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Old March 1, 2007, 03:20 PM   #1
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paper targets vs. plates...

What do you feel is more conducive to learning and training, paper targets, or reactive plates?

I've recently started shooting at a Police range and a "Tactical" course at another local range. For some reason, I felt like I learned more by shooting at the plates than simply punching holes in paper. These plates are around 8". I figure it allows you to train for multiple targets, quicker follow ups (where you KNOW what you're hitting), and... something else. I lost my train of thought.

Anyway, am I completely crazy or do you feel that plates are better?
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Old March 1, 2007, 03:36 PM   #2
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If you are at the beginner or intermediate level, paper is definately better. Shooters tend to develop bad habits on steel if they haven't mastered tracking the sights, etc. They tend to listen for the hits or look for the hits on the steel. Hit or miss, that tends to take their focus off of what they are doing. Learn to see your sight and you will know where the bullet hits.

Multiple targets (transitions), follow up shots, draw and fire, every shot should be triggered by what you see (the sight). You should "know" where you hit by where the sight is. Until you can resist the urge to listen for that "ping" or watch the plates fall over, you are better off on paper.
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Old March 1, 2007, 10:03 PM   #3
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I go with targets. You will learn to shoot the way you train. If your goal is to be able to repeatedly hit a 9" circle at 7 yards, go shoot paper plates - you'll quickly develop sufficient skill to hit an amorphous blob somewhere within that 9" plate. What you won't learn is the fine muscle control required to hit the X-ring (about 11/16th's of an inch) at 25 yards.

So the real question is what and how do you want to shoot? I'm rather fond of the X-ring myself.

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Old March 1, 2007, 10:48 PM   #4
T. O'Heir
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"...simply punching holes in paper..." Target shooting at paper teaches you the basics. Sight picture, breathing, trigger control, etc. You need that before you'll be any good at plates or pins. Plates and pins are a lot of fun, but you need to be able to shoot straight first. The adage is, "Get good first, then get fast".
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Old March 2, 2007, 12:56 AM   #5
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Bowling pins are ...

funny little devils with minds of their own.
You can hit them with 44Mag or 45acp and they'll spin around the tabletop.
or a good hit with a .38 will slowly push then back off the table.
Try it you like it.
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Old March 2, 2007, 10:45 AM   #6
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In my very limited experience, lurper is right on with the way novices shoot steel, or pins for that matter.

I would get too wrapped up in watching the first one fall and not focusing on the next one in line.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
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Old March 2, 2007, 08:52 PM   #7
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I love shooting steel, it fun and gives immediate feedback. The problem with shooting steel alone is that you can't diagnose you misses. Paper allows you to learn from both your bad shots and good ones. With steel, bowling pins or other reactive targets you get immediate positive feedback from your hits but learn little or nothing from your missed shots.
All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
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Old March 2, 2007, 10:48 PM   #8
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I love shooting steel too. But for training, use the FBI "Q" target as your primary. Or IPSC/IDPA targets.
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
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