View Full Version : Need Suggestions for a Really Fun Range Session

December 20, 2006, 12:51 PM
We have returned to Knoxville for a few days merriment with friends and family, and one of the things I would LOVE to do is take a couple of the fathers and teenage/pre-teen sons for their first range experience.

We will, of course, cover safety issues and their importance, and I have brought more than adequate eye and ear safety gear for all.

What are some REALLY fun range games, things we can do to make this a great experience for all involved? We have a couple of experienced shooters, a couple of pro-gun folks without much experience, and a handful of "Gun-neutral" folks for whom I would like to provide a safe, fun time (and in the process, tip that neutrality more toward OUR side).

Our evil assault weapons of destruction include a Ruger 10/22, Marlin 39A, and Rossi single shot 22 rifles, and a couple of Phoenix HP22's and a 9-shot 22 revo, so it'll be a 22-palooza.

Creative trainers, share your techniques???

Capt. Charlie
December 20, 2006, 01:31 PM
Look in this thread (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230696&page=2). Some pretty good ideas there :) .

December 20, 2006, 02:37 PM
Water jugs are good. Go to the local recycling bin and gather up some plastic bottles. Fill them up to the very top with water. If they're full enough, and if the lid is screwed on tight enough, you can sometimes get them to burst when you shoot them.

Also, shaken-up cans of soda are good. They spray when you shoot them (again, sometimes).

December 20, 2006, 02:56 PM
Thanks guys!

Capt Charlie, that thread was exactly perfect, and just what I needed.

chris in va
December 20, 2006, 11:41 PM
Depending on how 'liberal' your gun range is...

1# propane cylinder. Light a fire 2' behind it, have all the kids hit it on the count of '3'.

Ooooh, aaaaah.:D

Don't forget a box of clays.

Bowling alleys usually have old pins stored in the back and they'll give them to you free. The one here gave me about 80 pins. Drill a hole in the top, string 'em up to a tree. Have the kids make them dance.

Old scuba tanks. If you can find one. Makes a nice loud TING.

December 21, 2006, 01:17 AM
My favorite fun target is potatoes. Cheap, biodegradable, and they explode when hit square with virtually any caliber, even .22, although .45s and 12ga. slugs are the most fun!

December 21, 2006, 06:31 PM
One target I like is ice cubes. I've never known of a ricochet problem. They're fun because they shatter and leave nothing to pick up!
If you've got some cardboard and balloons...well...every body likes to see targets dissapear! :D
Sounds like y'all are going to have lots of fun!

December 22, 2006, 09:13 AM
Take several waterballons, about the size of a softball. Freeze them and the day of the shoot put them in a cooler. In about a half hour the rubber will crack and fall right off, leaving a perfect round piece of ice. Hit it with any hollow point ammo, I prefer 9mm or .38, and they'll explode. Don't shoot them from less than 15 yards though. For .22's, apples are great targets, and the deer come out at night and clean up the pieces. Have fun.

December 22, 2006, 11:44 AM
If at all possible, make it a camping/shooting trip! Get away from the "formal" range so that it's just YOUR group, no strangers! If you can find a good spot, even the non-shooting time will be "priceless". Besides, a freshly-brewed cup of coffee on a brisk morning always seems to taste better in the clean, fresh air.

Empty plastic containers...fill 'em with water, add some food coloring, and blast 'em!

Any over-ripe fruits and vegetables, and even out-dated eggs! If you're in the "sticks", no need to clean up afterwards! The crawly critters will do that chore! "Necco" candy wafers! A real challenge!

Cheap R/C truck or car and helium-filled balloons!
"Party" helium tanks run about $20, and the balloons are cheap. Fill the balloons, tie a 4' length of string on them AND the rear bumper of the R/C vehicle, add someone to operate the vehicle, and....you have a moving target! Just don't shoot when it's windy, and make sure that everyone knows that the R/C vehicle ISN'T the target!

Make yourself a dummy! No, not YOU as the dummy!
Use some old clothing and stuff it with newspaper. For realism, prop them up with a stick. You can use a balloon for a head. For the youngsters, make it a "learning" experience....in that the dummy is NOT a human being.

Also for the youngsters, make sure that they learn that it's healthy to compete! Set up some bulls-eye paper targets for each of them, and let them blast away with the .22's. After those paper targets look like Swiss cheese, they'll ALL be able to proudly say that they "won"!

Got any old tennis balls? Puncture them with a pin and thread some string through them, then hang them up on a tree branch or a 2'x4'. If they're hit squarely, they'll swing around....and they'll take multiple hits before they're totally ruined.

Kids do NOT gripe about setting up targets! Just make sure that they adhere to all of the range safety rules. In a way, setting up targets will be part of the "game" for them. Just make sure that they don't get carried away and run out to set up targets BEFORE the range is "cleared"!

While you're out there in the "sticks", go for a "nature walk". The kids will be wired-up, so throw in some healthy exercising to let them un-wind before it's time to turn in. They might not enjoy sitting around a campfire, but you can give them the chore of putting wood on it. Oh, and "Smore's" taste great over a campfire!

For the "elderly" folks, enjoy the peace and quiet after the kids are asleep! It's great to watch the campfire burn down to a nice glow in the darkness....and to look up at the stars! If you've done a camping/shooting trip the right way, everyone will be "sawing logs" by 10:00 p.m., or maybe even earlier! Ya can't do any of that at a "formal" shooting range!

December 22, 2006, 08:41 PM
Fun range session??? Here ya go...
This is a sequence from the something-annual X-mas shoot with me and some friends (something annual because I don't recall how long we've been doing it--just a long time...) Anyway, we did the commercial grade pyro shows for 4th of July for our company. And well, you always end up with a few non-launchables in a big batch. So those get tucked away for our "Holiday Brew-ha-ha". Any "hot" round will set them off on impact (after all--we're required to dispose of duds).

Anywho, the point is that reactive targets are some of the most spectacular fun for even us old "trigger-fingers". For new shooters, they'll be telling stories about the experience for years! If you can get some Tannerite, you'll get a similar effect. Otherwise it's not difficult to make legally.