is a paper bag or soda case box stapled to a furring strip. This can be placed in any arrangement/any distance for serious practice.


PS - hold either against your chest and check - both offer great torso size targets. Cheap too...

February 14, 2002, 02:51 AM
wooden 2x4s forming a "door frame" with bowling pins attached via rope running across.

scrap plywood from building my shed makes nice "pattern board" for awhile at least.

Plus anything steel!

Dave McC
February 14, 2002, 05:17 AM
More good ideas....

One prob with that Oreo launcher, around there they wouldn't long enoug to get to the range(G)...

During the period mentioned above, we had a "Gong" target set up at 130 yards as far as we could . It was an old beer keg made of aluminum and rang nicely when hit with most anything. With the Mossie BA I used for deer then, a little daylight over the keg gave good hits.

And naturally, folks, we clean up any non biodegradeable remnants, right?

February 14, 2002, 11:02 AM
Farm where i bird hunt dumps over-ripe pumpkins out in the fields-they are fun to work over with birdshot.

Christmas ornaments filled with talcum powder. Mother didn't like this when I used her heirloom ornaments...

For slugs, we would run clothesline across a backstop at an angle, attach a pulley to which we would attach a cast iron skillet, steel pot, etc. Put the pulley assembly at the high end of the clothesline, pin it in place with a clothespin attached to another line, and get set. Pull the clothespin out, the pulley/skillet starts to run down the line and you get a fast moving target...