View Full Version : Plinkers Go Home And Stay There!

August 29, 2006, 09:50 AM
Hello everyone,
I am sorry to start this thread, but I was reading another earlier which made me mad. Respond to this however you want.
I can no longer stand PLINKERS!!!!! To me they are the bad apples of shooting community and unfortunately the largest group of shooter in the world. The reason I can longer stand them is this: Last week my gun club issued new rules for our indoor range, specifically NO SHOOTING at 7 or 15yds. Because the range has been shot up, the walls and ceiling. I know some did this by accident and most did this on purpose. I am SICK of them! I have seen these plinkers almost shoot people, have accidental discharges, drop guns, etc. Not to mention " Hey John let's see how fast I can shoot this magazine, DUH. These people are in my opinion are DANGEROUS and should be removed form the range. If you want to own a gun, thats great I am all for that, but have someone teach you how to use properly. Remember a firearm is not a toy like most plinkers think they are. Most likely you bought a gun for home or self protection sounds good to me, but to some training, get involved with a type of group or organization to learn more from, just don't be this typical idiot who goes to the range to see how his guns sounds, "wow that's cool man huh huh. BAcially go out and get involved in some form of shooting, before you hurt someone.

August 29, 2006, 12:05 PM
Feel better? :D

August 29, 2006, 12:12 PM
No still have to shoot with these idiots

August 29, 2006, 12:21 PM
Last week my gun club issued new rules for our indoor range, specifically NO SHOOTING at 7 or 15yds. Because the range has been shot up, the walls and ceiling. I know some did this by accident and most did this on purpose.

I know what you're talking about.

How freaking hard is it to keep your rounds at least ON PAPER at 20 feet? So they at least hit THE BACKSTOP (a.k.a. "The Broad Side of the Barn") at 25 yards at the back of the range?

I see absolute idiots with whatever semiauto handgun... doesn't matter the brand... Beretta, Glock, Sig, some 1911... dumping rounds down range at 2-3 shots PER SECOND and missing paper entirely.

I don't think I've ever completely MISSED PAPER, even at 100 yards. Good God, the target is 2 feet across and 3 feet wide, and you can't hit it at 20 feet?!? Put the [email protected] gun down (now!) and get some instruction (immediately), at least from the range master on duty if nothing else.

A slouch should be able to put all shots from a semiauto handgun into at least a 6 inch circle at 20 feet, at 1 shot every 2 seconds. 2-3 rounds per second should at least stay inside of a 1 foot circle, or else you need to SLOW YOUR RATE OF FIRE. YOU ARE NOT MEL GIBSON, JACK BAUER OR DANNY GLOVER.

August 29, 2006, 12:24 PM
This will date me, but I recall when gun safety classes were taught in the 11th and 12th grades. Too bad that the "children" who go to the local ranges aren't required to show proof of such training, either from a school or certified instructor.

August 29, 2006, 12:38 PM
Thanks guys, that was much better than the first guy. Feel better

August 29, 2006, 12:52 PM
PPCMaster, your name says it all. You have some good points and some bad ones.

Not everybody wishes to shoot their 38 spcl K frame slowfire at 25 yards. What is more you could have a person shoot that weapon and course of fire and still be completely unsafe in how they are handling the weapon. Your ne no 7 or 15 yard shooting will do nothing to prevent that.

At the same time far more defensive shootings occur 7 yards than at 25. Practicing at that range is entirely reasonable if personal defense is what one is concerned with. Rapid fire at that range is also reasonable. I will rip off two fast ones and one to the head at that range often, many times from the holster. I do not believe I am being unsafe but shooting.

We have all seen people at the range whose safety skills were lacking. Rather than implementing a stupid rule though I suggest the range master actually speak to them. That person who is not handling a gun safely can kill you just as quick if his target is at 25 yards as at 7 yards.

Living on Long Island I see some stupid range rules. An outdoor rifle range has a rule that all shooting must be from the bench, no exceptions. There are rules requiring only politically correct (bullseye) targets only, and other such hogwash. Your range with its no 7 yard shooting is no on the path to such stupidity.

My advice is educate the unsafe shooter instead of becoming a range nazi to all the people present who may have a perfectly good reason for shooting at 7 yards (such as they WANT to).

August 29, 2006, 01:09 PM
Hey Musketter,
Very good response. I try not to be a range Nazi. Funny story. I am at the range as usual and a couple comes in also, never seen them before, but find out they have been members for a few years (maybe come to the range once a year). They set-up in the port right next to me, I have my shooting box on the ground inches from my body. I shoot a string of fire and dump the empties into my shooting box, but I can't, why you ask, because this stupid woman has put her purse in my shooting box, why did she do that you ask, I didn't want to get my purse dirty. It took all the strenght in my body to stop myself from putting her purse in the garbage. I turn around to go to my shooting bag on the table behind me. (this is specifically what the table is for) and see her fat husband/boyfriend using my shooting bag as an arm support. I ask him if that bag is his, he says no, I say get you fat f___ arm off my bag. This is like a monthly thing I have to go through and I am SICK off it
7yd and 15yd shooting if fine with me I shoot 15yd as part of my practice, I also do not have a problem with people who are trying, I try to help them my self, but the others who seem not to care or when you ask if they need help and give you a dirty look, they need to stay home and I will refund their memebership. Or the guys who are shooting steel, you bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang very fast and then you hear the ding of the steel, what's the point.

August 29, 2006, 01:12 PM
I guess the topic maybe shouldn't call these people "plinkers". To me, plinking is when I go out to the farm and shoot at tin cans and the like. When I go to the range, I abide by the rules. I understand the need for rules such as 'no rapid fire'. Especially at a suburban pistol range or indoor range, uncontrolled fire can place a bullet into the wrong trajectory, and it can do some damage. Since training every single shooter is not an economically feasible option, blanket 'no rapid fire' rules are thusly created. If you violate these rules, then you should be asked to leave.

August 29, 2006, 01:25 PM
Definition of PLINKER:

A person who belongs to a gun club, joined orginally to either get a gun or was very interested in the sport of shooting. After 6 months leaves and never comes back. Or continues to be a member that only comes to the range now, when they have nothing better to do, it's raining out today, wants to impress a friend or someone of the opposite sex, shoots his mouth off more than his firearm (go to the club house instead of yelling at each other on the range about what your dog did yesterday), is an expert in everything gun related and believes he is in charge of the range. Doesn't listen to anyone at the range, shoots unathourized targets, shoots as fast as possible without hitting the target even once at 7yds. Thinks gunfire is the coolest sound to man kind, trys to beat his time at empyting his magazine as fast as possible, thinks he is in the Matrix movie and hopefully will eventually resign from the club, hurt someone or forget to renew membership.

August 29, 2006, 01:35 PM
Is that what Webster's defines as a plinker? You just described a punk to me. When I think of plinking, I agree with VUPD; Casual shooting. We all started out plinking with rimfires and such. Relax. What's the big deal?

August 29, 2006, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the post. At this time I would love to shoot next to a casual shooter, I guess my club doesn't have too many of them. We seem to have serious competitors or idiots. Thank goodness they (the club) didn't reduce the annual dues, we would be over run with riff raff.

August 29, 2006, 01:39 PM

education almost always wins against arbitration. you kick them out, they'll continue to bounce around until something does go wrong. you politely correct their bad form, and you might just keep a firearms accident that would be fuel on the anti's fire out of the papers. it's your decision, though.

August 29, 2006, 01:42 PM
Thank you for the Offical definition, the one above is of course my own by what I see at the range. I have and do try to help people, but it works sometimes and doesn't others. Maybe people SHOULD have to take a class to learn how to shoot and handle safely, I did and still do.

August 29, 2006, 01:45 PM
PPC: If you would head to your local library and pick up the latest issue of the VUPDblue New World Dictionary, you would see that what you define as plinker is clearly defined in my book as "idiot".;)

August 29, 2006, 01:47 PM
Maybe people SHOULD have to take a class to learn how to shoot and handle safely, I did and still do.
+1 to that. Too bad, though, that this is our reality. I used to belong to a range that had mandatory instruction before you could be a member. Them was the days.....

August 29, 2006, 01:52 PM
I couldn't agree more! But why does it seem that my club has so many. Another example we have 7-25yds pistol pits to shoot at 1 100yd rifle range and another 100 yd range which is universal, but only aloud to shoot at 25 or 50yds. This is the ONLY place anyone can shoot a hangun at 50yds, but what happens, everyone is there shooting steel or paper at near point blank distance and I have to then confront them ask them to move, etc, etc, etc. And they get mad at me. Oh and forget about when rifle shooters can't hit anything at 100yd so then they want to shoot at fifty yards right next to you. Don't you love when you are shooting your handgun and the person next to you is shooting his 300 WinMag. Wow that is fun also. Again confront and please move along. What is so hard about this?

August 29, 2006, 01:53 PM
PPCmaster, I feel for your dilema. I have not encounterred many rude people at my local range but when I lived in FL I had a fair share of stupid people on the line. Nothing was worse than being down range at the outdoor range, setting targets, and to hear the RO over the loadspeaker state firmly "DO NOT touch the weapons when the line is cold!" After instincitvely crouching (probably no help but we do it anyway) you would turn and see some moron holding an "empty" gun pointing down range at you...

Rudeness need not be condoned. Bad safety practices certainly need not be condoned. The only problem I had at my local indoor range was some guys with a high point 9mm carbine. They were firing away like Rambo at short range, not hitting much. When they aimed it was to shoot at the clothespins holding the targets on the retrieval wire. I went out to the counter and told the huy there about it. He came back a few minutes later, watched a little, and then told them to please controll their fire or leave. Problem solved.

I am against rapid fire bans. Most people like to try it once and a while, myself included. There is nothing wrong as long as you are competent and safe. It is far better for the group who notices an unsafe shooter to let the RO know than to put a rule in effect that penalizes all good shooters due to a few unsafe ones (kind of like gun laws, don't you think...)

August 29, 2006, 01:56 PM
So you have to join a club to shoot in Marryland? That's the bee's knees. From reading those definitions above, I can see where you're coming from. I know what you mean now. Like the guys at outdoor ranges that aim for the wooden target supports, or have more money invested in Tapco junk than they do their rifle?

Sorry for sounding like a wise-ass, but us Texas folk have different definitions of plinking. It would seem to me that a range that prohibits 7/15 yd shooting would be very strict on rapid fire and non-target shooting.

August 29, 2006, 02:01 PM
We used to have a 'lawless' range near here at Camp Atterbury. No enforced rules, backstops full of shot-up junk, just plain unsafe. Finally the DNR took control of it from the Army and made a respectable place out of it. It has been closed now since December for remodeling (they dozered the whole place flat and started over). I have driven-by a couple times and man, is it going to be sweet! Cast-in-place concrete walls 25' high for range wall barriers, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 150 yard ranges. Pro-shop, modern restrooms, snack bar, what more could a guy ask for. Aint us Hoosiers a lucky bunch?!:D

August 29, 2006, 02:04 PM
Thank you guys. Another story I have. I go to the range and there are a father and son shooting steel, 1st not at the proper distance and have covered 3/4 of the range with steel targets. So I politely tell them they have to move on, and the father engages me in an arguement. So when rules are not follow the member is suppose to get the liscence plate of thier car or ask for club ID. So I ask Dad to see his ID, well wouldn't you know he isn't even a member his son is but not him and he is arguing with me about rules, on the other hand the son didn't say a word, he knew I was right. So I trun to both the son and the Dad and say it was nice of you to have your Dad come today, but I guess if I see him again you will be in violation of bringing too many non-memebers to the club. Have a good day adn proceed to set my stuff up. Dad shut up in an instant. YOU DON'T EVEN BELONG HERE AND YOU ARE ARGUING WITH ME ABOUT RULES!

August 29, 2006, 02:11 PM
You should see the local outdoor range here in town. It's about 50 yrds off the highway, and the first of three skeet houses start about 100 yrds from HWY290. I've heard reports of traveling cars getting peppered, and I can see why. The covered firing area next to the skeet/trap area is only segregated by a small tree-line, so it gets peppered all the time. There is no range officer and the range is always hot (the old man sets up about 200 target sheets every morning at the 7/20/50/100 yrd berms). And I don't think a casing has been picked up in about 100 years. It wouldn't suprise me if somebody breaks an ankle. Oh, and drinking is permitted only 10 yrds behind the firing line. Seems safe, huh? If it wasn't just $7 to shoot all day, I would file a complaint. I'll take some photos for you guys next time I venture out there. It will either make you laugh or cringe.

August 29, 2006, 02:46 PM

Is your club in Jackson? I'm considering joining and my girlfriend's uncle is on the board there, he says it is a great place to shoot...

August 29, 2006, 06:03 PM

Since you were so kind as to reply to my earlier thread entitled "Maryland ranges/plinking areas," and call me an idiot in the process, I thought it only fair to respond to your posting. I apologize if my posting torqued you off, but I must admit that your reply did not give me a case of the warm and fuzzies toward you, either.

Let me set the record straight. I do not fit your rather unique definition of "plinker," and it was not what I had in mind when I posed the question in my original thread. Please allow me to introduce myself to you. I have been shooting shotguns, rifles, and pistols for some 30 years. I have completed three firearms safety courses in my history, one a hunters' safety course sponsored by the MD Dept. of Natural Resources, one a handgun safety course sponsored by the MD State Police, and the last the Personal Protection course sponsored by the NRA. I have been a member of the NRA and NSSA (National Skeet Shooting Associaction). I have competitively shot registered targets with a shotgun, and even won a couple of events in my class. I have shot next to state and national champions in skeet, trap, and pistol. I have hunted waterfowl for many years. All of this has been done without accident or incident on my part. I have always had the utmost respect for the safety and condition of my fellow shooters and the area in which I am shooting.

In the field, I have seen full-body goose decoys with holes the size of my first completely through them, heads shot off, etc. all on the property of a (deceased) prominent State Senator; after that, I politely declined invitations to hunt that property again. I have seen a good old boy (from the big city) bring a dead goat to a deer checking station during rifle season, swearing (thorugh his beer goggles) that it was a deer; I have never hunted deer during rifle season as a result. Once on a skeet field, some bratty a-h missed a pair of doubles and threw his shotgun on the ground in the middle of the round; I refused to continue the round and would never shoot on the same squad with him after that. I have been at an indoor pistol range where some gang-looking types were shooting some kind of hand cannon all over the place; I alerted the range officer and left. My point is simply this: if you do not like the facility at which you are currently shooting, or the behavior of the people that shoot there, leave and find a better place to shoot instead of sounding so angry. A firing range is no place for an angry person.

While I am sure that I do not posess the range skill that you must, I can hold my own punching paper at 25 yds. with a 9mm Glock 17. I am sorry that there are some yahoos that have ruined your club. I am not, however, one of them, so I would appreciate it if you would not, knowing nothing about me, publicly insult me. I posed my question because I am looking to try out a new type of firearm, and would like to have fun, in a respectful and responsible manner, learning about it. Quite possibly, shooting at something other than paper might help me better understand the capabilities of the weapon, and thus enhance my respect for it.


August 29, 2006, 06:10 PM
If I could type clapping noises I would.

August 30, 2006, 07:13 AM
Hello Rebelone,
In NO way was I attempting to insult you in, your post just lit the fuse. I am happy that you say you take your shooting seriously and I wasn't implying that you didn't. If this has hurt your feelings my sincere apologies. As for moving to a different club, well here in NJ there are not many at all anymore, they are always get shut down becuase of these plinkers I am speaking of. New Jersey is an anti-gun state no matter what people tell you, they tried years agao to outlaw guns and were not able to so now the dumb polititions are trying to out law ammo, specifically if an out fo stater comes to NJ with ammo, it will be a crime even if they are going to a match and even if they have a valid Federal firearms card. I shouldn't have to leave "MY" club I have been there for 13yrs and I am tired of the idiots. When I think plinking I automatically think idiot with a gun because that's how most of them are. Anyway my apologies again no offense intended toward you. Hadley when you find clapping noises please let me know I can use them also pot stirrer.

August 30, 2006, 10:40 AM
I shouldn't have to leave "MY" club I have been there for 13yrs and I am tired of the idiots. When I think plinking I automatically think idiot with a gun because that's how most of them are.

After reading the entire thread twice, I have to say this......

Unless you own the property, and facilities it isn't YOUR range, it belongs just as much to the plinkers you hate. I'll admit there are people who come to the range who are inexperienced and do dumb things. Have you ever thought about trying to give them a hand and teaching them, instead of getting on your high horse and berating them? I saw this behavior at the range I belong to this past Sunday. The club president got on his high horse with a kid who actually was doing nothing wrong other than he brought an AK and the president doesn't like them(but they are perfectly legal on the range). As a result, he lost three members, the kid who he booted off the range, and me and my wife who watched his unprofessional childlike tantrum. We weren't even involved with the confrontation, but decided we don't want to be a member of a range that is run by an elitist windbag.
You see it's about choices, if you choose to be a member of a range, you either accept it's members and leaders or you leave and find another range. You chose to be a member at that range you can also choose to buy property and build your own range that is only used by you and you won't have to deal with those horrible plinkers.

August 30, 2006, 11:00 AM
Well I guess you didn't read to carefully the two times you did read the thread. I have and still do attempt to help those out if they would like help. Also in the thread you will read that NJ is in fact overflowing with ranges, NOT! If I have been a member for 13yrs and these idiot and unsafe plinkers come and go like I change my underwear, they are of NO value to anyone or any club for that matter, they want to be destructive, look cool like TV and movies, and joke around with thier guns. I can't speak up for your past president this weekend, but maybe you didn't see what this kid was doing, like you said "KID". Kids do stupis things sometimes. I guess what I am really trying to get at is, stop being a knuckle head and learn about shooting from groups, leagues get involved and learn. Ignorance isn't bliss it's down right dangerous. I guess I can pose an analogie here: Most people who rent don't care about thier (tenant or landlords) property, they do not treat it like thier own even if they live there or have been there for years, these plinkers do not care about the club/range they belong to and they treat it as such. Maybe the Clubs should mandate that shooters shoot in a league or something like that.

August 30, 2006, 02:32 PM
I am a plinker because I dont shoot all the time.

when I go:

I follow the posted range rules
use the authorized targets
dont shoot up the the target frames or the range
courteous to fellow shooters
keep my hands off my firearms when folks are downrange or the line is not clear
dont give an opinion unless asked for one
police up my mess

so dont give all us plinkers bad names

August 30, 2006, 02:47 PM
I think your efforts would be better spent trying to educate and encourage them to become safer shooters than trying to expel them from your club. Many times we don't realize that most people are an untapped resource. It just takes the right opportunity. But by painting all of a certain type (defined only in your mind) of shooter with the same brush, you do a disservice to yourself as much as them. You can learn something from everyone you meet and you may be missing the opportunity to find a new shooter to mentor or your next shooting buddy. The firearms community has a bad enough image (particularly in the East) to outsiders, so let's not aid them by infighting.

Next time you see a plinker, approach them in a friendly manner and engage them in conversation. You may be surprised where it leads. Try the same approach with range officials.

August 30, 2006, 03:30 PM

I am a plinker.

On behalf of all us dumb people in the world, including the New Jersey Society of Plinkers (NJSP), I sincerely apologize.

Thank you for making me realize the errors in my ways.

August 30, 2006, 05:17 PM

Apology accepted, no offense taken :) ; sorry if I over-reacted. I AM sorry to hear that NJ is such a tough state for firearms enthusiasts, but I can empathize as Maryland is not a whole lot better (and always trying to get worse, so it seems, even with a strong hunting tradition across the state). Despite living in a populous suburban area, at least we do have a fairly good number of options for ranges close at hand. Hope you can find a way to a good place full of good people nearby. Like you, I have little tolerance for folks that cannot respect firearms. I like staying alive.

August 30, 2006, 09:47 PM
awww.... ain't that nice:D

We should all move to a tropical island and start our own club...

August 31, 2006, 06:14 AM
Plinkers are fine by me - I guess since I'm one myself.

Slobs are a different story.

Maybe the Clubs should mandate that shooters shoot in a league or something like that.

If that ever comes to pass, I believe i'd sell every gun I own and donate the proceeds to Brady.

August 31, 2006, 08:55 AM
When I think of plinkers, I think of father and son shooting. It's as American as a father and son eating at Whataburger after a dove hunt. Now how can that be wrong?

August 31, 2006, 09:06 AM
Well I guess you didn't read to carefully the two times you did read the thread. I have and still do attempt to help those out if they would like help. Also in the thread you will read that NJ is in fact overflowing with ranges, NOT! If I have been a member for 13yrs and these idiot and unsafe plinkers come and go like I change my underwear, they are of NO value to anyone or any club for that matter, they want to be destructive, look cool like TV and movies, and joke around with thier guns. I can't speak up for your past president this weekend, but maybe you didn't see what this kid was doing, like you said "KID". Kids do stupis things sometimes. I guess what I am really trying to get at is, stop being a knuckle head and learn about shooting from groups, leagues get involved and learn. Ignorance isn't bliss it's down right dangerous. I guess I can pose an analogie here: Most people who rent don't care about thier (tenant or landlords) property, they do not treat it like thier own even if they live there or have been there for years, these plinkers do not care about the club/range they belong to and they treat it as such. Maybe the Clubs should mandate that shooters shoot in a league or something like that.

What you have described are slobs at best, idiots at worst. I shoot alot, I've never shot in a league, and I consider myself a part time plinker. I like to do serious defensive training, not the gamesmenship that leagues foster, it's just not for me. For those into it, have a nut, everyone needs a hobby. Sometimes I like to take my .22 rifle or pistol to the range and plink, it's not nearly as much fun as when I was a kid and could shoot tin cans in the back yard, but I can live with it. I would suggest you work on changing the rules, changing the supervision or just change clubs if you're not happy there.

August 31, 2006, 09:13 AM
In the interest of clarity, PPCMaster should stop calling these people "plinkers" and call them something more fitting. Mall Ninja and idiot are two names that come to mind.

I hate these people too. Where I shoot, it seems that every week there is at least one guy who feels the need to shoot at our targets or slam his gun down when he can't figure out how to get the magazine in.

I live in a gun-friendly state (Louisiana) and if they tried to make it so that you had to belong to a gun club to own a gun, or even shoot in compitition to belong to a club....Well, let's just say that wouldn't fly too well.

I know alot of people who have one gun and have it strictly for personal defense. They take it to the range maybe once or twice a year to rotate the ammo in it and to make sure the gun still works.

People like this should be required to shoot in a league just so they can have a good means of protecting their life and the lives of their family?

That sounds elitiest and almost anti-2nd amendment to me.

August 31, 2006, 09:24 AM
Thanks everyone for the great posts. MAybe I should change titles from "plinkers" to idiots. Thanks everyone for your veiw point it's great.

August 31, 2006, 09:30 AM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Plinking refers to informal target shooting done at non-traditional targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water.

Firearms of all calibers and types are commonly used for plinking. At one of the power range .50 caliber rifles have been taken to the desert and used to shatter boulders. But undoubtedly the most common caliber used for plinking is the .22 Long Rifle calibre cartridges since that round is realtively inexpensive and has a low report.

Reasons for the Popularity of Plinking
There are at least three major reasons for the popularity of plinking.

First, plinking has been popular because, in rural areas, one could start plinking with a minimum of preparation and expense. In hilly country with clay soil finding a safe backstop was as simple as gathering up a few stray cans. In many rural areas, up until recent decades plinking was essentially the only way to regularly practice marksmanship. Certainly, a rural shooter might improvise a formalized paper target but even then, the rest of the shooting experience had the character of plinking.

Second, plinking in general allows a shooter much freedom of choice in creating his or her shooting experience. In particular, the plinker is set at liberty from the very restrictive rules found at many gun ranges. Certainly, this freedom can be used to violate basic safety standards (see below). But other typical range rules which are not strictly matters of safety can also be ignored while plinking. Plinkers need not have fixed time periods of shooting before shooters have a chance to add, remove, check, or adjust their targets. In general, plinkers are free to shoot at their own pace.

Many gun ranges also place restrictions on rate of fire, for instance mandating that shooters only fire one shot every three or five seconds. Thus, shooters equipped with a semi-automatic or even automatic weapon cannot get the full enjoyment out of shooting their firearm. Since defense situations often require knowing how to accurately fire multiple shots in rapid succession, prohibitions on "rapid fire" shooting negatively impact firearms proficiency. While private indoor gun ranges often allow rapid fire they tend to bar surplus military ammunition from the range, charge more for shooting rifles than for shooting handguns, frequently disallow the largest calibers, and charge by the hour which forces one to compress one's shooting experience.

Furthermore, most gun ranges typically segregate the three major types of firearms effectively forcing one to shoot only one or two of them on any given shooting trip. While at outdoor public ranges, one can sometimes shoot rifles and handguns in close proximity, shotguns are typically used at a separate skeet and trap range. At most indoor ranges, rifles and handguns are usually fired in separate parts of the range and shotguns are not allowed at all. By contrast, plinkers, can freely change between shotguns and pistols at a moments notice or freely use the full capabilities of a gun that fires both rifle or pistol and shotgun ammunition.

Plinkers can also readily combine shooting with other recreational activities. One can, for instance, bring firearms along for a swimming trip to the local swimming hole or creek. One can swim right before or after one does some shooting and without the need to even change clothes. Plinking is also perfectly compatible with a variety of other outdoor activities, especially hiking.

The third major reason for the popularity of plinking is that plinkers are able to choose their own targets. This reason is related to the first two. Many targets regularly used for plinking are cheaper to obtain and more commonly available than standard paper targets. Second, plinkers are able to use reactive targets which, when hit, are more apt to display the full power of their weapons compared to paper targets hit with similar precision.

Overall, plinking is popular because it allows shooters to thoroughly customize their shooting experience.

Common Criticisms of Plinking
Some shooters disdain plinking because they feel it results in sloppy shooting habits, or because it may bring a bad reputation to the shooting sports because of the litter it sometimes creates. Many though by no means all, non-shooters would be disquieted by shooting which takes place outside of a dedicated gun range and thus hold forth against it on the grounds of safety and noise pollution.

Plinking and Safety
Responsible shooters clean up after plinking and follow general safety guidelines when shooting at any target; when plinking, a major concern is to ensure an adequate backstop exists so bullets will not strike or ricochet towards unintended targets or populated areas.

For better or worse, plinkers do not always follow all safety guidelines, in part, because some of the appeal of plinking derives from the freedom one has from the strict rules enforced at a typical gun range. Thus plinkers do not generally use range typical range commands and it is not uncommon for plinkers who do not use prescription lenses to go without eye protection. Most plinkers will however yell out a warning before starting a shooting session and will make sure their comrades have ceased firing before going out to work with their targets. Plinkers unused to a formal range environment, particularly older plinkers from rural areas, may also omit hearing protection, especially when they are only supervising younger shooters or simply being bystanders. Overall, however, most modern plinkers have extensive range experience and practice basic safety precautions including the use of hearing and eye protection.

In nations such as the UK, with more stringent gun laws than in the U.S., casual shooting is more often done with an air rifle (air gun).

The Future of Plinking
It is difficult to project the future of plinking in the United States and around the world. A number of factors weigh heavily on the viability of plinking in the decades to come.

First, the overall legal environment for civilian firearms owners is of prime importance to the future of plinking. Increasingly restritive gun laws will mean fewer and fewer places one can legally shoot let alone plink. Restrictions on guns themselves are also significant since, the United Kingdom after outlawing most firearms is now considering further restrictions on air rifles.

Second, plinking can be likened to an endangered animal suffering from an increasingly severe loss of habitat. Suburban sprawl threatens established formal gun ranges with closure and this same trend has an adverse effect on plinking. Urban dwellers who move into rural areas for quietude often have a different set of values from rural gun owners who consider it acceptable to fire guns in their back yard at reasonable hours. These homeowners often successfully file noise and nuisance or even safety complaints to force plinkers to give up their pastime or take it elsewhere.

Unlike public or large private gun ranges, few individual plinkers have the financial wherewithal to fight for their own interests where said interests conflict with those of determined homeowners. While many gun owner groups and gun ranges have successfully lobbied state legislatures for "range protection laws" there have been few if any efforts to pass "plinker protection" legislation.

con't below

August 31, 2006, 09:31 AM

To protect them against suburban sprawl many remaining open spaces have been made state or national parks but this often has the unintended consequence of closing these areas off to plinkers.

As areas one can legally plink become harder and harder to find, the cost of plinking increases due to travel time. Lack of suitable plinking venues in many parts of the United States has been a chief reason for the overwhelmingly rural character of plinkers in general.

Thus, the future of plinking is dependent upon a number of factors which are difficult to predict.

One possible outcome would be for plinking with firearms to largely disappear but for plinking with air rifles to make up for this, at least in rural areas. This would most likely occur if both the trend towards plinker habitat loss and the trend against more restrictive gun control laws were to continue.

Another scenario also assmumes that that plinker habitat reduction will not significantly abate but that public and private gun ranges will realize the large potential market in displaced plinkers. If this happens, one might seem some partial revival of plinking in a more rigid and structure context.

Adding a sound suppressor to a firearm greatly enhances its potential plinking use, especially when one is firing subsonic ammunition.

Examples of Plinking in the Media
R.Lee Ermey has popularized plinking on his History Channel television show "Mail Call" by using a variety of firearms and other weapons on his mortal "enemy" the watermelon. At times Ermey has used watermelon targets to gauge the relative stopping power of two different weapons. For instance, he compared the M-14 to the M-16. While some might not call such demonstrations, "plinking" Ermey does nothing to hide the pleasure he derives from such carnage and the use of reactive targets to display a weapon's power is certainly in the tradition of plinking.

Tank Plinking during the Gulf War
During the Gulf War, the destruction and high attrition rate of Iraq's armoured divisions, due to coalition air attack prior to the land campaign, gained the term tank plinking among coalition air forces. This was as a result of the abundance of armoured targets and the extremely effective use of strike aircraft, such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 and the A-10 Thunderbolt, via very high sortie rates and utilizing highly accurate precision-guided munitions such as the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile. Though the F-15, F-16, and F-14 all sortied in the Gulf War, the A-10 Thunderbolt II received the vast majority of tank kills, firing more than 90% of the Mavericks expended in the campaign, besides its very effective GAU-8/A Avenger.

During the latter parts of the campaign, aircrews learned to carry out missions early in the morning. With the sand still cool after night, the heat from a tank's engine made them stand out on the infra-red imaging in the cockpit. This allowed aircrew to identify targets easily, and precision munitions were afforded an even-easier kill.

The air campaign was so effective that at the height of the air assault, Iraq's armoured forces were being reduced by over 200 tanks and AFV's per day. Apart from the materiel destruction, it also destroyed the morale of Iraqi tank crews, and this was borne out during the first armoured encounters by coalition ground forces, where it was found that Iraqi tanks rarely got off the first shot. As it turned out, the crews were terrified of staying in their tanks, which had been transformed into death traps by the air assault, and as a result, the crews were camping some distance from their tanks.

As a ex-cop ---------I still plink

Capt. Charlie
August 31, 2006, 12:03 PM
I live in an area where there's a lot of strip mining going on. In years gone by, some smaller communities used strip mines or "high walls" as dumps. You could sit at the top of these with a ton of ammo and shoot down at everything from bottles to old TV sets, and there were LOTS of rats! Bottles were worth 10 points, but rats were worth 100. Each dump was good for several years of shooting before the coal companies dozed 'em over.

Later, I joined the PD and shooting became... "formal". It was still a challenge, but somehow the fun had gone out of it. I've been shooting "formal" now for decades, and had forgotten just how much fun plinking can be.

Well, yesterday, that changed. I help wrangle horses on a 4200 acre ranch, and I'm good friends with most of the full-time staff. I took a new pistol out to show off a few days ago, and one of the newer staff members took an interest. He suggested a staff shoot at his place, and that happened yesterday.

When I arrived, I was delighted. Turns out he's an avid shooter and has a nice, 200 yard range behind his house with stands for rifle and pistol, and a big, sturdy picnic table to bench off of, which was only a short walk to the house, facilities, and of course, the 'fridge ;) .

Six of us were there, and while the Rules were never mentioned out loud, everyone knew and followed them. Not once did I see anything unsafe.

We had a blast (pardon the pun :D ). We shot everything from .338 Win Mag to .308, .270 Win., and .22 rifles, to .44 mag., .45 ACP, 9mm, .357, and .38 spl. handguns, at everything from silhouette targets to water filled Mountain Dew bottles, to 3" sticky bullseyes at 100 yds. Only thing we didn't have was Tannerite :( .

When it finally got too dark to shoot, the ladies announced that dinner was ready, and we were treated to an outstanding meal. And of course afterward, we sat around debating who was the better shot that day :D .

Folks, that was plinking at its finest. The camaraderie, relaxed atmosphere, and fun made me realize what I've been missing. The "formal" shooting still has its place, but plinking re-lit my fire for shooting.

August 31, 2006, 12:24 PM
Stop crying Capt Charlie. It's OK to be upset. Your "plinking" experience sounds good because you guys were all on the "SAME PAGE" Duh. And you kissed your hosts butt to get what you wanted. Thanks for sharing.

August 31, 2006, 12:30 PM
Oh again Capt Charlie you were not shooting at a club that charges you $400.00 a year to join. So when you go to the range and find all the targets frames shot to hell , I guess when that happens next time I shoot the birds out of the air or maybe the chip monks, rabbits, frogs they make good targets right Charlie. Or do you have something else in mine OH watch about the range tower it won't hurt no one. I could go to the store and buy almost anything I guess. How about the puppy store, do dogs make good targets?

Capt. Charlie
August 31, 2006, 12:56 PM
Your "plinking" experience sounds good because you guys were all on the "SAME PAGE" Duh.
But it does differentiate between plinkers and the jamokes you're talking about, no?

And you kissed your hosts butt to get what you wanted.
:confused: What in the world are you talking about?

Oh again Capt Charlie you were not shooting at a club that charges you $400.00 a year to join. So when you go to the range and find all the targets frames shot to hell...
I think I would be equally upset with the folks running that range that let it happen, more than once. The membership only ranges I'm familiar with would 86 those people in a heartbeat.

August 31, 2006, 01:51 PM
Fundamentally I totally agree with everyone of you who expressed frustration about range damage done and safety ignorance on the part of many "plinkers". If you consider the situation, however, I think most will agree that this is part of the down side of a Constitution with a 2nd amendment. As free Americans we all share that fundamental right. Often it is a fine line between gun control and deciding who is qualified to own a firearm. We have more morons than this who go out and "plink" with their automobile. In most states all you need do is show up with the money and drive around the block to get a drivers license. Americans kill a whole lot more people by carelessness with a car than with a firearm. First and formost safety should be paramount in all endeavors. If one is at a "public range" and witnesses a running dummy being reckless then without a doubt it should be brought to the attention of the range master immediately if not sooner. If membership at a gun club is required then rules should be in place by which to expel the plinker and/or his member sponsor or both. Unlike a public range there should be some kind of member requirements in the club charter, I would think. I grew up in a place with miles and miles of nothing but miles so shooting was more of a private thing. Now with the number of C.H.U.D's wanting and needing a place to shoot, the saftety issues are numerous.

August 31, 2006, 02:14 PM
In defense of the "plinkers", I will say that everyone has to start somewhere. Conscientious people will accept that they don't know everything and will try to learn from someone, and once they have been taught they will apply those lessons to what they are doing. Idiots and yahoos will not. This is one of the reasons I no longer hunt opening weekends. There also seem to be the idiots that think that they can teach themselves anything from brain surgery to basket weaving by reading a book or watching a video.

I personally think civilian pseudo-commando mall-ninja ammo-burners with high-cap mags and a semi-auto are more dangerous to me than a newbie who doesn't know any better.

When I was a kid, I was told that a plinker was an informal target shooter. The term "plinker" comes from the noise cans make when they are hit, supposedly. Now I find out I wasn't a plinker, because I was taught strict adherence to firearms rules and etiquette?

If your range allows stunts and downright dangerous activities like I've read here, I would have a serious talk with the Range Master. Some of these are borderline negligent and could get someone killed very easily.

You can't blame it all on the shooters. Some don't know any better. The club I belong to has a mandatory orientation for all new members, and public range days are very closely monitored. Just my opinion, but if you see someone acting dangerously, do something (not confrontational) to get them to correct their behavior. If that means getting them thrown off the range, so be it. If it means getting involved with them as a mentor, if that's what it takes, you do it. But don't just sit there and rant about how bad they are unless you are willing to do something about it, because then you are part of the problem for allowing it to continue.

August 31, 2006, 03:05 PM
1. It would make more sense to change the title to refer to morons, idiots, waterheads, etc., instead of plinkers.
2. Stop whining about morons at YOUR range. Nobody likes morons. We get it.

August 31, 2006, 03:18 PM
Informal shooting just for the heck of it is where most gun enthusiasts learn their chops. So mabey not everyone grew up in your holy church of precision shooting... So what?

You need to calm down or build yourself your own range where you can segregate the sloppy "average joes" from the high-and-mighty paper-punchers.

I like steady, well-aimed fire as much as you. I have to admit, though, that when I am not practicing for or shooting in competition, I like to light off whole mags at a very fast clip. As long as the lead heads for the berm, rather than into the sky or ground, it's none of your damn business how I shoot. You need to bend over and remove whatever animal crawled into your rear.

August 31, 2006, 04:44 PM
+1 Oldbill.....:)

August 31, 2006, 04:47 PM
In defense of the "plinkers", I will say that everyone has to start somewhere.

And some of us never "progress" to something else. Not everyone is interested in defensive shooting or competitive shooting. Some simply like to shoot informally at cans (or paper targets) just for the fun of it.

At the indoor range, I'm more scared of the "defensive shooting James Bond wannabes" who are trying to draw from a holster quickly and do the double tap (or triple tap) drills, or other such drills. The plinker just wants to have fun. He or she may be an idiot, but generally is not shooting for speed and trying to be "tactical" by shooting quickly and emptying an entire mag.

And lots of the plinkers are better shots than the tactical/defensive folks (but generally not better shots than the competitive shooters -- those men and women will put us plinkers to shame). Many plinkers have learned that adding a bunch of lasers, lights, rails, and huge mags won't make up for lack of shooting skill and practice. :)

Too bad to hear about all of the rude jerks at your range. The problem is not plinking. The problem is rudeness and stupidity.

August 31, 2006, 08:39 PM
+1 Fremmer

August 31, 2006, 08:56 PM
The problem is not plinking. The problem is rudeness and stupidity.

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September 1, 2006, 06:31 AM
I guess your name says it all. Hey "Sonny, I have bin doing this since before you where born, when we use to walk uphill to school both ways, bare foot in the snow." YES it is my business how you shoot when we are on the range together, thank god we do not belong to the same club. I don't want to get shot by accident when you "light" up a magazine. Next time you do this, just give me the ammo it will be better spent, than the way you shoot. Duh look how fast I can hit NOTHING. By the way I didn't grow up in the Holy church of shooting, I just took the time to learn properly and safely, unlike yourself I suppose. I kind of guess with your comments concerning holy church and high and mighty paper punchers, I guess you do not hit your target too much just the air around you. Anyway I guess you can't teach old dogs new tricks after all. Have a good day.

September 1, 2006, 06:34 AM
Hey Hedley,
Thanks for your wonderful insight into this thread. I do not know what I would have done with out your advice. Thanks again.

September 1, 2006, 06:45 AM
I hate to kick an Old Cheif when they are down, but hear goes. I just remembered what happened to one of our county ranges last year. Some Yahoo like yourself, wanted to see how fast he could light up his magazine and accidently put one over the berm and hit a house, next day range closed forever. IT IS MY BUSINESS HOW YOU SHOOT MORON! WHEN YOU CAN RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE ELSE, just another selfish idiot in this country. What else is new. I will pull the animal out of my butt when you morons stop treating firearms like the water pistol you had growing up.

September 1, 2006, 07:45 AM
Man, am I gald I can just walk out into my yard and shoot all day and not bother another soul.

I have not spent much time in public or private ranges, but during that very short time, I've seen some crazy, careless, dangerous, and deadly practices. I don't know what a range officer is paid, but it ain't enough. I bet most are volunteers.

I'm a long way from a professional shooter/instructor, but I have been shooting since I was 6yrs old (yikes). We shooters are a brotherhood/sisterhood, a community of sorts and sometimes we need to speak up and say to the shooter in the next lane, " do you mind if I make a suggestion" or, "you seem to be having a bit of trouble, mind if i help?" and so on.

A we/they or an us/them mentality ie; "plinkers", will get us no where.

September 1, 2006, 08:27 AM
I built my own shooting range on my property. I live out in the country where the nearest house (besides my own)
is about 1/4 of a mile away.
The range I built goes to 100 yards.
I have 7 and 15 yards marked off along with 25 and 50 yards.
I don't shoot at any public ranges cause some people are just to unpredictable to be around when they have a loaded gun in their hands.
Only friends and reletives are allowed to shoot at my range.
Hearing and eye protection is a must.
Good shooting every one.

September 1, 2006, 09:01 AM
Morons and buttheads IT IS MY BUSINESS HOW YOU SHOOT MORON I will pull the animal out of my butt when you morons stop treating firearms like the water pistol you had growing up.

Seriously, I thought we were having an intelligent discussion there for a while. Especially defining 'plinking' and separating that very definition from what you describe as unsafe shooting. I am now sorry I ever subscribed to this thread. Y'all need to settle down a bit:mad:

September 1, 2006, 09:03 AM
Thanks for ONLY quoting me

September 1, 2006, 09:12 AM
Plinkers are Stinkers defensive shooting James Bond wannabes none of your damn business how I shoot. You need to bend over and remove whatever animal crawled into your rear.


September 1, 2006, 09:16 AM
YES it is

September 1, 2006, 09:54 AM
The mentally unfit are just as dangerous to be around on the range as the "morons" that handle firearms inappropriately...

You know...people who have short fuses.
People who call others names, despite knowing nothing about them.
People who are immature and paint everyone with a wide brush based on his experience with a few.

But...if there's one amendment I love more than the Second...it's the First.

September 1, 2006, 11:01 AM
Do we really need three pages in defense of non-competitive shooting?

ppcmaster, if you have a problem with your club, shouldn't you be taking it up with them? Getting your shorts in a knot because other people didn't like what you had to say in a public forum about your own problem with your own club is a bit, umm, well I think the word was used already.

Stick a fork in it ...

September 1, 2006, 11:32 AM
Yesterday, I was at the range with some buddies. We started out at 15 yards, slowfire, to get warmed up. Well, not really slow, slowfire -- we tried to get 6 shots downrange in less than 30 seconds.

Then we moved to the 7 yard line. We yanked our guns out of the holsters as fast as we could. BANG!~ reset ~ BANG! ~ reset ~ BANG! Lotsa fun.

After awhile, we got bored with that, so we started shooting 3 targets every time we yanked the gun out of the holster. BANGBANGBANG! Was that fast enough? Dunno, I think I can go faster ... speed it up, speed it up.

Sending so much ammunition downrange, we kinda had a problem keeping the magazines full, so then we played with reloads a bunch. How fast can you reload? Let's see ... BANG! ~ RELOAD ~ BANG! Wow, cool beans. I can do it faster though, wanta see?

When we got tired of doing that, we started shooting one-handed. Draw with only one hand, then dump six shots on target as fast as you can. BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! That was a blast. Left-handed we didn't draw, just held the gun at an angle in front of us to begin with. How fast can you dump a magazine left-hand only? BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! Wheeeeee.

After awhile, that wasn't enough of a challenge, so we fixed things up so we could fire without being able to see real well. First we did draw and fires with that -- yank the gun up and out and fire the shot quick. Then we did multiple targets, yank the gun up and out, then hit three targets as fast as possible. BANGBANGBANG. All without being able to see real well.

Sure glad some grumpy old guy didn't come along to yell at us.


September 1, 2006, 11:33 AM
Unfortunately you are not correct. Think before you speak, wiser words might come out. This isn't just only about my club this is about all clubs. Someone looses a round at your place, you'll be looking for a new place shoot. Not to mention all the bad press we get already. I didn't force anyone to reply to this thread especially yourself. I put this out in a public forum to hear what everyone has to say and get info on how to take care of things on my end, Your advice is so let me see, oh that word had been used again hasn't

So, stick a sock in it.......:D

Capt. Charlie
September 1, 2006, 11:45 AM
Moron? Selfish idiot?

This one's definitely done :mad: .