The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 26, 2013, 11:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 386
A Target I Can See, Please

So I took the Mosin out to the range today. I always print my own targets because I think buying them is a waste. I made something I figured I could see at 100 yards with iron sights. This one has a three inch diameter bullseye, the white area inside the red circle is six inchs diameter. The outside of the red circle is seven inches diameter.

The problem is that the thing is not easy to see for me. All the shapes just bleed together.

The photo shows one of my better groups and what the target looks like. I'm obviously not a crack shot. 100 yards with open sights is simple for some folks, but I'm just getting used to shooting that far.

So, my question is if there's a better design for a target that's easier to easy. I've heard a big black X might be easier to line up on or just a giant square. I don't know. What I do know is that I was floating all over the target because I didn't have a sharp line or something to hold on.

Let me know what you guys think.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg targetgroup.jpg (203.0 KB, 132 views)
ckpj99 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 07:57 AM   #2
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
try black ( harder to see your shots ) but much easier to aim towards... ditch the outer ring... & make your dot bigger

I use a 2" black dot at 50 yards, a 4" black dot at 100 yards, an 8" black dot at 150 yards, an 8.5 X 11" black sheet over some blank news print at 200 yards, & 2 black sheets ( total of 11" by 17" ) over blank news print at 300 yards

when I'm shooting milsurps with iron sights on my range
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 08:56 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,447
Try putting vertical and horizontal lines through the center of the target.
Like a scope reticle.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 09:43 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,137
A black on white target is just about ideal for iron sights, and for square-topped sights, a square is better than a circle. Think a 3" black square on a white target background.

Go to and look around. I like the #10116 for iron sights.
Dennis Dezendorf
PawPaw is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 11:31 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 4,811
For irons I like the old "Tin Hat" targets. You just "make a mushroom" with the target & the front sight.

My favourite construction materials & method?
Paper 8" plate, spray paint black.
Staple to backer.
Staple sheet of printer paper across bottom half.

To score remove paper & look at the whole thing.
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 386
Thanks for the input guys.
ckpj99 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 01:08 PM   #7
Jim Watson
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,111
The standard bullseye target, meant to be shot at with iron sights, is 5.5 to 6 MOA, black on a buff or off-white background. Too small or cluttered targets are hard to hit.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 09:06 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Posts: 863
I read someplace that the color red "washes out" against white in daylight.
In a pinch, if I visit the range without my usual targets, I use strips of common black electrical tape to make a cross on white cardboard. The strong vertical and horizontal lines really help in setting the sights on target. I feel that if I am comparing ammo brands, this configuration gives me a reliable and repeatable aiming point. The cross is made of 1/2 or 3/4 inch strips of black tape. When I align my sights I slowly move the rifle on and off the cross in both directions to be sure where the rifle is aimed. When I am confident, then I squeeze.

Last edited by SteelChickenShooter; June 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM.
SteelChickenShooter is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 09:36 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: October 30, 2011
Location: Monterey
Posts: 798
does the front sight vanish on dark points? i know this is a common iron sites problem thats solved by painting the tip of the front site with bright model paint.

target wise on my mosin i shoot at black targets that i get at my range, one of the ones i find easy to shoot are the weird zombie targets, as they are bright and have designated target points setup on them that are easy to find and hit
DrkDragon Arms

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. -GW
Duzell is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 11:29 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: April 18, 2000
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
Posts: 890
Guns are not dangerous! People are! RKBA!
Jerry45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 11:56 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: November 11, 2012
Posts: 459
Because of wave length, one should try to stay away from RED. Both scope and iron sights...
Bake is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 05:10 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Posts: 863

I'd like to comment about the Jerry45 post and
I've been there and done that. Also found a number of other online target websites that contain a good variety of targets from bulls eye, novelty, games to target as well as sighting in. When I print my favorites I go to Staples to copy mass quantities. The cost isn't so bad when I save my paper and printing ink if I want a couple hundred of different kinds.
SteelChickenShooter is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 11:56 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 386
I definitely copy the targets at Staples.

I quick note to those interested. I actually design my own targets in photoshop once I find an idea I like. That way I can guarantee the dimensions are correct.

After reading though what you guys have said, I designed a few new targets.

The first set is five inch black square and another with a 5" dot.

The second is a five inch 50% grey square and another with a dot. My idea here is that it should still be dark enough to see, but light/dark enough to holes easily in.

The third set is a neutral blue dot (and matching square). The blue I chose is exactly in the middle of light spectrum. It's sort of a neon color.

The last one is a big black X. The center of which is 3 inches.

I'll get a bunch of these printed and then see what works best.
ckpj99 is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 10:53 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 5,941
paper plates

For a long time now I have used common white paper plates as targets for my iron sighted rifles. The big 9" type at 100, the smaller 4" (?) inside 100. I buy'em at the dollar stores in the big bundles. I'll take a marker and make a 1-2 MOA circle if I'm shooting a scope, usually trace a quarter or jar lid.

On bead sights, the bead seems to fit nicely over the plate, for a consistent, repeatable hold, and I expect the impact to be centered. On a post/peep rifle, I hold 6 o'clock and expect the group at the base of the plate. I cannot consistently hold center with a post on the plate get good groups, they will string vertically. At 100, a 8 1/2- 11" sheet of typing paper works pretty good for a post/peep as well.

Typically I'll spray paint the cardboard target backer black, and staple the plate right on it for a good contrast. That all seems pretty simple, but I don't know if I've seen anybody use plates at our local range.

Heck, I don't know if I see anybody shooting irons, except the Nagant and SKS/AK guys.
bamaranger is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 01:04 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,097
For iron sights, I like using triangles or Xs with large, blocky designs.
You have to be willing to use a lot of ink/toner, though...

Here's an example:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Iron_sight_target.jpg (16.8 KB, 57 views)
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08361 seconds with 10 queries