View Full Version : What do you use when you go to the range

April 25, 2007, 05:53 PM
WHen you take your shotgun to the range, what do you use for targets?

I tried butcher paper, but it was to thin, getting torn to shreads in seconds.

Ive also tried cardboard, but that proved to brittle.

what do you all use to ovoid paying 2 dollars a target?

April 25, 2007, 05:56 PM
Hmmm.....Clay Targets!

April 25, 2007, 06:00 PM
for those of us who don't live near a trap range!

April 25, 2007, 06:22 PM
You didn't specify what the purpose was. Skill? Patterning? For patterning, I use a big box and a roll or two of wrapping paper (like Christmas paper, giftwrap, etc.). Put a big, black dot (perm. marker) in the middle and use that as POA. It's gotta be at least three feet across though, or you won't get any information. Chokes are designed for specific patterns at 40 yds.

I seldom do it... only when I have a new gun or choke tube that I need to find out about.

If you mean practicing for SD, I don't have any idea.

April 25, 2007, 07:20 PM
I usually put a few clays out in the dirt hill and try to take them out. Not much challenge as they're not moving, but $0.10 each is reasonable.

And water jugs are only $1.00 if you go to the range after hours, or have an easy going range :D.

April 25, 2007, 09:10 PM
I use the 10 yd patterning method developed by Ken Masters. Measure off 30 feet and fire at 20" squares of paper such as butcher paper. Use his chart to determine the pattern. It is pretty close. I have been using it for over 30 years. If you need further on this, advise.

April 26, 2007, 12:29 AM
At the indoor range I go to, I use four section of thick cardboard glued together with Gorilla Glue and make my own targets to cover them. I usually glue a sheet of aluminum foil, just around the outside edges, under a sheet of red, orange or yellow wrapping paper (cheap rolls at dollar stores) and top it off with brown heavy gauge wrapping paper on which i draw targets using Sharpie marker. I also like fun targets for outdoors and to get newer/younger shooters interested and enthused, like:

Here is a link to a Field and Stream article by Petzal on making a target for testing penetration called The Ballistic Buffalo:


I've used this and variations on it at the outdoor pit when testing penetration on various slugs and 00 buck rounds. I've also added to it using; old telephone books with thin sheets of scrap sheet metal in the centers and/or a gelatin trap.

A friend of mine who shoots IPSC and Three Gun went to a charity shoot in PA years ago and they had gelatin block targets. I make them using cheap, off-brand Lime Jello, Knox gelatin and fine sawdust. Follow the directions for making Jigglers (with cold water) on the Knox box using the flavored and plain gelatin mixed vigorously with the sawdust and then pour it all into a paper grocery sack lined with a plastic bag. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? I use a lot of gelatin and it takes time to get it right but it's lots of fun! I'm gonna' have to make some up and take pics to post. They explode so well!

April 26, 2007, 04:40 PM
I use the 10 yd patterning method developed by Ken Masters. Measure off 30 feet and fire at 20" squares of paper such as butcher paper. Use his chart to determine the pattern. It is pretty close. I have been using it for over 30 years. If you need further on this, advise.

quick google search didn't yield much on this, can you point me in the right direction? I've always used the large sheet of paper but would love an easier way.

April 26, 2007, 06:18 PM
Ken Master's patterning method:

Set up a 20" square piece of paper exactly 30' (10 yds) from the muzzle.

Select the load you want to test. Shoot at the center of the paper.

Draw a circle around the pattern. Do not include obvious flyers.

Measure the diameter of the circle. (Disregard flyers)

5 1/2" - 8" = full choke
9"-----12" = Improved modified
13"----15" = Modified
16-----18" = Improved cylinder
19 and over=Cylinder

This is not an exact science but it will give you a pretty good idea of what your particular load is doing. I have been using this method for over 30 years and even though it is not quite as accurate as the 40 yd method, it sure does save a lot of steps and has helped me select good loads. A wooden frame is easy to build or you can get a welder make a metal frame with hooks on it to hold the paper.

I hope this helps.

April 27, 2007, 11:45 AM
thanks ebutler, I'll have to give it a try.

Smitty in CT
April 27, 2007, 01:54 PM
Another "cheap" option is 10" paper plates, staple them to a fence slat and have a blast (pun intended) The "Turkey" targets that they sell at the range and sporting goods stores have a 10" circle that you are trying to concentrate your shot into... You can get 500 plates for a buck or two.

April 27, 2007, 07:20 PM
Hey Smitty, hadn't thought of that.

Great idea!!:D

April 27, 2007, 09:00 PM
I like shooting clays, myself, but if you can't do that, or are looking to pattern a shotgun, go to your local Staples, OfficeMax, etc. and get one of those flip paper charts. You'll get ~40 sheets of 2'x3' white paper for a few bucks. Just a thought.

April 28, 2007, 02:10 AM
For slugs I use paper plates at 150 yds, trap for shot, and sometimes a row of tin cans to practice spreading shot. Line up 5 or six and try to knock them all down from left to right or right to left.

April 28, 2007, 07:21 AM
Check the yellow pages for a paper goods supplier in your area. Most cities have several. Buy a roll of brown kraft paper. It is perfect for patterning and cheaper than butcher paper. The roll I have is 48" wide and lasts a long time.

May 1, 2007, 07:31 PM

Why would have to live near a trap range to shoot clay targets?

Wal-mart sells clay birds and throwers everyday of the year.

May 1, 2007, 07:56 PM
I order paper mansized targets off the internet for about 30.00 for a hundred.